View Full Version : 10g shallow dwarf seahorse, w/ closed loop 10g refugium.

01/10/2016, 01:32 PM
Figured I'd share my build here too. I've been working on it for a while and it's finally picking up momentum. Right now all I'm waiting for is my bulkheads to come in and to decide on the right return pump.
Baby gate because I have twin 2 year olds

01/10/2016, 01:33 PM

01/10/2016, 02:57 PM
This is a good place to post your build kirby as there are experienced dwarf seahorse keepers on here.

01/10/2016, 03:14 PM
Yes that's what I was hoping for. Plenty of people to stop me from doing something stupid :)

01/10/2016, 09:52 PM
I'll be 73 next month and I still keep doing stupid things.

01/11/2016, 06:39 AM
I'll be 73 next month and I still keep doing stupid things.

You must be getting pretty good at it by now with all that experience. :jester:

01/11/2016, 09:44 AM
You must be getting pretty good at it by now with all that experience. :jester:
I think experience only shows you how much you DON'T know, and the more experience the more you realize there is even more you still don't know.
I can learn from newbies as well as experienced hobbyists because so many people have differing experiences.

01/11/2016, 09:47 AM
Haven't seen any pictures of your artemia hatching/enriching station yet.
I WOULD suggest starting the H/E before actually getting the seahorses so you know ahead of time just what is involved.
I also recommend using hydrogen peroxide to sterilize the artemia before feeding them to the dwarfs.

01/11/2016, 09:52 AM
I'm a good solid month or two away from even thinking of sea horses. Still trying to decide how/where I'll set up my station. But I will DEFINITELY have it up and running long before any livestock goes in the tank. Gotta train my wife up on how to do it anyways. Any tips or best practices for raising bbs? I've read of a few places that sell high quality eggs so I'll be checking into that as well.

01/11/2016, 05:36 PM
I am not sure why you choose this sized tank and why you are drilling holes and have a refugium with return pump. Most dwarf seahorse tanks are 2 1/2 to 5 gallon. The goal is to be able to concentrate the live food so your dwarves can feed. Dwarves are not the most mobile of creatures and usually remain hitched and feed on whatever swims by.

A refugium with LR, LS or macros is a breeding ground for undesirable pests that can either compete for food, pray on dwarves (or fry) or sting them.

Dwarves are about the size of your thumbnail (tail and all) and unless you have a large group of them they will be hard to spot in your 10 gallon.

Just my 2 cents.

01/11/2016, 06:25 PM
Any tips or best practices for raising bbs? I've read of a few places that sell high quality eggs so I'll be checking into that as well.
I buy the top line one pound cans from Brine Shrimp Direct.
As for best practices, I can't say my method is best, only that it works well for me. I use soda pop bottles as hatchers as well as enrichers.
Hatcher/Enricher (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/Hatcher.html)
I use a salt mix of 10 parts water softener salt sodium chloride mixed with one part epsom salts and diluted to s.g. of a range around 1.018 (it's not critical)
I hatch out for a day, rinse and place in new water for another day so they develop the digestive tract. Then I then add the enrichment (Dan's Feed from seahorse source.com) and let run for another 12 hours at which point I rinse and replace in new water and enrichment for another 12 hour period. At this point they are not only gut loaded, but the enrichment has already become assimilated into the flesh as well making them even more nutritious.
At this point I add some peroxide for a few minutes, rinse and then feed to the dwarfs.
You should also come up with a way to remove uneaten brine before adding the new as the enrichment is quickly worn off and you would rather have them feed only on the newly enriched instead of getting the nutrient lacking older ones.
Hopefully more dwarf keepers will have other thoughts for you.

01/12/2016, 05:55 AM
Yes I'm aware of all of that. The whole point of this build is to push the boundaries and see what I can accomplish. If I can't work out all the issues then it will not be set up. If I can figure out how to negate or reduce the threats to an acceptable level I'll give it a shot. Trust me when I say I've read everything stating small tanks are best, and the reasoning behind that. The size of the tank was going to be offset with a LARGE amount of dwarfs (originally thinking 25 to start but now maybe more) and large frequent feedings, followed by a filter sock to remove the uneaten food. The biggest issue right now is whether or not my wife is wanting to help with feedings if need be. She was very excited for the first month and now not so much. So we will see.

01/12/2016, 06:03 AM
Rayjay, awesome writeup. Thank you! That's going to be very helpful.

01/12/2016, 07:18 AM
Also, not sure if I'll be doing this any more unfortunately. The wife was supposed to help me with feedings when I go out of town (occasional work travel) but now she's not so keen on the idea. So we will see... Will at least be setting up the tank for something still...

01/12/2016, 07:42 AM
One thing that may help you is that you can hatch and enrich a week or more supply of nauplii so that hatching isn't a daily routine.
Some people store them in the fridge but I didn't have a lot of luck with that so I just put the brine in a larger container and fed them with phyto or as I developed later, greenwater made from blending spirulina powder (brine shrimp direct) with water for at least two minutes and then stored it in the fridge in a pop bottle, using as needed. (sparingly works much better)
Then I take out what I need for the day and enrich them in the hatcher bottles.
Unfortunately the ongrowing ones will need cleaning every so often, especially if feeding spirulina water, but at least it can get you by for probably 3 days anyway, longer if using live phyto.
It at least lessens the chores by not hatching every day.
You might get some ideas from my brine shrimp page (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/brineshrimp.html)

01/23/2016, 03:53 PM
Can anyone on here possibly help me out? I'm getting a ten gallon setup going now with a sponge filter bare bottom and fake plants for a few dwarfs myself but was told by my lps that it's a good idea to substitute bbs with reef brand phytoplankton. Is this true? It's a bottle of live phytoplankton cultures normally used to feed corals but my lps says it's good for dwarfs too any thoughts?

01/23/2016, 04:34 PM
When it comes to seahorses, don't take ANY advice from them.
First of all, NO seahorse dwarf or standard feeds on phytoplankton of ANY species.
Dwarf seahorses will feed on live copepods and on brine shrimp nauplii, but most use the nauplii because it is extremely difficult to propagate sufficient copepods to sustain a dwarf culture. It makes a welcome addition to a feeding regime for them but the main food will be live brine ENRICHED artemia nauplii.
The only way it's good for dwarfs is if you are feeding the nauplii with it, but that is a very expensive way to go about it.
Sterilze the artemia cysts, or, decapp them, or buy decapped cysts, hatch out for a day, rinse, change water and grow out for another day until they develop their digestive tract, then rinse again and new water with enrichment in it and let them get gut loaded for 12 hours. Preferably then rinse again, new water and new enrichment and let go for another 12 hours and now the enrichment will not only be in the gut but it will be assimilated into the body of the naupii making them even more nutritious.
I prefer feeding 3 times daily and removing the previous artemia nauplii that have depleted their nutrient before adding the new enriched nauplii so the dwarfs can ONLY feed on enriched nauplii, not depleted nauplii.
I also recommend starting the hatching process ahead of time so you can get an idea of the work you will be involved with in keeping dwarfs.
Most people quickly tire of it and quit the hobby.
Hatcher/Enricher (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/Hatcher.html)

01/24/2016, 05:10 PM
Actually if you feed out the newly hatched nuaplii within two hours, when they still have their yolk sac, they are very nutritious. When I was raising seahorse fry I would use part of the newly hatched nuaplii and then follow rayjay's enrichment method with the rest of the hatch.

At my peak of fry raising I was doing 5 feeding a day so I kept 2-3 hatchers going all the time. New born erectus fry and dwarves have very similar needs, but the dwarves never out grow the bbs.