Reply To: Tank Recommendations

Pete Giwojna

Complete Prebuilt Aquarium Systems recommended for seahorses

Dear Cat:

Yes, indeed, there are some prebuilt all-in-one aquarium systems designed for seahorses that would fit the bill. I would suggest that you consider either the 45-gallon rectangular seahorse tank or the 35-gallon hexagonal seahorse tank available from at the following URL:

They are beautifully designed aquariums that have the height (24 inches) and many of the features that are so desirable for a seahorse system. For example, they include a built-in a 3-in-1 filtration system that includes a wet/dry trickle filter that accommodates biological, chemical and mechanical filtration media, as well as built-in aquarium heater and an optional Clear-for-Life™ Venturi protein skimmer, all neatly contained and hidden behind a narrow false back. That’s an excellent filtration system for a seahorse setup!

As far as biofiltration goes, wet/dry trickle filters are probably the most desirable units for the seahorse keeper after live rock filtration. They are top-of-the-line units that feature a thin film of water trickling over filter media with an ultra-large surface area, thereby allowing maximum air-water contact. This provides excellent oxygenation with efficient offgassing, which is very important for seahorses. It helps keep dissolved oxygen levels high, CO2 low, and effectively prevents gas supersaturation, which can sometimes contribute to serious problems (gas bubble disease) for our aquatic equines. As an added benefit, wet/dry trickle filters can also support a tremendous population of aerobic nitrifying bacteria that provide remarkable biological filtration, which gives these systems excellent carrying capacity and a very nice margin for error for beginners. In addition, they have compartments built right in to accommodate a protein skimmer and chemical/mechanical filtration.

Best of all, the whole filtration system is built right into the aquarium as an integral part of the whole. It requires no drilling or plumbing or modifications in order to get it up and running. There’s nothing to install and the maintenance consists primarily of rinsing and/or replacing the prefilter regularly and replacing the chemical filtration media as needed. This would be a very easy system for beginners to set up and maintain.

And having all the filtration and equipment safely hidden away behind that false back is another big plus the seahorse keeper. Not only does it look nice, there are no cords, airlines, siphon tubes, or heaters hanging in the tank for seahorses to perch on high up in the water column. That makes it safer for the horses — no chance of heater burns and less risk of gas bubble disease from hanging high near the surface where there’s less hydrostatic pressure. Plus the filter intakes are all walled off from the seahorses — no way a curious seahorse will get sucked up against them or have its tall drawn into an intake tube.

As far as lighting goes, I understand these seahorse tanks are equipped with a fluorescent light fixture and a black ABS light hood. That’s perfectly adequate for a seahorse setup and I foresee no problems there at all.

The only complaint I have heard regarding these particular tanks is that it can sometimes be difficult to access and service the equipment behind a false back during routine maintenance, but having all of the equipment contained safely behind a false back is the safest arrangement for seahorses and gives the aquarium that polished “finished” or “prebuilt” appearance that you are looking for, Cat. They are handsome aquarium systems in their own right as well as superior seahorse setups.

Either the rectangular seahorse tank or the hexagonal seahorse tank they offer would make a fine system for keeping a pair of Mustangs and a pair of Sunbursts.

However, rather than ordering one of these tanks online and having it delivered to you, Cat, I suggest that you look for a similar aquarium system with the features and dimensions described above at your local fish stores. That way you can save the delivery charges and bring the aquarium home with you when you find a suitable tank. That’s important because aquariums are bulky, heavy, fragile items to ship, which means that the shipping charges can often double the total cost of the aquarium system. So purchasing an aquarium system with all the same features from one of your local pet shops or aquarium stores will make your seahorse tank much more affordable.

Finally, Cat, since you and your boyfriend are new to seahorses, I strongly recommend that you contact me off list at the following e-mail address so that I can provide you with a copy of our Ocean Rider Seahorse Training Manual:

[email protected]

The seahorse training Manual is designed for beginners and is very comprehensive, consisting of several hundred pages of text with more than 250 full-color illustrations. It will explain everything you need to know in order to keep Ocean Rider seahorses successfully in a home aquarium. We provide a free copy of the seahorse training manual to all first-time buyers and customers to assure that home hobbyists are well prepared to give our ponies the best possible care before they make a purchase. There is no charge whatsoever for this service.

Best of luck with your new pony project, Cat!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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