NOWhereMonkey

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  • Offline Serene_Blue
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Hey all!

« posted: 1 year ago »
Hello to everyone here at Fusedjaw,

My name is Jennifer, and I have been a successful seahorse keeper of for just over a year now. Below, some information about my setup, as well as some pictures will be provided. There will also be a questions and observations section at the bottom.
*Warning: this is a rather lengthy post.  ;)

Aquarium Inhabitants and Seahorse Bios:


 ~2 large golf ball sized turbo snails
 ~2 little blue-leg hermit crabs
 ~2 female seahorses:
   --> Pencari (named from the Indonesian word “seeker,” because she always seeks me out and wants to hold onto my fingers when I’m doing tank work.) I just call her Cari, and she’s probably my fav. Not that I would actually pick favourites between my horse kids or anything ;)
   --> Onyx (nyx or nixie for short) was originally silver and black when she arrived on my doorstep. I should’ve known better to name a seahorse on color alone, but oh well.  She was covered in cirri and I was in awe of her. Eventually she lost most of her cirri and changed color to brown to match her crush (who will be mentioned later.) Later she developed white patches around her dorsal and lateral trunk region to match her new best friend, Cari.
~2 male seahorses:
   --> Tallus (named from the Latinized Greek word θαλλός (thallos) meaning “twig” or “frond”) and he is called this because he’s my only seahorse to completely keep his cirri. He flirts with both females but has had a special affinity for Cari all along. Sometimes I just call him Tal.
   --> Io (in Latin, “an exclamation of joy or triumph,”) as well as being the innermost of the 4 moons of Jupiter, he is Onyx’s crush and Tallus’ rival. In fact, Tal  used to bully him a bit, back when Io used to be smaller. But now the playing field is pretty level and Io is a lot happier.

Feeding and Enrichments
:

The seahorses are fed twice per day - a combination of frozen thawed Hikari and PE Mysis shrimp, as well as some occasional Hikari Krill. I feed them the krill because they get a bit complacent when eating the mysis, so I find that the krill makes them more thankful for the mysis. Their favorite food is the PE though, but it’s fed to them sparingly because it’s expensive. As a very infrequent treat I also catch amphipods from my upstairs nano reef and freeze them as well.

For enrichments, I soak mysis and krill, sometimes even the rare bit of brine shrimp in Selcon and then coat with Vibrance 2 (from the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.) They really like the Vibrance, I’ve found. 

**A short note about feeding and training: for the first 5 months I had seahorses, I fed each seahorse individually with tongs. It was a painstaking process and each feeding would take about 20 mins!! That was until I went on vacation to Hawaii in January. My boyfriend took care of the horses while I was gone. When I returned, he had trained every single seahorse to eat from a food bowl which he had purchased. What a wonderful guy!  Now it only takes 30 seconds to feed – amazing! The horses also eat a lot more out of the bowl since they can graze at their own pace.


Aquarium: Parameters and Décor


Water Testing results over a usual month:

Nitrite and Ammonia: 0.00ppm always
Nitrate: between 10 and 15ppm (usually closer to 10)
pH: 8.1
Specific Gravity: just under 1.023
Temperature: 69F -71.4F, normally stays around 70.9

My aquarium is a 40 gallon tall, and I keep 4 horses. Yeah, I know it’s a bit much to keep in that size, but I do 50-60% water changes every single week. I also have a two power filters and a skimmer rated for 80 gallons which helps.

The décor includes all fake plants and holdfasts…I used to have soft corals but with the cooler temperature they didn’t do too well. The seahorses don’t seem to mind at all. Each holdfast is removed once per week and washed well.

Questions and Personal Observations:

 ~ Seahorses are moody…depending on the time of the month they are either very active or not really at all. Perhaps this is due to breeding cycles, specifically egg development in females?

~ Seahorses have very diverse personalities! While one horse curls its tail while swimming upright, another never does. While one horse doesn’t mind being watched while eating, another hates it.

~ My seahorses have always had consistently purple poop. Do yours? For some reason I find this quite humorous.

