This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission
Keeping seahorses always starts off as a hobby but somehow through the many hardships of trying to keep them alive, you actually fall in love with them.
And when they have lived a wonderful long life, it’s often hard to let them go.
As a way to keep their remains many chose to preserve them for sentimental and aesthetic reasons.
There are many ways to preserve a seahorse, but the two main choices remain: dry or wet.
Dry preservation allows for the moisture to be removed, thus the seahorse will retain its overall structure but the appearance will be marred.
Dry preservation isn’t the best choice if your main reason for the preservation is aesthetic. Dry preservation results in a darkened-colored seahorse that’s been dried out.
Wet preservation is a great way to retain overall structure and appearance without sacrificing any of the aesthetics. This type of preservation results in the seahorse retaining its vibrant colors and magical features.
There are many types of ways to preserve a seahorse, but here are 5 top ways to preserve a seahorse at home.
1. Resin Preservation.
Resin preservation is an art form that many crafters use to make all sorts of souvenirs and memorabilia. Resin is a viscous substance that is durable and clear so it makes for a great preservation practice.
When using resin for seahorse preservation, you’ll need to first understand the basics of preparing the specimen for the resin it’s about to be placed in.
You simply can’t put a dead seahorse directly into resin and not expect it to rot. First, you have to dehydrate it and then preserve it with resin.
The preparation involves placing a seahorse in a fixating solution for a few hours or a day. You can use a needle to puncture small holes in the body for the liquid to penetrate.
Once the seahorse has been soaked, remove it and allow it to dry. Exposure to direct sunlight can help with drying up.
You can also use a paper towel to gently remove any excess moisture and allow for full curing.
This process will dehydrate the seahorse causing them to turn a brownish color however the structure will remain untouched.
Once this process is complete you can start with the resin. You can get resin from any home decor or craft shop in your local neighborhood. Mix, and prepare the resin according to the packaging.
Or you can get an epoxy resin kit that comes with everything you need for the preservation process.
Prepare the mold, adding the resin in layers. It should be resin-specimen-resin. Almost like a resin sandwich with the specimen in the center.
Allow to dry and you can shape and style your craft however you see fit. It’s definitely a great way to keep these delicate creatures preserved.
2. Freeze Dried.
Freeze drying is a brilliant way to preserve a seahorse without it changing or degrading. It uses extremely cold temperatures and vacuum pressure to remove all the moisture from an animal’s tissue.
This stops the decomposition process and allows for an extended livelihood even after your pet has died.
It is the only preservation process that retains all of your pet’s natural features for a truly realistic look.
The time taken for a seahorse to be freeze-dried depends on the size of the pet. Seahorses are small so probably under a month they should be able to complete the process.
For a great realistic result, initial preparation is very important.
Immediately when your seahorse dies, gently rinse and freeze to stop the decomposition process.
Place it in a bag and have it dropped off at a freeze-drying center for pets. At this location, the seahorse will be prepared and dried.
Once the process is complete your pet will retain its original size and shape indefinitely and will look very much like it did when they were alive.
You can place the seahorse in a jar, on a frame, or even as wall art.
3. Wet Preservation.
Jar preservation is a type of wet preservation that helps retain the specimen in its original structure and form.
This type of preservation basically involves the specimen/seahorse placed into a jar filled with a preservation liquid.
This process must be done properly if not the specimen will rot, stink, or float which is not what you want.
If you decide on a wet preservation, as soon as the seahorse dies it must be prepared or placed in a freezer for the initial preservation.
When you are ready for the preservation process, ideally you want the specimen to be pliable and thawed, but not room-temperature.
Once you have the supplies, and equipment and are ready for the actual preservation. A fixative must be injected through the mouth, rare end as well as through tiny holes in the body.
Since seahorses are very small, they don’t require too much of the fixative liquid.
You can use humectant fluid or formalin as a fixating agent but do not use isopropyl alcohol for this step, as it is not a strong enough chemical.
Thereafter place the seahorse into a proper jar in the correct position filled with the fixating liquid. Seal and leave for a few days.
Once the process is complete, drain and fill the jar with a secondary alcohol solution. A 70% alcohol percentage is required for proper preservation.
A higher alcohol percentage can be used, but it can cause shrinkage due to its potency.
Seal it in a tight glass jar and place it in an area not too warm away from direct sunlight. Remember that the liquid-filled jar is highly flammable and it should be properly stored.
The chemicals used in preservation processes are harsh and some are known carcinogens. It is your responsibility to read the MSDS information on these chemicals and store them in a safe way.
4. Taxidermy Reproduction.
Taxidermy reproduction is a great way to re-produce the original specimen using plastic or fiberglass. This process requires extreme precision and attention to detail.
Since seahorses are difficult to retain after death in all their glory and vibrancy, a replica is a great substitute for the hobbyist to keep their remembrance.
You will need to find a well-experienced taxidermy artist who has experience with seahorses in order to recreate a life-like structure.
Normally, there will be minor changes in color since seahorses have a beautiful color-changing ability that is almost impossible to replicate.
The process involves removing skin and flesh leaving behind just the structure and key features like the tail, snout, and body structure.
Once the specimen has been prepared, the taxidermy artists will start to rebuild the seahorse using all sorts of supplies.
Once the correct structure has been formed and shape and size have been confirmed, the outer appearance is worked on.
Using high-quality paints, the seahorses will be painted to match their original state for a life-like overall appearance.
Once completed this replica can be displayed and kept for a very long time.
Cremation is a process of burning to the point of ashes. This process uses high temperatures to totally consume the pet until it reaches the point of ashes.
Cremation is also the safest option since seahorses can carry bacteria that can be transferred to humans.
Cremation can provide a safe way for you to keep your pet’s remains without being harmed in the process.
While it may be uncommon, some pet owners use their pet ashes to make all sorts of jewelry to keep their pet’s memory alive.
Seahorses are quite small so the amount of ash will be minimal. But these remains can be used for a ring necklace or even other crafty inventions.
Some local businesses can even turn pet remains into a diamond which can be placed on jewelry.
The death of a pet is a very difficult thing since it become a part of your life. Especially with seahorses since it’s so difficult to keep them alive.
After years of practice and failed attempts when you finally do succeed in keeping seahorses effectively you find that they have come to their final resting times.
If you decide to keep your seahorse remains make sure it’s done in a safe manner while preserving them effectively to last.
Wrong preservation practices can lead to the rotting and destruction of the specimen.