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Old 12/08/2017, 03:12 PM   #2951
redlobstor
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Originally Posted by Pandagobyguy View Post
This was my thought as well. I posted about it in the seahorse forum. I was told having a substrate for the eel grass is a no go due to infections on the DSH being more likely. I still wonder if that is not just the advice of over concerned fish keepers... i mean it is there actual habitat... but i certainly don't know anything lol
I don't see how the substrate could cause an infection, maybe if it was extremely coarse. I think if one was to setup the eel grass bed properly then I don't see infection as a possibility. I have no experience with seahorses but trying to think logically. Can't go wrong recreating natural habitat.

Jason

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Old 12/08/2017, 09:52 PM   #2952
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Check out the following site: http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Seagrass_Habitat.htm

This is from an institute at Ft. Pierce and is about the Indian River Lagoon here in Florida. From all I have read up to date this is by far the most comprehensive article dealing with seagrass.

Click on the highlights of the 7 different seagrasses found there and will give lots of good info about temp, salinity, reproduction, flowering, and the different substrates the seagrass can be found in.

It is a lot of reading but very interesting plus gives a comprehensive list of invertebrates and vertebrates found within the lagoon.

Jason

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Old 12/08/2017, 10:29 PM   #2953
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Originally Posted by redlobstor View Post
Check out the following site: http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Seagrass_Habitat.htm

This is from an institute at Ft. Pierce and is about the Indian River Lagoon here in Florida. From all I have read up to date this is by far the most comprehensive article dealing with seagrass.

Click on the highlights of the 7 different seagrasses found there and will give lots of good info about temp, salinity, reproduction, flowering, and the different substrates the seagrass can be found in.

It is a lot of reading but very interesting plus gives a comprehensive list of invertebrates and vertebrates found within the lagoon.

Jason

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Wow very interesting! This is exactly what i have been looking for!


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Old 12/08/2017, 10:45 PM   #2954
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Great article! I've read it before and I still have my notes from it. This is one of the better articles out there on seagrasses. Clicking on highlighted species adds more detailed info. Thanks for the link, Jason!


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Old 12/08/2017, 11:35 PM   #2955
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Lots of great discussion, ladies and gentlemen! I love it when this happens. Thanks for chiming in!

On the dangers of substrates with seahorses (back me up on this vlangel), I don't think it's necessarily the substrate itself that causes infections and other maladies. It's just that the ponies are VERY sensitive and susceptible to disease, and in the confines of a box, it's difficult to protect them from harm. So the seahorse keepers' strategy is to provide as sterile environment as possible, almost like a surgical operating room (or a quarantine tank). A bare bottom is better for that. Tanks like mine are like a free for all, with little oversight, in comparison.

So they have to be the ultimate control freaks, and things like deep sand beds and live rock just introduce too many variables to take a chance on.


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Old 12/09/2017, 08:42 AM   #2956
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Lots of great discussion, ladies and gentlemen! I love it when this happens. Thanks for chiming in!

On the dangers of substrates with seahorses (back me up on this vlangel), I don't think it's necessarily the substrate itself that causes infections and other maladies. It's just that the ponies are VERY sensitive and susceptible to disease, and in the confines of a box, it's difficult to protect them from harm. So the seahorse keepers' strategy is to provide as sterile environment as possible, almost like a surgical operating room (or a quarantine tank). A bare bottom is better for that. Tanks like mine are like a free for all, with little oversight, in comparison.

So they have to be the ultimate control freaks, and things like deep sand beds and live rock just introduce too many variables to take a chance on.
Thanks Michael, that is exactly it. The ocean's ability to filter and cleanse itself is far superior to anything that we can replicate in a glass box.

Pathogenic bacteria and DOC are specifically what seahorses have trouble with. Seshorses must eat a lot of food that is high in fat. They give off an amazing amount of waste, way more than even lionfish or other predators because they are eating 2-3 Xs a day. With their poop being so high in fats and nutrients, pathogenic bacterias like vibrio can quickly get seeded anywhere even a small amount of uneatten food or poop is settling. Sandbeds are much harder to see these places, especially if it is very lightly covered by a little sand. Seahorse keepers who do have shallow sandbeds religiously vacume them. You do not want to vacume your deep sandbed however. Most sandbed cleaners are not seahorse safe. You can employ a cucmber, sandsifting starfish or nassarius snails but the chances that they are going to do as good a job as constant vacuming or having a bare bottom tank that is syphoned clean has been shown to be poor by comparison. There are other tricks we seahorse keepers use to increase our chances of successfully keeping ponies like specie specific tanks, very large frequent water changes, lowering the temperature below 75°, and having flow that hits the tank floor to keep particles in suspension to be filtered out by our enormous skimmers. I will not say that it absolutely can not be done, but from personal experience and reading everything that I can on seahorses...your chances that they will thrive will be greatly diminished. And also from personal experience, it is heart wrenching to watch an adorable pony get sick and succumb prematurely because the enviroment was not sterile enough to keep it healthy. I am merely trying to spare you (redlobster) what I learned the hard way.



