10-01-2019, 16:31
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Phycodurus eques

Phycodurus eques, the Leafy seadragon lives in the Indian Ocean, only in the coastal areas of South and Western Australia, near coral reefs heavily overgrown with aquatic vegetation, at a depth of 5 to 25 m. Leafskippers are constantly in search of food, which are shrimps, mizids and small crustaceans, which they find on the surface of reefs or catch in the water column. These skates are very rarely seen in hobby aquariums, due to the fact that they are strictly prohibited from being caught in the wild. The small number of leaf skates that you may occasionally encounter in trade have usually been bred in captivity.

Phycodurus eques

The Phycodurus eques is a rather large horse whose appearance is surprising. It has a flattened body with a small head and an elongated snout. The entire body, tail and head are decorated with leaf-like outgrowths. This highly unusual body shape actually helps the fish a lot, making it as stealthy as possible against the background of aquatic vegetation. The basic coloration is yellow-green, and the entire body area is decorated with thin white stripes with pinkish trim. The leaf-like outgrowths have small spots of pale blue coloration. The Ragweed Dragon reaches a length of 35 cm.

The Phycodurus eques swims using its dorsal and pectoral fins, the leaf-like outgrowths do not participate in the fish's swimming. The fins are transparent and vibrate at a frequency of about 10 vibrations per second, which makes the seahorse move very smoothly. The maximum distance a skate can cover in an hour is 150 m.

Keep a Phycodurus eques be in a large aquarium, a volume of 300 liters (per 1 specimen). The substrate is desirable sandy. At the bottom must be placed live rock, which in addition to decorative functions will also serve as a source of food - in a cavity of these stones are home to numerous crustaceans, which are a welcome food for skates. Also place several branches of coral or their artificial counterparts in the aquarium.

Phycodurus eques

Phycodurus eques should preferably be kept in a species aquarium, as they often clash, even with small harmless fish. As an exception to neighbours to the skates can subordinate the peaceable bottom fish, which feed by taking food from the bottom and do not constitute competition for food floating in the water column. Of course, do not contain ragtag together with ornamental crustaceans, which can be a delicacy for the skates.

Water parameters: temperature 24-26° C, pH 8,1-8,4, salinity 1.020-1.025, need filtration and aeration of water. Care should be taken to ensure that water circulation in the aquarium is minimal.

Artemia are the main food for Phycodurus eques in the aquarium. The fish are also fed with live minnows of pecilli, mollinsellae and shrimps. Chopped squid, mussels and shrimps are also available. It should be borne in mind that skates take the food, which is only in the water column, so you should try to keep it as long as possible has not sunk to the bottom.


The Phycodurus eques does not propagate in the aquarium. It has only been possible to achieve captive breeding in very large aquariums under fish farm conditions.

The life expectancy of the Phycodurus eques in the wild is about 5 years.

Phycodurus eques

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