Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sea horse

Sea horse is an animal that has undergone evolution since 40 million years ago (Fritzhe, 1997). Termed in the genus Hippocampus comes from the Greek word for horse head-shaped marine animals, (hippos = horse's head; campus = animals).

Seahorses in Indonesia known as tangkur horse that is one of a small marine fish species that are very different from other fish species that have the crown of the head of sea horse, the body is slightly flattened and curved, the whole body covered by a kind of armor composed of plates - bone plates or rings - rings, small eyes and the same width, has a snout, tail longer than head and body, and may hold, the pectoral fins

short and wide, the dorsal fin is large enough, being a small anal fin and caudal fin absent (Nontji 1993; Hansen and Cummins, 2002) (Figure 1). Further Nova (1997) states that the sea horse has a head like a horse, perpendicular to the body on which there is a crown or so-called Coronet, as peculiar as a human fingerprint. As well as lizards, sea horses have eyes that can move freely, it is very helpful for survival and predation tactics. Sea horse has a tail that can be wrapped around like a monkey.

Figure 3. Hyppocampus barbouri

According to the Dames (2000), sea horse body size is relatively small and unique body composition to make them barely able to swim, fish are capable satusatunya captured directly by hand. Further Anonymous (2002) states that the length of the sea horse between 5 cm - 36 cm depending on the species. Seahorse taxonomy according to Hidayat and Silfester (1998) are as follows:

Phylum: Chordata
Sub-Phylum: Vertebrata
Class: Pisces
Sub Class: Teleostomi
Order: Gasterosteiformes
Family: Syngnathidae
Genus: Hippocampus
Species: Hippocampus spp

Seahorse does not have scales like other fish, but more miripkulit that stretched over a series of plates of bone, which gives kenampakanbercincin in the stomach and body.

According to Simon and Schuster (1997), the basic color of sea horses change - change from predominantly white to yellow ground, sometimes - sometimes have spots - spots or bright or dark lines. These changes slowly - land of the tip depends on the intensity cahaya.Walaupun Valentine mostly sea horses have a natural brown color, mixed color, gray and brown or even black color to match its environment, it can change the color of the sea horse as well as chameleon during the approach and propose a partner, and also to hide from predators. There are also several species that can make themselves into a fluorescent orange to dark purple (Hidayat and Silfester, 1998). Furthermore Al Qadri et al (1998) states that the difference in color in horses does not mean that different types of sea, sea horse is one animal that is often and very easy to change color. Differences in the type - the type of sea horse is the most prominent is the presence of thorns - thorns or bones that appear on each ring (ring) in the body and the crown, the other difference is there is a slim body shape and is longer and there is also a large and wide.


According to Al Qodri (1999) by far some of the biological characteristics of seahorses has been learned that is spreading a little, or rarely, a small habitat range and faithful to your partner. All these characteristics make it difficult to come by sea horses in large numbers.

Interesting aspects of the biology of the male sea horse is that there are pockets

eggs hatch located below the stomach that presented by the female sea horse. Incubation bag is located on the front and has a hole that can be closed. The inside of the hatch bag can release substances that become food for children - children are newly hatched. The new foal out of the sea has had the ability to swim alone (Hidayat and Silfester, 1998).

According to Mann (1998) most seahorse species produce eggs

approximately 100-200 grains, and some have reached 600 eggs, the male will incubate the child - his son during the 10-14 days of incubation in the bag

comes a kind of placental tissue for oxygen supply. Behavior of sea horse swim upward generally very slow and did not like the way the fish swim in general. To compensate for the slow swimming ability, seahorses have a tube-shaped mouth (Moyle and Joseph, 1998). Furthermore Qodri et al (1999) states that the sea horse is the animal is diurnal animals are active during the day or as long as there is sun light irradiation was less active at night as an example of Hippocampus whitei in Australia and Austria. Spawning takes place either at the time of morning, afternoon or evening. In the daytime sea horses do all the activities of his life actively. Based on eating behavior, seahorses are passive predators that wait for passing food and attack their prey by sucking up to get into the muzzle. Good environmental camouflage will fool their prey. Sea horse will ingest anything small enough to fit in his mouth, mostly small crustaceans such as amphipods, but also the children of fish and other invertebrates (Anonymous, 2002).

Parent seahorses were thought to have little relation to the ability of a predator in disguise, by way of settling in a place and a thorn in his unappetizing. But they never found in the belly of large pelagic fish like tuna fish. They are also eaten by penguins and other water birds. Sea horses even ever found in the stomachs of sea turtles.

