Seahorses-Common Questions and Answers



Below are common questions and answers about our captive bred seahorses. 

What Seahorse Species is a good beginner seahorse?

We recommend our H. erectus seahorses. This is our main production seahorse species at our farm and we always have them available. We work with multiple varieties of H. erectus which can all be kept together. These are a hardy species, active, beautiful and have lots of personality.


What do Seahorse Savvy captive bred seahorses eat and how often?

Our larger species of captive bred seahorse including H. erectus, H. comes, H. reidi, are all completely weaned to frozen Mysis shrimp. We use Hikari BioPure Mysis and recommend you use the same brand. This comes in a purple package with a seahorse on it. We recommend you use the same since this is what the seahorses from our farm are use to eating. 

Our captive bred Dwarf seahorses, H. zosterae, are eating enriched live Artemia nauplii (baby brine shrimp). We use our own in-house enrichment which is also available on our website to keepers.


Are Seahorses Hard to Keep?

Captive bred seahorses like our H. erectus are completely trained to eat frozen Mysis shrimp and use to life in an aquarium. Unlike wild seahorses they do very well given proper conditions. They do have specific care requirements but if these are met we would not consider them difficult to care for. 

Our captive bred Dwarf seahorses, H. zosterae, eat live enriched Artemia nauplii (baby brine shrimp). Dwarf seahorses are passive eaters and need to graze throughout the day. Frozen foods can not be left in the aquarium all day as they will foul the water. Dwarf seahorses really need live baby brine shrimp to thrive long term. Culturing and enriching baby brine shrimp is time consuming, takes practice and is not for everyone. We highly recommend trying this and makings sure your schedule allows for this before considering keeping Dwarf seahorses.


What is a captive bred seahorse?

Captive bred seahorses are seahorses born and raised in an aquarium. Captive bred seahorses like ours are use to life in an aquarium, eat frozen Mysis shrimp, and do well when properly kept. Wild seahorses often do not take frozen food, often have parasites, can be shy and harder to care for. 


What temperature do you keep seahorses at?

We recommend and keep our captive bred seahorses such as H. erectus at 70-74 F. We highly recommend this temperature range. Higher temperatures can make seahorses more susceptible to bacterial related issues, stress and other issues. Keeping your seahorses at this lower temperature range is key to long term success. 


How long do seahorses live for?

Our larger seahorse species such as H. erectus, H. comes, H. reidi can be expected to live 4-7+ years with proper care. There have been reports of these species living over 12 years in captivity. 


Do seahorses change color?

Absolutely. All seahorses change color based on surroundings, lighting, mood and many other factors. Color is not fixed in seahorses. 


Can I get an orange or red seahorse?

Orange and red are not common colors seen in captive bred seahorses or seahorses kept in captivity. 


What corals can I keep with my seahorses?

Most soft corals including leathers, Discosoma mushrooms, Ricordea mushrooms, and Gorgonians are considered safe to keep with your larger seahorse species.


What fish can I keep with my seahorses?

Small gobies, mandarins, Royal gramma basslets, Scooter dragonets, Pajama carinals, Bangaii cardinals and other small fish tend to be find with the larger seahorse species. Large fish should be avoided. Seahorses can be easily out competed for food and do not handle aggression well. 



What size aquarium do seahorses need?

A 30 gallon minimum aquarium size is recommended for a pair of H. erectus or similar size species. An additional 15 or more gallons is recommended for every additional pair of seahorses you wish to keep. A larger aquarium such as a 45-75 gallon or larger is even better. Seahorses such as H. erectus reach 4-8+ inches with maturity and really thrive in a larger aquarium.


What filtration does a seahorse aquarium need?

Seahorses are messy eaters and eat a lot. For this reason, an oversized protein skimmer is a must in our experience. A UV sterilizer is not a must but is very beneficial. A sump is highly recommend with filter socks, biological media such as MarinePure media, heater and return pump. Canister filters can work but should be maintenance often. If your heater is in the display aquarium it should be covered. If your seahorse hitches to the heater it can burn your seahorse.


What kind of water flow do seahorses need?

Having moderate to slightly higher water flow is recommended. A powerhead may also be needed but should be covered to prevent injury to the seahorses.

**Low flow is NOT recommended. Captive bred seahorses like ours have been raised in moderate to higher flow and can handle it. Low flow will create problems. 


What water parameters are recommend for seahorses?


Recommended Level

Specific Gravity





8-12 Dkh

Ammonia (NH3)


Nitrite (NO2)


Nitrate (NO3)


Phosphate (PO4)



350-450 PPM


1250-1350 PPM


70-74 F



How do you tell the difference between male and female seahorses?

Male seahorses have a broodpouch where they carry the fry, females do not. Yes, male seahorse get pregnant and give birth. Male seahorses are "D" shape where females are more "P" shape. Males are generally more broad-chested than females.


Do seahorses mate for life?

In captivity we do not find this to be true. Our breeding stock is often colony bred and they often change mates. Our captive bred seahorses pair up easily and will often change mates if given choices. If their mate passes they will often pair up with another seahorse with no issues. Captive bred and kept seahorses do not mate for life in our experience.


Will my seahorse be ok alone?

Seahorses are social animals. They should not be kept alone long term. They do well with another seahorse around or in a group. If you only have two seahorses and one passes the remaining one will be ok for a little while. It is sometimes a good idea to not replace the seahorse right away to make sure everything is ok with your remaining seahorse and aquarium. If all is well within a couple weeks you should be fine to go ahead and add another seahorse. Seahorses tend to be a lot more active and comfortable with other seahorses around. 


Will my seahorses breed in my aquarium?

If you keep male and female seahorses together they will more than likely figure out how to breed eventually in the aquarium.


Can I keep all male or all female seahorses together, same sex herds?

Absolutely. All males or all female seahorses can be kept together with no issues. This is recommended for those who do not want to try to raise fry. When keeping all female herds there is a possibility that a female seahorse may change to male but this is very uncommon.


Will male seahorses fight?

Male seahorses may chase or snick at other male seahorses when competing and displaying for a female seahorse. This is especially common around a full moon or when a female has a ripened clutch of eggs and is ready to transfer to the male. Male seahorses are not going to harm one another even though this can appear intense.

Will my captive bred seahorse stop accepting frozen Mysis shrimp if offered live food?

This does not always happen but they can get a bit snobby with their frozen food if given live food such as grass shrimp or live Mysis shrimp. We do not see this behavior when we offer our seahorses live enriched adult size brine shrimp.


Thank you for reading. If you have any additional questions reach out. We are happy to help.


Phone: 410-618-3604