Re:Seahorse Breathing Question

Pete Giwojna

Dear Grant:

Unfortunately, the list of seahorses that eat frozen Mysis and you can consider keeping in a 12-gallon mini reef is very short.

The only seahorse that Ocean Rider raises that is small enough for a tank that size and that eats frozen foods is their strain of captive-bred-and-raised Hippocampus capensis, marketed under the trade name of Zulu-lulus. Unfortunately, the Zulus like relatively cool water temperatures and would experience heat stress at the temperatures that are suitable for your nano reef, so we need to cross them off the list.

There are three other seahorse species you might consider, Grant — Hippocampus fuscus, H. tuberculatus or H. breviceps. Hippocampus fuscus is a small tropical species of seahorse that is about the same size as H. capensis, but which could tolerate the temperatures in your mini reef. Unfortunately, H. fuscus is difficult to find in this country and is only sporadically available. The short-headed seahorse (Hippocampus breviceps) and the closely related knobby seahorse (H. tuberculatus) would also be suitable for a 12-gallon aquarium. They are miniature Australian seahorses that reach an adult size of about 3 inches in length when they are fully grown — small enough for a tank that size but large enough to eat frozen Mysis as their staple diet. So you could consider a pair of H. fuscus for your 12-gallon Biocube or a small group of H. tuberculatus or H. breviceps.

Ocean Rider does not work with any of these species, but there are some breeders in the US that do. That’s your best bet, Grant — do some searching around and find a source that has H. fuscus or H. tuberculatus available, or that can perhaps provide domesticated H. breviceps that are adapted for the warmer temperatures in your nano reef.

Best of luck finding some small ponies that are better suited for your 12-gallon Biocube, sir.

Pete Giwojna

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