Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

What Seahorse can I get?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #1870

    Greetings everyone !

    Does ocean rider sell online locally in Hawaii? Like Oahu.


    Post edited by: Akamu, at: 2011/02/03 08:18

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Akamu:

    Ocean Rider does not sell their livestock within the state of Hawaii. This policy is a precaution to prevent the casual or intentional release of non-native seahorses in Hawaii waters, and is a necessary safeguard for conducting responsible aquaculture in a state that consist of a string of islands.

    There are several environmental concerns associated with the release of non-native (exotic) seahorses in an area where there has never been a population of the species before, but the primary issues Project Seahorse lists in that regard are as follows:

    Disease transmission: diseases may be transmitted from released syngnathids to wild syngnathids.

    Genetic threats: released syngnathids may threaten the genetic diversity of wild populations.

    Community disruptions: released syngnathids may disrupt the structure and function of marine communities.

    Disease transmission

    The risk of disease transmission is increased when non-native syngnathids are introduced into an area. Introduced syngnathids may bring with them new disease organisms against which local species may have little or no natural resistance. The potential for disease transmission from captive to wild populations has been highlighted in the salmon and prawn aquaculture industries in North America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere. Where these impacts have occurred, the effects on wild populations have been severe.

    Genetic threats

    The genetic diversity of wild populations could be threatened when captive-bred animals are released into the wild. Captive-bred animals are usually obtained from a very limited number of parent animals (founders). Their genetic diversity may, therefore, be quite low in comparison to that found in the wild. If large numbers of these animals are released into an area, there is a very real risk that they could swamp the genetic diversity of the recipient wild population, thus lowering its overall genetic diversity in the long term.

    This is problematic as genetic diversity acts as a safeguard against randomly occurring events such as disease epidemics and environmental changes that may otherwise destroy entire local populations. Without this diversity, populations are far more vulnerable to such events. Risks are exacerbated if the released syngnathids are from a captive population that differs genetically from the wild population as this may also lead to fundamental alterations in the genetic structure of the wild population.

    The artificial conditions associated with culturing may result in captive-bred fishes having different genetic traits from those in the wild. Thus, the released fishes may be genetically less adapted to conditions in the natural habitat. In the simplest case, the released animals die soon after release, with relatively few conservation consequences. If, however, these animals survive to breed with wild conspecifics, unsuitable genetic traits may be passed on to future generations. This could eventually lead to a reduction in the long-term viability of the wild population, as has occurred, for example, in trout.

    Community disruptions

    The risk of disruptions to marine communities is perhaps most pronounced when exotic species are introduced into an area. Such introductions may disrupt the structure and function of the local ecosystem, and lead to the extirpation (localised extinction) or extinction of native species. In most cases, the introduced species dies shortly after being released because of incompatibility with the new environment.

    In numerous well-known cases, however, the introduced species thrives. The introduction of an exotic syngnathid species into the marine environment, therefore, could potentially lead to the establishment of a viable population that may compete with local species for food and habitat. This could potentially have severe detrimental impacts on the local species and community. Numerous examples of problems associated with the introduction of exotics into aquatic systems exist all over the world. Australia, for example, has a list of noxious introduced fishes, such as the ubiquitous tilapia, goldfish and carp, which are to be destroyed when caught.

    Another example of this is of more interest to marine aquarists is that a breeding population of the exotic lionfish (Pterois sp.), which are native to the IndoPacific, has now reportedly become established in the coastal waters of Florida as a result of accidental (in the aftermath of hurricanes) or intentional releases of pet lionfish.

    Due to such concerns, Ocean Rider does not sell any of their seahorses or pipefish within the state of Hawaii itself. It’s just one of the rules and regulations they must satisfy in order to maintain their status as a cutting-edge High-Health aquaculture facility. It is unfortunate that this deprives Hawaiian hobbyists from keeping Ocean Rider seahorses but it is a policy based on very valid concerns.

    So that’s the bad news, Akamu. The good news is that fish stores and pet shops in Hawaii commonly carry seahorses other than Ocean Riders, and you can choose from these pet store ponies when you are ready to stock your seahorse setup.

    When selecting seahorses from your local fish store, Akamu, it’s best to avoid any and all wildcaught seahorses like the plague! They are much more delicate, disease-prone, difficult to feed, and short-lived in captivity, and should therefore be passed over immediately.

    You will want to look for seahorses that are captive-bred-and-raised, rather than seahorses that have been collected from the wild or pen raised overseas. In particular, be sure to avoid the Hippocampus kelloggi seahorses that are being imported from Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the H. kelloggi have proven to be less than hardy, to say the least, and no one has been having any success keeping them in the aquarium. Stay away from H. kelloggi seahorses, even if they are offered at bargain prices!

