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Barbori seahorse

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  • #53251
    joedinsmore
    Participant

    Hi there
    I am very interested in keeping seahorses. My LFS is able to order in hippocampus barbori and was wandering if this is a species that is ok for beginners
    Many thanks

    #53262
    Pete Giwojna
    Moderator

    Dear Joe:

    That depends entirely on whether the Hippocampus barbouri seahorses from your local fish store are cultured seahorses that were born and raised in captivity or whether the H. barbouri are wild-caught seahorses that were collected from the ocean.

    Captive-bred-and-raised Hippocampus barbouri that are trained to eat frozen Mysis as their staple, everyday diet are a fairly good choice for your first seahorses, Joe. However, if the barbouri available from your local pet dealer are delicate, wild-caught seahorses, then they would be a terrible choice for a beginning seahorse keeper, sir.

    Having said that, Joe, I should explain that, in general, I believe the home hobbyist is always much better off ordering his seahorses directly from the breeder or collector, rather than purchasing them from their local pet store or fish store. The reason for this is that when you get the seahorses directly from the source, you can be assured that they have been handled properly and fed well, so that they are likely to reach you in the best condition. The seahorses that reach our local pet store have often undergone a long arduous journey from collector or breeder to wholesaler to your retail pet dealer, and are likely to have been starved or handled inappropriately at every step along the way. Pet dealers are often uninformed about the unusual requirements and specialized feeding habits of seahorses, so they often lack the proper food for them, and the seahorses are often malnourished as a result. Worst of all, when they reach your local fish store, the seahorses are normally kept in aquariums that share a common water supply with all of the rest of the marine fish in the store. This means they can be exposed to any pathogens or parasites that those other wild fish from all around the world may be carrying, and that is very undesirable for obvious reasons.

    However, obtaining the seahorses locally does save you shipping costs and it does allow you to handpick the seahorses and examine them closely before you make a purchase, and if you are going to purchase a pony from your local fish store, Joe, it’s absolutely imperative that you examine it very closely before you do so in order to make sure that it is healthy and eating frozen Mysis.

    Here are the warning signs and symptoms to check for when you’re giving a seahorse at your LFS a visual inspection, sir:

    Physical Examination

    Visual Assessment

    When performing an initial physical exam, the posture and buoyancy of the seahorse should be closely scrutinized. A seahorse bobbing at the surface is abnormally and positively buoyant. Buoyant animals will often struggle to maneuver deeper into the water column. They should be evaluated for air entrapment problems such as air in the brood pouch (males) or hyperinflated swim bladders. If the tail is extended outward caudodorsally or ‘scorpion-style,’ examine the subcutis of the tail for gas bubbles (subcutaneous emphysema). Subcutaneous emphysema of tail segment also appears to be a condition restricted to males.

    Just as abnormal is a seahorse that is lying horizontally at the tank bottom for extended time periods. This may be an indication of generalized weakness or it may indicate negative buoyancy associated with swim bladder disease or fluid accumulation in the brood pouch or the coelomic cavity.

    Evaluate the seahorse’s feeding response. Seahorses normally forage almost constantly during daylight hours. An individual that consistently refuses appropriately sized live food is behaving very abnormally and should receive nutritional support to meet its caloric needs.

    The rate and pattern of breathing should also be evaluated. Rapid breathing and ‘coughing’ (huffing or expulsion of water in a forceful manner through the opercular opening or the mouth) suggest gill disease.

    The entire body surface including the fins should be examined for hemorrhagic regions, erosions, ulcerations, excessive body mucus, unusual spots, lumps or bumps as well as the presence of subcutaneous gas bubbles. Evaluate both eyes for evidence of periorbital edema, exophthalmia, and any lenticular or corneal opacities. Since seahorses are visual predators, maintaining normal vision is absolutely essential to successful foraging. The tube snout is also very important to normal feeding activity. It is utilized like a pipette to literally suck prey out of the water column.

    Evaluate the tube snout for evidence of edema, erosions, and successful protraction/retraction of the small, anterior, drawbridge-like segment of the lower jaw. Close
    evaluation of the tail tip for erosive/necrotic lesions should also be performed.

    Finally, the anal region should be closely evaluated for redness, swelling, or tissue prolapse. For closer evaluation it may require getting the seahorse in hand. If this is the case, wear non-powdered latex gloves to prevent injury to the integument of the animal.

