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Unread 08/22/2016, 06:18 PM   #1
MissKellyKat
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Question 60 gallon seahorse reef setup help

Hello all,

I am new to reefing but will be setting up a 60gallon - 36.5x18.5x25 - seahorse reef tank! It will be a while before I get the seahorses as they are very finicky and susceptible to issues, so I want to make sure everything is perfect for them beforehand.

Seahorses require a lot of hitching posts and have to have a soft coral type environment, so that's what I will be starting with. Tank mates will be chosen with great care as there are few that house well with ponies.

Anyway, after getting the tank, I am wondering if you guys can tell me what my next step should be. Heater, filter, salt, RO or other water purifying products, etc will all be needed prior to actually building my LR&LS setup and cycling, yes? Am I forgetting anything? What would the logical order to do them be? Any suggestions? Anyone have expertise in seahorse reefing?

To sump or not to sump? Do I set up my QT/hospital tank now as well?


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Unread 08/22/2016, 06:36 PM   #2
heathlindner25
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I would start with a lot of research and reading...imo, if you're asking about filtration and basic setup, seahorses are for experts and a hobby in themselves outside of reef keeping


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Unread 08/22/2016, 09:11 PM   #3
MissKellyKat
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Oh definitely. TONS of research as been done already. I'm more so asking because I don't have any equipment anymore and will need to piece-work it. Trying to figure out the best way to buy equipment one-by-one but still get things up and cycling sooner rather than later. Once it's set to cycle I have the time to work on the other bits. I have a sort of master list idea of what I'm going to do, just wondering if anyone has specific suggestions for the type I'm leaning towards now. ie. a lot of people say never have a skimmer with seahorses because of the bubble issues, and others say it's a must because they are messy eaters, still others say only do it with a sump.
Info like that is all over the charts.
Also, like I said, I will be waiting to get the horses until everything is well established. Not looking to kill any of my friends. :P


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Unread 08/22/2016, 09:14 PM   #4
CStrickland
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You might find some good info in the seahorse section of the forum, there's lots of expertise there, and I think they have a faq too. http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=35
Good luck!


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Unread 08/22/2016, 09:24 PM   #5
Kremis
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I have kept seahorses in a 28 gallon for about a year, here is my advice:
Ok well, I wouldnt reccomend seahorses being your first fish. I think it would be better to keep some seahorse friendly fish in your tank first, and get used to keeping a reef tank before getting the seahorses. I recommend captive bred hippocampus erectus (lined seahorse) always get captive bred seahorses, wild ones tend to bring in a lot of nasty bacteria and diseases. Plus, they are 100% guaranteed to eat if they are captive bred. They need lower flow than most tanks, so corals with high flow requirements would not do as well. Soft corals are the best choice for seahorses, maybe some birdsnest corals later on. You are correct, all those things are needed before starting the cycle. Seahorses are very sloppy, and will lower the water quality. I would suggest a sump, that way you could get a good skimmer, dont know too many big hang on ones lol. Also, you will want to keep the temperature at 72-74 degrees. I keep mine at 74, and the other fish/corals are doing just fine. As a general rule for adding tank mates, anything that moves fast is not a good choice.I keep mine with gobies and used to have an orange spot filefish with them, but it got an internal infection and died. Do not put corals with long stinging tentacles such as torch corals, hammer corals, or frogspawn. Do not put anemones with them either. Seahorses favorite food is mysis shrimp, that is all mine get. That is all I can think of off the top of my head. What kind of seahorses are you looking into?


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Unread 08/23/2016, 12:40 AM   #6
MissKellyKat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CStrickland View Post
You might find some good info in the seahorse section of the forum, there's lots of expertise there, and I think they have a faq too. http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=35
Good luck!
Thanks! I hadn't yet come across this section in my lurking on RC


