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Old 06/29/2006, 07:57 PM   #1
speenach
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Clean up crew in a seahorse only tank

Hi, my new 30 gallon seahorse tank is setup but just waiting to get some searhorses. In the meantime, I just have 2 hermits, 2 snails, 10lbs live rock, protein skimmer, plenty live sand, and a very small powerhead. My question is, what can I add to the tank to keep a decent cleanup crew? Are starfish, sea cukes, more crabs/snails OK? I just want to make sure they wont mess with the seahorses. I dont plan on getting any expensive seahorses, just $40-$80 captive bread. As for live rock, can I have 30lbs or so without worrying about the SH scraping themselves against it? I heard that could be a problem. Thanks!


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Old 06/30/2006, 01:13 AM   #2
lfduty
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your tank

put in a goot or a foxface i have thim in my tank and thayr all ok


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Old 06/30/2006, 01:21 AM   #3
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Re: your tank

Quote:
Originally posted by lfduty
put in a goot or a foxface i have thim in my tank and thayr all ok
WTH?

I would stay away from starfish or cukes in a 30g.

The best clean up crew IME for horses are turbo snails, astarea snails, naussarius vibex snails, and scarlet reef hermits.


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Old 06/30/2006, 09:11 AM   #4
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As far as the clean up crew list mentioned above, it sounds good. I have ceriths, astreas, nassarius, and blue leg hermits. All at which are doing fine with the horses. You may hear some issues with the blue legs, but personally, I have had them in all my tanks for almost 3 years now and no problems.

And as far as starfish, as long as you get a nice slow growing specimen. I picked up a serpeant star about 2 weeks ago. He stays in a rock all day and comes out a little at night. Scavanges for food. Stay away from the brittles though. They have pointy spines and can probably cause problems to the sea horses sensitive skin.


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Old 06/30/2006, 09:17 AM   #5
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The issue with a cleanup crew is that same as the questions what other tank inhabitants are appropirate for horses, to me seems to be two fold:

1) don't get anything that might pose a direct risk to your horses
2) don't get anything that can out compete your horses for food

IME, I keep 4 KUDA in a modified reef tank. There are few stinging anemones, and no fish that can out eat my seahorses. Additionally, I created a safe haven area for the horses of 1/3 my 125G tank. Specifically I have a mated pair of clownfish (piggy eaters, but always staying within inches of the hosted anemone), 3 buble tip anemones in the reefzone but not the seahorse zone, a pearly headed jawfish in the seahorse zone (not an aggressive eater), and I am planning on adding at some point a mated pair of Banggai Cardinalfish (also not aggressive eaters). My cleanup crew is a typical reef cleanup crew with several different kinds of hermits, emerald crabs, snails, bristle worms, and 4 serpent stars.

To address your question above more directly:

1) serpent stars are somewhat aggressive eaters. They are good at hunting down food like frozen mysis shrimp that is the diet of my horses. Thus I overfeed (I feed my tank 8 Hikari mysis cubes twice a day split between the two zones (5-6 cubes to the horses, 2-3 to the reef)). Because my tank is a 125G and there is lots of stuff to eat leftovers, I can do this.

2) LR is a good thing. Keep as much as you want. My seahorses seems to like a lot and it grows pods for them to snack on so more is definitely better. I have not seen anything that suggests horses scraping on the LR could be a problem and have never experiened it myself.

3) snails, hermits, and emerald crabs seems to work real good for me. I think you'd be quite safe with these.

4) not mentioned but I think should be is Shrimp. These I believe are not good choices for tanks with horses. The are aggressive eaters, and the cleaner species have been noted to sometimes constantly harass seahorses because horses often grow algae on their skin.

With a 30G tank, you should give lots of attention and research to your aniticipated water flow and filtration.

Good luck, Kevin


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Old 06/30/2006, 09:25 AM   #6
speenach
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Hi

Thanks for the reply. I think I will just stick with the hermits and snails if they will be fine. I want it to just be a dedicated seahorse tank. I already have the anenomies, shrimps, etc in my reef tank. Do you think I should have more circulation though? I was told to keep minimal water flow so really all I have for circulation is the water coming out of my skimmer and the puny powerhead blowing against my gorgonian? Is this sufficient? Thanks again!


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Old 06/30/2006, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by km133688
I am planning on adding at some point a mated pair of Banggai Cardinalfish (also not aggressive eaters).
I see you haven't actually HAD cardinals. They are extremely aggressive eaters once established.