    Once you have eliminated any wild-caught seahorses and H. kelloggi seahorses from your list of prospects, and found a likely candidate at one of your local pet stores that has been bred and raised in captivity, Akamu, be sure to give the ponies a close examination to make sure they are healthy before you bring them home. Here are the warning signs and symptoms to check for when you’re giving a seahorse at your local fish store (LFS) a visual inspection, as outlined in the "Sygnathid Husbandry Manual for Public Aquariums, 2005 Manual":

    <Open quote>
    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’
    (expulsion of water in a forceful manner through the opercular opening or the mouth) suggest gill disease [or gill parasites].

    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 testicular 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.
    <Close quote>

    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 appear to be healthy or not before you make a purchase.

    Best of luck finding the perfect ponies for your needs and interests, Akamu!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna


    Thank you for a great reply!

    Ah that is a shame.

    I know of a Fish Store that can get ORA Tank Raised Seahorses so that is the good news.

    I don’t what species is a good starter one though? I am disappointed that only female Erectus are sold and the color is black.

    That would leave me to choose between the Kuda or Redi. I want to get a yellow Reidi but don’t know if that is a good choice.

    They have
    Black Erectus (H. erectus) Females only
    Reidi 3.5+" (H. reidi)
    Yellow /Orange Kuda (H. kuda)

    My tank set up is going to either be a Red Sea Max 130D (29 gallons) or Oceanic Biocube 29 gallon. Both tanks are taller than 20 inches. Which is good. And both are 29 gallon tank capacity. Is it true that bubbles can get Caught in the males pouch and cause them to die?
    I was going to add a protein skimmer but don’t know if any bubbles would escape.

    My questions are how many seahorses should I keep in a 29 gallon I was thinking of 4. And how many hitching posts would I need?

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Akamu:

    You’re very welcome!

    Of those three seahorse species, I would say that Hippocampus erectus is the best suited for a beginner, particularly if you are interested in eventually breeding and raising their babies. (Both H. reidi seahorses and genuine H. kuda seahorses are considered much more difficult to raise.)

    But as long as the seahorses are captive-bred-and-raised you really can’t go far wrong when choosing your ponies, sir. If raising the young is not a consideration for you, then I would say to just go with whichever one of the three you find the most colorful and attractive.

    When it comes to your seahorse setup, Akamu, I would take the Red Sea Max 130D aquarium system over the Oceanic Biocube 29 every time as a habitat for my ponies. This is what I normally advise hobbyists in that regard, sir:

    <open quote>
    The new "plug-and-play" complete aquarium systems are also becoming increasingly popular with marine aquarists because their convenient design includes everything you need to get a new aquarium up and running, including the lighting, filtration system, aquarium hood and accessories, and equipment, all built into one neatly designed tank, ready to go right off the shelf. This eliminates the need to do any drilling or modifying of the tank before hand and does away with any concerns that the protein skimmer or filter or light fixture that you pick out will fit properly on the tank and do an adequate job, making these new plug-and-play aquarium systems very easy to install and operate. But most of the plug-and-play biocubes and nano tanks have one big drawback when it comes to keeping seahorses, and that is that they are all designed with the reef keeper in mind. As a result, they typically include high intensity lighting systems and powerful circulation pumps that provide the type of illumination and strong water circulation that many live corals require in order to thrive. Unfortunately, seahorses do best under somewhat different conditions, preferring low to moderate light levels and moderate water movement with some areas of relatively low flow where they will not have to fight the current constantly. Worst of all, the high intensity lighting included in the biocube and nanocube reef systems tends to cause problems with overheating, and seahorses have very little tolerance for heat stress. For these reasons, the biocube and nanocube reef setups are not a good choice for the seahorse keeper and should generally be avoided.

    But Red Sea Max has come out with a terrific new plug-and play aquarium system that is a notable exception. It is known as the "Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium," and it is loaded with wonderful features that make it a very adaptable aquarium system. For one thing, it includes an excellent lighting system that will work well for seahorses, complete with two Power Compact lamps (one regular and one actinic), as well as moonlights, with a 24-hour programmable timer for turning both the main lights and moonlights on and off, built right into the Hood Control Panel. Outstanding! That will make it easy to provide your seahorses with a simulated dusk and dawn, which is always a bonus for a seahorse tank.

    The moon lights are a sort of night light designed especially for fish tanks. Seahorses in particular often appreciate the moon lighting and respond positively to it. Mating in some seahorses with pelagic fry is synchronized to coincide with the highest tides (hence moon phases), so the moon lights may even help stimulate breeding as they are said to do with some types of corals.

    The Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium measures 24"L x 20"W x 23.8"H, giving it the extra height that is so important for a seahorse tank. One other feature of this new aquarium system that I especially like is the Power Center or Main Control Panel. It keeps all of the cords for the various pieces of equipment organized and out of the way, and provides separate switches for controlling each of the main components in the filtration system: two separate switches for the aquarium pumps (one switch for each circulation pump), one switch for the protein skimmer, one switch for the lights, and one switch for the heater. That’s very important because it allows you to operate one of the circulation pumps (i.e., have its switch turned on) and not the other circulation pump (leave its switch off), controlling the amount of water flow and circulation in the aquarium.