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Unread 08/23/2016, 12:51 AM   #7
MissKellyKat
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremis View Post
I have kept seahorses in a 28 gallon for about a year, here is my advice:
Ok well, I wouldnt reccomend seahorses being your first fish. I think it would be better to keep some seahorse friendly fish in your tank first, and get used to keeping a reef tank before getting the seahorses. I recommend captive bred hippocampus erectus (lined seahorse) always get captive bred seahorses, wild ones tend to bring in a lot of nasty bacteria and diseases. Plus, they are 100% guaranteed to eat if they are captive bred. They need lower flow than most tanks, so corals with high flow requirements would not do as well. Soft corals are the best choice for seahorses, maybe some birdsnest corals later on. You are correct, all those things are needed before starting the cycle. Seahorses are very sloppy, and will lower the water quality. I would suggest a sump, that way you could get a good skimmer, dont know too many big hang on ones lol. Also, you will want to keep the temperature at 72-74 degrees. I keep mine at 74, and the other fish/corals are doing just fine. As a general rule for adding tank mates, anything that moves fast is not a good choice.I keep mine with gobies and used to have an orange spot filefish with them, but it got an internal infection and died. Do not put corals with long stinging tentacles such as torch corals, hammer corals, or frogspawn. Do not put anemones with them either. Seahorses favorite food is mysis shrimp, that is all mine get. That is all I can think of off the top of my head. What kind of seahorses are you looking into?
Thanks so much! I have come across most of this info but I will add the rest into my aquarium-notebook -hehe
I am looking into H. erectus again, not planning for them to be the first fish in there, only seahorse friendly tankmates (including corals) for a good while until I can set everything up properly for them to be healthy and happy!
I've also read that you should feed them a varied diet (though primarily mysis) so they can be sure to get all their nutrients. Have you had any issues with feeding them strictly mysis diet?

Do you think it would be fine to set up and cycle/establish the tank without adding the sump until a bit before the ponies? Or would I just be wasteful to do it that way and potentially harm anything that's in there.


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Unread 08/23/2016, 01:44 AM   #8
Dogshowgrl
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If you have never kept seahorses, please consider a species only tank. If you have never had a marine tank... this is not the starting point no matter the research you have done. Please have a sump. Until you mastered an sps tank with alternative filtration from a protein skimmer, a skimmer is the only way to go, and yes, it goes in the sump. Ammonia is massive, the skimmer saves you. Yes a QT is fine to set up now, but often you will kill and restart this tank. Look at QT methods, I never do it in a cycled tank, but some do.

There will be so much added to keep the water quality high enough, the sump is your friend. Purigen, carbon, gfo, biopelets, chiller, and skimmer are all things I run out of my sump for the seahorses.

Yes you feed mysis. Enriched with fatty acids is good, RINSE YOUR FOOD BEFORE FEEDING. It will be night and day in your water quality. Get CB, that's is a rule. If you haven't figured out from who, that's ok, but not a LFS, unless the specialize in seahorses. In the seahorse section, they will give you a list of breeders in Canada.

What corals do you want? This is huge. I have a softie tank with them, lots of Gorgonians, leathers and macroalgae.

Yes, most still think seahorses need lower flow, this is not a simple question. 12-15 times turn over is a good start. Yes they need lower flow that the reef tanks we all started with, but low flow is also bad due to bacteria build up. My seahorses love my high flow areas, I have high, medium, and low(er) flow areas in my tank. They have a choice. The "low flow" rule is old science. When doing your research look at its age. If more than 5 years it is outdated.

You can always add other fish later. And you don't need fish to cycle, that is cruel. After they have been QT of course. Yes, go to the seahorse section. Read first, they are a very informative crowd, but will overwhelmed you if you have not done the research. They are very protective of seahorses and want you to really be ready.


All in all, setup the tank. Get it cycling. You need sand rock water, sump, and return pump then cycle. Add lights and skimmer, look at temp if it is not a degree or two lower than you need it go buy a chiller. Have a heater on hand.


I strongly advise starting with a Reef tank or anything other than seahorses. You are underestimating the difficulty in maintaining water quality long term. This is not a starting point.

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Unread 08/23/2016, 07:02 AM   #9
fishgate
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I'd start with an all in one system with builtin sump. Filters are liable to suck in a seahorse. You can get them for under $300 with everything you need. Definitely a species only tank.


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Unread 08/23/2016, 04:13 PM   #10
Dogshowgrl
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All in one systems run hot and often have detritus build up that you can't get to in the back chambers. Over flow (drilled tank or aftermarket overflow box) to sump will not cause a problem. Go on the seahorse page. There will be very few (if any) that recommend a all-in-one. They are not created with the heavy filtering needed for seahorses. All-in-ones also need extra powerheads to get full tank current so deadly bacteria does build up. Power heads if not chosen very carefully, can pose make dangers to the tails of seahorses. All in ones are not a good seahorse tank, however they are a great place to start in the hobby.

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