It is an astounding sight to see a seahorse in your house, one of the wonders of marine life. This beautiful sea creature is unique and requires a specialized system in which to grow. To cater to its survival needs, a variety of tanks are available in the market. The seahorses require tailor-made tanks, like coral tanks. Due to their ability to hold a multitude of different species. Despite being unique in their care requirements, they are pretty easy to maintain (and even reproduce). They need proper maintenance and the specific type of fish aquarium system, with appropriate tankmates and fed the recommended fish food. In addition, they can be incredibly rewarding to watch as they swim.
The Seahorse (Genus Hippocampus) is a member of the Syngnathidae Family, along with pipefish and seadragons. There are about 50 seahorse species in all. It is easily recognizable by its upright posture. Their only means of swimming is with their dorsal and modified pectoral fins. Rather than a tail fin, they have a long and strengthened tail called a prehensile tail.
Their feature includes an array of plates instead of scales. To differentiate them from other species, you need to look for their specific attributes, like their horse-like head shape coupled with their slender, elongated snouts and crooked necks. They live in shallow, protected bays and estuaries with relatively calm water.
If you want a saltwater aquarium pet, a seahorse is a good choice. The seahorse is actually a species of pipefish that resides in warm ocean waters. The challenge of keeping them alive can be formidable. This means that you should try to gather as much information about keeping them as possible before making a purchase.
How much does a seahorse cost?
This creature will bestow your aquarium with its glaze and charm. To keep these mesmerizing animals in your home tank, you should be prepared to invest some money.
They are pretty costly as it is not uncommon for seahorses to cost anywhere from $45 to $250, depending on their species. Among the cheaper species are the dwarf and standard seahorse species, as well as paired and grouping seahorses, which will cost you anywhere from $8 to $180.
The black giant can cost anywhere from $25 to $80, depending on the size. Larger species, no matter the species, are at the higher end of the price range. Breeders may also provide starter kits that include food, a temporary aquarium, and care instructions.
The price varies according to the specification. You may have to pay a different range depending on age range, size, organism or species, sexual orientation, the shade of colors, distance required for shipping.
In the pet trade, males get sold in paired units, and sometimes they carry babies. Typical seahorse populations can produce up to 1,500 eggs – with smaller ones producing more eggs.
The species can have different colors, ranging from black to brown to a reddish-maroon to a golden color. In terms of needed space, a seahorse can cover anywhere between 4 and 12 inches, depending on the species.
Seahorses have very particular tastes in food. It’s important to know what type of food it loves. Shrimp is one of their favorites. It is very important when you are planning a vacation to have someone watch and feed them every day. This should be the case for any pet with a sensitive diet.
While purchasing a seahorse, it is best to look at their breathing pattern. The healthy ones will breathe slowly, will eat normally, and will float freely without struggling. The truth is, seahorses aren’t strong swimmers, so an aquarium with a strong current won’t be great for them. The best option for keeping them is with other pipefish and some gobies. If you notice any signs of aggression, be sure to remove the aggressive seahorse since it might be taking food from the others.
Additional costs to consider
If you want to set up an aquarium for seahorses, you’ll need one that has a functioning saltwater fish tank. You should be ready to spend at least $300 just to get started. The Petco website recommends having an aquarium whose size is at least 29 gallons, with a water temperature of 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Eventually, you should also add artificial plants and corals to this tank for the seahorses to grab onto with their tails and live rock mimics to give the tank a perfect natural habitat.
If you already have an aquarium, you can consider adding accessories like a sponge filter ($5) and a heater ($15 to $25). According to Seahorse.com, for instance, you should plan to spend approximately $300 to $500 to set up a quality aquarium environment.
Online breeders may require a small fee for expedited shipping, usually no more than $50 because of the nature of shipping. A seahorse eats specific food, including shrimp, krill, copepods, and frozen Mysis shrimp. Approximately $25 to $35 per month should be budgeted for food alone.
How can I save some money?
It may make sense to buy the items locally so you can avoid any shipping fees. Try Craigslist to see if any owner is selling off their seahorse on the site, along with the already built habitat. This way, you get everything needed, including the pet, for much less than you would pay if you were buying everything brand new.
Some pet owners purchase multiple sea horses at once as they are housed together in pairs. When you buy more than three at a time, a pet store may bring the cost down.
These creatures are a delight to watch, and you will have an incredible experience petting them. The calm and soothe they provide to your eyes are beyond imagination.