145g Seahorse Fuge

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
I have a 36x30x31 fuge that I am thinking of making into a seahorse tank with macros and some softies. Tank has a 4-5" deep sandbed, lots of macros and cyano at present. I am contemplating adding some more liverock and a little bit of branch rock for a cool looking display. I still want the tank to be a good source of biodiversity to feed the 1200g system.

I keep my system between 75-77 degrees and house all types of corals in the display tank. I was thinking of adding several captive bred H. erectus and was looking for some ideas. The current fuge has a 400w Iwasaki over it, but I am debating changing to a 250w at some point in the near future.

Flow is an issue right now as the tank is fed with an Oceanrunner 3500 which is about 900gph before head pressure, so maybe getting 700gph or 5x/hr circulation. I might need to add some powerheads? Here are a few pics of what I have and I would need to trim back the caulerpa that is trying to take over at present:

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Any thoughts or advice on making this a seahorse tank?
 

Elysia

New member
Well, you probably already know that it would be better for the horses if the temp was 74 degrees or under. While it might not seem like that big of a deal to be a few degrees over, from some testing that was done, oportunitistic infection is much more likely above 74 degrees than below it.
 

ann83

New member
It looks nice, but the horses will deplete your 'pod populations in pretty short order, especially the amphipods and isopods. So, if that is currently one of the benefits of the tank to your system, then that would be a concern.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15478488#post15478488 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Elysia
Well, you probably already know that it would be better for the horses if the temp was 74 degrees or under. While it might not seem like that big of a deal to be a few degrees over, from some testing that was done, oportunitistic infection is much more likely above 74 degrees than below it.

Yes, I have seen this number. My fuge is on the main system, but runs a degree cooler as the room is air conditioned and in the basement. So, I usually run 74-75 in the fuge and if I change my MH to a 250w bulb, I might run a tad cooler.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15478543#post15478543 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ann83
It looks nice, but the horses will deplete your 'pod populations in pretty short order, especially the amphipods and isopods. So, if that is currently one of the benefits of the tank to your system, then that would be a concern.

Even if I have a big ball of chaetomorpha and pod piles?
 

ann83

New member
Yep. I mean, if you put the piles right next to the return line to the display, then you'll get some amphipods, etc. into the display. But, the seahorses will spend all day everyday hunting, and they can eat a lot, even with supplemental feedings. They won't completely destroy the populations in the sense that they'll disappear altogether, but definitely in the sense that it will have fewer than the typical display tank would, much less a refugium.
 

GTriever

New member
All I can say is, "wow!", that refugium is nicer than most display tanks. :thumbsup: If there's a concern about pod population, how about a hang-on internal pod refugium for the refugium?
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
I am hoping the tank is big enough if I keep the ball of chaeto and a couple pod piles, if not, then I will not have as many pods:D They don't voluntarily go through the overflow anyways it seems:lol: Any idea on a proper method for stocking this tank with Seahorses? Truth be told, I am not sure how many to get at one time.
 

ann83

New member
How many do you want? ;)

Its a big enough system, I think that your ability to quarantine is going to be the limiting factor. If you only have a 20 gallon QT, that'll limit you to 4 horses at a time, or so, depending on the bioload it is cycled for. If you have a 150 gallon QT that is cycled for a high enough bioload, go ahead and get them all at once. If you want to get a few at a time, I'd decide based on where shipping changes. If they can ship 6 in a box, and you can comfortably QT 6, then get 6 at first and the rest (if any) later. If they can ship 4 in a box...
 

ann83

New member
If you're genuinely worried about "bumps" in the system, how many of other kinds of fish do you add at once without worrying about it?

I'd say, assuming that microfauna is pretty much a wash at this point, and that you're not worried about the added bio-load on the tank, the 'fuge could hold anywhere from 6-12 average sized seahorses, depending on your desired stocking density.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
The system is 1200 gallons and nutrient controlled with a monster skimmer and vodka dosing. I haven't read of any deleterious effects of vodka dosing on fish or seahorses yet. So, I am not too worried about the bioload factor as I feed pretty heavy now due to a heavy fishload. My concern is not having too many seahorses in the tank so they are not comfortable with crowding/territory.

