Monday, June 28, 2010

Horrified- Well, maybe not horrified now....

I want to edit this to add that a new commenter here chimed in on my rant, with some really good information about the breeding and treatment of the Seahorses, if you want to learn, go into my comments and follow her links, there is some very good information, enough for me to retract, and say that now I am not so horrified anymore! Thanks a lot for the links, Tami, and commenting on something you are obviously both knowledgeable and passionate about

Rant alert. Leave now if you don't want to read me ranting about seahorses.

I'm going to sit down and blog this while I am thinking about it. Lets see how that works.
Many of you may want to skip this post.. it will probably be fairly uninteresting.

We are making our "small" tank into a saltwater fish tank. (29 gallon). We have been discussing it for awhile now, and are getting closer to putting our plan into action.
I was doing some interweb research on this matter, about saltwater, specifically how to make it, at home, and if there is any benefit to making it vs purchasing it, and the cost difference? One click leads to another, and I find myself perusing a website that sells fish. And then, the horror
This website was selling seahorses.
I have a problem with this.
Seahorses are not bred in captivity, except at a few of the larger, well prepared aquariums, like the one I just went to in Monterey. That means that people are going out, and capturing them, from the wild, and selling them to this fish supplier.
I know. I know.
I keep an aquarium.... how do I know my fish aren't wild caught?
mine are tank bred in the USA, have not ever known a life except a tank. I purposefully choose tank bred fish. Most freshwater fish in this day and age are tank bred, its actually hard to find any wild caught. Even the saltwater fish are, by and far, tank bred. I won't be buying any wild caught saltwater fish, or anenome, or coral for that matter.
Seahorses, caught in the wild, and sold to any jackass who has the money? Fairly cheap? (price ranged from 30-150.00). I've read articles about how difficult it is to actually keep a seahorse alive, even for the professionals in the large aquariums!! They are fragile, and wild, NOT meant to be kept in an aquarium, where if they are lucky, they will live a week, because WE ARE NOT MEANT TO HAVE THEM IN THE HOME!!
I feel very, very sorry for those seahorses. And frustrated that this is even possible. Its illegal to own a ferret in California, but yet, we can own wild caught Seahorses.
Rant over....

On a much more cheerful note....
Happy Anniversary to my parents, Aunt Tuna and Uncle Heinz! 47 years of putting up with each other!! I am blessed, and impressed!!


Unknown said...

Actually, most seahorses available in the US today are captive bred. This is due to CITES restrictions on their trade that went into effect in 2004 Some still are caught from the wild, but because of the complications involved in importing wild seahorses, a booming market for captive bred seahorses.

Seahorses are captive bred all over the wild by hobbyists as well as commercial breeders, and some in between. While the care of seahorses themselves is pretty difficult, the actual breeding and raising of the fry is pretty easy for a marine fish.

Daryl said...

Seems wrong to me ...

mielikki said...

Tami, I've read, and been told the opposite by marine biologists at one of the larger aquariums, I will have to check and see if I can dig up any more information. Maybe you have a link?
Daryl, I think it is wrong....

sybil law said...

Anything trapped and raised is always sorta sad to me..

Unknown said...

Well, I've raised them myself, I'm raising two broods right now. is full of people breeding them. I personally know several people that have raised them. Todd Gardner has an article on raising them: is well known for rearing seahorses. ORA raises them. Ocean Rider of HI raises them and you can tour their facility ( Seahorse Sanctuary of Australia is well known for raising not only seahorses but a few types of pipefish no one else is raising. If you are looking for more peer reviewed information; Google Scholar has more papers than you can shake a stick at:

One thing that is a problem today is net pen raised seahorses being passed off as captive bred. Technically they are, but they're raised under wild conditions, and do not acclimate well to captivity. You can read more about it here:

So you do have to ensure that you're getting your seahorses from a reputable source. However, the good news is that so many captive breeding sources are available that as long as you do your due diligence, getting a captive bred seahorse is not that difficult.

mielikki said...

Tami, thanks for all the really good information! I do feel better, and am glad you corrected me and will happily retract my 'horrified'.
I don't think I would ever really be ready to have a seahorse in a home tank, but now I can see there are responsible people out there who can manage it. I like learning new things, and you've for sure provided me with some good places to find more things to learn

Finding Pam said...

I hate to find them dead and for sale in a sea shell flea market in Florida. It is just so sad.

Bubblewench said...

Very interesting post and comments/links! Neat.