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FAQs about Seahorses & their Relatives 2

Related Articles: Seahorses & their Relatives, Fresh to Brackish Water PipefishesSeahorse Care Guide

Related FAQs: Seahorses & their Relatives 1, Seahorse Identification, Seahorse Behavior, Seahorse Compatibility, Seahorse Selection, Seahorse Systems, Seahorse Feeding, Seahorse DiseaseSeahorse Reproduction,

Hippocampus barbouri

Seahorses in HOB refugium; using WWM      12/12/14
Afternoon Crew.
I am planning to add a small HOB refugium to the side of my display tank and possibly keep seahorses in it.
<Mmm; which species?... and need to have the water move through this slowly then... a few turn overs per hour>
The refugium is 19" x 4" x 20" deep and would be plumbed directly from my sump which is maintaining a 155 gallon reef. I was also thinking of adding a brine shrimp hatchery inside the refugium which would allow the brine shrimp to feed both the sea horses and ultimately the display tank
<Worth trying; though mysids are better to feed by far... Many tank-bred Hippocampines are trained on these... Better by far for you to see out captive-produced specimens>
Questions are....is it possibly to overfeed seahorses with the live food or will they just graze at will.
<Is possible to overfeed, pollute the system...>
Would this size refugium be sufficient enough to house 1 pair or even more...
<...? Time for you to read, study... there are several species... a very wide range of captive un/suitability>
what other inhabitants would you suggest (if any) in this size of environment. Should I use miracle mud in the fuge or should I go with sand
Appreciate your input as always
<READ ON! WWM is your guide. Do you know how to... use the indices, search tool on every page? Bob Fenner>

Pipefish and/or seahorses, just reading re on WWM   11/28/11
Hi there.    I have read many, many articles on the viability of keeping seahorses and/or pipefish with different answers.
<Including ours?>
   I would love to have my 45 gallon tank (set up for a couple of years)
now dedicated to a couple of pipefish/seahorses/mandarin dragon.   I've read the tank bred seahorses and pipefish from Hawaii will eat and live.  ( I am willing to pay the price but want to make sure that they indeed are a bit more hardy nowadays)  What do you think?  Any experiences about these specifically bred Syngnathinae?
<Many... Carol and Craig (owners/operators) of OceanRider are friends...
Read here:
and the linked files above; particularly stkg./sel. and systems. Bob Fenner>

Saw this and thought of you....thought you might be interested !
Seahorses 'stood up' 25 million years ago  5/7/09
Seahorses first stood up sometime after 25 to 20 million years ago, when bodies of open water between Australia and Indonesia changed, leaving these horse-resembling bony fishes with shallow sea grass habitat, according to a new study.
<Thanks for sending this along Phil. BobF>

Zulu - lulu Seahorses 7/14/07 Hello Bob, Leslie, or anyone else who happens to be taking questions today, <Mmm, methinks Leslie only looks over on WWM occasionally, so you're unfortunately "stuck" with me for now... I can/will place this missal in her in-folder for later review, response however, as she knows immensely more re this groups husbandry> I have a few questions? and concerns.......... actually many? about keeping Zulu - lulu seahorses after reading the FAQs here, Pete Giwojna's work here and on seahorse.com, Bob's work here and just Googling them and trying to get as much information as I can because they can be quite an expensive mistake! <Am out in HI/Kona currently, know Carol and Craig's biz, OceanRider, which produces this variety...> 1) I have another 36 gallon reef tank that is set up with live rock, and live sand that has no major problems. But the pH does seem to drop quite often and quite quickly. <Mmm, what sort of buffering mechanism do you have/provide? Perhaps the addition of more-more readily soluble substrate here...> It has had no major negative effects yet on my hardy corals and fish since it was set up in 06 but it could? definitely cause problems in the tank I would like to set up for a pair of Zulu - lulu seahorses, due to it's small size (10 gallons) and the fact that seahorses are a? "tad" bit more sensitive to fluctuations than damsels and clownfish. I was thinking about adding crushed coral to the 10 gallon tank? mixed in? with live sand,? I have heard this helps keep the pH at a more stable level?? Is this a good choice and? does the coral have this? effect on the pH? <Yes, yes, and yes> I may even add some to the 36 gallon if it seems to keep the pH up. 2) It is possible for me to get RO/"DI" water from a friend for free instead of buying it from my LFS, although it does seem to have a tid bit of phosphate in it. I do not plan on keeping any corals in my Zulu - lulu tank so that being said, can the seahorses handle that little bit of phosphate, after adding water due to evaporation and after water changes before the granular phosphate remover in my internal filter (the kind that sticks onto the glass completely under the water) is able to take it all out? Or will the constant fluctuation of phosphate stress my ponies? <Mmm... I would try other methods of phosphate control... macroalgal culture... AND I would buy/install my own RO device... not expensive and much easier (and cheaper) than lugging RO from away> 3) This one is a tough one for me. I read on various sites that Zulu - lulu's prefer lower temperatures, due to them being temperate seahorses, that they cannot stand temps over 75F and they can become very stressed. I read that at seahorse.com, in? a couple of Pete's articles? and FAQs there, and I believe here in a couple of FAQs. But then I read over more FAQs at seahorse.com and it was said that they can stand temps all the way to 77F, that they should be kept at temps ranging from 75F - 77F, and that the higher temperatures seem to bring out their most beautiful and bright colors such as oranges and yellows. Yet the care sheets on seahorse.com says to keep them at temps from 68F - 72F. ?????!!!!!????? What is your opinion? My tank is set up and cycling with live rock, ready to get live sand and a clean up crew and it is about 77-78F now, during the summer. Is this an OK environment for my little ponies? <Mmm... this is Hippocampus capensis: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=6303&genusname=Hippocampus&speciesname=capensis  a temperate species... the higher the temperature, the more stressful, and shorter these animals life spans will be... I would not allow the temperature to get much higher than those stated> 4) I have also read conflicting opinions on this area also, so Leslie, since you have dealt a lot? with seahorses you could maybe help. I have read that Zulu - lulu's, in their natural habitat locate themselves in areas where freshwater meets saltwater, causing the specific gravity to go down. Different sites, such as seahorse.com say that they should be kept at the normal? specific gravity, around 1.023. As long as the specific gravity remains stable is the number as important? <Mmm, IMO, yes... I would keep the spg constant as is practical and NSW strength... likely 1.026 with a floating type hydrometer at this temp.> 5) I have heard that hydroids can kill dwarf seahorses and seahorse fry, but are they of much harm to Zulu - lulu's? <Yes> 6) Pete explains in one of his articles on seahorse.com that if you are not ready, or able to care for Zulu - lulu fry, it is possible to keep them in the tank, give no special care to them, and sometimes the lucky and strong survive while most die off. The ones that do die, if they are left in the tank, wouldn't that create water quality problems? What if one gets wedged between rocks and dies, and you don't know about it, then what? <Likely a slight rise in organic contamination... but given good care, maintenance, not likely problematical> 7) Is it necessary to adjust the amount of time the tank light is on, to simulate the seasons with seahorses? <Yes> I think it is the same with regular fish, it is just more natural, but not completely necessary, am I correct? <Correct> FINALLY!!!!!! THE LAST QUESTION 8) I have read just about everything I could find on the Internet about keeping Caulerpa but it just seems to not work for me. I tried one type of Caulerpa, the grape type in my 36 gallon reef tank. All values were 0, pH was as usual on the low side, maybe about 7.8 <This is actually quite low... the pH scale is base 10 logarithmic... akin to the Richter Scale for earthquakes... a small difference in numerical value denotes a large change in chemistry, biological implication/s> but after about a day and a half of being in my tank, it got all white and slimy and died. I now know that the grape stuff leaches poisons if that happens, right??? <Can, yes> BAD.? I tried it again but it did not work so I gave up. But in my Zulu - lulu tank, I would like them to have more natural hitching posts than just rocks, and plus it looks nice so I want to give it another shot. If I am able to keep my pH at about 8.2-8.3 (I do not know if that was the reason my other attempts at keeping it were unsuccessful in my 36 gallon), could you tell me which of the following would be more likely to live in my tank with a 15 watt regular fluorescent bulb? Or will they all grow successfully? ? -Caulerpa ??? ~Prolifera ??? ~Taxifolia ? -Hawaiian Ogo ??? ~Gracilaria sp. ? -Chaetomorpha <I would try the last two first here> (It is usually used in refugiums right? but I saw pictures of someone hang it on the side of the tank in a little plastic like basket with little holes for the horses to poke around and hunt in. I though that was a creative idea. Like a little in - tank refugium) If I do keep the tank at a lower specific gravity for the Zulu - lulu's, will the algae still survive, hopefully thrive? <Hopefully> AND I have read many articles on trimming Caulerpa, but I have never got the fact that you don't cut it, you pluck it. And not at any strand?? <Yes... this genus, family has some unusual physical properties in the internal make-up of its cellular material... by tearing strands, much "leaking" is reduced...> You have to find certain ones??? If you could clarify that would be nice. But it may not even grow because I was unsuccessful at freshwater planted tanks, and now saltwater planted tanks. <Best to buy/use material that is "local", well-established...> If for any reason you believe my tank is not suitable for Zulu - lulu seahorses, feel free to tell me, and if it is not the best environment for the Zulu - lulu's, is there any other species I can keep in my empty 10 gallon, aside from the dwarf seahorses? <There are other small species...> Thank you so very much! I appreciate you reading this huge book of an E - mail! Feel free to give me links, in order to save time,? that will help to guide me to success, and so that you can answer other peoples questions because I am sure I am not the only one in this hobby who has a question or two!! (Many more on the way) <Oh yes!> Thanks for all of your help, and you all run a greatly informative site. It is so nice of what you guys do! Thank you again! <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Seahorse problem    5/15/07 I have a 30 gallon high tank with only 2 seahorses <Which species?> in it, except for a snail. The water parameters are fine. <Define fine> I feed the seahorses live grass shrimp after keeping them quarantined and feed Cyclop-eeze and Selcon and VitaChem. I have a brackish estuary in my backyard where I catch the live shrimp all summer long, along with feeding frozen shrimp. In the winter, I feed them exclusively frozen Mysis shrimp. I use a Prizm skimmer on this particular tank, which works about as expected. <Heeee!> I also have a refugium that hold Chaetomorpha macroalgae. There were massive numbers of bristleworms I noticed, so I took some out. The two seahorses bred twice last Spring. I have two small powerheads also for current and aeration. I hope this may help some.      Thanks,   Eddie V                <... Help with what Eddie? You have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tube-mfi.htm and the linked files above? You do participate on seahorse BB's? You have perused the archives of OceanRider.com's forum? Bob Fenner>

