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CrayolaViolence
11/18/2015, 04:43 AM
I have a 55 gallon tank that I am preparing for sea horses. I currently have two filters (external) one does 400 gal per hour the other 200 gal per hour. I have put in living earth, substrate, many shells to help keep down the dust, will begin to put in grasses and such over the next few weeks. I have read that I need a protein skimmer, but I have not had much luck in figuring out which I need. I don't want it to eat up a lot of space on the inside of the tank, but my tank is against the wall so there isn't any more room behind it to hang something off the back. I was wondering if two small nano filters would be better than one larger filter and put on on each end as I have done the filters.

I plan on having a lot of greener established before I get the sea horses, also plan on having plankton and shrimp established and breeding.

Any thoughts on the skimmers?

vlangel
11/18/2015, 08:54 AM
I have a 55 gallon tank that I am preparing for sea horses. I currently have two filters (external) one does 400 gal per hour the other 200 gal per hour. I have put in living earth, substrate, many shells to help keep down the dust, will begin to put in grasses and such over the next few weeks. I have read that I need a protein skimmer, but I have not had much luck in figuring out which I need. I don't want it to eat up a lot of space on the inside of the tank, but my tank is against the wall so there isn't any more room behind it to hang something off the back. I was wondering if two small nano filters would be better than one larger filter and put on on each end as I have done the filters.

I plan on having a lot of greener established before I get the sea horses, also plan on having plankton and shrimp established and breeding.

Any thoughts on the skimmers?

When I first set up my seahorse tank I underestimated the importance of a good protein skimmer for seahorses. It is not just for purely filtration purposes but also to reduce the amount of dissolved organics in the water column which is believed to be one of the causes of gas bubble disease in seahorses. Water changes will also help reduce dissolved organics but an oversized protein skimmer allows more margin since life can make keeping a perfect water change schedule challenging. I upgraded my inadequate skimmer in 6 months for an oversized one. I have lots of macro algae but I still feel a protein skimmer is very important.

rayjay
11/18/2015, 10:46 AM
IMO, protein skimmers are not a NECESSARY item, but probably are one of the single most effective things you can add to the system to help mitigate seahorse problems. Oversized is definitely better. Two small skimmers are VERY doubtful to be able to handle what one large skimmer can do.
Some comments on what you have described so far in your set up:
You say you have two external filters hooked to the tank.
Seahorses are EXTREMELY prone to bacterial disease, and any place that can trap uneaten food/detritus is providing bedding and food for nasty bacteria.
As such filters are trapping this in their filter material, they need to be cleaned out at least once a week IME.
The problem I found here is that it worked great for a period of time, but then I became complacent and a bit lazy perhaps so that once in a while I'd let the cleaning task go longer. I eventually lost seahorses to bacterial diseases.
For this same reason it's important IMO to be sure to remove any trapped food/detritus from around rockwork and around and in decor/plants, especially out of sight spots.
Lastly, you mention you are going to add grasses to the tank.
IME, grasses need an amount of light such that you are probably going to have temperature problems keeping the water temp between 68 and 74F as recommended for tropical seahorses because the bacterial grow exponentially for each rising degree above that , again subjecting the seahorses to greater bacteria risk.
It is highly possible you will need to purchase a chiller to control that temperature.

ThRoewer
11/19/2015, 02:37 AM
Well, I run all my saltwater tanks without a filter but would never skip the skimmer. It is important not only for waste removal but also for gas exchange.

laga77
11/19/2015, 08:03 AM
Having an oversized skimmer can be bad. You really need to have one rated for the bioload you are going to run. If you throw a skimmer in that is too large, it will not create foam until the DO builds up to a level that the skimmer is designed for. Then it will create foam and remove the built up DO rather quickly. The tank will then experience a roller coaster effect of high and low levels of DO which is not good.

rayjay
11/19/2015, 09:05 AM
I've never experienced that and I don't think the majority of experienced seahorses keepers have ever posted that kind of info on the boards.
There is SO MUCH crap in a seahorse tank because of their eating habits, a larger one is MUCH better IMO.

