starting a seahorse tank for my son and I

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#1
I've been doing a lot of reading on seahorse care and the different seahorses. I am used to tropical fresh water fish. My infant loves watching them and I've wanted to start a seahorse tank for years and haven't gotten around to starting one yet. My question is can I use my 55 gallon hex front tank? Its 21" tall 13" wide 48" long. Or should I try to find something bigger? I'm not sure which seahorses we are going with yet but I want to use dry rock for hitching post and sand for the bottom. Should I use the bio active live sand from ***** or just really fine decoration sand?
Thanks
Kel
 

gemmy

Active Member
#5
You can use the 55 for your seahorse tank. I prefer to use dry, sugar sized oolite sand for my seahorse tank.
 
#6
OK now what filter's would recommend with the 55 gallon front hex? Also links or pictures would be helpful. I'll be picking up the start up essentials either tomorrow or Saturday. Another noob question would be if I buy the instant ocean salt the 15 pounds bag covers the 50 gallons. Would I also need to pick up a 3 pound bag that covers 10 pounds and use half the bag to make a total of 55? Sorry I just want to do this right to get it started before shopping for the horses and cuc.
 
#7
I would recommend picking up a bucket of salt that makes 150 - 200 gallons of saltwater. Saltwater is about 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of freshwater give or take.

Do NOT buy any seahorses until you understand your aquarium and it has been running well for a while.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#9
,
I've been doing a lot of reading on seahorse care and the different seahorses. I am used to tropical fresh water fish. My infant loves watching them and I've wanted to start a seahorse tank for years and haven't gotten around to starting one yet. My question is can I use my 55 gallon hex front tank? Its 21" tall 13" wide 48" long. Or should I try to find something bigger? I'm not sure which seahorses we are going with yet but I want to use dry rock for hitching post and sand for the bottom. Should I use the bio active live sand from ***** or just really fine decoration sand?
Thanks
Kel

Hi,

Welcome to the site!

A 55 hex is perfect. yes, dry sand and rock...the bio-loaded sand is just fine, but don't get live reef sand. You will need hitches, I use a mixture of fake décor and rock. One tank is a potbelly horse tank, a ships wheel and anchor along with rock. My 56g column tank with Kuda horses, had Roman columns and branch rock. Sand should be about 2 inches deep. A bubble air line (no stone) to help with gas exchange. Macroalgae will go a long way in offering hitches, and helping to keep the tanks parameters in check...seahorses are very messy eaters, and pollute the tank. I use Caulerpa Prolifera (looks like sea grass), and Botyocladia (red grape)... and the horses love it. Check out "Golf Coast ecosystems" macroalgae is something like $10.00 a pint and that's more then enough, you will never have to buy it again, it grows and grows. You will have to prune it back once it grows too much (called harvesting). You can toss it out, or share with others.

The only really needed expensive piece of equipment would be the chiller, you do really need one. Even tropical seahorses need the temps at 74 to stay healthy, bacteria infections prevail the species. Make sure you purchase CAPTIVE bred horses, no matter the species. captive bred horses feed on frozen Mysis shrimp, and are as easy to care for as any regular fish.

You can use any filter system EXCAPT the under gravel type. I use HOB, but a canister works just fine, and the spray bar is a big help. You do need a power head, however make sure the type you get won't allow the horse to hitch to it and hurt it's tail.

You need RO (reverse osmosis) water...1/2 cup per gallon to make saltwater...let it churn with a utility pump in a tub, for 24 hours before you use it. Be sure to cycle the tank completely before you add any life.
 
#10
Thanks for the info! It's not a full hex tank though it's a half hex long like a bow front just hex front. I was wondering if it was ok to add decorations like you mentioned or if it would have to be just dry rock. I'm definitely adding macro to the tank. But if it's OK to put decoration with the coral/rock for hitches I'll let my boy pick out something for them to hitch to. There was no doubt at picking out cb horses. I breed reptiles and I only buy cb breeding stock. My other concern is that the tank is 21" tall is that tall enough? If not I'll go buy a taller one.
 
#11
Also what about copepods? Should I try seeding the tank with those and buying green water and raising some? I can get frozen food but I'd like something for them to stay busy with. I'll hatch brine shrimp too since I have some from my breeding phantom and dragon guppy days.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#12
Also what about copepods? Should I try seeding the tank with those and buying green water and raising some? I can get frozen food but I'd like something for them to stay busy with. I'll hatch brine shrimp too since I have some from my breeding phantom and dragon guppy days.
Feed ONLY frozen Mysis shrimp...the macros will have lots of pods in it...the copepods are too small, the amphipods are what they love to eat. However after some time (about a year) you can get a mandarin, they get along well with seahorses and they love to eat copepods. Or perhaps a pipefish, that's what I went for.
 
#13
Awesome and pipe fish were being considered. I might get a blenny too but I will wait until the tank is running and cycled before picking out the inhabitants. What are some good books to pick up and have on hand for references? Thanks again
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#14
Awesome and pipe fish were being considered. I might get a blenny too but I will wait until the tank is running and cycled before picking out the inhabitants. What are some good books to pick up and have on hand for references? Thanks again
No blenny with seahorses. At the top of the seahorse and pipefish section is a compatibility chart, so you can see what can and can't live with horses.
 
#15
I don't see it but I'll look through the forum for it. In the morning I'm taking a trip to one of the LFS near my work and stopping in to see if they have everything mentioned and get the project going.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#16
I don't see it but I'll look through the forum for it. In the morning I'm taking a trip to one of the LFS near my work and stopping in to see if they have everything mentioned and get the project going.
There are a few blenny's (I was thinking lawnmower blenny) that are safe...I couldn't find the link at the top of the Seahorse and pipefish section either, SWF must have changed it when they redid the site...here is the link

http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/tankmates/tankmates.shtml
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#18
What's a seahorse safe power head? I have a 55 gallon should I put two? One on each end to help circulate the water?
Hi,
Two is good but don't real powerful ones, a seahorse safe power head is one that a horses can't get it's tail caught in. I opted for the Seiko brand. The first picture is not a good choice...the second picture is
 

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