A 55-gallon aquarium is a good choice for large seahorses such as Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus). It should have the superior height that is so important for seahorses as well as enough water volume to provide the ponies with plenty of room to roam and to give you a comfortable margin for error. I am not familiar with the Petco products you mentioned, but you certainly need aquarium substrate, a good saltwater mix, a set of test kits and a thermometer for your new aquarium, so it sounds like you are off to a pretty good start.
Ocean Rider’s training course for new seahorse keepers is tailor-made for hobbyists like you who are just getting started, and I would like to invite you to participate in the training program. My name is Pete Giwojna and I provide tech-support for Ocean Rider (seahorse.com). Part of my duties in that regard include providing a quick training course for new Ocean Rider customers and first-time buyers to get them up to speed on the aquarium care and requirements of seahorses. All newbies are required to complete this basic training to my satisfaction before they can be certified and authorized to purchase Ocean Rider seahorses.
The purpose of this training is twofold: (1) to assure that the hobbyist has a suitable aquarium, completely cycled and with the biofiltration fully established, ready and waiting when his seahorses arrive, and (2) to assure that the hobbyist has a good understanding of the aquarium care and requirements of Ocean Rider seahorses by the time he or she has completed the training and been certified. All of which will help to ensure that things go smoothly and that your first experience with Ocean Rider seahorses is rewarding and enjoyable.
The first lesson of the training course explains how to select a suitable aquarium and optimize it to create an ideal environment for your seahorses. It includes a complete list of all the items you will need to get your new aquarium up and running, as well as links explaining where you can obtain the equipment and aquarium accessories you will need. And it includes a detailed discussion of how to aquascape an aquarium for seahorses, with lots of information regarding their favorite hitching posts and holdfasts.
This basic training is very informal and completely free of charge, nagem. Ocean Rider provides the free training as a service to their customers and any other hobbyists who are interested in learning more about the care and keeping of seahorses. It’s a crash course on seahorse keeping consisting of 10 separate lessons covering the following subjects, and is conducted entirely via e-mail. There is no homework or examinations or anything of that nature — just a lot of good, solid information on seahorses for you to read through and absorb as best you can, at your own speed:
Aquarium care and requirements of seahorses;
Selecting a suitable aquarium for seahorses;
size (tank height and water volume)
aquarium test kits
Optimizing your aquarium for seahorses;
water movement and circulation
hitching posts (real and artificial)
Cycling a new marine aquarium;
The cleanup crew (aquarium janitors & sanitation engineers);
water quality & water changes
aquarium maintenance schedule
Compatible tank mates for seahorses;
Courtship and breeding;
Rearing the young;
Disease prevention and control;
professional rearing protocols
Acclimating Ocean Rider seahorses.
If you are interested, I will be providing you with detailed information on these subjects and answering any questions you may have about the material I present. I will also be recommending seahorse-related articles for you to read and absorb online.
In short, the training course will teach you everything you need to know to keep your seahorses happy and healthy, and it will arm you with the information you need in order to tackle your first ponies with confidence. Once you begin the training program, I will be working with you personally every step of the way until your new aquarium is ready for seahorses and you are well prepared to give them the best of care, regardless of how long that may take.
If you would like to give the training course and try, just send a brief e-mail to me off list ([email protected]) with your full name (first and last), and I will get you started with the first lesson right away.
Best wishes with all your fishes, nagem!