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I May Be Setting Up A Seahorse Tank!


seheap

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I am really excited!

Steve has been trying to get me to do salt water for months now! I keep telling him, no, no....I like my goldfish! And besides, salt water has to be big and expensive and all that jazz...And I don't really like marine fish, they all look alike! Not like goldies, each one is so different......

Well, he finally convinced me to *maybe* set one up! with SEAHORSES!

I love those little fish! They are so peaceful and serene.....

I am really geeked! We went to the LFS today to get more information and I learned almost everything there is to know about seahorses! I am going to set up a 15g high tank (because seahorses need a tall tank). And have dark live sand, live rock, use gorgorian (stick like coral thingies) as hitching posts, try to get a marine grass bed to grow. I will have nazarius snails, astria snails, hermit crabs and *maybe* a few sexy shrimp (Steve wants to buy them for me, he says "what better for you? ;) ") and have two maybe three seahorses.

Now I just have to convince my parents that getting a seahorse tank would be the coolest thing in the world. It would probably stay home when I am at school, and Steve would go over once a week to do maintenance. Or it would go to Steve's house if my parents don't want to do the feeding. (seahorses need to be fed at least twice a day because their digestive tracts are very poorly set-up)

Wait, I know I had a real point to this post.........

O yeah! Does anyone know of a good forum for seahorses? This will be my first saltwater tank and I want to make sure I have all the info (that and the breed I want is $100 for one, I don't want such an expensive fish to die within a week because I screwed up! I don't want it to die at all, but you know what I mean.) Thanks!!!

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I've never had a salt water aquarium myself, but it seems if I were to set up a seahorse tank, I'd actually go to my local aquarium (or Daniel's local aquarium really...) and ask them about it. :)

Not sure if you're able to get information through emailing them. :hmm

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one of the members here who had recently begun a salt water tank said that sea horses are kinda complicated. :ignore

but I'm not discouraging you!! I WANT you to do it so you can share pictures w/ me!! :D I think they are TOO cute and I want a sea horse tank of my own one day!! I love how they "hook" their tail around a plant so the current doesn't sweep them away. :heart lol!

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Ya I was told sea horses are hard to keep. And as far as what the pet shop told you as you know most of them really don't know so I would just do soem research and find a website/forum that seems to have good into. Remember they may not tell you what you want to hear but that does not mean they are wrong.

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Eeee! That sounds so exciting!!!

For a forum, check out nano-reef.com. It's my favourite forum to lurk on. The people there know WAY too much about small (20g or less) saltwater tanks, and you will be able to learn a ton. Be forewrned, though - they are the hardest of hardcore. They know their stuff and DO NOT play nice when people make dumb mistakes. They will love you because you are doing research before starting anything though, so don't be scared!!

They should at least know where to steer you for more seahorse info!!! Good luck and PICS PICS PICS!!!!

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Yeah, Steve is on NanoReef. He told me to join! I think I might have to. My username will still be ryukin girl though :D

I usually don't take advice from pet store employees but this is the best fish store you have ever been to, or will ever hear about. Seriously. I asked and she literally just poured information on me. I had to keep asking her, wait, can you repeat that. She was really nice about it too, she told me all the things I will need, and she told me that I can't cut corners....yadayada that kind of thing.

I am really excited!!

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Well, I have to set up the tank and get it completely cycled and stable before the seahorses can go in. They are very sensitive to any change. So I think I am going to set it up and let it cycle within the next two weeks. Then I will add the cleaners, wait a few weeks, add any corals I need for hitching posts, wait a week, add the sea grass, let it grow out......

So I am thinking late April early May the Seahorses will be in there. It seems like a long way off but it will go fast, I hope!

Plus I am looking at $200 dollars AT LEAST before the seahorses even go in there! And then I have to buy all the intermediate stuff, then the seahorses themselves which are like $200 bucks! I need to get the money saved up, that's for sure!

