Welcome to MonsterFishKeepers.com

The members of this forum have come together to share our knowledge and experiences of fish keeping. We want to answer your questions, offer advice and fill the galleries with pictures of the fish we have all grown to love.

We are a unique community of Fish Keepers who seriously take our hobby to extremes and the NEXT level. The majority of our fish collections include RARE & EXOTIC Species of all sizes, BIG FISH with BIG APPETITES and BIG TANKS. It's not easy for most people or other "regular" fish keepers to understand why we maintain this type of collection and spare no expense on this fascinating hobby.

Hopefully, through this site and discussion forums we can encourage the next generation of Monster Fish Keepers to have the same passion and love we have for the hobby and our Monster Fish .

As one of the founding members, I personally invite you to register and join us today. Currently you are viewing this site as our guest which only gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and photo galleries.

Registration is FREE and very easy! When you register, you'll have instant access to....

  • • Post and participate in discussions about your passion for fish keeping
  • • Have your own Photo Gallery and the ability to upload your images
  • • View and comment on the gallery
  • • Participate in MFK contests, promotions, and discounts
  • • Use of private messaging to communicate with other community members


  • We're constantly striving to improve our community to help make your Monster Fish Keeping hobby fulfilling and interesting. Comments are welcome.


    WE ARE MONSTER FISH KEEPERS!

    -MFK STAFF



    Sign Up
    1. Please double check and update your email --> http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/index.php?account/contact-details
      Dismiss Notice

    seahorses

    Discussion in 'General Salt' started by synodontisjack, Jul 13, 2008.

    1. synodontisjack

      synodontisjack MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      Feb 20, 2008
      Messages:
      1,393
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      England, Liverpool
      Last Seen:
      Feb 6, 2015
      I realy want to get some seahorses for a 24x12x18 does anyone on here keep them if so which type would be most suitable and what equipment would i need.
       
    2. water_baby83

      water_baby83 MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      Jan 30, 2006
      Messages:
      1,524
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      UnDeR tHe SeA
      Last Seen:
      Oct 4, 2014
      Just so you know, nothing I am ever compelled to respond to results in a short post....

      First, I feel like I need to let you know that these animals are extremely delicate, and that they are probably one of the most high maintenance captive animals out there available to your hobbyist.
      These animals are beautiful yes, but with that comes the sacrifice - they are exceptionally susceptible to disease and infections as their bodies are so delicate and their immune systems are naturally (no matter what you do) weak in comparison to most other marine animals.
      Additionally, they have no teeth, and believe it or not - they have no stomach either. They ingest food by sucking it into their snout where it passes quickly through a digestive tract - much like your intestines, where it is broken down by acids, nutrients are absorbed and the waste is expelled. Because of this inefficient digestive system however, they are unable to utilize all of the nutrients they bring into their bodies, so even though you may see them take in 50-60 prey items, the amount of sustainable nutrition they are going to receive from those, would be roughly equivalent to them having only ingested say 10-15. This is the reason why these animals must be fed several times a day, and in the wild can consume over 2,500 prey items (mysis shrimp, plankton, etc.) A DAY!!!

      Additionally, aside from some general biological facts, I would like you to consider issues regarding these animals and conservation. Seahorses are being extracted from our world's ocean's at a terrifying rate, causing many of the 35+ species of these magnificent animals to become threatened and face extinction if proper protections are not put into place and responsible consumption is not adopted. Mainly these animals are used in Asian Medicine (dried out, ground into powder, served as a delicacy, added into creams, pills, etc.) because of their supposed "magical powers" within that culture. Because of this, natural numbers are quickly being decimated, and therefore, animals which are further collected for the aquarium trade are only adding to this problem seeing as how the mortality rate in the hobby is frighteningly high due to inexperienced individuals keeping these animals, and the stress which is placed on them from capture, transport and re-acclimation - stress of which is a death sentence to these animals in most cases even with the "Best" of care. They simply are too delicate to endure a lot of the "Use and abuse" that most trade fishes and inverts can handle.
      If you are serious about keeping these animals, and have taken the time to educate yourself, and have the time, money and dedication to tend to these animals, then please read my "novel" (lol) of basic requirements to ensure you get started on the right path.

