Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › seahorse home? › Re:seahorse home?
Mustangs (Hippocampus erectus) are a great choice for someone who’s new to seahorses, but a 10-gallon aquarium that’s only 12-inches tall is far too small and way too short to be a suitable set up for Mustangs. The smallest tank you should consider for a pair of Mustangs is a 20 gallon Extra-High All-Glass Aquarium (20"L x 10"W x 24"H) and if you are new to seahorses a 29-gallon extra tall aquarium or an even larger setup would be preferable, since it would provide you with a much greater margin for error.
Aside from adequate water volume, fishlover, it is equally desirable to select an aquarium at least 20-inches high when keeping the greater seahorses. They need the vertical swimming space to perform their complex mating ritual and successfully complete the egg transfer, which is accomplished while the pair is rising through the water column or drifting slowly downwards from the apex of their rise. If the aquarium is too shallow, eggs will be spilled during the transfer from the female to the male’s brood pouch, and mating becomes increasingly difficult or impossible below a certain minimum depth. Typically, the shallower the tank, the more difficult coitus is to achieve and the more likely it becomes that eggs will be spilled during the transfer. Eventually this can reach the point where entire clutches are being lost, which is when most pairs cease trying and no longer attempt to breed (Giwojna, Jan. 1999).
Worse still, shallow tanks increase the danger that an overripe female may become egg bound. In a tank with inadequate water depth, a courting female that has hydrated her clutch may be unable to make the egg transfer, yet she will be reluctant to dump the eggs while a receptive male is still standing by eager to receive them. If she is overly optimistic and retains her clutch too long, hoping to pull off the tricky egg transfer despite the lack of depth, she may become egg bound. Her lower abdomen will become very swollen and prolapsed tissue may protrude through the vent as the pressure builds up. If she is unable to release the eggs at this point and relieve the pressure, death will result. An egg-bound female is thus a very serious complication of depth limitations (Leslie Leddo, pers. com.)
Most importantly of all, a tall aquarium can also help protect the seahorses from depth-related health problems such as bloated pouch and certain forms of Gas Bubble Disease. A shallow tank increases the risk that a seahorse may develop Gas Bubble Disease (GBD), whereas taller tanks are known to protect seahorses from gas embolisms and minimize problems with GBD, which is a fatal condition if left untreated.
Although your 10 gallon tank is too small for any of the larger breeds of seahorses, it is spacious enough to accommodate the whole herd of Pixies or dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae). Although they are terribly tiny — no bigger than your thumbnail when fully grown, I find their diminutive dimensions to be charming in the extreme! Whenever I set up a dwarf exhibit, I find it endlessly fascinating to witness the seahorse’s entire cycle of life taking place in microcosm on a miniature scale — courting, mating, giving birth, newborns, juveniles and young adults all thriving and growing right alongside the old warhorses.
The suggested stocking density for dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae) is two pairs per 1 gallon (4 L) of water, so theoretically a well-filtered 10-gallon aquarium is spacious enough to house up to 20 pairs or 40 individual adults. Let me know if you’re interested in keeping these miniature marvels, and I will be happy to provide you with a wealth of information on setting up your 10 gallon tank for Pixies, fishlover.
There have been a few other threads on the Ocean Rider Club discussion board at seahorse.com from hobbyists who were just starting out with seahorses that you should also find to be of interest. They discuss setting up an ideal system for seahorses, filtration, feeding, lighting, circulation, lots of seahorse-keeping tips, and so on. I’ve provided links to those discussions for you below, so please check them out when you get a chance, fishlover. I think they will answer many of your questions about keeping seahorses in general and setting up a suitable tank for Mustangs in particular:
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:ok stocking density…
Re:Hello, newbie here! – O http://www.seahorse.com/option,com_simpleboard/Itemid,144/func,view/id,1004/catid,2/
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Setting up a 100gal for
Re: Guidance on Keeping Seahorses:
Re: New to seahorses and I have lots of questions!
Re: Tank set-up advice
Re:New with lots of questions 🙂
Please let us know if you have any other questions that haven’t been covered in those previous discussions, fishlover!
Best of luck with your new seahorse setup!