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Hello from Japan (via USA)

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  • Offline Sakutama
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Hello from Japan (via USA)

« posted: 1 year ago »
Hi everyone!

I'm an American living abroad in Japan on a permanent basis, assuming all continues to go as well as it has. I'm living with my husband and have a bub on the way.

I've loved seahorses ever since I was a little girl, ever since I saw one in a pet store one day and fell in love with them. When I was in my teens, I studied aquariums hard, because my dream was to have seahorses and to do it right. I have other fish I love, but these were the cherry on top I always dreamed of. Eventually as a young adult I tried raising seahorses a couple times, both times I failed from mistakes I didn't catch in time. I decided to wait until I was completely ready, and could make sure my aquarium was stable and absolutely the best it can be before I try seahorses again.

Then I finished school, life got busy, I moved to Japan and got married, and so on. But all this time I've still held onto the dream of having seahorses someday. But with everything going on in my life, I decided I would probably have to wait until I retire before I have the time/money for them.

But I was thinking recently, why should I have to wait? As long as I take it slowly, build up my aquarium month by month, and have a good maintenance routine, why can't I have a small herd of 3? It seems completely possible as long as I don't rush it. I have an idea to establish an aquarium with just shrimp and macro algae first, and wait untIl it's stable, as long as it takes. I could slightly over feed the shrimp to pump up the bioload for future inhabitants.

I'm also considering the Bio Cube 29 for 3 small species seahorses and a shrimp or two. I know it's probably not ideal, and after I refresh my knowledge, I'm sure I could build an aquarium from scratch buying everything separately. But since it comes with a lot included already, I wonder if it might be a good way to kick things off. I'm thinking it over, and I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the idea of course before I decide. I also have to consider what's available here in Japan, which can be the same or different. My Japanese isn't that great, so it'll be a slow process translating and figuring everything out. I wonder if it would be easier to just order what I need from the US.

I found a seahorse farm here, and I'm absolutely psyched because they have hippocampus mohnikei. What an amazing opportunity! I'd love to breed them, but I wouldn't know who to give the babies to, so I will probably just get a small herd of 3 females or 3 males and then see how things go from there.

Im really rusty on my seahorse and saltwater care knowledge, so I'm looking forward to refreshing and learning more here. Thanks for reading!
  • Offline vlangel
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Re: Hello from Japan (via USA)

« Reply #1 posted: 1 year ago »
Hi Sakutama and welcome to fusedjaw!  We will help you in every way possible to experience your childhood dream of keeping seahorses. 

I think your idea of taking it slow by cycling a macro and shrimp tank is a good way to go.  I did the same thing with my tank. 
There are a couple of things I would do different.  One is the Bio cube 29.  I have never had a bio cube but I hear with the hood and lights that they hold heat.  Seahorses do best in cooler water as that helps control dangerous bacterias.  Since they have skin instead of scales they are much more susceptible to bacterial infections.  I think I would buy a 30 gallon tank and add the pump and lights separate.

Also I would just start with 2 seahorses.  They add so much more bioload than fish.  After you have kept 2 for a year, then add a 3rd if you think the added maintenance won't be too much.  I have 2 erectus seahorses in my 36 gallon display with a 20 gallon sump.  I had planned to add a 3rd but I now like the maintenance schedule that I have so I never added the 3rd seahorse.  They don't get lost in the tank and they do share it with 1 royal gramma, some snails and a cucumber.  I have learned after treating my male seahorse a few times for bacterial infections that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Sick ponies are no fun.

I hope I am not discouraging you, I just want you to enjoy your seahorses without fighting problems.  Read every thing you can find about them and that also will help you have a happy satisfying experience.  We at fusedjaw will try to answer any questions you have. :-)
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  • Offline Sakutama
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Re: Hello from Japan (via USA)

« Reply #2 posted: 1 year ago »
Hello vlangel!

I'm so happy someone replied! Thank you! Don't worry, I'm not put off having seahorses at all. But I really need to refresh on everything, so that's exiting to look forward to. I'm also fascinated by the new things that have been learned in the seahorse community! For example, I don't think it was common knowledge that colder water helps prevent disease, that's new to me. I'm sure there could be more, I'm really interested to know. I'm happy I can ask on here.

Since H mohnikei aren't commonly kept, I wonder how 2 would do in a 30 gallon aquarium. They have a maximum length of 8.0cm (about 3 inches) so they're smaller than H capensis. I also wonder if they will need newly hatched brine shrimp, or if they would be fine with enriched frozen mysis shrimp. I'll certainly ask the farm closer to the time.

Also, since I plan on creating a planted saltwater aquarium using macro algae in a ornamental way, I wonder if I would even need a sump. The only benefit of a sump I can think of is it would basically turn a 30 gallon aquarium into a 50 gallon if the sump holds 20 gallons, for example. And the more water, the more stable the system. Maybe the sump could be the filtration itself, while the aquarium houses all the macro algae. I'm getting some interesting ideas now! But I really need to brush up on how to setup a sump, its something that always confused me since I'm not great at technical stuff.

Is there anyone here working on a planted saltwater aquarium? Since I'll be focusing on that for quite some time before I get my precious seahorses, most of my questions will be about that for a while, and of course setting up the aquarium for success.