The seahorse discussion thread

Discussion in 'Other Livestock' started by Dane, 1 Mar 2012.

  1. Dane

    Dane

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    Please tell us the exact difference between pen raised and captive bred. Are these wild caught juveniles that are then raised in pens?

    That is very different to captive bred...
     
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  3. ken

    ken

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    Pen raised is done in countries like thailand, indonisia where they build large shallow ponds in the ocean and harvest juveniles from there and claim they are captive bred.. They still have the parasites and pathogens that any wild caught sea horse has.. Which if introduced into a closed systems such as our tanks.. can reek havoc.. Pathogens are deadly to coral and fish and once introduced to a system u have to take it all apart.. Sterilize everything and start all over again.. Wild caught has a huge reputation for not surviving in our tanks cz they very seldom take to eating frozen foods.. Captive breds on the other hand are allot easier to take care of and because they are born and raised in aquariums they don't carry the pathogens wild caughts do.. Due to a handful of dedicated seahorse breeders in south Africa we are very slowly but surely trying to introduce pure captive bred ponies for all hobbiests who would love u to keep them..
     
  4. Renannchen

    Renannchen

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  5. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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    Not sure what your question is but :

    *YES you can keep more than one seahorse in a tank. Species and size of tank and sea-horse plays a role.
    *NO you can not keep them with other fish or in a sump, they need a Seahorse dedicated tank
    *IT is not recommended that different species are mixed.
    * Seahorses in the wild are often found vast distances appart - Captive bred often enjoy each others company but I have seen sea-horses show agression towards each other, which has even led to the death or serious injury of those involved in the fight
     
  6. Renannchen

    Renannchen

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    thank you for clearing that up! I' want to connect another tank to my reef tank and make that a dedicated sea horse tank, is that possible?
     
  7. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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    Brilliant idea, slow water movement is important but the filtration from the main tank will ensure stability of water parameters and it does add the "ag shame" factor to the people admiring the tank;)
     
  8. Renannchen

    Renannchen

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    ok perfect now the question how do i get them in the freestate safe?
     
  9. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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    Helga,

    Please see my other post - you can not keep Sea-horses in a refugium - a common mistake many first time Seahorse keepers make .

    As far as the comments about Pathogens affecting your main tank this is in itself a misunderstanding. Wild Caught Seahorses will carry pathogens, worms etc. that would cause the death of a captive bred Sea-horse not the fish in your tank.

    Captive bred sea-horses are more normally highly priced and easy to keep but you need to play by certain rules in order to keep them
     
  10. Helga

    Helga

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    Thanks for clarifying the issue Sea-Horse.

    Just a question? (sorry did not see your other post about seahorses in refugiums)...... Reason why they could not be kept in a refugium?
    I have a 550mm X 450mm X 600mm Display refugium with a DSB that is connected to my main DT. The flow is medium to low. Have Caulerpa and chaeto growing in.... not overgrown though. I keep it tidy as it is also for display of the thousands of little "goggas".
     
  11. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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    Helga

    Allow me to be a bit lazy (actually hectically busy). Please visit the seahorse.forum.org website and do a search for refugiums. A number of members explain why experienced has taught them not to do so.

    This does not mean that a second tank with a slow flow of water from the main system can not be put in place. Feel free to ask questions, many of the guys on the forum are in themselves massive Captive bred seahorse suppliers to their own countries not expoerters

    Andre
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2012
  12. Helga

    Helga

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    Thanks!!!
    Got some reading to do!
     
  13. Helga

    Helga

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    Sea-Horse, I think were in danger of hijacking Moolis' thread here. I did some reading about seahorses. It seems the tank (refugium... thats what I call it) is perfect for the ponies. But I wil PM you for further info on caring for them.;)
     
  14. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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  15. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

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  16. Sea-Horse

    Sea-Horse

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    :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Mar 2012
  17. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Seahorses CAN be kept with other fish, although the list of fish is short, it has been and is still being done without issue.
     
  18. timinnl

    timinnl

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    Greetings from Amsterdam,

    I took this off the org.

    Seahorses are well known for being in the “harder to keep” category of marine fish, so it should come as no surprise that one cannot just walk into the local fish store, take that cute little yellow one home, and expect it to come without problems. The thing is, seahorses don’t have to be that difficult. You just have to start with the right seahorses: captive bred. Unfortunately, that can actually be harder than it seems.

    The labels “Captive Bred (CB)”, “Tank Raised (TR)”, and “Wild Caught (WC)”, don’t always mean what you think they mean. Well, WC usually does, but the other two can be deceiving. The only sure way to know what you are getting, is to know who bred and raised them. Really. The labels “CB” and “TR” are just an indicator that the seahorses did not come directly from the ocean to the wholesaler, but they are not necessarily an indicator that the seahorses will be parasite-free, or even trained onto frozen foods. Remember, those labels are put in place by the source and/or by the wholesaler; and, there is not a standardized system or a regulating body to enforce what is being given those labels. At the time that this article is being written, the label “captive bred” tends to be more reliable than the label “tank raised”; however, that is simply a circumstance of the industry at this time. For the most up-to-date information on which sources and labeling to trust, I recommend doing some searches right here on our discussion forums. Of course, it always helps to know exactly where they came from.

