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Old 09/05/2017, 09:55 PM   #1
devildog999
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Going for a Seahorse Setup

So, as the title states, im getting ready to build a tank around a pair of Seahorses. I'm going to be going for H. Erectus as they seem like the best Seahorse to start with. Going to house them in this tank https://www.amazon.com/Starfire-Aqua.../dp/B00HY5PD56. Water will be going in it Friday and my plan was to let the tank cycle for at least 2 months before horseies go in. Do y'all think this is a good enough cycle time for Seahorses? I do plan on eventually bringing in some other fish, mostly gobies later on, but the Seahorses will be first. Amy advice would be appreciated.


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Old 09/06/2017, 12:29 AM   #2
rayjay
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Every new tank will vary as to when it will be ready to stock. Once you feel the cycle is complete then "challenge" the system by adding ammonia to bring the level of ammonia to at least 1 ppm but I prefer myself to 2 ppm. If the ammonia clears to zero overnight, the tank should be ready at that point. If not, let it run a bit more and challenge it again.
Best chances of success come from a species only tank. Each additional species of fish adds to the risk of introducing pathogens the seahorses haven't grown up with, and are susceptible to.
If you DO go that route, check on the compatibility of each species of fish for placing in a seahorse tank.
Remember too that water quality is a BIG issue with seahorse tanks, much more so than for a reef tank. Keeping the temperature between 68 and 74 can help in this matter as it inhibits excessive growth of nasty bacteria that can develop from the "dirty" water created by seahorses.


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Old 09/06/2017, 06:24 AM   #3
devildog999
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One other thing I really wanted to touch on. What should I be looking at for flow with this tank? For the returns, I was thinking of connecting them to straight pipes and drilling some holes down the pipe so that it wasn't straight current being blown out but also using a MP10 to create some current and have it not be so constant. Thoughts?


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Old 09/06/2017, 08:52 AM   #4
rayjay
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When it comes to flow, more is better as long as it can't blast the seahorses against something to damage them.
At this point, probably use 10X as a minimum figure.
In actual fact, different tanks will need different flow rates and you can't really determine exactly what that rate should be until the tank is all set up.
You want to have enough flow so as to keep particulate matter (detritus and uneaten foods for ex. ) in suspension long enough for the mechanical filtration to remove it from the water column.
Amount of discharge flow, and direction of flow can be determined experimentally once the tank is all set up.
Without a proper set up, you will be relegated to self removal of the matter that can get trapped in and around rockwork and decor, but much of this is unseen unless you blast around things with a turkey baster or small powerhead to see where it can get trapped.
It is best to have hitching in areas of low, medium and high flow so that the seahorses can choose at any given time, which area they would prefer at the moment.
Forgot to mention, that if you are going to drill straight pipe to diffuse flow, be sure to either calculate or experiment with hole size and spacing for the flow going through the pipe. Too many, too large of holes and you will get discharge from some but not all.


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Old 09/06/2017, 03:48 PM   #5
devildog999
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Thank you very much, exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Appreciate the help.

If I am going to put bottom dwelling fish in later, does this alleviate some of the need to keep uneaten food etc from settling as they will eat it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
When it comes to flow, more is better as long as it can't blast the seahorses against something to damage them.
At this point, probably use 10X as a minimum figure.
In actual fact, different tanks will need different flow rates and you can't really determine exactly what that rate should be until the tank is all set up.
You want to have enough flow so as to keep particulate matter (detritus and uneaten foods for ex. ) in suspension long enough for the mechanical filtration to remove it from the water column.
Amount of discharge flow, and direction of flow can be determined experimentally once the tank is all set up.
Without a proper set up, you will be relegated to self removal of the matter that can get trapped in and around rockwork and decor, but much of this is unseen unless you blast around things with a turkey baster or small powerhead to see where it can get trapped.
It is best to have hitching in areas of low, medium and high flow so that the seahorses can choose at any given time, which area they would prefer at the moment.
Forgot to mention, that if you are going to drill straight pipe to diffuse flow, be sure to either calculate or experiment with hole size and spacing for the flow going through the pipe. Too many, too large of holes and you will get discharge from some but not all.



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Old 09/06/2017, 06:28 PM   #6
rayjay
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While bottom dwelling fish, like any other fish, can add risk to a seahorse tank, they indeed can feed on fallen foods. They won't get it all so the remainder still has to be removed somehow.
The deteriorating water quality doesn't just come from decaying food though, it comes also from decaying feces and as such, the unremoved food that would be eaten by the "bottom" dwellers would exit those fish as more feces which again have to be removed in some manner. Smaller life forms feeding on that detritus will in their turn, produce more feces that still need removal. It's a chain that never seems to end.
Many people use different methods of processing/removal but in my case I chose to go bare bottom and set up flow so most of the crap settles in one accessible spot and I can easily siphon it out. I also blast the hitching/decor to loosen up trapped particles and remove those as they settle as well.
Hopefully other people are going to chime in here so you can get a broader perspective on the hobby as it's not good to just go by one person's suggestions.


