Dwarf Seahorse Tank Set Up Questions

dive girl

I'm setting up a tank for some dwarf seahorses.
It's cycled and the clean up crew (just snails so far) is working away. I've put in a little chaeto and a bottle of copepods to start seeding. I've got some macroalgae ordered to start growing.
I've bought a few seahorse books so that I go into this prepared but I'd like to ask some questions from people that keep horses. One big lesson that I've learned in this hobby is that what works for one person/tank doesn't necessarily work for another but I value the opinions of those that are currently keeping captive bred seahorses.
I've gathered conflicting information on just how much flow dwarf seahorses like. I'm not sure if I should leave my outlet tube as it is or if I should make some sort of diffuser?
I've ordered/purchased the necessary supplies to raise brine shrimp. With dwarfs how much brine shrimp do you raise at a time? If you feed them twice a day, can you use the same 'batch' for both feedings? Each day, I'll just need to make one batch of shrimp to feed for the next day, right? Since the brine shrimp is alive, is it possible to still have a feeding station?
I'm using an 12g Aquapod. I know that it is a little bigger than the 'books' recommend but I feel that I'll be able to control the water quality a little better. I don't mind having to be diligent in the feeding to make sure that everyone is getting what they need. I'm also planning on adding food to the brine shrimp so that they will have the extra nutrients in them.
I'm sure that I'll have some other questions, but here are some starters. Thanks!

dive girl

Just thought of another:
Do you keep your salinity for your horses at 1.019-1.021? This is the measurement that I've read is optimal. How do your inverts and corals do with this salinity?


Active Member
There are not any dwarf safe corals and very few inverts.
I would e-mail cleaveland seahorse and reef nut.


I keep my dwarfs in a 3 gallon pico with the filter that comes with them, I keep it on the side of the tank in the back. The salinity is at 1.024 - 1.025
As for how I do my brine is, I make a new batch each day, I feed the new bbs one day then still have some left the next day and those get gut loaded and fed then dumped and the new batch goes in.
I only have one Astraea Snail in there, I had to treat with panacure so I wasn't sure if it would harm the snail or not.
I have 12 adults and a bunch of babies in the tank, all doing just great.


Active Member
Originally Posted by Dive Girl
Just thought of another:
Do you keep your salinity for your horses at 1.019-1.021? This is the measurement that I've read is optimal. How do your inverts and corals do with this salinity?
Yes they like it a little low. In the wild the salinity can change phenomenally in just one day, and they often live where salinity can be low.
Also, most books and alot of people will say no flow or very very low flow. Well this is a precaution and something people recently have realized isn't true. All seahorses love to play in the flow of water, and dwarves are stronger then they may appear, so yes, medium flow is fine.
I am thinking, i have not kept a bunch of dwarves yet, but from what i've read, that a powerhead that does not move it's flow is best. Atleast from what i've read, some males like to hide in low to no flow areas in the tank when there gestation period is about up. Plus, i think dwarves wold enjoy a place in the tank in case they are sick or tired and need a no flow zone.
But then there is the other side of my head that is saying otherwise, because having flow in just one spot can lead to build up of detritus and other junk in certain spots along with stale water.

dive girl

Thanks for the info. I SCUBA dive often and have been lucky enough to see seahorses in the ocean. A few of those (no dwarfs) were found along a wall where currents are the norm.
As I have it now, there are some areas that have a higher flow and some areas that have a lower flow. I'll keep an eye on them (when I eventually get them) like I do with my corals. If they don't look like they like the higher flow, I'll change things to put in a diffuser.
I just have some asteria snails in the tank along with some button and mushroom polyps and a feather duster right now. The softies and feather duster came from my main tank and can always go back if need be.
I'm still reading the seahorse books that I have invested in. I'm in no rush to get the seahorses and will wait until I can minimize any errors that I may make (to tell the truth, I would LOVE to order the horses today but know better and will wait).
Hi , The amount of brine shrimp is all dependant on how many dwarves you get....I have alot so I probably use a teaspoon and a half at least every day but I've never measured....I wouldn't use a powerhead at all in a dwarf tank ,the flow from the filter is enough , and make sure you cover the filter with a filter sponge or a nylon so they don't get sucked in....I wouldn't use the mushrooms or zoa's because the rock there on can contain bristle worms or amphipods which can kill and eat baby dwarves....I hope this helps
dwarves have special needs when starting the tank , but are very hardy lil' guys and are entertaining to watch.
Oh and I try to keep the sg on the lower side , like 1.019 figuring there found in shallow seagrass beds with lower sg than deeper water.