- This topic has 12 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 9 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
February 12, 2006 at 3:02 pm #737DaffyToonsMember
Hello! I was hoping I could get some additional information on setting up a new seahorse tank. I have read lots of information regarding these beautiful creatures, and want to do things correctly.
I am not new to aquariums and understand the nitrogen cycle very well. I am new, however, to salt water tanks. I have my eye on a 35 gallon hex tank and am wondering what equipment would be best for it. Will I need something to improve oxygenation? Should I get a protein skimmer? What about a sump/refractor? What kind of filter? Like I mentioned, I have read a lot about setup, but need specifics.
Also, should I purchase water? I live in the country and have well water. The pH is already very high, 8.4, but the water is extremely hard. Can I use softened water? Advice???????
I saw somewhere on this forum where someone purchased almost all the equipment you need directly from Ocean Rider, I think. I can\’t seem to find the link.
Thanks for any input you can give me!
JenFebruary 13, 2006 at 10:21 pm #2282DaffyToonsGuest
Not sure why nobody has replied to my first post, but I wanted to add that I have nixed the hex tank. It didn’t seem as if it would be completely appropriate for seahorses.
So, my next choice is a 45g corner tank. I’m thinking that a wet/dry filter would work best for the horses with a protein skimmer and sump. Does anyone think that I would need any further oxygenation? What about a power head?
Any advice at all would be very appreciated.February 14, 2006 at 5:54 am #2285LeslieGuest
Sorry for the delay in responding. Life has been a bit hectic lately.
Here is the link to the Delux Sea Ranch which can be purchased from OR
I like the standard retangular shaped tank for seahorses.Most sizes come in a tall version. If given they will definitely use horizontal space. A wet dry filter with a skimmer and sump is ideal. UV is also nice.
I like to use RO water because it has many of the minerals that contribute to algae blooms filtered out.
Pete Giwojna has posted a chapter from his book on setting up a seahorse system. You can find it along with quite a bit of additional information in this thread…..
LeslieFebruary 14, 2006 at 3:03 pm #2288DaffyToonsGuest
Thank you so much for your reply, Leslie! I have read Pete’s article and have found it most informative. I still have some questions, though, because there are so many different options out there.
I know you like rectangular tanks best, but would seahorses be happy in a 45g corner unit (I guess it would technically be called a pentagon shape)?
I want to use a wet/dry trickle filter, but with so many choices, what is a good brand and what should the flow rate be for horses?
Thanks again for all your help, Leslie! I am so excited about this, and want to read everything I can get my hands on.
Edited because I found typos!! :blink:
Post edited by: daffytoons, at: 2006/02/14 11:07February 14, 2006 at 4:27 pm #2289LeslieGuest
I don’t know for sure if they would be happy. Folks do keep them in corner tanks and they do do well, so it is one option, just not the best in my opinion. aRetangular shaped tanks offer more surface area for gas exchange as well as more room along the back wall for equipment.
I am not familiar with all the wet dry filters out there, especially the sump models. I use Marineland hang on the back Emperors. For skimmers I like CPR Bac Pacs. MAny other folks like the Remora Cs.
As for flow rates we used to say that the total of all pumps should be 3 to 5 x the tank volume per hour but have found that is actually under circulated and that the horses do fine with more. More is actually better for the environment. It is something you have to tweek. Many horses like to play in the current. As long as there are quiet places for them to get out of the current and they are not being blown from one side of the tank to the next it should be fine.
LeslieFebruary 14, 2006 at 4:46 pm #2290DaffyToonsGuest
Thanks again, Leslie, for your super-quick reply. I appreciate your specifics. I will go and read up (a lot) on UV sterilizers now.
One more questions, though: What is the advantage of having a sump?
JenFebruary 14, 2006 at 5:45 pm #2291LeslieGuest
he advantage of a sump is that all your equipment can be placed in your sum so there is nothing hanging in or on the back of your tank.
