No, it is never too late to sign up for the seahorse training program — it is an online project that never expires. The training course is always available free of charge to anyone who is interested.
It is a correspondence course that is conducted entirely via e-mail, so in order to sign up you need to contact me off list ([email protected]) with a brief e-mail message that includes your full name (first and last) and a little background information regarding your experience as an aquarist, if any, and a quick rundown of any marine aquariums you may currently be maintained, as explained below. I will then reply to your e-mail and, once we have opened the lines of communication, the training lessons will begin.
How long this training will take to complete depends on your experience level as an aquarist to a large extent. For example, if you have never kept seahorses before and you do not already have a suitable saltwater aquarium up and running, it will take at least eight weeks for your training and preparations to be completed before you can be certified. It will take that long to learn the basics of seahorse keeping, set up a suitable aquarium, cycle the tank from scratch to establish the biological filtration, and optimize the tank to create an ideal environment for seahorses. Only then can you be certified ready to receive your first seahorses.
On the other hand, experienced marine aquarists and hobbyists that have had seahorses before and already have a suitable saltwater aquarium up and running can be certified much more quickly. I will run through the same basic information with them, but most of the information I provide will be familiar material for such hobbyists and they should be able to review it and get up to speed quickly, plus they should have well-established aquariums ready, fully matured that they can fairly quickly adapt in order to make them more ideal for seahorses. In a case like that, certification can be completed as soon as they have absorbed the material I provide and are confident they have a good grasp of the specialized requirements and aquarium care of the seahorses.
So in order to get started, oobichan, the first thing I need to know is how experienced you are with saltwater aquariums. Have you ever kept a marine aquarium before? If so, how long have you been involved with the saltwater aquarium hobby? Do you have one or more marine aquariums up and running at this time? If so, how long have the tanks been in operation? (The information you have already provided in your post above is all that I required that require in that regard.)
Do you have an aquarium up and running at this time that you intend to use as a seahorse tank? If so, can you please describe the aquarium system you will be using for your seahorse tank? How large is the aquarium (length, width, and height)? What kind of filtration equipment is installed and running on the aquarium? What type of lighting system does the tank you? How long has the proposed seahorse tank been up and running? Please list all of the current inhabitants of the aquarium you will be using as your seahorse tank, if any.
If not, if you don’t have an aquarium for your seahorses as of yet, that’s just fine. I will be providing you with lots of recommendations and options in that regard so that you can pick out a tank that is just right for your needs and interests. And I will be working with you personally every step of the way until your new aquarium is ready for seahorses and you are well prepared to give them the best of care, regardless of how long that may take.
Complete details regarding the Ocean Rider seahorse training course are provided in the first post at the top of this forum titled "Seahorse Training Program — get certified now!"
In short, just send a brief e-mail with your full name and the background information requested above to the following e-mail address, and I will enroll you and get you started out with the first lesson in the training course right away: [email protected]
Best wishes with all your fishes!