- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 6 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
August 29, 2006 at 12:34 am #914fishloverMember
Im thinking of starting a 10 gallon tank with a pair of Zulus and a 5 gallon tank for Pixies. I was wondering if any you had any advice on the Zulu? Is a regular 10inch tank tall enough for their egg transfer? Will a Pixie survive by itself? What are good starfish, snails, and hermits for Zulus and Pixies? Do any of you know if there will be any Zulu specials available ever? Many friends and people have been telling me that the seahorses will proberly live a week after I get them form OR is this ture? How are they shipped? Is it good enough? Do they come the next day?
Sorry for all the questions but I just dont want to kill them or mess up and end up lossing alot of money.
Thanks for all your help
And thanks for taking the tim to reply to me.August 29, 2006 at 4:51 am #2808LeslieGuest
10g is small for Zulus IMO. I would not recommend anything less than 20g for a pair of Zulus. 10” tall should be fine. Keep in mind that these guys need cooler water 72 to 75 degrees max, with the lower end of the range being preferable. Maintaining this in a small tank can be difficult, especially with the summers we have been having lately.
There is quite a bit of info on Zulus in the is thread…
I am sure a Pixie could survive by itself but it would not be ideal IMO.
With the exception of micro stars there would not be any starfish I would recommend for a 5 to 10g system. Any of the herbivorous micro hermits and small snails should be just fine for either the Zulus or Pixies.
Sorry I do not know if there will be a Zulu special anytime soon.
I am guessing that your friends do not have any current information on captive bred seahorses, especially those coming directly from a breeding facility such as OR. Your CB OR seahorses should lead long healthy lives if properly cared for. They are shipped Fed Ex overnight double bagged in marine water and placed inside a Styrofoam box. They are packaged very well and most handle shipping very well.
LeslieAugust 29, 2006 at 12:44 pm #2811fishloverGuest
Thanks for clearing all that up for me. If I ordered live corl and a dwarf pipefish for my Zulu’s and a dwarf pipefish for my Pixie how would I go about quarintining the pipefish and coral?August 29, 2006 at 7:53 pm #2817LeslieGuest
I would not recommend keeping any wild caught syngnathids with your captive bred seahorses for the same reasons most do not recommend wild caught seahorses. WC pipefish rarely eat frozen foods and are difficult to train to accept frozen foods. They also carry pathogens that seahorses are also susceptiable to so you risk the health of your captive bred seahorses by mixing them with wild caught seahorses or pipefish.
You can find info on quarantining marine fish on http://www.wetwebmedia.com
LeslieAugust 29, 2006 at 8:07 pm #2818Pete GiwojnaGuest
Yes, sir, when the weather is cooler you may certainly order a single Pixie if you wish and it could survive all by itself. However, Pixies or dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae) are colonial seahorses that do best in groups. In the wild, if they exist as small colonies of seahorses rather than as isolated individuals or pairs of seahorses. They are accustomed to the company of others of their kind and I would not recommend keeping a solo Pixie, which would be a lonely little seahorse. Aside from all other considerations, a tank with just one of these miniature marvels would appear to be virtually empty. Keep in mind that these little jewels are only about the size of your thumbnail when fully grown.
Because of their relatively small size, Zulus don’t need an especially tall tank. The usual rule of thumb is that a seahorse requires vertical swimming space equaling two to three times its total body length in order to carry out the copulatory rise and mate comfortably. The Zulu-lulus you receive would be about six months old, at which age they are about 2-3 inches long, so you can see that an aquarium that is 10-12 inches tall is high enough for them to mate comfortably. As far as swimming space goes, Carlos, H. capensis is a good choice for modest aquaria in the 10-20 gallon range.
However, Carlos, in order to keep Zulus successfully you must be able to keep their aquarium relatively cool. They need stable temperatures between 72°F and 75°F at all times, and unless their aquarium is in an air-conditioned fish room with the thermostat set at 72°F, the only way to accomplish that is with a small aquarium chiller. Otherwise, with a small volume of water like a 10-gallon aquarium, there will be temperature spikes above 75°F and the Zulus will not thrive.
Fortunately, there are some very affordable mini aquarium chillers that could easily be mounted on a 10-gallon tank. For example, the CoolWorks Ice Probe and Microchiller units are ideal for small tanks (10 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
I know you are operating on a tight budget, Carlos, and if you cannot afford to equip your 10 gallon aquarium with a small chiller such as one of the above, then you should not attempt to keep Zulu-lulus (Hippocampus capensis). They simply won’t do well if you can’t maintain temperatures in their comfort zone.
So if your budget won’t allow for one of those mini chillers, Carlos, your next best bet would be to go with that 30-gallon extra tall aquarium and get a pair of tropical Mustangs instead.
Ocean Rider seahorses are very well packaged for delivery. They come in the same sort of sealed, oxygenated, plastic bags as fish do when you buy them at your local fish store. These plastic shipping bags are then carefully packed in insulated Styrofoam shipping boxes with plenty of filler to make sure they cannot be jostled around unduly during shipping. They will be delivered directly to your doorstep for next day delivery via FedEx.