I also think you're going to have trouble with the seahorses and those anemones. Because you haven't had trouble YET doesn't mean its not going to happen


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Old 06/30/2006, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jordan55
I have had them in all my tanks for almost 3 years now and no problems.
Just to be clear, he hasn't kept them with his seahorses for that long, he hasn't had seahorses for that long.

FishGrl, I think the anenomes are in a completely different system.

I would not recommend Emerald Crabs I have had problems personally.

The reason I recommend scarlet reef hermits is many people have had long term succsess and IME they seem to be less aggressive where the blue legs are constantly fighting with each other and killing my snails. I have yet to see a scarlet reef hermit in a naussarius shell.

Circulation is one of thos eiffy things. IME if the flow is broken up in multiple places more flow is fine. I had my horse tank at 15x an hour for a bit, now it is a little less, because of aestetics not because of problems. Lower flow tanks have the potential to have more crap build up so I like to increase my flow a bit.


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Old 06/30/2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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Yes, you are right. I have not had them in my sea horse tank for 3 years. But I cannot say I have seen them attack any fish or my sea horses.

I do reccomend scarlets, but around here they can get pretty pricey compared to the blue legs.

IMO, either is fine. As long as you have empty shells around the tank, you can get probably 2 blue legs for the price of 1 scarlet depending on your local prices.

Just food for thought.


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Old 07/01/2006, 01:13 AM   #10
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This suggestion will probably get a few uggs but I have bristleworms in my SH tank, they come running when the horses are done eating out of the feeder and I get a turkey baster to blast out what they leave.
The bristles swarm all over the ground where it floats to and clean it all up.
I have snails and a queen conch that just don't do near the job that the bristleworms do.
Something else I do is cover the intake to my filter with the same material I use on my anemone tank intakes. I once had a SH sucked to the intake and was stuck there for I don't know how long.
So now it is covered.


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Old 07/01/2006, 01:29 AM   #11
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I know BW are supposed to be good and all that. I do have 1 or 2, but after I was stung by the 4' one in my system and after I saw this site I can no longer embrace them as part of my systems.


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Old 07/01/2006, 01:33 AM   #12
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I know that they can be nasty. I to have gotten their b ristles in my hands, but by far they are the best cleanup crew. And when they get to be to many, I drop a formula one cube in a jar and lay it in the corner of the tank, once they have congragated in it I pull the jar out and give them away or sell them on Ebay. I have always been able to sell my extras.


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Old 07/01/2006, 10:47 PM   #13
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I have kept many banggai, but all died. They were I believe all WC. I will reserve judgment on how aggressive they eat once established. It is still a long way off till I have my own pair. Thanks for you comments, I will pay close attention when the day comes.

Yes, it may be someday that the anemones injure or kill or eat one or more of my seahorses. But that is what my tank is, a 125g reef with a few fish, lots of softies, and three small BTAs hosted by a clownfish pair. It took much time to create a seahorse zone with none of this stuff in and since my horses are feed only in this zone, they only stray out of it when trying to hide which I assume is just before they pop out babies.

I got tank maintenance to do so I'll see you all, thanks again, Kevin.


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Current Tank Info: 28Gallon BioCube HQI w/ mated pair of tomatoe clowns and mated pair of banggai cardinalfish
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Old 07/02/2006, 01:27 AM   #14
pledosophy
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I would love to hear more about this seahorse safe zone.

IME seahorses do not hide when giving birth.


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Old 07/05/2006, 04:40 PM   #15
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Bump,

Just want to make sure this doesn't get left out.


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Old 07/05/2006, 10:27 PM   #16
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pledosophy, here are some details of my tank for your comment.

I have a 125g. It has a 3 inch sand bed (was a 6 inch sand bed in my prior 55g). There are 4 KUDA horses, 2 tomatoe clownfish, 1 yellow headed jawfish, and 1 firefish (today there are also three banggai cardinal babies who have survived my care in this tank for 10 days (woohoo!) but that is another story).

The tank has 160 pounds of live rock. The rock is layed out in the tank to create two zones. Specifically 1/3 or the tank is for the horses (left side) and 2/3 for everything else. The horses have about 4 square feet of free space to mate and they dance all the time. Most of the rock was used to create two walls to pen in the horses. The back wall is used to hide intakes of filter pumps etc. The right side wall is essentially a divider. Neither wall is impenetrable it seems as the horses hide in the back and occassionally swim over to the reef zone where there is some amount of algae on the side glass and correspondingly lots of pods eating off it.