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Old 12/09/2017, 02:21 PM   #2957
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Oops my last sentence was directed to redlobster, not pandagobyguy. Uhg, I am getting old, ha ha!


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Old 12/09/2017, 05:40 PM   #2958
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Ok, Thanks Vlangel for the info.
Out of curiosity are the captive-bred seahorses more disease-resistant.

Jason

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Old 12/09/2017, 09:37 PM   #2959
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Ok, Thanks Vlangel for the info.
Out of curiosity are the captive-bred seahorses more disease-resistant.

Jason

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I don't know if disease resistant is the right word, but they are hardier in an aquarium enviroment than wild caught. Captive bred are trained to eat frozen mysis and almost never revert to eating only live. Wild caught often will revert or may never even try frozen mysis. Captive bred have not been exposed to many of the parasites and other diseases that wild caught seahorses have. Wild caught ponies should go through a quarantine protocol of worming and other anti parasitic medications and many of them do not survive that.

However, even captive bred seahorses when mixed with other captive bred seahorses from a different seahorse farm can get sick. They don't always have the same immunity to the same diseases. Doing bigger than even the usual big water changes can help offset the risk of mixing CB ponies from differing sources.


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Old 12/09/2017, 10:31 PM   #2960
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Old 12/10/2017, 04:14 AM   #2961
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That's a very nice looking tank Michael. Looks like Mangrove root on the right side is it real or fake? Looks real but it's so massive.

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Old 12/10/2017, 04:21 AM   #2962
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I don't know if disease resistant is the right word, but they are hardier in an aquarium enviroment than wild caught. Captive bred are trained to eat frozen mysis and almost never revert to eating only live. Wild caught often will revert or may never even try frozen mysis. Captive bred have not been exposed to many of the parasites and other diseases that wild caught seahorses have. Wild caught ponies should go through a quarantine protocol of worming and other anti parasitic medications and many of them do not survive that.

However, even captive bred seahorses when mixed with other captive bred seahorses from a different seahorse farm can get sick. They don't always have the same immunity to the same diseases. Doing bigger than even the usual big water changes can help offset the risk of mixing CB ponies from differing sources.
Thanks again for the info vlangel.

I tried to go captive-bred whenever I can. You just confirmed what I've already read before about captive-bred seahorses being hard here and the plus side is that there already trained to eat mysis.

Interesting about mixing ponies from different sources never really thought about that before. What source would you recommend?

Thanks Jason

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Old 12/10/2017, 07:44 AM   #2963
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Thanks again for the info vlangel.

I tried to go captive-bred whenever I can. You just confirmed what I've already read before about captive-bred seahorses being hard here and the plus side is that there already trained to eat mysis.

Interesting about mixing ponies from different sources never really thought about that before. What source would you recommend?

Thanks Jason

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The 2 best seahorse farms are Seahorse Source in FL and Ocean Rider in Hawaii. I am very fond of Seahorse Source because they offer such good customer service and they are more reasonably priced. I bought my 1st pair of ponies from OR and all the rest from SS. My original female Eve is in with the pair of SS seahorses and they are doing well in spite of me mixing sources.


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Old 12/10/2017, 01:32 PM   #2964
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Thanks Jason! The tank isn't back to it full glory yet, but I'm on track. I'm especially encouraged by the shoal grass' recent growth spurt. Looking back only two weeks ago, you can see a big difference. Now it just needs to grow taller. I do hope to have manatee grass again soon as I expect some to be available in the near future. I think these two narrow-bladed grasses look beautiful together. Can't wait!

