Re:Is the tank tall enough?

Pete Giwojna

Dear Kim:

Yup, 18 inches of vertical swimming space should be plenty for even large seahorses such as Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) to mate comfortably and successfully accomplish the transfer of eggs. If the Mustangs and Sunbursts are large specimens that are 7-8 inches in length, an aquarium with a water depth of 18 inches still allows them well over two full body lengths of swimming space in which to accomplish the copulatory rise — more than adequate!

The urge to breed is very strong in Hippocampus, however — especially captive-bred-and-raised seahorses — and even if kept in a shallow tank, pairs will do their best to improvise, adapt, and overcome such depth limitations. I have seen pairs whose copulatory "rise" was more horizontal than vertical, yet which managed to mate successfully, so you needn’t be at all concerned that your 50 gallon tank will preclude successful breeding, Kim.

Stick with domesticated seahorses, provide them with optimum water quality, a nutritious diet, and a stress-free environment, and just let nature take its course. Under favorable conditions, your captive-bred Casanovas are bound to provide you with plenty of broods of young in the years and months ahead.

Best of luck with your seahorses, Kim! Here’s hoping your mated pairs proved to be very prolific ponies!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2006/12/18 17:49

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