      Because it is such a huge factor that needs to be stressed, I will start with nutrition first. Like any animal, seahorses require constant an varied diets to maintain proper nutrition, assuring they receive generous amounts of vitamins, minerals and fats. Because their digestive system burns through nutrients and calories so quickly, these animals need to be fed no less than 4 (four) times a day - more with a mated pair or small family. A lot of places who sell seahorses try to get them on frozen foods. While this may make it more convenient to the supplier and the future owner, it is not the best for the horses and they can be quite picky when it comes to eating frozen foods and can actually starve themselves.
      A lot of places will actually advise against using live food as anything more than an occasional treat- however, the use of live food is probably the healthiest option for your horse(s), which means you should - purchase, or culture on your own live:
      *Copepods
      *Amphipods
      *Brine Shrimp
      *Mysis Shrimp
      *Plankton

      You will thank me later. And in addition to your routine hand feedings, You can also purchase these live and add them into your tank to culture their own colonies - which they do quite quickly in a mature system. This will provide for "snacking" and "double coverage" of available food for your horses, though you should still manually feed and never solely rely on in-tank living colonies as they can be decimated at shocking rates with active horses.
      If you would like to try this though, as a double-coverage, I would recommend you purchase them several weeks before introducing the horses so that they can establish themselves, and start reproducing.

      When it comes to what you are going to need for your tank, its pretty simple really, the basics are;

      Protein Skimmer- Seahorses are extremely susceptible to poor water quality, and disease, and cannot handle even relatively mild fluctuations, so enlisting the help of a protein skimmer will ensure that your waters remain clean and steady by removing biological surface accumulating waste (can look like an oil slick or foam) as well as larger particles within the water column such as excrements and uneaten foods. You will need to make sure that you place a protective guard over all intakes so that your horses do not injure themselves (by getting stuck on the intake and damaging tissue when they swim by, or if they try to post themselves on it).

      HOB Biological Filter - This is to ensure that your waters are dense with nutrifying bacteria, and provide continued nourishment to your live food colonies - as well as keeping the waters rich and clean. Some will argue that use of one with a bio-wheel can create a nitrate problem, however this would only be the case (as with any marine habitat) if the filter was left unattended and media was not routinely changed/cleaned. The use of a sump is also popular, and can in some ways benefit you more considering that they are fully customizable. Additionally, canister filters are used because they too offer the ability to pick your media and layer them accordingly.

      Florescent lighting (or higher if you intend on keeping corals) - Seahorses actually do not like bright lighting, and are more comfortable in dimmer settings. This doesn't mean you have to reduce lighting to unattractive levels, it just simply means don't opt for Halide just because its wicked bright, unless you have a genuine need for it - with corals. Your standard fluorescents will work fine and T5's should also be ok, just provide shaded areas for the horses should they become irritated with the intensity of the lighting.

      Heater - Careful with this one! Seahorses love to anchor themselves, and with those long tails, to them, wrapping them around a seemingly nice and warm heater is ideal... Not so, heaters can burn them very quickly if they are not protected by this! Some will actually hang out by the heaters because they like the warm currents blowing off, but it can be dangerous to them if your heater is larger than you need for that tank - thus putting out much more heat than needed, or if it is not concealed from them properly. I would suggest purchasing a fully submersible heater and using a heater guard.

      Live Rock - The benefits of live rock go without saying (assuming you are a somewhat experienced keeper - which you should be to even consider keeping these animals, as they are not easy). But in addition to its biological benefits, live rock also provides shelter, perches and shading from harsh lighting for the horses. A few pieces of larger rock can be used as a base and to create ledges, but also try to invest in some good branched rock to provide the horses with several hitching posts.