Just wanted to share    1/5/07 Hi Crew, <Leslie> I just wanted to share that Pete Giwojna wrote a wonderful article on  Seahorses for Reef Tanks. It is a 2 part article in the Jan. and Feb.  07 issues of Tropical Fish Hobbyist. It's a great article with lots  of info for anyone wanting to know more about seahorses. What's even  more exciting is they used almost all my photos to illustrate the  article and they used one of my photos on the Feb issue cover.  I  cannot tell you how excited I was. So if you have a chance take a  look The Feb. issue is out now. Also wanted to remind everyone that most of my experience is with  seahorses so feel free to leave or pass any seahorse related queries  on to me. Thanks and Happy New Year, Leslie <Thank you Leslie. Will post on WWM. BobF>

Re: Seahorse Feeding Problems  - 12/29/06 Thanks will try the water changes. <Good... and do you read Ocean Rider's listserv? Very valuable info. there from PeteG, LeslieL, others... free to subscribe. BobF> Thanks. Do they have a website? < http://www.seahorse.com/>

Australian Seahorse Network Newsletter  10/24/06 Hello <Hi there Katja> You and WetWebMedia readers may be interested in our new seahorse network newsletter. It's designed by and for hobbyists and free to all seahorse enthusiasts in the world :>. Everyone can contribute and information ranges from breeding, nutrition, pathology, conservation, tank mates, resources to anything of interest about seahorses. <Ah, good> Simply email me at XXXX and I'll add you to our network. <Please do if you consider this useful> If Bob Fenner or anyone else from your crew would like a copy, please let me know. <I will try to read periodically on the Net if you post it> Cheers Katja de Bradley (Volunteer Editor / Tasmania - Australia) <Bob Fenner, out in Thailand for the Int'l HHH... as was in Tasmania a couple times back>

Australian Seahorse Network Newsletter   10/27/06 Hello Bob, Thank you for the reply. Leslie from WetWebMedia has joined our network as well. <Ahh, Ms. Leddo is indeed an asset...> You said that you will read our info from time to time if I post it on the web. The thing is, that the newsletter comes in email format only and ranges from 1.5 to 1.8 mb. So I would need to send you the newsletter in Adobe pdf format. Would you like for me do so? And if yes, to which email address? I won't be offended if you decline :>. <Please send it to my "other" addy: fennerrobert@hotmail.com. And might I ask... if you intend to post this as a permanent item? Perhaps it can be "re-sized" graphics wise and posted... on WWM if you'd like, think folks will find it of use here> By the way, WetWebMedia is the very best fish site that I have ever come across. You all do a fantastic job and I have found brilliant info on your site for the past 3 years. Thank you. Cheers Katja <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words and efforts. Bob Fenner>

New Seahorse (print) Journal - 10/25/06 Hello Bob, At this stage we would like to leave it as an email newsletter only. However WetWebMedia could publish our email links on their web site if you'd like :>. That would be beaut. Cheers Katja <debradley@bigpond.com.au> <Ah, very well. Will do so. Cheers and congratulations. BobF>

Sump Design/Seahorse Air Bubble Malady - 07/25/06 Hi WWM Crew, <<Hello Diana>> This is my first time posting a question, but have been using your site to answer many of my other questions, Thank you for all the info. <<Is our pleasure>> Here is my question... I have a 150 Gallon Pre-Drilled tank that is running on a Wet/Dry system (I'm also running a Canister Filter that works together with my Chiller) and I want to convert to a refugium with a Skimmer build in (was thinking about the ASM G-2 or 3) and I was hoping you could send me to a good link with diagrams etc. on how to build your own.  I have a 29 Gallon tank that I want to use for this purpose. <<Ah yes, have made several myself.  Very easy to do...the simplest version is to merely add some baffles for a bubble trap and to define the dimension/water height of the skimmer and pump chambers.  This site has representations of several different styles that should give you some good ideas: http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html >> One other question if you don't mind, I also have a Seahorse tank for over a year now and I noticed today that my Male seahorse has an air bubble in his belly and when he lets go of his rock he ends up upside down. <<Not good>> I have read somewhere before that you can manually expel the air from their belly, do you have any experience with this? <<Have heard of this but have no practical experience/exposure re...try reading here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seahorsdisfaqs.htm) and among the associated links.  I'm sure I've seen this addressed on the site>> <Esp. the link to the archives of OceanRider.com. RMF> Thank You so much for your help and keep up the good work, Diana <<Will try.  Regards, EricR>>

