View Full Version : Seahorses in sump??

09/23/2015, 03:31 PM
I have a large fuge in my sump and was wondering if any of you kept seahorses down there? I want a seahorse tank but... am not allowed to set up one. So I figured if I could get creative and put them with my macros I will.

09/23/2015, 04:38 PM
They need height. About 18 inches or so minimum depth to be happy.

09/23/2015, 06:19 PM
Depth isn't a requirement. Seahorses have done well in many low tanks.
However, put in a system designed for other things is most times a recipe for seahorse disaster.
Things like exposure to pathogen from others, bacterial infections that don't usually affect other fish but do to seahorses, and warmer temperatures that multiply the effects of the nasty bacteria.
Just some rudimentary basics: 29/30g for FIRST pair of seahorses, with an additional 15g minimum for each additional pair.
Temperature range 68 to 74F.
Husbandry much better than for any reef tank.

09/23/2015, 11:57 PM
Maybe some survive well in lower tanks but they enjoy swimming from the bottom up especially during courting dances and need the height to do so. Lower tanks might be ok for smaller species but the hippocampus erectus I keep would be overly confined by a shallow tank,IMO. In any case it's a pretty standard recommendation from Seahorse .com. IIRC and others.

09/24/2015, 06:43 AM
I've been doing this now since 2003 and have found that height doesn't matter all that much. They even find the way to transfer the eggs in a 40g breeder which is low. This has been consistent with five species of seahorses.
A seahorse will not die due to a low height in the tank.
When I first started, the higher tanks were the recommendation and indeed many still do recommend so, but it is NOT a requirement for survival or mating.
In my various seahorse tanks, I've found that many seahorses DON'T swim all around the tank, especially males in the erectus species that I have in my 90g tank.
I don't frequent seahorse.com much as I prefer the seahorse.org and seahorsesource.com better, especially for more current up to date information.
There have been a lot of changes in the hobby since I first started, and while I keep my seahorses in a manner that works for me, it is only one of many ways to succeed.
However, the great majority of seahorses purchased for aquaria are doomed to die early deaths as their needs are not met by one method or another, many times due to lack of research but also due to improper advice given by unknowledgeable people, especially many LFS's.
All this being said though, it is STILL not a good idea to put seahorses in that sump unless the needs of the seahorses can be met. (IMO)

09/24/2015, 09:27 AM
I never said they would die in more shallow tanks. Their natural patterns involve a good deal of vertical swimming. I've kept them in lower tanks and they didn't die but thrive and seem more active or happier, anthropomorphically speaking, with the enhanced vertical space I keep them in now. I've frequented many of the seahorse sites including those you noted ;never heard height was irrelevant and doesn't seem to be so ,IME.

A sump would not be my choice for them either for a number of reasons some of which you've already noted. I think they need their own habitat and it should be designed to meet their life style and natural environments including vertical swimming room.

09/25/2015, 05:05 AM
The ideal tank has both vertical and horizontal space. Some seahorses will use the vertical space while others use more horizontal space, even within the same species.

Unless the sump is a large sump with about 25 gallons of space and it meets the other requirements such as flow, temperature, etc., I would setup a species specific tank for the seahorses.

Here is an article on keeping seahorses in a sump or refugium: http://fusedjaw.com/aquariumcare/dont-sump-that-seahorse-refugiums-are-not-a-happy-seahorse-home/


09/29/2015, 12:19 PM
Wow this is very enlightening! Thank you. I love the article DanU. Its very informative and straightforward.