    Last, but perhaps the most important of all, ask your pet dealer to feed the seahorse before you make a purchase. If the pet dealer does not agree to do so, or if the seahorse(s) refuse to eat when food is offered to them, do NOT buy that seahorse. Something is clearly wrong with it, and the chances are excellent that the seahorse is already on the way out.

    If the seahorse passes this visual examination, and is eating well and behaving normally, with none of the red flags or warning signs discussed above, only then should you consider taking him home. That’s a quick checklist you can use to determine if the seahorses at your LFS appeared to be healthy or not before you make a purchase, Joe.

    Good luck, sir!

    Respectfully,
    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

    #53263
    joedinsmore
    Participant

    Hi
    Thanks for replying it has given me a number of things to consider. My local fish store has told me that there seahorses are Quarantined by there supplier and that with in 24 hours they are eating frozen mysis. The member of staff that I was speaking to was unsure if they were wild caught or captive bred but he said to find out for sure I would have to speak with his boss. I was also wondering if I should stay away from wild caught ponies even if they are eating frozen.
    Many thanks
    Joe

    #53267
    Pete Giwojna
    Moderator

    Dear Joe:

    Yeah, if you have any choice, I would always recommend starting out with captive-bred-and-raised seahorses over wild-caught ponies even if the wild caught individuals will accept frozen Mysis. Cultured seahorses have many big advantages for the home hobbyists compared to wild-caught seahorses, as explained in more detail below, sir.

    The development of hardy farm-raised seahorses that are pre-conditioned for the captive environment and pre-trained to eat frozen foods means that, for the first time, these fabulous fish are no more difficult to feed and maintain in the aquarium than the average angelfish, and are far easier to breed (Giwojna, May 2002). For the first time, modern aquaculture techniques, successful breeding and rearing protocols for Hippocampines, and effective grow-out technology and maturation methods have brought the Holy Grail of aquarium fish within easy reach of the average hobbyist. And that changes everything.
    When we eager hobbyists finally got our hands on the first cultured seahorses it quickly became evident that they were superior to their wild conspecifics as aquarium specimens in every respect. Vastly superior! In every way. In terms of their hardiness, ease of maintenance, disease resistance, longevity, adaptability, suitability for the captive environment, willingness to breed in the aquarium, genetic diversity, vigor, friendliness and sociability, coloration, and especially their feeding habits, they put wild seahorses to shame. No contest. Generations of selective breeding have transformed cultured seahorses into far different animals — a whole new breed — than wild seahorses. Compared to their wild-caught cousins, the captive-bred-and-raised seahorses are far more fun, much easier to keep and more convenient to care for, and generally more attractive specimens as well.
    In short, the advantages of farm-raised, captive-bred seahorses over wild-caught specimens are many, obvious, and compelling. For starters, let’s examine their different feeding habits. Before captive-bred specimens were available, one of the seahorse keeper’s greatest challenges was providing wild-caught seahorses with a balanced, nutritious diet, stemming from their reliance on hard-to-provide live foods. Meeting their long-term needs was a difficult, expensive proposition. It required numerous live food cultures, rigorous field trips to collect live foods, and special training sessions to try to teach them to eat frozen foods, which often proved to be a prolonged, highly frustrating exercise in futility.