Yeah, that's a fake root I sculpted to hide a powerhead, in keeping with my no-visible-plumbing-in-the-tank rule. I did a build thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2393807

I did a build thread on my fake wall too. There are lots of walls better than mine, but mine is unique because of the gramma caves built in. I seriously doubt I'd have been able to keep a seven fish harem without it. Grammas orient themselves to vertical walls and my fake wall is just the ticket! Here's that thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2403722

I also wanted to point out a couple of sea horse/pipefish alternatives: Shrimp fish - they have them at live aquaria. These fish orient themselves vertically to blend in with seagrasses. They are insanely cool and I want them badly but they aren't caribbean. Yellowface pike blenny is a great alternative to pipefish, but with much bigger mouths. I had two that died in QT, thanks to fish sitter deal falling through when I was out of town. I may try to get some more of these. KP sells them.


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Old 12/10/2017, 03:28 PM   #2965
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Pipefish seem very cool, and my tank isn't high flow, so I'd almost be tempted, but I think they'd be so much happier in a seagrass tank like yours. I hope you test them out.
Also I got some of those tiny snails from IPSF.

They are small enough and have the inclination to graze the surface of macroalgae and sponges in my tank. Seems like an important role that none of the many snails I've had in my system would do before.
Also, I was wondering if you ever thought more about the tiny gobies (masked gobies, I think) that you mentioned earlier. I've been eyeballing them with interest myself. My current tank "theme" is tiny peaceful pairs and social fish. See how many of them spawn in-tank.


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Old 12/10/2017, 04:02 PM   #2966
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Hey taricha!

I think I've given up on pipes, as much as I'd like to try them. It's going to be nothing but bullet proof fish for me going forward. With my emphasis on plants, and the dosing to keep them happy, I'll leave the iffy fish to others.

That's great you got the mini strombus (or whatever they are)! Small is good. Sit back and watch them clean and reproduce!

I am still considering the masked gobies, especially since they reproduce. I'm thinking four or five of them. I'm still looking at a few other small, timid fish before I restart the gramma harem.

I almost forgot, I witnessed spawning this morning! Not long after my main light came on, the female sailfin blenny approached the big male, Leroy, in his barnacle shell. She raised her dorsal and he started flagging like crazy. I thought he was going to chase her away, like he usually does, but he didn't, and she slipped right in the barnacle and disappeared for two or three minutes. While she was in there he sort of spasmed every few seconds. It looked like it was good for him!


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Old 12/10/2017, 07:42 PM   #2967
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I almost forgot, I witnessed spawning this morning! Not long after my main light came on, the female sailfin blenny approached the big male, Leroy, in his barnacle shell...
That's awesome! I've seen these called barnacle blennies, sailfins etc. Do you have a species name?
My lawnmower blenny (salarias)- which some people also call sailfin, but it's 6" long so not similar - is currently my only fish that doesn't have a species buddy. I wonder if it's possible to figure out gender on those.


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Old 12/10/2017, 11:57 PM   #2968
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It is confusing, as there are multiple species called barnacle blennies and sailfin blennies. The sailfins that I have are the caribbean variety, Emblemaria pandionis. The males have a very large dorsal fin that they 'flag' as a display.

The barnacle blennies that I have are from Panama, and are also called Panamic Blennies among other things. The species name is Acanthemblemaria hancocki.

As for sexing lawnmower blennies, I don't think they are easily distinguishable. Someone on the web might know. From what I remember, the 'conventional wisdom' on them is only one to a tank. I haven't studied them in a while, so don't take my word for it.

I was just saying in a recent post that my male sailfins have shown no interest in the female. The dominate male chases her away whenever she gets near him. And these fish aren't herbivores. And then I witnessed them spawning this morning!

Like a lot of fish, members of the same species consider each other as fierce competition. Then suddenly a quick truce is declared for a quicky…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 12/11/2017, 04:13 AM   #2969
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Then suddenly a quick truce is declared for a quicky…
I think I remember reading that basslets are this way to where they have to be separated except for when it comes time to mate.

Jason



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Old 12/11/2017, 04:22 AM   #2970
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The 2 best seahorse farms are Seahorse Source in FL and Ocean Rider in Hawaii. I am very fond of Seahorse Source because they offer such good customer service and they are more reasonably priced. I bought my 1st pair of ponies from OR and all the rest from SS. My original female Eve is in with the pair of SS seahorses and they are doing well in spite of me mixing sources.
Thank you for this. I only live a couple hours from Fort Pierce. That is where seahorse source is located so I can save on shipping costs by going down there and picking it up and hopefully save the horses from the rigors of shipping as I seen how shipping companies handle packages even ones marked live fish.

