Southern Knight Seahorses (Hippocampus abdommalis) are temperate marine fish found in coastal waters of south-eastern Australia and also in New Zealand. Seahorses belong to the family Sygnathidae which has over 200 species (half of which occur in Australian waters.) This species is also known as the large-belly or Big-belly Seahorse. Seahorses are unique animals which make spectacular aquarium subjects. They have a graceful manner, attractive colouration and are reported to live for up to 9 years in captivity.They also have an unusual prehensile tail which is used to hold onto seaweed or the substrate.
Another unusual feature is that when Seahorses breed, the male becomes pregnant and gives birth to hundreds of tiny live seahorses! Their strange appearance has long fascinated mankind and many people still consider them almost as a mystical creature!
Southern Knight Seahorses are now being commercially produced in Australia, helping to ensure that wild stocks are not over-exploited. Being tank reared, these fish are surprisingly easy to keep. They are quite tolerant of varying water salinity and temperature, will eat frozen foods and come from a disease free hatchery. Being a temperate species, they can also be kept in an unheated indoor aquarium in most regions of Australia.
Seahorses make a unique and interesting pet. Their added bonus is ease of care and that they are hardier then other marine species.
If you are about to get any marine fish, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any marine aquarium.
- Filtration (under gravel, corner or power filter)
- Aeration (air pump & air stone)
- Lighting (or natural light)
- Substrate (gravel, sand, pebbles etc.)
- Marine Salt
- Treated/Stabilized Water
- Hydrometer & Thermometer
- UV Lighting
- Plants (live or plastic)
- Test Kits (pH, ammonia etc)
- Aquarium Backing
Suitable For People Aged: 15 & over
Experience Required: Cold or tropical preferred
Feeding Care Time Required: 5 Min a Day
Maintenance Time Required: 2 Hours a Week
Minimum Space Required: Aquarium
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $15 Per Week (Power Required)
Life Span: (approx) Up to 9 years
Availability: All Year