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New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

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  • Offline TamiW
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New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« posted: 7 years ago »
If you have never kept a saltwater aquarium before, I suggest starting to read up on that first. A saltwater aquarium is more complicated that a freshwater aquarium; it is an entire ecosystem you set up which requires everything to be in balance.

Setting up a stable environment for sensitive fish takes time. I wouldn't count on getting seahorses for 6 months after you set up your tank so it stabilizes. It sounds like forever, but trust me, there will be so much to do to get it right that the time will fly.

Wet Web Media is a great resource for getting started - there is more information than you could possible need there: http://www.wetwebmedia.com

I would also get the book "Marine Reef Aquarium Handbook" by Robert Goldstein.
It is invaluable for learning the basics of aquarium keeping.

Seahorses require a specialized setup for them. They generally don't do well in a reef aquarium because they are sensitive to coral stings and a lot of fish would bully them. They also need frequent feeding, and depending on if they're captive bred or wild caught would need live or frozen food (BTW, you should always look for captive bred. Easier to care for and you're not putting pressure on wild populations). I wrote an article that covers some of the basics of seahorse care, which you can read here:
http://www.fusedjaw.com/aquariumcare/ke ... o-success/
Also check out this article on seahorse tankmates to see what fish can live with seahorses: <!-- m -->http://www.fusedjaw.com/aquariumcare/se ... whats-not/

For getting seahorses, I recommend ordering online. Shipping can be expensive but you can get them from a company or breeder that knows a little more about their care than your average fish store. I recommend http://www.seahorsesource.com. The owner is a really great guy and his seahorses are always really healthy.

Its hard to suggest specific equipment because marine tanks can be so specialized that it really depends on what you're most comfortable maintaining. My preferred method on smaller tanks is a HOB (Hang On Back) skimmer with liverock for filtration. On larger tanks I prefer a reef ready tank with refugium.

Seahorses don't really care about light, but you want to keep the temperature cool, even if they are tropical, they are prone to bacterial infections and lower temps seem to help (low 70's). So choose lighting that will produce little excess heat. t5s are probably idea, but power compact would be okay. Also consider if you might want to keep seahorse safe corals - if that's the case, you'll definitely want t5s.

The best thing you can do if you want to be successful with seahorses is read as much as you can about marine aquariums and seahorse keeping.

« Last Edit: 3 years ago by TamiW »

  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #1 posted: 7 years ago »
Thank you for this information! I just ordered the book. I am setting up my first seahorse tank and I hope I do it right!

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #2 posted: 7 years ago »
Aquagirl, thank you for the excellent resources.  I wish I had read this before I started my first aquarium.  Unfortunately, we had some casualties when we first started out.  This could have to do with buying them from a pet store that did not know a lot about seahorses.  I was given some really bad advice.

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #3 posted: 7 years ago »
Quote from: "Aquagrrl"
Seahorses don't really care about light, but you want to keep the temperature cool, even if they are tropical, they are prone to bacterial infections and lower temps seem to help (low 70's). So choose lighting that will produce little excess heat. t5s are probably idea, but power compact would be okay. Also consider if you might want to keep seahorse safe corals - if that's the case, you'll definitely want t5s.

Hi there Aquagrrl:

Seahorses may not care much about light, but if you are decorating your tanks with plants, you might want to know how much light they need.

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #4 posted: 7 years ago »
Quote from: "blynned"
Thank you for this information! I just ordered the book. I am setting up my first seahorse tank and I hope I do it right!

Good luck if you have not yet gotten around to setting up the tank.

How did it go? :)
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
― Albert Einstein

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #5 posted: 7 years ago »
Quote from: "GreatLakes"
Quote from: "Aquagrrl"
Seahorses don't really care about light, but you want to keep the temperature cool, even if they are tropical, they are prone to bacterial infections and lower temps seem to help (low 70's). So choose lighting that will produce little excess heat. t5s are probably idea, but power compact would be okay. Also consider if you might want to keep seahorse safe corals - if that's the case, you'll definitely want t5s.

Hi there Aquagrrl:

Seahorses may not care much about light, but if you are decorating your tanks with plants, you might want to know how much light they need.

that is basically what some people neglects. :)  Plants need adequate amount of light in able to live :)
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
― Albert Einstein
  • Offline jolix
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #6 posted: 7 years ago »
Great information, I was thinking of doing a saltwater tank but, went against it, and after reading your post I am glad I did. Not to say that eventually I would like to have one but, when I gain some experience first. I know when I do I will be getting the book you recommended.

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #7 posted: 7 years ago »
Its really not that hard, I'm doing it and its my first fish tank!
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #8 posted: 7 years ago »
How is your tank set up going?
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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  • Offline Angel
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #9 posted: 4 years ago »
ooh thanks for all the information. there is so much i have to learn. i'm going to order the book right away. are there any good books for keeping seahorses? also my fish store said seahorses should be kept aroudn 80 degrees. i dont know which is right. does it mean i don't need a heater?
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #10 posted: 4 years ago »
80 degrees is far too warm for seahorses. Tropical seahorses do best around 70-74. I would still consider getting a heater to keep the temperature stable. But you have to be careful with seahorses and heaters, they can burn themselves. You will need to keep the heater in a sump or get a heater guard.

As for good books, sadly the ones on the market aren't great. Probably the best of them is this book buy I still consider it substandard to the information hobbyists have. If you explore fusedjaw.com there is a lot of good information. Seahorse.org also has a lot of good information about seahorses.  And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!

Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #11 posted: 4 years ago »
Ooooh this is really good information. I can't wait until the day I can afford to start keeping a saltwater tank. They've always fascinated me. I hope by joining forums like this I can learn enough to do it right from the start! It's always a sad day when things go wrong in the tank  :(
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #12 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi there

Another question regarding their frozen mysis shrimp,,,,,,,,,, is there a vitamin suppliment that i can buy over here in Melbourne,,,, Australia, to soak into their food, and where would I find it. All the information i have been reading mainly relates back to enriching their froz food prior to feeding

regards :-\
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #13 posted: 4 years ago »
I don't think that soaking food works very well. Mysis isn't absorbent, not really, so the moment you put it in the water it slides right off. A better idea is a diet that varies and gut loading brine shrimp. I also ofter my seahorses small krill Hikari sells small krill under the name "Ocean Plankton". They don't eat it as aggressively as they do mysis, but they do eat it.

Variety is the best way to make sure they're getting all the food they need.

The exception to soaking is that I've been trying powdered Astaxanthin with mysis, and it does seem to absorb some of the coloration, so I think it's safe to assume it's absorbing some of the nutrients as well. But you probably won't find that at a local fish store, and would need to contact a hatchery, hobby breeder (discus keepers use it) or an online distributor.

Dan's feed is really popular, and I know people in Australia have gotten it before, but I don't know if Dan ships there, or if they get if via a 3rd party. It's great for enriching brine shrimp. If you can't go that route, look for enrichments high in DHA, it's a fatty acid that is essential for seahorses. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium are also very important for seahorses.

http://www.seahorsesource.com/cgi-bin/shop/detail.cgi?id=205102
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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  • Offline yellowbird
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Re: New To Keeping Seahorses? Read This:

« Reply #14 posted: 4 years ago »
Still looking into this, but I had kind of a fun question: has anyone noticed that their sea horses display different personalities or levels of intellect?
  • I don't work with seahorses but I am interested in learning about them and maybe working with them someday.