There is no lighting over the seahorse zone, and 500 watts of MH over the reef zone. Lighting in the seahorse zone is what ever makes it in from other sources. This lack of direct lighting and an area of high lighting elsewhere in the tank has resulted in zero algae growth in the seahorse zone and no algae on the horses.

The reef zone contains softies. Many mushroom variations (purple, blue, red, green etc.), ricordea Yuma, colt coral, finger leather, green star ployps, polythoa... You get the idea. No calcareous corals of any kind, several large feather duster worms, various forms of macro algae, and three small 10th generation bubble tip anemones for the clownfish pair to host in. It is almost comical to see the mother clownfish try to bury herself in one of the anemones because she dwarfs it a bit.

Water flow is very low which is one of the reasons I don't keep calcareous corals, and is provided by one magnum 250 in the seahorse zone, and one magnum 350 filter in the reef zone, and one rio 600 on a phosban reactor on the border of both zones. I run carbon all the time, and phosban (or some equivelant) all the time. I plan soon to put a skimmer in the reef zone, and to replace the magnum 350 canister filter with a UV canister filter.

I feed mostly frozen mysis since all my fishes eat it hardily. I feed horses on the left and everthing else on the right and they don't compete with each other for food. The clownfish stay in their anemones, the firefish hides in under a rock, and the jawfish hovers 2 inches over his hole (also uder a rock). I have started feeding additional items recently to increase my pod levels and offer something the the baby banggai. I feed cyclopeeze, oyster eggs, and one helping of baby brine shrimp in the evening.

Temperature is controlled with an air-conditioner in the room and two 200 watt heaters in the tank. Temp stays between 76 and 77.

Thats the basics. Is this some of the info you were looking for?

Kevin


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Current Tank Info: 28Gallon BioCube HQI w/ mated pair of tomatoe clowns and mated pair of banggai cardinalfish
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Old 07/06/2006, 05:57 AM   #17
speenach
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yes, I appreciate the details...It will come in handy when I decide to upgrade my seahorse tank. Thanks!


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Old 07/06/2006, 04:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by pledosophy
I know BW are supposed to be good and all that. I do have 1 or 2, but after I was stung by the 4' one in my system and after I saw this site I can no longer embrace them as part of my systems.
I think the one in your link is a different kind of worm. There are very rare worms that will be this big and are actually carnivores. They are definitely bad but are not the same type as regular bristle worms and again are very rare.

Sorry, I don't have more detailed facts, but that's what I've heard. Maybe someone can fill in the details.

From what I've seen bristle worms are very beneficial. They've gotten a bad rap because they have been seen to be eating something you don't want dead, but if they are regular bristle worms, the object was already dead before they started eating it.


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Old 09/26/2006, 03:45 PM   #19
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Kevin,
your tank sounds so interesting! any pics? would love to see it!


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Old 09/27/2006, 11:05 AM   #20
pledosophy
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Ya Kevin, how is your progress? Are the horses still happy and healthy in that setup a few months later?

Zaxxon23, sorry I missed your post. i do think it was extremely rare. The problem associated with bristleworms is seahorses snicking small worms into there snout. Have neer seen it personally, but have read several accounts in the emergency forums.


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Old 11/28/2010, 08:17 AM   #21
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I use cerith, redlegs, one emerald crab, rainfordi goby,nassarius, nerites,trochus, and believe it or not featherdusters. I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank that is my seahorse tank with hippocampus reidi in it this is by far the best clean up crew i have found went thru a long period fighting hair algea just stayed up with water changes and added a couple inverts in there and it finally cleared up after many months what got it finally and i know alot of yuou will disagree is i put in 5 feather dusters in my tank i know im probally the only person in history that think of them as a clean up crew but they filter the water when they feed and can pose no harm to the seahorses


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Old 11/28/2010, 04:20 PM   #22
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WOW! Resurrection of a 4 yr old post.


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Old 11/28/2010, 07:09 PM   #23
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yeah i know but i figured to put my 2 cents in on it if anyone else came across it lol


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Old 11/29/2010, 03:22 PM   #24
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yeah i know but i figured to put my 2 cents in on it if anyone else came across it lol
Keep a good eye on the Mithrax (emerald crab)...they can get flaky when they get some size on them, esp in a SH tank at night. IME, crabs do not belong in a SH setup as I've even seen scarlets grab onto resting SH's tails.

JME/JMHO


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Old 11/29/2010, 05:08 PM   #25
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thanx for the info greg ill keep it in mind and watch them close


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