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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am interested in getting at least one sea horse but maybe a couple... i havent gotten my tank yet but its going to be a 36g bow front.. and not sure how many fish.. maybe 3-5.. but i like the sea horses...

what are rules about seahorses??

can you have fish with them
 

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Sara

That would be fine for a couple of seahorses. Just make sure you get captive bred (CB) horses. There are a couple good sources for them Seahorsesource.com and Draco Marine both breed them.
There are very few fish you can put with seahorses. A few of the small gobies are fine. Like the clown gobies, not clown fish. Most fish are to stressful for seahorses.
Read every thing you can find on them. seahorse.org and syngnathid.org are dedicated to seahorses. Ask questions. Don't take any one persons opinion on things just gather as much info as you can then make your own dicisions on how it will work best for you.


If you are thinking about dwarf seahorses, there is a great book called Dwarf Seahorses in the Aquarium By Alisa Wagner Abbott. It is a wonderful book on keeping these tiny fish.
They have to have a high concentration of live BBS so a 10 gallon with sponge filter or a divider to keep the seahorses away from the filter. A smaller tank would work but its harder to keep the water quality up. They are so small they will get sucked into the filter or power heads.

HTH:wavey:

Jan
 

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There are several "rules" for seahorses in regards to type purchased, flow, nutrition, tank mates, filtration, tank design, lighting, and co habitation of multiple species.

The question you have asked would require a multiple page article to anwser, so I'll give you the short version:

Tankmates need to be slow moving preferably benthnic fish, anything aggressive is out, I would also not recommend cleaner shrimp

Corals need to have no sting to e kept with seahorses. SPS are O.K. to the horses but problems arise for the SPS. In the wild many reidi are found in SPS beds but the needs of SPS and the home aquarium are hard to reconcile.

If you buy CB seahorses from one of the vendors above, you'll do well. Be ware of the "tank raised" seahorses that are maricultured meaning they are raised n pens in the oean and exposed to many different parasites and pathogens. Best to buy from a breeder, way cheaper in the long run. I give high praise to seahorsesource.com and to Dracomarine.com.

Best conditions for seahorses include a temp under 75F. 70F is perfect if it can be sustained. I would not go below 68F if possible, but would not exceed 76F.

Stick with one species of seahorses, from one vendor. Long story, take my word for it.

I would go with 1.5 lbs of LR per gallon of tank. If you have a sump I would include macro algae and possibly a nitrate filter. If you are using a cannister filter I recommend chemipure and phosban as media.

If you have any particular question please ask. Asking wide broad range questions can be overwhelming to the readers. Even now I think I should be writing pages back to you.

I find it both rewarding and concerning that this forum keeps recommending sh.org for all questions. Let's just anwser the questions here and stop sending people away folks. This site and forum are both good enough to anwser the questions that arise. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
im sorry. i didnt know what to ask specfically because i didnt know much. i have read sites about them..but sometimes first hand experience is best for me because you can explain better than the general. i have heard the ups and downs about seahorses...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i hope i didnt make a couple mad by the way i asked questions.. i just have done some reading.. and thought i would be ok to ask questions here. i was just trying to get some info to get started or some links or something.
 

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You are welcome to ask questions anytime, We are here for that. and at the same time I hope I didn't come across like I was upset, I'm not and don't mind Questions, Feel free to ask what ever You like, I try to respond everyday, I was out of town for a few , So I didn't check in. Glad to have You here
 

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i hope i didnt make a couple mad by the way i asked questions.. i just have done some reading.. and thought i would be ok to ask questions here. i was just trying to get some info to get started or some links or something.
I'm sooooo sorry. I didn't mean to come across in any way that would make you feel you owed anyone an apology. The error is mine, please accept my apology. This site is so people can ask questions, of course you can. Ask to your hearts desire.

From my understanding of what your saying you need us to help you with every element of setting up your system. Cool! Anwser a couple of questions for me and I will give you the best advice I can.

Did you look at the seahorse sales sites? What species do you like?

What equipment do you have?

Is your tank drilled for a sump? Are you opposed to a sump?

How much cash are you willing to spend?

Does the tank you have come with any type of filter?

What type of fish and corals do you wish to keep besides the seahorses if any? Do you need recommendations?

Anwser those and I'll write you back a pretty detailed anwser that should help give you a boost.

