Saltwater Fish: Saltwater Aquarium Seahorse and Pipefish

saltwater fish live corals marine plants invertebrates aquarium supplies live rock live sand
 

 

Saltwater Aquarium Seahorse and Pipefish

 
   

Seahorses are a fish belonging to the family Syngnathidae, which also includes pipefish and leafy sea dragons. There are over 32 species of seahorse, mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. Seahorses are so named for their equine appearance. Although they are fish, they do not have scales, rather a thin skin stretched over a series of bony plates arranged in rings throughout their body. Each species has a distinct number of rings. Seahorses swim upright, another characteristic that is not shared by their fish relatives who swim horizontally. Seahorses have a coronet on their head, which is distinct to each seahorse, much like a human fingerprint. They swim very poorly by using a dorsal fin, which they rapidly flutter to propel them, and pectoral fins, located behind their eyes, which they use to steer. Because they are poor swimmers, they are most likely to be found resting in sea grasses or coral reefs with their prehensile tails wound around a stationary object. They have long snouts, which they use to suck up food, and eyes that can move independently of each other much like chameleon. Seahorses eat small shrimp, tiny fish and plankton...

Captive breeding of seahorses has become increasingly widespread. These seahorses survive better in captivity, and they are less likely to carry diseases. These seahorses will eat prepackaged, frozen mysis shrimp that are readily available from aquarium stores, and they do not experience the shock and stress of being taken out of the wild and placed in a small aquarium. Although captive-bred seahorses are more expensive, they survive better than wild seahorses, and take no toll on wild populations. There are many seahorse misconceptions. Seahorses should be kept in an aquarium to themselves, or with compatible tank-mates. Seahorses are slow feeders, and in an aquarium with fast, aggressive feeders, the seahorses will be edged out in the competition for food. Special care should be given to ensure that all individuals obtain enough food at feeding times. Seahorses can co-exist with many species of shrimp and other bottom-feeding creatures. Fish from the goby family also make good tank-mates. Some species are especially dangerous to the slow-moving seahorses and should be avoided completely: eels, tangs, triggerfish, squid, octopus, and sea anemones.

Seahorses should only be added to a mature, cycled saltwater aquarium. A seahorse tank must have gentle to moderate currents for them to be able to feed properly. There must be adequate biological filtration you should do water changes of 5-20 percent per week. Water should follow these guidelines before you introduce a seahorse:

pH - 8.0 to 8.3
Specific gravity - 1.021 to 1.024
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - <20 ppm

Most seahorse aquarists use taller tanks. Seahorses need height (2.5 to 3 times the UNCURLED length of the animals) in their tanks to court and mate. At a minimum, the depth of the tank, excluding the substrate, should be at least 2x the uncurled length of the animal. Further, leave a path along the substrate as some seahorses courting rituals require them to scoot along the bottom of the tank in tandem. Several pairs of pygmy seahorses can be maintained in a 5-10 gallon tank (a 10G is recommended because of the difficulties of keeping water parameters stable in a small capacity aquarium. Two to three pairs of medium sized seahorses can be maintained in a 24-gallon tank although a larger tank is preferable to keep water parameters more stable.


How to Keep Seahorses Looking Their Best and Brightest 


The flamboyant reddish, bright yellow, and blazing orange color morphs of the Brazilian Hippocampus reidi seahorse are almost legendary among aquarists. S eahorses employ a remarkable ability to change coloration. Since they rely on color for many things, including camouflage, complex social interactions, courtship rituals, and to express their mood and emotional state.Seahorses accomplishes their dramatic color changes through the contraction or expansion of pigment cells. Each pigment cell is a contractile cell or vesicle containing liquid pigment or pigment granules and capable of changing its form or size, thus causing changes of color in the skin of the animals that possess them. The pigment cells may be under nervous control and able to change very rapidly or under hormonal control and able to change only relatively slowly. The Hippocampus reidi is typically endowed with just a few different types of pigment color cells, and all colors are derived from these 3 or 4 basic pigments. The exact color the seahorse displays at any given time therefore depends on the concentration of these pigment cells, how close the cells are to the surface of the skin, and which color cells are expanded or contracted at the moment.

Amazing as it sounds, the Hippocampus Reidi seahorse has no orange pigment cells. The incredible bright orange coloration is produced by simultaneously expanding itheir yellow pigment cells and red pigment cells to the fullest. The exact shade of orange the reidi seahorse becomes and its brightness is determined by the proportion of yellow to red cells it opens, how fully they are expanded, and how close to the skin's surface they are. Obviously, a hippocampus reidi seahorse that is black has all its color cells expanded and a hippcampus reidi seahorse that is white has all of its color cells contracted so that all the wavelengths of visible light are reflected back to the observer.

