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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I'm looking to you seahorse veterans. Its 110% needed. The wife has agreed to allow my new 125g reef tank. In order to solidify this deal I need to also plan out a seahorse tank build. I just have a few questions to start out and we may delve a little deeper into each one after I get some of the basic answers.

1. I need to know a good size for just a couple horses maybe 3 or 4. Nothing to large but nothing too small. Would like atleast 30g but no more than 75g. Dimensions would be greatly appreciated.

2. I know they feast upon brine, mysids, and pods is it possible to set up a self maintained food source. Will the food breed and how do I go about creating optimum habitat for this to happen.

3. Flow... This is my favorite question. I know I cannot have a ton of flow like I do in my reef tank. As far as water turnover rate what should I shoot for?

4. Rock work, Gorgonians, etc. How much how large and what different types of "perching" decorative items have you used for your horses. I am open to both live branching items or dyed skeletons, bleached corals, etc etc.

5. Lighting... Anything special??? or will the Compacts work just fine?

6. Last but not least... Are there any species that will live with the horses in say a beneficial/symbiosis way? I read a few people keep pipes with them but is this beneficial or just a little diversity?

*n1 IM SO EXCITED!!!
 

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I have no experience with sea horses but do understand the require a lot of food being fed a small amount in a constant addition to the tank.

also that any other fish can easily out compete them for food.

Pure speculation on my part but to me it would seem a Saltwater equilivant to a FW leiden tank would be an excellent choice. By that I mean just the tank, substrate, a few rocks and macro algaes. Especially caulerpas like profilera. They will give the sea horses hitching posts. With no filter, no circulation. And just replace evaporative water.

I think visitors will be very impressed not only with the sea horses but the tank being maintained with just the macros.

But again that is my speculation.

worth at most .02
 
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1. A 30-50g would be nice for 3 or 4 horses.
2. Mysids and pods happily breed in a refugium. Lots of macroalgae (especially chaeto)and some aragonite substrate (with enough light for the macro), and they'll be good to go.
3. The best way to figure out the desired flow rate for your horses is to try it out. Get an adjustible pump and play around with it until the horses seem happy. Start low and work your way up.
4. I'd suggest hardy gorgonians like genus Eunicae: Saltwater Aquarium Corals for Marine Reef Aquariums: Large Polyped Gorgonian - Aquacultured, SC
Porus rockwork is good becasue it provides pods with a place to hide within your tank.
and branching marcoalgaes like Caulerpa and Halimeda: Saltwater Aquarium Plants for Marine Reef Aquariums: Halimeda Plant (Algae)
5. The horses don't need any special lighting. If you wind up keeping non-photosynthetic corals, like many gorgonians, and macros, you shouldn't need anything too strong.
6. They can live with pipes, but it's not really beneficial. There are some neat small, cold water goby species that would be good. For example, the catalina goby: Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Catalina Goby
 

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I have never raised horses but I have friends that do and the typical tank tends to be 24 inches tall sometimes taller. The horses will need places to hang and gorgonia is a very good coral to have along with alamedia, you will need flow just enough to keep the water moving and you will need good filtration. I know most horse tanks I have seen do have some HA in them but that just gives the pods a place to reproduce. Most fish will out compete the horses and eat the pods that you want in the tank I think a 65 breeder is a good tank for horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ty ladyonyx and archer very good incite and i appreaciate the help :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
anyone care to loan me their .02 on their experience with sea horses? I was hoping to get a ton of information as I dont want to run into this blindly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
not very many horse keepers?
 

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Most average hobbyists dont keep them, they require tons of constant care. My uncle attempted them in his 90g tank and couldnt successfully keep them alive, some would go months then croak. We rarely sold them from our SW selection when I worked at an LFS, most the time we kept them on special order status with payment in full up front.

I think other fish eat them as well so that might have a factor in it.
 

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I don't do saltwater but almost got into it and whole reading learned tha seahorse are extremely difficult to keep the tank sounds to be a good size jus make sure you will have the time and effort to care for those delicate little fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yah it would definately be a species only tank... Horses and maybe 1 pipe.. I think I have an Idea of how it will work. I might actually make a custom tank for it... However the first tank I am going to make will be the frag tank.
 

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I currently breed lined seahorses. It's not as much work as people think. But there are a few factures you need to keep in mind.

1. Water must be ro/di water and the tank water must be perfect. It's not that hard to do. Weekly small water changes using ro/di water will keep it there. One suggestion is to get a phosban reactor. But instead of using it for phosban put carbon in it.

2. Seahorses are slow moving and like to move up and down a lot. I always elect to use the extra high tanks. For the amount you’re going to have i would say 30G extra high should be fine. The biggest mistake most people make is using a bigger tank then what is needed. The two main problems with this is that it will be harder for them to find food and to have to put so much food in the tank for them to find will make the water go bad very fast.

3. They do not do well with aggressive fish or any fish for that matter. If you are just starting off with them seahorse only is the only way to go. Once you get more experienced they you can start adding fish with them. I currently have 3 breeding pairs in a 60G cube extra high with all different kinds of non aggressive wrasses and they are perfectly fine and breeding. I have other pairs by themselves in other set ups.

4. You will need total tank water movement. Nothing strong or they will die. Kind of like a light breeze. Make sure there are no dead zones. Dead zones will create areas where food will settle and billed up and in will fowl up the water.

5. Live food is good to have but not a must. I keep some around for new seahorses if after a week if there not eating then i will feed them live. 8 out of 10 that I have gotten were eating frozen within a week. Just be sure the flow can move the food around in the water not along the bottom. If being able to do so it will look like it's alive and they will eat it. Once they know its food they will start eating it from everywhere even lying on the bottom. Also please remember that live myssis shrimp are cannibalistic so if you get live be sure to keep them well fed.

I think i have covered all the basics for you. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
any other .02 on keeping seahorses?
 

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I always thought they needed very small tanks so the food doesn't get away from the. At least thats what i heard about pygmy seahorses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i read that too... but technically they are small... because they are usually kept in a taller system with a smaller footprint.
 
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