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View Full Version : how do you quarentine seahorses?


sensei
08/09/2016, 08:33 PM
I have never had seahorses before, but I would like to have a pair
I have a 70g DT that has no fish and is attached to my 470d sps DT.

I am planning to order the seahorses soon, and I am wondering if TTM + prazi would be a good for quarentining seahorses?

Can I know what is the protocol for seahorses? do you have to wait 2 weeks after TTM to introduce them to the tank?

which seahorses do you recomend for beginers?

I keep my tank at a temp of 77-79F with a chiller, would that be ok for them?
I have read that 74 F is best but some species do good at higher temperatures

any special cares for them

I apreciate the advices of you taht already have seahorses

Thanks

rayjay
08/09/2016, 11:39 PM
Well my opinion is only that, my opinion, and others often have differing viewpoints. I'd suggest doing a LOT of research before you go any further with this hobby as it is NOT just like keeping salt water fish in a reef tank.
First, I'd recommend setting up a separate system, one not tied to a tank with other fish in it, as often seahorses will succumb to pathogens introduced by other fish, pathogens the seahorses haven't grown up with.
The number one cause IMO, of seahorse losses is bacterial diseases due to water quality issues that present themselves in seahorse tanks due to their unusual eating habits. The bacterial problems are most often exacerbated by temperatures above 74F as higher temperatures really escalate the growth of bacteria exponentially. I don't know SPECIES that do well at higher temperatures in tanks, only in the wild where the water is constantly changing, not captive as in our systems. There can be individuals within any given species that might fare better than others at warmer temperatures, just like we humans have a range of capability of the body to weather the pathogens we get exposed to.
Tankmates need to re researched as well as many fish can affect the seahorses negatively. Also, some corals can be damaging to seahorses, and, some sps corals can fail due to the water quality produced by seahorses. Other corals can be damaged by seahorses hitching to them. Clams are not good tankmates as many other reef tank choices are often not.
Water flow should be in excess of 10X, taking into consideration that no flow area should be able to direct the seahorses against anything to damage them, and, have hitching in all flow area types so they can choose where they want to be at any time. The water flow needs to be sufficient so as to keep uneaten food/detritus in suspension long enough to be captured by the mechanical filtration so that it can be VERY FREQUENTLY REMOVED so as not to provide food/bedding for nasty bacteria.
IMO, for best chances of success, water quality needs to be kept better than for any reef tank.
I've not treated seahorses in the quarantinel tank, preferring to buy from a source that breeds them properly so that the quarantine is just a waiting period to be sure that they survive the trip to me OK.
I personally don't feel that one species are any easier to keep than another, unless however you wish to breed them and at that point I have to say that benthic producing fry from seahorses like H. erectus are easier than pelagic from H. reidi for example.
There are lots of things to learn but I've covered the basics from my point of view.
I'd recomment reading Pledosophy's post number five in this thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2274878

I have a page on my site about my thoughts on seahorse keeping and it is at: www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/seahorsekeeping.html There are links at the bottom of that page that lead to more information.
I'd also recommend paying extra close attention to any posts you see written by Dan Underwood of seahorsesource.com, the best and most helpful breeder on the seahorse forums.

sensei
08/10/2016, 12:07 PM
Thanks a lot,

I have done some research and that is why I added a different DT so that no fish or corals that can harm them are present in their DT, but all the points you mentioned are very important. I will continue reading about it. and come back later with more questions.

thanks again

rayjay
08/10/2016, 12:30 PM
While you can separate the corals and fish via another tank, by having the seahorse tank connected to the system, you will still expose the seahorses to all the pathogens that are present in the other display tank.
Also, as temperatures need to be different, you would be having to cool the water going into the seahorse tank and then heating what goes to the other display tank.

sensei
08/10/2016, 01:31 PM
yes, I will rethink my setup. Thanks for bringing all this up.
I have another tank where I could do only seahorses as an independent system.
another question:
in those seahorse only systems how do you keep algae in control??
I ask because if there are no tangs or other fish that eat algae, and due to the fact that you have to feed several times the seahorses there will be nutrients in water column that will also tend to increase the growth of Green hair algae.

