Watercircle Hydroponics Pte Ltd, Singapore have introduced locally bred and raised Hippocampus reidi. The seahorse fry are raised on a special diet made by the company.
The seahorse is the first of many marine fishes and invertebrates that the company would like to produce. Watercircle claim to be the first private company to be registered for captive breeding of seahorses in Singapore. Their seahorses are sold with their educational systems or exported with CITES certification.
Once plentiful, seahorses are now being exploited for Traditional Chinese Medicine and the ornamental fish trade. The numbers in the sea are getting smaller and apparently juveniles are being taken now that the numbers of adults are dwindling. The seahorse is a truly fascinating fish, there are many species, each with their peculiar traits, markings, habits, and docile behaviour. This makes them exceptionally attractive to the pet trade.
Watercircle have developed the SEAHORSERIUM? Marine Kit – a marine eco-system designed and packaged to give their captive bred seahorses a comfortable home. It is apparently easy to set up and makes an attractive aquarium.
Hopefully the big advantage of captive bred seahorses is they would be used to more commercially available foods. Seahorses are notoriously picky feeders, and finding shrimp, crabs etc the right size quickly becomes hard work for the average home aquarist. If a suitable supply of live food isn’t available wild caught seahorses are likely to go hungry, rather than eat something unfamiliar. Wild caught animals may carry parasites and may have been subjected to rough handling from capture, transport, dealer(s) before being introduced to the home aquarium. And of course, over-exploitation causes the availability of wild caught marine ornamental fishes to fall by the day.
According to Watercircle,
1. Their captive bred seahorses are easy to feed, weaned onto existing frozen fish food e.g. Hikari frozen shrimps.
2. They are also stronger, robust and disease free.
3. Able to withstand a range of salinity levels (18-34 ppt).
4. Sociable and friendly.
5. More active and live longer.
6. Able to adjust to various temperatures (20-30 degrees) for the tropical ones.