Pete Giwojna

Dear Don:

Yes, sir, if you will be alternating the enrichment products you use, and also varying the brands of frozen Mysis you use to diversify the diet of your seahorses, it would be a good idea to use the Vibrance, which includes beta glucan as an immunostimulant, during those summertime heat waves when your ponies are most likely to be subject to heat stress.

As you know, large tropical seahorses such as Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) are most comfortable with stable water temperature in the range of 72°F-77°F, and they may begin to experience heat stress and associated health problems (e.g. tail rot) when the water temperature approaches 80°F or above for any length of time. Therefore, if the water temperature in your seahorse tank will be hitting 80°F during the hottest part of the summer, that would be a good time for you to enrich the frozen Mysis using Vibrance.

However, Don, I would also recommend taking additional measures to reduce your water temperature during those summertime heat waves. For example, sir, there is a simple technique that you can use to drop the water temperature in an aquarium by at least 3°F-5°F without the use of a chiller: either remove the cover or hood from your seahorse tank altogether, if possible, or at least keep it the cover tilted open as far as possible. When the aquarium is tightly sealed, heat is trapped underneath the cover and the water temperature rises as a result. Removing the cover or hood, or at least cracking it open as much as possible, allows the trapped heat to escape and equalize with the ambient air temperature. It also reduces the humidity, which results in more efficient gas exchange at the air/water interface; the dissolved exigent levels are increased and the carbon dioxide levels are reduced as a result, which, in turn, helps to stabilize the aquarium pH in the proper range. If possible, you can simply remove the cover or hood altogether since there is no danger that your seahorses will jump out of the tank. If not, you may have to settle for lifting the lid part way the way you would when accessing the tank to feed the fishes, or by cracking it open.

You will find that the water temperature drops by several degrees if you can remove the cover or aquarium hood altogether, and it should drop at least 2°F-3°F even if you could only cracked the lid open. For example, this is what Ambrose, a seahorse keeper with a JBJ nano tank, reports in that regard:

"… my tank set up is a JBJ nano cube. I believe that its 20 in long, by 20 inch wide, and is 18 inches deep. It’s a closed top system that runs a 150 watt metal halide bulb. Heat with this tank has been an issue almost the whole time with this tank. And on the hottest days on the year the tank has seen temp as high as 82-83 degrees. I’ve found that leaving the tank lid cracked open has drastically reduced the tanks temp by 3-4 degrees. So that’s the way I’ve been leaving it lately (open top),the tank now stays at a steady 78-79 degrees constantly. That’s another trick that I only recently discovered…"

Notice that Ambrose was only able to leave the aquarium lid cracked open, but even so was able to lower the water temperature by around 4°F. That’s something that might be worth a try with your seahorse setup this summer, Don.

The only drawback to this technique is that it increases the rate of evaporation so that you need to top off the tank with freshwater more frequently, but that’s merely a minor inconvenience.

Best of luck reducing the water temperature to the desired range quickly and easily, Don.

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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