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Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium, Good or Bad?

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  • Offline TamiW
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Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium, Good or Bad?

« posted: 4 years ago »
I stumbled across announcements for the new "Syngna" aquarium over at Reef Builders . It claims:

Quote
The Syngna is a new all in one Seahorse Aquarium currently under development by Reef Eden International. Following in the footsteps of their popular Aurelia aquarium dedicated to Jellyfish, the Syngna inherits Eden Reefís know-how in creating specialized aquariums for marine life with exacting requirements for the best health, growth and vitality.

What we know about the Syngna so far is that it will be equipped with a built in protein skimmer, and Kreisel like flow to keep food in suspension, and wastes going to the filter while not posing a challenge to the unique swimming behavior of seahorses. Eden Reef will be offering the Syngna seahorse system in two sizes, an 80 liter (17.5 gallon) system and a 220 liter (48 gallon) size with dimensions approximating a two foot cube aquarium.
One of the coolest little tidbits we learned about the forthcoming Syngna Seahorse Aquarium is that it will be specially designed to house either young or adult seahorses. A dedicated micron screen will slide into the prefilter when young and juvenile seahorses are being ket in the Syngna, while flow rates and other adjustments can be made when adult seahorses are being ket [sic] for display or breeding.

Reef Eden is expected to announce more details about the Syngna Seahorse Aquarium this May, pretty close to when the new all in one is ready for order. In the ten years that we worked at retail local fish stores, we canít even count the number of times that newbies and experienced aquarists alike asked about seahorses and a seahorse aquarium so itís about time an enterprising company like Reef Eden tackled this unique niche head-on.


Call me crazy, but it sounds like a bad idea. Seahorses and jelly fish are two different critters. Not that I couldn't see a company making specialty tanks making a seahorse tank, but the description sounds a whole lot like repurposing a jellyfish tank, which will have two low of a flow.

I've experimented with aquariums that have screens for dividers and they are a pain to keep clean with any reasonable amount of flow. Algae gets clocked in them, detritus, muck. If your'e doing it right, coraline algae will cover the holes, which is even harder to keep clean.

But that isn't the part that worries me - it's that there are no pictures or any indication of trying it out on seahorses over the long term to make sure that it works. They aren't going to have pictures until its ready to be released? Then how long has it been tested for? Will it work to support seahorses more than a few months?

I'm leery over the appropriateness of this new seahorse kit because over my 15 years keeping seahorses, I've seen so many "seahorse kits" and none are ever really appropriate for seahorses. I reposted the fab.com travesty as a reminder of how bad seahorse kits are.

I wish there was a good seahorse all-in-one tank. Maybe this one will be "it" but history has suggested it won't be. I guess we'll see.

« Last Edit: 4 years ago by TamiW »

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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #1 posted: 4 years ago »
I was browsing the Hippozoo site (they were one of the contributors to the recent Coral magazine issue on seahorses).  The site is German, and what little I used to know is mostly gone, but they do offer an AiO setup for seahorses that looks reasonable:

http://www.hippozoo.de/online-shop/hippocube-artenaquarium/#cc-m-product-7157895575

It is apparently 140 liters (37 gallons), though I'm never clear with AiOs if that includes the filter area (I suspect it does).  Pricey at 1290 Euros for the complete setup, but not that different than other high-end AiO systems.
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #2 posted: 4 years ago »
A lot of exotic animal starter kits, aren't usually the best thing for the animal. For instance, a lot of hermit crab kits come with an enclosure that's way too small for one crab, and they like to live in groups. I imagine it's be better just to buy everything separate. 
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #3 posted: 4 years ago »
The Hippozoo tank looks like it's the Innovative Marine aquarium rebranded. I would love to know how they perform for seahorses. All-In-One kits have traditionally not performed well for seahorses. But this has an open top, so maybe heat isn't as big of a concern. I do wonder how they hold up over the long term with seahorses and the waste they produce.

Innovative Marine is the same company involved in the fab.com flap I linked. I wonder if they're just trying to get their products out there any way they can, because it's the second "seahorse aquarium" someone has rebranded.

Obviously there is a market for seahorse aquariums, it would be interesting to see if either of these actually do work well for them.
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #4 posted: 4 years ago »
Sounds like it would be a good tank to raise fry in, but kind of weird for housing adults long term. The article makes it sound like seahorses need specialized tanks to keep them. Seems like people have found perfectly fine set ups without specialized kits. I understand needing it for jellies, but not seahorses.
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  • Offline suew
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #5 posted: 4 years ago »
My lfs has these tanks in and doesn't cost too much,I was also thinking along the lines for fry.Not big enough for grown sh.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #6 posted: 4 years ago »
Sue, I thought they weren't released yet? Are they on the market in the UK? Or do you mean the Jellyfish tanks by the same manufacturer.

Sounds like it would be a good tank to raise fry in, but kind of weird for housing adults long term. The article makes it sound like seahorses need specialized tanks to keep them. Seems like people have found perfectly fine set ups without specialized kits. I understand needing it for jellies, but not seahorses.

Yeah, I agree. I think the issue is that a lot of seahorse aquarists would like to use an all-in-one kit for seahorses because of the simplicity, but all-in-one kits are not particularly good for seahorses. The filtration is underpowered and they tend to generate heat. I've been roling around the idea of what would make a good all-in-one seahorse kit in the back of my mind for some time. Not because I think it would be better than a traditional setup, but because there is such demand for it, and it would be a better alternative to the existing kits. But I haven't come up with any specific solutions to the flaws of all-in-ones.
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #7 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Tami,

We have had tanks like the ones above for a while now,the reason why I thought they would be good for fry is that most of the works are hidden away,so they wouldn't get into the inlet pipe,like they can with some filters.