    Easy to-Feed Galloping Gourmets

    By comparison, feeding farm-raised seahorses is simplicity itself. Raised in captivity, all captive-bred seahorses are pre-trained to eat frozen Mysis shrimp as their staple diet. Frozen Mysis relicta have an extremely high protein content, and when fortified with special enrichment products rich in highly unsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, Vitamins C and A and essential minerals, it provides a highly nutritious diet that contains all of the crucial components necessary for the long-term health of the seahorse. The best of these enrichment products is a dry powder formulation developed for Ocean Rider specifically to provide a balanced diet for seahorses when used in conjunction with the protein-rich frozen mysis. A diet of enriched, frozen Mysis relicta thus ensures long-term survivability, high health, high mating frequency and beautiful, vibrant colors in our pampered pets.
    In fact, this is such a superb diet that it is strongly suggested that the aquarist “fast” his seahorses one day per week, and feeding live foods is totally unnecessary except as an occasional treat that offers behavioral enrichment for our prized tank-raised thoroughbreds. Contrast a trip to your refrigerator twice a day to thaw frozen Mysis, and no feeding at all once a week, with the collecting expeditions, live food cultures, and painstaking training procedures required to sustain wild-caught seahorses and wean them onto frozen fodder, and you can see there is really no comparison (Giwojna, May 2002).
    Breeding is another area where wild seahorses simply cannot compete with their captive-bred counterparts. In the olden days, greater seahorses removed from the wild rarely bred in captivity. There were a number of reasons for this ranging from traumatic capture techniques and mishandling by dealers to difficulty adjusting to a captive environment to the sort of feeding problems we’ve been discussing above. But one big factor was that in the aquarium they lacked the type of seasonal or cyclical environmental cues (falling water temperature, changes in day length, reduced salinity from monsoon rains, moon phases and high tides, etc.) they normally experience in the wild that regulate the breeding season. These environmental stimuli trigger the secretion of gonadotropin and other key hormones that prepare them for breeding and govern their reproductive activity. Without these environmental cues and the hormonally induced changes they trigger, many times they simply ceased to breed in captivity. Researchers dealt with such setbacks through wild procurement of gravid males. In other words, loaded or pregnant males removed from the wild provided the fry needed for rearing projects and laboratory study in those days. Those were truly the Dark Ages of seahorse keeping.
    Captive-bred seahorses normally experience no such difficulties in the boudoir. They are highly domesticated and very well adapted to the aquarium environment. Unlike wild seahorses, they are not subject to traumatic capture methods or mishandling and abuse en route to the hobbyist. Born and bred for captivity generation after generation, for them the aquarium is their natural habitat. As a result, for the most part, they have lost their dependence on seasonal cues and external stimuli when it comes to mating. Rather than external environmental cues, for farm-raised seahorses, which have been raised at far greater population densities than seahorses ever experience in the wild, it is the presence of other seahorses — potential mates — that appears to get their hormones flowing and triggers courtship. (Pheromones or sex hormones almost certainly play a role in this.) In other words, living amidst a group of potential partners at all times seems to be what turns on captive-bred seahorses, and breeding appears to be their number one mission in life. Compared to their wild conspecifics, farm-raised seahorses seem to court constantly, breed like bunnies, and change partners often.
    But to me, the most striking difference between cultured seahorses and wild specimens has always been the increased hardiness of the former. Captive-bred seahorses simply enjoy a huge advantage over their wild-caught brethren in terms of their health, disease resistance, and conditioning, and that naturally translates to greater longevity in the aquarium. To understand why they are so much hardier and healthier, we must examine how cultured seahorses and seahorses captured from the wild are handled before they reach the hobbyist. It is largely a matter of stress. In a nutshell, captive-bred-and-raised seahorses are not stressed by aquarium life and are not abused en route to the aquarist, and that makes all the difference in the world in terms of their fitness and lifespan in captivity.
    From the beginning, cultured seahorses receive the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. They are provided with perfect water quality, the most nutritious diet experts can devise, and their health is monitored constantly right down to their DNA. For example, at the Ocean Rider aquaculture facility in Hawaii, the pampered ponies are provided with an endless flow of pristine, warm, oceanic water, the highest quality food possible, lots of frisky tank mates, and a tremendous amount of both horizontal and vertical space to cruise around in with nothing to do all day but eat, mate, and make baby seahorses under the tropical sun (Giwojna, Jul. 2002). We’re talking Club Med for seahorses here, folks! Inspectors from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and the Controlling State Aquatic Veterinary industry, as well as independent examiners, supervise their health at every stage of their development (Giwojna, Jul. 2002).
    When you place an order for these highly domesticated seahorses, they are delivered overnight directly to your door from Hawaii’s state-of-the art aquaculture facility, and thus reach the consumer well fed and in optimum condition. They arrive disease-free and relatively unstressed, at the peak of their health and coloration. This gives them a huge headstart over wild-caught seahorses, which are often beat up during capture (specimens taken in trawls, for example, often suffer considerable wear and tear during the collection process) and mishandled at various stops along the way to your local fish store (LFS). By the time they finally arrive at your local dealers, wild-caught seahorses may already have spent a long time in the collector’s holding tanks followed by an indefinite stay at a wholesaler and a high-risk respite at your local retailers, and have been exposed to all manner of pathogens and parasites at every stop along the way (Bull and Mitchell, 2002). Due to their need for live foods, they are very likely to have gone unfed during this entire period, and they may have become malnourished by the time they reach your neighborhood fish store (Bull and Mitchell, 2002). And because they were taken from coastal waters, wild seahorses are frequently infested with a variety of pests and parasites ranging from sea lice (Argulus sp.) to nematodes, parasitic copepods and hydroids. Upon arrival, they will need to be quarantined for a period of several weeks, since they may also be carrying disease pathogens such as fungus, Vibrio, or deadly Glugea (Bull and Mitchell, 2002). Captive-raised, high-health seahorses pose no such problems.
    The greater adaptability of captive-bred and reared seahorses is another big plus. Cultured seahorses have now achieved a high level of domestication. They are pre-adapted to aquarium conditions and pre-trained to eat easily provided frozen foods. Because they are raised at much greater population densities than seahorses experience in nature, captive-bred specimens are accustomed to living in close quarters and withstand crowding much better than wild-caught ‘horses. Consequently, farm-raised seahorses have little difficulty adjusting to life in a captive environment. By contrast, field studies show that, in the wild, seahorses have a distribution pattern that can best be described as patchy, meaning they are few and far between, and that a female typically enjoys a home territory of up to 100 square meters (Vincent and Sadler, 1995). It stands to reason that wild-caught seahorses may have a more difficult time acclimating to life in captivity than farm-raised ponies that are literally born and bred for life in the aquarium. And that means that wild-caught seahorses will be under more stress in captivity, at least initially (Giwojna, May 2002).
    The bottom line is that captive bred and raised seahorses are simply hardier, more disease resistant, easier to maintain and longer lived in captivity than their wild-caught counterparts. They reach the hobbyist well fed, in peak condition, and already accustomed to aquarium life and frozen foods (Giwojna, May 2002). On the other hand, wild-caught seahorses typically arrive at your local fish store in poor shape, suffering from near starvation and the trauma of capture (Bull and Mitchell, 2002). Mishandling combined with malnutrition stresses these animals and impairs their immune systems, making them prone to disease (Bull and Mitchell, 2002; Lidster 2003). In fact, the aquarium industry refers to this phenomenon as Post-Traumatic Shipping Disorder, and considers it to be the biggest problem facing the hobby today (Lidster, 2003). It is responsible for alarmingly high losses in new arrivals, and seahorses are particularly susceptible to PTSD due to their nutritional requirements and specialized feeding habits (Lidster, 2003). Wild seahorses may have a difficult time adjusting to aquarium conditions, don’t tolerate crowding as well, and will most certainly have problems adjusting to frozen fodder or any other easily provided foods. They will need live foods for an indefinite period while they struggle to make the transition to strange foods and the captive environment, and will be stressed out in the interim (Giwojna, May 2002).
    Indeed, the difference in disease resistance and hardiness is so pronounced between captive-bred and wild specimens that hobbyists often report that their tanks have suffered serious disease outbreaks during which all their wild-caught seahorses sickened or died, yet all of their captive-bred seahorses remained completely unaffected (Donna Malter, India Sandek, Leslie Leddo, et al; pers. com.).

