- Description of the underwater "horse"
- Breeding seahorses
- Skates in the Red Book
- Breeding seahorses at home
- Fish nutrition
- Content Features
- Neighbors in the aquarium
Of the inhabitants of the underwater world, the most unusual, but known to everyone are seahorses. They belong to the needle-needle family. The fact is that they are fellow fish called sea needles, whose body is retracted, narrow and long. The largest horses are called dragons, and there are about 50 types of sea horses.
After analyzing the structure of the seahorse, the scientists determined that it was descended from the fish marine needle 13 million years ago. In appearance, these species are very similar, only the needle is straightened, and the ridge is curved.
Description of the underwater "horse"
At first glance it seems that the horse is not a fish at all. If you look at the photo of the sea horse, it looks like a knight in chess pieces. The silhouette of this unusual fish bends, the belly stands out forward, and the back is rounded. The front of the body is narrow and curved so that it resembles the neck and head of a horse. The front of the head is extended, the fish with bulging eyes. Long tail wrapped in a spiral. The tail is quite flexible, it allows the seahorse to wrap around seaweed.
His body is covered with a wide variety of bumps, thickenings and outgrowths. On their small torso are bone scales that serve as armor, they are bright and shimmer. This skate shell does not break through, it is very strong and protects from marine predators.
Their color differs in variety, but it is still monochromatic. The color of the cover of the skates depends on the habitat; they acquire the most similar color for the best imitation of the surface on which they live. For example, if the seahorse is among the corals, then, most likely, it is red, either bright yellow or purple. Skates that live in a seaweed environment are brown, yellow or green. They also tend to change shade in cases of changes in habitat.
Seahorses are small in size, the smallest start at 2 cm, and large ones reach 20 cm.
Seahorses live under water, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. And this means that they live all over the planet.
Usually fish live among seaweed or coral in shallow waters. Skates are inactive and inactive. Most of the time they are in position, with their tail hooked on a coral branch or seaweed. Larger fish - sea dragons - cannot attach so to aquatic vegetation.
Skates swim a little, not far from the usual place and slowly, and the body is held vertically - this is one of the main differences from other fish. In an emergency, if frightened off, they can float in a horizontal position. In danger, the horse quickly clings to corals or algae with its tail and freezes. He hangs upside down motionless. In this position, the ridge can be very long.
They also differ from other inhabitants of the seabed in their meek and calm nature. These fish are not aggressive towards others. But still they belong to predatory fish, as they feed on diverse small organisms - plankton. They track the smallest mollusks, crustaceans, larvae of other fish and other invertebrates with their rotating eyes. When the victim comes close to the seahorse, he sucks it with his mouth, while strongly inflating his cheeks. This little fish is insatiable, and it can eat about 10 hours a day.
And also it should be noted that these fish are monogamous. They say about seahorses that these fish live as married couples all their lives. But it still happens when they change their partners. Another of the main features is that male seahorses, instead of females, carry caviar. During the mating season, the skates are modified: an ovipositor in the form of a tube grows in the female, and a bag with thick folds forms in the tail area of the male. Before fertilization, partners have a rather long mating dance. This is a touching courting by the male. It was also revealed that the seahorse male seemed to adapt to the female, changing the color of her to match her.
The female puts her calf in the bag. So the male carries caviar for about two weeks. In the bag there is a small hole through which the fry and are born. As for sea dragons, they have no bag. They are carrying caviar on the very stem of the tail. The number of caviar varies in different types of skates. So, some may have 5 fry, while others have 1500 eggs.
The birth itself is painful for the male. It happens that the outcome of the birth of fry for skate fatal.
Once, scientists conducted an experiment. In one aquarium placed a pair of males and a pair of females for breeding sea horses. After all the traditional grooming, the female laid her eggs for one of the males for further fertilization. The fertilized male was removed to a nearby aquarium. The remaining male tried to care for this female, but all his efforts were in vain. She did not pay attention to him and did not try to lay eggs in his bag. When they nevertheless brought the male back to the aquarium to the female, she again chose him to fertilize her offspring. So he was removed again and again after he laid eggs. Despite the fact that the second male continued to care for her, the female horse would still choose its former male for breeding. The experiment with the fish was done 6 times - everything remained unchanged.
Of the thousands of newborn fry, only 5% survive and continue labor activity.
The fry that have just appeared are completely independent and are moving away from their parents, choosing a new habitat for themselves.
Skates in the Red Book
Now most species of sea horses are rare, and some disappear altogether from the seabed. After all, 30 species are listed in the Red Book. And all because the seahorse breeds in small quantities. There is a ban on the catch of skates. But despite this, a person catches these fish in large quantities for the sake of cooking. Gourmets consider it a truly delicacy of the fillet of these fish and sell it at fabulous prices. Skates are also used in oriental medicine; they are used to make various drugs for skin diseases and asthma. Because of the unusual beautiful appearance of the skates, they are dried and sold in large volumes in the form of souvenirs. People specially fold the tail of the skate in the opposite direction so that its shape becomes in the form of a letter S. In nature, such fish do not exist.
Also a major role in the extinction of most species of seahorses is water pollution. After all, every year more and more waste and chemicals are recycled into the oceans. Environmental accidents and other pollution affect the extinction of corals, algae, which are so necessary for the life of sea horses.
Breeding seahorses at home
Despite the desire of many aquarium owners to have such an interesting fish at home, the horse is very fastidious for breeding at home. He is subject to various diseases and too picky about feed.
Rare types of skates very hard to tolerate being in an aquarium. They can be stressful or sick. Therefore, breeding fish at home, it is necessary to create conditions close to the natural habitat. If you carefully approach the breeding of a sea horse, it will delight the owner of 3-4 years.
It is necessary to monitor the temperature of the water in the aquarium. The optimum water temperature for them is about 23-25 degrees Celsius. For hot days, you need to take care of installing an aquarium split system or turn on the fan next to it. Otherwise, the hot air adversely affects these fish, and they just suffocate.
To make the seahorse at home, in the aquarium, feel comfortable, you need to monitor the quality of the water in it. The water in the tank should not contain ammonia or phosphate. At the bottom of the need to put corals and algae. And also various grottoes, jugs, locks and other products made of artificial materials are welcome.
Seahorses often eat a lot, so they need to provide 4-5 meals a day. Suitable for eating frozen meat of crustaceans, shrimps and other invertebrate mollusks. They also willingly eat moths and daphnids.
Seahorse is very demanding to care, so the owners of such royal fish need patience and endurance. Here are some features you need to know about:
- The gills of sea horses differ from other fish by their low functional capacity. Because of this, gas exchange is limited at the skates. You need to constantly artificially supply and maintain oxygen exchange in the aquarium. Do not neglect to filter water.
- Skill gluttony due to lack of stomach. They often eat to maintain energy balance.
- Since they do not have scales characteristic of fish that would play the role of the immune system, it is necessary to monitor and frequently check for injuries and any changes in their bodies.
Neighbors in the aquarium
Next door you can put calm fish or invertebrates in the aquarium. Fish should be small, slow and careful. Sea dogs and gobies will be ideal neighbors for sea horses. They get along perfectly well with the snail, which does not sting corals and perfectly cleans the aquarium. You can also consider living stones as inhabitants of the "house" of needle-shaped fish. These are small pieces of calcareous rock, which were for some time in warm tropical waters and inhabited by various living organisms. All new neighbors must be healthy, so as not to infect seahorses.
If you read reviews about breeding sea horses, then people write that two pairs of these fish require an aquarium of 150 liters.