Temperature Range for Keeping Seahorses in the Home Aquarium

What is a Good Temperature Range for Seahorses?

Temperature is very important with seahorses! For most species of seahorse such as H. erectusH. reidiH. kudaH. comesH. zosterea (Dwarf seahorses), and other species (not cold-water species such as H. abdominalis) we highly recommend keeping your aquarium between 70-74 F. This is a cooler temperature ranges than recommended for most saltwater aquariums. Most saltwater aquariums and reef aquariums are kept at 76-80 F. Seahorses have a primitive immune system. For this reason are more susceptible to bacterial related issues compared to other fish. Keeping your aquarium temperature in this cooler range will help keep down harmful bacterial counts such as Vibrio sp. and therefore reduce the likelihood of your seahorses coming down with bacterial related issues. A lot of bacterial strains multiply exponentially with every temperature degree higher. Keeping the temperatures in this cooler range also seems to reduce stress in our experience.

Many fish and corals do just fine in this cooler temperature range as well. We have kept many varieties of soft corals, invertebrates (clean-up crew) and fish with seahorses at this temperature range with no issues.

Hippocampus erectus seahorse hitched to a toadstool leather coral. Photo credit Savannah D.

We find temperature to be one of the most important factors to long term success with seahorses. We really like to emphasize on this as it is often overlooked or something new seahorse keepers are not aware of. 

Hippocampus reidi                           H. erectus


If your aquarium is kept warmer and out of the recommended 70-74 F temperature range it can cause acclimation issues if you receive seahorses and they are at this range. Big jumps in temperature (even with a 30 minute temperature acclimation) can lead to stress, especially after shipping and acclimation to their new home. If you are receiving seahorses from our farm it is very important to have your temperature in our recommend temperature range. 

Learn more about how to acclimate your new seahorses to your aquarium from our farm here:



H. erectus, breeding seahorses at our farm.

Pot Belly Seahorses, Hippocampus abdominalis

Pot Belly seahorses, Hippocampus abdominalis, is a cold-water species native to Australia and New Zealand. This is one of the largest seahorse species reaching up to 10-12 inches. This species is seen available in the trade and given proper conditions they are easy to keep. They produce very large fry as well. The recommended temperature range for this species is 65-67 F. Since they reach such large sizes we recommend a 100 gallon minimum aquarium size for a small group of them (2-6 seahorses). A larger aquarium is even better, they will enjoy and use the space.

Hippocampus abdominalis, Pot belly also known as Big Belly seahorse. Photo credit Felicia McCaulley.

We hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us, we are happy to share our experience and help. Your questions help us improve our content and let us know where we can clarify for others. We appreciate the questions and feedback you may have. 

Email: alyssa@seahorsesavvy.com

Phone: 410-618-3604

H. erectus