    Reclamation Projects

    In fact, all too often, seahorses are purchased from the local fish store (LFS) not because they’re the picture of health but rather because they appear to be at death’s door, and some kind-hearted hobbyist brings them home on a mercy mission, hoping that with plenty of TLC and plenty of tempting live foods, he can resurrect the half-starved ‘horses and give them a second chance at survival. I know because I am that sentimental slob. Being a soft-hearted seahorse lover myself, I’ve returned from local pet shops in rescue-mission mode many times over the years, rushing to get my latest reclamation project home to the Intensive Care Unit (my reef tank, which is specially set up just for seahorses) where they could benefit from the natural surroundings, optimum water quality, and all of their favorite live foods they could eat (Giwojna, May 2002).
    Sadly, more often than not, my attempts to rehab these poor ponies were a dismal failure. It appears that at some stage these pitiful patients are simply too far-gone to save; once they reach the point of no return, irreversible damage has been done to their digestive system, and there’s no bringing them back. I call that tragic condition starvation syndrome, and after years of bitter experience, I’ve learned the hard way to tell at a glance which emaciated seahorses still have a chance and which ones will never make it. The terminal cases develop what I can perhaps best describe as the “far look,” a sort of vacant stare as if their eyes were focused far away on some distant object. They are unresponsive, with little or no eye movement. Whether you call it starvation syndrome or PTSD, the situation is so bad that industry statistics indicate that only 1 in 1000 seahorses collected from the wild for the pet trade lives longer than 3 months (Garrick-Maidment, Sep. 2002).

