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I'm thinking about getting a 50 gallon bowfront to make into a seahorse display. I've researched seahorses, but i want to get all the info before venturing into this. Does anybody else keep seahorses. How much circulation? What kind of lights? What kind of filtration do they require? And can they be coaxed onto frozen food? And finally, I know that they can be kept with pipefish, but what about keeping seadragons(so kool) with them? And do captive or wild specimens usually do best? Thanks! :)

Austin
 

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jenm has some good advice about seahorses...

this is what i learned when i was considering them.

they arent cheap :)
little flow is better
live food is better
dont keep with other things that will compete for food.

a GREAT source for info is www.seahorse.org they have a wealth of info there, and a very friendly atmosphere just like we have here.
 

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hmmmmmmm...

i've seen seadragons at my lfs before... red and green and yellow and very "flowey" i saw the same seadragon in a magazine that i boguht a while ago. i'll have to scan a picture of it and post it.. same one as the lfs had..

the article in the magazine was all about the proper tank setup for seadragons..
 

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unless the changed it recently here is off a website.

This rare and vulnerable relative of the sea-horse might be only around 45 centimetres long and live in an element foreign to its fierce mythical cousin, but in appearance it is unmistakably a dragon.

Sea-dragons actually belong to the same family as sea-horses (Sygnathidae) but differ in appearance from the latter by possessing leaf-like appendages on their head and body, and having a tail that cannot be coiled up.

Unique to the southern waters of WA and South Australia, the leafy sea-dragon's home is inshore areas of seagrass. Unfortunately these are under increasing threat from pollution and excessive fertiliser run-off.

This is not the only danger faced by the sea-dragon. Although having no known predators amongst the marine world, it has become the target of unscrupulous 'collectors' who have denuded the more accessible seagrass areas of this amazing creature.

In 1991, the Department of Fisheries, concerned by the rapidly decreasing numbers of the leafy sea-dragon, declared it a totally protected species.

here is where I found the info

Mike
 

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There are tank raised seahorses available, but they require constant supply of live food, they have short , primative digestion systems and need to forage pretty much constantly. If you have babys then it gets more intense, the babies need to feed on smaller foods like rotifers or similar, JENN, front and center sil vou's plais
 

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ineresting article mickadee.. never knew about that before.

i found the magzine where i saw the dragon at.. here is a scan of the front cover.

this is exactly the same dragon i saw at my lfs.. they also have seahorses, and pipe fish as well.

i'll have to ask him where he got it from.

possible that someone is tank raising them like they are with horses?

i do remember that he was asking over 200 for the dragon, and it went in a matter of days.
 

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they are both protected. the only ones available are captive bred and raised. even zoos need to get them this way. i looked into it a while ago, imagine that.:rolleyes: the leafies can and will go for up to 2000! last time i checked there were only 2 breaders. that was several years ago, so there may be more.

as far as care, once again, what i can remember. low flow, great water quality, and light is not important. better to have to little than to much. they do require constant food sources. the good news is the bigger the horse the bigger the prey. horses also like taller tanks than longer tanks. they move up and down the water column looking for food.

G~
 

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Did somebody call??

Good advice and suggestions thusfar.

Seahorses can be very rewarding, and very time consuming and very heartbreaking. I had a great pair of wild caught Brazillians that spawned every other Sunday for a long time - remember the early AM rattling brine pots?

The good news is that there are several species of horse that are readily available tank-raised - although I'm having some blips with supply, ORA carries H. kuda and (sometimes) H. procerus. These are pre-trained to eat frozen Mysis shrimp, makes life a lot easier. I've weaned wild caughts onto Mysis too but depending on the individual, it can be tricky. Seahorses are "vulernable" (as opposed to endangered) and they've been added to the CITES appendix, so trade in them is currently being monitored. I'd strongly encourage people to buy captive propagated specimens when at all possible.

Flow - you'd be surprised at how much fun they have "playing" in the current but they can't tolerate fast moving current. They need places to hold on with their tail ("holdfasts") and I use caulerpa, sponges and sometimes artificial plants - the colourful artificial plants can inspire colours in your horses :D They can and do change colours at will.

Pipefishes are readily available, although I do not know of any commercial breeders of these, I have had some gulf pipefish reproduce and I had some success rearing them, to the age where I gave some to a friend.... but I don't know if there would be a demand for them.

Live foods: brine, ghost shrimp and the like, live mysids and frozen mysids. Size of foods depends on the size of the horses, but most can eat the Mysis, except dwarf seahorses (H. zostrae) which must eat live brine, baby brine and I've had some success getting them to eat Zooplex (Kent) and Cyclop-Eeze (Argent Labs)

Hope this helps,

Jenn
 
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