LeslieFebruary 14, 2006 at 6:24 pm #2292Pete GiwojnaGuest
Leslie is right — there are many advantages to adding a sump to your seahorse setup. For starters, it increases the overall water volume of your system with all the benefits that implies. A good-sized sump can easily double your carrying capacity, increasing your safety margin accordingly. It makes an ideal place to put a protein skimmer, heater(s), air stones, and other equipment so they don’t have to be hidden in the display tank. (A well-designed sump does a great job of trapping and eliminating the microbubbles emitted from skimmers and preventing them from entering the aquarium, and provides an excellent way of increasing the aeration/oxygenation, which is so important for a seahorse setup.) It’s the perfect place to perform additional mechanical and chemical filtration, tailoring the filter media to meet ones exact needs, or to add a calcium or nitrate reactor or even a Deep Live Sand Bed (DLSB) to your seahorse setup. Because the sump is a large body of water separated from the aquarium itself, it facilitates water changes, dosing supplements, adding top-off water to the tank and other maintenance tasks, all of which can be carried out in the sump without disturbing the main tank or stressing its inhabitants. Entire sections of the mechanical filtration can be cleaned at one time without affecting your primary biofilter, and water changes can be performed gradually without causing stress to the fish or invertebrates. A sump/refugium can also be used to grow a lush bed of macroalgae using a reverse lighting cycle to stabilize the pH and absorb wastes.
To take advantage of these benefits, I suggest adding a two-chambered sump to your tank. This can be accomplished by installing a perforated tank divider across the width of the sump, thereby separating it into two isolated compartments. One side accommodates all of your equipment (in-sump skimmer, return pump, heaters, titanium grounding probe, UV sterilizer, etc.) while the other side can be used to establish a deep live sand bed (DLSB) with plenty of Caulerpa. The DLSB/Caulerpa side serves as a refugium and will soon become populated with countless critters (copepods, Gammarus and other amphipods, larval crustaceans, etc.). With the Caulerpa acting as an algal filter and the anaerobic layers of DLSB providing denitrification, the aquarist never need be concerned about nitrates or nuisance algae with this type of sump/refugium.
In addition, the biological refugium/sump can be maintained on an opposite light cycle to the main tank to offset the daily fluctuations in pH, photosynthesis, dissolved oxygen/carbon dioxide, and redox levels that otherwise occur in the aquarium. Daily variances in chemical, physical and biological phenomena are a fact of life in aquaria, linked to the light and dark cycles and the diurnal rhythms of captive aquatic systems. As one example, the pH of aquarium water typically peaks after the lights have been on all day at a maximum of perhaps 8.4, only to drop to low of below 8.0 overnight. This is related to photosynthesis and the fact that zooanthellae and green plants consume CO2 and produce O2 when there is adequate light, but in essence reverse that process in the dark, consuming O2 and giving off CO2. Redox levels, available calcium and other water quality parameters are affected in similar ways. Needless to say, these variations are far greater is a small, closed-system aquarium than they are in the ocean, so it’s beneficial to minimize such fluctuations by reversing the photoperiod in the main display and the sump/refugium. This is easily accomplished by timing the lighting in the sump so that the bed of macroalgae is illuminated after dark when the lights on the display tank are off, and vice versa. Just use alternating timers on the main tank and the refugium tank so that when one is on, the other is off. Voila! Just like that the roller coaster ride is over: no more daily fluctuations in pH or highs and lows in calcium levels, oxygen minima, or peaks and valleys in redox potential.
Because it is separate from the main system yet shares the same water, the sump/refugium can also be used as a nifty acclimation tank for new arrivals or a handy isolation tank for separating incompatible specimens. For seahorse keepers, the refugium compartment of a divided sump or dual chamber sump makes an ideal grow-out tank for juvenile seahorses that have outgrown their nurseries but are still too small to be kept in the main tank. A dual-chamber sump is a very versatile design that lends itself to multiple purposes. Use your imagination!
Best of luck with your new seahorse setup, Jen!
Pete GiwojnaFebruary 15, 2006 at 1:46 am #2293DaffyToonsGuest
Thank you, Pete and Leslie, for your informative replies. I like the idea of a simple Emperor Bio-Wheel filter but have questions regarding nitrates. How are the nitrates controlled? Just by regular water changes? How do you best control or eliminate the nitrates if using a Bio-Wheel?
Also, with the Bak-Pak 2 protein skimmer, is anything else needed to better eliminate bubbles?
JenFebruary 15, 2006 at 5:50 am #2294LeslieGuest
Nitrates are removed with routine water changes. I have never had a problem with nitrates using the bio wheel filters.
The bubbles from the Bac Pac are not a problem. If you are worried about it I believe they sell a bubble trap.