Your seahorse medicine chest piece   6/8/06 Pete, is there a URL we might refer people to for this excellent reference? Bob Fenner. Dear Sir: <Just Bob Peter, please> I apologize for the lateness of this reply, but I was away on a fishing expedition to northern Minnesota this past weekend and I'm only just now catching up on my e-mail. <No worries> Yes, sir, a version of my "Medicine Chest" piece is available online at seahorse.com at the following URL: Click here: Seahorse.com - Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories - Seahorse Meds < http://www.seahorse.com/Frequently_Asked_Questions/Seahorse_Meds/> However, the information is in the form of FAQs which makes it more difficult to read and apply, since you have to click on a lot of separate individual links in order to access and read all the material. <I see> My Medicine Chest recommendations have also been posted online at the Ocean Rider Club on Yahoo and the Ocean Rider Club message board at www.seahorse.com in the "Seahorse Life and Care" discussion forum.  Any of your readers at WetWebMedia who might be interested in that piece could locate it easily by logging into either of those sites and doing a search of the forum using the key words "Medicine Chest."  They would need to register with the Ocean Rider Club on either Yahoo or the seahorse.com site, but membership is free and those are excellent resources for anyone who is interested in seahorses.  The entire piece can be read online at the following URL's, which will take the reader to the threads discussing my "Medicine Chest" suggestions at those sites: Click here: OceanRider : Message: Re: Medicine Cabinet http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OceanRider/message/10066 Click here: Seahorse.com - Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories - Re: Preparing a 1st aid kit http://www.seahorse.com/option,com_simpleboard/Itemid,/func,view/catid,2/id,11 66/#1166 <Very good> The information in the Medicine Chest piece was actually excerpted from my new book on seahorses, which I'm hoping will clear up a lot of the confusion regarding the care and keeping of these amazing animals.  It is devoted entirely to captive-bred-and-raised seahorses, and covers in great detail everything the hobbyist needs to know in order to select both the perfect system and ideal cultured Syngnathids that are best suited for his or her needs and interests, set up and cycle a tank that's tailor-made for those particular seahorses, and breed and raise them in the home aquarium. <I visit with Carol and Craig quite often on sojourns to Kona and they've mentioned this tome of yours... is it forthcoming?> Basically, my new book (Complete Guide to the Greater Seahorses in the Aquarium, TFH Publications) picks up where my old Step-By-Step Book about Seahorses left off. Fully illustrated, the unabridged version of the new book will be 400-500 pages in length, making it a great deal more comprehensive than the earlier book.  As an example, the chapter on disease prevention and control is itself, alone, considerably longer than any of the other guidebooks about seahorses that have ever been published. The Complete Guide to Greater Seahorses is crammed cover to cover with the latest information and cutting-edge techniques and technology for keeping, breeding and raising the various species of captive-bred seahorses that are now available to the home hobbyist. <Outstanding> It was due to be released last year (January 2005) but has been delayed and is now long overdue. <Typical...> Dominique DeVito (than the publisher at TFH) commissioned the book from me in 2002, and Brian Scott (then my editor at TFH) proofed the manuscript when it was ready and approved the text, and the book was promptly scheduled for production.  Unfortunately, both Dominique and Brian subsequently left the company, which leaves the book in limbo. <Happens> Christopher Reggio, the new publisher at TFH, inherited the book project from his predecessors, but he wants to conduct further research to better assess the market for an ambitious book on seahorses before he proceeds. He plans to "revisit" my book project sometime this year and decide the best way to handle it then, but after discussing the matter with him, I am none too hopeful. At the moment, Christopher Reggio's impression is that seahorses are very much a specialty market, and his concern is that that market may simply be too limited to support a major book about seahorses. <Perhaps...> If TFH ultimately decides not go forward with the book after all, Mr. Reggio has agreed to let me buy back the complete rights to the book manuscript so I can seek another publisher or pursue other options.  One way or another, Mr. Fenner, I am determined to get the book out in its entirety as soon as possible!  Once it comes out, it will cut down on the time you and I have to spend explaining the basics to new seahorse keepers or discussing rearing protocols for Syngnathids with advanced aquarists. Best wishes with all of your fishes, Bob! Happy Trails! Pete Giwojna <Please continue to make known the status of this project. I personally will offer to aid your publishing efforts, and it may be that WetWebMedia can/will offer as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Your seahorse medicine chest piece   6/13/06
Dear Sir: Thank you very much for your support and encouragement regarding my new book, Mr. Fenner! <Just Bob, please Peter> I feel is very important that this groundbreaking volume is released in its entirety, full-length and unabridged, and if TFH Publications isn't willing to do that, then I will definitely be looking for another publisher or investigating the possibility of putting the book out myself in one form or another. <I fully understand... and what's more, can and will assist you in what way I/we can/may. WetWebMedia is a media business...> That's a daunting task to say the least since I have no experience with self-publishing or the print media and therefore have no idea where to even begin such a project. <A beginning is a difficult time, but not hard to self-publish given time to learn, the funds to pay for production... folks, agencies to help with fulfillment, sales...> Needless to say, I would be most grateful for any advice or assistance you or WetWebMedia could offer in that regard. <Will gladly conspire with you... It is obvious from reading your postings, input in FAMA, opinions of you through Carol and Craig that your intent/desires are confluent with mine/ours... am glad therefore to aid you/them> There has never been a comprehensive aquarium manual that's remotely like my new book, Mr. Fenner.  Thanks to the new CITES regulations protecting the genus Hippocampus and the recent advent of hardy, easy-to-feed cultured specimens, seahorses are a hot subject right now at the very peak of their popularity with hobbyists and the public alike, and my new book will tap into that wave of interest and help to bring a lot of new people into the hobby. <Yes> I certainly will keep you updated on the status of my book project, Bob.  I have attached a copy of the first chapter of my new book to this e-mail. Please skim through it if you have a chance, since it explains why this is such an important book for seahorse conservation and the aquarium hobby, and why I think it will be so popular with aquarists and non-aquarists alike.  I would value your thoughts and insights on this matter very much. <Will take a look and write back re> All my thanks for your interest and encouragement, sir! Respectfully, Pete Giwojna <A pleasure my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Your seahorse medicine chest piece  6/27/06
Dear Mr. Fenner: You're very welcome, sir!  Thank you very much for the feedback and suggestions. I think it's an excellent idea to break up the body of the text with catchy headings that indicate the subject matter to follow, and I will certainly be following up on that suggestion, Bob.  The headings will serve to break up the longer passages into more manageable sections for the reader, as well as making it easier to locate information when the reader wants to refer back to the material at a later date. <Ah, yes. These might logically follow the ensuing chapters organization> The first chapter is really just an introduction, intended to acquaint hobbyists with these amazing animals and give them some sense of why seahorses are such special creatures.  More importantly, it was designed to painlessly educate the readers a bit by explaining why seahorses are threatened in the wild, and above all, to impress hobbyists with the fact that captive-bred-and-raised specimens are the only responsible choice for the conscientious aquarist. <Understood, and agreed... Much detail here> I have found a great many folks are intensely interested in seahorses, but that hobbyists often reject them out of hand due to the mistaken believe that they are all but impossible to keep and are therefore best reserved for expert aquarists who are well equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide the specialized care they require.  All of which is very true with regard to wild seahorses, but certainly does not apply to the new breed of hardy, undemanding, easy to feed cultured seahorses.  So my feeling is that if I can make the average aquarist understand that these amazing aquatic equines are now within his reach, and provide the hobbyist with a comprehensive guidebook that explains in detail exactly how to set up and establish an aquarium that is tailor-made to meet their long-term needs and requirements, I can convert a lot more aquarists into active seahorse keepers and bring a few more people into the aquarium hobby in the process. <Again, in total agreement re your take here. Does take several years (from the M.E. meaning "many") to overcome such prejudices. Your book will be a huge stride in rectifying present understanding> Thanks again for your insights and encouragement, Bob!  (And for clarifying the proper usage of fish vs. fishes -- I have always been confused on that point.) <Heee! Again, a "pet-peeve"... but important in works as yours here... to be erudite> Best of luck with all your projects, sir! Respectfully, Pete Giwojna <I do hope this tome sees the light of day/print soon. Cheers Pete. Bob Fenner>

Can you recommend a book about Seahorses   6/3/06 Hey all, Although I have found excellent information here and on the web, can you recommend a book about Seahorse husbandry. If you know one about CB H. Reidi that would be even better. Yours, Greg <I do wish PeteG would finish his... do please see seahorse.org, re their recommendation, and sign up for OceanRider.com's newsletter. Bob Fenner>

Weekend feeding (and keeping) of dwarf seahorses    4/14/06 Hi!  I've been searching online for an answer to this question, but the one response that I found doesn't seem right to me.  I want to set up a dwarf seahorse tank at work (I spend more time there than at home, so I'd be able to enjoy the ponies more at my desk.  Sad, huh?). <Mmm, no... not necessarily. I may be a simpleton (if volunteering, building this/these sites for the last decade for free isn't proof enough), but have always enjoyed my work, workplaces...> But I refuse to do it until I can figure out a way to feed them on the weekend (Fri PM - Mon AM)   The one site I found that addressed weekend feeding of dwarves just said to dump in some de-encapsulated brine shrimp cysts to hatch over the weekend.   <Mmm, I would not do this... Too likely a chance of pollution, choking...> I just see this as adding possible residual bleach and/or capsule bits to the tank and endangering the dwarves.  It's also been my experience with fishkeeping that the easy answer is never the right one and usually leads to disaster. <Too often, yes> I plan to set up a 2 gallon tank with a sponge filter and probably 4-6 seahorses.   <Mmm... a bigger tank is likely to have "more chance" of success> I plan on feeding newly hatched brine shrimp 2-3 times per day.   So my quandary is how to get brine shrimp from a hatching vessel into the tank over the weekend without me being there?   <Mmm... other choices... in foodstuffs, feeding> Or is a better solution a floating hatchery of some sort that would be placed in the tank only over the weekend (I don't care about the aesthetics over the weekend)?  Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely? Thanks much! Milly <Do consider a larger tank with an ancillary "refugium" to grow/supply live food organisms continuously. Hippocampines need more/different foods than just Artemia... the refugium will go a long way in improving, stabilizing the environment. Bob Fenner>

No Question - Just A Thank You - 02/27/2006 Folks, <Hi there David!> I just wanted you to know that I was interviewed by Rob Weatherly of the Talking Reef Podcast in regards to my experiences with Hippocampus reidi. I am quite proud of the information presented, but needed to give credit where credit is due. I'd have nothing to speak about, to include my wonderful H. reidi system, if it weren't for the WWM crew and others at Seahorse.org and other communities. I ensured that I plugged your site and the selfless work that you do, and hope that others will find the resource in WWM that I've grown to depend on. <On behalf of all the crew here, we're very glad that our efforts have proven so helpful. Thank you for the kind words (and shameless plug).> If anyone is interested, the podcast can be found here www.talkingreef.com Thanks again to Bob and all the kind souls at WWM for all your help over the years! David Perry <Thank you for contributing/helping others. - Josh>

