I decided to devote a page to my Seahorses. They have always fascinated me and I spend quite a lot of time watching them.
They live in a saltwater tank which requires a fair amount of maintenance. I have 2 clown fish in with them plus shrimp, snails and crabs. As they are slow moving you have to be careful what you have in with them.
I had several Seahorses for over 7 years. when the last one died I gave up for a couple of years. But I made the mistake of going in the store and they had some!!
They are quite difficult to keep as the water has to be perfect. There are several test that are done on the water weekly. Also water changes are done regularly. All the work is worth it when you can sit and watch them. They are so graceful.
In seahorses it is the male who incubates the eggs and gives birth. When he is ready he will court the female showing off his pouch letting her know it is empty. This can last for a couple of hours or more. They will move around the tank swaying and twisting and lifting their heads. It is almost like a ballet in water. It is very gracefull. He will fill his pouch with water and puff it out then squeeze it and fill it showing off the opening. At the right time the female will join and deposit her eggs in his pouch. He will then shake for several minutes to settle the eggs in his pouch. Depending on the speies gestation can be upto 2 weeks. As the days go by you can see his pouch enlarging. He becomes less active and the day before he delivers he usually stays hitched on his plant. I have had several hatches. The first 3 were always between 7-8 am and I missed them by minutes. The 4th one I planned for. I cleaned the glass, had my camera all set and got up at 6am. He had already had them!!! The last one I did the same planning but got up at 3.15am!! He was sleeping and no sign of labour. I reset the alarm and lay watching while I went back to sleep. They both started swimming around so I started my video camera and soon after he gave birth. I had finally seen it and taped it. He puffed out 4 babies!! The other times were up to 300 at once!! I knew he wasn't very big so didn't expect a lot! The next time I got it all on camera! He had about 150.
I haven't had much luck in rearing any of the young. I knew it was difficult. I had one baby that survived. The young are so small and require live microscopic food!! Not easy! I have to hatch Brine shrimp each day so they are really small.
I now have 2 Erectus. They are bigger and if they breed the young should be a bit hardier. They were courting on Valentine's day so hopefully they like each other!!!
If anyone who has seahorses and reads this I would love to hear from you and compare notes.
Female - she has a right angle where her tummy and tail meet.
Male- his tummy to tail is a smooth curved line. You can see almost see the pouch.
Courting. You can see the opening in the pouch as the male is showing it's ready for some eggs!!
Actually breeding. The female has a "shute" that she inserts and the eggs go into the pouch.
As the days go by his pouch enlarges and then he puffs out the babies. They are just miniature adults.
They can have from one to upto 400!! It is usually 200 - 300. They eat a lot so the live microscopic shrimp have to be available.
This is the only one I have been able to raise.
Seahorses I have had over the years.
I Have 2 Clown fish with the horses. They use a feeding dish.
Zak likes to watch the Horses!!
The 2 Horses I have now. They are Erectus. Bigger than my previous ones. I have a male and female.