Reply To: New tank

Pete Giwojna

Dear Eric:

Yes, sir, there are some prebuilt all-in-one aquarium systems designed for seahorses that would fit the bill, which are available from at the following URL:

There are number of different designs available including rectangular, hexagonal, and bow front aquariums, including several that are 36-48 inches in length.

If you prefer a rectangular tank, the following link will show you a fine selection of such tanks designed specifically for seahorses:

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.

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, Eric. They are handsome aquarium systems in their own right as well as superior seahorse setups.

Best of luck finding the perfect aquarium system for your needs and interests, Eric!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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