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Old 01/03/2007, 08:43 PM   #1
fishymann
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starting a seahorse tank?

I wanna start thinking about setting up a seahorse tank. I want a tank that is space saving so I was thinking a tall hexagon type tank?

First question is, one or two seahorses for a beginner?
What would be a good sized (once again space saving) tank for said amount of SH?
would i need coral and\or live rock in the tank?

I’m a completely knew when it comes to sw tanks so all help is appreciated.


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Old 01/03/2007, 09:14 PM   #2
KeepOnReefin
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Hey Fishymann!! Welcome to Reef Central! First, and most importantly... Patience. It is a virtue in the saltwater hobby. A good start for you is to research the internet on "cycling the tank". There are many good sites to do this at. Some are Reef Central.com, Seahorse.org, Aquarium Pros.ca, saltaquarium.about.com. A good start would be to search and read. Two horses are fun. Give eachother a friend! It is going to be some time before you can put horses in your tank though. Yes, live rock acts as some of the best filtration available.


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Old 01/03/2007, 09:26 PM   #3
fishymann
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yea i read a few days back, basically most people were talking about using live rock to cycle the tank. and thank you for the warm welcome


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Old 01/03/2007, 10:43 PM   #4
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My recommendation would be a 35 gallon hexagon aquarium, or 30+ gallon tall. Vertical swimming room is good for seahorses so the tall idea is a good one. For that size, I'd go with two seahorses, and even if you go bigger, I'd start with two and see how that goes, and then add more later (because you'll want to anyway whether you have the space or not). Yes to the live rock, but I'd hold off on the coral until you get the hang of everything else about keeping seahorses first. Corals need feeding and expensive lighting, and most corals are not seahorse safe. There is enough to learn about seahorses first. Only small, non-aggressive tankmates like small gobies for tankmates, and get a cleanup crew of snails (nassarius, cerith, astrea, etc.). Most importantly, make sure your seahorses are captive bred. Wild caught seahorses are more likely to have health problems and aren't good for beginners. Also, captive bred eat frozen mysis, making things easier on you.


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Old 01/04/2007, 04:32 AM   #5
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yea i really was just gonna have a clean up crew and the seahorses, this is going to be on some what of a tight budget so starting off with minumal things.

Now it says there should be very little water flow and no airbubbles, what kind of filter should i use? Also im going to buy the tank from my LFS but if i could get a link to a 35 (or more) gallon hexagon tank?

Lets go wit the scenario of a 35 gallon hexagon tank, two seahorses, how many pounds of rock would i need, (no coral) so what type of ligthing? Could i just keep the regular flourescent

And one last question for now, what are good things to put in the tank for them to hang off of? I want to stay far away from coral until i have mastered the fish part of marine tanks.

Thank you
-fishymann


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Old 01/04/2007, 09:00 AM   #6
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Regular flourescent is fine if you aren't keeping corals. 35 lbs of live rock. Basically a pound a gallon. If you are on a budget, I would either order it online, or even better, post on your local forums and craigslist advertising that you want to buy some live rock. LFS's usually charge around $6 a pound, but will sometimes go as low as $4. Online, you can get it for around $2.50-$3 a pound some places, but then you have to pay for priority shipping for a really heavy box. If you know of a forum that is popular with people in your area, I would keep an eye on it for systems that are on sale to save yourself some money.
Most people advocate canister filters, but with seahorses you can get away with using an HOB. I am actually just using an Aquaclear 50 (200gph) for my 35 hex (with LR and Macros). You want the filter to turn over all of the water in your aquarium 3-5 times an hour, so for a 35 hex, thats 105-175 gph. I prefer ones where you can adjust the flow, so that it is still filtering more water than that, but just not producing a high current. Adding a spray bar will also dissapate the current so you can use a higher gph.
Hitching posts - I like macros, but you'll only be able to keep low light macro algaes with the regular flourescent lighting. Really though, you can use anything they can wrap their tails around. Fake branching corals like fake staghorns, and tall fake plants are good options. Some people just use nylon rope strung across the aquarium. Speaking of hitching posts, make sure you get a heater guard ($4) for your heater because the horses will try to hitch to it and without the guard they will burn themselves.


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Old 01/04/2007, 12:40 PM   #7
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ann and everyone else here, you guys are amazing thank you so very much. Im apart of another forum but we deal mostly with freshwater and i was pointed this way. I was afraid i'd be told not to bother with Seahorses since im a beginner but you guys have been amazing.

I keep hearing about these local groups but have had no luck finding one in my area, is there any type of site that could tell me of any?