What affects Seahorse Coloration?
The hobbyist should be aware that there are a number of environmental conditions and hormonal influences that can affect the coloration of seahorses in the aquarium, often by affecting the ability of color cells to contract and expand. These include the following factors:

Stress -- seahorses often respond to stress by darkening.
Emotional state -- when excited, seahorses typically brighten in coloration, reflecting a state of high arousal. On the other hand, fear, anxiety and distress are generally accompanied by dark, somber hues.
Social Interactions -- seahorses often brighten during their courtship displays; pair-bonded seahorses likewise brighten during their morning greeting rituals, and rivals go through characteristic color changes during their confrontations and competitions.
Competition for mates -- dominant individuals brighten; subordinate seahorses darken in submission.
Poor water quality -- high levels of wastes, ammonia, nitrite or nitrate can cause color cells to contract and colors to fade.
Low oxygen levels or high CO2 levels-- can cause colorful seahorses to fade.
Background colors -- seahorses will often change color in order to blend in with their immediate surroundings.
Medications -- some antibiotics and malachite-green-based remedies negatively affect color.
Tankmates -- seahorses may change their base coloration to blend in with the rest of the herd or to match their mate (or a potential partner). This can work both ways: a dark seahorse may brighten up and assume vivid hues when introduced to an aquarium with bright yellow or orange tankmates; In the same manner, a brightly colored seahorse may darken and adopt subdued coloration when placed amidst drab tankmates.

So What can you do to influence your Seahorse's coloration?

To Sum it all up, aside from providing your seahorses with optimal water quality, a stress-free environment, and an ideal, enriched staple diet, you must also take care to provide them with a colorful natural aquarium setting that will make them feel right at home. This means furnishing their aquarium with appropriate, multi-colored décor. Pay special attention to the hitching posts you select. Strive for bright reds, oranges, and yellows in anything your seahorses may adopt. Once the seahorse adopts a favorite base of operations like this, they will often proceed to change coloration to match their preferred resting spot. Reef tanks featuring colorful sponges, colorful mushrooms, leathers, and other seahorse-safe soft corals and gorgonians are ideal, guaranteed to keep seahorses feeling right at home and looking their best. Various types of Caulerpa, Gracilaria, and other attractive macroalgae can then be added to give your tank a welcome touch of green, red, gold and add a bit of living color (Giwojna, 2002). If your tank is not a reef tank, you can often achieve the same effect using "make beleive" coral, plastic gorgonians and replicas of marine plants to encourage t
hem to retain their natural coloration. Many hobbyists find that a dark color substrate, such as black sand, brings out their seahorses' brightest colors and sets off their colorful hues exceptionally well.

Special note: Seahorses require very special care and have tank requirements that must be met for survival in an aquarium. Therefore we guarantee live arrival in good condition, but there is no guarantee beyond that due to their special needs.

 

Tank-Bred Black Seahorse
Hippocampus Erectus

Black Hippocampus Erectus,eating frozen mysis shrimp
Description: The Black Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus grow to be one of the larger seahorse species reaching 6 to 7 inches in length as mature adults. They are a good first seahorses to keep, vigorous and with character. Also called the Lined Seahorse, they breed readily in captivity with broods up to 400 fry. Colours can be brown, black, red/brown and yellow. There are also albino and piebald variations, some with cirri, and often with silver saddle markings.

Tank Bred seahorses are quite hardy, and a smart alternative to wild caught seahorses. We highly recommended to NOT combine tank bred seahorses with wild caught sea horses due to the passing of serious disease issues.

PH: At or close to 8.2

Salinity: The salinity should be kept stable at 1.022

Daylight Hours: 11-14 per day.

Temperature: Tropical Seahorses are happy to be kept between 21-27°c. This temperature is achieved by using a reliable heater-stat.

Heat spikes: Quick increases in temp will not be tolerated, leading to stress and possible disease.

Feeding: These seahorses are trained to eat enriched frozen Mysis Shrimp which they will eat through adulthood. We also suggest AlgaGen Tisbe as their other primary food. Both should be fed daily. Tank-bred seahorses will feed from the water column and the tank bottom. Old food and excreta must be cleared away each morning and night.

Breeding: H.erectus will breed readily in captivity giving birth to up to 400 fry. Gestation by the male is c.3 weeks/21 days depending on water temperature.

Tank Size: A tank with a low flow rate with numerous non-spiky or fabric plants as hitching posts is ideal and a generous volume of 120-150 litres for 1 pair. The tank must be at least 3 times the height of the seahorse. eg; 6 inch or 15 cm seahorse requires a water column height of 24 inches or 61cm.

