View Full Version : Poll on what is the healthiest tank for erectus seahorses.

04/07/2016, 06:24 AM
Hi folks,
I am taking a poll among seahorse keepers about what sort of tank is healthier. I am wondering what sort of seahorse tank you have and how often you deal with bacterial or other health issues. I have some questions I am wondering about.

1. Coral display or artificial decor
2. Sandbed or bare bottom
3.What temperature do you keep your tank
4.What percentage water change do you do and how often
5.What is the main filtering method: sump with LR, HOB pump, canister, protein skimmer ect...
6. Do you wipe down the surfaces of your tank and how often
7. What cuc do you have
8. Have you dealt with health issues in the past 2 years and how often
9. Do you rinse the frozen mysis you feed and about how much do you feed
10. How many seahorses do you have in your tank

Hopefully this poll will help those of us that might be having some issues sort out where our shortcomings might be.

04/07/2016, 06:33 AM
I will answer my own questions as well:
1. 36 gallon Coral/macro display
2. Sandbed
3. 70
4. Over 40% per week total, but done in smaller amounts 3 Xs a week
5. Sump, LR with oversized protein skimmer
6. Once a week
7. 1 small red leg crab, peppermint shrimp, nassarius, trochus and bee snails and 1 atlantic cucumber
8. 3Xs bacteria infections, all successfully treated
9. Feed half a cube 2Xs a day and I do not rinse
10. A male and a female

04/07/2016, 08:53 AM
I don't think that any one tank set up is necessarily better or worse for seahorse health as many variations work just fine as long as certain basics are looked after.
I believe that it's the individual maintenance protocol of each tank that is more important with some requiring a lot of physical input and other much less, perhaps because of more expensive water control methods.
Because some set ups would require more physical labour, or more expensive equipment to lessen the labour input, I choose the basic bare bottom tanks with sumps, with no other livestock and with artificial decor/hitching for myself because I know I'm ultra lazy, and chores would slip occasionally causing seahorse problems. On limited income, I can't spend what would be required for even one of my tanks let alone all of them to be able to keep corals, macro and other livestock and have prolonged smaller water changes.
I do major water changes, but each tank set up has varied needs so they're not all the same. i.e. same size tank same no. of seahorses but without scrubber need more frequent and larger change.
My water change costs are low because I make my own water that consists of the major ions in seawater, and then mix it with I.O.
I keep the tanks at 74F and have NO CUC other than my magnet, "swivel" cleaner, cleaning pads and razor scraper.
My filtration is merely Hagen 802 power heads with quick filter attachments, and, filter socks in the sumps. These are SOOOO easy to clean in my laundry tub with a short hose with garden spray nozzel attatched and set on "jet" so I do them every couple of days.
Food also varies with each tank. i.e. for my 90g, when there was around 40 seahorses in there, I fed 7 grams 3 times a day. Now, as I've been selling them off, I'm down to about 8 large males (16 months old) in there and am feeding 4g 3 times daily, to keep the density of food up in the large tank.
I rinse my mysis in a larger mesh net so as to wash out as much of the smaller pieces while retaining most of the whole pieces and find that lessens the cleanup needed due to feeding.
I no longer use my skimmers in my tanks but do love the home made scrubbers as they really do take a LOT of nutrients from the water.
I do have occasional problems with seahorse deaths but I don't know how many over two years but guess it's probably at least 10 since the last batch reached four months of age.
I no longer have any bacterial infections though, but do have deaths that I see no warning other than hours when I do see it. The only warning is that they become listless on the bottom and die overnight. No markings, no swelling no nothing to indicate why.
I haven't been able to save the few that I did find before they died, using antibiotics in the hospital tank, the last one using diamox.
Back when I used to get bacterial infections, I had losses and successes when treating.

04/07/2016, 10:56 AM
I run a 29 bio cube with live rock and macros.. also 3 species of gorgonians... on a fine sand aggregate .. the rocks are adorned with green metallic mushrooms
I have 2 2YO female H erectus females
Tank mates include a pair of blue stripe pipe fish...3 peppermint shrimp 1 emerald crab 2 turbo snails and a fighting conch..and a coco worm
Food for the tank includes Mysis ( fed 1/2 cube 3 times daily) and 1/16 cube of Cyclops for the pipes... I do not rinse.. my other inhabitants can use the nutrition..

primary filtration is from an Aquamax WS 1 in sump skimmer and live rock... circulation is provided by an in sump ( built into the bio cube ) pump which circulates water through an aqua Euro chiller set at 72 with a + or - of 1 degree..

