How Do I Sea Horses

Kaitlynn

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This is something I’m thinking about for years in the future but wanted to start researching it now. My fiancé mentioned he would really like to keep sea horses and I’m completely unfamiliar with them I only keep fresh water fish and wanted to know about different varieties and their needs I think I would prefer a smaller variety.
 

Ernest Sacco

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Kaitlynn said:
This is something I’m thinking about for years in the future but wanted to start researching it now. My fiancé mentioned he would really like to keep sea horses and I’m completely unfamiliar with them I only keep fresh water fish and wanted to know about different varieties and their needs I think I would prefer a smaller variety.

I've been running my first seahorse tank for a little over 2 months....now I had roughly 18 months of saltwater aquarium experience prior so I already had the basics down before I ventured into them....seahorses are somewhat more difficult to care for as they have a higher sensitivity to tank parameters and they can be very demanding in their nutritional requirements....I currently have two tiger tail seahorses I got off of live aquaria...

I purchased them as captive bred and a mated pair which resulted in them costing a bit more that some other types....the benefit here though is captive bred horses are often already weaned onto frozen foods making them much more easy to care for...also being in a mated pair the seahorse will be more calm in the tank...plus I have the possibility of having babies...

Going back because of their sensitivities an established saltwater tank is preferred so as to avoid possible fluctuations that could hurt them....their tank was my old mixed reef 30 gallon which I upgraded...I removed all the corals and decided to use it for them...the tank had been running for a year and was well set...
I feed them a minimum of twice a day with 3 times being preferred....at this point my smaller one will start swimming across the glass whenever she is ready to eat...it is common for seahorses to develop unique personalities like this....I also keep the tank slightly cooler than my reef with 74 degrees being best....I have a few soft corals and gorgonians providing hitching posts for them..hitching posts can come in many forms and don't have to be live corals..but they are essential for proper care...I also have found that a good clean up crew really helps keep the tank clean

I do a water change once ever two weeks of 15 to 20 percent

Now I got the tiger tails and as of now they are only 2 or 3 inches but they get about 6 inches....they need a minimum of 30 gallons for a pair so it worked out...you could house multiple in anything larger than a 40 gallon...height is more important than length or width though I'm sure you have encountered that already

There are many varieties of seahorses but I've found the tiger tails to be perfect..now the smaller varieties are the dwarfs and I'd stay away from them....they tend to be a little more sensitive and their feeding requirements are even harder from what I hear due to their size....I am not truly versed in dwarfs so if anyone else has information contrary to me they are probably right....but again the tiger tails have been perfect and are enjoyable to watch....the female loves to cling to the larger males head and they will float together

Here are some more pictures

 
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Kaitlynn

Kaitlynn

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What kind of filtration is best for them
 

PoorBigBlue

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Live rock is the only acceptable filtration in saltwater, long-term. HoB and sponge filters will work for QT, and can technically be used in tanks, but more often than not, they'll just trap detritus and become nitrate generators. I use a hob on my reef, but just for circulation and to run carbon.

For seahorses, you'd probably want to use dry base rock, and cycle it the tank that way. This is to avoid pests that can come on live rock, and can be harmful to the seahorses. A small hob should be sufficient for flow, but I wouldn't be using too much (if any) BB media in it.

A protein skimmer, while not usually required for nanos, would be extremely useful in a seahorse tank. It'd remove organics in the water, and prevent nitrates from building up.

If you have no saltwater experience, seahorses really aren't a great place to start - they're far too sensitive and demanding, IMO.
 

Ernest Sacco

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Poorbigblue is definitely right about the live rock I should have specified...for the tank to work well a live rock set up is needed I use the canister filter to just run my chemI pure and to house a little extra bio media....I do have to also agree that it would perhaps be better to delve into a starter saltwater tank and save the seahorse for a later setup
 

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Might I recommend that you look into a FOWLR system to start off with? That's a tank with no coral - just fish and some invertebrates. That'll get your feet wet, and will allow you to gather some experience with saltwater. A FOWLR tank wouldn't require any extra equipment, either, so you could set one up as a "trial" and not spend a ridiculous amount of cash on one.
 
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Kaitlynn

Kaitlynn

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Thank you I will start with a smaller tank and safe the sea horses for pretty far down the road thank you for your help and suggestions
 

Ernest Sacco

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I went for a nano reef for my first set up...I spent a small fortune and lost a lot of live stock in the process because of my attempting to rush and the fact it was a nano tank....I don't necessarily regret my actions as it made me better but I can't reccomend doing what I did
 

Jesterrace

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Kaitlynn said:
This is something I’m thinking about for years in the future but wanted to start researching it now. My fiancé mentioned he would really like to keep sea horses and I’m completely unfamiliar with them I only keep fresh water fish and wanted to know about different varieties and their needs I think I would prefer a smaller variety.
As mentioned Seahorses can be delicate and demanding. Personally I am not a fan as they are too much effort for rather sedentary creatures (a lot of times they just attach themselves to things and just feed with whatever comes their way). A pair of clownfish in a 20-30 gallon tank would be much easier to care for and give you far more bang for buck in terms of visibility and activity (My snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish would be out and swimming around even at 3AM). Also if you want to help simplify the saltwater tank setup and process, a 20 to 30 gallon All in One from Innovative Marine would be great choices (all you would need would be a light, powerhead/wavemaker and marine compatible tank heater for mechanical equipment).

Here is the 20:




Here is the 25:




Here is the 30 Long (My preference of the bunch):

30 NUVO Fusion Micro Long AIO Aquarium (Tank Only) - Innovative Marine
 

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