View Full Version : Triton Method with Seahorses?

07/27/2017, 07:21 AM
Is anyone using the Triton Method and keeping seahorses? I am interested in trying this but not at the expense of ponies. I think the key would be setting up everything, SSB, LR, refugium, then getting a grasp of the Triton Method, then testing the bioload my tank might be able to handle. Any thoughts?

07/27/2017, 09:37 AM
Personally, I'd never get into any method like that with costs of testing, and, as it ties you to one company's products. I'm sure there are success stories with the method, but I'm more sure that many successful systems have NEVER used it.
In all my years of saltwater keeping, I've been one to do water changes to REMOVE elements that have built up in the water because when you add food and it is eaten and then the waste materials are further processed by the micro-life forms, there are still elements that remain.
It would be interesting to know how they plan on "removal" of these excessive elements, and, if indeed they even test for them.
They are dealing with "Base" elements, not all elements and I find it to be misleading to say that you are going to be able to maintain close to original conditions of the water, especially when not everything in excess is going to be removed with a skimmer and refugium.
In addition, they don't test for ALL elements as it would be prohibitively expensive, and, some of the elements themselves would be prohibitively costly if indeed even available in a form that could be used without adding something else to skew other levels.
IF I were inclined to try it, I certainly wouldn't try it on seahorses as they have VERY specific needs that differ from the needs of a reef tank.
I would just advise you to learn what the needs of seahorses are for best chances of success, before you try this.
One starter page would be by Dan Underwood of seahorsesource.com who has been VERY instrumental in the improved success of keepers over the last decade and more. This one page deals with a specific problem but he notes that by doing what is needed to help prevent it, most other problems seahorse related are ALSO reduced.
Seahorses need water that is cleaner than a reef in terms of nutrients that feed and bed nasty bacteria like, but not exclusively, the vibro species. IMO, bacterial problems are the number one cause of seahorse deaths.
To the best of my knowledge there are no test kits available that tell you when your water is degrading to the point the nasty bacteria are expanding to plague and problematic proportions. This means preventive measures and adding specific "base" elements will not solve the problem.
Dan is gradually adding to his helpful postings on his site so you can check out others as well.
In addition, you can glean a lot of info from the "org", but also more up to date articles on Fused Jaw.com where Tami has spent MANY hours providing the latest information to help seahorse keepers.

07/27/2017, 09:55 AM
I had a seahorse tank in 2004. Went well for almost 5 yrs. But, due to some mechanical failure, that led to the tanks demise. I know a lot has changed with different method over the last 8 yrs but it does sound like sticking with tried and true methods for seahorses is the way to go. Ultra pristine filtration and water changes. I do think that the algae in the refugium is an added bonus of filtration but will still need to do wc's

07/28/2017, 06:44 AM
I have found that a refugium is definitely beneficial, not just for nutrient removal but also as an amphipod haven to add some tasty snacks to the DT. I still run an oversized skimmer as well though.

07/28/2017, 08:00 AM
Sump with Refugium oversized skimmer a definite! Thinking of using Lifereef for all of those. I have heard nothing but great things about Lifereef!

07/30/2017, 01:18 PM
I built a diy sump, ( ha ha and it looks like it)from a spare 20 gallon long I already had. My skimmer is an SCA 302 which works great but the pumps are not the best. I keep mine running during WCs because they don't last if they are turned on and off a lot.

12/04/2017, 03:03 PM
Hello Kzt2k17! I will attempt to answer your question!
I have for a short period of time run the triton method on my 75g seahorses tank. It's only been a few weeks, my parameters are better than before. My ponyes seem happy, just as prior to the implementation. Transition was easy. I was using kalkwaser, but I was unable to maintain calcium levels. In my tank I have two mandarins (pair) they also seem very happy. I am dousing manually. Will see if the water parameters stay stable and water changes are not necessary.

12/05/2017, 09:26 AM
Please keep in mind that water conditions that support the nasty bacteria growth and expansion are not testable so you won't know from the Triton test results at what point the bacteria like the vibrio species are about to go to plague proportions. That is the number one reason for water changes in a seahorse tank IMO.