"OR-Carol" seahorses  12/21/05 Hey...ho ho ho!! Did you ever do the article?? <Nope... out for three weeks in Sulawesi (pooped!) and now visiting mum-in-law in FLA... but have the pix with me!> Here is something to check out....... the la times, that is big. and those readers have a good ocean perspective. congratulations. you are going to need another packer. <Great! Thanks for sending this along Carol. Hello to Craig and the boys. BobF> Subject: Seahorse Farm Offers Sanctuary, Chance for Survival http://www.latimes.com/business/la-...ack=1&cset=true Seahorse Farm Offers Sanctuary, Chance for Survival Ocean Riders in Hawaii raises the endangered creatures and seeks to spread awareness. From Associated Press December 20, 2005 KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Marine biologist Carol Cozzi-Schmarr's business is saving some of the planet's most exotic small sea creatures. In 1998, she and her husband, Craig Schmarr, left shrimp hatchery jobs in Florida and used a small-business loan to establish the only seahorse farm in the country. Now they have 40 huge, royal blue tanks teeming with the colorful marine animals, which have a far better chance of survival in captivity than in the open ocean. They sell for as much as $300 apiece. Male seahorses bear the young, and strictly monogamous seahorse couples can have as many as 1,800 offspring in a brood. Yet, seahorses are disappearing from the world's oceans. "This is a labor of love and is not making lots of money, but we're kind of trying to do something a little different," Cozzi-Schmarr said. She views the delicate little animals on her water farm as pets, saying some of them seem to recognize her touch. Hawaii's seahorsewoman completed her graduate work at San Diego State University and had been raising shrimp in Latin America. In Ecuador, she met and married fellow biologist Craig Schmarr. For more than a decade, they watched helplessly as the pristine coastal areas along the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico were trampled, with more and more people moving in and fishing without regulation. "That's what made us want to inspire others to care about the ocean environments," she said. So they moved to Hawaii and established Ocean Riders Seahorse Farm on the Kona Coast of Hawaii's Big Island. "We really wanted to do something for ourselves, rather than work for a big corporation," Cozzi-Schmarr said. "And Kona was always the place to be for me. We had a lot of expertise between us and a lot of ideas, but not a lot of money." The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority was the answer. The state-sponsored aquaculture facility offered a streamlined permit process and ready access to the cool, clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. The couple obtained a Small Business Administration loan and got to work on a three-acre ocean-side lot. Seven years later, their seahorse farm is raising thousands of the endangered creatures that live an average of eight years. The farm's broods have a survival rate of up to 80%, compared with possibly a 0.1% survival rate in the wild, Cozzi-Schmarr said. "People don't believe they are real, but they just seem like they are so cool, so intelligent, so enchanting," Cozzi-Schmarr said of a fascination that dates to childhood. "They have character. They don't mind us touching them, and there seems to be some recognition there. They know when it's time to eat, that's for sure," she said. Ranging from less than an inch to more than a foot long, seahorses have prehensile tails to hook onto underwater vegetation, protective bony plates in their skin, and a tube-like mouth for sucking in crustaceans. Of the more than 30 known species, Ocean Rider has successfully raised multiple generations of 13 species, including some that are native to such places as Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil and Florida. Since 1999, Ocean Rider has been selling its creatures to aquarium enthusiasts and ornamental fish collectors around the world. The brown Mustangs sell for $65 and the more exotic Pintos fetch $300 apiece. A website offers tips and technical help for novice aquarium keepers. "They travel quite well," Cozzi-Schmarr said, pointing to a white cardboard box with FedEx stamped on the side. "We fill a plastic bag with water and oxygen and ship out pairs overnight." Ocean Rider sells only farm-raised seahorses propagated at the Hawaii facility and even raises the micro-algae and sea monkeys to feed the babies. More mature seahorses are weaned onto frozen feed, which makes them easier to care for in home aquariums. Although other farms have popped up in China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Australia, Cozzi-Schmarr said many of them cull from the wild populations. Seahorse products also are valued in Asian cultures as alternative medicines, resulting in more than 20 million being taken from the world's oceans each year. Populations in the central Philippines were found to have fallen 70% from 1985 to 1995, painting a grim picture for the future of seahorses. Seahorse environments are so threatened by such practices as dynamite fishing and coastal development that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species last year extended its protection to seahorses. The restriction on trade seems to be paying off, as evidenced by a recent package from U.S. Customs. Authorities in California seized a handful of seahorses being smuggled from the Philippines and turned to the Hawaii couple for help. Those seahorses now are drifting lazily about in the safety of an Ocean Rider aquarium. Spurred by such positive steps and by the inquisitiveness of their twin 2-year-old sons, Cooper and Dylan, the couple opened the farm to the public this year. "Our vision is to expand into tourism and education," she said. "It's good business sense to diversify, but personally, it's also where we want to go." On a recent tour, Linda Burch of St. Maries, Idaho, lagged behind the group to spend a few more minutes peering into a tank of Fire Reds. "I love horses, so I suppose that's where I get a love for seahorses. They are so elusive and so beautiful," she said. "I could sit here and watch these for hours." At another tank, Burch carefully holds her hand out and is rewarded when a 4-inch seahorse wraps its tail around her finger. "I've been scuba diving all over the world and have never, ever seen one in the wild," she said. "To get to hold one, to actually touch one, is so amazing." Cozzi-Schmarr knows that look of amazement and is determined to use it to spread awareness of the human effect on ocean environments. "We need to start early to teach conservation to all children," she said. "We want to see seahorse tanks in classrooms everywhere. Not just here in Hawaii, where children have lots of opportunity for ocean awareness, but in classrooms all the way to Oklahoma and beyond."

"Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography"  2005 Edition is Ready! 10/7/05 Hi Everyone The "Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography" 2005 edition is ready for e-mailing. Please let me know if you would like a copy e-mailed to you. Jim Forshey The Aquatic Book Shop P.O. Box 2150 Shingle Springs , CA 95682-2150  www.seahorses.com

Re: "Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography" 10/10/05 Hi Bob I hope you like it.  Please fell free to post it were you like. <Wowzah... at two plus megs I'd better hold off. Have placed your offer and link twice on WWM... Congratulations to you and Bruce for a job well done. Bob Fenner> Jim Forshey The Aquatic Book Shop P.O. Box 2150 Shingle Springs, CA 95682-2150  www.seahorses.com Voice and FAX (530)622-7157 <Marina must note that Shingle Springs is practically spittin' distance from her current digs in Sutter Creek.>

Seahorse link to add 9/17/05 Hi Bob, I hope you are doing well. I was just looking over the list of links on the WWM site and noticed that Syngnathid.org (www.syngnathid.org) was not listed with the Hobby/Clubs/Groups under Seahorses and was wondering if you would consider adding us. Thanks so much, Leslie <Of course. Am out drinking with some folks from there as we key. BobF> Seahorses....Stocking, Tank Size and Resolving Conflicting Info  9/17/05 Hello, Thanks in advance for your time and advice, and the library of info on your website. <Hi there and you're welcome, Leslie here with you today. Sorry for the delay in response. The seahorse questions are usually assigned to me and my computer has been out for repairs for a week. I have to say I feel quite handicapped without it.> I'm a beginner (not counting the freshwater tanks I had as a kid).  I've always wanted a marine tank but was afraid of the amount of time and care, in particular having to break the tank down and cleaning it every 6-12 months, as I was told back then.  Recently, I've discovered the advancement in technology has addressed such concerns drastically in the last decade or so, and now I think the amount of work is within my ability (knock on wood). So I've been reading up on seahorse care, and about beginner's tank setup guides.  I've read up all over WWM, seahorse.org, OceanRider, and others. <Ah yes sounds like you are off to a great start.  Please do visit www.syngnathid.org as well> My problem now is the resulting confusion from what seems to me to be conflicting advice...  Any help is much appreciated. I was thinking about a Nano (24G) Cube, initially, but saw that you think they aren't so good for the beginner.  Unfortunate, because I like the look, but I was wondering about the flexibility in design, so I'm getting ready to shelve that idea. <I am a fan of the cube shape, esthetically, I am not so sure how functional it is. If you like the cube look there is a 60g cube available. Unfortunately I cannot remember the manufacturer. You could try a web search.> Books and websites (including WWM) recommend 40+ (55-75) for beginner's tanks for easier maintenance and control. <Yes, indeed a very good idea. Larger tanks make for a much more stable environment.> That's cool, but reading up on seahorse care, it seems a 55g tank would require stocking of 6 or 7 pairs !!?    <I am very familiar with those stocking guidelines as well as the articles. Those numbers would be considered high by some folks standards. There has been talk of revising the guidelines. I can tell you that since those articles were written there have been many more very successful keepers stocking much less densely.  It is just  fine to stock fewer horses. I have a 50 g that had 4 horses for quite a while and they did just fine. > I don't know if I can shell out that much all at once, financially, but more importantly, it seems to compound the risk of failure to have so many to take care of, when just getting used to caring for them and I kind of dread ordering 12 horses in one go from OceanRider...seems like there's no way all of them would arrive at once alive...  maybe I'm wrong. <That would be quite an expense and there are many options available to you. You do not have to purchase all your horses at once and actually that would not be recommended. Ocean Rider however does an amazing job of packing and I am sure if someone was to order 12 horses to be shipped at once they would be just fine.  The horses would most likely be shipped 2 to a bag and in a few boxes.> Is doing all at once easier? <No, it's not easier or advised. Your tank should be stocked gradually, so that the bio filter has time to adjust to the current/original bio load and adapt as you add new stock. If I do it in stages, won't it be too empty/sparsely populated for the first-comers? <Well that depends…. 2 would definitely be sparse in a 55 gallon. I actually find that captive bred seahorses do much better when kept in groups of 3 to 4 or more. They seem more active and definitely eat better. I would recommend starting with 4 horses and plan for adding others later, as you gain confidence in your skills and your finances allow.  Ocean Rider has a very nice first time buyers special which includes 2 pairs. The way around the feeding issue when stocking sparsely and actually a better way to feed no matter how many horses you have is to target feed your horses with a turkey baster or to use a feeder. Target feeding directs the food basically to right under their snouts. A feeding station concentrates the food in one area where the horses learn to come for their meals. This keeps the food from spreading all over the tank, the horses from having to work to hard to find it and even more importantly keeps uneaten food from getting lost, trapped and decaying in hard to find places. The current issue of the Conscientious Aquarist,   WWM's online magazine has an article on feeding stations which you can view here … http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i5/v2i5_cover/v2i5_cover.htm> On the other hand, I read your advice on people who have 20-30g sizes with a more manageable number of seahorses. <20 to 30g is a very manageable size,  in terms of the tank size,  water changes and stocking density. My first seahorse tank was a 20g. I out grew it very quickly. These tanks are just not as stable in terms of water parameters as a 55g would be. There is another issue with smaller tanks…..I call it the Just One More Syndrome. It may not be true for everyone but I have found it true for myself, as well as for many others, from the vast number of posts and emails I have read over the years. This hobby is addicting, as are the seahorses, at least in my experience. There is a good chance you will eventually want a bigger tank if you start with a 20 or 30g. Even if you do not want a bigger tank you will probably want just one more seahorse. There are several species currently in breeding programs that will be available for sale at some point and I can tell you from first hand experience they are very tempting, as are seahorse safe tankmates. > So, here come the questions. <Bring um on > Which rule comes first?  Bigger Tank? Smaller and manageable stock-size? <My advice would be to go with the bigger tank.> If I got a 65g going, and stocked 2 pair (4 horses) and other compatible fish would that be ok? Yes, I think it would be just fine. Do see the feeding recommendations discussed above.> I don't think that would address the feeding concerns that the seahorse may not be able to find the food easily enough. <Yes, very true if you just dump the food in the tank and let the current move it all about.  As mentioned above a feeding station or target feeding is actually preferred even in more densely stocked tanks.> Stocking other fish does lower the number of horses to be housed in the tank (the "maximum" or "recommended" numbers per gallon), right? <Yes definitely.> Another question that has been concerning me….  as a responsible owner, how do most deal with the mating/fry issue, realistically?  I don't mean the technicality of rearing the fry, but rather the practical implications.  You can't expect them NOT to mate, right?   <Right.  Although they don't always mate and egg transfers are not always successful.> When they hatch you have to try to take care of them.   <They don't actually hatch they are released from the males pouch and no you do not have to take care of them. I know of many hobbyists who choose not to attempt to rear fry. Believe it or not there are folks who just leave them to fend for themselves, however most are not comfortable with this option.  You do have the option of giving them to another hobbyist who may want the opportunity to attempt their hand at rearing.> Sure, it's difficult, and you may not succeed, even if you were trying hard.  But OK if you DO succeed, and you have more horses than you can handle, what do you do? I don't want to (at least right now, I don't intend to) become a breeder. So, if a few grow up, that's cool.  I might even succumb to getting bigger tanks and more tanks, as space permits.  But there are limits, right?  You can't give them away to people who can't take care of them, so what do most people do?  Is this a realistic concern or do so few survive, that I shouldn't worry about it? <Nope, I don't think the concern is realistic and you should not worry about it. This sort of success rearing is highly unlikely. I have been keeping seahorses and hanging around on the boards for years. There are only a handful of keepers who have been so successful that they have had to worry about what to do with excess seahorses. Most folks manage to rear a few here and there and they are usually so attached to them, that they keep them. Even if the fry were easy to raise and your horses were breeding like bunnies there are environmental factors like photoperiod and temperature that one can adjust to inhabit breeding activity. > Thanks so much, Looking forward to hearing from you, Hiro in NYC. <Your most welcome, Leslie who used to be from NY state .>