This would make for a nice trip with the kids as I could take them to the beach and pick up seahorses at the same time.

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/11/2017, 04:44 AM   #2971
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Thanks Jason! The tank isn't back to it full glory yet, but I'm on track. I'm especially encouraged by the shoal grass' recent growth spurt. Looking back only two weeks ago, you can see a big difference. Now it just needs to grow taller. I do hope to have manatee grass again soon as I expect some to be available in the near future. I think these two narrow-bladed grasses look beautiful together. Can't wait!

Yeah, that's a fake root I sculpted to hide a powerhead, in keeping with my no-visible-plumbing-in-the-tank rule. I did a build thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2393807

I did a build thread on my fake wall too. There are lots of walls better than mine, but mine is unique because of the gramma caves built in. I seriously doubt I'd have been able to keep a seven fish harem without it. Grammas orient themselves to vertical walls and my fake wall is just the ticket! Here's that thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2403722

I also wanted to point out a couple of sea horse/pipefish alternatives: Shrimp fish - they have them at live aquaria. These fish orient themselves vertically to blend in with seagrasses. They are insanely cool and I want them badly but they aren't caribbean. Yellowface pike blenny is a great alternative to pipefish, but with much bigger mouths. I had two that died in QT, thanks to fish sitter deal falling through when I was out of town. I may try to get some more of these. KP sells them.
You're welcome. I'm going to start reading those two threads when I get off of work today. Those Roots look so real in the picture great job.

I will pay special attention to the thread about the grammas and the rock wall. I love keeping pairs and harems of fish. Being I like the Royal Gramma I would definitely be interested in setting up a harem of those.

Eventually I'm going to set up a harem of five to seven flame angels in a tank as reading on fishbase they live in harems of up to seven individuals.

I like the shrimp fish that you're talking about never had any but I want some. I think the way they Orient themselves in the grass is awesome matter fact on my laptop I have for a background a picture of a tank with seagrass an angelfish and some of those shrimp fish.

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/11/2017, 06:55 AM   #2972
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Michael, in the last set of pics that you posted, everything is recovering nicely! Its fun to zoom in on your pics to see what can be spotted!

The reddish yellow macro growing on the artificial roots is really cool. It kind of looks like a macro that I have that I call red titan.


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Old 12/11/2017, 07:59 AM   #2973
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Your tank is looking great Michael, as are the grasses! Thanks for the pics!


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Old 12/11/2017, 10:18 AM   #2974
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I'm glad you like my fake roots and wall, Jason. Both of those projects were a PITA, but so worth it. The roots were a challenge, with people questioning my choices left and right. It was a challenge just to hold my tongue sometimes! The bottom line is I'm very happy with the results. And using the back wall in this way is a great way to maximize the space available, and provide safe havens for lots of fish-not just grammas.

There are lots of fish that occur in harems in nature. If we take the time to study up, I think there are many more that could be kept this way in aquariums. Keeping a harem of flames would be amazing. Off the top of my head, I would think that would require a pretty big tank. They all need enough space to get away from it all, occasionally, so they don't get too stressed. I have considered doing a small harem of cherub angels, but I think they are just too boisterous for my peaceful community.

I think shrimp fish would be awesome in a seagrass tank. Unfortunately, there's not much info out there on them, so you'd be in uncharted territory. If the tank was chalk-full of pods and mysis, and you were able to get them to eat frozen food, and you didn't house them with anything too boisterous, I think it could work.

It sounds like you have all kinds of ideas you want to explore. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!


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Old 12/11/2017, 10:41 AM   #2975
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Thanks vlangel! I haven't heard that macro called that before. I believe it is grasilaria hayi.

Thanks Kevin! I'm really happy with the shoal grass. I'm still having a bit of a diatom problem. Late in the day, it builds up on the blades and starts pearling like crazy. I think what happened is when the sea hares' population exploded, it knocked the mini strombus snail population back a bit, so there are fewer to keep my grasses clean. They should bounce back though. The single molly eats a lot of it but she can't quite keep up, by herself. Also, without the 'hungry' caulerpa soaking up nutrients, more are available to other things-like diatoms.

This is another fascinating aspect of ecosystem building-and management. Too many of any one member of the community throws the balance off. I have literally pulled out hundreds of sea hares! And there are more. I just have to continue to be diligent, removing them every other day, hopefully getting them out before any mature enough to make more babies!


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