Seahorse Tanks

seahorse-aquariumSo what equipment do you need to house your own pet seahorses?

Although seahorses don't move about as much as other marine fish, and when they do they're pretty slow, they still need quite a large tank. For example, a pair of medium-sized seahorses would need at least a 20 gallon tank. Water quality will degrade faster the smaller the tank you have. Remember also that seahorses need vertical space - at least three times their height - since they are vertical swimmers.

The water turnover needs to be relatively high - higher than that of regular marine aquariums. Five to ten times per hour is optimal - and make sure that any intakes and overflows are covered to prevent your seahorse getting stuck or caught.

seahorse-hitching-postYou should have some live rock in your saltwater aquarium - crustaceans that live on them are part of the seahorse's diet - but not as much as in other marine tanks. More important are the hitching posts you provide for your seahorses - like artificial plants and coral and sea grasses - these are what seahorses latch on to when they rest.

It's generally easier not to keep seahorses with other fish - but make sure you get at least two seahorses! They are social creatures and do not do well alone. Seahorses are slow eaters and other tankmates may beat them to the food.

The water in your tank must be kept clean - seahorses eat foods containing large amounts of fat and protein, a large volume of which remains intact in the feces and then breaks down in the water. Keep your seahorse tank's water clean by doing regular partial water changes combined with using nutrient-absorbing pads.

The temperature of your seahorse aquarium will be determined by the type of seahorses you buy - tropical species are easier for beginners since heating water is cheaper than chilling it and your water should be kept between 24-26 degrees Celsius with less than a 2 degree change within any 24 hour period.