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Old 09/12/2017, 08:23 AM   #7
vlangel
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Wink

I set up my first seahorse tank about 3 years ago. I have since set up 2 more tanks with improvements to facilitate my care for the seahorses. Here some of the things I learned along the way.

1. Like Ray stated, a minimum of 10Xs is best. My first tank had a dismal 4Xs, my 2nd tank had slightly more than 10Xs and my current tank has over 22Xs.

2. My first 2 tanks had sand bottoms but my current tank has a bb that much of my flow is directed at the bottom to keep detritus and left over food from getting trapped and much of it in suspension. I too syphon out little piles that accumulate. A bb has been a huge improvement to aid me in husbandry of the tank.

3. My first tank had a skimmer rated for the same size as the tank. That was woefully inadequate. I upgraded to a skimmer that is more than twice the size of the tank.

4. By far the best improvement I made was to my water change system. I did WCs with a 5 gallon bucket with my first and second tank. With doing at least 25 % a week that was breaking me down physically, (I am almost a 60 year old woman). I moved my sump to the basement, (which meant drilling holes in our livingroom floor ), tapped into the cold water line nearby for ro/di and use pumps and brute cans for filling, draining and mixing salt. It has revolutionized how I do WCs. No lifting, carrying or dumping. The easier you can make your WCs the more you will perform them and the better for your seahorses. I was able to buy a 56 gallon tank and not cringe at doing over 33% WCs a week, (well except for the financial aspect, LOL).


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Old 10/16/2017, 01:38 PM   #8
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When you say 4x, 10x etc, what exactly are you talking about? I have a similar set up as this person is doing. However, I am taking existing water from my reef tank and moving into the new tank. It is a 40 gallon cubeish tank with a 20 gallon sump. The tank is drilled from the bottom with 1, 1 inch drian and a 1/2 inch return. I am putting a Jebao RW 8 (or 4 cant remember at the moment). Would I need the tank to necessary cycle since I am moving current water from my reef tank to the new tank? I will be adding new sand but I will be moving over some extra rock in the sump as well as a block of the marine pure. Some of the rock will be new white rock. (I plan to toss this in the sump to let it seed for a bit though).


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Old 10/17/2017, 08:27 AM   #9
rayjay
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You will get differing opinions on this depending on what individuals have experienced themselves.
If you are going to put seahorses in this setup, I DON'T recommend using water from another tank.
Seahorses don't have a strong immune system for the most part so while some seahorses may do OK in a system set up this way, many will succumb to the pathogens introduced to them by other fish via the water transfer. Anything else transferred can also be problematic, like rock or equipment. I personally now use only complete sterile setup for a new seahorse tank.
In any case, using the old tank water itself may speed up the cycle but won't negate the need for a cycle. You can test it yourself by "challenging" the system by adding ammonia to bring the level to about 2 ppm and then see if it clears overnight to zero. If so, the tank should be cycled. Transferring live rock CAN negate the need for a cycle if enough of it, but, you are subjecting the unknowns for pathogens to your new tank.
As for the 10X thing, it means 10 times the volume of the tank.
Many years ago it was thought that seahorses needed a low flow tank, but experience over the years has shown that to be incorrect. You want enough flow to keep the detritus in suspension long enough for it to be caught up in the mechanical filtration but is not strong enough in any spot to blast the seahorses against anything that can damage them.
Normally I see a minimum of 10X recommended but in my case it's probably closer to 20X at peak and 1-15X at the least. I prefer a varied flow so some of my flow is intermittent in each tank.
For a 40g tank then, the minimum recommended flow would be 400g/hour.


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Old Yesterday, 07:21 AM   #10
wake125122
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Whats the best way to bring up the ammonia in the tank to 2ppm?


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Old Yesterday, 08:11 AM   #11
rayjay
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Different people have different methods for this.
For me, I use ammonium chloride powder or I use liquid household ammonia that has no additives of any kind in it.


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Old Yesterday, 09:20 AM   #12
wake125122
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Would this work? From amazon?

https://www.amazon.com/Ammonium-Chlo...hloride+powder


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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #13
rayjay
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Sorry but I can't answer that as it may not be a pure product. The ammonium chloride I have is lab grade from a pharmacy.
You certainly don't need that much as my small bottle of ammonium chloride lasted for over a decade and I'd guess there was probably only about an ounce or two in it.
Why don't you check out local stores for liquid household ammonia? I switched to that when my ammonium powder was near gone.


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Old Yesterday, 11:22 AM   #14
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Are there any true value hardware stores in your area? They carry pure ammonia under the label Blue Ribbon if I remember correctly. I have used it in the past.


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