I change 5 gallons of water every 3rd day.. Tanks get a wipe down .. glass cleaning and thorough inspection once a week ( or if I see anything out of place during feeding)

I've just passed the 2 year mark keeping sea horses and have yet to have any health issues and still have the original 2 I purchased( they were SO tiny). but I know where to go when/if I do... you and Ray jay keep this forum alive and have taught me things I didn't find in my studies before buying the ponies.. biggest thing was keeping the temp low...

04/07/2016, 11:45 AM
1. 30 gal tall macros, a couple corals/gorgs and fake sponges
2. Sand bed, I use ultra fine sand. It blows around a little at first but the are no spaces for detritus to work down into.
3. 71 degrees +/- 1 degree
4. Cut down to about 25% a week water change since upgrading tank.
5. Sump, LR, marine pure block, filter socks, with reef Octo 1000 protein skimmer
6. Wipe down the glass and blow off the rocks about once a week
7. a few large nassarius, a fighting conch, a trochus snails, peppermint shrimp, and some live ghost shrimp that get replenished as the seahorses pick them off. I don't think they can eat the full adult ones yet. The ghost shrimp actually do a great job cleaning up mysis that fall out of the dish or pieces that break off when the seahorses snick them.
8. no sickness so far
9. I feed about 2 cubes of PE mysis rinsed or 2 cubes of Hikari not rinsed.
10. A male and a female

04/07/2016, 03:00 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I know each tank is unique and individual and so there is not a set prescription for the 'perfect, healthy' tank. Actually I am trying to figure out where my own husbandry or tank set up is lacking as I think having had 3 incidents of bacterial infection since August is excessive. I revamped my system in December in an effort to make it better in terms of turnover and more maintenance friendly in terms of water changes. I am very regimented about husbandry but obviously something is missing. I am just trying to determine what that might be.

04/08/2016, 01:44 AM
1. Coral/macro algae display. With 2 reef saver rocks already seeded and a bunch of branching LR wedged in it going all over.
2. I have a sand bed but its a very thin lair. I have it only for aesthetic purposes really. I just make sure to agitate it with a turkey baster before I vacuum it. I'm not worried about kicking up a bunch of detritus or other junk because I try to do it weekly on top of the fact it has good flow, just a thin lair of sand, and snails.
3. Stays right at 73.0 typically.
4. 5-20% weekly depending on how I'm feeling. I think we all have that connection with our systems and know how its doing.
5. AQ110 with custom media in it, LR, and a BH-2000 skimmer which is over kill on a 55g tank.
6. I have a mag float i'll use randomly when observing the tank. As far as wiping it down that is usually the very last thing I do when I service it.
7. Loads of stomatella snails, 5 margarita snails, 3 cerith snails, 1 conch, 2 turbo snails.
8. No health issues besides my oldest male taking a few days to get use to his new home which had me concerned.
9. I Don't rinse it. Staple diet is Hikari mysis. I probably put a full cube in each feeding. nitrates still 0 though.
10. 2 male, 2 female Erectus.

04/08/2016, 02:49 AM
My experience with seahorses and trumpet fish is that you should avoid gravel of a size that they may accidentally suck up - most likely they won't be able to get such a piece out again and die. I lost two Aulostomus chinensis that way.

I kept my seahorse tanks bare bottom - easier for the seahorses to find leftover food and also easier to clean.

If you use sand the corn size needs to be fine enough that they can easily expel it or if swallowed can easily pass through their intestinal tract.

04/09/2016, 08:11 AM
1. 56G Column coral display with a mix of gorgs and other softies.
2. Sandbed that is vacuumed weekly.
3. 72 degrees
4. 20 gallons once a week
5. Main filtration is a protein skimmer. I blow off all the live rock with a turkey baster once a day and use a filter sock on the tank's drain for mechanical filtration (changed every 2-3 days). Also a separate refugium/rock tank.
6. Magfloat every few days or so
7. Conch and a mix of snails including turbo, nassarius, nerite, margarita, cerith
8. I unfortunately lost my female erectus a few months ago. She stopped eating one day and the next morning was gone. Not sure what happened.
9. 2-3 cubes of Hikari mysis per day.
10. Currently one erectus.

04/10/2016, 09:25 AM
NEVER MIND, just got done reading some of rayjay's posts and links. I get it now.

Hi, new to this forum. Been reading this thread and see that most of you (if not all) keep your horse tanks well under 78f. I'm curious as to why, every bit of info I have read suggest 78-80 degrees. I currently have 4 Hippo Erectus for about 7 months now, a major victory seeing how I have tried off and on for about 8 years to keep them alive. So you might say my seahorse education level is about Jr. High school. Thanks in advance for your comments.

04/10/2016, 12:23 PM
This is a good thread to read. Especially see post #5 by Pledosophy and any of Dan's posts.

04/14/2016, 06:12 AM
Thanks to everyone who have shared in this thread. It helps to see what other seahorse keepers do with their tanks.