Re:is this normal

Pete Giwojna


The behavior of your new Hippocampus reidi sounds quite normal and is probably just an indication of just how powerful the urge to reproduce is in seahorses. The genetic imperative to reproduce is very strong in Hippocampus, to say the least. For example, solitary males often go through the motions of courtship when there are no other seahorses present in their aquarium (Abbott, 2003). This includes typical courtship displays such as brightening, head tucking, tilting and quivering, and pouch displays ("pumping" and/or "ballooning"). They may court their own reflection and sometimes even direct their courtship displays toward their keepers (Abbott, 2003). If no females are present, over-stimulated stallions will sometimes soothe themselves by basking in the air stream from an airstone, content with the tactile stimulation provided by the gentle barrage of bubbles. They may even flirt with inanimate objects. If all else fails, a hitching post may actually suffice as a suitable surrogate when no better alternative is available (Abbott, 2003)!

Same-sex courting displays (both male and female) are also common when no member of the opposite sex is present. Under such circumstances, these passionate ponies are not picky about their partners — males will dance with other stallions and frustrated females will sometimes flirt with other fillies (Abbott, 2003)!

So I don’t think dancing with its reflection is anything unusual or anything you should be concerned about, FERS4REEF. Rather it’s simply an indication that your seahorse is displaying a healthy interest in courtship and breeding, and making do with its own image in the absence of any potential mates.

It is commendable that you are quarantining the new seahorse from your LFS — that’s a very sensible precaution and may save you a lot of grief in the long run. As you know, the Brazilian seahorse (H. reidi) has a well-deserved reputation for being a finicky eater, so you will need to be patient and persistent in your efforts to wean your new specimens onto frozen foods while it’s undergoing its quarantine period.

Best of luck with your seahorses, FERS4REEF! It’s good to hear that your seahorse tank is doing so well now!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

America's Only Seahorse Aqua-Farm and One of Hawaii's Most Popular Attractions

Ocean Rider seahorse farm is a consistent Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winner and "Top 10 Things To Do" Kona, Hawaii attraction. Our "Magical Seahorse Tours" are educational and fun for the whole family.

Tour tickets are available for Purchase On-Line. Space is limited and subject to availability.

small seahorse Ocean Rider, Inc. is an Organic Hawaiian-Based Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Aquarium that Follows Strict Good Farming Practices in Raising Seahorses and Other Aquatic Life.

Seahorse Hawaii Foundation

Inspiring ocean awareness by saving the endangered seahorse and sea dragons around the world from extinction through conservation, research, propagation, and education.

Help us save the seahorse and the coral reefs they live in with a tax deductible contribution to the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation. You will be helping to protect and propagate over 25 species of endangered seahorses, sea dragons and friends.

Make A Tax-Deductible Donation Today!

A Different Kind of Farm (Video) »

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii
Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Tours

73-4388 Ilikai Place

Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740

Map & Directions


Contact Ocean Rider

Copyright ©1999-2023
All Rights Reserved | Ocean Rider Inc.

My Online Order Details

Purchase Policy

Site Terms and Conditions