Crabs may be the most threatening predators. Young sea horse is the most widely used as prey by other fish. For some populations of sea horses, humans are the biggest predators (Lourie et al, 1999).

According to Hansen and Cummins (2002), can disrupt the flow of the sea horse population, waste disposal on the beach and floating on the surface of the sea caused a lot of horse people who died and others disappeared. Natural lifespan of seahorses is not known for certain. Most estimates derived from observations in the aquarium or in the laboratory. The lifespan of seahorses known for about a year for a smaller type, to an average of three to five years for larger species (Dames, 2000).

Most types of seahorses are monogamous by membentukikatan pair ended the breeding season (and even that ended after a breeding season), although some species may not form a bound pair (Lourie et al, 1999; Dames, 2000).


Sea horse has a market value at home and abroad.

Because it has economic value for people who use the marine biological resources, the resources should seahorses properly and sustainably managed.

Benefits of the sea horse is a traditional medicine, aquarium fish, souvenirs, food and tonic. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the market

largest trading seahorses (Hansen and Cummins, 2002). At various times throughout medical history of the west, the sea horse is used to help milk production, cure baldness, rabies, leprosy danpenyakit mad dog, and will cause death when mixed with wine (Whitley, 1998). In Japan seahorses are used as amulets for pregnant - pregnant women in hopes of having a baby with a smooth and safe (Okamura and Amaoka, 1997). For the present treatment has drying and grinding the eastern sea horse is used as a drug the symptoms of diseases ranging from impotence, asthma, heart, kidney, skin and thyroid (Lourie et al, 1999).


Environment has a very important role for the development and survival and the preservation of sea horses. Some paratemer a supportive environment are:

A. Temperature

Temperature is one factor that is essential for living organisms in the ocean because the temperature affects the metabolic activity and proliferation

marine organisms (Hutabarat and Evans, 1986). According to Odum (1971), water temperature

has an important role in the speed of metabolic rate on the ecosystem

waters. Factors that affect the temperature, among others, season, weather, time,

depth of water and human activities around the water (Nybakken, 1992).

Furthermore Parkins (1974), also suggested that water temperature is affected by

substrate composition, brightness, temperature, rainfall, ground water temperature, turbidity and

mixing of seawater with river water.

Temperature indirectly to the metabolism of the horse bepengaruh

the sea. At low water temperatures will inhibit the growth and perkembanganserta lowered immune system so that the sea horse is stressed as well as high temperature (Al Qodri et al, 1998) .7 Simon and Schuster (1997) explains that the sea horse usually live among seaweed clear with a temperature of 250 C. Meanwhile, according to Lourie et al

(1999) in the Indo - Pacific optimum temperature for survival of the sea horse is between 170 C - 200 C. Qodri et al (1998) states that the optimum temperature range for the life of the sea horse is a 200 C - 300 C.

2. Salinity

Salinity is the salt - salt dissolved in one kilogram of sea water and is measured in thousandths. Salinity affects the osmotic pressure of the water, the higher the salinity, the greater the pressure osmotiknya. Salinity plays an important role in the life of the organism, for example in terms of distribution of aquatic and marine life is a parameter that plays an important role in the marine ecological environment (Nybakken, 1992). In ocean waters, salinity usually ranges between 34 0 / 00-35 0/00. In coastal waters due to dilution, such as the influence of river flow, salinity is usually down low. By contrast, in areas with the evaporation of a very

strong, regular salinity increased strongly (Nontji, 1993). Furthermore Nybakken (1992)

states that the salinity of the water concentration is strongly influenced by the supply of fresh water and sea water, rainfall, seasons, tides, and the rate of transport.

There are several types of organisms that are resistant to changes in salinity

large, those that are resistant to salinity is small. According to Al Qodri et al (1998) that sea horses are euryhaline so that it can adapt to a wide territorial waters which have the ability to adjust to the environment with optimum salinity range of 30 0 / 00-32 0/00.

3. The degree of acidity (pH)

The degree of acidity (pH) is the number of hydrogen ions in a solution

is a measure of acidity. Biota - have a range of marine biota to

live at a certain pH value (Nybakken, 1992).