Kevin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
everything is ok.. i just wanted to make sure that i didnt make you guys mad by asking such a broad question. i am now in the process of not knowing what i want. i am actually throwing some ideas together... and thinking i am going to have a 3 tank setup.. i have been getting lots of ideas. so pretty much i would have a 125 gallon sump that i could connect to all three. at leasts thats what i have been told would be cool.

here is the link to the picture.. now its just a broad picture and im open to ideas.. but i just want have so much so i came up with that.. something that would look nice but not huge as i dont have a lot of room.
http://www.thereeftank.com/photopost...cat=500&page=1

that is kinda what i am wanting to have...
now i get my setup on friday.. and it will have everything there except a sump and a ro/di filter... but if i get all three i would to have a sump..
now here is the thread that asks about ppl opinions and what i would need.. please read and let me know.. thanks again to both of you
http://thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83693
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm sooooo sorry. I didn't mean to come across in any way that would make you feel you owed anyone an apology. The error is mine, please accept my apology. This site is so people can ask questions, of course you can. Ask to your hearts desire.

From my understanding of what your saying you need us to help you with every element of setting up your system. Cool! Anwser a couple of questions for me and I will give you the best advice I can.

Did you look at the seahorse sales sites? What species do you like?
im not sure what my local pet store has. i have barly spoken to him about the seahorses. the ones that he has at the moment are black and they are about 1 inch in height.

What equipment do you have?
equipment.. i hope i answer this correctly
36gallon bow front
skimmer
low lights and high lights
stand
fluval - as i was told i could use it has powerheads
i think thats it.. i might be forgetting some stuff...but i cant remember it all

Is your tank drilled for a sump? Are you opposed to a sump?
My tank is not drilled.. but i am asking questions because i want to get it drilled for the future.. i just dont know how big or where and if i could plug it.

How much cash are you willing to spend? just depends.. i want to do it right

Does the tank you have come with any type of filter? what kind??? i know i will have a skimmer, fluval... is that what your talking about?

What type of fish and corals do you wish to keep besides the seahorses if any? Do you need recommendations? well the other thing i really really really like are the mandarins.. i was told i should wait about 6 months to a year before i get them.. otherwise im kinda open.. but if i go with my 3 tanks.. the seahorses would either be by themselves or with pipefish.. and possible another type of fish.

Anwser those and I'll write you back a pretty detailed anwser that should help give you a boost.

Kevin.
also when i say soft coral in the seahorse tank and in the other fish tank..i dont mean a lot. just a little to spice up the decorations
 

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I suggest you take off your shoes and get a cup of tea, or beer, this is going to be a :read:.

IMO you would really be better off long term buying seahorses directly from an aquaculutre seahorse breeding faciclity such as seahorsesource.com . If you do a search on several of the forums mentioned you will find they not only have incredible seahorses, but a very outstanding reputation of customer service.

Many problems can arise from buying seahorses from a LFS. Many seahorses are wild caught. Wild caught seahorses are likely to carry internal parasites, and may or may not be bale to be trained to eat frozen foods.

Treating a WC so it is "healthy" is possible. It requires a fresh water dip on arrival, followed by a prophylatic treatment with praipro and fenbendazole. After the treatments and a quarintine period they then should under go an additional freshwater dip before being placed into there display.

Training on to frozen foods is more iffy as there is no set proceedure that is always effective. The most common and most succsessful way to wean a WC on to frozen is to place them in a completely bare tank with a plastic hitch. Feed live ghosts, then slightly injured ghost shrimp, then dead ghost shrimp being blown around by a turkey baster, then thawed frozen mysis also blown around by a turkey baster. Some recommend the use of garlic for this training but research from Plymouth has shown that all species of seahorse tested have very small olfactory senses that are deemed to be incapable of smell and most likely used only to recognize there mate.

If the frozen training does not work, you will have to have a feeder tank housing ghost shrimp, as well as making trips to the LFS to buy and keep a constant supply of livefood. When I was keeping WC reidi's I spent about $10 a week per horse to feed them. I was getting 100 ghost shrimp for $10, since then the price has gone up greatly, I have seen freshwater ghosts as high as .75 a piece, which would make feeding 10 a day per horse rather expensive. It is possible to make large orders to get that .75 a piece down, but that requires larger feeder tanks.

