Thinking of keeping seahorses? Don't be tempted to collect them from the wild in UK waters, as they are a protected species. There are now plenty of captive raised animals to be purchased in th hobby, they were a bit more difficult to source when I kept them. Around 2007, I decided I would like to try and keep sea horses and this is my journey

I purchased a Orca (Boyu) 450 as a all in one solution, everything was supplied, except the water.

 

Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium  

 

After adding mature live rock, sand and monitoring the water levels, after a bout a week it was time to source some horses. I was lucky enought to find someone selling a pair in York and purchased them for collection the next week. With the rock, some caulerpa prolifera and coral frags, the horses were introduced. Clean up crew consisted of 4x Nassaurius snails.

Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium

The horses are funny things to watch eating. They actively hunt the frozen mysis before suddenly gulping the food in. They are amazing to watch as sometimes they will allow the food to float straight past their mouths and go in search of some on the substrate. When swallowing the food, little clouds of "dust" can be seen coming from the gills. I am assuming this is the shell of the shrimp being expelled, but don't know for certain. Frozen brine shrimp is normally ignored, not sure why. I am going to try and train them to eat it as although not very nutritious on their own, brine shrimp can be gut loaded with spirulina and omega 3 to give them a more balanced diet.

Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
   

Once a feeding regime was in place (they had to be fed a minimum 3 times per day due to having no stomach), the colours came out on them. I had no idea the colour they would become, when I saw them in the previous keepers tank, (which was a refugium on the end of a 5 foot system) they were black too. Enriched mysis produced the fabulous yellow colour you see below.

Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium Sea horse aquarium
Sea horse aquarium  

I kept these for about a year before admitting to myself that  the system really wasn't big enough, they like to have height to  swim up and down. the amount of food being fed also meant water changes had to be kept on top of with such a small volume of water. At the time, I couldn't provide them with the  accommodation they needed, so I was able to trade them in at my local aquarium store where they were placed in their display system.

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