Also, i read (here i think it was) that for live rock you should have about 4watts per gallon, if i did a 35G that would be 140watts, so would i still be okay to stick with regular flourescents? Also would buying the rock slowly (lets say 10lbs one week, a few weeks later another 10 and so on) be okay or would i need it all at once

About the HOB filter do they prefer biowheel or would that create to much current?

ahh sorry about all the questions its just amazing to get answers from those who have the fish and know aobut it.

edit:
Just got off the phone with my LFS to get some idea of what tanks they have.

WHen it comes to hex hes only got a 27G or a 60G. the 27 was 80$ (prices are just the tanks)
He also has a 37G high which he said was 22" high for 62$
and a 40G Extra High at 70$ (but did not give me the dimensions)

out of those three which do you think would be the best? he said they had more but i was not going to have him read me off the entire product line. I know they cary All-Glass aquariums but i cant seem to find a product catalog from them online.

(oh, and also live sand isnt needed right? )


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Old 01/04/2007, 08:36 PM   #8
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Any of those aquariums would be great for a pair of seahorses. I'd go with the talls, like the 37 gallon high, because it will be easier to aquascape and easier to find stands, lighting fixtures, etc.
You can add the live rock slowly, but it will make your cycle longer. The longer it takes you to set up your biological filtration, the longer it is before you can put anything in the aquarium.
I'd ask your LFS if they know of any local forums or clubs that people in your area congregate on. At the very least, you should be able to find a city near you on www.craigslist.com. Where do you live? Someone on here might be able to suggest a forum.
You don't need live sand, but you do need argonite sand. Silica based sands (like most of the ones at the hardware store) can cause algae problems.
Oh, and a bio-wheel in a saltwater aquarium can cause nitrate problems if the aquarium isn't planted with macro algae. But, you can use the filter and just remove the bio-wheel. Just make sure the filter only turns the water over 5 times an hour, or that it has an adjustable flow.


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Old 01/04/2007, 08:36 PM   #9
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Oh, and you might want to visit www.seahorse.org


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Old 01/04/2007, 08:59 PM   #10
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so a regular HOB filter that uses inserts (basically a bio wheel with no wheel) is okay? Also i was thinking about it and I realized i might be able to build one cheaper than buying one (a tank i mean). So i came up with the following dimensions 16x16x30 which would give me about 40 gallons would this be more ideal (i had hight in mind).

Also i love on the jersey shore (basically 10 minutes tops away from the ocean) zipcode is 07755.

Another thing i saw (on this forum) a lot about making real rocks out of cement and sand or crushed coral but I'm really confused, could i make a structure out of PVC with places for the sea horses to hang off of and then cover it in this cement sand mixture and use that as part of my "needed live rock". sorry if that is a stupid question i was just thinking about how to have the needed rock with out busting my wallet.


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Old 01/04/2007, 09:08 PM   #11
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Yep, an HOB without the bio insert is okay. The dimensions of the aquarium sound fine, but keep in mind that you are going to want thick glass, especially for the bottom pane, and while 1/4" glass is easy to find and cheap, getting 3/8" glass for the bottom pane could get expensive. 3/8" is also a lot harder to cut.
I don't know of anything in your area, so I'd just do an online search for a local club and/or ask your LFS. Is there one in your area listed on this web site?
If you want to build your own live rock, I suggest you visit www.garf.org The PVC inside the rock might inhibit the ability of the rock to be porous and become live, but I'm not sure. Usually people recommend you do 1 lb homemade rock to 2 lbs live rock, but you can go with all homemade live rock and add a couple of good live pieces of rock to get it seeded. The more homemade rock you have, the longer it takes to become live and provide adequite biological filtration.


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Old 01/04/2007, 09:14 PM   #12
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ah, thank you so much for the clarification with the live rock (and yea that site is awesome). Also on that site he talks about how to put together a tank and gives you a calculator, you tell it the size and it tells you everything you need. It said 1/2" arcylic should be good, i emailed a acrylic supplier i've used in the past about a quote to see what the price will come to (and really that will determine which tank i get).

woops, and the home made rock would be safe for the seahorses to hang on? it wouldnt be to sharp or rough?


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Old 01/04/2007, 10:01 PM   #13
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fishymann I was thinking of also doing a seahorse tank too.

I have a 75 gallon (Fish,Live Rock-Will soon turn into a
full blown reef). Im running a 125 gal wet/dry. I really didnt
want the seahorses to go into the 75 gal, so what I was thinking
was to set up a 20 gal next to the 75 and run a second overflow
from the 20 gal into the 125 wet/dry,plus the return pump back.

This way the 20 gal would be part of the 75 gal system and
would hold better stability. I would put some live rock in the 20
gal along with the Seahorses. Plus maybe some anemones and
a small cleaning crew.Not sure yet.

Once again just an idea, Not sure if it work,but I kinda think it
will.


