zosterae are members of the
family Syngnathidae. The dwarf seahorse is among
the smallest of
the 32 cataloged species of seahorses. They
only grow to an adult
1.2-2 inches. This seahorse’s
native habitat ranges from Bermuda
to Florida and
throughout the Gulf of Mexico. They frequent the brackish water of bays
and estuaries as well as the open ocean.
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inarguably one of the most elegant of all the diverse creatures found
ocean. There is something about the slow graceful movements of a
can hold an onlooker spellbound.
Dwarf seahorses are
most typically found in varying shades of white, yellow, or brown. Of
color is nothing more than a state of mind to a seahorse. Both color
darkness will morph depending on mood, stress and levels of excitement.
will also adapt their coloration to their surroundings or even their
plant. Some dwarves are striped. Still others have lighter or darker
patterns on their bodies. Because they are such tiny little creatures,
are often referred to as seaponies.
Seahorses are very
slow moving, timid animals. As such they make an easy target for
by species that are generally considered peace loving. They are slow
are apt to loose out on dinner to faster species. They do not have the
temperament necessary to compete for their food and will often go
forced to do so. Bottom dwellers such as smaller hermit crabs,
crustaceans and snails make suitable tank mates. They will also fend
more docile species of fish such as gobies and blennies. Many aquarium
devote an aquarium specifically to the raising of seahorses. Having a
seahorses roaming around a tank will provide plenty of visual interest
the addition of faster moving species.
These are one of
the few saltwater fishes small enough to be
kept in aquariums of 10
less. They make wonderful choices for
the new nano-reefs that have
popular in recent years. You can keep a small herd of seapoines in an
as little as 5 gallons provided you have experience in maintaining
marine environments. Dwarves actually do better in smaller aquariums
do in larger ones. A few notes of caution: The smaller the aquarium,
quickly the water parameters will change. Never keep a nano-aquarium
widow, or heating vent. Temperature fluctuations will occur quickly in
volumes of water.
diligence must be
practiced in maintaining the water quality in nano bio-spheres. Partial
changes should be performed regularly to prevent nitrates from rising
will require plenty of hitching posts to anchor themselves
to. They will spend the vast majority of their day hitched to
If you are apprehensive about the thought of maintaining coral or other
animals and plants in your aquarium plastic plants will work provided
no sharp edges.
horses are recommended for expert aquarists only. This
is due to the combination of their overall fragility and their dietary
Seahorses require a diet of freshly-hatched baby brine shrimp,
other shrimp larvae. They may not even recognize non-living food
offerings as a
source of nutrition when they are first introduced to your aquarium.
seahorse owners raise their own brine shrimp rather than attempting to
their charges dietary habits.
Dwarf seahorses are
prolific breeders in captivity. They
have smaller broods than most other species of seahorse which is highly
conducive to captive
The dwarf male’s gestation
period is typically
10-14 days. Broods will range anywhere between 3-30 newborn. Fry
can be as high as 60% with properly maintained water parameters. Fry
double in size within the first two weeks. They will need to be fed
hatched brine shrimp several times daily to keep pace with their
maturation occurs in 3-4 months.