    In short, Joe, wild-caught seahorses are no bargain, and I think you would be better off starting out with captive-bred-and-raised thoroughbreds from Ocean Rider rather than try your luck with wild-caught seahorses, especially if you are a beginner.

    Good luck!

    Respectfully,
    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

    #53270
    joedinsmore
    Participant

    Hi
    Thanks for replying you’ve given me a lot to think about. I think I’m going to wait and try and find captive bred ponies
    Many thanks
    Joe

    #53274
    Pete Giwojna
    Moderator

    Dear Joe:

    Yes, sir, I think it would be very intelligent of you to start out with hardy captive-bred-and-raised seahorses, which will give you the best chance for success.

    In that case, you won’t find better cultured seahorses anywhere than Ocean Rider (www.seahorse.com), Joe, and they have been shipping their seahorses throughout the continental United States very successfully since 1998. Live delivery is ALWAYS guaranteed!

    Since these would be your first seahorses, then I can heartily recommend Ocean Rider Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus), which are ideal for beginners. Commonly known as the Lined Seahorse or the Northern Giant or Florida Giant, Hippocampus erectus was the first seahorse to be commercially raised for the aquarium hobby. Mustangs and Sunbursts have been captive-bred and raised for more generations than any other seahorse, and have now achieved a level of domestication that makes them better adapted to aquarium conditions and life in captivity than other seahorses.

    The Ocean Rider aquaculture facility in Hawaii that raises H. erectus selects them for traits such as adaptability, vigor, disease resistance, fast growth and aggressive feeding habits — traits that increase the fitness of each line over time. After numerous generations of strengthening and improvement, the current breeds of farm-raised erectus are tough as nails. Very hardy and very impressive, Mustangs and Sunbursts are great choices for a novice seahorse keeper who is still learning the ropes. They are very adaptable and have led the on-going trend toward keeping captive-bred seahorses only. Simply put, more hobbyists keep captive bred erectus than any of the other greater seahorses, and rightly so.

    Ocean Rider now offers two different types of both their trademark Mustangs and their patented Sunbursts, which have been achieved after many dozens of generations of selective breeding.

    The regular Mustangs are dark brown to black in coloration, often with an underlying pattern of parallel pinstripes, and therefore display the typical dominant coloration pattern of wild Hippocampus erectus. Their dark brown or black background coloration is also often further adorned with white blazes, saddles, and tail bands.

    The Silver Mustangs have a much lighter, whitish background coloration, which is again overlaid with a pattern of fine lines in the form of darker parallel pinstripes. The combination of this lighter background color plus the pinstripes gives them a silvery appearance, and makes them very distinctive from the regular Mustangs with the darker background coloration.

    Likewise, the regular Lemon Sunbursts are typically a solid bright yellow coloration from head to tail. Their coloration can vary from a golden yellow to a bright canary yellow, and a few of the Sunbursts also display the white blazes, saddles, and tail bands, although such markings are less common in Sunbursts than the Mustangs.

    The Orange Sunbursts display various shades of orange (e.g., peach, pumpkin, tangerine), just as their name suggests. They are very beautiful and will virtually glow when displayed under the right type of lighting that produces light shifted towards the red end of the visible spectrum. (Both Osram GroLux fluorescents and Aqueon ColorMax T5 fluorescent lights will bring out the true brilliance in Orange Sunbursts.)

    You can see all of the many different types of beautiful cultured seahorses offered by Ocean Rider at the following link, Joe, and many of the special packages and bargain offers that are currently available include three long-distance shipping all the way from Hawaii directly to your doorstep:

    https://seahorse.com/product-category/seahorses/

    All of the seahorses offered by Ocean Rider (seahorse.com) are born and raised at the seahorse farm in Hawaii — the world’s only High-Health aquaculture facility, sir.

    That’s one of the greatest advantages of Ocean Rider seahorses. Many hobbyists may not be fully aware of what that means or why it is so important, Joe. High Health certification is very difficult to achieve and very expensive to maintain, which is why Ocean Rider is the one and only seahorse farm to be awarded High Health status.

    In order to earn High Health Certification, an aquacultural facility must first prove that it enforces a strict biosecurity program with rigorous quarantine protocols, and that at no stage in the breeding and rearing process are its livestock ever exposed to open systems or wild-caught seahorses or livestock from any other source. Secondly, it must withstand intense scrutiny by outside agencies — in this case, primarily from the Controlling State Aquatic Veterinary industry. The monitoring done by these Aquatic Health Specialists includes regular sampling of Ocean Rider livestock for complete necroscopic examinations. Periodically, OR seahorses are selected at random by the State Controlling Vet, euthanized, and autopsied. Their internal organs are examined, tissue sections are taken (multi-organ histopathology), and examined microscopically, along with other laboratory analyses. Only then can Ocean Rider seahorses be certified free of specific pathogen and parasites.