thanks for your reply

ThRoewer
08/10/2016, 01:39 PM
I personally am more of a fan of pipefish and some families are actually reef dwellers (flagtails and dragon faces).
My absolute favorites are the bluestripe pipefish as they are not only colorful but also very outgoing and unafraid of other fish. This may be due to the fact that they are also known to be cleaners. They also have no issues with SPS tank flows, interestingly far less than all the other fish I have. They may only have issues during acclimatization and recovery from the ordeals of shipping, but once you have them stabilized they no longer make problems or need any form of special care.
I would suggest to try those first before going all the way to Seahorses. Seahorses are way more difficult due to their very specialized way of life and often rather reclusive and inactive.
Seahorses are also much more sensitive to skin parasites and bacterial infections.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

rayjay
08/10/2016, 01:57 PM
Well that depends on the individual as to what they think they can work with the best.
In my case, I like bare bottom tanks with most of the rock for the biological filter placed in the sump. This also makes it easier to see the seahorses in the display tank as they can't hide behind and between the rockwork.
I also use quick filter attachments on my power heads that I clean out every two to three days.
Because of seahorse eating habits, generally being picky about the pieces they actually eat, leaving the rest for you to remove, and, due to their mastication of foods when snicking them up and passing particulate matter out through the gills, you need to have a more extreme filtration system than normal (one that can easily be cleaned very frequently), or, as I prefer, to do more frequent, larger water changes coupled with blasting water (turkey baster or like I use, a spare powerhead) around the tank to dislodge trapped particulate matter so it can be siphoned out (after letting the tank site motionless to allow settlement of the crap) or captured by filtration which then can be cleaned. This practice though is more for controlling bacterial problems by restricting bedding and food for the bacteria by removing it before it can decay much, but that also helps to limit what goes into the water column to feed nuisance algae.
Heavy protein skimming is also a big aid but you need one that is rated for 3-4 times the size of the seahorse system.
I also like algae scrubbers and find mine works extremely well. I just haven't gotten around to making ones for all the tanks yet.
Then, many use snails also to help, but I haven't gone that route myself.
Hopefully others can chip in with what they like to do. I know that some on seahorse.org are into carbon dosing and other methods that to me don't suit my temperament and budget.
Anything you use is no guarantee you won't get nuisance algae as I find after set up, problems like cyano seem to be a PITA until the tank matures somewhere down the road.
Lastly, just a word of caution. I think most seahorse losses occur long after the problems originate. Because we don't have any test kits that can tell when our water quality is going to induce bacterial problems, we have to do preventive maintenance, but often, some of us can go through a lazy time, or get too busy, and let maintenance slide a time or two. It's not the first time that does it, but occasional periods over a few months to a year, means water quality continually degrades, often to the point we end up with visible bacterial problems, or, unseen chemical imbalances within the seahorse like liver or kidney diseases.

sensei
08/10/2016, 05:05 PM
I personally am more of a fan of pipefish and some families are actually reef dwellers (flagtails and dragon faces).
My absolute favorites are the bluestripe pipefish as they are not only colorful but also very outgoing and unafraid of other fish. This may be due to the fact that they are also known to be cleaners. They also have no issues with SPS tank flows, interestingly far less than all the other fish I have. They may only have issues during acclimatization and recovery from the ordeals of shipping, but once you have them stabilized they no longer make problems or need any form of special care.
I would suggest to try those first before going all the way to Seahorses. Seahorses are way more difficult due to their very specialized way of life and often rather reclusive and inactive.
Seahorses are also much more sensitive to skin parasites and bacterial infections.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Thanks for your advices.
I do like pipe fish. I have two dragon face pipefish that I need to quarantine because they were in an ich infested tank. I learned my lesson the hard way.
Now I go by the book following quarantine protocols.
I will treat these pipefish once I see that the tiger pod culture gets going to be sure I have enough pods for them to survive quarantine in case do not eat brine.

