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12 gallon seagrass and mangrove aquarium

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12 gallon seagrass and mangrove aquarium

Hello All!

This is my first post here, and I'm looking for some recommendations on what is appropriate to put in the 12 gallon seagrass and mangrove aquarium I'm setting up. The dimensions are about 23.5" long x 7.5" wide x 16" deep. It has only been running for a few days, so I've got a while before I can put critters in.  Right now it has three mangroves and some star grass (Halophila engelmannii), but I'll be getting turtle grass in about a month.

I really like the idea of a pair of captive bred H. erectus, however I'm not sure they'd be happy in such a small space. I also like the idea of a pair or more of H. zosterae, and I can handle the live food requirement, but I'm concerned about hydroids since the aquarium has actaul mangroves and sea grass that are likely contaminated and that are also dependent on a sand bed with live worms and other critters in it, meaning I can't add panceur.

So I'm looking at not having any seahorses, unfortunately, but maybe one of the companion fish would work. Does anyone have a recommendation of an interesting species that natually lives in seagrass and would be appropriate for my tank size?


Pete Giwojna
Dear MJ:

Dear MJ:

I'm thinking that your mangrove and seahorse setup is too shallow to make a good habitat for large seahorses such as Hippocampus erectus, which would be vulnerable to problems with gas bubble syndrome in such a setup.

Likewise, if you cannot treat the tank with fenbendazole or Panacur to inhibit the growth of hydroids, it would become problematic to keep a colony of dwarf seahorses in the tank.

However, MJ, a long shallow tank such as yours would be a good habitat for pipefish. You may wish to consider keeping dwarf pipes, or banded pipefish, or Gulf pipefish in such a setup.

I will send you a couple of documents off list that you may find helpful for your project. The first of these documents is devoted to pipefish whereas the second document discusses compatible tankmates for seahorses, and may give you some ideas regarding this sort of inhabitants that might do well in a tank like yours, MJ. Please feel free to download the documents, save them on your computer, and then read through them at your convenience.

Best wishes with all your fishes, MJ!

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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