Last week’s Tuesday Tank post focused on Kirin, my largest and most dominant female. Today, I’m introducing Vega–Kirin’s sister and broodmate. When the seahorses arrived from the breeder last December, Vega was the only one who stood out instantly; she was black, while the others had snakeskin patterning. According to the breeder, Vega was the largest and strongest of the more than two hundred baby seahorses in the birth group. She was also one of the few who took on solid coloring early in life, which also distinguished her from her mottled siblings. She was the first of the babies to leaveRead more
How Big Are Those Seahorses, Anyway?
People often ask about my seahorses–starting with the obvious “why” and branching out from there. One of the common questions that follows is “How big are they?” (An alternate variation is, “How big is your tank”–the answer is sixty gallons.) There are over 40 species of seahorses, all members of the family Syngnathidae (which includes seahorses, sea dragons, pipefish, and pipe horses) and the genus Hippocampus (which translates “sea-monster horse”). The smallest seahorses are Pygmy Seahorses, which reach an average size of 0.6-0.8″ (yep, that’s not a typo–the adults are under an inch in length). They can be kept in captivity, but they’re among the most difficult seahorsesRead more
Most people are startled to discover that I keep seahorses. The reaction doesn’t surprise me. For most of us, seahorses inhabit a mental space somewhere between sharks and dragons–real, but almost mythological, and exotic enough that we see them in public aquariums, if at all. Even then, it’s sometimes difficult to catch a glimpse, between the crowds in front of the tank and the seahorses’ expert skills at camouflage. I’ve adored seahorses all my life, but decided to start keeping them in 2010–eighteen months after my father died. After doing “responsible things” with most of the money I inherited from him, my husband suggestedRead more
Baby Seahorses on the Reef
Those who follow my Facebook Page already know, but in mid-December I bought some new baby seahorses to join my bachelor male, Ghillie, on the reef. The babies arrived two weeks before Christmas. One had a little trouble with the end of his tail (he couldn’t use it properly) After 14 days in the hospital, the two strongest babies were ready to enter the reef… The babies met Ghillie a few hours later–he was afraid of them at first, but quickly realized they didn’t mean him any harm. He even showed them how to use a feeding bowl: The otherRead more
Seahorse Date Night
Many people don’t realize that seahorses mate for life, or that mated pairs show affection toward one another. Ghillie and Ceti spend much of the day in separate parts of the tank. Ghillie is timid and likes to hide, while Ceti likes to explore and hunt for little crustaceans in the rocks. In the evenings, however, they often spend time together, “holding tails” or swimming side by side. They also come together at meal times, and not only because of the food. They seem to enjoy one another’s company–and Ghillie becomes less shy in Ceti’s presence, both because of his urgeRead more