Basic Standards for a Seahorse Tank

Setting up a seahorse tank is slightly different than your average saltwater tank 

Basic goals are:


  • Tank Size – anything 20 gallons or larger
  • Lighting – enough to grow caulerpa (ka-ler-pa) or seaweed  It doesn’t matter what kind or color  More than a single, low wattage bulb.
  • Filtration – Anything will do
  • Circulation – Low, a single 100 to 150 gph power head in a 20 to 30 gallon works
  • Landscaping – Seaweed and a few rocks will do
  • Substrates – 1 inch or less of the finer #0 aragonite- no plenum needed

Set up and cycle with our live sand and ammonium chloride.  After roughly 3 weeks we will give you live seaweed to plant. Keep the lights on 14 hours and the pumps going. We will also give you more ammonium chloride. Once a week you will add 2-3 ml. This keeps the bacteria at a maximum and more importantly produce nitrates. Nitrates are fertilizer for the seaweed. As the seaweed grows you see hundreds of tiny copapods (co-pa-pods)   These are natural foods for seahorses. When you have a good growth of seaweed you’re ready to saddle up  (See Seahorse Tips)

Let me know when you’re ready and I’ll order seahorses. It is easy to get tank raised seahorses but they are only half grown – about 3″ tall.   I recommend 2 females and 1 male. Different species are available such as  H. reidi, H. kuda, H. kelloggi and H. erectus. A great descriptive website is Seahorse Source.

I’ll let you in on a secret. The brightly colored red, orange and yellow seahorses are that color because of their surroundings. The seahorses are kept in a tank with brightly colored red, orange and yellow plastic plants. They will mimic their surroundings, Black ones will turn yellow, I recommend you don’t.

If possible pick up your new arrivals on shipping day and acclimate (see Dripline Plus ) them directly into your tank. Read Seahorse Keeping and Care & Feeding of Seahorses for more information.

Hippocampus Reidi

H kuda

H. Kuda

H. Sp.

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