Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › Sunburst color advice from any owners????
- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 10 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
July 30, 2008 at 7:38 am #1505hscoertMember
I was wondering if anyone would able to help me with their successful tips on how they get their sunbursts (H. Erectus) to turn yellow. I know that having bright colored hitching posts, black sand, and possible plant lights (specifically Grolux bulbs) are beneficial.
Would anyone be able to tell me what has worked for you in regards to the lights, substrate, hitching posts, etc? I would really appreciate it.
I know that the Osram Grolux bulbs have helped in studies, but I am finding it difficult to get a hold of.
Any and ALL help would really be appreciated. Thank you everyone!!!August 1, 2008 at 4:32 am #4371tjdouglasGuest
My sunburts became a nice orange-yellow (but not a bright yellow) after introducing several pieces of large orange tree sponges into the tank that they now regularly hang on. Before that, they were essentially a chocolate-brown. It did take a few days for them to change. So may I suggest trying using anything bright yellow for them to cling to? I think that artificial bright yellow corals or sponges would work just as well as the real thing, but don;t expect them to change right away. I had to wait a few days for them to adapt. Hope you find something that works well for you!
TomAugust 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm #4376Pete GiwojnaGuest
The Osram Grolux fluorescent bulbs will enhance the coloration of bright red or orange seahorses, but they will have no affect on yellow seahorses or ponies of any other color.
If you don’t have red or orange seahorses, then a different type of lighting then the Grolux bulbs will produce the best results. For example, Paul Groves, curator at Underwater World in Perth, recommends combining a triphosphor (6500k) fluorescent tube with a Phillips TL Blue fluorescent tube to produce the best overall lighting for a seahorse exhibit. After much experimentation, he found the above combination of lights really encouraged the coloration of the seahorses as well as being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. He reports that the diversity in colors displayed by Hippocampus subelongatus was much less under any other lighting. So if you want to accent the colors of red, orange, or purple seahorses, Osram Gro-lux fluorescents are ideal; for other seahorses, try a 6500k triphosphor fluorescent in conjunction with a Phillips TL Blue fluorescent to keep them looking their best. Avoid metal halide lighting for your seahorse exhibit. High-intensity lights such as metal halides will stimulate the production of excess melanin and cause colorful seahorses to darken.
Aside from the lighting, a myriad other factors can also influence the coloration of seahorses and all of these factors need to be accounted for and addressed in order to keep your seahorses looking their best and brightest. For example, seahorses will often react to stress by expanding their melanophores and darkening, so anything that stresses the seahorses can adversely affect their coloration. I wrote a two-part article on coloration in Hippocampus for Conscientious Aquarist not long ago, and that would be a good place for you to start when reviewing the environmental conditions that can affect the coloration of your seahorses. The first article discusses how Hippocampus uses its amazing color changing ability, while the second part explains how seahorses accomplish their chameleon-like color changes and then discusses the various factors that affect their coloration in pigmentation in some detail. It is loaded with suggestions on how to keep colorful seahorses looking their best and brightest. You can read the articles online at the following URL’s and enjoy Leslie Leddo’s magnificent photographs:
Best of luck restoring your Sunburst to its brightest, Heather!
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