LeslieFebruary 15, 2006 at 2:58 pm #2295DaffyToonsGuest
O.k., another filter question. I am considering a 45g tank. Would you recommend the Emperor 400 (adjustable flow up to 400gph for tanks 30 – 80 gallons) or the Emperor 280 (no adjustable flow rate, flows 280gph, for 25 – 50 gallon tanks)? Sorry to keep bugging you on specifics, but I really want to do things right for my future herd!February 15, 2006 at 6:21 pm #2296Pete GiwojnaGuest
Nitrates are relatively harmless and midrange levels are nothing to be too alarmed about. Ideally, though, we’d like to keep them under 20 ppm for seahorses, and if you will be keeping live corals in your aquarium, and you’ll want to keep the nitrite since low as possible. Here is some additional information on nitrification and denitrification from my new book that explains where nitrates come from, followed by some suggestions on how to reduce them.
The amount of nitrate that accumulates in your aquarium is related to how much nitrification and denitrification your system provides. Nitrification is the process by which aerobic (oxygen loving) nitrifying bacteria break down toxic ammonia to relative harmless nitrate in a series of steps. Nitrification thus ultimately causes nitrate to build up in an aquarium. Denitrification is the process by which anaerobic (oxygen hating) denitrifying bacteria then convert nitrate into completely harmless nitrogen (N2), which eventually leaves the aquarium. Denitrification thus removes nitrate from your system. This entire process is known as the nitrogen cycle.
Cycling your aquarium simply means to build up a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in your tank that can carry out the nitrogen cycle and breakdown your fishes’ waste products. Ammonia (NH3), nitrite (NO2), and nitrate (NO3) are all nitrogenous (nitrogen containing) wastes. All living aquarium animals whether they be fish or invertebrates excrete these wastes, and they are also produced by the decay of protein-containing organic matter (uneaten food, detritus, dead fish or inverts, etc.). The nitrogen cycle breaks down these wastes in a series of steps into nitrogen gas (N2) which leaves the aquarium as bubbles.
The nitrogen cycle begins with ammonia, which is highly poisonous. In the first step of the cycle, Nitrosomonas bacteria reduce ammonia to nitrite, which is also very toxic. In the second step of the nitrogen cycle, Nitrobacter bacteria convert the nitrite to nitrate, which is relatively harmless but becomes harmful when it accumulates in high enough levels. In the third and final step of the cycle, denitrifying bacteria then convert the nitrate into completely harmless N2, which of course bubbles out of the tank as nitrogen gas. In this way, thanks to the nitrogen cycle, dangerous wastes are converted into progressively less harmful compounds and finally removed from the aquarium altogether.
When we set up a new aquarium, and wait for it to cycle, we are simply allowing a big enough population of these different types of bacteria to build up in the biofilter to break down all of the wastes that will be produced when the aquarium is stocked. If we don’t wait long enough for the cycle to complete itself and the biofiltration to become fully established, and hastily add too many specimens to a new aquarium too soon, they will die from ammonia poisoning or nitrite toxicity. This is such a common mistake among us impatient aquarists, that when fish get sick and/or die from ammonia/ntrite poisoning, it is commonly called the "new tank syndrome."
When your aquarium has completely cycled, the ammonia levels will stay at zero because, now that your biofilter is fully established, there is a large enough population of aerobic (oxygen loving) nitrifying Nitrosomonas bacteria to reduce all of the ammonia to nitrite as fast as the ammonia is being produced. The nitrite levels will likewise stay at zero because there is also a large enough population of aerobic (oxygen loving) nitrifying Nitrobacter bacteria to convert all of the nitrite to nitrate as fast as the nitrite is being produced.
The nitrate levels ordinarily continue to build up, however, because there are simply not enough anaerobic (oxygen hating) denitrifying bacteria to convert all of the nitrate that’s being produced into nitrogen (N2). Since nitrates are being produced faster than they can be transformed to nitrogen, the excess nitrates accumulate steadily in your aquarium.
That’s perfectly normal, since the denitrifying bacteria that carry out that final step, the conversion of nitrate (NO3) to nitrogen (N2), are anaerobes that can only exist in the absence of oxygen. For our aquariums to support life, and for the fish and invertebrates to breathe and survive, our tanks must be well aerated and well circulated so that there’s plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water at all times. That means there are normally very few areas in our aquariums where anaerobic denitrifying bacteria can survive, limiting their population accordingly (which is generally good, since some anaerobes produce deadly hydrogen sulfide gas during the decay of organic matter and would poison our tanks if allowed to proliferate).
