Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › Certification
- This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 11 years, 5 months ago by caropr.
December 13, 2011 at 4:44 am #1922mfikeMember
Mr. Giwojna: I am interested in becoming certified in your Seahorse program. I would like to set up a tall 55 gallon hex tank after the first of the year with seahorses. I now have a 40 gallon salt tank FO system that has been running for 3 years. I plan to use a back filter, Live rock, as well as under gravel. Thank you.December 13, 2011 at 8:34 am #5381Pete GiwojnaGuest
Very good, sir! A 55-gallon hex tank with the filtration system you describe can certainly make an excellent habitat for seahorses. It will have the superior height that is so important for seahorses as well as sufficient water volume to provide very good stability and a comfortable margin for error.
I would be very pleased to enroll you in the Ocean Rider seahorse training program, Michael, but it is a correspondence course, which means we must first establish e-mail contact before I can begin sending you the lessons and going over all of the information with you. Just send me a very brief, e-mail to the following address, sir, and, as soon as I receive your message, I will send you the first lesson in reply:
Please allow me to formally introduce myself, sir. My name is Pete Giwojna and I provide tech-support for Ocean Rider (seahorse.com). As you know, 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.
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 the home aquarist’s first experience with Ocean Rider seahorses is rewarding and enjoyable.
This basic training is very informal and completely free of charge, yet quite comprehensive, Michael. 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 and there are no examinations or classes to attend 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, working from your computer in the comfort of your own home. The training course consists of a total of over 200 pages of text with more than 230 full color illustrations, broken down into 10 lessons covering the following subjects:
Lesson 1: Selecting a Suitable Aquarium & Optimizing It for Seahorses.
Tank dimensions and specifications (why height is important);
Tank location and aquarium stressors;
Setting up a SHOWLR tank to create ideal conditions for seahorses;
titanium grounding probe
Test kits for monitoring water quality;
Aquascaping the seahorse tank;
artificial hitching posts
Basic aquarium setups for seahorses;
Lesson 2: Cycling a New Aquarium & Installing the Cleanup Crew.
The nitrogen cycle;
nitrification and denitrification
Step-by-step instructions for cycling a new marine aquarium;
Seahorse-safe sanitation engineers and aquarium janitors;
Starter seahorses (hardy, highly domesticated, high-health ponies)
Lesson 3: Reading Assignments (books, articles, and columns devoted to seahorses).
Lesson 4: Water Chemistry, Aquarium Maintenance, & Maintaining Optimum Water Quality.
Basic water quality parameters (acceptable range and optimum levels);
Advanced water chemistry for reef keepers;
Performing partial water changes to maintain good water quality;
Aquarium maintenance schedule;
Lesson 5: Feeding Seahorses.
Frozen Mysis serves as their staple, everyday diet;
brands of frozen Mysis
thawing and preparing frozen Mysis
enriching with Vibrance
Recommended feeding regimen;
how to tell if your seahorse is getting enough to eat
Feeding tips for seahorses;
preparing and serving the frozen Mysis
feeding new arrivals
setting up a feeding station
training the seahorses to use a feeding tray
artificial feeding stations
natural feeding stations
purchasing a ready-made feeding station
elevating the feeding station
Mysis relicta from Piscine Energetics
Broadcast feeding or scatter feeding — just say no!
Lesson 6: Compatible Tankmates for Seahorses.
Safe and unsafe companions — no guarantees;
fish to avoid
Feeding seahorses in a community tank;
Seahorse-proofing a reef tank
lighting the seahorse reef
managing water circulation for a seahorse reef
Lesson 7: Courtship & Breeding.
Courtship displays in Hippocampus (fully illustrated)
tilting and reciprocal quivering
pouch displays (pumping and ballooning)
copulatory rise and the egg transfer
Male brooding — a true pregnancy
Giving birth — dawn deliveries
Lesson 8: Raising the Young.
Determining ease of rearing
Setting up a basic nursery for benthic babies
Advanced nursery tank options for pelagic fry
the shaded nursery
kriesel and pseudokreisel nurseries
the divided nursery
in-tank nurseries (illustrated)
the greenwater "starter" nursery
hyposalinity for pelagic fry
Culling the fry (if necessary)
Feeding the fry
hatching and enriching brine shrimp (Artemia)
decapsulated brine shrimp eggs
culturing rotifers and copepods
Fry feeding schedule
Lesson 9: Disease Prevention and Control.