Tank Mates: Tank mates such as Pipefish are ideal. Some type of branchy decoration should be provided in the tank for the seahorse to latch on to with its tail so that it can be comfortable.

Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2" to 4"
$69.99
Quantity :

Tank-Bred Colored Kuda Seahorse
Hippocampus Kuda

Yellow Hippocuampus Kuda
Description: Also called the Estuary Seahorse, the Hippocampus Kuda is huge by the standard of the most commonly seen seahorses. This incredible animal is tank bred and raised, and will reach a maximum size of approximately 12 inches tall when full grown. Seahorses are slow moving and peaceful animals that should only be kept with others of their own kind or with other peaceful animals.

Tank Bred seahorses are quite hardy, and a smart alternative to wild caught seahorses. We highly recommended to NOT combine tank bred seahorses with wild caught sea horses due to the passing of serious disease issues.

PH: At or close to 8.2

Salinity: The salinity should be kept stable at 1.022

Daylight Hours: 11-14 per day.

Temperature: Tropical Seahorses are happy to be kept between 21-27°c. This temperature is achieved by using a reliable heater-stat.

Heat spikes: Quick increases in temp will not be tolerated, leading to stress and possible disease.

Feeding: These seahorses are trained to eat enriched frozen Mysis Shrimp which they will eat through adulthood as their the daily food. We also suggest AlgaGen Tisbe as their other primary food. Both should be fed daily. Tank-bred seahorses will feed from the water column and the tank bottom. Old food and excreta must be cleared away each morning and night.

Tank Size: It is very important to provide a tank that is not only tall enough but also wide enough to provide enough space for the seahorse to move around comfortably. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended for the Kuda seahorses, for up to two.

Tank Mates: Tank mates such as Pipefish are ideal. Some type of branchy decoration should be provided in the tank for the seahorse to latch on to with its tail so that it can be comfortable.
Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2" to 4"

Female $99.99 - Male $119.99
Quantity :
size :

Tank-Bred Colored Hippocampus Reidi
Hippocampus Reidi

Orange Hippocuampus Reidi, eating frozen mysis shrimp
Description: The Colored Hippocampus reidi., is a large colorful fish that many hobbyists consider the most attractive of all the seahorses. They inhabit the waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on the West coast of the United States. The coloration of these seahorses is from yellow to orange and sometimes they will actually show off a red coloration. Their coloration may change in the aquarium, and is highly dependent on the colors of its environment. Recommend to keep the tank well lit with colorful gorgonians and colorful algae plants to keep the coloration at its brightest.

Tank Bred seahorses are quite hardy, and a smart alternative to wild caught seahorses. We highly recommended to NOT combine tank bred seahorses with wild caught sea horses due to the passing of serious disease issues.

PH: At or close to 8.2

Salinity: The salinity should be kept stable at 1.022

Daylight Hours: 11-14 per day.

Temperature: Tropical Seahorses are happy to be kept between 21-27°c. This temperature is achieved by using a reliable heater-stat.

Heat spikes: Quick increases in temp will not be tolerated, leading to stress and possible disease.

Feeding: These seahorses are trained to eat enriched frozen Mysis Shrimp which they will eat through adulthood as their the daily food. We also suggest AlgaGen Tisbe as their other primary food. Both should be fed daily. Tank-bred seahorses will feed from the water column and the tank bottom. Old food and excreta must be cleared away each morning and night.

Tank Size: It is very important to provide a tank that is not only tall enough but also wide enough to provide enough space for the seahorse to move around comfortably. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended for the Kuda seahorses, for up to two.

Tank Mates: Tank mates such as Pipefish are ideal. Some type of branchy decoration should be provided in the tank for the seahorse to latch on to with its tail so that it can be comfortable.
Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2" to 4"

Female $169.99 - Male $229.99
Out of Stock

 Banded Pipefish
Doryrhamphus dactylophorus

Description: The Banded Pipefish (Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus) is also known as Banded Pipe fish, Ringed pipefish and Ringed pipe fish. It belongs to the family Syngnathidae where you will find pipefish and seahorses.
The Banded pipefish likes to stay close to reefs and is typically found in tide pools, lagoon and on outer reef slopes.

The Banded pipefish is not easy to keep in aquariums and can only be recommended for experienced marine aquarists with well established aquariums. It is a peaceful and reef safe species. The aquariums should be at least 50 gallons . Pipefish are normally kept in species aquariums or combined with other pipefish species and seahorses. It can be kept with ornamental invertebrates since it will leave them alone, but should never be combined with organisms equipped with stinging tentacles such as (certain) corals and anemones because this can cause injury to the pipefish. Aggressive fish species must also be avoided because the peaceful pipefish cannot fend for itself and it can be hard to escape from bullies the confined space that is an aquarium.