And yes, it does seem like my Avatar keeps getting happier and happier! He is so fitting for this chain of events!

Edited by ryukin girl
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Well if you plan on getting coral I hope you plan on spending a ton on lighting.

They love to eat live brine shrimp.

You don't need coral for them to attach to, Tonga Branch live rock works PERFECT for them.

What kind are they? $100 is an insane price. My store sold Thorny Seahorses for $50 and they were captive bred.

Find out from your store if they are wild or captive bred because captive bred are easier to take care of and that's what usually drives the price up.

Edited by saix88
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They are tiger tail....looks like these

strickland09.jpg

They are captive bred (I made sure to ask, I would NEVER want a wild caught fish. It's environmentally irresponsible).

I am not set on this breed, but I like the colors, the cheaper ones aren't as brightly colored.

I am not sure whether or not I am going to use corals for hitching posts. I think I will probably end up just using live rock (like you said, Saix) and then maybe adding corals later, if I want them. I do want to get some gorgonian (sp) branches though.....

gorgonian_22_theseaorg.jpg

Who knows!!

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I've been doing research lately on seahorses as well. That is my next tank set up. I promised my husband on that one and I've had a 75 gallon saltwater before and haven't found the maintance to be terribly different.

The issue with seahorses is the same as with most puffers. They are incredibly picky eaters and will only eat live food and need to eat regularly. Most die of starvation. And they are incredibly sensitive. They do best in pairs (rather than getting three).

Part of the reason you want captive bred is that they are trained to eat a variety of foods ideally (though the ones in the LFS's may not be that way...they don't tend to take the same care to make sure they are eating properly). It is best to train them to hand feed.

Even though the price is much higher if I ever do go the seahorse route I found this amazing place in Haiwaii that specializes in seahorses only and sells them in pairs (they are captive bred) and they are trained to eat a special diet.

It is a little pricier for a bonded pair, but I think worth it...

http://www.seahorse.com/

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I have just found a great forum, Amy, I think you would like it as well. It's www.seahorse.org

I have seen the fish at seahorse.com and like them a lot! Unfortunately they are WAY out of my price range. The LFS I have here at school is great with all saltwater fish, so I think I will get mine from there. They are still pricey ($180 a pair) but I trust their stock more than anywhere else.

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So the forum I joined for seahorses is so dead! There is never anyone on.

It's so weird!!

I have been told that I can choose between a pair of Hippocampus Fuscus or Hippocampus Erectus.

The first one would be easier to keep in a 20 gal and the second one wouldn't be hard, just not easy. I was told that I have to make sure to do water changes every week. Like that will be hard to remember. :rolleyes:

Here are the choices I have:

H. fuscus (called the Sea Pony :D )

Hippocampus-fuscus.jpg

And H. erectus

36yelow_erectus.JPG

It's still hard for me to tell the difference between the types of seahorses, so I doubt it will make much of a difference!

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Pick the easy one first!!! Always go easy with saltwater I say, it seems so delicate and terrifying. I like that they are so dark! Think how cool they will look wrapped around some purple gorgonian or white finger leather!!

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That's too bad. Well, I can't tell if it is just the photo, but I like the yellow one. Are you still thinking of a 15 gallon or a 20 now? What all can you put in there? I don't know of a single pet store around here who sells bonded pairs, so when I get ready I may have to order. $200 for a bonded pair, plus shipping, is expensive, but I don't want to buy a single seahorse. They seem to really need the company.

I love that you are doing this before I get ready, too! For now I can watch you and learn...

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I am going to use the old 20 high that Dragon and Phoenix used to live in. It will be the perfect size for one pair of either of the two I showed you.

They come in all sorts of colors! I think I want either red or purple ones.

I know what you mean about the expense. I am kind of resigned to the fact that it's going to cost a lot of money. But since Steve has basically everything I need for initial start-up I won't be spending money on things like sand or live rock or cheatomorpha or any of that! That saves me a couple hundred bucks right there! And I don't have to buy the tank (cuz I already bought it :) ) so that's another $50 that I don't have to spend!