As Leslie mentioned, if you prepare your aquarium properly, allow it to cycle completely and become established before you order your seahorses, acclimate them properly when they arrive and practice good aquarium management, then your Ocean Riders should thrive for years to come.
It is important to remember that one of the greatest advantages of Ocean Riders is that they are born and raised at a High Health aquaculture facility. Many hobbyists may not be fully aware of what that means. High Health certification is very difficult to achieve, which is which OR is the one and only seahorse farm to be awarded High Health status. In order to earn High Health Certification, an aquacultural facility must first prove that it enforces a strict biosecurity program with rigorous quarantine protocols, and that at no stage in the breeding and rearing process are its livestock ever exposed to open systems or wild-caught seahorses. Secondly, it must withstand intense scrutiny by outside agencies — in this case, primarily from the Controlling State Aquatic Veterinary industry. The monitoring done by these Aquatic Health Specialists includes regular sampling of Ocean Rider livestock for complete necroscopic examinations. Periodically, OR seahorses are selected at random by the State Controlling Vet, euthanized, and autopsied. Their internal organs are examined, tissue sections are taken (multi-organ histopathology), and examined microscopically, along with other laboratory analyses. Only then can Ocean Rider seahorses be certified free of pathogen and parasites.
In my experience, this makes Ocean Rider the best place to obtain seahorses, since they are the only High-Health aquaculture facility and the seahorses you receive from them are guaranteed to be free of pathogens and parasites when they arrive.
However, I would not recommend that you keep a single Pixie all by itself in a five-gallon aquarium, nor would I recommend that you attempt to keep Zulu-lulus (H. capensis) in a 10 gallon aquarium without a mini chiller to keep the water temperature in the aquarium stable at around 72°F.
Best of luck on your quest to find suitable seahorses and just the right aquarium to keep them in, Carlos!
Pete GiwojnaAugust 29, 2006 at 8:52 pm #2819Pete GiwojnaGuest
In its simplest form, quarantining pipefish simply involves introducing them to a quarantine tank (with the same aquarium parameters as the tank they will be eventually going in) all by themselves for a period of several weeks to assure that they aren’t carrying any diseases. The idea is that any health problems the wild fish have will manifest themselves in isolation during this quarantine tank, where they can be treated with the appropriate medications without affecting the health of the rest of the fishes in your display tank. While they are in quarantine, some hobbyists will also treat wild fish prophylactically for internal parasites using praziquantel or metronidazole, and for an external parasites using formalin bath(s) and/or freshwater dip.
A bare-bottomed, 10-gallon aquarium with plenty of hitching posts will suffice for a Quarantine Tank (QT). Ideally, the hospital tank should have one or more foam filters for biofiltration along with a small external filter, which can easily be removed from the tank during treatment but which can hold activated carbon or polyfilter pads when it’s time to pull the meds out. It’s important for the hospital ward to include enough hitching posts so that the seahorse wont feel vulnerable or exposed during treatment. Aquarium safe, inert plastic plants or homemade hitching posts fashioned from polypropylene rope or twine that has been unraveled and anchored at one end are excellent for a hospital tank. No aquarium reflector is necessary. Ambient room light will suffice. (Bright lights can breakdown and inactivate certain medications and seahorses are more comfortable and feel more secure under relatively dim lighting.)
So just a bare 10-gallon tank with hitching posts is all you need for your quarantine tank, Carlos. No heater. No reflector. No lights. No substrate. You can even do without and external filter if you wish, just adding a couple of airstones to provide surface agitation and oxygenation. That’s it.
Since there are no corals in your tank presently, it usually isn’t necessary to enforce a strict quarantine on corals and most other invertebrates that will be going into your seahorse tank. For one thing, corals and invertebrates in general are not susceptible to the same pathogens and parasites that plague seahorses and other marine fishes. If they were carrying any of the parasites that could bother seahorses, it would be as hitchhikers, and that’s unlikely because those same parasites normally cannot survive long without a suitable fish host. So there is relatively little danger of introducing seahorse parasites via live coral.
Secondly, corals and inverts in general cannot tolerate the usual prophylactic measures we apply to marine fishes when we quarantine them. For example, many types of invertebrates cannot withstand hyposalinity let alone a freshwater dip. Nor do they tolerate the usual chemi-therapeutic agents we normally use to cleanse quarantined fish of parasites, such as formalin, malachite green, copper sulfate, dylox, etc.. So there would be very little we could do to treat corals or other invertebrates prophylactically or preventively even if we quarantined them indefinitely.
Best of luck with your future seahorses and their tankmates, Carlos! It is absolutely the best policy to quarantine any wild fishes, or fish obtained from your LFS, before you introduce them to your seahorse tank so it is very conscientious of you to make sure you know how to quarantine them before you consider adding any tankmates.
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