Different set up for the H. zosterae.

Discussion in 'Other Livestock' started by timinnl, 12 Aug 2010.

  1. timinnl

    timinnl

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    Greetings from Amsterdam,

    So it looks like you will be getting the H. zosterae in soon. Congratulation on that, you will really enjoy them.

    But first be aware of their size. You will see that a lot of people are shock/stun by their size. You will read comment like: I didn’t realize they were that small, I keep losing them in the tank, what was I thinking of & so on.

    Tank set up & design.

    Now let’s get cracking. Over the years I at one point or another have used some of these set ups for keeping dwarfs. Each system has a pro & con to it. Some are out of date. There are some other designs, but I cannot think of them at the moment. If anyone has experiences with any of these designs, please let us know what you like about it & what you don’t like about it.

    To be honest with you, I think some/most of the failures I had with the different setups were lack of knowledge on my part & the school of thought at that time. I started trying to keep them in 79 till the early 90’s. I really didn’t have much success until 2008 when I started keeping them again. Most of my success with them is due to joining the org & listening to the people I thanked on my thread.


    The Goldfish bowl: Disco was still King & I was 16 at the time. I order the H. zosterae from the back of a comic book. They lived all of 5 days. Not a good setup.

    The sterile tank: Same as the sponge filter tank. This setup was all plastic plants & a layer of crush coral. It was a nice looking system until I needed to clean plastic plant to keep that ***NICE*** clean look. The downfall of this design was because I used an air driven spongefilter on it at the time. Plus at the time, I didn't realize that everytime I cleaned the plants, I was also removing the bacteria needed for the tank.

    The bare bottom tank: Same as the sterile tank without the gravel. May it very easy to clean & monitor the dead artemia. Con: Lots more cleaning to keep the bottom algae free. The downfall was the same as above.

    The divided tank: This setup was a good one for me at the time. All of the equipment was housed on one side of the tank & the H. zosterae was housed on the other side. I divided the tank by placing a tank divider 1/3 of the way for the equipment & 2/3 as living space for the dwarfs. The artemia flow back & forth through the divider. Equipment use: Sponge filter with a HOB filter & heater. Con: You need to make sure there are no gaps for the dwarfs to swim through. In the end I just didn’t like the look of the tank.

    The sponge filter tank with an air pump: This is basic H. zosterae keeping 101. I never liked this system. With the turnover rate needing to be so high, it caused a lot of problem with splashing & salt creep. Plus I ran them on an undersized sponge. You need a sponge rated for a 150 to 300liter tank.

    The sponge filter tank with a powerhead: This is my current setup. You can read all about it here: http://forum.seahorse.org/index.php?showtopic=43014 (You need to register to see it I think?) Note all three of the power driven systems works very well to a certain point. Once you get a higher population living in the tank, things starts going wrong. In my case once I hit 100 H. zosterae living in the 40liter tank, I could no longer keep the cyanobacteria in check. My solution is to start splitting them up into 3 other tanks now.

    The sponge filter tank with a HOB filter: Same principal as above. You have more option into what you pack into the chamber. If you use floss. Make sure you change the floss weekly. (I try this before, but I think I failed with it due to my lack of knowledge at the time.)

    The sponge filter tank with a canister filter: Same principal as above, but you have more option with adding carbon, puirgen & phos remover to it. Make sure you change the floss weekly. (Never try this myself.)

    The sponge filter with a builtin UV sterilizer: this is new to me & will repost more on it once I have it up and running.

    The UGF tank with an air pump, the UGF tank with a powerhead, the UGF tank with a HOB filter and the UGF tank with a canister filter: These systems I did in the late 80’s early 90’s. I started having problem with all of this kind of setups around the 9 to 12 months mark. The UGF was very efficient at trapping the uneaten food, waste matter, flotsam and jetsam & what not under the plate. It became a nitrates factory no matter how often I cleaned it.

    The Tunze Nano filters Pac: I am running the Tunze 9002 nano skimmer on the 40 liter right now. I am very impress by it. I think I will set up the third tank with the complete kit. Con: Big & bulky, high price & a new set up. Not sure if it will work or not yet?

    The semi-natural tank: This the way I have it now. Dry base rock, FWD & panacured macroalgae
    (Panacur is a dewormer for pets & livestock. Very effective is killing off hydroids.), plastic plants & aragonite based bagged live sand.