So that basically gives me about $200 that I am not spending (when you take out things like a new filter for the cheato and a few seafans and macro algea). So I can buy a pair of Seahorses for around $200. Which is what I was planning on spending anyways!

That was really convoluted.......... :blink:

But my advice is, if you know someone who has basic SW set-up things that they can give you, you will save a WHOLE lot of money! Live rock is the most expensive. It's sometimes $7/lb (if not more) and you need 1-2 lbs per gallon. It adds up quick! And that's for just basic live rock. I've seen it for $12.99/lb!!!

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I would definitely go for captive-raised. They will be healthier, not have been subjected to being wild caught and shipped all over the world, and you can rest knowing that you're not further depleting wild seahorses. Many are now endangered due to loss of habitat and the Chinese medicine trade, unfortunately, as well as the souvenir trade. Why you'd want a dried-up seahorse as a souvenir, I don't know! I remember getting one as a kid and it freaked me out.

Even captive raised seahorses do need some live food in the tank to sustain them. Feeding brine shrimp alone isn't a balanced diet. For that reason, you should also consider setting up a large refugium. This way you'll have a continuous supply of live copepods going into the tank for the seahorses to feed on. I'm familiar with this due to keeping mandarinfish, which have similar requirements.

Seahorses also need very low flow tanks. For that reason, cyanobacteria is a concern. When there is low waterflow, it flourishes, and can be a huge nuisance to get rid of.

As for gorgonians, most do not need the high-powered lighting that corals do. They are extremely difficult to care for in captivity, because most are filter feeders. It's a delicate balance to keep enough in the water for them to eat without getting your tank levels out of hand.

Anyway, hope all this helps. I have wanted to do a seahorse tank for years and know a few people who've kept them. I can't stress enough how important it is to buy captive. Check out ORA. They're a great supplier of captive raised critters. They have really nice stock and reasonable prices.

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I would definitely go for captive-raised. They will be healthier, not have been subjected to being wild caught and shipped all over the world, and you can rest knowing that you're not further depleting wild seahorses. Many are now endangered due to loss of habitat and the Chinese medicine trade, unfortunately, as well as the souvenir trade. Why you'd want a dried-up seahorse as a souvenir, I don't know! I remember getting one as a kid and it freaked me out.

I couldn't agree more! It was the first thing I asked the LFS. "Are these wild caught? or Captive bred?" She said "We don't support wild catching anything. All our fish are bred by local suppliers"

It made me grin!

About the refugium, Steve is getting one up and running for his salt water tank. So I am going to be taking some pods out once or twice a week and feeding them to my SHs. It's really kinda moochy of me, but he was the one that wanted me to set up a SW tank to begin with!

I have copeous notes on feeding and housing requirements for SHs. I have them tacked right above my computer so that I look at them all the time! I am trying to memorize it as much as I have goldfish requirements memorized! :P I've got written down that once or twice weekly live food is sufficient. Along with frozen mysis and spirulina enriched brine shrimp. Does this sound right?

That's good to know about the gorgonians! I was wondering about keeping them fed. It's still foreign to me to think of something that looks like a stick as an animal. I will never be able to get excited about a new piece of coral the way Steve does. It looks like rock to me :blink: ...........

I guess I will learn. :)

I was wondering about sea fans though....Do you know anything about them, Jenny? It's really hard to get answers on the SH.org site because no one is ever on the forum! It's eerie! :P

What is the site that you recommend buying SHs from?

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Just checking in...I love learning this stuff! I can't imagine buying wild caught anything. My diet is so weird, because I can't stand the idea of depleting any resources. I always feel a bit guilty about keeping any fish at all, but I figure goldies are so "manufactured" in so many ways that they couldn't really survive in the wild.

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