~ My seahorses have never successfully transferred eggs. The females always drop theirs and the males fail to catch them in their pouches. They’ve tried dozens of times and it seems to end the same way each time. Do I have a bunch of duds? I know it takes a while for juvenile seahorses to learn the exchange but come on…a whole year to learn? My tank is more than 19 inches in height. Is it not high enough for them? Doubtful because I once saw a video of a seahorse egg transfer while stationary! Has anyone else experienced this? I’ve been dreaming of fry for so long and have pretty much given up.  :'(

~ Are levels of nitrate in the 10-15ppm range too high? I knew a girl who kept hers at 40ppm which seems like way too much to me. Where do you keep yours at? I wondered for a while if nitrate levels had anything to do with my lack of male seahorse pregnancy but the girl I mentioned had a ton of pregnant males, so I don’t think that’s necessarily the issue here.

~ I keep the tank temperature between 69 and 71F. Is that too cold? The seahorses haven’t seemed to mind, I’m just curious as to some other opinions regarding this.

~ Tallus once bit Cari on the face – snicked her hard on the cheek (in the gill operculum area.) There was no visible mark…but she was clearly upset and didn’t eat for half a day...I wonder what brought about this behaviour? It was right after a water change so maybe he was upset that his territory got moved around? It’s so strange, because it only ever happened once. Have any of you ever had this happen?

~ Before feeding, I always wash my hand and arm with water as well as a dilute vinegar/water combo. I do this because research has told me that vinegar is a rather effective microbial cleaning agent, and it’s also good for neutralizing the bleach I use on some of my aquarium décor. Do any of you use soap? I never have because I would be concerned about getting any in my aquarium by accident. This method has served me well for over a year. I’ve never had even a hint of disease among my horse herd.
Not sure if the vinegar is to thank or not, but it’s worth a thought or two perhaps.

~ My favourite part about water change day is when I stick my hands in for maintenance and the seahorses want to grab onto my fingers! Do any of you do this with your horses? Some horses are more comfortable than others when it comes to this. However, I find that once one comes over, they all want to. There was one time where I had a seahorse on every finger! (Minus the thumb…they don’t like thumbs that much.)

~ Most people who see pictures of my seahorses or come to my house and see them in person are pretty awestruck. In fact, the general public knows next to nothing about these marvellous creatures. It’s pretty astounding, actually.

Well, there you have it – my seahorse story! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I look forward to any questions or comments!

Pictures:


I've never posted pictures, so I'm not sure if they'll show up or not. Hopefully they do!

~Thanks for reading!  :)
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: Hey all!

« Reply #1 posted: 1 year ago »
Hi!,
Welcome to the site.  Beautiful pictures!!!  I love when people share 😇😇😇 I once had some seahorses with purple poop and thought of unicorns!! Lol must be what you feed them. Mine now all have white poop, not sure why... do you feed live baby fish to them? Just asking because I think that was when I had purple poop. My herd also eats from a bowl, nice and easy that way for sure!! When they get hungry they all line up and stare into the bowl waiting for the magical appearance of mysis!!
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  • Offline vlangel
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Re: Hey all!

« Reply #2 posted: 1 year ago »
Your seahorses are beautiful!  It looks like a good set up and those big water changes seem sufficient to keep up your water quality.  My seahorses also have purple poop.  Also my male Adam once snicked his mate Eve just like you described.  It was upsetting to witness but Eve did not seem the worse for wear and I only ever saw it once. 
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  • Offline Serene_Blue
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Re: Hey all!

« Reply #3 posted: 1 year ago »
Hi!,
Welcome to the site.  Beautiful pictures!!!  I love when people share 😇😇😇 I once had some seahorses with purple poop and thought of unicorns!! Lol must be what you feed them. Mine now all have white poop, not sure why... do you feed live baby fish to them? Just asking because I think that was when I had purple poop. My herd also eats from a bowl, nice and easy that way for sure!! When they get hungry they all line up and stare into the bowl waiting for the magical appearance of mysis!!

Thanks Laurasea! Haha yay, unicorns! I haven't fed them live baby fish, just mysis and krill. I find that the poop is more purple when they eat PE mysis and purple-ish white when they eat Hikari. The bowl method is by far the most efficient, in my opinion.

Your seahorses are beautiful!  It looks like a good set up and those big water changes seem sufficient to keep up your water quality.  My seahorses also have purple poop.  Also my male Adam once snicked his mate Eve just like you described.  It was upsetting to witness but Eve did not seem the worse for wear and I only ever saw it once. 

Thank you vlangel! Yeah, the big water changes really help. It's pricey though, now with the price of salt mix going up where I live.  :-\ Okay good, then the purple poop is normal. I really wonder why the males snick the females. I guess there's always something new to figure out with keeping seahorses!
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Re: Hey all!

« Reply #4 posted: 6 months ago »
This information is very helpful to me.