      Sand - Whether or not you opt for live sand is up to you. You will hear a plethora of arguments both for and against it in a seahorse tank. Some claim that live sand can introduce bacteria, fungus and micro organisms which can be harmful to the seahorses. And well.... While theoretically I can see their point, because honestly, it is always a possibility; the benefits of live sand for your overall system far outweigh any "potential" detriment. Note also that if you opt to not use live sand, your cycling period is going to be significantly extended in order for the substrate to mature and become seeded with the crucial bacteria and organisms needed to filter substrate beds.
      When you decide on the sand you want, go for the finest grade you can manage, and make the bed at least 2 inches thick.

      Hitching Posts - These are vital to any seahorse tank, as they provide resting/sleeping anchors for the horses when they are not actively cruising or eating. Posts are important for these animals because without them, they will become exhausted and stressed - which can lead to disease or death. Seahorses have very active metabolisms, and thus the reason they must be fed so often - so imagine for a moment if your horse was unable to anchor to anything, unable to comfortably rest, but instead had to try and tuck into the rock or settle on the bottom and be pushed by the current and left exposed... That would be one unhappy - and quickly unhealthy animal.
      Hitching posts can be things that either naturally would occur in the Seahorses wild environment - Such as Gorgonians or Sea Fans, Branched Live Rock, or Kelp, OR they can be items that would not naturally be found in the wild, but are however acceptable in the captive environment; Things like fake branching corals, Artificial Plants, or even natural rope an inch or less thick that can be hung either vertically or woven like vines. Whatever you choose to use, the most important thing is that it provides sturdy and readily accessible posts for the horses to latch onto. make sure that if using rope, you do not use ones which are coated and sealed, as sea water can cause them to deteriorate and leech harmful toxins into your water.

      Tankmates - Seahorses are calm and peaceful animals which are slow moving and possess literally no protection from aggressive predators. In addition, because they are so slow, they cannot compete for food as faster swimming, more aggressive animals can, and therefore can suffer nutritionally, or become severely stressed by constant pestering.
      Therefore, any addition of tank mates into a seahorse aquarium needs to be well thought out, and limited to a select few who have shown adequate to excellent compatibility with these animals.

      Some of the preferred mates would include the following;
      *
      Blennies
      *Some Filefish
      *Gobies
      *Pipe Fish
      *Draganets/mandarins
      *Percula clowns
      *Some butterflys
      *Most Wrasses
      *Jawfish
      And more....

      Some Cleaner Crew and Benthic Mates could include;
      * Nassarius Snails
      * Nerite Snails
      * Sand Sifting Starfish
      * Brittle Stars
      * Hermit Crabs
      * Emerald Crabs
      * Turbo Snails
      * Most Shrimps
      * All Sponges
      And more...

      BUT ANIMALS WHICH SHOULD BE AVOIDED ARE;
      * Cuttlefish
      * Eels
      * Sharks
      * Octopuses
      * Tangs
      * Triggers
      * Squids
      * Lobsters
      * Mantis Shrimp
      * Urchins
      * Nudibranchs (Except for the Lettuce Nudi.)
      * Sea cucumbers
      * Anemones
      * Groupers
      Etc. (Basically, use common sense - Nothing poisonous(by ingestion or through secretion of toxins into the water), venomous, or aggressive.)

      Selecting your Horse - When it comes to selecting your horse, one of the most important things you need to consider is the size of your tank, and the adult size of your selected species. Just like with keeping any fish you will need to ensure you can house these animals comfortably and ethically for life before making the purchase as they do not handle stress well, so upgrading later once they are established in their environment could prove detrimental. UNLIKE keeping other fish, it is not so much the footprint of swimming space in these tanks that is number one, but rather, it is the height of the tanks that comes first. Seahorses' body's are quite long at maturity and when fully erect, and therefore, they need to be in an environment that is at least two times as high (deep) as their body is long. Therefore, if your horse's adult length would max out between 12-14 inches, you would want to make sure that your tank was at least 24-26 inches deep (tall/high), to allow your animal unrestricted movement.
      Going off the dimensions you listed, it sounds like you may have a 29 gallon tank? If that is the case, you are going to want an animal that AT MOST max's out at or below 10 inches for it's adult size.

