Hippocampus kuda Seahorses (Spotted or Yellow Seahorse)
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Hippocampus kuda (Spotted or Yellow Seahorse)
Seahorses belong to the family Syngnathidae (meaning “fused jaw), along with pipefish, pipehorses, and the rarer sea dragons. The Spotted Seahorse is one of the most iconic seahorses. This species can express a wide range of coloration and patterns, making for a beautiful and unique species that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
These seahorses are found in a wide array of habitats in the wild, from grass flats, shallow coral and oyster reefs, mangrove estuaries, and even living around man-made structures such as docks, seawalls, bridges, and pylons for their entire lives. This allows for many creative options when deciding on what tank theme to choose. With their masterful camouflage combined with a prehensile tail and turreted eyes, one cannot help but vaguely compare them to a chameleon.
The diet of the Spotted Seahorse consists of live copepods, amphipods, brine shrimp, and marine feeder shrimps. These H. kuda accept frozen foods such as frozen brine and mysis since they are captive bred, but its diet should still be supplemented with live feedings at least once a week. This species does best being fed 2-3 times per day instead of a single large feeding.
Spotted Seahorses can achieve almost 12 inches in length, with an adult size 7-8 inches not being uncommon. A single individual or pair should be kept in nothing less than a 29 gal, and no more than 4 per 55 gallons. This seahorse (like most other Syngnathids) prefers to be kept communally in pairs or small groups. Plenty of hiding places within the tank are necessary to make your seahorse feel secure. This species can be housed with other peaceful fishes, as long as they are not large enough to see the seahorse as a prey item, or out-compete the seahorse for food during feeding time.
Preferred Water Parameters: dKH: 8-12
Temperature: 68-78° F (68-72° preferred for normal husbandry, 75-78° for breeding) pH 8.0-8.4
Salinity (ppt): 23-35 ppt (32 ppt is recommended)
Reef Compatible: Use caution with stinging corals/anemones, as well as small ornamental shrimps.
Native Habitat: Indo-Pacific Ocean, and has been introduced to the Mediterranean Sea.