Have you ever thought of keeping seahorses as pets? For the uninitiated, seahorses can make excellent additions to species-only marine tanks, but aquarists have to be prepared to tend to their unique and specific needs. With their equine shapes and quirky swimming patterns, they can be lots of fun to observe and keep as pets!
If you’ve done your homework and decided that you’d like to buy a seahorse for your marine tank, consider making your purchases online. Read on to learn more about our top recommendations!
5 Top Spots To Buy Seahorse Online
Aspiring seahorse keepers find themselves turning to online fish stores for good reason. The average local fish store is unlikely to stock seahorses simply because they are difficult to keep alive. Thankfully, there are several specialized seahorse breeders and marine fish stores that are experts at raising and selling seahorses.
Many of these stores are also accustomed to shipping livestock to their customers in a safe, responsible, and ethical manner. In addition, they are likely to be more transparent about the origins of their livestock, which allows you to make a decision based on your beliefs and preferences.
Ready to take the leap and buy a seahorse online? We’ve carefully selected 5 top sources for you to pick from. These sources have different husbandry methods and species available, so check the list out and pick a store that works best for you!
1. Foxy Saltwater Tropical Fish
We love online fish stores that make the hobby easier for beginners, and this online fish store does just that. Foxy Saltwater Tropical Fish carries wild-caught common seahorses and captive-bred dwarf seahorses in bonded pairs, groups, as well as individuals. These species are best suited for beginners as they are hardy and better able to adapt to their surroundings.
As a family-run business based in Florida, Foxy Saltwater Tropical Fish prides itself on selling fish that are hand-caught by their team. This allows the team to sell fish that haven’t been subjected to the stress of transcontinental import, which maximizes their health and odds of survival.
All hand-caught fish are treated with Copper Safe and Nitrofuracin Green upon being caught to rid their livestock of potential bacterial infections. They are then kept in a holding tank for 7-10 days for observation, before being shipped to their new owners. Each fish also comes with a description that allows prospective customers to make an informed purchase.
Live Arrival Guarantee:
The team takes great pride in shipping fish that have been carefully screened for health and quality before shipment, but does have a live arrival guarantee in place for unforeseen circumstances. Customers are required to submit photographic evidence of fish in its unopened bag, and refunds will be made in the form of store credit.
2. Ocean Rider
Based in Kona, Hawaii, Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm was established over 20 years ago to save endangered seahorses from extinction via their propagation efforts. In the years since, the farm has successfully bred 25 seahorse species, and is on track to raising all 34 breeds. Hobbyists can look forward to one of the most extensive selections of seahorses in the industry.
Beyond selling their farm-raised seahorse to enthusiasts and hobbyists, the farm also hosts tour groups and has become one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions. Not only are they TripAdvisor-verified, they are also a member of animal welfare organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, World Aquaculture Association, and Nature Conservancy.
Ocean Rider takes public education seriously, and has made several care sheets available on their site for hobbyists of all levels. They also aim to promote good husbandry across the industry, and thus provides detailed information on their biosecurity, quality control, genetic selection, and a statement against their use of chemotherapeutics in culturing their livestock.
Live Arrival Guarantee:
The site offers a live arrival guarantee on all seahorses on the day of arrival only. Reimbursements are made in the form of reshipped livestock, or in the form of farm credit. The dead seahorse must be mailed back to the farm within 7 days of seahorse arrival to qualify for reshipping, and customers will have to bear the cost of shipping. Learn more about their livestock guarantee here.
3. Live Aquaria
The aquatic specialists behind Live Aquaria take customer service seriously, and nowhere is this more evident than in their thoughtfully curated range of aquatic life and supplies. Seahorse enthusiasts would be delighted by the extensive selection of captive-bred seahorses for sale on the site, which includes distinctive-looking species such as the Barbour seahorse.
Live Aquaria is fully aware that seahorses can be picky eaters, and therefore carries a wide variety of frozen and live foods to meet their diverse dietary needs. Less finicky eaters might be content with frozen brine shrimp, but even the pickiest seahorses will be happy with the aquaculture copepods listed on the site, which perfectly replicates their food sources in the wild.
Live Arrival Guarantee:
Customers can look forward to one of the most generous live arrival guarantees when they shop at live aquaria. Most species of fish and seahorses come with a 7-day guarantee, while live foods and expert-level aquatic species come with a same-day live arrival guarantee. Submitting guarantee claims is also a fuss-free process as it can be done via the site’s claim form.
