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lifeoffaith
05/04/2016, 06:58 AM
I plan on setting up a 75 gallon hex tank for seahorses within the next month or so. Because it is not drilled, I will likely be using a HOB overflow and then using a 5 gallon bucket beneath it. I would like to build an algae scrubber and use this exclusively for nutrient export (along with harvesting macro algae that I plan on adding to the display). I will be using a 4 bulb T5 hung above the tank about 10 inches. I am still tossing around the idea of a chiller as well, I plan on keeping the house at around 70ish and not using a heater, but on some of the cooler summer days I may not be using an A/C, so I'd be concerned about it getting up over 72.

Thoughts?

rayjay
05/04/2016, 09:17 AM
First off, for me, in summer I set the AC for 74F and because I don't have heat producing lights affecting the water, the temp doesn't get above that.
I see no problem in the range of 68 to 74F and even occasional days at 75.
Instead of a bucket why not just build a scrubber to function as both sump and scrubber? Remember to account for the evaporation rates. My 37g tanks all use about 4L of top up per day but my 90g only uses 7L a day. Conditions like humidity, temperature, flow rates and skimming are going to affect the rate and will probably change slightly with the seasons as my rates do.
Additional minor cooling can be handled with appropriately sized fan blowing over the surface of the water. The fan can also aid in the gas exchange at the waters surface, especially with a hex tank which has less surface area that most regular tanks of that volume.
You could also consider taking the tank to someone to drill an overflow hole if the glass isn't tempered. Cost of an overflow is probably more than the cost of having the hole drilled.

Greybeard
05/04/2016, 10:11 AM
I know there are people that like HOB overflows, but there is also reason why the vast majority of marine aquarium keepers drill their tanks. Gravity works.

That said, seahorses and pipefish don't like a lot of flow... you'll probably be fine with a hang on overflow. Set it up so that if it fails, the return pump will run out of water before the display overflows, and you'll be pretty safe.

I'll leave the seahorse specific suggestions to others... I tried, 10 years back, to keep them for a while, and failed miserably.

rayjay
05/04/2016, 12:06 PM
IMO, seahorses and low flow has been a thing of the past for some time.
Since I started this hobby in 2002, that and many other things have evolved to make seahorse keeping more successful.
Today, you would be looking at a minimum flow of 10X volume and preferably closer to 20X. My 37's are just under 20X and my 90 is just over. Some hobbyists have even more flow than that.
Flow in the display tank should be sufficient to keep the uneaten food and detritus in suspension long enough for the mechanical filtration to capture it and then be frequently removed from the filter to lessen bacterial influences.
Hitching should be provided in areas of low, medium and high flow so they can choose where they want to hitch at any given time. Often they will deliberatly swim into the highest flow and ride out the stream, only to return to do it again.
Basically, you just don't want any flow being sufficient to blast the seahorses against anything to be damaged. Deflection and diffusion can work great to help accomplish this.

vlangel
05/05/2016, 11:16 AM
I plan on setting up a 75 gallon hex tank for seahorses within the next month or so. Because it is not drilled, I will likely be using a HOB overflow and then using a 5 gallon bucket beneath it. I would like to build an algae scrubber and use this exclusively for nutrient export (along with harvesting macro algae that I plan on adding to the display). I will be using a 4 bulb T5 hung above the tank about 10 inches. I am still tossing around the idea of a chiller as well, I plan on keeping the house at around 70ish and not using a heater, but on some of the cooler summer days I may not be using an A/C, so I'd be concerned about it getting up over 72.

Thoughts?
How exciting for you. Do you know what specie you are planning on keeping? Seahorse keeping is more successful for many folks now that info on their particular needs is more available. LFS did not provide the most accurate info years ago but the internet is changing that.
I have used a HOB overflow since 2004 and have not had trouble with it. I do have a Tom's aqua lifter pump attached to the U tube to keep bubbles from building up and to assure the syphon always starts. It works great.
If you have any other questions on seahorses just ask.

lifeoffaith
05/05/2016, 03:01 PM
I am hoping to keep a couple of Australian breeds, but the trick there is going to be finding them. I know a local gentleman who has two different types (Abdominalis and Subelongatus) and has pairs. The trick is going to be getting him to either raise them himself, or give me some babies to try my hand at it. I may try the abdominalis, but supposedly they have to be kept at lower temps than erectus for instance. Subelongatis would be fun to keep with abdominalis since they are both Australian and I could keep a pair of each in my tank, but I'd have to figure out the whole pelagic life cycle which would be tough for me as a beginner horse keeper. Any suggestions on that?