I would like to move these 2 dragonface pipefish to the sps 470g DT but I think that the frogspan or hammer can hurt them correct??

I believe they can not be with lps?
please let me know what you think

sensei
08/10/2016, 05:06 PM
Well that depends on the individual as to what they think they can work with the best.
In my case, I like bare bottom tanks with most of the rock for the biological filter placed in the sump. This also makes it easier to see the seahorses in the display tank as they can't hide behind and between the rockwork.
I also use quick filter attachments on my power heads that I clean out every two to three days.
Because of seahorse eating habits, generally being picky about the pieces they actually eat, leaving the rest for you to remove, and, due to their mastication of foods when snicking them up and passing particulate matter out through the gills, you need to have a more extreme filtration system than normal (one that can easily be cleaned very frequently), or, as I prefer, to do more frequent, larger water changes coupled with blasting water (turkey baster or like I use, a spare powerhead) around the tank to dislodge trapped particulate matter so it can be siphoned out (after letting the tank site motionless to allow settlement of the crap) or captured by filtration which then can be cleaned. This practice though is more for controlling bacterial problems by restricting bedding and food for the bacteria by removing it before it can decay much, but that also helps to limit what goes into the water column to feed nuisance algae.
Heavy protein skimming is also a big aid but you need one that is rated for 3-4 times the size of the seahorse system.
I also like algae scrubbers and find mine works extremely well. I just haven't gotten around to making ones for all the tanks yet.
Then, many use snails also to help, but I haven't gone that route myself.
Hopefully others can chip in with what they like to do. I know that some on seahorse.org are into carbon dosing and other methods that to me don't suit my temperament and budget.
Anything you use is no guarantee you won't get nuisance algae as I find after set up, problems like cyano seem to be a PITA until the tank matures somewhere down the road.
Lastly, just a word of caution. I think most seahorse losses occur long after the problems originate. Because we don't have any test kits that can tell when our water quality is going to induce bacterial problems, we have to do preventive maintenance, but often, some of us can go through a lazy time, or get too busy, and let maintenance slide a time or two. It's not the first time that does it, but occasional periods over a few months to a year, means water quality continually degrades, often to the point we end up with visible bacterial problems, or, unseen chemical imbalances within the seahorse like liver or kidney diseases.

Thanks a lot, I will need to do some thinking before deciding if I go into the seahorse world.

ThRoewer
08/10/2016, 06:57 PM
Thanks for your advices.
I do like pipe fish. I have two dragon face pipefish that I need to quarantine because they were in an ich infested tank. I learned my lesson the hard way.
Now I go by the book following quarantine protocols.
I will treat these pipefish once I see that the tiger pod culture gets going to be sure I have enough pods for them to survive quarantine in case do not eat brine.

I would like to move these 2 dragonface pipefish to the sps 470g DT but I think that the frogspan or hammer can hurt them correct??

I believe they can not be with lps?
please let me know what you think

I know that people keep them in SPS tanks as a control measure against red bugs. In the wild they are found in the rubble zone near reefs, though I have seen them in stores and in plenty of pictures from the wild sitting directly on SPS and even LPS corals so they should definitely fine in a coral tank.

sensei
08/10/2016, 08:03 PM
Thanks,

what about having a pair of dragon pipe fish and a pair of the bluestripes in same tank?
are they compatible?

ThRoewer
08/10/2016, 08:16 PM
I haven't tried it yet, but can't see why not. They should ignore each other.

Jeff4777
08/10/2016, 08:45 PM
As stated already seahorses do best in their own system to reduce the risk of pathogen exposure and bacterial infection at high temperatures. Also if you use GFO in your main tank may negatively impact your seahorses if connected. Their feeding habits may dirty up the mechanical filtration pretty quick too. When seahorses snick food, they literally spray guts into the water column. (Looks like nos purging on a car haha). Which is why having their own tank with easy to clean filtration is nice. To combat the un ordinary high bio load of relatively low animal bio mass I have a skimmer rated for a tank 3x the size and filtration for 2x the tank size. High flow helps and train your horses to come running at feeding time.