- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 10 months ago by Katie.
November 12, 2006 at 6:36 am #995KatieMember
Hello! I am just learning about seahorses and doing my research before \"taking the plunge\"! I think I am leaning toward a smaller set up (12 gallons and 17 inches high)and the zulu-lulus, as they were reccomended in the FAQs as a good seahorse for a beginner as well as a smaller tank BUT I am confused as I have also read that a seahorse tank should be at least 20 inches high to prevent \"gas bubble disease\". Is the 17 inch high tank going to work? Also, how many zulus could I put in the tank? I would like 4, but would be fine with 2. AND how necessary is live rock? I think I would need just over 1 lb. Is there a source of aquacultured live rock as I don\’t like the idea of taking it from the wild. And one more question, what is the best substrate? I have ordered some seahorse books, but would like to hear from folks who are successfully keeping these critters and how it\’s working for them! Thanks for your time!
Katie–possible future seahorse keeper!November 14, 2006 at 3:27 am #3055llovelessGuest
The larger your tank the easier it will be to maintain proper water quality. I have one wild caught h.reidi in a 20 gal tall tank. with around 5-10 lbs of live rock and of course sand with a berlin filter pwered by air stones. We have caulerpa and an macro-algae that is green and looks like an afro that all sorts of amphipods and coppepods live in. we have a simple sponge filter and a small protein skimmer. Needless to say the tank is well oxygenated.
DO NOT BUY WILD CAUGHT SEAHORSES. They are accustomed to live feeds and that gets to be very expensive. The cost of feed for one year will easily be 2-3 times what you pay for pony, tank and all the accouterments.
Then you will probably want a clean up crew-small hermit crabs,snails and maybe some peppermint shrimp, or small serpent stars.
Your local fish store (lfs) should have some cured live rock.
This should help get you started. Pete et al will be along to fill out the specifics regarding how many seahorses, small vs larger tank etc.
Post edited by: lloveless, at: 2006/11/13 22:31November 14, 2006 at 5:01 am #3056KatieGuest
Thanks Lawrence for your reply! I think I have nixed the idea of zulu-lulus as I would also need a chiller and thats not in the cards right now! At this point I am pretty sure I will go with Pixies as they don’t take up alot of space and I feed live foods to my bettas (all 15 of them) so hatching out bbs doesn’t seem like much of a chore! Besides they seem adorable.
Thanks for your time and info and replying to my post!
KatieNovember 14, 2006 at 10:09 am #3057llovelessGuest
Yeah, hatching out naupuli is fun. I’ve got two different kinds of hatcheries that I use to feed my mysids that I raise for my h.redei, I’ve been looking at some pixies also. They are so cute.
Good luck with your adventure.
LawrenceNovember 14, 2006 at 5:00 pm #3059Pete GiwojnaGuest
You are correct — a tall aquarium is very desirable for the larger breeds of seahorses in order to allow them enough room to mate comfortably and to protect them from depth-related conditions such as gas bubble syndrome (GBS). So if you will be keeping any of the greater seahorses, an aquarium that is 20 inches tall or higher is highly recommended.
However, when keeping small seahorses or the miniature breeds like Pixies (H. zosterae), then an aquarium 20 inches high or better is no longer a prerequisite. The usual rule of thumb is that seahorses require vertical swimming space equivalent to about 2-3 times their total length in order to complete the copulatory rise and mate comfortably. With miniature seahorses like Pixies that never grow larger than even 2 inches in total length, or small species like Zulu-lulus (H. capensis) that rarely exceed a total length of 3-4 inches, all that extra height is no longer strictly necessary. In fact, Pixies or dwarf seahorses (H. zosterae) do best in much smaller aquaria (2-10 gallons) where it is easier to maintain an adequate feeding density of the newly hatched brine shrimp (Artemia nauplii) that are their staple diet.
Yes, Zulus (Hippocampus capensis) are a good choice for a beginner with a modest aquarium providing you can keep the temperature cool enough for these temperate seahorses. That usually requires an aquarium chiller for best results.
Fortunately, there are some very affordable mini aquarium chillers that could easily be mounted on your 12-gallon setup. For example, the CoolWorks Ice Probe and Microchiller units are ideal for small tanks (10-15 gallons) and will drop the water temperature up to 6-8°F below the ambient room temperature:
Click here: CoolWorks Ice Probe with Power Supply – Marine Depot – Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store
Click here: CoolWorks Microchiller – Marine Depot – Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store
If all you have available is a small aquarium and an aquarium chiller isn’t in your plans for the immediate future, Katie, then you might be better off considering downsizing and going with Pixies instead. I will send you a lot of additional information on Hippocampus zosterae that discusses the best setups and aquarium options for these miniature marvels off list, as we have previously discussed.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it already, please check out the following thread which discusses keeping Pixies (H. zosterae) or Zulu-lulus (H. capensis) in a 12 gallon nano cube:
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Recommendation for 12gl nano cube
Best of luck with your plans for a miniature seahorses exhibit, Katie!
Pete GiwojnaNovember 14, 2006 at 5:50 pm #3063KatieGuest
Thank you all! I am really enjoying doing my sea horse research! I think right now pixies are the way to go for me, I just need to make sure I have just the right stuff together! I am so glad I found this web site and forum!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.