CrayolaViolence
11/23/2015, 05:08 AM
IMO, protein skimmers are not a NECESSARY item, but probably are one of the single most effective things you can add to the system to help mitigate seahorse problems. Oversized is definitely better. Two small skimmers are VERY doubtful to be able to handle what one large skimmer can do.
Some comments on what you have described so far in your set up:
You say you have two external filters hooked to the tank.
Seahorses are EXTREMELY prone to bacterial disease, and any place that can trap uneaten food/detritus is providing bedding and food for nasty bacteria.
As such filters are trapping this in their filter material, they need to be cleaned out at least once a week IME.
The problem I found here is that it worked great for a period of time, but then I became complacent and a bit lazy perhaps so that once in a while I'd let the cleaning task go longer. I eventually lost seahorses to bacterial diseases.
For this same reason it's important IMO to be sure to remove any trapped food/detritus from around rockwork and around and in decor/plants, especially out of sight spots.
Lastly, you mention you are going to add grasses to the tank.
IME, grasses need an amount of light such that you are probably going to have temperature problems keeping the water temp between 68 and 74F as recommended for tropical seahorses because the bacterial grow exponentially for each rising degree above that , again subjecting the seahorses to greater bacteria risk.
It is highly possible you will need to purchase a chiller to control that temperature.


My filter media is the stone media that denigrates. I removed any and all woven filter media under the suggestion of the guy who runs the saltwater store. So from my understanding that doesn't need to be changed or cleaned as you want the bacteria to help with the tank? To lower my tank to that temp I'd just need to remove the heater. I just put it in because I was worried my waving hands was too cold. Without the heater it stays at about 72. I generally keep a cold house.

CrayolaViolence
11/23/2015, 05:10 AM
Okay, so for a 55 gal, what size would you suggest? any preferred brands? I'd like something that goes in the tank and is low profile if possible.
Also, any input on lighting? As I am having a fine time trying to sort out that discussion.

CrayolaViolence
11/23/2015, 05:17 AM
Would this be an acceptable skimmer? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Protein-Skimmer-150-Gal-w-530GPH-Pump-Filter-Salt-Water-Powerhead-Tank-/181744069305?hash=item2a50ca6ab9:g:AHkAAOSwBLlVUuzN

Rated for 150 gal and mine is 55. Also fits inside the tank which is a plus for me. Not sure on the dimensions so will have to contact the seller.

vlangel
11/23/2015, 05:24 AM
I can't offer much as to an in tank skimmer. I have used red sea prizm pro HOB but it makes some noise and skims ok but not outstanding. I does have a compartment for activated carbon which is helpful. Now that I read your original post I see the prizm won't work due to being a HOB.
Seahorses don't need any special light so any florescent strip light or LED that is pleasing to you will work. The LED has an advantage in that it does not give off much heat, thus helping to keep the water below 74 degrees.

rayjay
11/23/2015, 08:43 AM
My filter media is the stone media that denigrates. I removed any and all woven filter media under the suggestion of the guy who runs the saltwater store. So from my understanding that doesn't need to be changed or cleaned as you want the bacteria to help with the tank?
Well my thoughts on that are that the filter media in the canister are there to filter out the crap before the water passes to beneficial media. Without the filter media, the crap will now be caught up in the beneficial media, needing in my opinion, cleaning out at least once a week. Hopefully you have another source for promoting the good bacteria.
Can't help with skimmer selection as I build all my own. I do know that since at least 1994 when I researched and built my first skimmers, skimmers have been reportedly overrated by the manufacturer.

CrayolaViolence
11/23/2015, 08:57 AM
Well my thoughts on that are that the filter media in the canister are there to filter out the crap before the water passes to beneficial media. Without the filter media, the crap will now be caught up in the beneficial media, needing in my opinion, cleaning out at least once a week. Hopefully you have another source for promoting the good bacteria.
Can't help with skimmer selection as I build all my own. I do know that since at least 1994 when I researched and built my first skimmers, skimmers have been reportedly overrated by the manufacturer.


