Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Single Seahorse in small tank

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by randy112.
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  • #2015


    My friend is moving so she gave me her 8 gallon tank. The tank has a single seahorse in it. She said she just recently got the seahorse. I was wondering if an 8 gallon tank is too small for a single seahorse. I have bought seahorses: A complete pet owner’s manual. From my observations I think it is an H. Erectus and a female. I guess my main questions are should I get it a bigger tank and if I should get another seahorse as a companion. Thank you.

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Daphne:


    I understand that you are inheriting your friend’s tank (complete with seahorse) because she is moving away and it would be too much of a hassle to transport the aquarium and its inhabitants to her destination. That’s an exciting development, Daphne, but a lot of responsibility for someone who has never owned a marine aquarium.

    It’s good to see that you are approaching this challenge seriously, and reading up on some appropriate aquarium guide books to prepare yourself for this new project, Daphne, and that’s a very sensible approach.

    Yes, the eight-gallon JBJ is going to be too small for a Hippocampus erectus seahorse in the long run, Daphne. If the seahorses still a juvenile, only a few inches in length, it might do all right in a tank of that size over the short term, providing you can maintain optimum water quality, but the juveniles grow rapidly and it will outgrow the need-gallon tank within a matter of months.

    I should explain that the key to keeping seahorses successfully in a small, closed system home aquarium is to maintain optimal water quality at all times, and, unfortunately, the water quality can degrade and go downhill very quickly in an aquarium with such a small water volume, especially for an inexperienced aquarist who has never maintained a marine aquarium before.

    Hippocampus erectus are large tropical seahorses, Daphne, and the smallest aquarium I would recommend for these ponies is a tall 30-gallon aquarium. And, for an inexperienced hobbyist who is new to saltwater as well as to seahorses, and aquarium of 40 gallons or more would be even better. That’s because the larger water volume in such an aquarium makes it inherently more stable. You will find it easier to maintain good water quality in a larger aquarium, which will provide you with a larger margin for error and be more forgiving than a small tank that holds only 8 gallons of water.

    A small eight-gallon aquarium will be subject to much more rapid changes in temperature, specific gravity, and pH, making it much more difficult for you to maintain stable conditions, and the water quality can go downhill so fast that it would be difficult for you to detect a problem and correct it in time to avoid a disaster. As just one example, in a small, eight-gallon aquarium you might find yourself dealing with a dangerous spike in the ammonia and/or nitrate levels following a heavy feeding or the undetected death of a large snail, and you would need to be prepared to deal with such a situation properly where the health of the seahorse would suffer.

    As for whether or not it would be advisable to provide the solo seahorse with a companion, Daphne, in my experience, captive-bred-and-raised seahorses are very social, highly gregarious animals that very much enjoy the company of others of their kind. For instance, Ocean Rider seahorses are raised by hand from birth at population densities that are far greater than wild seahorses ever experience, and Ocean Riders are therefore accustomed to living in large groups in close proximity with other seahorses (cohorts) of similar size and age. They can be kept individually, but I believe they do best when they have the opportunity to interact with other seahorses. Seahorses are intelligent enough to become bored in captivity and having other seahorses with which they can interact provides them with an important means of behavioral enrichment, especially if they have an opportunity for courtship and breeding.

    But I would not consider getting a companion for your new pony until you have moved her into a larger aquarium. Attempting to keep two seahorses together in the eight-gallon aquarium would only compound the difficulty of maintaining optimum water quality at all times. Wait until you have established a larger aquarium that can safely accommodate a pair of Hippocampus erectus seahorses, Daphne, and then you can safely consider providing the new seahorse with a potential mate.

    Under the circumstances, Daphne, I think the best way for you to proceed would be to complete the free Ocean Rider training program for new seahorse keepers which will explain how to select a suitable aquarium for your new pony, cycle the aquarium properly, and equip and aquascape the tank properly in order to create an outstanding seahorse habitat. In the meantime, the Hippocampus erectus you will be inheriting should be okay in the well-cycled eight-gallon tank temporarily while you are finishing the training course and setting up a bigger tank for the seahorse to live in for the long term.

    No doubt the best possible way for you to prepare for having a seahorse tank in your home is to read through the free Ocean Rider Seahorse Training Program, Daphne, which will explain everything you need to know in order to keep seahorses successfully in a small, closed-system home aquarium in considerable detail.

    Please allow me to formally introduce myself, Daphne. My name is Pete Giwojna and I provide tech-support for Ocean Rider ( 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, Daphne. 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 several hundred pages of text with more than 250 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;
    filtration options
    protein skimmers
    UV sterilizers
    titanium grounding probe
    water circulation
    Test kits for monitoring water quality;
    Aquascaping the seahorse tank;
    artificial hitching posts
    Basic aquarium setups for seahorses;
    undergravel filters
    sponge filters

    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;
    microhermit crabs
    cleaner shrimp
    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);
    specific gravity
    dissolved oxygen
    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
    secretive feeders
    morning feedings
    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
    fasting seahorses
    target feeding
    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;
    Tropical tankmates;
    fish to avoid
    seahorse-safe fish
    seahorse-safe invertebrates
    Feeding seahorses in a community tank;
    Seahorse-proofing a reef tank
    safe corals
    unsafe corals
    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
    Pair formation
    Morning greetings
    Male brooding — a true pregnancy
    Giving birth — dawn deliveries

    Lesson 8: Raising the Young.
    Seahorse fry
    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
    Delivery day
    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
    external anatomy
    internal anatomy
    Screening seahorses from your LFS
    Quarantine tank
    Quarantine protocol for pet-shop ponies and wild seahorses
    Beta glucan boosts immunity to disease
    Early detection of health problems
    aquarium stressors
    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
    Life expectancy
    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
    hybrid vigor
    genetic diversity
    selective breeding
    Hippocampus erectus species summary
    scientific name and common names
    meristic counts and morphometric measurements (illustrated)
    climate and distribution
    color and pattern
    breeding habits
    breeding season
    gestation period
    brood size
    pelagic/benthic fry
    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
    color variations
    temperature requirements
    wide ranging species with different races
    recommended reading
    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, Daphne, 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, Daphne, 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 a new aquarium 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.

    It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a suitable aquarium for your seahorses up and running at this time, Daphne. I will be providing you with lots of recommendations and options in that regard so that you can pick out a tank that is just right for your needs and interests. Nor is it terribly important that this will be her first saltwater aquarium. The training program is geared for beginners and is designed to teach you all of the fundamentals and principles of good aquarium management as you go along, And, of course, once we begin, I will be working with you personally every step of the way through our ongoing correspondence until your new aquarium 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, Daphne. 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.

    If you would like to take advantage of the free seahorse training, Daphne, just send me a brief e-mail message to that effect and I will send you the complete seahorse training manual, which includes all 10 lessons, to look over at your leisure.

    You can contact me at the following e-mail address anytime:

    [email protected]

    Best wishes with all your fishes, Daphne!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Training Program Advisor


    I guess it depends a great deal on your budget, but bigger is always better, primarily for animal psychology reasons as was stated previously. However, if you are unable to afford it, which is the likely scenario, then I think what you currently have is a viable substitute!

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