- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 11 months ago by strangebrew.
March 10, 2006 at 4:53 am #766strangebrewMember
I wanted to take a few to introduce myself. My name id David, and I have been considering a seahorse tank for a while now. After a few weeks of research I finally think I am ready. I am experienced in terms of aquaria, but definately not seahorses. I have 3 reef tanks (nano, 37g, 72g) 1 of which I am going to convert to a seahorse tank. the tank specs are as follows:
2 orbit pc lights (160w total)
remora protein skimmer
fluval 104 can filter
For the most part I have moved most of the reef livestock over to the new 72g tank. Based on what I have read so far It seems to be a good candidate for a couple of Mustangs.
I have been reading as much as I can get my hands, and I am so very pleased I stumbled across this site. I will be reading the forum often, and look forward in sharing lots of resourceful information.
DavidMarch 19, 2006 at 4:23 pm #2358Pete GiwojnaGuest
With your background as a reef keeper, you should do very well with seahorses. You’ll find that keeping seahorses successfully is largely a matter of maintaining optimum water quality, and providing them with a nutritious diet along with a stress-free environment.
The setup you outlined should make an outstanding system for seahorses. A 37-gallon tank is a good size for a pair of Mustangs (Hippocampus erectus) with nice height, and the amount of live rock and live sand you are using should provide excellent nitrification and denitrification ability for the aquarium. The Remora is an efficient skimmer and PC lighting is what I prefer for my seahorse setups.
I believe it is important for hobbyists to provide their seahorses with a natural day/night period that includes twilight periods at "sunrise" and "sunset." To accomplish this, I like the power compact (PC) light fixtures that include two tubes — one actinic and one daylight fluorescent — with dual ballasts so that each ballast can be placed on a separate automatic timer. I like to have the bluish actinic come on before the daylight tubes and stay on after the daylights go off, thereby providing a simulated dusk and dawn. This is important for seahorses since they conduct most of their courting and breeding in the early morning hours under twilight conditions. It’s a neat effect and fish and invertebrates can then anticipate "lights out" rather than being plunged into total darkness at night or suddenly thrust into bright light in the morning. I also adjust the timers to lengthen or shorten the daylight periods in accordance with the changing seasons. I find that maintaining a natural cycle this way aids reproduction.
In short, I find PC lighting to be a good compromise for a seahorse system. Power compacts provide plenty of light for macroalgae or the seahorse-safe soft corals in a modified reef system without being too bright, and the dual ballast system allows for a natural day/night rhythm that changes with the seasons. The resulting dusk and dawn facilitate courtship and help the seahorses maintain a natural reproductive cycle.
Mustangs are great choice for your first seahorses and should thrive on the type of system you’re planning.
Best of luck with your new seahorse setup, David! I’m looking forward to your updates.
Pete GiwojnaMarch 19, 2006 at 5:31 pm #2359strangebrewGuest
Thank you for the reply. I had decide to go with the mated pair of Sunbursts. They arrived Thursday(3 days ago), and have acclimated very well. They took to the frozen mysis the day after as they clinged to a Gorgonian patiently waiting for them to pass with the current, snatching them one by one as they crossed paths. So far they seem to be eating about 4 or 5 twice a day (8am and 5pm)
Thanks for the tips on the lighting schedule. I try to keep a natural environment with my reefs as well and have the lighting scheduled as follows:
(Actinic 8am-7pm, Daylight 9am-6pm, led(moon) 7pm-8am)
They are soo exciting to watch with thier unique deposition and characteristics. I am truly fascinated with these animals, and considering breeding in the future, but for now I will enjoy their company.
Thank you again for your valued infromation.
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