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Old 01/04/2007, 10:16 PM   #14
fishymann
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once again i have never worked on a saltwater tank in my life, but thinking about it in fw terms it seems like it would work fine (so there for i would think itd be okay to work for a sw). Um another question (yea a lot of them :\ ) for a starting setup would this be all the equipment i need
tank
flourescent lights
HOB filter
heater (with cover)
rock
substrate

basically nothing to out of the ordinary


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Old 01/04/2007, 10:27 PM   #15
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Marine Salt
Hydrometer
Thermometer
Saltwater test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, carbonate hardness (phosphate and calcium tests are also useful)


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Old 01/05/2007, 12:24 AM   #16
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Maybe the ALL-GLASS TECHNICAL SPECS page would help you decide on dimensions.

HTH
-- itZme


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Old 01/05/2007, 12:20 PM   #17
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thanks for that link (felt stupid that i couldnt find that my self) i dont see any of those tanks fitting into the location where im thinking about putting the tank. Im still waiting for a response about the acrylic.

I'm going to my LFS today to pick up a few things for my cichlid tank and im going to look at filters to figure out prices. SO basically for the filter to turn over the tank 5 times an hour id need a filter rated at 200GPH (40 gallon tank), would this be the correct assumption? Also i'm wondering about the temp, it seems as though most people keep their SH tank around 74 degrees, the tank will most likely be setup in a living room where the room temperature is around 70 but sometimes a little higher, would a 150Watt heater be okay since it would be minimul heating.


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Old 01/05/2007, 05:02 PM   #18
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Shockingly the local petco has the same filter as you ann which is what im looking for cheaper than my LFS. Im trying to figure out about lighting. If i was to go the custom route with the 16x16x30 tank, i would need to find light that could fit that any suggestions?


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Old 01/05/2007, 06:06 PM   #19
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Well, I'd probably cut your own lid with ventilation using the acrylic or glass, and then buy a light fixture (rather than a hood, ballast, or retro-fit). It depends on what kind of lighting you are looking for, but you'll probably need to go with a 12" or 14" fixture, because I don't think I have come across a 15" or 16" fixture. www.marineandreef.com has a good selection of lighting, but I don't know if they have normal output flourescent since I've been looking at them for PCs.


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Old 01/05/2007, 07:00 PM   #20
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Well do i need special lights for the live rock or would regular flourescents be okay?

oh, and also if i made the 16x16x30 tank, i would make a stand and a canapoy so i could fit a 22" light fixture (diagnolly) how many watts do i need though because most of what im finding is just like 15 watt 18" which is like what i have on my 20gallon freshwater


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Old 01/07/2007, 07:45 PM   #21
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just got quote of 155$ JUST for the pre cut acrylic (OUUCH) so the custom tank is OUT, the fact that for 40$ more i can get the entire tank setup from my LFS is the reason for this. So I think i will be going with the 37 Gallon but we will see as i progress with this. How many watts will i need to for the live rock?


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Old 01/07/2007, 08:41 PM   #22
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Fishymann regular freshwater flourescents will not be bright enough. You need 2
to 4 watts a gallon. You need Power Compacts. At the very least 2 x 65 watt
system. You can find a cheap system on ebay for around $49 or spend about a
$100 more and go with Coralife 2 x 65 watt which will run you at the very least
$120.

This hobby is not cheap...and if you try to go the cheap route and cut corners, Im
afraid you will find yourself spending more money correcting your mistake when
your tank crashes. I would really research this before you do it. I suggest getting
a book from Robert Fenner called the "The Conscientous Marine Aquarist". I
learned alot from this book. Most Saltwater guys call this book the bible of the
Saltwater Hobby.

Hope this helps....


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Old 01/07/2007, 08:50 PM   #23
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Remember the smaller your tank the harder to keep stable...unless you really know what you are doing. 37 gallon is pretty small for saltwater, unless once again...you really know what you are doing. The only reason Im doing a 20 gallon for my seahorse tank is because im running it through my 125 wet/dry that is connected to my 75 gallon tank...So basicly the 20 gallon will be a part of the 75 gallon system. Working as one 95 gallon tank and therefore the stability of both tanks should be good.

Anyway I would suggest to get robert fenners book...its very informative.


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Old 01/07/2007, 08:51 PM   #24
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I was just looking at power compacts because i realized that fw flourescents wouldnt be enough. I thank you for the help and I apprecaite it all.

I was looking at 30" satellite 1x65Watt with lunar light and saw it for around 65$ but your saying that the 2x65 is more what i need for this tank even though there will be no coral.


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Old 01/07/2007, 08:57 PM   #25
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Oh and I would also put alot of live rock in your tank if you are gonna use a
hang on back filter. Plus a good protein skimmer. You would probably be better
off going with a Fluval 205 canaster filter rather then a HOB filter. I believe the 205
is the smallest canaster filter and would be alot better then a HOB filter. If you decide
to go with an HOB...I would get a Marineland Bio wheel 400. Nothing smaller..


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