Re:Beginner, trying to choose

Pete Giwojna

Dear Mieva:

If you are limited to a 10-gallon aquarium, but you don’t want to consider the Pixies or dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae) due to their need for newly hatched brine shrimp on a daily basis, then you are on the right track in considering the Shetland pony class of seahorses instead, which are small enough for a 10 gallon tank but large enough to eat frozen foods as their staple diet.

But I don’t think the Zulu-lulus (H. capensis) are your best choice among the Shetland ponies. For one thing, they are temperate seahorses that will require an aquarium chiller in order to keep their aquarium temperature in their comfort zone. More importantly, the Zulus are not available at this time and it may be some time before they are offered to hobbyists again.

Rather than the Zulus, I would recommend that you consider the Seapony (Hippocampus fuscus) instead. The Seaponies are the same size as the Zulu-lulus and are just as easy to breed and raise, and have the great advantage in that they are tropical seahorses that do well at standard aquarium temperatures. In essence, the hobbyist can consider H. fuscus to be the tropical equivalent of the cool water Zulu-lulus (H. capensis).

If you e-mail me off list ([email protected]), I will provide you with a species summary that explains all about the care and keeping of Hippocampus fuscus in greater detail.

Yes, the type of seahorses you will be keeping does determine the kind of setup that will work best for that particular species to some extent. For example, a Pixie tank will be much different than a larger aquarium that will be housing full-sized species such as Mustangs (H. erectus) or Brazileros (H. reidi). The Tigertail seahorse (H. comes) is a coral reef specialist that will thrive in a reef biotype, whereas H. capensis and H. fuscus do best in heavily planted tanks with lush beds of macroalgae. If you contact me off list, the information I provide will explain how to aquascape your 10-gallon aquarium to create ideal conditions for the Seaponies.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Mieva!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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