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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, so I have a 46 gallon bow front with a few snails and shrimp in it, and I'm getting seahorses Thursday I'm hoping you can get me some help so I don't accidentally hurt the poor guys from low water quality. Here's my current parameters
Tank Age: 6 months
Copepods and ampipods: quite a few and large
Last Water Change: 3 months
Lighting LED: white light 12 hours a day
Filter: hang of back
Air stones: not currently used but available
Tank: 46 gallon bowfront open top
Current Inhibatants: 2 cleaner shrimp 6 snails 10 hermits, 1 gsp coral, 1 short coral
-The gsp is turning white and the other coral shriveled up from me adding reef buffer

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Ph: 7.8
Calcium: 560
Magnesium: 1670
Salinity: 1.026
temperature: 76 degrees f
KH: 200ppm
GH: > 100 drops/ 2000ppm!? brand new kit but could be bad solution?

I frequently use reef buffer to raise the ph, i'm not sure if this is doing damage?

Some things i have available to use are: ph up, ph down, water softner pillow, water for a water change, baking soda, magnesium, calcium, reef mix salt.

What changes should i make?

Also is that GH actually possible? and any idea what happened to the poor coral or how to save them?
 

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Welcome and have fun.
It might be a good Idea to get the water right before getting the seahorses.

Are you dosing all of those chemicals. In a new tank with that light a load you should not have to dose Calcium or Mg. Calcium and Mg are both high.
GH is generally not tested in saltwater.
I think your problem is someone sold you a bunch of unnecessary dosing products.
I think that you shouldn't be dosing anything until you need to and fully understand how the dosing works so you can dose correctly and correct for any mistakes.
The best thing you could probably do is stop dosing and wait for the calcium and Mg to drop.
Here are what normal parameters should be

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So i originally had a very populated reef tank with lots of coral, and i was manually dosing it, but then i switched to using reef salt mix did several 25% water changes and quit dosing anything but reef buffer; I intentionally bought every item so that i could adapt my tanks conditions when needed, for example i had huge issues with very low ph so i bought the ph buffer. I'm currently only using reef salt mix, and ph buffer(version that adds alkalinity)

From my research I believe 7 kh is ideal for sea horses but i was reading up to 14 is fine? I know nothing about gh except that it can interact with nitrates in some manner, but i have a kit for it and mine seems through the roof, so i'm trying to figure out if its safe to do a extreme water change for the seahorses to lower my gh, magnesium and calcium without killing my cleaner shrimps in the process; basically the sea horses are arriving on Thursday so i'm trying to get it to be in livable healthy conditions
In addition, I'm looking for input if i need to raise my ph using reef buffer and if i should use the water softener pillow to lower gh(unless its fine to have a several thousand gh). Alternatively I could just do several water changes but im curious is that would be safe or if it could put the cleaner shrimp into shock
 

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GH is not normally measured in marine tanks. No one I know even worries about it enough to get a test kit. Don't worry about the GH and just get the cal., Mg, and pH right. I wouldn't worry a lot about the pH until you get the others in line. It won't effect things that much being off a little bit.
Doing a large water change or 2 should not harm any of your livestock assuming that the pH and temperature are the same. I would recommend it It would be safer than adding anything else to the tank.
Kh of 200 ppm converts to 11.181 dKH liveaquaria.com recommends 8-12 dKH.
Is the 7 kh you are referring to supposed to be dKH?
Are you using RO/DI water? You might save some newly mixed water from a water change and test the pH the next day and see what you get.
7.8 is not bad for a tank only 6 months old. Bacterial action will lower pH.
 

