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Anyone have a seahorse tank?

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Shawnna

Joey & Xena are the best!
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
38
Location
Covington, WA
I'm setting up a seahorse specimen tank (25 gal) and would like to hear from anyone locally who's done the same.

What I'd like to know is size, filtration, lighting, feeding, type of seahorse you have, etc.

Look forward to hearing from you (if you're out there!).

Shawnna
 

DonW

R.I.P.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
Seahorse

I tried this with a 15g a few years ago. I used a CPR backpack first design, a few pieces of live rock and 1" of live sand. Lights were one ea NO white and actinic. Water quality was pretty easy to maintain. I cycled this tank for 6 months before adding seahorses.
The BIG problem was feeding the poor things. Live food is a pain. I would culture brine then gut load and feed. The main thing is that they starve to death slowly although the brine was gut loaded they still died.
I think food sources have probably gotten better but not sure. You also need to give them something to hang onto, like plants or dead coral.
Its not something I would try again.

Hope this helps
Don
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I planned a Seahorse tank. 29g acrylic for height, 10g sump, low flow spray bar that creates good water exchange but no blowing current, a large CC bottom for pleanty of caulerpa racemosa to grow for anchors, and a nice tall wall of rock that they can hide behind.

The tank is cycled and ready to go, algae blooms are gone, and the caulerpa has grown in well. Only problem, I changed my mind about keeping Seahorses. Simply, they aren't cool enough to justify spending $50-150 per animal IMO, and I want to be able to go on vacation for two weeks without starving everyone to death. So to the dissapointment of my girlfriend, they aren't for me. Now what to do with the tank.
 

Wolfesbane

Seahorse Wrangler
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
337
Location
Auburn, WA
Hi Shawnna,

Tank size and setup depends entirely on what species you want to keep.

I have a 37T set up with a BakPak. I've kept barbouri, kuda, and currently have erectus in the setup. A 25 gal will be able to house the same species, as well as procerus. And if you can keep the temp around 72F, you can keep whitei as well. Keep in mind though, if you choose erectus, depending on where you get them, they could eventually outgrow a 25 gal since some of them can get to 6-7 inches from snout to tail.

Height is definitely a consideration when keeping horses, if they tank is too short, you'll miss out on one of the coolest things about keeping them, the courtship. Courting horses need vertical space to do their dance. Males also are also more prone to pouch gas bubbles in short tanks.

Lighting the tank depends more on if you plan on keeping any photosynthetic life in the tank. Softies like leathers and mushrooms (except elephant ears) can do fine in a seahorse tank, so you can go with enough light to support that life. The seahorses themselves don't really care, as long as it's not terribly bright (ie MH). They have excellent eyesight, since they're visual hunters, and they're sensitive to extreme brightness and sudden changes.

Feeding - stick with CB horses and they should be already trained on frozen mysis. I've used Hikari and P.E. at home and we use Gamma at the Aquarium. I'll usually enrich with selco every so often to give the mysis a bit of a boost, but not every day. Younger horses should be fed twice a day, adult horses can be fed once. And if you can get horses to take a variety of food, that's even better. However, I've found that they're usually rather picky and prefer mysis or anything live.

If you want more detailed info, come visit us at www.syngnathid.org. There's lots more info about keeping horses there. :)

~ Steve
 

Wolfesbane

Seahorse Wrangler
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
337
Location
Auburn, WA
MDL carries abdominalis (temperate), whitei (sub tropical), kuda (tropical), procerus (tropical). They also carry, but are out of stock on barbouri (tropical) and erectus (tropical).

Premium Aquatics sometimes carries kuda and procerus.

Ocean Rider (www.oceanrider.com) carries several species under their protected trade names. Mustangs, Sunbursts, Fire Reds, and Pintos are colour morphs of erectus, Brazilieros are Reidii (tropical), Gigantes are Ingens (temperate), Pixies are zosterae (tropical), Zulu Lulus are capensis (temperate), and we're not clear on Sunfires, they don't match the distinguishing traits of any of the specieis exactly.

I don't think anyone locally carries CB horses regularly, but if anyone can order from ORA, they do have CB kudas.

~ Steve
 

DonW

R.I.P.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
Seahorses

Steve,
How long are you able to keep Sea Horses alive. It sound like some great advances have been made.

Don
 

Wolfesbane

Seahorse Wrangler
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
337
Location
Auburn, WA
I had some erectus almost 4 years until the tank was wiped out from a still unidentified infection. :( Until that, they were still healthy and didn't seem like they were slowing down at all. I have some friends who are commercial breeders in Australia and they have some abdominalis that they harvested from the wild over 5 years ago. Depending on the species, average life span of a CB horse is about 5 years. The larger the species, the longer the life span. I've found that the CB horses are just as hardy as any other marine fish as long you maintain a healthy tank. I think the biggest improvement is that the CB horses are trained to eat frozen mysis so you don't have to rely on feeding live foods like we did in the past.

~ Steve
 

Shawnna

Joey & Xena are the best!
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
38
Location
Covington, WA
Thanks for the GREAT information! I'm finishing up my custom stand and then will get started cycling.
Hope to have everything up and running smoothly by Christmas 2004.
Thanks, again!
Shawnna
 

Wink

Crazy Seahorse Lady
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
128
Location
Federal Way, WA
We have seahorses. We have a 37 with a Duetto filter, NO lights and a hang on refugium full of macro. We have a 2" sand bed and a few pieces of Tonga branch rock and some fake plants.

I never wanted WC but hubby fell in love with some H. comes (Tigertails) last spring - we spend hundreds of dollars on live foods and meds and still lost those first horses - it was so frustrating and heartbreaking. Tank became the scooter blenny tank.

Then in October we got the chance to adopt some newly born H comes. We now have 8 of those left at nearly 3 months old - they live in a 3 gallon grow out tank. We learned to culture greenwater, rotifers, copepods, amphipods, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp.

We were going to buy CB horses but were waiting until after going to Hawaii for my son's wedding the end of December. The first week of December hubby did it again... found a WC H. kuda starving and stressed out in a tank of fast moving fish. She is now the only one in the seahorse tank with the blenny. She will only eat live ghost shrimp but seems to be healthy and happy now. We are looking for companions for her and trying to get her to eat frozen.

The folks at syngnathid.org are wonderful and so are the ones at seahorse.org - both are excellent resources.

Best of luck to you,

Vicky
 

WaGuy82

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
26
Location
Seattle
I also have a 37 gallon seahorse tank. It is lit by a 55 watt pc and filtration consists of 40 lbs of fiji live rock. In it are 1 barbouri and 3 reidi.
 

BlennyBabe

Rachel
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
260
Location
Gig Harbor Wa
I kept a few when I was working at the pet store. I was so picky about who I sold them to I had them for 6 months. They were WC but were easy to switch over to frozen. From what I know, they are doing really well in their new home.
 

mnewby

always
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
103
Location
shelton washington
i got a 29 gallon tank with two reidis male female im runing wet dry system with protien skimmer and refuguim some live rock under gravel filter with crushed coral and fine sand on top of crush coral using revers flow it seems to be doing well i got the wc seahorses from fishsupply.com both are doing well and eat frozen food price wasnt that terrible for them about 38 bucks
 
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