The Great Seahorse is a gentle giant that brings a graceful touch of exoticism to any suitable home aquarium. Like other seahorses, Hippocampus kelloggi has a stunning body form that harkens bygone ages. The adults of this species are brownish to black in color with the females and juveniles sometimes being cream or yellow. The coloration may change in the aquarium and is highly dependent on the colors of its environment. The Great Seahorse looks similar to the H. kuda species but is more slender in body size.
The Great Seahorse does best when kept as either a mated pair, or with a small group of its own kind in a species-only aquarium of 50 gallons or larger. Taller aquariums, at a minimum of 16 inches high are best, as good water circulation is most important. The Great Seahorse will get along well with small, shy fish such as gobies, Ocellaris and Percula clownfish, and firefish. But aggressive, territorial fish or fast-moving fish do not make good companions. The Great Seahorse spends most of its time clinging to seagrass and rocks with its prehensile tail rather than swimming.
When ready to mate, the male Great Seahorse will impress the female with its dramatic color changes, energetic pouch displays, and lots of graceful dancing. If receptive, the future mate will entwine tails, dance, and promenade with the male and then deposit as many as 600 eggs in the male pouch. About 14 days later, the male will give birth to between 50-400 offspring.
Fast, aggressive fish will out-compete the Great Seahorse for food. When first introduced into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. This Tank-Bred Seahorse is accustomed to frozen mysis shrimp, making it a smart alternative to its wild-caught counterparts. The Great Seahorse will also feed upon amphipods and other small crustaceans found in live rock. It will accept vitamin-enriched adult brine shrimp, but this should not make up a majority of their diet. The Great Seahorse is a slow, deliberate feeder and prefers two or more small feedings per day.
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