Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › start up and tank mates
- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 2 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
March 26, 2007 at 10:11 am #1168spellingchimpMember
Sorry for asking so many questions…
1) What would you say are the primary things that are needed to start up a tank for seahorses? Or if you know of a good book or web site… Im looking for exactly what kinds of filters I should use etc.
2) Also as far as companions for the fish tanks are good (like the star fish and the hermit crab I heard are compatible), I was wondering, if I plan on keeping hermit crabs with them, if I should wait till after the sea horse are home and in their tank for a while, or if I should get them before the seahorses…
Thank you again for your help!
Bryan YermanMarch 28, 2007 at 9:35 am #3520Pete GiwojnaGuest
I will send you a much more comprehensive discussion about setting up and cycling a suitable aquarium for seahorses off list, but for now, here’s a quick rundown on some of the things you’ll need to start up the tank:
First of all, if you don’t have them already, you will need some saltwater test kits to cycle your tank, monitor conditions in your aquarium, and keep track of the water quality. The basic test kits you’ll need to keep track of the aquarium parameters are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, plus a hydrometer to check specific gravity. You’ll need to get separate test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and I recommend fasTest or Salifert kits for saltwater, which are fairly economical. I also like the SeaTest hydrometers–convenient, easy to read, and reliable. Here’s a list of what you’ll need for starters:
fasTest Ammonia test kit for saltwater (by Aquarium Systems);
fasTest Nitrite test kit for saltwater (by Aquarium Systems);
fasTest Nitrate test kit for saltwater (by Aquarium Systems);
fasTesT pH test kit for saltwater (by Aquarium Systems);
or the Salifert Nitrogen Cycle Package of test kits (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, & pH)
Click here: Salifert Test Kits:
Safe or Prime declorinators by Sea Chem for detoxifying tap water;
SeaTest Hydrometer (by Aquarium Systems) for checking salinity;
Instant Ocean artificial salt mix
Protein skimmer (optional)
Live sand (preferably fine grained oolitic sand)
Live rock (optional)
Package of Frozen Mysis to feed the seahorses (e.g., Piscine Energetics, San Francisco Bay, Hikari and Gamma are all good brands to choose from)
Natural or Artificial Hitching Posts
The price for these items varies considerably from source to source, so I suggest you print out a list like this and then price it at different local fish stores in your area as well as different online outlets to give you a better idea of what these accessories will cost.
There are several fairly recent books about seahorses available that would be helpful for a beginner. I would say the most useful of these is "How to care for your Seahorses in the Marine Aquarium A Stable Environment For your Seahorse Stable" by Tracy Warland. Either of Neil Garrick-Maidment’s two latest books, Seahorses: Conservation & Care or the Practical Fish-Keeper’s Guide to Seahorses would also be good choices. And "Seahorses: Complete Pet Owner’s Manual" by Frank Indiviglio is another worthwhile book for someone new to seahorses. You can order all of these books online from Jim Forshey at the Aquatic Bookshop (http://www.seahorses.com/index.shtm) or from Amazon.com and the other major booksellers.
Keep an eye out for my new book as well. It is called the Complete Guide to the Greater Seahorses and should be coming out sometime later this year. It is far more detailed and comprehensive than the other books mentioned above, and is considerably longer than all four of them put together.
As for your cleanup crew, I recommend a combination of assorted snails plus some micro-hermit crabs (heavy on the snails but light on the hermits). The snails can go in your aquarium as soon as it has cycled completely so that they can help prevent nuisance algae from getting started in the tank, but the micro-hermit crabs can wait until after you have added the seahorses and there are meaty leftovers for them to clean up, if you like. I will provide you with more detailed information on aquarium janitors off list as well, sir.
Best of luck starting up your seahorse tank, Bryan!
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