New to the forum and to salt!

spiceycat

New member
I posted in the other "new" area already. My dilemma is trying to find a trustworthy LFS in CT. since I'm getting some conflicting information from about a half a dozen that I've been to.

Now I confess to not letting a few know what my fish of choice was for fear of being told I'm crazy as one fish store almost did! I understand that they may not be well versed in this specialty and may very well prefer I buy their fish instead.

Please help! I've had fresh water tanks before and was devoted to their care and attention. My only child is off to college and I have time and energy to devote to a dedicated fishtank. Thoughts?
 

mtc1966

New member
a little info 1st let us know about your tank set up size and equipment.
when you are set up properly and ready for seahorses i would go to fintastics in manchester tell them Mike from rc sent you they can get you you erectus from ora at a great price and they are hardy starters.
 

rayjay

New member
I wouldn't trust the information coming from an LFS unless over time I find it to be the same as the information coming from the seahorse hobbyists who have been long term successful. They would be few and far between.
Please check out the links at the bottom of "My Thoughts on Seahorse Keeping" written by experienced keepers and by the most helpful commercial seahorse breeder in the US.
I prefer NOT to buy through an LFS, even if I know they are true captive bred, because most of those LFSs place the seahorses in systems that have previously held other fish or seahorses from other sources.
The seahorses then could have picked up pathogens from that exposure and once you buy them, they are already on their way to problems leading often to death.
If I lived in the US, I would buy from Dan and Abbie Underwood of seahorsesource.com.
If I was rich, I'd pay him what he wanted for shipping seahorses to me here.
 

spiceycat

New member
Thanks for some thoughts Mike and rayjay. I'm getting a 30 gallon extra tall (24inches) with Aqueon HOB power filter, under gravel reverse flow filter tomorrow. I'm also getting a Aqua C remora protein skimmer soon. The tank will be SHOWLR and live sand with crushed coral. I'm unsure about what to do about the water as I don't have a RO/DI unit. So far the stores I've been to don't sell the water but they'd love to sell me their natural sea water...I'm a little nervous about the live rock purchase, the idea of critters in them even though I know how to draw them out. Suggestions.. Ty again :)
 

rayjay

New member
I wouldn't use crushed coral. Finer substrate like the aragonites won't allow near so much food to be caught up in it.
As for the water, you can buy an RO/DI or even a Tap Water Purifier from AP.
However, the tap water filter will eventually cost more than buying an RO/DI.
All my seahorse tanks use sterilized rock so it's also a lot cheaper that way buying up dry rock that used to be live.
Also, you can check out stores like Walmart or pure water stores instead of hobby stores for the RO water or sometimes even DI water.
 

spiceycat

New member
I'm sorry it's also got aragonite in it. I have learned quite a bit from your posts and your "Thoughts on raising seahorses" Awesome thanks!
 

mtc1966

New member
dont think i have heard of anyone using a underground filter. hob filter and a hob skimmer would be a good idea
 

spiceycat

New member
I'm going to get a protein skimmer too. The undergravel reverse flow filtration comes recommended from an online seahorse class I'm taking. Something about water circulation near the substrate being a good idea too. I talked to the guy at Fintastic today and I'm going there probably Monday. Thanks Mike!
 

TamiW

Seahorse Wrangler
Is the class through Ocean Rider/Seahorse.com? I'm just curious, I've never seen their classes before but have heard of them. Anyway, UG filters are pretty old tech, and are eventually going to result in a buildup of crap underneath them that is going to drive the nitrates up. Plus, I'd be afraid that the larger pieces of crushed coral you need for a UG filter could be a problem for the seahorses. Specifically, they can snick them up and get lodged in there throat.
 

