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Old 01/13/2006, 12:19 AM   #1
DebsSisterFlo
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horse care not like fish?

There was a comment made in another post that said:
Quote:
If you are planning on keeping seahorses...do alot of reading and researching. They are different from keeping fish.
That got me to wondering... how are they different to keep? Please give me examples and details... I want to have my tank set up to be as beneficial as possible to my future horses. I want to have it set up properly to provide many years of happy healthy horsies. Since this tank hasn't even cycled yet I see no reason why I can't prepare it the proper way, the first time around.
Thank you!


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Old 01/13/2006, 05:50 AM   #2
Jordan55
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I am pretty new to sea horses also..... but in a couple weeks my first tank will be set up.

I have heard the story both ways.

Sea horses may seem to be harder because they can be more prone to disease if not taken care of properly. There are also a lot more "don'ts" with sea horses than a lot of other fish. They may require a little more care and TLC at times than other fish.

Some people think that once you have your SH tank up and running and all is going well.... that they are just like any other fish.


That is just some stuff I learned through research. Please feel free to add something either side on the list.


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Old 01/13/2006, 08:54 AM   #3
LisaD
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captive bred seahorses, kept under proper conditions in very good quality water often are healthy and happy for years. but it's true, they are not like "regular" fish.

a couple things, off the top of my head:

1) seahorses get strange diseases other fish don't seem to get (e.g., gas bubble disease, high susceptibility to Vibrio)

2) males can have "pouch problems", such as air in pouch, which requires "pouch evacuation"

3) tankmates are limited - even fish generally considered peaceful may compete too much with seahorses for food, or pick at them

4) they don't tolerate very high current as they are weak swimmers

5) they don't seem to recover easily from injuries that break the skin. for example, if their tails are nipped by a crab or the tip is crushed between rocks, they can a systemic infection leading to stiff, swollen tails, and maybe death

6) for good health, seahorses must be fed frequently, AT LEAST once a day, twice a day is even better

I'm sure there is more, can't think of it at the moment.


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Old 01/13/2006, 10:46 AM   #4
DebsSisterFlo
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that's all helpful, thanks! I pretty much knew all of that... after researching and researching you ending up knowing more than you think... guess I was worried that I was missing some key thing.
Thinking of doing a pouch evac really gives me the willies! I read somewhere that someone had to do that to their male, but when they removed their skimmer he no longer had problems... are the two at all connected?


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Old 01/13/2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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There has been experimentation done regarding GBD that showed that seahorses prone to the disorder have a higher likelyhood of showing symptoms of GBD when a skimmer is used directly on the tank.

Personally I stay away from skimmers because I think they out compete my macro's. There are many keepers who use skimmers on there seahorse tank.

I guess you could choose not to have one or if you get one take it off if you notice any problems, or have any outbreaks.

On the puch vac thing, while it is important to be prepared for it, I have never had to do one.


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Old 01/14/2006, 02:05 AM   #6
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I kept seahorses for several years, never had a problem, then I seemed to have an epidemic of air in pouches (on heavily planted, skimmerless tanks, BTW). The causes are still a bit mysterious. Pled has a planted, skimmerless tank, has had seahorses for years and never had to do a pouch evac. I kept seahorses in tanks with HOT skimmers for years, and never had to do one. Then had to do a lot in my planted tank which did not have a skimmer. Go figure. Which is why seahorses are not like other fish.

Jessica, it sounds like you are on your way to owning seahorses. I think you probably have it covered, from your research. Just start with healthy captive bred, feed at least daily, keep water quality good, and you will probably do just fine. If you do run into disease issues, the key is to get a reliable diagnosis quickly and start treatment in a hospital tank asap.


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Old 01/16/2006, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks LisaD for that vote of confidence!

My tank setup is as follows:
38g tank
35 lbs live rock (not here yet tho)
20 lbs pink samoa sand
hoping for a nice crop of macros
will get chaeto for pods (can that just sit on the bottom of the tank, or should I try to attach it in the middle on the lr???
2 HOB Whisper filters

hope that's enough to keep clean water, along with water changes weekly. I keep researching as I want to be sure I have the tank set up for the horses, right the first time as this is the easiest way, as long as I know how. What a great resource it is coming here... thanks!


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Old 01/16/2006, 05:10 PM   #8
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Ooooh! So many new people are setting up bigger tanks for their horses. I hope this is a trend.

Sounds like a good setup to me. The chaeto can just sit on the sand.

The only other thing I would recommend is that when you get your horses, confine them to a smaller area in your tank, say 1/4 to 1/3 of the area so that they are easy to target feed and observe until you are confident they are eating well.

I made the mistake of putting 4 small horses in a 40g full of pods. I had to catch them and re-train them onto frozen and actually lost on because it would not switch back.

Fred


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Old 01/16/2006, 05:25 PM   #9
DebsSisterFlo
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fredfish, how would I do that? Confine them that is? They are eating frozen mysis at the store, but they're going to have new stock in march by the time I am able to get them.
I'm sure hoping to get my uncured live rock this coming weekend, I hope I hope! Then that's got to cure/cycle in the tank... I'm going to give it a good 2 months. Then I'll have those algae blooms and diotome bloom, etc.
Can anyone recommend some good algae eating/seahorse friendly snails? Thanks!


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