Hippocampus Abdominalis, otherwise known as Seahorses.
The seahorse is a magical creature often adored but rarely seen. So, how much do we really know about our little curly-tailed friends?
Did you know that seahorses are actually fish? Natural Range Southern Knight Seahorses are temperate marine fish found in coastal waters of south-eastern Australia and New Zealand. They can grow to a maximum 20-25cm in Australian waters and up to 30cm in New Zealand due to the cooler climate.
These cute little creatures can live up to 9 years of age!
Seahorses are a gentle species and are best kept without any other fish, so they don't have to try and compete for food. The Southern Knight Seahorses needs to be trained to eat frozen food, including brine shrimp and frozen plankton. They should never be fed exclusively on brine shrimp and an ideal diet should consist of small frozen krill, mysis shrimp and mixed ocean plankton that are all readily available and make ideal foods. Always ensure that no uneaten food remains in the aquarium. The recommended homing arrangement for our bobbing pals is 4-6 seahorses per 40 litres of saltwater to allow for growth, and allow at least 50 litres of water for each adult pair of Southern Knight Seahorses with a water temperature of 15øC - 21C, pH: 8.0-8.4, SG: 1.020.
Another interesting fact about these crafty little characters, is they know how to mimic their surroundings when hiding from predators or prey and when attempting to communicate during courtship displays and territorial disputes. Unlike most fish,seahorses have no teeth; instead, they suck in food through their snout!
How is this for a modern-age man? When Seahorses breed, the male holds the eggs in his pouch and gives birth to hundreds of tiny live seahorses! What a guy! Males can be recognized by their belly pouch. They actually inflate the pouch to its max to try and impress potential lady friends. Showy fellas. During spawning, females transfer their eggs to the males pouch where they are nurtured for about 30-50 days, depending on temperature. Large specimens release broods of 300 - 400 fry. In the wild, males release 3 or 4 broods over summer and begin breeding at 4 months of age. Newborns are about 21mm long and can be fed on live baby brine shrimp.
Southern Knight Seahorses make a fascinating and enjoyable pet. They are also quite easy to keep - if given a few simple requirements such as the correct temperature, filtered water, regular water changes, and correct feeding, you could find yourself with a long-time companion!
Thanks to our friends at Aquarium Industries for this fun information.