Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › My seahorses are turning yellow.
- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by xao.pandamonium.
June 5, 2022 at 7:26 am #77594xao.pandamoniumParticipant
I bought a pair of mustangs and a sunburst pair. The mustangs were dark colored (gray/black) and the sunbursts were one semi orange and one light yellow. I already had two seahorses, one black with silver saddles and the other one was a dark maroon/black. I also got 4 tiny ones, three dark and one white/brown which was pretty cool. In total, I have a total of 10 seahorses.
The big one that was in the tank for a few weeks (the maroon one) started turning lighter and lighter. It now stays between a yellow to beige mixed with yellow. I read that a seahorse will turn lighter to show dominance. That seahorse was and still is the biggest one.
But since that seahorse has turned lighter, some of the others followed. Not immediately, but it took a while. The yellow sunburst went dark as the majority of the seahorses were darker. The orange one is the only one that remained the same semi orange.
Then I noticed that the three small ones were getting lighter and lighter. One is actually a bright opaque white with some hints of tan. The other two smaller ones were turning yellow and one remained yellow while the other stayed a warm yellow/orange.
The black one with silver saddles turned a lot of different colors. It turned a burgundy, then a weird greenish yellow, then now a bright yellow with silver saddles. It’s staying yellow for now.
The mustangs went from gray/black to sometimes a dark yellow with some black/gray still in some areas. I feel like they’re trying to blend in with the herd, but they haven’t gotten there yet. The one yellow sunburst is having a hard time turning yellow too. It more resembles the mustangs. The mustangs and the once-yellow sunburst goes from dark to a dull yellow daily. I think in a few weeks, which is how long it took the black and silver one to turn, the others will become yellow too. The silver and yellow one goes from bright yellow to dull dark yellow and back and forth.
My question is, why is my seahorses turning yellow? I can understand the big one (a male) turning lighter for dominance, but does that mean that he influenced the others to turn yellow?
My tank is filled with tons of macro algae in the display tank. I’ve got three different kinds of red macro algae, some sea lettuce, green chaetomorpha, green leafy prolifera caulerpa, and a huge 6-inch dragon’s breath. I liked it full of plants. There’s yellow and orange plastic chains and bright orange and yellow polyurethane sponges for the seahorses to hitch on. I’ve got narsissus snails, two emerald crabs, two mandarin goby’s, lots of amphipods, thousands and thousands of copepods, and maybe 100 of marine ghost shrimp in all sizes. I find that the seahorses love to hunt.
I have fed them hawaiian shrimp, amphipods, ghost shrimp, live brine shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, frozen mysis shrimp, frozen reef plankton.
My water parameters are pretty good and normal. I keep the tank between 72-76 degrees, no higher than 76. The ammonia is good. I supplement my tank with sealab no 28.
The seahorses are all pretty healthy. They’re quite plump and growing. The males are showing their pouches. They’re all pretty happy and I get to watch them hunt and everything.
Will all my seahorses be yellow now, except for the orange one? I think at the rate they’re changing colors, I’ll soon have all yellowish seahorses with a yellow one and two white/tan ones. Thank you!June 11, 2022 at 12:52 pm #77955Pete GiwojnaModerator
No, I think it’s unlikely that you are going to end up with all of your seahorses adopting yellow coloration. Mustangs are normally dark in coloration, displaying brown or black colors more frequently. On the other hand, Sunbursts tend to display the sunset colors, and are most often yellow or orange in coloration.
But, as you know, seahorses are truly the chameleons of the sea with a propensity for changing color in response to a wide range of environmental factors, hormonal influences, and behavioral interactions. The mood of the seahorse is often reflected in the coloration it expresses at the moment. For example, when excited, seahorses typically brighten in coloration, reflecting a state of high arousal. They will often lighten in coloration or brighten up when eating, courting, or greeting, betraying their excitement. On the other hand, seahorses typically darken in response to stress, and fear, anxiety and distress are generally accompanied by dark, somber hues.
So, I suspect that you may see your ponies displaying a variety of colors in the long run, although it’s likely that some of them will always them will always have dark brown or black as their base coloration, while other members of your herd will display various shades of yellow and/or different shades of orange coloration. Altogether, that should make for an attractive group of seahorses with varied coloration at any given moment.
Best of luck with your outstanding herd of horses! I’m sure you will find them to be pretty ponies regardless of any transitory color changes they may display from time to time.
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech SupportJune 19, 2022 at 1:34 pm #78355xao.pandamoniumParticipant
My herd is all yellow now. The big one is more orange but I think that’s just due to the algae on its skin. All in all, I now have 8 yellow seahorses, an orange sunburst, and 1 white/beige one. I think they’ll all stay that way for a while. The mustangs have been yellow for a week now without going dark anymore.
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