Where to buy captive bred seahorses!
A keeper never forgets their first pair of seahorses. An almost magical bond forms the first time they hitch on your finger or dance their way up to greet you at the glass. Experienced keepers might show off their new species or even detail their breeding experiences, but the experience with their first pair is what gave them the confidence and knowledge to accomplish these cool things. I have no doubt that anyone who has owned seahorses can describe their first experience in detail, remembering all of their mistakes and problems, and reflecting on the feeling of accomplishment when they were able to overcame obstacles. Seahorses are truly not difficult to keep, as long as the basic guidelines are followed, and the seahorses are captive bred.
Unfortunately, there are extremely sad stories about first experiences with seahorses too. There are not many worse things in life than looking forward to, planning and then trying something as cool as a seahorse tank….only to loose them for no good reason. In my efforts to help new seahorse keepers, I have found that more times than not, a problematic first experience is due to the seahorses not being captive bred. The reasons for buying a captive bred seahorses versus one raised in ocean water or caught in the wild are detailed in LINK ARTICLE. Unfortunately, the definition of captive bred is rather loose, and in my opinion misused in many circumstances. I discuss the difference between captive bred, tank or pen raised, and imported in LINK ARTICLE. But, the bottom line is that as someone new to seahorses, you will not have the ability to tell the difference, and frankly, stores often lie or are fooled themselves about where the seahorses actually came from. The easiest way to ensure that the seahorses you are buying were bred in captivity for the hobby is buying from an established breeder. Below, you will find a list of these great breeders in different locations:
Breeders in the United States
Breeders in the United Kingdom
Breeders in Australia
Other vendors - be sure to ask if the seahorses are captive bred or "tank-raised"
We will be adding breeders from within the community as they submit their information. If you would like to be listed as a vendor, please send a message to be added!