12/06/2017, 11:46 PM
I wonder in comparison what the cost is to run the tests versus water changes....

12/07/2017, 06:11 AM
I wonder in comparison what the cost is to run the tests versus water changes....
That would depend on the size of the tank. So I am guessing that having a 30 gallon with 2 seahorses would definitely be cheaper to do water changes. I have a 56 gallon with 3 ponies, I used IO reef crystals and spend about $50 a month. Of course the bigger the tank with a bigger herd is going to be bigger water changes.
Somewhere the triton method is going to be cheaper. For me no amount of savings is worth risking the seahorses so I will be sticking with a method that I know will keep my ponies healthy, which is water changes and tank husbandry.

12/18/2017, 12:59 PM
Well the bacteria that was previously mentioned does not only harm horses but also kills many other fish. People using the triton method have not yet reported that issue. My ultimate goal is not 0 water changes, it's to give the horses close to ocean water parameters. Triton offers that. My approach is as follows. Little stock, I have three horses in a 75 gallon +20 g refugium, with chaetto, and lots of marine pure bio media. Also have a paired of mandarine fish that mate almost every night. The mandarine fish are trained to eat frozen mysis left over from the horses. And then I have a mated pair of skunk cleaner shrimp that mate and give me baby shrimps every two weeks. They clean what ever food is left over after the horses and the mandarines when they are done. I am not planing to stop water changes but to minimize them for now until I can verify the triton method works as expected. I am taking a control approach to this new method. I understand trying new things is not for everyone. I respect that. However that is not me. And I am willing to share the outcome of this endeavor. Progress would be hard in any field if not for people willing to try something new. I am monitoring the tank as to not let any issues sneak up on me. My husbandry is as always. My commitment to my horses is unchanged. And my goal is their wellbeing. As far as the cost of the ICP water testing, you are not suppose to send water test often. They can be weeks and months apart. Basic test for salinity, alkalinity, ph etc should still be perform regularly with traditional testing. Also i am still using filter sucks when I see too many large particles floating around.

12/18/2017, 02:01 PM
The seahorses are MUCH MORE susceptible to nasty bacterial infections than most fish normally kept in reef tanks or fish only tanks.
If your husbandry was only to the degree needed for reef tanks there would be a good chance that infection would occur somewhere down the road, based on how fast the water quality degrades with respect to promoting nasty bacteria expansion, and, the immune capability of the seahorse(s) involved.
So people NOT reporting that from reef tanks using the system is not a good determining factor IMO.
I AM curious though as to why you wish to try to keep conditions as close as possible to average ocean parameters.
Many seahorses are found in waters that are NOT the same as those averages, and, their waters can change quite often due to storm runoff or sewage input to the oceans or waters entering the ocean near them.
My thoughts are that I'd rather concentrate on things that will affect the seahorses health more than trying to duplicate ocean average parameters, especially as there are SO many successfully doing it without that attempt.
For the way I choose to go with my tanks, the Triton method won't do much for me because at least once a month I do a major water change and that would screw up any test results done recently, or would be planning to do based on testing that might be a week or weeks old. Just personal choice.
Over the years I've also perhaps pushed boundaries, and still do, but I don't recommend them to newcomers to the hobby. (or even old timers for that matter)
I will be interested in how your experiment goes over time, but wonder if you are also setting up and identical system to treat normally for a seahorse tank, to be able to compare results?
Sometimes people try something and when they work out, they assume it to be because of the changes when in fact something entirely different has come to play.

12/30/2017, 10:12 AM
I'm with njreefer02 on this as I'm an advocate for advancing the hobby and that means trying different things that have good solid science behind it. If we keep doing what we've always done nothing gets better, no advancements, and we will never improve our hobby.

01/06/2018, 10:20 PM
I agree ... it’s important that someone takes the initiative to advance the hobby. I’ve been thinking about the Triton Method as well. You can always use sanolife to aid in the “nasties”