Captive bred vs. wild-caught seahorses
Importance of High-Health seahorses
Seahorse anatomy illustrations
Screening seahorses from your LFS
Quarantine protocol for pet-shop ponies and wild seahorses
Beta glucan boosts immunity to disease
Early detection of health problems
disease symptoms in seahorses
What to do at the first sign of a health problem
The seahorse-keepers medicine chest
first aid kit for seahorses
must-have medications to keep on hand
properties of the main medications
Hepatic lipidosis (prevalence of fatty liver disease)
Seahorse disease book
Lesson 10: Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) & Acclimating New Arrivals.
Nature of Mustangs and Sunbursts
multi-generational approach to rearing
Hippocampus erectus species summary
scientific name and common names
meristic counts and morphometric measurements (illustrated)
climate and distribution
color and pattern
onset of sexual maturity
ease of rearing
natural habitats and natural history
preferred parameters and aquarium requirements
suggested stocking density
successful rearing protocols
feeding the fry
nursery tank designs
rearing and grow out tanks
diet and nutrition
wide ranging species with different races
Acclimating new arrivals (step-by-step instructions)
Keeping and culturing red feeder shrimp (Halocaridina rubra)
The seahorse training program is a correspondence course that is conducted entirely via e-mail, Michael, and, once we begin the lessons, I will be providing you with detailed information on all of the subjects above and answering any questions you may have about the material I present so that everything is perfectly clear to you. I will also be recommending seahorse-related articles for you to read and absorb online.
In short, Michael, 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. It will explain how to set up your 55-gallon hex tank and optimize it to create ideal conditions for your seahorses.
How long this training will take to complete depends on your experience level as an aquarist to a large extent. For example, if you have never kept seahorses before and you do not already have a suitable saltwater aquarium up and running, it will take at least eight weeks for your training and preparations to be completed before you can be certified. It will take that long to learn the basics of seahorse keeping, set up a suitable aquarium, cycle the tank from scratch to establish the biological filtration, and optimize the tank to create an ideal environment for seahorses. Only then can you be certified ready to receive your first seahorses.
On the other hand, experienced marine aquarists and hobbyists that have had seahorses before and already have a suitable saltwater aquarium up and running can be certified much more quickly. I will run through the same basic information with them, but most of the information I provide will be familiar material for such hobbyists and they should be able to review it and get up to speed quickly, plus they should have well-established aquariums ready, fully matured that they can fairly quickly adapt in order to make them more ideal for seahorses. In a case like that, certification can be completed as soon as they have absorbed the material I provide and are confident they have a good grasp of the specialized requirements and aquarium care of the seahorses.
From the time we begin the training, Michael, I will be working with you personally every step of the way, through our ongoing correspondence, until your new hex tank is ready for seahorses and you are well prepared to give them the best of care, regardless of how long that may take.
All we ask in return is that you stick with the highly domesticated Ocean Rider Mustangs or Sunbursts when you are finally ready to stock your tank, Michael. As you know, Mustangs and Sunbursts are the perfect ponies for beginners. They are hardy, highly adaptable, easy to feed, and perfectly adapted for aquarium life — the world’s only High-Health seahorses, guaranteed to be free of specific pathogens and parasites.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Michael! I look forward to hearing back from you via e-mail very shortly, sir.
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech SupportDecember 22, 2011 at 11:20 am #5382caroprGuest
I’m looking at Pete’s post and just see that somehow I am missing the lesson #10.
Is it possible that I could get it via email after the holidays?
Maybe I had it at some point and didn’t file it correctly. Sorry about that.
CaroprDecember 23, 2011 at 2:05 am #5383Pete GiwojnaGuest
Sure thing – can do! It’s good that you brought this to my attention because it’s very important for all of the trainees to have a complete set of all 10 lessons for future reference by the time they have completed the training program. You can always ask to have any of the lessons resent to you for any reason at any time, and I will make sure that you get a good copy of Lesson 10 after the holidays.
The final lesson is actually a two-part installment, which includes a detailed fact sheet or species summary on Hippocampus erectus (Mustangs and Sunbursts) in Lesson 10a plus a detailed discussion of the proper acclimation procedures for Ocean Rider seahorses as well as a comprehensive caresheet and acclimation instructions for the red feeder shrimp (Halocaridina rubra), or Hawaiian volcano shrimp, as they are also known, in Lesson 10b. Both parts of lesson 10 include photo galleries devoted to Mustangs and Sunbursts respectively, including dozens of examples of each type, to give you a better idea of the color patterns typically associated with Mustangs and Sunbursts.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Carolina! I am at your disposal whenever you have any additional questions or concerns about your seahorses, and you can always reach me off list ([email protected]) or through the discussion forum.
Happy Trails & Happy Holidays!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Training Program AdvisorDecember 27, 2011 at 6:33 am #5385caroprGuest
Beautiful lesson! Thank you so very much for sending it.
🙂 ….. caropr
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