According Nontji (1993), sea water has a pH value that is relatively stable and

typically range between 7.5 - 8.4. Furthermore Parkins (1974) states that

pH value can be affected by photosynthetic activity, temperature, as well as industrial and household waste. Growth and survival of seahorse strongly influenced by the high and low degree of acidity (Puja et al, 1998). 8 The degree of acidity is ideal for the survival of sea horses is 7-8. Waters that are acidic and highly alkaline and can cause death to stop the reproduction of the sea horse (Al Qodri et al, 1998). Furthermore Sitanggang (2002) states that the size of the pH value is strongly influenced by the content of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water in which carbon dioxide is a result of respiration or breathing fish that generate different CO2 during the day and night. When the night, CO2 levels increased so that the pH of water is also rising. When the morning and afternoon, CO2 levels will drop so that the pH of the water had come down.

4. Dissolved Organic Material (BOT)

Dissolved Organic Material (BOT) or Total Organic Matter (TOM) describes the total organic matter content consisting of a water soluble organic matter, suspended (particulate) and colloids. Bengen (1994) stated that organic matter in the waters there as plankton, particles - suspended particles of organic matter who remodeled (detritus) and materials - total organic matter derived from land and carried away by the river. Further, according to Koesbiono (1985) there are four kinds of sources

producer of organic matter dissolved in seawater, namely (1) derives from the mainland, (2)

process of decay organisms that have died, (3) changes in metabolic - metabolic extracellular by algae, especially phytoplankton, and (4) excretion of zooplankton and animals - other marine animals. According Koesbiono (1985) that waters with organic matter content above 26 mg / l quite fertile.

5. Dissolved Oxygen or Dissolved oxygen (DO)

Dissolved Oxygen or Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a very important parameter considered hidrobiologis for determining the existence of life

death of the organism. Dissolved oxygen levels in the waters of different - different in accordance with the depth, the penetration of light, brightness, type and number of green plants (Wardoyo, 1975).

According to Hutabarat and Evans (1986) suggest that the dissolved oxygen content is essential and is one of the major components of metabolism of aquatic organisms. Aquatic organisms of dissolved oxygen used for growth and fertility. Decreased dissolved oxygen levels can reduce the efficiency of oxygen uptake by 9 marine life that can reduce the ability to live a normal life in the environment.

Dissolved oxygen levels are highest in the coastal environment on the edge of the

where the waves kept open - constantly stirring the water. Found that dissolved oxygen levels rose following the tide down the oxygen levels are highest at high tide. Because of the abundance of life in seagrass beds and charging a fixed supply of nutrients, the very high biological oxygen demand, and thus tend to reduce levels of oxygen in water (Whitten et al, 1987).

Sitanggang (2002) suggests that the dissolved oxygen used by

aquatic organisms through respiration, growth, reproduction and fertility. Decreased dissolved oxygen levels can reduce the efficiency of oxygen uptake by the marine biota, which can decrease the ability to live a normal life in the environment. Required for live just 1 mg / l dissolved oxygen, whereas in order to grow and develop at least 3 mg / l. When dissolved oxygen is less than 3 mg / l and the last in a long time, will lead to impaired growth and reduced fish appetite. Further sea horses can adapt to a wide area of ​​water with dissolved oxygen values> 3 mg / l (Al Qodri et al, 1998). Although seahorses do not move on, they still require an adequate oxygen content, especially parent - the parent who is incubating male child - her son. Because in addition to himself, the male parent who is incubating her son must supply enough oxygen into his pocket so that eggs - eggs that are contained in the sac can hatch and develop fully (Al Qodri et al, 1998).

6. Depth

Outline the depth of the sea waters were two shallow water

of exposure and deep ocean waters. Exposure (shelf) zone in the ocean is calculated from the lowest point of the line up at a depth of about 120-200 m, which is then usually followed by a steeper slope towards the sea (Nontji, 1993). Water depth has a significant impact on marine biota. This is related to the pressure received by biota in the water, because water pressure increases with increasing depth (Nybakken, 1992) .10 Furthermore Hutabarat and Evans (2000) adds that depth has a close relationship to the vertical stratification of temperature, light penetration, density and oxygen content as well as substances - nutrients. Horses generally live in shallow waters of the ocean to a depth of 30 m depending on the type (PetPlace, 2003).

7. Turbidity

Water turbidity is a measure of biasan light in the water caused by the presence of colloidal particles and the suspension of a pollutant that is contained in water. Water turbidity is also a term used to express the degree of darkness in the water caused by the material

floating in the water. Turbidity in water is strongly influenced by the state

environment or activities that occur in these waters (Wardoyo, 1975).

The factors - factors that affect the turbidity of the water such as:

mud, particles, carbon, organic fine particulate matter, plankton and other small organisms (Wetzel and Likens, 1979). Turbidity level depends on

depth of the waters and a number of activities that occur in these waters,

other than that the current can also be regarded as factor contributing to the turbidity,

because of strong currents will lift particles - particles that are at the bottom

waters (Parkins, 1974).