    The natural tank: This is my definition of a natural tank: Live rock, macroalgae & sand. Unless you QT the live rock for awhile, things can & will go wrong with it use. There are too many things growing on/in the live rock that is life threatens to the dwarfs. I had a set up like this in the early 90’s. At the time I was working at Russo’s pets in Santa Ana. I even at one point added these cute little jellyfish I founded in the live rock tank at the store. Everything died within 4 months. This was my last setup until recently. Dry base rock from this point for me now.

    The last four are ongoing research:

    The sump tank: Dan U runs his breeding set up on a sump system. I am looking into this system for myself at the moment. I just need to scale everything down to their size.

    The refugium tank: Same principal as above, but with a macroalgae filled sump to increase the pod population.

    The Header & sump Tank: This is a combo system. You have a tank above the display tank filled with pods, mysis & macroalgae & a sump below the display tank housing the equipment. The idea is to have the header tank flow into the display tank replenishing the pods population, with the overflow from the display tank going into the sump and the water will be returned back to the header tank & display tanks.

    The Calfo tank: I have a Calfo inspired 110 liter tank that I thought would make a good system for them. The tank was divided lengthwise with the idea of housing the equipment in the back part & the dwarfs living in the front part. I thought I had a winning formula here. Stupid me, I did not that into account the way the overflow went. One by one I watched the dwarfs go over the divider into the back part. Out of panic I remove the dwarf into the 40liter tank & added other fishes to the tank. Now I am starting to think it might work out if I reverse the overflow coming from the back into the front. Now I just need to decide what to do with the fishes & if I really want to break the tank down and sterilize it?

    I am still learning & I am glad that I am still learning different ways I can improve my chances of keeping them healthy and alive. Just recently I was recommending the use to the bagged live sand. I didn’t take into account the lack of them not wanting to add or having a CUC in tank. This lead to problem with the sand going toxic according to them. A friend emailed the company & received two emails back that helped explain the problem. So I have learned to contact the producers of the products I recommend to find out what went wrong.

    Thanks for allowing me to reminisce about the different set up & ideas to get the post going. But it is up to you to research for yourself what you would like your tank to look like. The org is a good foundation for me to research into 10 years of people’s set ups, ideas, feedback & just plain knowledge on the H. zosterae.

    Kind Regards,

    Tim
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
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  3. hypn

    hypn

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    Nice post Tim,

    very impressive article and YES I can't agree more that people should be aware of just how small these dwarfs are. Although I like smaller, even I was shocked when they arrived.

    Spoke to Helen, things might be moving slightly quicker than expected.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  4. NeilSmit

    NeilSmit

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    Hello, just wanted to know, why have no one tried to put the horses in there sump, in the dsb chamber?

    Neil
     
  5. timinnl

    timinnl Thread Starter

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    Some people have try to do it. The problem has to do with the height of the sump, the temp of the system, how are you going to veiw them & equipment among other things. They do best kept at a temp below 72 -74 max. This helps keep down the bacteria load in the tank.

    There are more people on RC that has try this method. Most of the time it ends in a flame war.;)
     
  6. NeilSmit

    NeilSmit

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    My sump is 50cm high, and the chamber I want to keep them in is before all the equipment, its going to be and extention of the sump before the current sump, and I have a chiller. Would there be anything else that could be a problem?
     
  7. timinnl

    timinnl Thread Starter

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    Are you talking about putting the H. zosterae in the sump or a larger kind of seahorse?

    Here are some pictures so you can get a rough idea of their size. http://forum.seahorse.org/index.php?showtopic=30905&st=20

    The H. zosterae will get ***LOST*** in the sump. Plus depending on how the water is flowing through the different chamber, they could go over into the equipment side of the sump.

    For the H. zosterae I will try my darnest to talk you out of it.

    For the other kind of seahorses, look a wetwebmedia site, Reefcentral & seahorses.org for an answer.

    If I feel that I can not give you a complete answer, I will direct you to other sites or link you to other sites. I hope that is ok with you?

    Tim
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  8. NeilSmit

    NeilSmit

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    Thank you for the quick reply Tim.

