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Seahorse tank


Daleo

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My LFS got some seahorses in and I told them that there was no way I could get some. Well, I got bit by the bug and spent like an hour staring at them. lol. My mom even said I could set up a seahorse tank (she loves them). It just so happens that I'm taking down a 12g NC and upgrading to a RSM. Here is my seahorse tank.

 

I plan on keeping two ORA Hippocampus breviceps seahorses. Stock pumps and easy coral for the stock lighting in the tank.

 

Currently they are holding one for me and ordering another, because the others are sold. They eat mysis well and snatch them out of the current. Once the other one gets in I will wait for a while to make sure it doesn't die from shipping.

 

Can anyone give me some good links to seahorse tanks, or advice? (i know about search but i'm just getting this up and haven't looked around much)

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The best source out there is seahorse.org. Lots of misc information there for articles and forums.

 

Now, that said. Are you talking about using the 12g or the Red Sea Max for the seahorses? 12g is too small for a seahorse tank. Even for breviceps they recommend a 20gallon minimum tank size. Another link for a site that sells them recommends at least 15g http://www.seahorsesource.com/breviceps.html . Can you do it, sure, just highly recommended against at that size.

 

Now, if you're talking about using the red sea max for the tank it's plenty big. The only issue you'll hit is that you need a chiller. Temp recommendation for that species is 65 to 69. Pretty much any all in one system is going to start pushing 80 if it isn't past that already. Not all seahorses require chillers or the lower temperature, but the ones you're talking about do.

 

Beyond that.. There's a page on their article section that's particularly good which shows which fish/coral/inverts are considered seahorse safe

http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/t...tankmates.shtml

You'll find there's still a decent selection of corals you can do to color things up in the tank.

 

:)

 

Oh, one other small recommendation for inverts. Sexy shrimp are neat, they're fun to look at, completely seahorse safe and they have a tendency of picking up the food the horses miss without being so overly aggressive about it as to bother the horses. Some apparently can nibble on your zoas, but with frozen mysis on the ground I haven't had the problem yet myself.

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12g. Well I'm going by Igreen's fish guide. Says 10g min. with 1 pair per 2 gallons (I am sure this is too much actually seeing them now!). I plan on keeping 2ish seahorses total in the long run and not any more than that.

 

Temp stays pretty low since the house is at 72 already...

 

Thanks for the links and advice :)

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I took a look at lgreen's guide. The recommendations on there are ones that were made 6 years ago. That far back that's what most sites recommended for seahorses. However, over the years they've found that people just weren't have any success that small and adjusted the recommendations. I haven't seen any current recommendation sheets showing numbers anywhere near that small.

 

I have my first pair in a 10g tall because I had read a recommended of 15g and figured I was close enough. I'm already in process of upgrading to a 36g. The 10g just didn't work and after the fact I found the recommendation sheet I was using was about 8 years old. Same issue, and it quickly led to an upgrade.

 

On temp, if your house temp stays around 72 I'm guessing with lights your water temp is going to be pushing 75-76.

 

Good luck with it. I hope it works out for you, but you're already starting well below recommended size and ~6 degrees above their recommended temperature.

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Hmmm... I am not 100% sure on the ID, but I will take a picture and start an ID thread soon. They are small now (4"). I will upgrade when I need to. What you're saying makes sense.

 

The good part is, I'm still in the setup stages, so I can adjust if I need to.

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One other small note. Accordinng to lgreen's post the source for the seahorse information were the same sites I'm pulling numbers from. In fact, one of the locations he probably pulled the recommendation from was this article on seahorse.org http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/S...tsAndInfo.shtml (it's the same one I found when I was looking)

 

However, you'll notice the what they added to the top of the article: "WOW! This is a waaaaaay out of date referance. Please do not refer to this information for tank sizes, medication or tankmates. It is based on what we knew back in 2003 which was 7 years ago - we have learned a lot since then!!!" (this notice at the top was added a couple of months ago when I asked someone about it on their site).

 

The new recommendation is here. http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/c...e/careguide.pdf

 

The point being, the recommendation you're going by appears to be based on data that was accurate when it was created. However, the same sources he got his information from appear to have adjusted their recommendations a few years back. I just wanted to make sure you were aware it isn't just two different sites with two different recommendations. I suspect if lgreen looked it up again he'd be using different numbers. Maybe not, who knows.

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In my experience I probably wouldn't keep a pair in anything less than 40 gallons. I'm not saying keeping them in a small tank is not going to work but to really house them, learn about them, and experience them- a larger tank is better. The height of the tank is also something to consider seeing as seahorses swim upwards during courtship.

 

Before I broke my 14 gallon Biocube ( :( ), I hoping to mod it so there would be decent filtration, but no strong currents. I had all intentions of keeping a couple of pair of dwarf seahorses. You could easily house 2 or 3 pair in a 12 gallon NC.

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Heh. Dwarf seahorses are an entirely different matter. You could keep entire herds in a 12g. :blink:

Assuming you could figure out a way to keep them fed (they're small small they like smaller tanks) and can handle live food everyday.

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You could definitely keep herds but I didn't want to encourage that. They eat baby brine shrimp, thats kind of dirty..