Protoavis
05/09/2016, 11:50 PM
I am hoping to keep a couple of Australian breeds, but the trick there is going to be finding them. I know a local gentleman who has two different types (Abdominalis and Subelongatus) and has pairs. The trick is going to be getting him to either raise them himself, or give me some babies to try my hand at it. I may try the abdominalis, but supposedly they have to be kept at lower temps than erectus for instance. Subelongatis would be fun to keep with abdominalis since they are both Australian and I could keep a pair of each in my tank, but I'd have to figure out the whole pelagic life cycle which would be tough for me as a beginner horse keeper. Any suggestions on that?

Ones from warmer waters (subelongatus along the western coast), ones from much colder waters (abdominalis, tasmania), they don't belong in the same tank their environments are fairly different.

lifeoffaith
05/10/2016, 08:36 AM
Ones from warmer waters (subelongatus along the western coast), ones from much colder waters (abdominalis, tasmania), they don't belong in the same tank their environments are fairly different.

THANK YOU!

Thus the reason I am writing this post, trying to do the research before I pull the trigger. I've done alot, but I haven't decided on which seahorses to keep. Maybe I should just start with some erectus that can handle slightly warmer water?

rayjay
05/10/2016, 08:53 AM
I'm not sure what you have in mind as "warmer water" but most of us in the hobby have found that keeping seahorses normally found in waters in the high 70's to mid 80's, at at temperature range of 68 to 74F to aid in nasty bacteria growths that can be so deadly to seahorses. That coupled with extreme husbandry I think is a big key to success.
Check out the links at the bottom of "My Thoughts on Seahorse Keeping" (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/seahorsekeeping.html).
There are two especially good links re temperature, one by Dan Underwood and the other by Pledosophy.

lifeoffaith
05/10/2016, 11:04 AM
My current tank in my house stays right around 72 with the occasional spike when the temps get a little higher, and that's without central air in my home.

My new home (we move Saturday) has central air, and I expect the temps to stay pretty constant in the tank. That being said, I am still seriously considering holding out for a chiller, that way I can keep whatever horses I want without worrying about the temps.

Protoavis
05/14/2016, 07:31 AM
Just to clarify further, subelongatus would be similar conditions to erectus in that 72F to 74F range. Abdominalis is more 64F to 68F. They're (abdominalis) also significantly larger (a little over a foot as adults vs approx 8inches) so require more space and taller tanks.

lifeoffaith
06/02/2016, 08:47 AM
Still not 100% sure which species I'm going to be doing, but I think I have a plan in place to set this up in the next couple of weeks. I've decided not to use a sump/refugium, but instead I'm going to fill my HOB filter with rubble. This will allow me to just use a baster to get any detritus to overflow into the main tank while doing my water changes, plus it will allow for a spot that pods can breed without any predators. I'm hoping to fill the main tank with as much live rock as I can without causing any tumbling hazards. I am hoping to pick up some Tonga that a friend has that he is wanting to sell. Then it will be cycling time, and I'll probably start planting my macroalgaes. I also am considering going bare bottom to all for easy suspension of leftover food with a powerhead that will be hidden behind the rock and will also create a slight swirl effect in the tank which I hope will help with suspending food for the horses as well. Bare bottom will also allow me to possibly bump out the rock a little closer to the glass (while still leaving room for cleaning the glass). I will probably add a few softies here and there as my reef tank expands (going to a 90 gallon from a 24 gallon) and I need to trim some. Any thoughts? I may even get things rolling this weekend if I have the time between all of the other "just moved" projects I have.

The other question I had for all of you horse experts is what a quarantine tank looks like for horses. My 24 gallon is currently set up as my reef, but I hope to be transferring all of the contents of that tank into a 90 gallon before too long, and I may just use it for my seahorses first, then transition to higher temps for my future fish.

The other question is where to get my macro algaes, and how quickly could I add macros?

Also, what CUC members would you suggest. I think I'm going to stick with snails, but of course I don't want any that will wreak havoc on my macros. I do want some that will eat leftover food and clean the rocks. I personally love Nassarius for eating leftovers, but I know they need sand, so they are out if I stick with bare bottom.