Another issue with buying from an LFS is many LFS's are selling "tank bred" seahorses. There is a huge difference between the tank bred horse and a true captive bred horse.

Recently members of Project Seahorse amd a trip to Sri Lanka, and some other places throughout Asia to discuss with intrested individuals on how they could mariculture seahorses (raise seahorses in pens loose in the ocean to help keep down costs) so that they could harvest large numbers of seahorses that are used in the Traditional Chineese Medicine Industry. These seahorses were meant only to be used to ease the collecting of seahorses from the ocean.

Somewhere along the way the owners of these ocean seahorse farms found that they could demand a much higher price for a live seahorse to hobbyist. Companies like ORA began to buy seahorses from these breeders and sell them here in the states as being tank raised.

The seahorses that come from these ocean farms have been exposed to all of the pathogens and parasites that a wild caught seahorse has been. While the seahorses are moved to tanks and many trained to eat frozen, many of them do not receive the best care and do not arrive in the best of care. Even companies like Liveaquaria have been selling these maricultured seahorses as being tank raised.

What I have seen of others experience with these horses is that they often carry parasites, many do not take frozen readily, and they are highly prone to bacterial infections, mainly different strains of vibrio.

Of course all this is completely avoidable if you purchase a captive bred horse from a quality aquaculture facility such as seahorsesource.com, or dracomarine.com. Spending a few dollars more (it is really a few) will save you thousands of dollars over the course of your first year, not to mentuon these animals can live for 7 to 8 years.

So to be blunt buy a captive bred horse from one of the above vendors, do not buy a seahorse at your LFS.

Get up do a little :dance:there is more.

I would not link the three tanks together.

Seahorses require lower temperatures for longterm survival. Most seahorses carry a bacteria internally that is some species of vibrio. There are currently 17 different species that I know of that have been cultured in seahorses. Vibrio becomes more virtulent at higher temperatures. I.E a strain of vibrio that is a non factor at 70F (the bacteria is present but will in no way reproduce or be aggresive leaving a seahorse to fight off the infection without the use of antibiotics) will be a killer at 78F. Higher temperatures in closed quarter expose seahorses to uneeded stress, which lowers there immune system leaving them more suseptable to these different bacterias. In a seahorse tank I would aim for a constant temp no higher then 74F. In my work with another site we have seen a dramatic drop in bacterial disease since using the lower temperatures has become mre common. We also notice a huge trend of deaths due to bacterial infections in the summer months.

Combining multiple systems will not only undoubtedly expose your seahorses to undesirable temperatures, but als expose your other systems to the huge mess that comes along with having a seahorse tank. If you are hoping to kep sometype of sensitive corals, or fish in these other systems the waste that is generated by the seaorses will quickly foul your water quaility to the other systems.

IMO it is best to leave the systems seperate. If you go through this forum you will see threads pertaining to keeping seahorses in refugiums or likes, the same concerns are valid when mixing mulptiple tanks in a common sump. It is great for some reef type or FOWLR setups to increase the water volume, but it is impractical in a seahorse scenario.

I think a sump style refugium would be great.

If you are inclined to gt an overflow box the addition of a sump/refugium is a great assest to your tank, especially since you mentioned you would like a manderin.

IF it were me and I was in your shoes, I would get the biggest tank possible that will fit under your stand, divide part 1/3 of it with the three partion style bubble trap and use the smaller compartment as a home for your pump. I would let the tank drain into the larger compartment. I would fill the large compartment with Miracle Mud by Ecosystems (except no subsitute), some lr rubble, and some chaetomorpha. You can light the refugium section with a clip on light from Home Depot (under $15) and one of those spirally light bulbs. The light will be enough to grow the chaeto. Lighting the refugium inversly of the dispaly tank will also stabalize your PH. The refugum and the chaeto will be a pod factory, which will be good for the tank, and the manderin should you choose to go that route.

The sump is also a great place to stash your heater, and your fluval (what model was that again?) You could place the protein skimmer (need that type as well, give me a comapny and a model, don't yu dare say HOB ;) ) is not a piece of equipment I recommend or use personally on seahorse tanks. They are fine in the sump but ancedotal evidence as well as some not so scientific research has shown that there is a corelation between the use of protein skimmers and seahrses with Gas Bubble Disease in seahorses who have a certain malfunctioning enzyme that makes them more prone to the disorder.

