Seahorse Acclimation Guide

NoCoast Aquatics prepares saltwater animals for transportation using techniques to reduce the stress of moving to a new aquarium. When they arrive at your destination, you can continue this successful transport process when handling and acclimating, or adapting, your new marine animals to their new environment.

There are best techniques to use when transitioning seahorses to a new aquarium to reduce stress and shock to your new seahorse(s).  Please follow our acclimation guidelines - seahorses are fragile creatures requiring tender loving care!

Before ordering a seahorse, make sure that your aquarium is fully cycled (running for at least one month) and your aquarium parameters meet these requirements:

    • Temperature range between 71˚ -74˚ F
    • No Ammonia and Nitrites
    • Nitrates < 20 ppm
    • PH 8.1-8.3
    • Salinity 1.020-1.024
    • Appropriately sized tank (minimum 30 gallon per seahorse pair)

Start the acclimation process right away. There can be ammonia build-up in the water used to transport your seahorse - so time is of the essence!  

Acclimation Steps

  1. Turn off/dim all room and aquarium lights. (Drastic change of light from dark box to light room causes stress)
  2. After lights are off, open the box and remove the bag containing your seahorse.

         -  Do not open the plastic bag at this time -

  1. Let sealed bag sit in room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Next, float the sealed plastic bag in its new aquarium for 20 minutes so the water temperature can fully adjust.
  3. Open the bag, the temperature now should be equal to your aquarium. With clean hands, immediately and gently transfer the seahorse to the tank without using a net. 
  4. Throw away the water and the plastic bag that the seahorse came in. Do not put the water in your aquarium, this water can contain ammonia.
  5. Keep the light dimmed for one hour so the seahorses can adapt – then turn on the light gradually if possible.
  6. Offer a small amount of frozen Mysis shrimp to the seahorses one hour after they have been acclimated.  Some seahorses will eat right away, others will wait to adjust before feeding. The seahorse should be eating within 24 hours.  (Mysis shrimp can be soaked in Brightwell’s Garlic Power to help enhance its appeal to finicky seahorses).
  7. If you have any questions, please contact us at 952-221-8628 or

Click here for a printable version of the seahorse acclimation guide.