      Wow, there is a lot more I could get into but at this point in time, I think my fingers are going to snap off if I keep typing, and your head might explode, so I am going to save the rest for a later date if and when you might need that information. I hope this has helped you some and answered your questions, but if not, do not hesitate to ask!!

      -Emi


       
    3. mr.reef24

      mr.reef24 MFK Leaders
      Staff Member

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      Apr 21, 2009
      Messages:
      4,457
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      USA
      Last Seen:
      Apr 4, 2015
    4. ~ocean

      ~ocean MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      May 12, 2009
      Messages:
      2,117
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      Stoon
      Last Seen:
      Oct 18, 2013
      good links mr.reef24!!!
       
    5. Zfishies

      Zfishies MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Adam
      Joined:
      Apr 5, 2010
      Messages:
      3,132
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      Milky Way Galaxy,
      Last Seen:
      Apr 12, 2015
      Very hard to take care of. Do not getting Wild caught they only accept live food rarely they will except frozen. CB are the way to go they will eat about any frozen food, like krill. Waterbaby and Mr Reef posted almost all the info you needed. I would t go for them personally unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I used to have Wild cought pain in the behind!
       
    6. Serg

      Serg MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Anna
      Joined:
      May 26, 2011
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Last Seen:
      Jun 13, 2011
      The hardiest species of sea horses I know off is hippocampus erectus, sort of temperate, found from the gulf to Cape Cod (don't quote me on the gulf part, though). I care for some h. erectus, and they always except frozen mini-mysis. Get them used to it by putting it in in front of the current, but after awhile they'll even eat it off the ground. They do better in a tank that's higher than it is wide, and in groups of three or more. An anchor for them is a must, even fake eel grass. It's also good to manually skim the top of the water. They do well with stars.
       
    7. sungod666

      sungod666 MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      Jun 29, 2011
      Messages:
      5
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      Singapore
      Last Seen:
      Nov 6, 2011
      the key is to get capitve bred seahorse, the wild rarely survie in tanks. i have a seahorse for over 3 months now. feeding well
       
    8. ElasmoMan1

      ElasmoMan1 MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Joined:
      Feb 10, 2009
      Messages:
      15
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      Pittsburgh, PA
      Last Seen:
      Apr 27, 2015
      I use to breed Erectus (great choice of Seahorse) and a major trick that helped me for many reasons was to have a large refugium attached to any system with Seahorses or in my opinion any system at all. The refuge should house both live rock as well as live plants (had Macro algae as well as Caulerpa). The reasons are endless as to the benefits I saw with the refugium. For example the live rock and plants would bring and spawn all of the little live critters that could be used as a food source for fry as well as to tide over larger horses between feedings, the refuge can be used as a hospital or introductory area for finicky eaters, it can even be used as a nursery for little fry (I had my new fry in a custom tank that sat inside my refugium tank), lastly it benefits the overall quality of the water in your tank so that you can ensure you are giving your horses the best chance of survival.

      The question of what size refuge is always asked and I laugh because truly my answer is as large as you can fit or afford, but that is just me believing in over doing it on filtration to make for a better environment, plus from my experience the more water you have in your system the larger margin for error you have. One of my 200 gallon seahorse systems had a 100 gallon refugium as well as a 55 gallon sump.

      One side note is that refugiums can also pay for themselves in the long run. Eventually you will get to the point of pruning plants every two weeks to a month. Well I would have a bucket full every time so I sold it to the local pet stores and it has worked out ever since.

      Other advise would be to research the specific species of Seahorse you are looking to purchase because they all have differences that require special attention whether it be environment or simply the types of food it needs.
       
    9. mr.bigglesworth

      mr.bigglesworth MFK Members

      Real Name:
      Ryan
      Joined:
      Jan 22, 2012
      Messages:
      2,838
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Location:
      By SF, Farther Inland, NorCal
      Last Seen:
      Apr 10, 2013
      You sir have just convinced me not to get them. I am very sad & do not want them to go extinct. :(.

      Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using MonsterAquariaNetwork App
       

    Share This Page