Also, they are pretty pricy from the place I was looking at, so I might be able to swing a couple pair of Sunburst at first. Could add another four down the road.
 

ann83

New member
Oooooh, yes. That place is pretty pricey. Take a look at Seahorse Source. I absolutely love them, and have nothing but wonderful, fuzzy things to say about them ;) Really though, they have excellent healthy seahorses and have some of the best customer service I've ever dealt with, especially after the sale. I got my handsome boy in my avitar from Seahorse Source. And they aren't nearly as pricey (or as out-of-stock) as the place you're looking at.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15492182#post15492182 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ann83
Oooooh, yes. That place is pretty pricey. Take a look at Seahorse Source. I absolutely love them, and have nothing but wonderful, fuzzy things to say about them ;) Really though, they have excellent healthy seahorses and have some of the best customer service I've ever dealt with, especially after the sale. I got my handsome boy in my avitar from Seahorse Source. And they aren't nearly as pricey (or as out-of-stock) as the place you're looking at.

Thanks for the link. Do you have a recommendation for what kind to buy? It looks like there are H. Erectus and H. Reidi available. How about ratios of boys to girls, keep them even?
 

ann83

New member
It all depends on what you're looking for.
I love H. reidi, but their fry are much more difficult to raise, so if that's ever going to be a factor for you, you might want to stick to H. erectus, H. barbouri, or H. fuscus.
H. barbouri tend to be a little more sensitive to water quality and parameters, and H. fuscus are a smaller horse, so those two might not be as suitable as H. erectus or H. reidi.
H. reidi tend to have brighter colors (although every seahorse is different). The one in my avitar is H. reidi. H. erectus are a stockier horse with broader chests, and are more likely to have cirri, which some people prefer.
Activity level definitely varies by individual and environment more than by species between these two species.
Sex ratios aren't a big deal, but people tend to keep them in pairs (even sex ratios). Sometimes in a group they will pair bond, and sometimes they will all "fight" for the same mate (and sometimes they're just all sluts ;) ); but at least if you have equal sex ratios, you have a shot at pair bonding and not having an odd-man-out sort of social dynamic.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
I don't plan on raising fry, at least not for starters. With the H. reidi, do you have to purchase them a certain color or will their colors morph depending on the background corals in the tank? Thanks for all of the great information.
 

ann83

New member
They will change color based on whatever they darn well please. You can try to influence it based on decor and diet, and some people have had limited success, but really, seahorses wear whatever they want, whenever they want. Without changing decor on her, my female H. reidi has been gold, brown, orange, pink, purple, and yellow. The picture in my avitar was taken of my boy when he was in a bare bottom QT without a single yellow thing in sight. He has also been green, but he does tend to prefer yellow.

You can ask Dan to try to send you a specific color if he has it. Then there's a better chance that that color is a preference of the seahorse, but of course, it could change it's preferences when it gets to you. Basically, there is no guarantee, but as long as you don't pay extra for color, it can't hurt to try.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
LOL! I had no idea they could change colors like that. I wish I would have actually tried seahorses a few years back when I was talking about it!

Do you feed PE mysis? Any other supplements for diet? I saw on OR's website that they sell a product that is basically HUFA enriched to soak the food in each feeding.
 

ann83

New member
No need to add HUFAs, mysis is fatty enough as it is. Back when everybody was enriching their mysis with more fats before they fed out, a lot of seahorse necropsies turned up with fatty liver problems.

I feed a combination of PE mysis and Hikari mysis. PE is really oily, and twice a day feedings of it is just too much for my tank to handle, even when rinsed first. Plus, since PE is FW and Hikari is SW, I like to switch it out. They eat both, but they definitely look less filled-out when I run out of PE.

To supplement their diet, you can enrich live adult brine shrimp once a week with vitamins. Something like vitachem or spirulina. Beta glucan is good for the immune system, too. Just soaking mysis in vitamins usually results in the vitamins washing off and the seahorse getting very little. A few people do inject their mysis with vitamins, but I'm not that kind of keeper ;)
 
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