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CrayfishAreAwesome

so i am a beginner to saltwater and have a 5 gallon i am converting to salt. Planned stock is a pair or two of dwarf seahorses. i am planning on buying 4 Stage Value RO/DI System - Bulk Reef Supply for my RO/DI water, looking for recommendations on the following equipment: a proper light, a sponge filter, a reliable and relatively inexpensive source to buy BBS eggs from, a good BBS hatchery (NOT DIY!!!), as well as sand and what type of macroalgae. would it be possible to get 2-3 sponge filters and not do quite so insane water changes (50-75% every other day to every day)? also, i know that corals tend to be a no because of some pest i already forgot the name of. but if i bought a gorgonian and used a coral dip might that work? also, if so any recommendations on a coral dip? i plan on having 2 alternated hatcheries incase i get too low of a yield one day. anything i'm forgetting? also, i look to get these down the road (like in 3-4 years). Any good suggestions for inverts or even fish for me to "practice" with before i get my seahorses? also, does anyone have any experience with seahorses (hopefully dwarf, but any first-hand info with seahorses is welcome). also, i read on one website BBS are too large for consumption after 2 days, and another said that it is fine to feed adult brine shrimp. which is correct?
 

SavTheArtist

Hmm... I've never done saltwater but 5 gallons seems a little small for a SW tank?
 

e_watson09

That is way too small for seahorses. Seahorses are super delicate and its extremely hard to keep water parameters consistent in a small tank. We had a pair and a trio in a 29g and even with over a decade of experience with saltwater fish, reef, etc I struggled.

We moved them into a 55g tank and they thrived.

Seahorses are amazing creatures but an insanely expensive part of the hobby. If you're going to dive into it get a much larger tank first, set yourself up for success.

I don't even recommend any saltwater tank less than 29g honestly. Even one with hardier fish.
 

saltwater60

Dwarf seahorses are very small and need newly hatched brine shrimp. Adult bribe shrimp are way too large for them.
brine shrimp direct is the way to go for brine shrimp eggs. They have the best around.
I had great success with my DIY brine shrimp hatchery. I cut the top off a 2 liter pop bottle and put a rigid airline tube in it. Cheap and easy.
Any corals that consume anything meaty is a no go and will eat your dwarf seahorses. Any LPS is off limits.
Doing anything to reduce water changes won’t work. The tank needs a high volume water change because seahorses are very susceptible to bacterial infections. Don’t skimp on the water changes.
I do not have direct expert with them but you have to thing about the time investment. Hatching brine shrimp daily and huge water changes is a large commitment.
As far as fish or inverts to practice with nothing is similar that I know of except pipefish but they are too large for a 5 gallon. I’d recommend getting a slightly larger tank as well.
small tanks are very hard to keep stable and that’s is detrimental to your livestock.
The light doesn’t matter for seahorses so just whatever the gorgonia needs and the macro algae. For the algae it will need to be something they can hitch to. I’d go with larger grains of sand so they don’t consume it. A good amount of live rock for filtering and pods would be recommended.
 

CrayfishAreAwesome

That is way too small for seahorses. Seahorses are super delicate and its extremely hard to keep water parameters consistent in a small tank. We had a pair and a trio in a 29g and even with over a decade of experience with saltwater fish, reef, etc I struggled.

We moved them into a 55g tank and they thrived.

Seahorses are amazing creatures but an insanely expensive part of the hobby. If you're going to dive into it get a much larger tank first, set yourself up for success.

I don't even recommend any saltwater tank less than 29g honestly. Even one with hardier fish.
no, not for dwarf seahorses. 10 gallons and under is best from what i can tell and it is not possible to get a larger tank at the time. saltwater60 how much in percent water changes should i do? also, when you say live rock you don't mean already cultured, right? because of that little pest i forgot the name of?
 

e_watson09

no, not for dwarf seahorses. 10 gallons and under is best from what i can tell and it is not possible to get a larger tank at the time. saltwater60 how much in percent water changes should i do? also, when you say live rock you don't mean already cultured, right? because of that little pest i forgot the name of?

Be my guest I guess. You asked the question, someone with 15 years experience with saltwater tanks (including workig at a LFS) and roughly 10 years of actual experience with dwarf seahorses answered and your response is no.....

Good luck with your journey.
 

CrayfishAreAwesome

wait so larger tanks ARE better than small tanks? that goes against everything I've read but if necessary i can get a larger tank. how big of one do I need? also, do you have any other advise? and if i need i guess i could get a 55 gallon with reidi seahorses (the other one i've had my eye on). don't get me wrong, your advise is very welcome and will deeply affect my decisions.
 

eaglebalmlover

Be my guest I guess. You asked the question, someone with 15 years experience with saltwater tanks (including workig at a LFS) and roughly 10 years of actual experience with dwarf seahorses answered and your response is no.....

Good luck with your journey.
Curious, did you get your seahorses from Gerbers?

(I'm also from Dayton Ohio )
 

e_watson09

Curious, did you get your seahorses from Gerbers?

(I'm also from Dayton Ohio )

Some of them, we also worked directly with some fantastic breeders for some of them
 

saltwater60

Your talking about hydras and aptasia. There is many types of cultures live rock without pests. Also dry rock will get aged and be beneficial.

I think the issue with going too large is that they have trouble finding food. A 5 gallon might be right for the dwarf seahorses because yes I know they don’t need a large tank but small tanks are very hard to maintain and keep stable. I had a reef tank for 15 years and I’d honestly not attempt dwarf seahorses in a 5 gallon tank.
Larger tank bred seahorses are likely a better option but still have high needs and need multiple feedings daily with high water change requirements.
I’d recommend 30% water changes weekly.
Also remember larger species of seahorses require taller tanks rather than longer tank. Approximately 40 gallon hexagon tanks are great for a pair of full sized seahorses.
 

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