    There is a reason that Ocean Rider is the only High-Health seahorse farm in the world, Joe, and that is because high health certification is very difficult and expensive to attain. It is very costly in terms of the time, energy, resources, and the increased size of the aquaculture facility it requires to meet the demanding high-health standards. You must provide a biosecure area for each species you are working with, follow very rigorous quarantine protocols, and periodically sacrifice a portion of the healthy, mature seahorses you have raised for so many months — just when they are ready to go to market — for complete necroscopic examinations in order to make certain they are free of pathogens and parasites. All of which makes achieving and maintaining High-Health Certification a very expensive proposition. Ocean Rider does it to assure that they are providing the best possible livestock for hobbyists. As always, their primary concerns are not profits but the health and welfare of their seahorses and the benefits cultured seahorses provide in terms of conserving wild populations.

    This assures that when you purchase livestock from Ocean Rider, you will be receiving healthy, well-fed seahorses in peak condition that have been handled by professional breeders and mariculturists right up until they are shipped to your doorstep. Every step of the way, from the moment they are born until they are shipped to the hobbyist, ORs are handled by experts who specialize in raising seahorses. So when you place an order for Ocean Rider captive-bred-and-raised seahorses, and they are delivered overnight directly to your door from Hawaii’s state-of-the art aquaculture facility, they reach you well fed and in optimum condition. They arrive disease-free and relatively unstressed, at the peak of their health and coloration.

    I’m sure you can appreciate the fact that raising seahorses in captivity requires a great deal of time and hands-on effort, and that seahorse ranchers necessarily develop an attachment to the ‘horses they raise as a result, Joe.

    For instance, here’s a quote from Carol Cozzi-Schmarr (co-owner and operator of Ocean Rider) that appeared in an article about seahorses and FAMA magazine in 1990: “The fact is that raising seahorses on the scale we do requires a tremendous amount of work, love, and energy. Seahorse farming is not like a ketchup factory where there is no relationship between the workers and the end product they deliver. Imagine carefully collecting thousands of seahorse babies, feeding and caring for them every day, and watching them grow for 12 months or more! Believe me, you get very attached to them! We want them to go to good homes where they will get the same care and where they will reward the owner with as much happiness and joy as they bring ourselves and our staff.”

    I can assure you that once you’ve painstakingly raised a seahorse to maturity and provided it with the best possible nutrition and TLC for six months to a year, just as you did with its parents and grandparents and great-grandparents before it, all the way back to its original Adam-and-Eve, which you personally handpicked, you do everything in your power to assure that it thrives once you send it off to the eagerly awaiting aquarist. And when something goes wrong and a seahorse is lost despite your best efforts, it’s every bit as devastating to the folks that raised it as it is to the hobbyist.

    That’s why Ocean Rider goes to such great lengths to provide the hobbyist with such a wealth of information and resources on the care and keeping of seahorses completely free of charge. There is no other breeder or aquaculture facility that provides the kind of detailed information on every aspect of the seahorse’s life and care that Ocean Rider does. I feel strongly that combining the vastly superior Ocean Rider livestock with the best possible tech support is in the best interests of the hobbyist, the seahorses, and seahorse conservation in general.

    A perfect example of this is the fact that all newbies and first-time customers are required to complete the Ocean Rider Seahorse Training Manual to my satisfaction before they can earn their certification and become authorized to purchase seahorses, Joe. I should explain that the seahorse training manual – which I personally write and administer on behalf of Ocean Rider – is very comprehensive, consisting of several hundred pages of text with more than 250 full-color illustrations. It explains everything that a home hobbyist needs to know in order to keep seahorses successfully in a home aquarium and is provided completely free of charge to all Ocean Rider clients and customers. In this way, Ocean Rider assures that all of their customers are well prepared to give their seahorses the best possible care before they make a purchase.

    If you would like to receive your own free copy of the seahorse training manual, Joe, just send a brief e-mail to me at the following address expressing your interest, and I will send you the complete manual right away:

    [email protected]

    Best wishes with all your fishes, sir!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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