Consequently, most aquariums lack a sufficient population of anaerobic denitrifying bacteria to complete the nitrogen cycle and convert nitrate to nitrogen as fast as the nitrates are being produced. The only way to keep the nitrates from building up to harmful levels in such setups is with regular water changes and by harvesting Caulerpa or other macroalgae periodically after it has utilized nitrates for growth. Overcrowding, overfeeding, or under filtration exacerbate the problem by resulting in more nitrates being produced and more frequent water changes being required to control the nitrate levels.
Live rock helps because the oxygen-poor interior of the rock allows anaerobic denitrifying bacteria to grow and break down nitrates. A deep live sand bed (DLSB) also helps because anaerobic denitrifying bacteria can flourish and break down nitrates at a certain depth below the sand where oxygenated water no longer penetrates, but a DLSB can sometimes be difficult to set up and manage properly if you’re inexperienced with live sand. Both live rock and deep live sand beds give aquaria denitrification ability — the ability to complete the cycle and convert nitrate to harmless nitrogen. Ordinarily, about 1-2 pounds of live rock per gallon is recommended – that amount of LR will provide your aquarium with all of the biofiltration you need, as well as adequate denitrification ability. You will then keep nitrates at harmless levels by performing regular water changes, harvesting Caulerpa macroalgae periodically, and good aquarium management.
So, Jen, nitrate is simply the end product of the process of nitrification, formed during the Nitrogen Cycle by the oxidation of nitrite by aerobic bacteria. Nitrates always tend to build up in a system over time, sometimes in sneaky ways you wouldn’t expect. For example, here is an article from Thiel Aqua Tech that discusses some of the hidden ways nitrate can enter your system:
Click here: No nitrate, removal nitrate, denitrating, denitration
Good ways to reduce nitrates in your aquarium therefore include adding more live rock, installing a deep live sand bed (preferably in a sump), installing a protein skimmer on your tank if your not already using one, and growing and harvesting fast-growing macroalgae such as Caulerpa.
Protein skimmers help reduce nitrates by removing dissolved organics from the water before they can enter the nitrogen cycle. The majority of the undesirable metabolites, organic wastes and excess nutrients that accumulate in our aquariums and degrade water quality are "surface-active," meaning they are attracted to and collect near the surface of a gas-liquid interface. Skimmers take advantage of this fact by using a column of very fine air bubbles mixed with aquarium water to trap dissolved organics and remove them from our systems. This air-water mixture is lighter than the surrounding aquarium and rises up the column of the skimmer until the foam eventually spills into a special collection cup atop the skimmer, which can be removed and emptied as needed. Proteins and other organic molecules, waste products, uneaten food and excess nutrients, and a host of other undesirable compounds stick to the surface of the bubbles and are carried away along with the foam and removed from the aquarium. As a result of this process, these purification devices are typically known as foam separators, foam fractionators, air-strippers, or simply protein skimmers.
In my experience, nothing improves water quality like a good protein skimmer. They provides many benefits for a seahorse setup, including efficient nutrient export, reducing the effective bioload, and increasing both the Redox potential and dissolved oxygen levels in the water. They do a tremendous job of removing excess organics from the aquarium, including phenols, albumin, dissolved organic acids, and chromophoric (color causing) compounds. Their ability to remove dissolved wastes BEFORE they have a chance to break down and degrade water quality makes them indispensable for controlling nuisance algae. A good protein skimmer is an invaluable piece of equipment for keeping your nitrates low and your water quality high when feeding a whole herd of these sloppy eaters in a closed-system aquarium.
I also like the use of macroalgaes for controlling nitrate and nuisance algae, Jen. Macroalgae use nitrate for growth just like plant fertilizer and pruning the macros regularly is a good way to export nitrate from your system. However, if the macros die in your system, they’ll release the nitrate they’ve consumed back into the aquarium. Fast-growing Caulerpa needs to be pruned properly to prevent vegetative events and avoid this from happening, as discussed below:
Macroalgae act as an excellent form of natural filtration, reducing the available levels of phosphates and nitrites/nitrates. Be sure to prune and trim back the fast-growing Caulerpa regularly; when you remove the clippings, you’re exporting phosphates, nitrates and other nutrients from the tank, thereby helping to maintain good water quality, and pruning the runners helps keep it from going sexual.