 

Probably would be best to start with 4 or 6, let them breed and raise the babies. Keep a few generations in the tank.

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Yeah, I hear that with them you're also better off at less than 6 gallons. Never kept them myself. Might do it later though, I have a couple of 6g's sitting around and I'm having to raise bbs anyway (rearing sexy shrimp).

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Many years ago I started with 6 or so in a 10 gallon. They absolutely thrived. I had only a sponge filter and a HOB skimmer that was modded to have very little flow through the intake/return. Mainly so the seahorses/fry wouldn't get sucked in, not really for feeding since I would shut down all the pumps during feeding.

 

I had a lot in the 10 gallon, 2 years or so worth of generation after generation. I decided to move all of them to a 30 gallon hoping that since I had so many it would work. They all slowly dwindled down to nothing. I was younger and didn't even think that it was to big of a tank but it definitely was.

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Pretty close to what I've heard then. Recommendations say no bigger than 6 gallons, but unlike the larger seahorses I've heard quite a few success stories with 10g. Makes sense. The reason they recommend smaller tanks is so they can find the food. But if the food is live it's going to swim around so even at 10g they'll find it eventually. At higher than that, it starts to become a pretty big hunt.

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Wow! Lots of info here. Are dwarf seahorses typically black? All the ones I've ever seen pictures of are dark colored.

 

Live food are really not an option for me...

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They come in various colors... They usually can change from darker to light shades. Usually come in black, white, tan, gray, and sometimes green or pale yellow.

 

And hatching their food is as simple as a bucket, heater, some fresh water, some saltwater, and a couple of empty and clean soda bottles.. very easy.

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Hey, I just thought about this. How do you measure a seahorse's length? the body of the one at the LFS is about 2", however, including the tail it well exceeds that.

 

One other small note. Accordinng to lgreen's post the source for the seahorse information were the same sites I'm pulling numbers from. In fact, one of the locations he probably pulled the recommendation from was this article on seahorse.org http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/S...tsAndInfo.shtml (it's the same one I found when I was looking)

 

However, you'll notice the what they added to the top of the article: "WOW! This is a waaaaaay out of date referance. Please do not refer to this information for tank sizes, medication or tankmates. It is based on what we knew back in 2003 which was 7 years ago - we have learned a lot since then!!!" (this notice at the top was added a couple of months ago when I asked someone about it on their site).

 

The new recommendation is here. http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/c...e/careguide.pdf

 

The point being, the recommendation you're going by appears to be based on data that was accurate when it was created. However, the same sources he got his information from appear to have adjusted their recommendations a few years back. I just wanted to make sure you were aware it isn't just two different sites with two different recommendations. I suspect if lgreen looked it up again he'd be using different numbers. Maybe not, who knows.

 

I really like that link. Helps to make the info concise and informative. Thanks!

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I called the LFS to get the species name, and they looked at the invoice, but all it said was CB seahorse... Great information I know... But anywho I narrowed it down to H. fisheri, H. kelloggi, and H. reidi.

 

Now the hard part... Which one of these are they?? I am going to the LFS and taking pictures tomorrow, so I can post the ID on seahorse.org. However, seahorse.org will not remove the restrictions on my account. It says that I need to wait for mod. approval or something.

 

Help?

 

O! and where can I get info on H. fisheri? I cannot find any info ANYWHERE!!

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It's really rare for a lfs to have any idea on seahorse species unless they bought them from a known supplier (ORA, Seahorsesource etc). Odds are, if they can't tell you the type then they aren't CB. Best you can do is ask them for their source (there are only a few out there). Try this link and read #5. That said, if they're eating frozen that's the important thing. Mine were supposed to be ORA CB's and I seriously doubt they are. Still, they're healthy and eating so that the important thing.

 

For measurements they measure from the tip of their tail to their head assuming they're stretched out. Kinda amusing considering they usually are curling their tails but that's how they measure for the lengths.

 

Never heard of H. fisheri. :(

 

Glad you're getting the research done. It'll save you lots of headaches later. They really are a lot of fun.

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seahorse.org unlocked my account :) so i can do some real research!

 

@faerl: you have been the best over these two days :D

 

The ones at the LFS measure 3" stretched out. They are eating mysis very actively. Hope to an ID thread up soon.

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  • 5 months later...
PolypGardener

It seems like everyone is talking about how they've "heard" or "read" about keeping seahorses, but no one who is giving "advice" seems to have any personal experience actually keeping the animals. Keeping a seahorse in anything smaller than a 30 gallon tank regardless of species is unnecessarily unfair to the fish. They need to swimming room. As for feeding, they will find the food even if its not live. They are intelligent to some level, give them some credit, they can see and smell food. I've been keeping seahorses for more than 4 years now, and have found that the bigger the tank the better, and that small tanks do not work very well. The seahorses are much more active in bigger tanks and generally eat and reproduce more, which common sense would lead you to believe they are much happier.

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omg... ancient thread! i did get them, had them for about 3 months and nitrates were impossible to keep low, so i took it down...

 

I think size of tank was decent for them FOR THEN. They would need a larger tank later though. It was more of a water volume issue.

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