Saltwater information for sea horses

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Joemartini
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Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Joemartini »

*Mods please move if I am in the wrong area*

I've always wanted seahorses but have held back due to my lack of extra time and also my lack of knowledge on saltwater tanks.
I love the nano cubes and would like a big one soon, I just like how they are already built with everything you need for saltwater. Virtually everything as far as mechanics go I believe? There is this nice pet store near by that I buy all of my supplies and fish from, they bring in seahorses and have been fairly successful at keeping them and even having a few breed but they warned me that most of their customers are unsuccessful at keeping them for more then 2 months.
I've read online about how difficult they are and that they do usually only last a few months from not being in the right conditions or not eating the proper diet, having the proper care, etc. Hence my hesitation to get a couple till I can be fully committed and ready.

I would like to hear others opinions about seahorses as well as if anybody can share some links or knowledge into the saltwater setup/care. I'd like to start with something easy like a clownfish or whatnot. I also have the number to a gentlemen that sets up and helps to take care of saltwater systems so he will be helping me along the way. The more knowledge, the better I will be equipped for when it is time to pick up some of these lovely seahorses. The pet shop has both black and stunning white seahorses, about an inch and a half long.

Joemartini
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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Joemartini »

Here is a link to the Nano tank I'd like to get, I thought there used to be a 29g tank but maybe that is now obsolete as I was looking at them last year, this one is a 24g tank - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=10677

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Suckermouth »

I imagine this topic has numerous articles online about. I'd checking out the online saltwater magazines reefkeeping.com and advancedaquarist.com for starters, and reefcentral is a good saltwater forum.

Now I've never kept seahorses, but IIRC one of the major issues about keeping any of the syngnathids (seahorses, pipefishes) is the lack of a stomach; they cannot store food and require regular feeding. A clownfish is a stellar first choice. They are attractive and hardy, and generally don't bother other fish.
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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by pleco_breeder »

I don't have an exceptional amount of experience with saltwater, other than the tanks I used to take care of in the shop. However, if I were giving serious thought to a seahorse, I would make sure there is a well stocked refugium on the system, and make sure things like live copepods, arthropods, and the various "reef stew" food combinations were available. Most of these foods should thrive in a proper refugium, but will need to be replenished on occasion as their numbers decrease.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Joemartini »

Thanks! Gives me some more resources to look at, I've also read that they need frequent feedings due to the lack of a stomache which has kept me from setting it up years back, I didn't want to cause an unnecessary death due to time restrictions.

I'll take a further look into their feeding as well to make sure that I can keep a well stocked variety. I was at the Petshop yesterday and looks like 3 of the white ones passed away, there was only 2 white left and about 5 of the black ones left.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by wijnands »

Troubles me to see sea horses get popular. You at least realize your own lack of skills, many others do not.

I was talking with a couple of marine aquarists somewhere in the spring and from what I gathered keeping sea horses successfully is right up there with getting the tricky l-numbers to breed successfully. Also, they seem to need a surprising amount of space for something that small and yes, a refugium and plenty of small food is essential.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Matt30 »

Joemartini wrote:*Mods please move if I am in the wrong area*

I've always wanted seahorses but have held back due to my lack of extra time and also my lack of knowledge on saltwater tanks.
I love the nano cubes and would like a big one soon, I just like how they are already built with everything you need for saltwater. Virtually everything as far as mechanics go I believe? There is this nice pet store near by that I buy all of my supplies and fish from, they bring in seahorses and have been fairly successful at keeping them and even having a few breed but they warned me that most of their customers are unsuccessful at keeping them for more then 2 months.
I've read online about how difficult they are and that they do usually only last a few months from not being in the right conditions or not eating the proper diet, having the proper care, etc. Hence my hesitation to get a couple till I can be fully committed and ready.

I would like to hear others opinions about seahorses as well as if anybody can share some links or knowledge into the saltwater setup/care. I'd like to start with something easy like a clownfish or whatnot. I also have the number to a gentlemen that sets up and helps to take care of saltwater systems so he will be helping me along the way. The more knowledge, the better I will be equipped for when it is time to pick up some of these lovely seahorses. The pet shop has both black and stunning white seahorses, about an inch and a half long.
Hi mate

My advice would be stay well away from Seahorses at least for a couple of years, first try a simple setup like mine, I had x2 P-Clown x2 Yellow tailed Damsels some Turbo snails, shrimp etc as my clean up crew.
I had no Skimmer in my tank (100L) but many people would advise you have one in situ), It will take time for your tank to mature and Coralline algae to grow before you can add Corals etc & the bigger the better re tank size, Nano tanks can be a nightmare ! due to the small Volume of water you have zero room for error.
Everyone should try to setup a Reef tank its really rewarding good luck,heres a piture of my old tank
035.JPG
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Joemartini
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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Joemartini »

Maybe that would be a better setup? I just assumed that the nano cube would be easier to keep up with and would make up for errors seeing as everything is built in but from what your saying it is worse off?

