Re:New Kidz on d Block, HELP !!

Pete Giwojna

Dear Dean:

Welcome to the Club, sir — it’s great to hear from you all away from Indonesia!

No, sir, a protein skimmer is an optional piece of equipment for a seahorse setup, not a necessity by any means. The proper type of protein skimmer can be very helpful in maintaining good water quality and for providing high levels of dissolved oxygen if it is properly installed and operated, but there are a great many seahorse tanks that cannot be equipped with a protein skimmer for various reasons ranging from inadequate height or insufficient space behind the aquarium or within the tank to budget limitations that preclude the purchase of a protein skimmer.

Seahorses can still be kept very successfully in aquariums without a protein skimmer. But when you are operating a seahorse setup without a protein skimmer to remove organics before they enter the nitrogen cycle, you must be careful to observe a few precautions. For instance, and the lack of the skimmer limits the carrying capacity of the tank and makes an accelerated maintenance schedule and more frequent water changes an absolute necessity.

I recommend weekly water changes of a least 25% for such a system and that you keep the tank under stocked. If you are diligent about aquarium maintenance, perform water changes religiously, and limit yourself to fewer seahorses that you feed carefully, you will find that a simple system filters can be very successful. But if you are negligent with regard to maintenance, skimp on water changes, or tend to overcrowd or overfeed your tanks, such an aquarium will not have a large margin for error and can be very unforgiving. If you are performing 30%-40% water changes on a weekly basis, then it sounds like you’re doing it right, Dean, and I suspect your seahorses will thrive. Your seahorses will appreciate the extra swimming space that a protein skimmer would otherwise occupy.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Dean! By the way, your grammar is just fine, sir and I have no difficulty understanding exactly what you meant to say.

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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