Seahorse Sources in UK (9-16-05) Hi,  I live in the UK, Scotland and I am wanting to set up a marine aquarium for seahorses but I can't find anywhere that sells them. Do you know of any breeders in Scotland? Thanx for your help. Sarah <Hi Sarah, I am sorry I have limited knowledge of what is available in the UK. Wild caught seahorses are difficult to come by due to CITES restrictions and actually do not fare well in captivity. I would advise you go with captive bred seahorses. The only aquaculture facility I am aware of in the UK is TMC (Tropical Marine Center) here is a link to their web site http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/. I would suggest contacting them and asking for a list of retailers. Best of luck with your search. Hope this helps, Leslie>    

Sea Horse Stocking, Beginner Tank Size, on resolving conflicting advice  9/9/05 Hello, Thanks in advance for your time and advice, and the library of info on your website. <Welcome> I'm a beginner (not counting the freshwater tanks I had as a kid).  I've always wanted a marine tank but was afraid of the amount of time and care, in particular having to break the tank down and cleaning it every 6-12 months, as I was told back then.  Recently, I've discovered the advancement in technology has addressed such concerns drastically in the last decade or so, and now I think the amount of work is within my ability (knock on wood). So I've been reading up on Seahorse care, and about beginner's tank setup guides.  I've read up all over WWM, seahorse.org, OceanRider, and others. <Good> My problem now is the resulting confusion from what seems to me to be conflicting advice...  Any help is much appreciated. <Okay> I was thinking about a Nano (24G) Cube, initially, but saw that you think they aren't so good for the beginner.  Unfortunate, because I like the look, but I was wondering about the flexibility in design, so I'm getting ready to shelve that idea. <Can be made to work...> Books and websites (including WWM) recommend 40+ (55-75) for beginner's tanks for easier maintenance and control.  That's cool.  But reading up on SH care guides, it seems a 55g tank would require stocking of 6 or 7 pairs (!?). <Mmm, not "require"... but "allow" perhaps>   I don't know if I can shell out that much all at once, financially, but more importantly, it seems to compound the risk of failure to have so many to take care of, when just getting used to caring for them.  And I kind of dread ordering 12 horses in one go from OceanRider... seems like there's no way all of them would arrive at once alive... <Mmm, actually...>   maybe I'm wrong.  Is doing all at once easier?  If I do it in stages, won't it be too empty/sparsely populated for the first-comers? <I would start with just a pair or two... no problem> On the other hand, I read your advice on people who have 20-30g sizes with a more manageable number or Seahorses. <Yes> So, here come the questions.  Which rule comes first?  Bigger Tank? Smaller and manageable stock-size? <Bigger tanks are better for maintenance, any "practical" number of seahorses (mainly dependent on size/species) per tank size (allowance) is fine... You could keep "a pair" in a forty or larger...> If I got a 65g going, and stocked 2 pair (4 horses) and other compatible fish would that be ok? <Sure> I don't think that would address the feeding concerns that the SH may not be able to find the food easily enough, but stocking other fish does lower the number of horses to be housed in the tank (the \"maximum\" or \"recommended\" numbers per gallon), right? <Yes... for clean-up and interest...> And another question that has been concerning me.  As a responsible owner, how do most owners deal with the mating/fry issue, realistically?  I don't mean the technicality of rearing the fry, but rather the practical implications.  You can't expect them NOT to mate, right? <OR's seahorses usually don't...> And when they hatch you have to try to take care of them.  Sure.  It's difficult, and you may not succeed, even if you were trying hard.  Ok.  But if you DO succeed, and you have more horses than you can handle, what do you do?  I don't want to (at least right now, I don\'t intend to) become a breeder. So, if a few grow up, that's cool.  I might even succumb to getting bigger tanks and more tanks, as space permit.  But there are limits, right?  You can't give them away to people who can't take care of them, so what do most people do?!  Is this a realistic concern? <Mmm, no... not really> or do so few survive, that I shouldn't worry about it? <One view, possibility... most likely yours won't reproduce. If you should get/acquire some wild stock, avoid "pregnant males"... Should you end up with these, the young will likely perish for wont of food...> Thanks so much, Looking forward to hearing from you. Hiro in NYC <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Transporting Seahorses (8/27/05) Greetings, <Greetings to you as well! Leslie here with you this morning> I've had a 55 gallon aquarium set up for seahorses now for about 3 months. I have the parameters adjusted as seahorse.org suggests.  However, I've had trouble finding just the right specimens to start out with and have been very patient in my search.  Finally, I've found them, a trio of healthy, captive bred H. erectus.  The trouble is that store is 12 hours from my home. <Yikes, 12 hours is quite a drive.> I'm trying to decide on the best way (or whether to try) to transport the little guys.  I would start out with the largest bucket/bag I can fit in the Styrofoam shipping container.  The owner/operator of the store does not have oxygen and suggested that seahorses don't do well with oxygen anyway. <I am not really sure what the he means by that. Seahorses are shipped with oxygen all the time.> He suggested a battery powered air pump in conjunction with well monitored temperature in the car and frequent water temperature checks. <That sounds like a fine plan. Even better would be if you could get hold of a 5g bucket. That would allow for decent water volume. I like the buckets marine salt is packaged in. You can cut a hole in the top leaving a rim around the circumference of the top which, will prevent water from splashing out. You can control the temp in your car with the heat or air conditioning so temp should not be too much of an issue. You could insulate the bucket by wrapping it in a blanket or 2. > I'm concerned that this may cause pH issues if the seahorses produce too much ammonia on the trip (as your cite suggests). < This is always a possibility when shipping, but many many fish and seahorses are shipped and do just fine.> I am not really sure how you get around that I haven't been able to find any specific info on your site as to transporting seahorses. <I really do not think they require anything special regarding shipping with the exception perhaps of a small piece of Caulerpa to hitch to.> Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. <A 24 hour round trip seems like quite a bit of trouble and expense to go to, especially with the price of gas these days, If it were me, I would reconsider the source. IMO it would be much easier on you and the seahorses to have them shipped by an experienced retailer. Have you looked into seahorses from www.oceanrider.com? They have lovely healthy CB seahorses, which they have been shipping all over the continental US for 7+ years. I personally have received many shipments and have never had a problem, as have many of my friends.  They have several specials on a regular basis including first time buyer's specials which include 1 or 2 pairs of erectus for a discounted price. I believe that shipping is also included. Another pro for ordering seahorses from an aquaculture facility such as OR is that you are getting seahorses that have come to you directly from a high health facility with no holding facilities in between. This is a big bonus in my opinion. These seahorses and fish are not exposed to any other fish CB or WC, in process of getting from the breeder to your tank. I honestly feel this is your best option.> Also, if there are any special acclimation procedures you would suggest after the trip, please pass them on.  I planned on using a 2-3 hour drip acclimation into a dark tank. <The dark tank is only necessary if the horses have been in darkness for an extended length of time. If your temp, pH, and salinity are close to those of the transport water dripping is not necessary. Seahorses are not as sensitive as some of the inverts. The only other special acclimation procedure I would advise is to give them a holdfast to hitch to in your acclimation container, if it will be for an extended period of time.> Thank you for your help. <You're most welcome!! > I've robbed myself of much sleep perusing through your wonderfully informative website.   <Well, get some well deserved rest before you get your seahorses, as I can promise you, you will be glued to the tank once they arrive. > Now, hopefully it's time to research some pipefish tankmates. <Pipefish make wonderful seahorse tankmates, however you must consider that these fish are not yet commercially available CB. WC pipefish typically do not do well in captivity. They carry with them the issues of disease and requiring live food that WC seahorses do. I do not recommend mixing CB seahorses with any WC fish. You risk the health of your CB seahorses by mixing them with WC fish of any type. There are several seahorse compatible tankmates that are being CB at this time and any one of them would be preferable over a WC tankmate. I would recommend you look into one of these options including Banggai Cardinalfish, Assessors, many of the Gobies,  Fridmani Pseudochromis or even Ocellaris Clownfish. For additional information please have a look at www.oceanrider.com and www.syngnathid.org. Also, be on the look out for a seahorse related article by Pete Giwojna in the Conscientious Aquarist, WWM's online magazine.> Cheers, Matt <Best of luck to you Matt! Cheers, Leslie>