Ok, then the last question (I think), is why use a heater? Obviously if I were worried about temps dropping below the range needed for my horses then I would need one, but my house should stay a pretty consistent temperature, even this summer, with my A/C and heat keeping it right around the 70 mark.

rayjay
06/02/2016, 04:01 PM
The more rock in the display tank the harder it is for me to find the seahorses. That's why I prefer a sump to put the rock in.

vlangel
06/02/2016, 05:57 PM
I began adding macro algae as soon as the tank was cycled. Maybe trochus snails would be a big help. Mine mainly stay on the glass. I do not have a heater in my seahorse system and it stays fairly consistent. I do have a chiller to safeguard against the temp getting too high. I only run the A/C at 76 and with my T5 lights the tank could get too warm. Actually for treating a sick pony I have used just a clean salt bucket, a fake plant and an open air hose. I change the water everyday during treatment and that worked well for me. It was way easier than a 10 gallon tank which is what was recommended to me.

lifeoffaith
06/03/2016, 02:53 PM
The more rock in the display tank the harder it is for me to find the seahorses. That's why I prefer a sump to put the rock in.

That's a good point. Any suggestions on my other questions rayjay?

lifeoffaith
06/03/2016, 02:56 PM
I began adding macro algae as soon as the tank was cycled. Maybe trochus snails would be a big help. Mine mainly stay on the glass. I do not have a heater in my seahorse system and it stays fairly consistent. I do have a chiller to safeguard against the temp getting too high. I only run the A/C at 76 and with my T5 lights the tank could get too warm. Actually for treating a sick pony I have used just a clean salt bucket, a fake plant and an open air hose. I change the water everyday during treatment and that worked well for me. It was way easier than a 10 gallon tank which is what was recommended to me.

Do you think the tank needs to be cycled to add the macro? I was under the impression it feeds on nitrates in the water. I've been considering a chiller, but in Michigan the temps rarely get high enough to worry much, as long as the tank isn't in direct sunlight or something. The T5s will be hung about 10 inches above the tank. What kind of CUC do you have? I do like trochus snails. Have a few in my 24 currently. I guess I would just want to stay away from any snails that feed on macro algaes.

rayjay
06/03/2016, 04:39 PM
Well I can't help with a some of what you want to do because my set-ups were all pretty simple.
I never had to have corals in my seahorse tanks because I had so many coral tanks already.
I never used clean up crews in ANY of my tanks be they Fish Only, or reef tanks, or seahorse tanks. (20 yrs of reef and fish only tanks)
I like bare bottom tanks just as I did with my reef tanks.
For corals in a seahorse tank you have to consider if they are acceptable to the temperature you will be operating at, and, for some sps corals, they don't like the dirty water created by the seahorses. Be sure none of the corals can sting.
If you use a heater in the DT you need protection, and just use it to stabilize the temperature from going a lot lower if such could happen.
I like 10g for hospital tank as it's convenient with most dosing instructions calling for X amount for 10g.

lifeoffaith
06/06/2016, 09:14 AM
Well I can't help with a some of what you want to do because my set-ups were all pretty simple.
I never had to have corals in my seahorse tanks because I had so many coral tanks already.
I never used clean up crews in ANY of my tanks be they Fish Only, or reef tanks, or seahorse tanks. (20 yrs of reef and fish only tanks)
I like bare bottom tanks just as I did with my reef tanks.
For corals in a seahorse tank you have to consider if they are acceptable to the temperature you will be operating at, and, for some sps corals, they don't like the dirty water created by the seahorses. Be sure none of the corals can sting.
If you use a heater in the DT you need protection, and just use it to stabilize the temperature from going a lot lower if such could happen.
I like 10g for hospital tank as it's convenient with most dosing instructions calling for X amount for 10g.

Thanks Rayjay!

iluvmyfishes
06/15/2016, 01:27 AM
I would recommend an HOB protein skimmer instead of the overflow or in addition to the filter and a HOB refugium for algae and pods if you are not doing a sump. You can also have non stinging corals and sponges, check the compatibility charts for the best ones. I do not have an overflow or drilled tank either, I have a HOB refugium and HOB filter. I also have some soft corals in the tank. I put a thin layer of sand and some live rock for bacteria.