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Black Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)

The Black Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is quite possibly the most popular Seahorse to be kept in an saltwater aquarium. They are extremely hardy and very lively making them fun to watch. Even though they are called the Black Seahorse this species actually has the ability to change their coloration to match their surroundings. This makes them a master of disguise making it hard for potential predators to spot them.

Also known as the Lined Seahorse or the Northern Seahorse, they can grow to about 8" in maximum length. An aquarium of at least 30 gallons is recommended with the following water conditions, dKH 8-12, 68-78° F, pH 8.0-8.4, and sg 1.021-1.025. The Black Seahorse can be kept in pairs or even in small groups if you have a large enough aquarium. They also do well with Pipefish, Firefish and some smaller Gobies. This species of Seahorse are carnivores that can be fed frozen Mysis Shrimp and amphipods that are found in live rock.

If you have been lucky enough to see these Seahorses mate you know what a treat it is. The male Seahorse will preform a series of dances while he is changing colors. The male and female will then take each others tails and dance to the top of the aquarium. At this point the female Black Seahorse deposits her eggs into the male's pouch where they will stay for a couple weeks. The male can give birth to up to 300 babies at once! I highly recommend getting a pair of these if you want to witness the magic. A mated pair will even say their good mornings to each other by doing a little dance for one another. You can watch part of this bizarre mating ritual below...

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