8. Plankton

Plankton are organisms that live floating or floating in the

water. Motion capability, if any, is limited to such organisms are always carried away by currents. Plankton are divided into two main groups namely phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton also called plankton plant is a plant very common in all waters, but due to microscopic size is hard to see his presence. While zooplankton often called animal plankton, consisting of very many kinds of animals. Larger than phytoplankton are even used to reach over one meter as the jellyfish - jellyfish. Plankton, both phytoplankton and zooplankton become food for many species of other marine animals (Nontji 1993).

According to Puja et al (1998), the type - the type of phytoplankton that are used as feed seahorses are Tetraselmis sp, Chlorella and Dunaliella sp sp where the species of phytoplankton are fed to the copepods. Zooplankton have 11penting role in marine ecosystems, as zooplankton become food for many species of other marine animals. Seahorses include carnivorous, eating small animals of all kinds ranging from members of the group of crustaceans to fish larvae. While the initial foal sea food is a low level of crustaceans such as copepods, shrimp larvae and artemia naupli that will accelerate its growth (Al Qodri, 1999). Seahorse has eyes that are free to move, making it easier to highlight their prey are small crustaceans (brine shrimp) and plankton, which is inhaled into the mouth like a tube with a clinch head starts very quickly. In the absence of teeth, this creature has a voracious appetite that is consuming all that is alive to meet their digestive systems are not efficient (PetPlace, 2003). With a jerk of the head, the unsuspecting fish, larvae, plankton or other organic beings quite fit, can be sucked into a powerful muzzle. However, in experiments in the laboratory, Hippocampus ingens has proven to be a picky eater (Mann, 1998). Based on these facts it has been observed that the intensity of light decreases in a negative impact on the ability of at least one type of Caribbean (Caribbean sea horses) to find food everywhere (James, 1994). This may explain why large sebahagian seahorses are foraging during the day.


Seahorses saving means saving the seas. Seahorse can

help promote marine conservation, by making it as something special between the amount of coverage of marine conservation issues. There are several reasons that can be used as the basis for the sea horse is the kind of fish that generated a lot of curiosity as it is the kind that are threatened by overexploitation (for traditional medicines, aquarium displays, curiosity and tonic food), fishing with the use of fishing gear are not selective and the degradation of their habitat.

Biological Kemampaun as mentioned below may be

very sensitive to sea horses to over-fishing (Lourie, et al. 1999):

a. The size of small children to limit the potential reproductive rate.

b. Incubation system by male shows the survival of individual

depends on the ability of young stem of survival for much

greater than most fish.

c. Available in most monogamous species that have been investigated show

that animals that do not have a spouse can not reproduce

until they can find a new partner.

d. low population density indicates that the missing pair is not

can be replaced quickly.

e. Observations on individuals who have been known to show that the level of

death of an adult animal is naturally low probability, which makes

fishing activities as a form of pressure, and

f. The existence of a low mobility of adult animals that includes the most species may limit the re-colonization of the area that became extinct, although only the first juvenile disappeared.

Broad understanding for the conservation of this need to be challenged to acquire basic knowledge of key life history parameters of sea horses

such as growth rate, age and dispersals juvenile seahorses. However, more important is the opportunity to continue the marine conservation in general. By him, the future of sea horse rescue, relatives and their habitats will require the cooperation of scientists, policy makers and nongovernmental organizations around the world that can be done through:

A. Kehidpan assist fishing communities, through training and consultation,

development of skill and authority to manage resources

their use.

2. Develop new management protocols and other forms of fisheries

tropical, and understand the economic and ecological impacts of fisheries activities

is not intended for food.

3. Reducing unnecessary arrests in the use of equipment

non-selective fishing, particularly for species which are difficult

to be removed from the fishery.

4. Rebuild the estuary habitat, mangrov, coral reefs and seagrass

degradation of marine ecosystems that are important and have been

in dangerous conditions around the world

5. Implementing marine protected areas (marine protected areas (mPas)) for

increase the number, size and diversity of fish in the MPA and to

improve fishing outside the MPA.

6. Develop alternative livelihoods that are ecologically safer

and economically sustainable, in order to reduce pressure on

the utilization of fishing on wildlife populations.

7. Develop a pattern of ecological certification for seafood, in the form

cooperation with customers.