Saltwaterfish.com prides itself on being a one-stop shop for all things saltwater fish-related, so it hardly comes as a surprise that they stock several species of a seahorse on their online fish store. From the beginner-friendly dwarf seahorse to more unique species such as Yellow Brazilian Longsnout, this saltwater fish store carries a selection of species for hobbyists of different levels.
On top of providing their customers with options, Saltwaterfish.com also provides a detailed and thorough livestock guide for every type of seahorse they sell. This is important and useful as seahorses can have vastly different needs depending on the species they belong to. From feeding instructions to recommended stablemates, you’ll find everything you need to know on the site.
Live Arrival Guarantee:
Customers who receive their livestock DOA are entitled to full refunds via their original purchase method, provided that the claim is submitted within 5 hours of delivery. There is also a 15-day guarantee to reassure you of your seahorse’s ability to survive for 15 days after delivery. In the unfortunate event that your seahorse dies prior, the website will issue you with store credit.
5. Seahorse Savvy
Founded in 2014 by a biologist who had a goal of producing the best quality seahorse in the aquarium trade, Seahorse Savvy lives up to its goal and mission in every possible way. The Seahorse Farm has a strict breeding program in place, which began with genetically diverse breeding stock that was selected for health, size, color, and other physical attributes.
To provide a healthy environment for the seahorses they care for, Seahorse Savvy also relies on several state-of-the-art water filtration systems such as micron filtration, foam fractionation, and ultraviolet filtration. Because seahorses are delicate creatures that require excellent water parameters to thrive, these efforts go a long way in raising healthy specimen.
In addition to their extensive selection of seahorse species, Seahorse Savvy also has a blog that contains care guides, species overviews, and other specific information about raising seahorses. These articles are perfect for beginners and novices alike, as they cover a wide range of topics and commonly asked questions about the hobby.
Live Arrival Guarantee:
Seahorse Savvy goes to great lengths to ensure that their seahorses arrive at their final destination in a safe and well-coordinated manner. Because Seahorse Savvy’s live arrival guarantee window is just 2 hours long, customers have the option of putting their purchases on hold to secure delivery slots that work best for them.
Is It Difficult To Care For A Seahorse?
Seahorses can be difficult to care for because you often need to do the opposite of what you would do when caring for saltwater fish. For instance, they can be finicky at mealtimes. This means that hobbyists should be mentally prepared for their seahorses to reject frozen foods, leaving them with no choice but to raise their own brine shrimp using brine shrimp eggs.
In addition, seahorses also require a good-quality filtration system that produces minimal water currents because they are slow, gentle swimmers. Hang-on-the-back filters generally work well with seahorse tanks, provided that they are well-sized. Hobbyists might need to consider using two or more hang-on-the-back filters to meet their needs. (If you want to know if a canister filter is safe for your saltwater tank, you can read our article: Can I Use A Canister Filter For A Saltwater Tank?)
A seahorse tank setup should also come with hitching posts. These gentle swimmers need something to grab onto with their tails when they are at rest. Finally, selecting the right tankmates for your pet seahorse can be challenging. Generally, these slow swimmers will need to be housed in species-only tanks as they might find it difficult to coexist alongside faster swimmers.
Because of these specific needs, caring for a seahorse can be challenging for the average hobbyist. However, proper research can and will make caring for these interesting marine sea creatures easy and rewarding!
Can A Seahorse Kill You?
Seahorses can’t kill humans, but they are actually one of the deadliest creatures in the sea. Their extremely slow, gentle movements make them near-impossible for their prey to detect the seahorses’ presence. By drifting gently and slowly along with the current, they are able to stalk their prey before grabbing their prey in an extremely rapid movement.
So no, seahorses can’t kill humans, but they shouldn’t be underestimated either. With a kill rate of 90%, they outperform even the great white shark, whose kill rate hovers around the 50% mark. Not too shabby, in our opinion.
Can You Touch A Seahorse?
No, you should not touch a seahorse as this will cause them significant stress. This in turn makes them susceptible to illnesses, and can eventually prove fatal. For that reason, many countries prohibit divers from touching seahorses without a license. These animals are fragile, and should be treated with care.
Regardless of where you choose to buy your seahorse from, you should always do your research and pick a species that is best suited to your tank and its water parameters. Seahorses require a lot of special care that flies in the face of conventional saltwater tank guidelines, but as long as you meet these needs, you’ll keep your pet happy for years to come.
We hope this article on where to buy seahorse online inspired you to look into adopting these interesting creatures for your tank! If you enjoyed this article, do share it with someone else who might enjoy it. And, as always, feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts or questions!