A few weeks ago we wrote about the exquisite weedy seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). To our surprise we found a pictures of the weedy seadragon posted by Reef Life Aquatics and we are told they will be receiving a shipment of three captive bred dragons next week. Two have been sold but there are still two available.
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your very own weedy seadragon this may be for you. However if you do decide to keep one make sure you do your homework first. Weedy seadragons need a very special type of environment, and require lots of care. These animals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.
Weedy Seadragon in the wild. Photo courtesy of saspotato via flickr.
We found some basic information about how to care for weedy seadragons, but we want to stress the importance of understanding their unique requirements, and having the proper equipment setup before you decide to keep one. The weedy seadragon is highly sensitive to environmental changes and you will need to have a daily maintenance routine to care for these animals and their tank.
Weedy seadragon are in the same family as seahorses however they lack a prehensile tale, which common seahorses use to anchor themselves to sea weed or to seagrass. Weedy seadragons are poor swimmers and will either stay still, or move very slowly, so they need to be living in a very low flow environment.
In the wild weedy seadragons can be found living in seaweed beds or seagrass meadows. Their leafy appendages make for a perfect camouflage.
Weedy seadragons cannot eat anything larger than the opening of their slender snout. Image BBC one
Weedy seadragons will require a special diet of live planktons, mysid shrimp, fish larvae, copepods and other small crustaceans . The weedy seadragon lacks teeth and eats through suction. In the wild weedy seadragons with poke around in small crevices or under rocks to find food, and anything the seadragon eats has to be the size of their snout or smaller.
Temperature and light are also important for keeping a healthy happy seadragon. Weedy seadragons are endemic to the Southern coast of Australia so you will want to make sure your water temperature and the photoperiod of your lights aligns with whats going on down under.
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