- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 2 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
December 3, 2007 at 3:36 am #1318boggs32Member
Well, I thought I would post a little update on my new seahorse tank. I have been set up a little over 2 weeks and I\’ve already delivered my first batch of babies. I was able to save 40-50 from becoming fish food. I\’m extremely excited since this is my first successful breed aside from snails. What\’s really funny is the same day I found out my tomato clown fish had also layed eggs. It\’s been an exciting week in my apartment as it looks like I have been able to save 350-400 of the tomatos as well.
Back to the seahorses though, I have 5 males and 1 female. This isn\’t the most ideal situation because atleast 1-2 of the males hang out by themselves a lot in dark areas of the tank. The male I notice the most doing this is the only bright red horse in the tank. I would love to find an adult female, of any color, but if I could find a bright red one that would be ideal.
The guy I purchased these horses from bought all 5 from seahorse.com. He originally purchased 3 pairs, and lost one shortly after arrival. Rather than all of them being male/female pairs, it appears at least one male/male pair made it into the mix, from what I read on here it seems to be a common error because males and females are difficult to distinguish when they are young. Nonetheless, that\’s my situation, please feel free to send any advice on how I can go about getting an adult female (preferrably a bright red one).
RickyDecember 4, 2007 at 4:27 am #3902Pete GiwojnaGuest
Thanks for the update on your new seahorse tank. It’s great to hear that your ponies and your clownfish are both proving to be quite prolific. Best of luck raising the fry, sir!
Finding a red female to go with your red bachelor is likely to be a tall order, Ricky. The best bets as far as red seahorses go are Ocean Rider’s red Brazileros (Hippocampus reidi) and, of course, their outstanding Fire Reds, but I don’t believe either of those strains are available to hobbyists right now. And I’m assuming that your unpaired red stallion is most likely H. erectus, if he originally came from Ocean Rider, so what you really need is a red Sunburst.
In that case, your best option might be to place a standing order for a red-orange Sunburst (H. erectus) mare. The vast majority of the Sunbursts I have seen are yellow or gold or peach in coloration, but I have come across a number of bright orange Sunbursts and a few red-orange individuals over the years as well. The red and orange Sunbursts seem to be relatively rare, however, so I don’t know how long you might have to wait for such an order to eventually be filled. It could be a long wait since you want not only a red/orange seahorse but one that is also a female. Use the "Comments" section on the online order form to specify that you want a red-orange female Sunburst only. Specify that you will only accept a female that is bright orange or red and that you are willing to wait until they can provide such a specimen. Make sure that they understand you are only interested in a red/orange Sunburst female and that you will not accept delivery of a yellow, gold, or peach specimen or a Sunburst female of any other color.
I am not sure if Ocean Rider would accept a special order such as that, or how long it might take for the aquaculture facility to produce a suitable red/orange female for you, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. You could contact them over the telephone to see if such an order is feasible and then go from there.
Best of luck finding a sexy redhead to pair up with your colorful bachelor, Ricky!
Pete GiwojnaDecember 6, 2007 at 1:49 pm #3903boggs32Guest
thanks for the help Pete! I keep trying to call but I keep getting the machine… I’ll get them eventually!
Until then, I have one question. I’ve searched and searched but I can’t seem to find the answer. When you talk about the compatible tank-mates to horses, you typically include "certain starfish" as being bad tank mates. What I’m wondering is, what are those certain starfish that are bad tank mates and which ones are preferred tank mates?
Thanks in advance!
Post edited by: boggs32, at: 2007/12/06 08:50
p.s. Just thought of another one… are Abalones of the Haliotis genus possible tank mates as well?
Post edited by: boggs32, at: 2007/12/06 09:10December 7, 2007 at 5:12 am #3905Pete GiwojnaGuest
As far as starfish go, it’s best to avoid the large predatory species such as the chocolate chip starfish and the beautiful red-and-white knobby African starfish (Protoreaster spp.). I would describe predatory sea stars such as these as "opportunistic omnivores," meaning that they are likely to eat any sessile or slow-moving animals that they can catch or overpower. For instance, I would not trust them with snails, clams, tunicates, soft corals and the like. Most fishes are far too fast and agile to be threatened by sea stars, but seahorses are sometimes an exception due to their sedentary lifestyle and habit of perching in one place for extended periods of time. What occasionally happens, in the confines of the aquarium, is that a predatory starfish may pin down the tail of a seahorse that was perched to the piece of coral or rock the starfish was climbing on, evert it’s stomach, and begin to digest that portion of the seahorse’s tail that is pinned beneath its body. That’s a real risk with large predatory species such as the beautiful Protoreaster starfish, which are surprisingly voracious and aggressive for an echinoderm.