When pruning or trimming back macroalgae, take care not to actually cut it. Remember, you’re not pruning hedges or trimming trees — the idea is to carefully pull up and remove continuous, unbroken fronds. Simply thin out the colony of excess strands, gently plucking up convenient fronds that can be readily removed intact. A little breakage is fine, but cutting or breaking too many strands will result in leaching undesirable substances into the aquarium water as the Caulerpa lifeblood drains away. Too much cutting or breaking can thus sap the colony’s strength and cause die offs or trigger the dreaded vegetative events that judicious pruning otherwise prevents.
Another product I like for removing excess ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate is the Poly-Filter Pad (by Poly-Bio-Marine) Here is a product review on Poly Filters that touches on some good ways to use them:
Click here: Saltwater Aquariums Product Review – Poly-Bio-Marine Inc. – Poly Filter Pad
Finally, commercially made denitrators (special filters housing a large population of anaerobic denitrifying bacteria) are also available. They do a tremendous job of controlling nitrates but are rather expensive and tend to be high maintenance, often requiring regular "feeding" and carefully controlled flow rates to operate properly.
In summary, some of the measures that will help control nitrates in the aquarium are the following:
1) Make sure your protein skimmer is working correctly. A protein skimmer works 24 hours a day to remove excess waste and nutrients from a tank. If the venturi is clogged on a venturi skimmer or there is another problem with other skimmer designs, waste will not be exported from your tank and algae will take advantage of the waste.
2) Perform regular water changes. Regular water changes will decrease the level of wastes and nutrients in the water. But the water changes won’t do much good if your tap water itself contains phosphates and amines. Depending on how high the nitrate levels become, increasingthe proportion of water that you change each time may be necessary to help reduce those nitrates. There is an article about nitrate reduction at http://www.about.com/ in the saltwater section that really explains water changes (gives you the math), on actually how little you are reducing nitrates with small water changes when you have high nitrates.
3) Make sure makeup water is pure. Phosphates and nitrates often found in tap water. Phosphate and nitrate test kits will show if your tap water is contributing to your algae problem. If phosphate and nitrate levels are more than 0 ppm (some tap water measures out at over 50 ppm nitrate), filter the water through a RO/DI unit before using it as makeup freshwater or as source water for saltwater changes, or purchase RO water from a vendor.
4) Add additional detritivores to your cleanup crew. If excess food isn’t eaten, it will decay and add to the nutrients and waste in the tank. More microhermit crabs, Nassarius snails and cleaner shrimp will help ferret out any uneaten Mysis before it breaks down and enters the nitrogen cycle to eventually end up as excess nitrate.
5) Introduce macroalgae to consume excess nutrients and nitrates. If regular pruning is done, fast-growing Caulerpa will maintain its color and high growth rates without going sexual.
6) Chemical controls. Poly Filter pads can help absorb excess nitrates, changing color as it does so, which helps indicate= when the Poly Filter needs to be changed.
7) Controlled addition of food to tank. Don’t broadcast feed, scattering Mysis throughout the tank. Instead, target feed your seahorses or use a feeding station. Don’t overfeed, cleanup leftovers promptly, and observe fast days religiously.
In my experience, Jen, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping nitrates under control with a Bio-Wheel filter as long as you practice proper aquarium management and maintenance and observe the sorts of precautions outlined above.
Best of luck with your new seahorse setup, Jen!
Pete GiwojnaFebruary 15, 2006 at 6:26 pm #2299Pete GiwojnaGuest
Professional aquarists that keep seahorses and seadragons in public aquaria and zoos typically recommend a turnover rate of about 5 gallons per minute or 300 gph for their syngnathids, with the stipulation that the current should be steady (nonvarying) and one-directional so the seahorses can find sheltered, slack water zones to hold in when desired.
As long as the flow rate on the Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel is adjustable, so you could turn it down at feeding time if necessary and adjust the current to the right level for your particular seahorses, it would certainly do the job very nicely.
The nonadjustable Emperor 280 Bio-Wheel would also work well on a 45-gallon aquarium. It shouldn’t produce too much water flow or turbulence, and if desired, you can always add a very small powerhead or two to eliminate any dead spots or to direct a stronger currents toward any suitable live corals you may be keeping your seahorse tank.
In short, either the Emperor 400 or the Emperor 280 should suit your purposes if you use them properly. When it comes to water movement, seahorses don’t like overly strong currents that they have to fight while swimming or that whisk food past them too fast to scrutinize, target, and eat, but good circulation is as important in a seahorse setup as any other aquarium. You must avoid dead spots, where there is no water movement at all, without producing currents that are too overpowering.
