Ocean Rider Seahorse Training Program
The Ocean Rider Seahorse Training Manual is by for the most useful reference devoted to keeping seahorses that you will find. The seahorse training manual is very comprehensive, consisting of several hundred pages of text with more than 250 full-color illustrations, and it will explain everything you need to know in order to keep Ocean Rider seahorses successfully in a home aquarium.
Ocean Rider provides the seahorse training manual to all of their clients and customers completely free of charge, Tony, so if you send me a brief email ([email protected]) I will send you a complete copy of the training manual (all 10 lessons) in return so you can go through it at your leisure.
In addition to the seahorse training manual, Tony, there are also a number of useful articles available online that you may also be interested in.
For example, I wrote an article in Conscientious Aquarist called “Feeding Stations: A Better Way to Feed Seahorses” that you may find useful when you are preparing to feed your first seahorses, Tony. It discusses all the different kinds of feeding stations, including natural feeding stations. Just copy the following URL, paste it in your web browser, and press the “Enter” key, and it will take you directly to the right webpage in order to read the article:
You might also find my series of articles on seahorse nutrition to be helpful in that regard, Tony. Part IV of that series is devoted to feeding and rearing seahorse fry and should be especially useful when you are ready to try your hand at raising the babies. All five articles in that series are available online at http://www.seahorse.com/ at the following URL:
As a new seahorse keeper, you should also find the Horse Forum columns in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) to be very interesting, Tony. I co-authored many of those columns about seahorses and they are all available online at the following web site. Just go to the particular year you are interested in and you’ll find links or you can read each of the Horse Forum columns from that year:
In addition, there are couple of other good books about seahorses that every new seahorse keeper should consider investing in. Go to Amazon.com and do a search there for the term “seahorses” and you will find many good books available for purchase on that subject.
When it comes to guidebooks, I would say the most useful of these for hobbyists is “How to care for your Seahorses in the Marine Aquarium — A Stable Environment For your Seahorse Stable” by Tracy Warland. It is that I devoted primarily to Australian seahorse species, but the information on aquarium keeping and rearing translates equally well to the seahorses we keep most commonly here in the US. However, it can be difficult to scrounge up a copy of Tracy’s book these days, so you’ll have to do some searching to come up with one of your own.
Another excellent book that all seahorse keepers would enjoy is “Seahorses, Pipefishes and Their Relatives: a Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes” by Rudie H. Kuiter. It includes detailed information on over 350 different species, including Seahorses, Pipefishes, Seadragons, Shrimpfishes, Trumpetfishes and Seamoths as well as a list of all known species of Sygnathids. With more than 1000 spectacular photographs, most taken in the fishes’ natural habitats, the book contains a wealth of information about habitats and behavior, including brief details of ideal aquarium set ups for each species. However, it is primarily a picture book, with very little information devoted to the aquarium care of the various seahorses. It does do a very nice job of discussing the natural history of many of the specimens and certainly contains the best illustrations of seahorses to date, including courtship, breeding, birth and predation. The detailed coverage of pipefishes is unprecedented. The pictures are breathtaking and it is well worth owning for that reason alone.
You can request all of these books online from Jim Forshey at the Aquatic Bookshop (<http://www.seahorses.com/index.shtm>) or from Amazon.com and the other major booksellers.
There is also one good disease book on seahorses that you might find very useful. Dr. Martin Belli, Marc Lamont, Keith Gentry, and Clare Driscoll have done a terrific job putting together “Working Notes: A Guide to the Diseases of Seahorses.” Hobbyists will find the detailed information it contains on seahorse anatomy, the latest disease diagnosis and treatment protocols, and quarantine procedures to be extremely useful and helpful. It has some excellent dissection and necropsy photos as well as a number of photos of seahorses with various health problems. This is one book every seahorse keeper should have in his or her fish-room medicine cabinet, and I highly recommend it! In time of need, it can be a real life saver for your seahorses. It used to be available online at the following web site:
There is also a new book out on Amazon.com titled “So you want to keep seahorses” by Tom Hornsby that sounds intriguing, but I have not had a chance to read it myself as of yet, so I can’t say for certain about that one…
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Training Program Advisor