Personally I like to keep macro algaes and softies in my system. Skimmers remove much of what these plants use to grow. Why work against myself?

For your return pump from the sump I would look at a Mag 3.5 or a Mag5 depending on the amount of head room (amount of space that the pump needs to push vertically) your pump will have to compensate for. You can also use of the option of using your cannister filter for the return pump, but this is generally discouraged. Keeping the pumps seperate seems to be more ideal from the experienced reefers. I never tried using the cannister as a return, thought I would learn from those that walked before me, but do know of a couple of keepers that do that.

Seahorses are not strong swimmers and need far less current then most reef tanks. Through the use of multiple returns, split returns, and spray bars you can increase a bit over the rule of thumb 3-5x an hour turnover. Rule of thumb for your tank would leave you looking for a pump that would push about 180gph into your system. I would recommend a spraybar or multiple return to get yourself a bit above that. Don't go cray, but you can go a little bit more.

I do not think you are going to be able to keep a manderin healthy in a 36g tank longterm without the use of some refugium. You also have the option of doing a HOB style refugium like the kind made by CPR. They are smaller (I believe the large model only holds 7 gallons) but it's use would give the pods a place to reproduce without being hunted or interupted, and the pods could renter the tank without an impeller ride. If money is not an issues I would say to get both. You can never have too much refugium.

I would discourage you mixing different species of syngnathids. Earlier I mentioned the vibrio bacteria. Different species of syngnathids (seahorses, pipefish, etc) all carry different strains of the bacteria. A seahorse or pipefish can be an asymptomatic carrier for the bacteria throughout it's entire life. With some prior resistance the bacteria does not have the ability to take over or harm the horse. Once the seahorse becomes stressed and immune system becomes weaker the seahorse is more suseptable to the illness. The bacteria becomes stronger and disease follows. When you mix speciments that have no prior resistance to the bacteria the other syngnathid is carrying, there is a great for potential for disease to occur in one or both of the speciments.


Good Luck,
Kevin
 

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Guess what, there's more. :doh:

Let's talk about setup.

I would go wit a 1.5" to 2" sand bed. Make sure the sandbed is no deeper then that, unless you are going 5"+ which IMO would take away much of the vertical height needed for the seahorses to be comfortable. Seahorses like to take advantage of vertical swimming room, so IME shallow beds work better. Depths between 2" to 4" are detrimental.

I have always like the Carbi Sea livesand product. It is live so it contains bacteria, and it is a large enough particle size that I have nt experienced seahorses accidentally snicking sand, even when snicking food right off the sand.

For liverock, I would recommend Tonga Branch rock, like the kind in the following link. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=401

If it were me I would go with at least one box of this and another 20lbs of a different liverock, or two boxes of the Tonga Branch.

Tonga rock is god IME because it doubles as biological filtration while creating several places for the seahorses to hitch.

I like to go with aroun 1.5 lbs of LR per gallon of tank to help with biological filtartion.

Normally I fill the tank half way with RODI saltwater, then I would place the rockwork in an aestetically pleasing mannor, then add the sand. I like to put the sand in after the rock so the rock structure will not collapse if the sand is shifted by a sand dwelling creature. After the sand and rock is in order, I fill the tank the rest of the way with water. If you choose to use a sump, I would place rubble rock in the sump for added biological filtration and a place for the pods to breed.

If your using the cannister fluval filter the media I suggest would be the poly pad, phos ban, and chemi pure. I would not use the carbon or biological media that the filter comes with. The carbon can leach phosphates wich lead to algae problems, and is not needed since you will not be housing corals that engage in warfare or any type of toxic animal.

Run the tank setup like this while adding a days feeding (one cube of mysis per seahorse you plan on keeping). When you can add the cubes of mysis, then wait four a=hours, and do an ammonia test and a nitrite test that both read zero you will be able to add your cleanup crew. Do a nitrate test only after the other two test read zero. You will probably have some detectable nitrates, usually in excess of 20ppm but often greater. Do a WC to bring the numbers down. Also do a PH test to make sure your PH is close to 8.3, if the PH is not in the desired range I recommend the Seachem PH buffer which buffers the tank to 8.3. Also check your salinity to ensure that it is still between 1.022 and 1.027. Most tanks have some evaporation and need to be topped off daily wit fresh RO water so the salinity stays constant.