Lethargic New Seahorse 7/4/05 Dear Mr. Fenner <Leslie here this evening standing in for Mr. Fenner.> Just wanted to thank you for replying to my cryptic message the other day. Sometimes its good just to know there are people out there to ask things. <Yes it sure is….very reassuring> Anyway, the day came (last night) when I had to pick the four little reidi's up.  I managed to bring the pH down by doing water changes from my commercial quarantine unit rather than the reservoir (both are separate) and acclimated the seahorses last night at about midnight.  Now they are in and seem fine except one male (I got two of each) who sits on the bottom curled around one of the ornaments, and sometimes sinks his head down.  The others are very active, swimming around happily while this chap seems lethargic   I also reckon he seems thinner than the others too. Do you have any idea what could be up with him? There are only in 12 hours now (it's now nearly midday here in Ireland) I am thinking its maybe just stress from the long journey from the UK but the others seem fine. <It could very well be shipping stress, even though the other 3 are fine. The thinner horse may have not been eating as well as the others and as a result could be more susceptible to the stress of shipping. I would give the horse some time to settle into it's new home. Keep the stress to a minimum. Limit activity around the tank to only what is absolutely necessary and keep the lights off. Hopefully the horse will come around and settle in.> Anyway, thanks again for the advice, sorry for being so paranoid with the original message. Alex Stewart, Ireland. <Your welcome and no worries. Best of luck with your new seahorses, Leslie>

Pipefish study project Hi. My name is Matthew Rudderow. I am in first grade in Evesham, NJ. I have a school project due this Friday. I am supposed to pick an animal that I don't know much about, and research it. I picked the bluestripe pipefish. My mom and I found a few things on the web, but I need to know some more things, like how much they weigh, how long they live, and who their enemies are.  Also, if it is an endangered animal (we don't think so). Could you help us find this information? We would really appreciate it. Thanks very much. Matthew <Doryrhamphus excisus excisus... I'd make a trip to a large library for looking through books re this species... Bob Fenner> <<Editor's note: If you go to http://www.reefs.org/ there is a fellow nicknamed "Righty" who has kept these animals, has very good experience, advice.>>

Pete Giwojna's Seahorse Book, Not Being Published? Hello folks at WWM. Would you consider passing this info on in faq of the day? <Hi there.....Leslie here and I will be glad to pass it on. Thank you for the information.> Hey everyone, I contacted TFH publications about Pete Giwojna's book. The response I got is below.....   "Dear John: The book by Peter Giwojna has been put on temporary hold. No new due date has been set yet. Jane Frame TFH Publications, Inc./Nylabone Products" I think if any of us ever hope to get a copy we should all send correspondence to TFH requesting that they set a new due date or give publishing rights to someone who will actually publish it.  The email addresses for TFH are: info@tfh.com and sales@tfh.com Thanks for your help everybody. John Kim <Your welcome John! Thank you for the information. Leslie> 

Been There, Done That, Already Graduated >Hi, My name's Kelly, I am doing a project about seahorses and I need information about it... >>Ah, thank goodness for the world wide web, it's the biggest virtual encyclopedia on earth!  Marina today. >The information's I need are: The seahorses habitat >>Google, after you've determined what species or group of species you'd like to highlight. >the survival techniques of the seahorses (which includes it's reproduction, how it cares for it's young, any predators and the techniques/features the seahorse uses to survive.) >>Ahem, still Google. >And ...  Can you please describe the impact of human and natural factors on the long term of seahorses... >>Not in this case, I refuse to do anyone's homework for them, including my own son. >And ... sorry to annoy you and give you such hard task ... if you have any information then please contact me on... >>You can do what I would do, use the information that's out there.  Libraries, the internet, a basic encyclopedia are your tools.   >Thank you!!!! Thank you for your time reading and Thank you again!!!!   >>Kelly, don't be so quick to thank me.  All of this information is easily and readily available through Google alone.  This is a volunteer *service* we provide to people so they can care for their animals, NOT do someone's homework for them.  You can start at http://www.fishbase.org after you've gone through Google's results.  Do have fun, and do your own work!  Marina

Sea pipes brackish to fresh water far north Queensland I have found a species of sea pipe in a local river, I am trying to identify, can you help me? It has a length of 12cm a darker brown colour with a off yellow lateral line, no banding or spots, and if unknown species can you tell me how to name it. <The best reference here is Kuiter's: http://seachallengers.com/index.cfm?catID=1&itemID=209 or you can wade through the materials posted on fishbase.org, by calling up the region, re-sorting by family (Syngnathidae) and then going through the species listed (by clicking on them). From there, if they have no pix, you can select (by species), "Google Images", or look on the broader Net through your search engines for more info. by species. Bob Fenner> From your friendly fish friend Steve.

STI News: Permit for sea horse import required from May Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 19:41:20 +0800 (SGT) Seahorse trade figures in Singapore Permit for sea horse import required from May SINGAPORE - Importing sea horses - both as pets and, in dried form, as a traditional medicine - will require a special permit starting next month as part of an effort to protect the species, the government said on Wednesday. The world's 32 recognized sea horse species are 'vulnerable to over-exploitation' and while they are not highly endangered they may be threatened if the trade in them is not regulated, the statement from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said. Beginning from May 15, all imports of dried or live sea horses will require a permit. Those who flout the new regulation face fines of up to S$5,000 and a jail term of up to one year, it said. The rule puts Singapore in compliance with a new regulation adopted in 2002 by signatories of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement which regulates the trade of endangered species, the statement said. Last year, Singapore imported 47,700 live sea horses worth S$40,000 and about 2 metric tons of dried sea horses worth about S$170,000, it said. Dried sea horses are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including asthma, swelling and impotence, the statement said. -- AP IP Address: <Glad to see this change. Bob Fenner>

Seahorse Info thus far on WWM Hi Bob, Glad to hear this. Do you have a seahorse forum that I could send people to?? And if so do you wear stiff and pointed steel toes boots?? i.e. I assume you do not tolerate slanderous posts...and make people stick to biology and husbandry issues?? Aloha, Carol <We have a pretty small section on syngnathiform fishes thus far: Here's the opening bit: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tube-mfi.htm No slander or at least uncivil slander (!>) allowed. Please take a look through the FAQs or use the Google search tool on the homepage to search Ocean Rider, your name, and you'll likely be pleased. Bob Fenner>

