Congratulations on your new SunFire! I’m happy to hear that he acclimated so well and is making himself right at home already.
I heartily agree with you — SunFires are breathtakingly beautiful! When conditions are favorable, this is a seahorse that all but glows. These vibrant beauties are the most intensely colored of all Hippocampines, a brilliantly colored seahorse that stands out across the room like a beacon!
They range from yellow to gold to orange in coloration, yet their simple color pattern packs a tremendous wallop due to it’s dazzling intensity. The neon yellow and blazing orange are the impossibly bright shades of color normally reserved for solar flares, nuclear meltdowns, or volcanoes erupting red-hot lava! Dazzlers!
One thing I really appreciate about them is that they are relatively colorfast. SunFires tend to retain their brilliant coloration rather than resuming cryptic coloration or blending into their background. Whereas Sunbursts can be expected to go through a number of color phases from month to month, you can expect your SunFire to display the same vivid base coloration month after month and year after year.
In that respect, SunFires are similar to other naturally colorful seahorses such as wild Tigertails (Hippocampus comes) or the rare yellow and orange color morphs of H. reidi that tend to retain their bright coloration in the aquarium as long as conditions are to their liking.
When a SunFire loses its brilliance, it’s an indication of a serious problem: malnourishment and/or a dietary deficiency, major water quality issues, a dangerous drop in dissolved oxygen levels, or a disease outbreak.
If you provide your SunFire with a stress-free environment, optimal water quality, and plenty of Vibrance-enriched Mysis, he will continue to light up your aquarium for years to come.
But the characteristic I like the most about SunFires is not their stunning coloration. I like the fact that these are remarkably active specimens. For seahorses, these boldly colored beauties are brazen little busybodies. They are aggressive eaters that are always out in the open, flaunting their flamboyant colors while flirting, courting, hunting and displaying to one another and their keepers.
Best of luck with your new SunFire and all of your seahorses, hooze!