rayjay

New member
Well, I can chime in here based on my experience because I started with pre-filtered reverse flow under gravel filtration.
IMO, it can be an EXCELLENT form of filtration but not with crushed coral.
A decent aragonite that is neither powdery fine, nor a coarse aragonite, works well as a biological filter.
For me, I used a Hagen 802 power head with quick filter attachment and stuck a piece of 1/2" cpvc in the "output" tube, with a 90° elbow attached pointing down. Another piece of 1/2" cpvc in the elbow pointing down went into a "cone" that came with the power head, and this sat on top of the "uplift" tube which I had cut off at the appropriate height.
This system took in the water and filtered it with the quick filter, passed it to the "uplift tube" going down under the plate and then flowed upwards through the substrate. This method does not pull the uneaten food downward into the substrate but rather keeps it on top for removal by cuc or mechanical methods.
I WOULD NOT use reverse flow method WITHOUT filtering before the water goes below the plate and trapping the crap under the plate. (especially for seahorses)
Over the years I have used this, as well as plenums, deep sand beds, shallow sand beds, and hybrid systems of these as well, but eventually settled on bare bottom berlin method as it certainly made things much easier to clean.
By the way, I've NEVER checked for nitrates in any of my tanks since early in my salt hobby, 19 yrs ago.
I do check for ammonia whenever I have a problem with one of the tanks, just to be sure something hasn't died and caused the problem.
Before you buy from Fintastic make sure the seahorses are in a dedicated system that hasn't held any other fish or seahorses from a different source, or, have them order them in and you pick them up still in the bag immediately upon their arrival.
Also, check their prices against those of seahorsesource.com.
 

mtc1966

New member
fintastics gets them from ora dedicated tank bred they let you know when they will be in so you can pick them up in the bag.
 

spiceycat

New member
Again, thanks to you both for your much needed input and advice. Rayjay, can you explain what you mean about the reverse flow undergravel system and filtering it first before it goes there? Because I'll use a hob filter too. And can I keep a small featherduster as part of the clean up crew in addition to some snails, couple peppermint shrimp? I'd establish them first and down the yellowbrick road I'd get my horse pair!
 

rayjay

New member
You said in post number 4 that you were getting an "under gravel reverse flow filter".
A standard gravel filter draws the water from "under" the plate the gravel sits on.
A reverse flow pushes the water down the uplift tube so that the water goes under the plate and comes up from below the substrate, forcing the garbage to stay near the top instead of pulling it down into the substrate.
I don't know how to explain it any different that how I did in post 10 above.
IMO, DO NOT set it up without a way to filter the water before it goes under the plate.
Maybe someone else with the knowledge can describe it better.
I forgot to mention that I can't help on clean up crew as I don't use any in my seahorse tanks or reef tanks.
 

spiceycat

New member
I'll also be using a hob filter along with the reverse flow undergravel which draws debris and water up (not down) through the filter plates and substrate.
 

rayjay

New member
It doesn't "draw" the water up through the plates, the water is pushed down the tube and is forced up through the plate and substrate.
The HOB doesn't negate the need to filter the water before it goes under the filter plate.
 

spiceycat

New member
The hang on the back power filter filters the water further as it is pushed up the tube. I like the idea of the reverse undergravel it creates a huge area for filtration with oxygenated water continually passing through. And the tubes provide additional hitching areas.
 

rayjay

New member
I'm having trouble visualizing the set up you describe.
Do you have a picture of it or a link to a picture and description?
 

spiceycat

New member
No link or pic yet. I'm planning on cycling the tank with Aquabella organic solution, which I'm reading is an awesome product. It's safe enough to use a small amount monthly as they suggest. I wish I knew if I should just return the unopened Rena 400 pump it's probably too strong for the 30 gal tank?
 

rayjay

New member
Sorry but I don't know anything about the pump or about the Aquabella.
I'm old fashioned and just use ammonium chloride added to the system to start the cycle and then let it complete on it's own.
Once the tank is cycled, why would you want to use Aquabella monthly?
 

spiceycat

New member
Aquabella claims to maintain water clarity,keep nitrates,nitrites,ammonia in check among some other things. They claim it works due to the formula containing more than 20 different species of appropriate bacteria. I emailed them this am. looking for a complete ingredient list. www.aquabella4aquariums.com
 
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