 I don't think they would be a good tank for the older sh,because they aren't big enough,but ok for fry for a while.
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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #8 posted: 4 years ago »
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #9 posted: 4 years ago »
Thanks for finding the update! It sounds a lot better than it did initially. I wonder if they took some of the feedback they got and made changes. I'll still be curious how well it works and the price is quite steep, but at least it doesn't look like it will necessarily be a total disaster. I do wonder how well the tray for substrate is going to work (and how badly it's going to clog up underneath?) and the small one is only 17 gallons. I saw they mention it for Juvenile seahorses, but you just know with that price tag that no one is going to want to upgrade. (17gal $1369.00 / 48gal $2599.00)
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #10 posted: 4 years ago »
Yeah, I don't see those tanks catching on with that price tag. People are usually scared away when I mention it might be a good idea to invest in a chiller if you want seahorses. The slots in the back look a little odd too.

It would be nice to see a video of one and see how the filtration and flow work.
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #11 posted: 4 years ago »
My guess is that they're hand making them, which probably explains the cost. But I don't think that helps them any. I'm not sure about the big slots either, but my understanding is that it's got a way to separate the babies from the adults, so maybe that's why?

I was wondering about heat too.... I would be worried they get too warm, especially the 17 gallon. Small volume of water and internal heaters...

I do think it's a neat idea. I've wanted to design a seahorse tank myself, but don't have the practical experience. Maybe the price will come down as they sort out manufacturing and demand. People want and all-in-one kit. But I think they also want them because they tend to be inexpensive.
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #12 posted: 4 years ago »
Sue, are you sure this is the same tank? The 17 gallon retails at over £800 which (for this poor soul) is a pretty damn expensive grow out).

What concerns me about this tank is that its specifically being aimed at the seahorse community and yet the only thing that shouts "seahorses" is the kreisel type flow. The problem with this is that kreisels are really only necessary (and I use that term loosely) with fry that aren't able to hitch from birth  .

The 17 gallon tank really really bothers me.  The seahorse community; especially those of us that have been around for years, are constantly fighting the battle trying to educate those new to seahorse keeping why its always best to go for the biggest tank that you can afford. This completely goes against that.  In fact, this tank seems to now be being aimed at dwarf seahorses (you would need to make modifications) or as a grow-out tank so for me, this means it is not an ideal tank for seahorses.

The bigger tank might be better but many of us who have used the plug n play type systems before will know of the issues that often come with them so it would be interesting to see how they have addressed that.  So far I've had a BOYU and a RSM  and had to make modifications to both. Its also a shame there isn't a sump  :(

I've been trying to find some reviews of these tanks from seahorse owners but can't find any.  If anybody is aware of any at all I would love to see them.

To add a positive, it certainly does look like a beautiful piece of equipment.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium?

« Reply #13 posted: 4 years ago »
I'm not sure how it would support dwarf seahorses... I would think they would get stuck under the sand plate. Unless you just take it out all together.

My questions are:

How long has the designer kept seahorses?

How long have they tested the build with seahorses in it? (Less than a year, and I'd say we have no idea how they'll do long term)

How warm does the water get?

How does one keep under the gravel plate clean?

What does nitrites and phosphates look like after 6 month? A year? (Even with regular water changes, My suspicion is that it will get out of hand.)

Why are the tanks so short if they're meant for seahorses?

The product info claims it was designed with the input of experienced seahorse keepers. Which keepers? What was the collaborative process exactly?

Why 17 gallons (80 liters)?

What is the "Slot in Micro-mesh breeders screen."? How does it work? Why is it TBA on the Reef Eden website?

I don't understand the filtration scheme. Are they both using the Comlineģ Streamfilter 3163, and the syngna 220 has an added powerhead?  I am trying to figure it out based on this image. (the reef eden website doesn't seem to clarify.)

Is the filtration only handled through the 3rd party Tunze internal filters, or is there some built in the back?

If one plans to run these in series or in a sump, can they be operated with a shared water system, without the tunze filter? Can they be purchased without the tunze filter?

Why are there no reviews of the system? I've seen them posted in a number of places, but the manufacturer hasn't sent any out for unboxing and use reviews. This is unusual, most manufacturers send new products to be reviewed before they're released to the market. However, Reef Eden is calling them reviews. They are really press releases. It's a little "hinky".

Finally:
Why a kriesel design?
(My guess is when you have a hammer, all the world is a nail.)


----
Looking at this picture, I can imagine small seahorses getting stuck in the slots:


Leaving me to wonder if they've tried it with juveniles. Of course I can't swear by it, but there have been so many cases of seahorses getting stuck in fake corals with narrow openings, that I can see this easily being a problem.

The filter and pump for the syngna-8: here

The good thing I see is that the minimum flow is at least 10x an hour.

----
I am going to reach out to the creator, and see if he will answer some of these questions. I encourage everyone to post their questions, and we'll see if we can't get some answers.

« Last Edit: 4 years ago by TamiW »

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Re: Syngna - Seahorse Aquarium, Good or Bad?

« Reply #14 posted: 4 years ago »
Great list of questions there Tami.

That filter is going to clog up quickly.

Kind Regards,

Tim