The aquarium set up should include plenty of caves and overhangs. If you manage to look inside the cave, you might see the pipefish swim upside down against the ceiling.

Diet: The Banded pipefish is a carnivore species. It has a tiny tubular mouth and will therefore eat very slowly. Feed your pipefish at least 3-4 times each day and make sure that it actually gets any food; faster species in the aquarium might grab all the food before the slow eating pipefish gets a chance to ingest much. Keep your Banded pipefish on a varied diet that contains a lot of different meaty foods, e.g. brine shrimp, grass shrimp, mysid shrimp, daphnia and mosquito larvae. Many aquarists use vitamin enriched food to be on the safe side. Some specimens can be trained to accept frozen food.

Level of Care: Difficult
Approximate Purchase Size: 3" to 5"

*Special Note:Because of the increased level of care required for this species it has been marked Advance Aquarist , as an"Advanced Aquarist Species," there is no guarantee provided. 

$24.99
Quantity :

  

AlgaGen ReefPods,Live Foods for Feeding Saltwater Aquarium Fish, Corals, and Invertebrates.
Reef Pods are the only truly tropical live copepod
cultures available on the market today.
Copepods (“Pods” in aquarium terms) are a major component of the modern reef aquarium. Although, pods often are accidently introduced via live rock placed in reef aquariums, until recently there were few options available to control and maintain copepod populations.
If lucky, aquarists would see swarms of these little white “bugs” on the glass of their aquarium and subsequent feeding on these bugs by the fish. Now, these beneficial bugs are recognized as copepods and the methods for their colonization and proliferation in aquariums is better understood.The addition and establishment of copepod cultures to reef tanks is one of the best ways to achieve a continuous self-generating food supply. Aquarists who have established copepod populations know that most coral and many other filter feeding invertebrates and small bottom feeding fish such as Mandarins greatly benefit from copepods.



All of the AlgaGen ReefPods are tropical herbivorous species of copepods that will survive in higher temperature tanks. Copepods are an important energy source for reefs. Aquarists try to supply that energy using frozen or preserved diets. Dead plankton is not as nutritious as live plankton and food particles that are not eaten foul water quality and add to nutrient levels. Non-living food items do not swim about naturally and trigger feeding responses.
Professional and hobby aquarists, alike, now have the ability to inoculate their systems with different copepod species at will. They can experiment with different types and combinations of pods for different types of feeders. Mandarins and Seahorses, Anthias and Dragonettes, LPS Corals, deep water gorgonians, Acropora, Crinoids, Basket Stars: the list of copepod lovers could go on and on.

ReefPods™ Tisbe by AlgaGen
AlgaGen ReefPods™ Tisbe

ReefPods™ Tisbe the most popular aquarium Pod -they consumes your aquarium’s wastes and detritus, reproduce well, and are food for a multitude of reef inhabitants!

ReefPods™ Tisbe is a live culture of the harpacticoid copepod Tisbe biminiensis. Tisbe adult copepods live on bottom substrate such as live rock or sand and will eat detritus and microalage in the aquarium. They produce a small nauplii which is an excellent food for aquarium filter feeders and fish larvae. The adults are eaten by small bottom feeding fish such as gobies, dragonettes and blennies. ReefPods™ Tisbe may be used as a starter culture to add to marine aquarium refugiums or the main tank. Once established they will reproduce quickly, growing from nauplii to adults in about nine days. They will thrive in a wide range of aquarium temperatures and a wide range of salinities. It is suggested they be added to the aquarium at night or to the refugium to avoid immediate fish predation.

Tisbe is an excellent all purpose aquarium copepod owing to its role in the natural environment as a detritivore. An opportunist feeder, Tisbe can be used as a tank cleaner consuming uneaten food and wastes as well as phytoplankton in the tank and refugium. Tisbe is capable of producing many eggs during its adult life span that hatch into nauplii which will enter the water column as food for your filter feeding reef inhabitants and replenish the adult population vital to tank hygiene. Tisbe adults and juveniles may also enter the water column and be tasty and nutritious treats for your reef fish! ReefPods are guaranteed to arrive alive but there is no further guarantee after arrival.

Approximate copepod count: 8 oz bottles contain 100 to 200 pods and 16 oz bottles contain 200 to 300 pods.


ON SALE!!!
ReefPods™ Tisbe 8 ounce $14.99
ReefPods™ Tisbe 16 ounce as low as $27.99
Quantity :
Photos are representative of each species. Each animal is unique and variations should be expected.
Copyright © 1990-2014, Saltwater Fish Depot, Inc. - 17 S. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33004 All rights reserved.

Order with confidence....
Guaranteed ordering privacy...
This site features advanced encryption technology...