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pbft_90
12/29/2015, 09:54 PM
Ok I want in. Had reefs for years and looking to do a seahorse tank. I have a spare 60g cube reef ready that I am designating for the job. My plan this far is as follows. 20g sump with refugium built in chamber for chaeto. Bubble Magnus protein skimmer, mag drove return pump with ball valve to control flow. This sand bad just enough to cover the base of the tank. 15lbs of live rock. Then as many non photosynthetic gorgonians as you guys can recommend for hitching posts. Cheap t5 light for viewing purposes only. Plan to let the tanks sit for at least a few months to build up my pod population. Monthly 30g water changes. Now comes the area I'm most ignorant.... What species is right for me and my tank? What flaws do you see in my design? How can I improve upon it? What should I be dosing/supplementing from a food and water quality perspective? I'm sure preference will drive the species to some Regard, I'm looking for this to be a successful operation the first time around but know that I am drawn to the colorful H. erectus variety but am not going to make my decision solely on what looks cool. Any guidence is appreciated.

rayjay
12/30/2015, 08:11 AM
Well you should get a few opinions on this as not everyone does things the same way. There are a few different ways to succeed, but no way is a guaranteed method of success.
I personally prefer larger amounts of live rock but I put it in the sump where it doesn't hinder my viewing of the seahorses.
Species may come down to preferences or just plain availability.
I don't really see the difference between keeping angustus, barbouri, reidi, comes, or erectus other than raising fry or dealing with the more pouch problem barbouri.
Never buy a seahorse by the colour as they usually change to whatever suits their mind when placed in a different environment.
There is no place better to buy from than seahorsesource.com
Here are My Thoughts on Seahorse Keeping (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/seahorsekeeping.html)

vlangel
12/30/2015, 05:01 PM
Welcome to the fascinating world of seahorses. They are charming pets. Yes I agree that Seahorse Source is an excellant place to buy. Captive bred is best because they have been raised multiple generations in an aquarium enviroment and are trained to eat frozen mysis.
Erectus is a good specie choice for a first seahorse but like Ray said, seahorses change colors so don't decide based on that.
Many folks like the 60 cubes for seahorse tanks. I have toyed with it myself.
Did you know that seahorses do best when kept in temperatures under 75 degrees? When you build your tank monitor that when it's up and running. Mag drive pumps generate some heat if they are used submersibly. I have a mag 9.5 and I need to blow a fan over the sump or use a chiller to keep my temps down.
Non photosynthetic gorgs need to be fed but seahorses can get sickly if there are too many dissolved organics in the water column, plus nasty bacteria can get out of balance if the tank is overfed. I am not saying it can't be done, I am merely warning that your tank may need even more water changes than most seahorse tanks, which need more than reef tanks. If you had a 4 bulb high output Coralife T5 fixture you could keep photosynthetic gorgs which do not need fed much. Or with the T5 fixture you have in mind there are many colorful macro algaes that are attractive and make good hitches with the added benefit of using nutrients to grow. When you prune them periodically that is a nutrient export.
We will help you with any other questions as you progress. Just ask.

BlueCat1949
12/31/2015, 05:46 PM
As long as you keep your temps below 75 I think that H. erectus is hard to beat for a beginner. They are big, to 8 inches, and thick bodied and are good eaters. One hint is to put in a feeding station so you are not just dumping frozen foods all over the tank. Also erectus need relatively thick hitching posts that are soft and smooth to keep their tales injury free.

The most important rule with seahorses is to keep them in tip top shape and avoid injuries or bacterial infections. Once they start going down hill you have to catch things quickly or you can loose them.

When things are set up correctly seahorses can make wonderful pets. I have had females change color when they spot me coming with their food. This is like a greeting and a form of recognition. Some become so tame that they will hitch a ride on your fingers. :cool:

Bruce

Pix shows some of the H. erectus that I raised.

vlangel
01/01/2016, 09:51 AM
As long as you keep your temps below 75 I think that H. erectus is hard to beat for a beginner. They are big, to 8 inches, and thick bodied and are good eaters. One hint is to put in a feeding station so you are not just dumping frozen foods all over the tank. Also erectus need relatively thick hitching posts that are soft and smooth to keep their tales injury free.