Brazilian Seahorses - 2/23/04   Hello, <Hi> After being told that seahorses should be put into species tanks I decided to do that. <A good idea> What I would be wanting to get is some Brazilian colored seahorses. <Coloured or cultured?> What kind of tank set up should I have. <I would start with this site as the wild Brazilian population is severely threatened. Read about them here: http://www.oceanrider.com/seahorsesdetail.asp?Variety_ID=4 I would set up a tank that is taller rather than long and wide maybe 20 to 30 gallons. Use fake seagrasses (Thalassia type) or you could use macroalgae if you have proper lighting. Be aware of their need for proper foods. I feel that you should really research your animals before purchase (as you are doing but need to do more) and be sure to discuss the different seahorse setups on some of the Seahorse message boards. www.seahorse.org These are not animals to be taken lightly. They are prone to various viruses and diseases and our not for the new aquarist. Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul>Thanks Scott

Book order and information (Seahorse and relatives Bibliog. tome) 11/15/03 Hi Bob <Hey Jim! Long time (since FINDIG) no see> Thank you for the review copy of your book. <Welcome. It's a beaut!> Yes I would like to start off by ordering 4 copies of each, how would you like me to do this? <Mmm, will cc Di re here. And please see the attached file re pricing.> Thanks for your help. <Thank you for your interest.> (I talked to a friend of mine (Bruce Watts), he had said he really enjoyed going to the fish meeting at your house and talking to you.) Hopefully we will get to meet again soon and have some time to talk. Thanks for being at the SAS in September. <A great pleasure. Thanks to the group/s for having me up> Also Bruce and I are putting together a "Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography" for the enjoyment of it. We are also thinking about a mini Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes convention in October 2004 at SAS meeting in Sacramento. Let us know if any of this is of interest to you. Jim Forshey Aquatic Book Shop 3050 Countryside Drive Placerville, CA 95667 (530)622-7547 ??'?.??..><((((?>.???'?.??.???'?.?><((((?>?.???'?.?. ,. .???'?..><((((?>?.???'?.?.???'?...?><((((?>?.???'?.?. , <Interesting... I penned a review of Rudie Kuiter's TMC go (one of ten) of the group... and know that "all things tube-mouthed" are selling well. Will chat with "the powers that be" around here re re-selling the work, and post your note on WWM for others perusal. Thank you, Bob Fenner> Draft of the Bibliography Announcement; (We plan on giving it away free at the Convention(s).) Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography by Jim Forshey and Bruce Watts 2004 October - 1st Edition Starting with October 2004, each year in October we will be producing an updated version of the "Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography". (Each of the editions will contain additional information we have found throughout the year.) It is currently estimated that the 2004 October Edition will be over 50 pages in length. The Contents are; Books by Author Articles and Scientific Papers by Author Videos CD's Children's Books by Author Information about Freshwater Seahorses Books by Author Articles and Scientific Papers by Author The English Translation of the description of Hippocampus arnei CD version will be $10.00 each, plus shipping (The CD version is in PDF format and will requires Adobe Acrobat Version 5.0 or above to read.) Folder version will be $15.00 each (Printed in Black and White), plus shipping This can be pre-ordered, but will not be shipped until October 2004. ??'?.??..><((((?>.???'?.??.???'?.?><((((?>?.???'?.?. ,. .???'?..><((((?>?.???'?.?.???'?...?><((((?>?.???'?.?. , Draft of the Seahorse, Seadragon and Pipefish Convention Announcement; Is anyone interested in getting together in October 2004 to have a mini Seahorse, Seadragon and Pipefish Convention along with the Sacramento Aquarium Society's annual convention? I was thinking if there was some interest in a Seahorse, Seadragon and Pipefish Convention I would approach the Sacramento Aquarium Society about us joining them and using a room to have talks and meetings on Seahorse, Seadragon and Pipefish. If interested I would give a talk on "Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes of the World", but I would like others to volunteer to also give talks. Please contact us if you are willing to give a talk. (It can be on any thing Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes related and it does not need to be long. If you think you are only going to need 5 minutes to share your information, that is ok.) We would like to not charge for the extra for the mini Seahorse, Seadragon and Pipefish Convention, but the Sacramento Aquarium Society in the past has charged between $20 to $30, and we would have to pay that. Bruce Watts and I are developing the start of a "Family; Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefishes) Bibliography" to be given out to each attendee on CD in PDF format. (We would also need to know who is coming in advance, to know how many CD's to make.) If you have something you would like to share, please e-mail it to me before 9/1/03, so we can include it on the CD. Let us know what you think. Jim Forshey Jim@seahorses.com Bruce Watts bewatts@greencafe.com

Preggers or fat seahorse? Hi, when I bought this seahorse they told me they thought it was pregnant. But I've had it for one month now. Do you think he looks pregnant or just fat? Thanks <Neither. Please send your pic and query to the fine folks at seahorse.org for much more. Bob Fenner>

Can Seahorses Be a Lucky Charm? >Hi my name is Holly and I am having troubles trying to see if the seahorse is a good luck charm.  I love the seahorse and I wanted to know if it is true and what country do worship them. >>Honestly, Holly, this is the first I've ever heard of them as a lucky charm, or being worshipped.  Also, I'm thinking that you mean as a rabbit's foot would be a lucky charm, in which case I will plead a case to PLEASE disregard this nonsense.  Seahorses around the world are quite threatened because in many Asian countries they are used for medicinal purposes.  MANY animals are needlessly killed for this, as are many for purely decorative purposes.  We at WetWebMedia prefer to enjoy our seahorses very much alive, thank you.  Marina

Anemones on Rocks and Seahorses 07/13/03 Hi all! <Hi Jennifer, PF with you tonight>   I am writing today because I am having a problem with the "free" anemones that came with my live rock.  You see, I have dwarf seahorses in the tank, and last night when I got home (only gone for about 3 HR). I noticed that one of my seahorses was missing...so I looked in all the usual hiding spots only to find that the top part of her head was showing from one of the anemones and the rest of her body was down its tube.... What can I do to get rid of these things?  One of my males had 2 babies and I do have them in a breeding net safely out of the way from harm, but now am worried about the other seahorses in my tank. Also, one more question....While searching for the missing seahorse I saw what looks like a small slug (or snail without a shell) climbing around on some artificial plants in the tank.  It is very small, almost see through and has antenna...should I be concerned about this new inhabitant? Thanks for your time, Jennifer <Well Jennifer, I would advise that you take your rocks to a store and exchange them, or setup a refugium and put the rock in that. Are the free anemones Aiptasia? If so, look up Aiptasia on the website http://www.wetwebmedia.com and there's tips on removing Aiptasia there. As for the slug, the chances of it be harmful are somewhere between slim and none. It might be a type of worm, but most are harmless also. Assume it's harmless till proven otherwise, besides, most Nudibranchs (sea slugs) have short life spans and very strict food requirements, which explains there lack of success in reef keeping. Have a good night, PF>

Seahorse and other Syngnathidae photos Great! I look forward to hearing from Jason. And I'll be sure to let you know once our gallery is up. Hopefully it will be as good as we're envisioning it will be! <Real good. Looking forward to linking, sending folks to it. Bob Fenner> >Seahorse and other Syngnathidae photos >Greetings Bob, >I just got finished reading your photo policies on using photos for non-profit sites, and saw your note about possibly having higher res images than what is displayed. I'm helping seahorse.org update their seahorse photo gallery to hopefully be a more complete representation of seahorses and other sygnathiformes. I would just LOVE to use some of your photos, and was wondering if you have any larger formats of the ones on WetWebMedia and WetWebFotos available. We're trying to shoot for at least 640x480. If you don't mind and it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you pass along any larger photos you may have? ><Will ask for Jas (Jason Chodakowski's) help here> >Oh, and if you can keep this a secret (not post this conversation to the WetWebMedia site), I can give you a sneak peak at the new gallery. I am >very excited about it. Its no WetWebFotos, but I think it will be very useful. ><Will just wait for its grand debut, thank you. Bob Fenner> >Take care, >Tami

