Re:Switching tanks

Pete Giwojna

Dear Haynes:

I think it’s an excellent idea to upgrade your seahorse setup to a 40-gallon aquarium with superior height! An aquarium 24 inches tall is just right for a home hobbyist. It has excellent height that will allow your seahorses to mate comfortably and to safeguard them against depth-related conditions such as gas bubble syndrome, but isn’t so tall that working on the tank and performing routine maintenance will present a challenge.

If you can give me a little more information about your current 30-gallon seahorse setup and remind me what you are using for your filtration system, Haynes, I would be happy to explain how I would go about making the move to the new aquarium. What type of substrate and decor do you have in the 30-gallon tank, sir? What equipment or filters do you have installed on it? If you can fill me in with a few more details on your 30-gallon system, I can provide you with much better instructions regarding the best way to make the transfer.

Despite their brilliant colors and seemingly delicate appearance, dottybacks (Pseudochromis spp.) in general are surprisingly aggressive, territorial fish that can get downright nasty with their tankmates. As a rule, they are not compatible with seahorses.

The orchid dottyback (Pseudochromis friedmani) is the only species that I would possibly consider keeping with seahorses, and only then if it was a captive bred specimen raised at a high-health aquaculture facility and I had a backup tank I could relocate either the P. friedmani or the seahorses to if things didn’t work out. It is much more passive than most dottybacks.

In short, avoid the Springer’s dottyback at all costs, Haynes. It would be nothing but trouble in the seahorse tank. Keep in mind that any fish you bring home from your LFS — whether it is wild-caught or captive bred — MUST be rigorously quarantine for several weeks before you can introduce it to your display tank.

Best of luck with your tank upgrade, sir!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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