2.6 Hatchery and enlargement / captive

2.6.1 Hatchery

Seeding activities such as sea horses in breeding activity generally consists of a series of linked activities. The first link is the maintenance of the prospective parent to get the parent mature gonads. Furthermore the spawning activities, maintenance and penggelondongan juveniles or nursery as well as natural food supply. Entire chain of activities should be known in making planning, as close relation to the means necessary to support the implementation of activities. Completeness and selection of appropriate tools not only help smooth the activity but also determine the success of the hatchery business. Seahorses including carnivores, eating all kinds of small animals ranging from crustaceans to fish larvae. Based on the feeding behavior of predatory horse laut12 is passive, waiting for food that is past and mneyerang its prey by sucking up to get into a long snout. For the maintenance of seahorse juveniles can be used like any form, however there are conditions that should not be filled with the bath has a corner to die because it would cause metabolic waste and dirt easily collects on suduk tub. The container used in pemneliharaan Juwan seahorse aquarium varied from tub, fiberglass and concrete tank. Ukurannyapun vary the amount and myrrh bergatung juveniles seahorses are maintained. Density used for juveniles seahorses from day 1 to day 30 was 1000 - 1500/ton. After more than 30 days old in density was reduced to 200-300 head / ton. Seahorse juveniles can be fed natural copepods and artemia naupli. Maintenance of juveniles can be done for 1.5 - 2 months to reach the size of 3-5 cm / tail.

Figure 2. Juveniles seahorses are ready to be stocked

2.6.1 Enlargement / sea horse breeding

a. Penggelondongan

Penggelondongan in this case is intended to intensify the maintenance of the seeds of the sea horse to the stage of enlargement with a high survival rate and good quality. Penggelondongan sea horses can be carried out by using the method of maintenance in the tub, in floating net cages or dikurungan step. Seeds are used to penggelondongan can be derived from the catch in the wild or derived from the hatchery to the size of 3 to 3.5 cm / tail.

Figure 3. Floating cages for penggelondongan or

enlargement of the sea horse

Things to consider when stocking is when there is a difference

striking between the media and the maintenance of the origin of the seed media (particularly salinity and temperature). This situation usually occurs when a location separate penggelondongan with seed source, so it needs to be adapted before stocked. Penggelondongan dispersive solid for 2 months for maintenance is between 300-400 head / ton. During maintenance, feeding can be done 3-4 times a day. Foods that should be given live food like mosquito larvae, artemia, shrimp jembret, dapnia and sebainya. Toxicity of sea horses are classified as less active in seeking and Utilizing the only food around / near it, causing the feed given should be abundant and better life. It is

opportunities to eat larger seeds and if there remains an untapped food will remain alive so that a relatively small effect on

decline in water quality. Seed size from 3 to 3.5 cm after 2 months of maintenance will reach a length of 6-7 cm / tail. At this size, sea horses can be harvested and marketed as an ornamental or for fish rearing activities.

b. Enlargement

Activities during the enlargement of the sea horse is not much different from the pengglodongan. Enlargement is aimed at producing seahorses larger (above 10 cm) or to produce the parent seahorses. Bred seahorses that would be obtained from nature or from the penggelondongan. Seahorses should be selected that healthy and complete organs, if the sea horse is different then the color would be raised seahorses are the same color like black with a black united, because if there is a yellow seahorses and united with the black will turn black. Density for pemebesaran activity is 50-100 tail / ton. During maintenance activities enlargement seahorses, are no longer given in the form of adult artemia as no longer necessary, given enough fresh or jembret rebon. Feeding of fresh rebon given as much as 5-10% of body weight per day with a frequency of 2-3 times. If fresh food is less available rebon then feed alternatives that can be given is a mosquito larva. After three months of the maintenance of seahorses can reach a length of 10 cm above the sea horse can then be harvested and marketed.


Seahorse is one type of sea fish that is very unique because it has a different morphology than the other fish. In addition to the typical morphology is the shape of his head resembling a horse's head, male fish had egg sacs hatch that is not found in other types of fish.

Another attraction is the upright body position while swimming sertakemampuan to adjust the color of his body to the environment, membuatpenampilannya increasingly attractive as an ornamental fish in the aquarium. In addition to the ornamental aquarium fish, sea horses are used for souvenirs can also be used as raw material for traditional medicines. The fact is causing sea horses have a relatively high economic value in the market, thus encouraging the arrest of a fairly intensive in nature, so the longer the likely sustainability is threatened and diminished in number.

For sustainability and sea horse populations can continue the steps you can take is to conduct the breeding and restocking in the wild again. To perform these activities must be obtained through the seed breeding activities in the culture system.

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