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First off, I've been in the seahorse hobby now for well over a decade.
I AM STILL LEARNING.
First off I'd recommend holding off getting the seahorses until you learn more of their needs, and that doesn't mean a kh of 7.
You will have to get used to frequent and large water changes. Don't treat a seahorse tank like a reef tank as seahorses need cleaner water than a reef tank.
Other than cycling a new tank, I don't really do any testing of my tanks other than temperature and s.g.. I have not used buffer or any other additive in my seahorse tanks.
Seahorses have no specific need of some things certain corals might need.
Seahorses fail most times due to water conditions that you CANNOT test for and CANNOT see. For that reason, preventative measures need to be in excess of those measures for a reef tank for best chances of success. Keeping the temperatures between 68° and 74°F aid in keeping those nasty bacterial cultures at bay.
Keep in mind when others tell you they do things in a manner most seahorse keepers would not because seahorses, like people, have varying degrees of ability to ward of illnesses, but in the case of people, I would say many more humans are more capable and are seahorses.
You need multiple sources of input to help you on how you should move forward, not just me or some other individual as there ARE some differing opinions, although most long term hobbyists have common thoughts they go by.
Please don't trust an LFS to be a good source of seahorse facts and help without verification from good sources.
A good starting site to go to is https://fusedjaw.com/
From the best breeder in North America for seahorse hobby http://seahorsesource.com/?page_id=781
Also you can go to seahorse.org but some of their info is out of date as updates don't appear to be getting done for the most part. Their forums are helpful though.
On a side note, if you use air, just use open ended air lines, not air stones. Air stones make smaller bubbles that increase salt creep, but open ended airlines with the larger bubbles will create more surface movement to improve the gas exchange and help the pH.
Lower pH is most often a result of insufficient gas exchange at the surface of the water, but sometimes it is due to CO2 laden air in the home so the gas exchange is inhibited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your guys feedback so far. I did the two water changes and now my parameters are

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Ph: 8.3
Calcium: 450
Magnesium: 1600
Salinity: 1.024
temperature: 75 degrees f
KH: 12dkh
GH: > 50 drops/ 1000+ppm

I have crushed coral in the aquarium so i think thats partially raising the ca

Should i try to lower the ca any more or try to change the magnessium? If so how would i go about lowering the magnessium?

right now its
CA-440 ppm
MG-1600ppm
so almost a 4 to 1 ratio
 

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Calcium, alk are fine. (refer to the article I linked to) Mg is only 200 something off.
I would not worry about it. It will come down eventually with water changes.
And you still really don't need to worry about GH.

You might consider listening to rayjay they have kept seahorses and should know what they are talking about.
 

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Kev, IMO, the more you try to mess with your parameters, the more problems you are going to have.
Seahorses just are not affected by most of the things you are listing.
For sure, ammonia is deadly.
For sure keep the s.g. and temperatures appropriate for the species.
I DON'T CHECK FOR OTHER THINGS AS THEY ARE NOT ALL THAT IMPORTANT!!!
Because you will NEED to do extreme husbandry with larger and more frequent water changes, the other parameters will almost certainly be OK for seahorses.
For over a decade, I've been using salt water made of of about half I.O. and the other half my homemade mix that only includes the major ions of sea water and the minor ions are only there as impurities in the major salts. This guarantees that my water is NOT considered to be all within the parameters of normal sea water, and yet the seahorses live just fine and reproduce to provide lots of intensive labour for me to raise the fry.
I also used my mix 3/4 I.O. and 1/4 home made in all my reef tanks.
I suggest you devote your time more to finding out the things that DO have adverse affects on the seahorses, like temperature, water quality and flow for example.
As for knowing what I talk about, I know a fair bit but in my many years of keeping, there are a multitude of experiences hobbyists might have when keeping seahorses that I haven't had so rely on others, or, at best my interpretation on what others post on these things, especially if those posts are by Dan Underwood who probably started after me, but certainly knows a WAY more than I ever will about seahorses, and by many other keepers I've come to greatly respect for their knowledge and willingness to help others.
It's wise to research what many EXPERIENCED keepers posters keep, not just one or two.
Also, while I keep my tanks simple for my own reasons, many use specialized equipment to lessen the hands on time so like reefing, there is not just one way, but there are certain aspects that MOST hobbyists would agree with.
In addition to the links I've already noted, you can use facebook and join related seahorse pages where you can see a wide variety of opinions and set ups. There are 3 that I follow, primarily because Dan and other respected members post on those 3. Just type in "seahorses" if you have a facebook account and a lot will come up to chose from.
 
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