Seahorse exploitation Bob: <Steve> I recently read an article in US News & World Report about the various threats to the continued existence of seahorses. My wife & daughters frequently shop at Mac's, a craft store chain, here in the SLC area. It turns out they sell dried seahorses. <Disappointing> I have been thinking about speaking out against this wrongful use of these beautiful & fascinating creatures. I would start with a letter to the editor of the local paper urging people not to buy dried seahorses, to tell craft store managers they don't want them selling these, and to boycott stores that continue to sell them. <Good for you, the planet> I was wondering if you view this craft use as a significant threat to seahorse populations, or is it dwarfed by other uses, such as Asian medicine? <I do... and encourage good consumerism, stewardship as you propose. I suggest writing the corporate management of this chain re your concerns as well.> Thanks, Steve Allen <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: FAMA (seahorses, Ocean Rider) Hi Bob, Hope you are well. We are busy but happy as heck with our 2 new boys!! <Congratulations!> I would like to advertise on your sight starting this Fall,,,,,,can you tell me what you need and what kind of exposures I should expect when you have a chance?? I know it is along ways ahead but I have to plan like this!! <Thanks for asking. The root web WetWebMedia.com has more than 8,000 ISP sessions per day. You're welcome to use our stat.s engine: http://stats2.datapipe.com/_1026391600_/ (the password is WetWebMedia.com), and we now have rotating banner ads on our Chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ that has more than a million hits a month... and six advertisers... who randomly get 1/6th of these hit views for a fixed sum of $200 per month). I'll send your note here to Mike Kaechele our Mktg. designate for follow-up> Here are the last questions for the next column. Can you do a real detail answer on them?? Have any photos you want to use?? <Will answer and see> Thanks, Carol Hi Bob, I am setting up a 10 gallon refugium for my 50 gallon main and am thinking of getting seahorse in the 10 gallon.  Will this be a good set up for seahorses?? Thanks, Gary <Possibly. There are a few "variations on the theme" of refugiums, aka "live sumps"... some are too packed with live rock, deep sand beds, macroalgae... or too vigorous circulation to be suitable for keeping seahorses. Better by far to have a dedicated system for your horses AND a refugium for food production, water quality enhancement, reverse daylight photoperiod benefits... (Carol, pls find attached a thumbnail of a hang-on Ecosystem Refugium)> Hi Bob, I have kept freshwater tanks for years and have decided to convert to saltwater so I can  buy 6 or 7 Zulu-lulus. I am a little confused, though, about the cycling process for saltwater. Can you please explain to me why I have to wait for the nitrites as well as the ammonia to increase and then decrease to zero before I add my seahorses?   <Sure. In a nutshell fishes (and non-fish aquatic life) produces wastes (metabolites) like ammonia and nitrite that are toxic to themselves. In the ocean not only is there an enormous dilution effect dispersing these materials, but micro-organisms (bacteria) that convert ammonia to nitrite and in turn to less noxious nitrate. In a small captive body of water like an aquarium it takes a few to several weeks for a sufficient population of these beneficial microbes to become established to allow the introduction, feeding of larger livestock. The process of establishing this biological cycling involves a classic increase, accumulation of ammonia, development of microbes that feed on this converting it to nitrite... the increase in concentration of nitrite with concomitant population growth of microbes that convert this to nitrate> How long will this take and what kind of readings should I expect on a daily basis to tell me that I am doing the right thing? <As stated a few to several weeks may go by before you see (with test kit use) readings of 0 ppm for both ammonia and nitrite, and some accumulation of nitrate. There is an article on "Establishing Nutrient Cycling" posted on Oceanrider.com website that details not only this process but means of speeding things up> Should I add some fish first to test the water before adding the seahorses?? <Not generally recommended. There is the possibility of introducing disease or pest organisms with such a practice. You can add some food to the system, a bit of live rock, a commercial bacteria starter culture, "old" filter media, gravel/sand from a disease-free system... to help speed-up the process of biological nutrient cycling... and test every few days for status... this is preferable to establishing and testing with livestock. Should I add all the seahorses at once?? <Better by far to add two at a time, with a week or two between introducing the next set... to give the bacteria time to increase in their capacity to convert wastes.> Thanks, Jessica Hi Bob, I have a 20 gallon high tank with 8 seahorses in it. Sometimes I feed at night and do not have time to siphon out any left over Mysis that they may not eat. Is this bad? <If these are either live Mysis or fresh-frozen ones of good quality, there is little likelihood of trouble. However, I strongly encourage you to change your feeding habits to offering food during light hours. In many studies of seahorses it has been found that they move onto feeding grounds in the early morning hours, feed during daylight, and move to deeper waters and stop feeding at night. Better for you to either change your feeding time to the AM or get/use timers to extend "daylight" into your evening time. At any length, I would not feed them within an hour of "lights out"> Will I hurt the seahorses? What happens to the water quality in my tank by morning? <If the Mysis decompose they may contribute to degradation of your water quality> If my ammonia reads zero before I feed shouldn't it be okay?? <Not easy to tell. Imagine that measures like ammonia concentration are dynamic... transient. They're here and then they're gone. It could be that your system converts the Mysis to non-toxic matter by the time you measure for such... but what about during the night?> Thanks, Terry

Seahorses - 4/3/03 Hi, <Hi, Paul here> I have a 10 gallon aquarium I would like to set up as a Seahorse only tank. <Very cool> What do I need and what can I do without? <Well, let's start with gaining considerable knowledge from a great many resources. I will point you in the direction and hopefully you will find your answers to all your questions and needs. So much has been said and written, and so many new sources of information are coming out all the time. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tube-mfi.htm and here http://www.seahorse.org/ (these guys are the real thing). I also like www.oceanrider.com as a place to find a little information and to purchase seahorses. I try to always purchase captive bred animals whenever I can for great many reasons. One of which is they seem to be a bit forgiving in the various tank conditions we all seem to keep, and secondly they tend to take prepared food easier as well> How many horses can I keep in there, salinity level, etc. <Everything you need to know is in the above links.> My husband and I are pretty familiar with marine aquarium. We have a 40 gallon set up of fish only right now but are interested on seahorses. <Cool. Knowledge is half the battle. Let you fingers and eyes be your guide> Can you help? <I am sure the links above will give you all you need to know> Thank you.

Seahorse care guide Bob and Crew, I just wanted to take a moment and let you know about the new seahorse care guide created by seahorse.org. I'm very excited about this because its been in planning for a while, and now its finally done. Its aimed at educating beginning seahorse keepers, and it was created to be given out at local fish stores. Since seahorses are becoming even more popular now, its our hopes to educate the new seahorse keeper on proper care and encourage them to buy captive bred. And maybe we can get LFSs to learn a bit too! <Good ideas> Here is a link to the care guide: http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/SeahorseFactsAndInfo.pdf I hope you like it. Please, feel free to copy it and share! <Thank you. Will post. Bob Fenner>

Raising dwarf seahorses (02/27/03) <Hi! Ananda here today...> I'm having a bit of a problem with my dwarf seahorses. I've been keeping six of them (started out with eight) in a ten gallon aquarium for about six months now. The filter I am using is a P150 tetra. I like this filter because it gives more than enough filtration and it allows you to adjust the outflow (two separate directions, if you wish) any direction you want it to minimize the current. I'm also using a sponge filter over the intake tube. <Good, I was worried about that.> My cleanup crew consists of 8 snails, between 5-10 micro stars and a colony of Mysis and Gammarus shrimp. not including live rock+sand. (which I have plenty of both) <Occasionally you can get critters on the live rock that will eat seahorse fry. I've read that hydroids can be a problem. Sometimes you even get hitchhikers big enough to eat the adult seahorses. Do check your rock for overly-large critters....> Mostly they eat the Mysis shrimp. I also hatch my own baby brine and spot feed them twice a day. They will not accept frozen (although I have gotten larger seahorses to do in the past) The difficult part is the fry. The horses breed readily and have within a few months after I got them. The problem is, after the male gives birth, within two-three days ALL of the fry is gone dead! I am allowing the male to give birth in the same tank with all the others ( I have more than one male) I'm sure that's part of my problem, but what difference would it make if the fry was raised in a separate tank? <They would have no competition for food. Also, even the tiny bit of current from your filter may be too much for them.> I'm positive they are not being eaten by the adults, I have plenty of food for everyone, and I'm using a sponge filter. <Which may still be too much filtration...> The main reason I don't want to transfer the male to a separate tank is the fact that seahorses are really delicate and I do not want to stress him out. Especially during this time. Is this a common problem? any advice? <Do check out the seahorse-specific forums: I know at least one person on seahorse.org is successfully raising dwarf horses. --Ananda>

Re: Erectus and Brittlestar system Hello again Bob; Thanks for your very fast response. I understand your concern for the tank size for the seahorses I plan on getting. I plan on getting the erectus species. I have been researching about keeping seahorses for the last 6 months, at Seahorse.org.  <Ah, well-informed folks there> Many people are having good luck with the captive bred seahorses but bad luck with the wild caught seahorses.  <Yes... has been the case for decades.> The minimum tank size people are using is around 25 to 30 gallons for 2 to 4 seahorses.  <I'd stick with two> (the erectus grow to around 5 inches in length.) The captive bred are also trained to eat frozen Mysis, but sometimes have to be target fed with a turkey baster. However...I already have it in the back of my mind that I may expand to a 75 gallon tank in the future. Thanks again; Kevin <Very good. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Brittle Star Question Hello Bob et al; My 29 gallon tank is done cycling. Ammonia and Nitrite are 0. Nitrates are 15 ppm and algae is starting to grow. I plan to keep a few seahorse plus a clean up crew.  <"A few"... do check on the needs of the species you have in mind... a 29 is not very large...> I have a couple of brittle stars that came with my live rock, that are about the size of a dime. (this size is including their legs) My question is, Will brittle stars be safe with my seahorses? I have heard from some hobbyists that brittle stars can eat fish once they get big. I think they are safe. I rarely see them, and they always just seem to be cleaning up the substrate, when I do see them. <Mmm, likely to be okay... only the one big-green one is real trouble in general... Do look into building/adding a refugium to grow food for your Seahorses...> Thanks for keeping a great web site for all of us that are learning!!! Kevin <A pleasure, honor and duty my friend. Bob Fenner>

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