    An overview of the labels:

    Wild Caught: This one is easy. It pretty much always means exactly that. The seahorse was caught in the wild, and then transported, eventually, to the retailer. The length of the chain of custody before it reaches your hands depends a lot on where it was collected, and by whom. These seahorses are typically larger than their “tank raised” and “captive bred” counterparts because no expense is incurred to grow them out. Depending on their method of collection and the chain of custody, they could be under varying degrees of stress, illness, and starvation. Seahorses, as a whole, tend to be prone to internal parasites, so worms are common in wild caught seahorses. Treatment for both internal and external parasites during quarantine is advisable. Wild caught seahorses are also used to taking live foods. They will not necessarily take to frozen foods right away, and some may never take to frozen foods. Those will need live foods provided for them for the duration of their lives. The degree of difficulty training to frozen foods varies, both by species and by individual. They are also typically not accustomed to aquarium life or human interaction, which can add to the stress and to the difficulty acclimating them to captive care. This is obviously not the ideal “easy” seahorse for a new keeper. If the source of the seahorse is unknown, assume it is wild caught. This is especially true if the seahorse is larger.

    Captive Bred: When it comes to seahorses, “captive bred” typically means seahorses that have been conceived, born, and raised in captivity. The degree to which this is actually true for your “CB” seahorse will vary. At the time this article is being written, the label “captive bred” is most often being used by reputable seahorse breeding facilities whose seahorses are often multiple generations captive bred, in closed systems using artificial seawater or appropriately filtered and treated natural seawater. These seahorses are typically parasite-free and trained to frozen foods. However, anyone can label their seahorses as “captive bred” and try to pass them off as such. It is possible for a seahorse that is labeled “captive bred” to have been born and raised in various “degrees” of captivity. For example, seahorses can be raised within flow through systems where natural seawater is pumped in without first filtering for pathogens, or within net pens placed in the ocean. Those seahorses may or may not have parasites, and may or may not take frozen foods. These would also technically fall into the realm of “captive bred”, even though they are not what the hobbyist has come to expect of the label. This is why it is so important not to just get the label correct, but to know where your seahorses are coming from. Remember, just because the seahorse is eating frozen foods, doesn't mean the seahorse is captive bred!

    Tank Raised: At this time, “tank raised” is the label most well known for being deceiving. Many of the “TR” seahorses at retailers have unknown backgrounds and a variety of health issues. The net pens set up in southeast Asia with the intent to supply the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) market while lessening the impact on native populations have had unpleasant consequences on the seahorse hobbyist. In addition to supplying seahorses for TCM, these net pens are also supplying seahorses to the marine ornamental industry. Many of these seahorses are labeled “TR”, and though they may have spent some time in a tank, while being trained to frozen foods, or while in holding for shipping, they do not match up with what most hobbyists are expecting from a “tank raised” seahorse. They do not always accept frozen foods and have as much of a likelihood of internal parasites as their wild caught counterparts. Actually, since these seahorses have been kept in large groups in net pens and flow through systems, sometimes in areas that they are not native to, they have had more opportunity to pick up pathogens from each other, and from the native seahorses, than wild caught seahorses typically would. Some of them may not even be born in captivity, since fry and juveniles can pass through the net both directions, and since wild caught adults can be collected and added to the nets on a continual basis. That being said, there are some seahorses which have been conceived, born, and raised in genuine aquaculture conditions that are getting an undeserved bad reputation from their “TR” label. Of course, the only true way to know which is which, is to know where your seahorses came from. “TR” seahorses, especially “tank raised H. kelloggi”, have had an absolutely dismal survival record lately, even with experienced hobbyist keepers. H. comes and H. kuda (with the exception of the H. kuda truely captive bred from Australia) also seem to be riddled with problems lately. And, while there are a number of reliable sources for H. reidi, they are coming from a number of questionable sources, too. With that in mind, extra research should probably be done before taking any of those species home from the LFS.

    So how do you get the frozen-trained, parasite-free, healthy, well-adjusted seahorses you’re looking for?

    Know who bred the seahorses. Sometimes buying directly from the breeder is the easiest way to know, but breeders do also sell to retailers and wholesalers. Whether it’s a commercial breeder or a hobbyist, do the best you can to find out where the seahorses came from and to find out the reputation of the breeder. Often times, the reputation of the breeder is well-known, but if it is a little known breeder, you may have to ask around. Just be sure to be comfortable with the source before you get the seahorses. Whatever you do, please don’t “rescue” seahorses. It only encourages the behavior that made the seahorses in need of rescue in the first place.


    An addendum: Evidently, there are also sources selling seahorses labeled as "aquacultured" and "maricultured" as well, so more definitions are in order.

    Aquacultured: typically represents species that are reared in closed, recirculating systems. Theoretically, you want this. They ought to be parasite free and healthy. That being said, I am personally not familiar with what sources are using the aquaculture label, and whether or not anyone is mis-using the label, so I couldn't tell you whether or not that's actually what you'll be getting. However, assuming it is an accurate label, it is a good thing.

    Maricultured: typically represents species that are reared in flow through systems open to the ocean or in enclosures in the ocean. Theoretically, you wouldn't want this, parasites and all involved. It would be relatively synonymous with what we have come to expect from the Tank Raised label. However, as far as I'm aware, it is sometimes used to label perfectly healthy, captive bred seahorses, so it is no guarantee that the horses are less healthy. I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but again, you really need to know who raised your seahorses in order to know what you're getting yourself into.

    Kind Regards,

    Tim

    PS, The tank raised ones are sometimes sold as: tank bred, cage raised or pen raised.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2013
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