For cleanup crews with seahorses I like a combination of astrea snails, naussarius snail, and scarlet reef hermits. I stay away from most other snails because they are either harvested from cold waters or they eat the macro algaes. If you do not wish to keep any decorative macro algae in your dispaly system, then you could keep turbo snails as well.

If the clean up crew survives (which it should if you do the iniial test right) then you are ready to add fish. Since the tank should be fairly stable at this point I would recommend adding a pair of peppermint shrimp, that are sizable enough so they will not be eaten by the seahorses.

The order in which you add your tankmates is up to you. I prefer to add the tankmates first and the horses last. I like to have at least one sand sifting goby like a twinspot or a yellow watchman. Since you desire a manderin I would definetly wait for some time before adding that fish. You can speed this process up somewhat by adding pod cultures availbale from etailers like ReedMariculture.com, and LFScultures.com, but even with starter cultures ample time should be given so the colonies can establish themselves. IME manderins also readily accept Reed's Artic Pods as a prepared foods, but all manderins are different so I would only suggest trying that food after the pod population is established. Think of the Artic Pods as a backup.

As for lighting I am not sure what you are saying. Can I get a brand name, a wattage, a length of bulb, type of bulb and a K rating.

At the same time you order your seahorses I would order the appropriate meds. IMO you shuld stock Neo3 (an antibiotic developed for seahorses with a dosage designed for seahorses. It is a combination of sulpha's and neomycin), Daimox (used in humans for fluid retention it is the only drug shwon to be effective against Gas Bubble Disease. It is not OTC here in the U.S. so it takes some time to get it on your shelf. If your horse develops GBD and you do ot already have the drug, your kinda screwed).

As far as nutrition I would stick with feeding of mysis shrimp. The brands Hikari and PE are the brands of choice because of there nutritional profile. IMO you should stay away from most other brands.

When you feed the myss thaw the shrimp first in a cup with salt water, then dump the mysis into a net and rinse the mysis off in tap water. RInsing the mysis helps to eleiminate the extra waste you are introducing into your system, helps to avoid future problems. Mysis is the staple food, other foods that are often suggested for seahorses like brine are hard for seahorses to digest and don't give the seahorses the nutrition like mysis will.

For additional temperature control I use a 6" clip on fan I purchased at Bed bath and Beyond. The fan points directly to the surface of the water in the sump. It is able to drop my 65g display with 40g sumps temperature by 5 degrees F. Cheaper then a chiller.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things and kinda being scatter brained, so if there is more questions that this inpires please feel free to ask.

Hope it helps.
Kevin
 

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lots to read.. i will read it over again tomorrow morning..

what exactly is a refugium.
:funny:

A refugium is a refuge for sall critters who are normally hunted in our display to reproduce without being eaten. Many refugiums contain various macro algaes with chaetomorpha and green grape caulphera seeming to be the most popular.

Here is a link to the HOB model I referenced

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produ...ia_Gen_Page-_-Filters&subref=AA&N=2004+113080

Refugiums provide a place for the pod population to boom, and a place to grow macro alages which help remove nitrates, and even toic metals. The macro is easily harvested (just pull out a handful).

The other advantage to a refugium is the ability to light it on an inverse cycle to the tank so you can keep your PH stable so it does not swing with the light cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok thanks.. you have given me a lot to think about. i have changed my mind and if i get 3 tanks..they will all me seperate. now is a 26 gallon to small for seahorses?? i would only have the seahorses and maybe a pair of pipefish in there. i want them to have plenty of room so i dont want to cut them short. and if 26 gallon is big enough...do seahorses need a sump?? i have had different opinions given to me..
some say you dont need a sump unless your large
others say yes you need one
some say it doesnt matter either way

so what do you think for the seahorse tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
so i checked out the HOB refugium. that would work for me?? all i do is hang it on the back of my tank.. if i understood it correctly. and it just grows things that ill need? i guess im still a tad confused! should i have them on all my tanks if i have live stuff in them?

as for the sites i checked out one.. but the darcomarine.com doesnt work...

now about the lights.. i havent a clue what the name is... i will have them tomorrow.. then i can tell you
as for the skimmer..no name on that to. he is just ordering it for me. i gave him a couple different models.. that people recommended on here. i dont remember the names because he kept the pictures i printed out.

also what about the sump.. i think i asked about it in my post before this one..
 
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