    I don't have a preference, I just want any seahorse which I will be able to keep alive. Hypn said he is importing tank bred horses, Ill order whatever he has to offer.

    Which species would you suggest for the specificatons I gave you, it would be nice if it is one of the species tank bred and ordered by hypn.
     
  9. timinnl

    timinnl Thread Starter

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    To be honest with you none of them in the sump. The H. zosterae does best in a 20 to 40 liter tank with a turnover rate of 4 to 5 times the tank volume. In the sump they will be lost due to their size & you will have a very hard time keeping the live food in there with them. Plus if your system has live rock it it, they are to many stining animals that can cause deadly harm to them.

    Go to the other sites I mentioned to find out how it worked out for people who have try to keep seahorses in their sumps. I think they have a low success rate.

    Do you have room to set up a 40 liter for the dwarfs or a 120liter (Minimum tank size for me.) for the larger size ones? Each type of seahorses has their own special needs. Find out what kind he is getting in and do some research on them.

    I can help you out with the H. zosterae, H. erectus, H. reidi & H. comes based on my having kept them.

    Tell me about your tank now? What size is it, temp, livestock & equipment.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  10. hypn

    hypn

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    Not sure why "Anemone" is so quite but which ever species she keeps (check older posts) do incredibly well and her breeding rate is incredible
     
  11. timinnl

    timinnl Thread Starter

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    Different time zone?
     
  12. NeilSmit

    NeilSmit

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    I have a 270l display tank it is a canopy sytem with a 75l sump on the right bottom side. The system consits of a TS2 skimmer, dsb with chaeto, and a phosphate reactor. Display tank has several soft corals, sps, lps, clam, anemone, cuc, regal and yellow tang, anemone, clowns, goby, leopard wrasse, 2 seastars, shrimps. Tank is over a year old. 6xT5 lights and a chiller. Tank temp normally 24-25. Want to put the new tank at the left bottom, 2cambers, first one 7cm with chaeto and to receive the water from display, second chamber for seahorses.
     
  13. timinnl

    timinnl Thread Starter

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    I still wouldn't do it without further research. You want the temp no higher that 23c. Anything above that leads to problems. Do you have a pic of the sump?
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  14. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Andre I think Brenda breeds H. erectus if I'm not mistaken.
    She'll kick my ass if I get this wrong:whistling:

     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2010
  15. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Hey Tim this is the message I get when I click on to you link.

    Fatal error: Call to a member function Error() on a non-object in /home/seahorse/public_html/forum/sources/ipsclass.php on line 5643
     
  16. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Anemone has lost a friend from a massive heart attack at the age of 45. Life has been turned upside down. I'm busy babysitting his closest friend (also my closest friend) E-mails are backed up, my seahorse fry are "surviving" grandma is bitching, the dog had a hernia operation.....my brother had half of his throat removed yesterday during a biopspy....Scott's air conditioner went out and over heated my tank killing all the LPS, then he went away for two days and left the freezer door open. I've been answering PM's that are related to anemones. I skim through posts. Next week will be better....I hope.

    PM me if there is something you want me to take a look at....I'll get to it when I can.

    Hypn, I've done Erectus and Reidi
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2010
  17. Anemone

    Anemone

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    LOL
     
  18. Anemone

    Anemone

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    I agree! Like anemones, seahorses do not belong in a sump. A sump has too many mechanical parts.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2010
  19. Anemone

    Anemone

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    For those that have heard me speak of the gold fish bowl uses as a kriesel, there is a difference, don’t get them confused. A gold fish bowl/kriesel is still successfully used as a method of raising fry. But dwarves do not need this, they can be raised with their parents.




    All I can say is I’m sorry! I hope Calfo didn’t recommend this.



    Dan Underwood has done an awesome job will all of his species!



    I’m one of the ones that believe any sand that is kept in a plastic bag for months can’t be alive, and shouldn’t be sold as such.



    The org is the best place in the world to help with seahorses!



    Having written for wetwebmedia, I recommend it for a lot of things, Seahorses is not one of them. Seahorse.org is the best, reefcentral would be next. Of the writers on WWM, I don’t know anyone that is experienced enough in seahorses to give reliable advice. A good WWM writer will refer them to the org.
     
  20. Monti

    Monti

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    Who in south africa is bringing these in?
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Besides mechanical....hydroids.
     
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