But there are a number of colorful starfish that do well with seahorses. Any of the brightly colored Fromia or Linkia species would make good tankmates for seahorses. However, bear in mind that, like all echinoderms, sea stars are very sensitive to water quality and generally will not do well in a newly established aquarium. Wait until your seahorse tank is well-established and has had a chance to mature and stabilize before you try any starfish.
Two attractive species I can recommend are the Fromia Sea Star or Marbled Sea Star (Fromia monilis) and the Red Bali Starfish (Fromia milliporella), which are safe to keep seahorses. They are not nearly as delicate as the Linkia species and should do well in a standard seahorse tank that has lots of live rock and optimum water quality, and are nonaggressive starfish that feed primarily on detritus and meiofauna on live rock and sandy substrates.
Serpent starfish can sometimes be a problem under certain circumstances as well. A serpent starfish has no teeth and cannot chew; it must swallow its meals intact and in one piece, so anything that is too large for it to stuff into its oral cavity is quite safe. However, they are real stretchbellies so you have to be cautious with especially large specimens. For instance, I can tell you that when I feed my serpent starfish pieces of cubed cocktail shrimp, you can clearly see a square lump in the body disc of the seahorse for each piece of the cocktail shrimp it has ingested. Green serpent starfish, in particular, can be trouble, but if you select a fairly small serpent starfish and large seahorses such as adult Mustangs or Sunburst (Hippocampus erectus), they would probably get along together fine in a 46-gallon aquarium.
A large serpent starfish is a fascinating animal. They will hide under rocks or coral to get away from the bright light, but have an excellent sense of smell and will emerge from hiding the moment they detect anything edible, including frozen Mysis. When they are out and about, or tracking down their next meal from the tantalizing scent trail it leaves behind, they can be amazingly active and lightning fast, pulling themselves along arm over arm much more like an octopus than your ordinary, stick-in-the-mud, slowpoke sea stars. And they are excellent climbers. They pose no danger to any fishes that are too large for them to cram into their oral cavity in one piece, so there’s ordinarily no danger that they might regard your seahorses as a meal, providing you are not keeping dwarf seahorses are one of the other miniature breeds. But I certainly wouldn’t trust them with dwarf seahorses or newborn seahorses. Small, bottom-dwelling fishes such as certain gobies could be in jeopardy from a large serpent starfish, but they are primarily scavengers rather than predators.
Bear in mind that there are many different types of serpent starfish and that may also make a difference, Ricky. For example, I have found that the green serpent starfish can be particularly aggressive and I would avoid that species. I have a bright orange serpent starfish (Ophioderma squamosissimus) that has not caused any problems and the brittle stars are generally fairly benign as well.
However, it’s quite likely that any serpent starfish would attempt to monopolize the feeding station and scarf up the frozen Mysis as fast as it could stuff them into its oral cavity with its many arms. This could complicate things at feeding time for you and might become a major pain in the neck over time. Elevating the feeding station, which is a good way to thwart bristleworms and hermit crabs that are attracted by the tantalizing odor of frozen Mysis, often won’t work with the serpent starfish because they are quite agile and very accomplished climbers. But if you can overcome that obstacle, feel free to keep your serpent starfish providing it is not a green serpent starfish, Ricky. It might be a good idea to target feed the serpent and keep it well-fed, and it’s prudent to have a backup plan in mind just in case you need to find a new home for the serpent starfish if it consistently outcompete your seahorses at feeding time.
Best of luck with your seahorses, Ricky! Your best bet is to stick with the Fromia and Linkia species if you want to have a star-spangled seahorse setup.
Pete GiwojnaDecember 8, 2007 at 4:20 am #3907Pete GiwojnaGuest
Abalone are herbivorous snails that feed on macroalgae (e.g., kelp) and providing you can keep up with their dietary needs, they will do well in an aquarium with seahorses that have the same temperature requirements. All abalone belong to the genus Haliotis and are temperate snails that prefer cool water temperatures. So you should not consider keeping abalone with tropical seahorses, but they will do fine in a temperate aquarium with cool water seahorses such as Hippocampus abdominalis if you can provide the remarkable snails with enough suitable vegetable matter in their diet.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Ricky!
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