Here’s a brief discussion on water flow in the seahorse tank from my new book (Complete Guide to the Greater Seahorses) that should help clarify this issue:
Time and time again I find that home hobby tanks have far too little water movement. In my experience, most seahorse setups are chronically undercirculated, a serious mistake for small, closed-systems aquaria, and our pampered pets often suffer as a result. Many hobbyists are overly conscious of the seahorse’s inactive life style and limited swimming ability, and have adjusted their flow rates accordingly, resulting in less water movement than desirable. In actuality, seahorses prefer moderate water movement, including some areas of brisk current, providing there are also sheltered spots and some areas of relatively slack water they can move to when desired. Slack water means comparatively low flow, NOT stagnant conditions! Avoid dead spots and stagnant areas at all costs.
I have often discussed this matter with professional divers and collectors who regularly encounter seahorses in the ocean, and they report that the horses are often found where you would least expect them — well offshore and thriving in areas with powerful currents. For example, here is how Paul Baldassano, a commercial diver in New York who makes his living collecting sea urchins, describes the behavior of his local seahorses:
"In regard to seahorses in the wild, I occasionally see Hippocampus erectus in the wild while SCUBA diving but never in the places where they are supposed to be. I see them in the open sea far from shore and also in areas with large rocks and very strong currents. The last one I saw was in a channel off the south shore of Long Island New York in water about 12 feet deep. The current was so strong that I had to hold on to the rocks so as not to be swept away. This Hippocampus erectus was having no trouble staying there munching on the abundant plankton. Apparently they find places near the rocks where there is no current because as you know they are lousy swimmers. There is also a large population of seahorses in a similar area in another part of the New York shore, but I think it is best not to divulge that location for obvious reasons (Baldassano, pers. com.)."
Neil Garrick-Maidment, a very successful seahorse breeder in the UK, reports much the same thing:
"Whenever I have dived on Seahorse sites I have always been amazed by the currents and tides that this very fragile looking Seahorse lives in. In setting up a tank for them I try to remember the feeling I had in those areas and replicate them. I have now started to use wave surge devices, so that the current in the tank, although strong (they seem to thrive in strong currents) varies in its direction (Garrick-Maidment, Jun. 2002)."
Likewise, David Warland, a fish farmer and commercial seahorse breeder in Port Lincoln, Australia, reports he often finds Hippocampus abdominalis perching on the tuna net enclosures at the farm in deep water:
"The Horses that are around the farms have traveled vast distances over plain sand/mud to get to the farms, which are in at least 20 meters of water, and are miles from the nearest land or shallow water (Warland, pers. com.)."
And Jorge Gomezjurado, the Senior Aquarist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, recommends the following when it comes to water movement:
"I personally believe that current and water dynamics are very important for Syngnathids. In nature they live in areas with active water movement.(i.e., tides in mangrove lagoons and estuaries, coral reefs, kelp forests, etc.). Why don’t give them the same environmental conditions in captivity? Our small tanks (90 gallons) also have large turnovers on an average of 5 gpm (or 300 gph). It is very important that the current is steady and directional constant, which allows the animals to find a good spot to hold and they will not be pulling in different directions all the time."
The point is that, as long as slack-water retreats are available, the greater seahorses can tolerate far more current than most folks suspect and good circulation is as important for a seahorse setup as any other aquarium. I cannot emphasize that enough.
For example, in addition to an external power filter, my SHOWLR system also has a 200 gph powerhead with a sponge pre-filter positioned right near the top for surface agitation and extra water movement, with additional small powerheads used as needed to eliminate any dead spots along the substrate or behind the rockwork. I like to give my seahorses as much current as they can handle without getting blown around.
For your seahorse tank, I suggest the filtration should turn over the volume of the aquarium a MINIMUM of 4-5 times per hour. As long as your seahorses aren’t getting buffeted around by the currents, aren’t spilling eggs during the copulatory rise, and aren’t having difficulty targeting their prey and eating, there’s no such thing as too much water movement. Just make sure your seahorses are not getting trapped against overflows and be sure to shield or screen off the intakes for any powerheads or overflows. Powerheads can be turned off or switched off at feeding time, if necessary. [Close quote]
Best wishes with all of your fishes, Jen!
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