The most important rule with seahorses is to keep them in tip top shape and avoid injuries or bacterial infections. Once they start going down hill you have to catch things quickly or you can loose them.

When things are set up correctly seahorses can make wonderful pets. I have had females change color when they spot me coming with their food. This is like a greeting and a form of recognition. Some become so tame that they will hitch a ride on your fingers. :cool:

Bruce

Pix shows some of the H. erectus that I raised.

My erectus also color up when they see me coming with food and my female begs at the front of the tank! It make me feel like they are happy to see me even though I know that they are really just happy to see the food I am bringing, ha ha!

BlueCat1949
01/02/2016, 03:21 PM
My erectus also color up when they see me coming with food and my female begs at the front of the tank! It make me feel like they are happy to see me even though I know that they are really just happy to see the food I am bringing, ha ha!

It doesn't make any difference if they are "happy to see you or happy to see the food you are bringing" a seahorse dancing in the front of the tank and changing colors is always a delight to see.

vlangel
01/02/2016, 03:58 PM
It doesn't make any difference if they are "happy to see you or happy to see the food you are bringing" a seahorse dancing in the front of the tank and changing colors is always a delight to see.
Yes it is!

pbft_90
01/24/2016, 06:36 AM
Ok after more research from the link above and you guys' advice I'm going full speed ahead I changed the return pump to a much smaller rio pump to cut down heat transfer. I'm going to go with photosynthetic gorgs and macroalgae now I just have to find them! I plumbed the tank last night I'm filling it today with water will get it up to 70 degrees then a friend of mine has some nice clean Liverock that he wants to remove from his display tank. I have not yet determined what species I'm going with but it's between erectus and kuda. Let's see some of your tanks so I can steal some ideas!

rayjay
01/24/2016, 07:39 AM
Be careful of downsizing pumps as you may end up with too little flow.
10X flow would be considered minimum, 15X would be better.
Flow is needed to keep detritus in motion until it is picked up by the filtration system.
Also, while I've only kept non-photsynthetic gorgonians myself, I believe all types need good flow.
Photosynthetic gorgonians probably need strong lighting too as they are most always found in shallow depths. Strong lighting often means need for a chiller if fans are unable to keep the temperature at or below 74F.
Many macros are also light hogs.

pbft_90
01/24/2016, 10:40 AM
as for the NPS gorgonians, I read that this may not be the best way to go as they'll require more additives to keep them alive and well which can leave the horses more susceptible to infection. Thoughts?

rayjay
01/24/2016, 11:34 AM
Well I never used anything but the basic additives of calcium, magnesium and buffer for several decades, adding Algamac 3050 enriched Nitokra lacustris and rotifers to feed the gorgonians.
My worry would be for survival of the gorgonians if the seahorses were to hitch in the same spot all the time.
I found that If the branches ended up touching something continually the flesh died off in that area. They might not like seahorses hitched continually if it happens.
That being said I know there are a lot of photosynthetic gorgonians in seahorse tanks.

pbft_90
01/24/2016, 03:26 PM
So outside of macroalgae what hitching posts do you suggest?

BlueCat1949
01/24/2016, 04:49 PM
Here's my 55 tall seahorse tank from 2007. I had 6 erectus that were from my 5th generation stock that I raised myself.

As you can see I used fake corals for hitches mixed with macros and live rock. The main reason I went with fake hitches is to take the needs of other types of tank inhabitants out of the equation. In other words all the parameters are ideal for the seahorses.

I will have to look around to find a full tank shot.

Ekgoetze08
04/19/2016, 07:03 PM
I have had seahorses for a few weeks. And two have parasites. I have there seahorses and the female actually had two on her but one moved to a male. Can we try to get these of them?