I'd actually like to start out with some easy saltwater fish to see if I can maintain a habitat properly.

I'm surprised that seahorses are affordable? You'd think that they would be more expensive, although in my eyes I'd assume they would be expensive to discourage people from getting them as they are difficult to keep. But I guess people need to make a buck here and there eh?

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Mike_Noren »

wijnands wrote:I was talking with a couple of marine aquarists somewhere in the spring and from what I gathered keeping sea horses successfully is right up there with getting the tricky l-numbers to breed successfully.
Depends on species, but as a rule they're not particularly sensitive, and they're quite easy to breed. The difficulty with seahorses lies in feeding them and in the fact that you have to plan the aquarium around them (no predatory anemones or corals, no aggressive or boisterous fish). They take a much greater level of commitment than bulletproof fish like clownfish and damsels.
-- Disclaimer: All I write is strictly my personal and frequently uninformed opinion, I do not speak for the Swedish Museum of Natural History or FishBase! --

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by wijnands »

Mike_Noren wrote:
wijnands wrote:I was talking with a couple of marine aquarists somewhere in the spring and from what I gathered keeping sea horses successfully is right up there with getting the tricky l-numbers to breed successfully.
Depends on species, but as a rule they're not particularly sensitive, and they're quite easy to breed. The difficulty with seahorses lies in feeding them and in the fact that you have to plan the aquarium around them (no predatory anemones or corals, no aggressive or boisterous fish). They take a much greater level of commitment than bulletproof fish like clownfish and damsels.
What I was trying to say is that from what I've heard seahorses take a lot of attention to detail in water parameters and feeding. In that sense I made the comparison with breeding l-numbers. I wasn't saying you can't breed seahorses.

Anyway, it's second hand information, I know very little about marine.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Barbie »

Seahorses themselves aren't all that difficult. Set at least a 29 gallon tank up with enough live rock. Stock it with macro algaes for anchors and peaceful/non stinging corals and snails (no crabs) and monitor it for 90 days. You could add an eviota or trimma goby or two, as they are safe to live with seahorses. If you can keep it stable and not lose snails or anything else, you should purchase tank raised female Erectus seahorses in a group. They won't be prone to pouch inflammation and issues, and will give you the practice you need to be used to caring for them. Feeding them frozen mysis twice a day is going to be the minimum, but a 30-40% water change weekly will keep their water quality optimal, IME, as long as you don't over feed.

When I say tank raised, I mean truly tank raised, preferably locally. Then they will eat frozen mysis readily. What many stores sell as "tank raised" (it's illegal to sell wild seahorses in the US at least, but I think everywhere) but raising them in pens with ocean water pumped through is considered tank raised. Those fish almost never eat mysis readily and can be quite a pain in the keester. I have a local hobbyist that raises the ones I sell and the only one I have lost in 2 years was one that had recurring issues with his pouch (the breeder also had another one with the same issues).

http://www.reef2reef.com and www.seahorse.org are also good information sources!

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Joemartini »

Thank you for the information! I was looking at only having tank raised females and was trying to find info as to whether that was the best route but you just confirmed it! :d

I know the pet store here tank raises them and has a few that they use in stable tanks, I believe it is illegal here as well to have wild seahorses and I've read that most of them that say they are tank raised are actually not and won't eat the frozen mysis.

Would you sell to someone that is such a long ways away? As well as would it be safe for them to be shipped that far from you into Canada? Would it be costly to ship from US to Canada (I'm guessing yes as some of the breeders of other fish I inquired about would not ship to Canada).

I'm willing to try the ones raised here locally but I'm leary at the fact that they keep passing on after 2 months.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by 2wheelsx2 »

Plenty of folks up here just go and pick up livestock in Blaine or Point Roberts. Then you can handle the CBSA problems yourself. I personally know several people who have done it and they said it's pretty straight forward as long as you have paperwork and receipts.

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Re: Saltwater information for sea horses

Post by Barbie »

Exactly. I can't ship across the border, but I can ship to blaine, or whatever the northernmost airport is that Alaska Airlines flies to, even cheaper and within a few hours of leaving here. I would think that a store local to you should be able to get them, but yes, I can ship, if need be. Just pm me :).

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