    That’s crucial because the only thing I don’t like about this particular set up is that with both of the circulation pumps on, the filtration system will turn over the entire volume of the aquarium 10 times every hour. That’s great for live corals, but would create powerful water currents that can overpower the limited swimming ability of seahorses. The ideal amount of circulation for a seahorse tank is a filter that turns over the entire volume of the aquarium approximately 5 times per hour, which is exactly what the Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium would produce if you leave one of the circulation pumps turned on and one of the pumps turned off. That makes it easy to provide your seahorses with just the right amount of water movement and circulation when using this innovative plug-and-play aquarium system.

    Another nice feature of this aquarium system is that it includes three cooling fans in the hood to help prevent overheating. With one of the circulation pumps turned off, the aquarium system will generate even less heat, making it that much easier to keep the aquarium cool.

    Best of all, the Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium is available with a classy stand designed specifically for this particular tank as well as a Max Starter Kit, which includes 15 lbs Coral Pro Salt, Hydrometer, Nitro Bac bio starter, and an upgraded Marine Lab master test kit with Alkalinity Pro test, Calcium Pro test lab, Magnesium test lab, Coral Buff, Calcium & Magnesium Supplements. This makes it even easier for a newcomer to get this aquarium system set up and running properly, since he or she can purchase the Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium along with the aquarium stand and Max Starter Kit, and wrap up his aquarium shopping with a single purchase.

    All things considered, the Red Sea Max 130D Plug & Play Coral Reef System 34 Gallon Aquarium provides another good option for seahorse keepers to consider. The complete system, including stand and Max Starter Kit is available online at the following website:

    Especially nice for beginners, the aquarium kit comes complete with a 55-minute instructional DVD to guide the hobbyist through the setup and maintenance of the Red Sea Max 130D Reef Aquarium System described above, making it even easier for hobbyists to get the tank up and running properly.
    <Close quote>

    Okay, Akamu, that’s my thinking regarding the two aquarium systems you are considering. If you decide to go ahead with a Red Sea Max 130D, then two pairs or four large seahorses would indeed be a sensible number of ponies for a beginner to keep and care for in that particular tank.

    Microbubbles from a protein skimmer are a concern for seahorses, sir, but not so much because they can get caught in a male’s pouch. Rather, they can pose a threat to seahorses if the microbubbles contribute to gas supersaturation of the aquarium water. If the water in the aquarium become supersaturated, gas emboli can come out of solution and form tiny bubbles in the seahorse’s blood and tissue. This can result in gas bubble syndrome (GBS), which can take different forms depending on where the gas bubbles accumulate in the seahorse’s body. In one form of GBS, known as chronic pouch emphysema, gas does build up within the male’s pouch, and GBS in any form is a fatal, progressive condition if left untreated.

    In short, sir, a few microbubbles in the aquarium are ordinarily not a cause for concern. Such microbubbles are only problematic when they contribute to gas supersaturation. If the aquarium water become supersaturated, gas emboli can form in the blood and tissues of the seahorses, resulting in various forms of gas bubble syndrome (GBS).

    On small, closed-system aquariums, supersaturation is often due to the entraining of air on the intake side of a leaky pump, which then chops the air into fine microbubbles and injects it into the water (Cripe, Kowalski and Phipps, 1999). Water and air are thus mixed under high pressure and forced into the water column, which can result in gas supersaturation. An air leak in inflowing or recirculating water that enters the tank below the surface can cause the same thing (Cripe, Kowalski and Phipps, 1999).

    Microbubbles in the aquarium that are released from a protein skimmer can sometimes contribute to gas supersaturation in a similar fashion if they are sucked into the water pump and then pressurized as they pass through the filtration system. So that’s the potential problem that can result if a protein skimmer is releasing clouds of excess bubbles into the aquarium. If you cannot prevent the protein skimmer from doing so, you will generally be better off operating your seahorse tank without a protein skimmer.

    Best of luck with your new seahorse setup, Akamu!

    Pete Giwojna


    Greetings again!

    You give some great information regarding Seahorses I must say! Very impressed.

    Is there a topic here on where people can post a FTS (Full Tank Shot) of their aquarium? I would love to see them and get inspiration and sure everyone would like it??

    I have some questions though

    For a circulation pump I was looking at the EcoTech Marine VorTech MP10 ES Propeller Pump.

    It is adjustable between 200-1575 GPH. It has a lagoon mode
    Lagoonal Random Mode – Simulates the gentler reef zone found in a natural lagoon

    Feeding mode and night mode!

    Is that too much circulation for a seahorse tank though?

    With the stock pump I would be at 400 + GPH.

    Also for the CUC in Hawaii I am not sure if those are legal
    Maybe you can ask the owners in Hawaii of Ocean Rider what they recommend and is legal?
    The ones I know of are Nerita picea, Turbo sandwicensis, Hawaiian left handed hermit

    I can get a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp though, what size is good so they don’t get eaten.
    In inches.

    Finally for a hitching post I was looking at one fake Sea Whip in yellow sold by

    Thanks again Pete!

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