Well, I had a woven media, but after talking to the guy who runs the saltwater store (he's had salt water aquariums for 30+ years) he strongly advised using only the nitrate rock, which does filter the water. It's in a net and you put it in place of a woven media. This way the copods and such can breed and move about. He felt the woven material would be more apt to become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Asked about carbon but he warned while it worked great at first it could turn on you. They don't use any kind of woven media there, just the de-nitrate rocks and the water is sparkling even in their large display tanks with a heavy coral and fish load. I'm also cultivating a thick garden of macro algae and plant media to help with filtering the water trying to keep it as natural and green as possible. I am not going to have any kind of fish in the aquarium, just sea horses and maybe a hermit crab or two. I have live rock already with bacteria, and I am making some rock on my own to add to it and cultivate the good bacteria. And I plan on getting some more Anthelia as I have found I really like the stuff and since it doesn't sting or is a predator figured it would do fine with sea horses.
I really wanted to try and use as much natural greenery as possible to help clean and filter the water in the tank. I guess now it's just a matter of trying to figure out which protein skimmer would be best for my $.

rayjay
11/23/2015, 10:55 AM
A lot of people in the seahorse hobby use carbon. Properly used it's great to help with dissolved organics.
I stopped using the canister filter other than for just added water to the system and another water "mover".
I decided that the bag containing the media would get clogged, reducing the flow through the system and I didn't want that crap staying there producing food and bedding for the nasties.
For good bacteria I had sufficient live rock for the task in the sump of each of my systems so that there was no necessity for my canister filter for added biological filtration.
Eventually after some years the canister quit and I removed it and nothing changed in that system.
Your LFS probably wasn't aware of the fact that seahorse tank water is extremely dirty compared to a normal salt water tank, even though it's visibly similar.
Seahorses are VERY messy eaters in that they are quite selective in what they eat, choosing to snick up only the pieces that are choice, at least in their eyes.
Then, when they snick that food, they masticate it and as it passes to the digestive tract, minute particulate matter passes through the gills and into the water, occasionally even seen as a "cloud" emanating from the gills.
For me, most times I see the cloud when feeding them live freshwater mysis.
Between uneaten food that isn't managed by clean up crew, (I personally won't use hermits as many are aggressive and irritants) and the particulate matter emitting from the gills, the water is extremely loaded with the nutrients that can fuel nasty bacteria.

CrayolaViolence
11/24/2015, 04:03 AM
A lot of people in the seahorse hobby use carbon. Properly used it's great to help with dissolved organics.
I stopped using the canister filter other than for just added water to the system and another water "mover".
I decided that the bag containing the media would get clogged, reducing the flow through the system and I didn't want that crap staying there producing food and bedding for the nasties.
For good bacteria I had sufficient live rock for the task in the sump of each of my systems so that there was no necessity for my canister filter for added biological filtration.
Eventually after some years the canister quit and I removed it and nothing changed in that system.
Your LFS probably wasn't aware of the fact that seahorse tank water is extremely dirty compared to a normal salt water tank, even though it's visibly similar.
Seahorses are VERY messy eaters in that they are quite selective in what they eat, choosing to snick up only the pieces that are choice, at least in their eyes.
Then, when they snick that food, they masticate it and as it passes to the digestive tract, minute particulate matter passes through the gills and into the water, occasionally even seen as a "cloud" emanating from the gills.
For me, most times I see the cloud when feeding them live freshwater mysis.
Between uneaten food that isn't managed by clean up crew, (I personally won't use hermits as many are aggressive and irritants) and the particulate matter emitting from the gills, the water is extremely loaded with the nutrients that can fuel nasty bacteria.



No, he was aware. It's one of the reasons he prefers not to sell them is they are a lot of work. It was one of the reasons we got into a conversation about protein skimmers etc and the denigrate rock.
He's not a seahorse fan because of how much work is involved with them but will order them for people if they want them.

C.Eymann
11/24/2015, 05:16 AM
Would this be an acceptable skimmer? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Protein-Skimmer-150-Gal-w-530GPH-Pump-Filter-Salt-Water-Powerhead-Tank-/181744069305?hash=item2a50ca6ab9:g:AHkAAOSwBLlVUuzN

Rated for 150 gal and mine is 55. Also fits inside the tank which is a plus for me. Not sure on the dimensions so will have to contact the seller.

That skimmer you posted would probably give you more headache than what it's worth. $30 for a skimmer that claims to handle 150 gallons is a joke.

You can try it if you want but for an in tank skimmer TUNZE is hard to beat, super quiet too.http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/index.php/tunze-comline-doc-skimmer-9004.html?gclid=CjwKEAiAstCyBRDiqu75hvnX82kSJACgYI_QYp8bdZHnHH-GsJg1xkM86lOGc_sh65oVQ8wUbKK3fxoCpJfw_wcB