Re:90G set up for mandarin,seahorse,coral system etc?

Pete Giwojna

Dear Clintos:

Excellent! I am liking your list of proposed corals and the colorful hitching posts you plan to obtain — if you can acquire all of the items on your wish list, your future seahorses should be very happy!

I am glad to see that you included the Sea Rods from Living Color on your list of hitching posts, since seahorses are irresistibly attracted to them in particular. They are available in a number of colors (red, orange, gold, and purple) and are most attractive when you group 2 or three of them together to make a colorful arrangement (see photo below).
Sea Rod (Pseudoplexaura sp.), item number 485 BTOR (4.5"L x 1"W x 21"H)
[img size=150][/img][IMG][/IMG]
"Seahorse Magnets: the artificial sea rods and gorgonians from Living Color shown in the photo above are popular perches that our pampered ponies find irresistible." Photo by Dr. Randy Morgan.

If you’re going to be ordering one or more of the Sea Rods (#485) from Living Color, Clintos, I would also order one of their splendid Harped Gorgonians (#483), preferably red, and also at least one of their candelabra-like Sea Whip style sea rods (#108), either in orange or red:

Harp Gorgonian (Ctenocella pectinata), Item number 483 RD (21"L x 2"W x 14"H)

Sea Whip (Pseudoplexaura sp.), item number 108 RD or PL (9.5"L x 1.5"W x 15"H)

For a large 90-gallon tank like yours, I would also consider including a Branching Green Galaxia (#21402) from Nature’s Image, which is a glorious addition for aquariums that are large enough to handle it:

Item # 21402 Green Branching Galaxia from Nature’s Image (11"L x 7"W x 14.5")

The Branching Tubastrea Sun Polyps are also spectacular in a large aquarium:

Item# 20601 Branching Tubastrea Sun Polyps from Nature’s Image (8"L x 8"W x 6.5"H).

Since you are located in Canada, let me know if you have any difficulty obtaining the artificial corals you are interested in, Clintos. If so, I can probably acquire them for you one way or another and arrange to have them shipped directly to you.

As for the baby blue sponge, sir, that should not present a problem as long as it is healthy. When it comes to living sponges, hobbyists need to be aware that live sponges do contain toxins and incorporate glassy spicules into their fibrous bodies in order to deter fish predators. (Many marine angelfish love to graze on sponges, and in some species sponges comprise the bulk of their diet.) But, as a rule, this never causes any problems in a seahorse tank because it’s entirely a passive defense mechanism — the sponges have to be attacked and torn open in order to release the toxins and that just never happens under normal aquarium conditions.

I can see how it might become a problem, however, if a sponge died undetected in the aquarium and began to break down or decompose, releasing its toxins in the process. As with many sessile life forms, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if a sponge is healthy and thriving or if it’s doing poorly and should be removed as a precaution. Live sponges do best in well-established reef tanks and often have difficulty getting enough to eat in a conventional community aquarium or seahorse tank, but usually the sponge colony will simply shrink in size as a result. If they become fungused or smothered under algae growth, it’s best to remove them as soon as possible. (Don’t try to scrape off the algae growth from a sponge or scrub it clean or cut away the affected portions of the sponge — all of those procedures could release the toxins into your aquarium with deadly results.) So when you keep live sponges, place them in areas with low light levels where they will receive moderate water flow to discourage algae grow.

In your case, Clintos, given your experience with reef systems and the type of aquarium system you are planning now, I would be surprised if the live sponge failed to thrive under your care.

Best of luck with the final preparations for this fascinating project, sir!

Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2009/06/12 01:33

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