My seahorse/pipefish and mandarin idea

Discussion in 'Other Livestock' started by frankie fish, 4 Dec 2010.

  1. frankie fish

    frankie fish

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    I gave this idea a lot of thought,and decided to do it. I have a 4ft tank,which i want to connect to my main tank and sump. The idea is to use the secondary as a rdsb,and to house ponies,pipefish and a mandarin or 2,in a tank with a low flow,proper sandbed and good lighting. I am not going to add corals in this display, but i'm going to look for eelgrass,or maiden's hair, or basically any type of grass that will fit into the display,with some lr for the mandarin(s)
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    This is the tank,in the starting phase. Next to the 4ft,is my main tank,a little understocked as i had a huge setback with lighting and water quality. All of those are sorted now with a new skimmer (Ts2),a lr chamber(also housing a ats), then a small dsb and then the return. any idea's/comments and advise?
     
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  3. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Which species of seahorses are you thinking? What is the height of the tank they will be kept in? The one pictured doesn't look high enough for most seahorses. What will you feed the pipefish and mandarin?
     
  4. frankie fish

    frankie fish Thread Starter

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    The tank is about 450mm high. I am still planning/researching on seahorses/pipefish,cos I don't want to be the cause of they're untimely death. My main tank has been running for about 2yrs now,has a healthy pod population,and I'm planning to increase that population to let them feast naturally,and I'm gonna supplement they're diet with frozen food (which will take some training). I will be gratefull for advice and idea's.
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Do seahorses need a high tank? Like a boyu 550?
     
  6. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Seahorses need a tank 3 times their length to do the mating dance. If you are not intending to breed, you can get away with a slightly shorter tank. But because of their length and their swimming behavior, it is it is best to not go to much shorter.
     
  7. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Most wild caught seahorses die a premature death in captivity. They don't convert well to frozen food, and they will need to be de-wormed.

    Seahorses eat a lot. The pods in your tank will not be sufficient for more than a week or two. You will need to feed something like live mysis, or adult brine shrimp that has been enriched.
     
  8. hypn

    hypn

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    I am going to echo Anemone's statements, please join the Sea-horse forum and download the free Sea-horse tank requirement document. Most important when dealing with Wild Caught Seahorses is ensuring that you stick to a deworming protocol, making sure that you end up with a mated pair - in other words don't grab the pregnant male in the tank, and make sure you have looked at breeding and hatching especially with the KRIESEL system.

    Also keep your eyes on the forum - captive bred Frozen eating Sea-horses are still expected this year and these guys appreciate a variation in diets

    Please feel free to ask if you have other questions, many of the group members are incredibly knowledgeable on Sea-Horse breeding
     
  9. Anemone

    Anemone

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    I'm confused with the above statement. I agree with sticking to a deworming process. But I am confused with the "making sure you end up with a mated pair" portion of your statement. What does a mated pair have to do with deworming or survival of a wild caught seahorse? Please explain.
     
  10. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Please think long and hard before you do this, it is extremely hard work! They are very susceptible to diseases like GBD (Gas bubble disease).
     
  11. hypn

    hypn

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    Hi Anemone,

    Just to clarify that statement - as you know many sea-horse species are monogamous and the other day a visit to a Pet Store had me looking at a very stressed female, the pregnant male had been sold. People often think that a pregnant sea-horse is a new adventure in potential breeding.

    I had great success with a mated pair bought at the very same store 15 years ago, unfortunately this dealer still does not tell people that the species he is selling has one partner for live.

    I think the comment should actually refer more to what species is commonly available as wild caught in South Africa.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10 Dec 2010
  12. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Ahh, ok, now I see where you were coming from, makes more sense.

    But...We are finding out that seahorses are NOT monogamous.
     
  13. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    Occasionally in South Africa (and I am sure elsewhere) seahorses are seen in a LFS system. Usually in small numbers of (in the case of Port Elizabeth) at most four or five. Usually WC (at present always), usually going to be bought by some unsuspecting hobbyist who is unprepared to put in the hard work to feed them correctly and as the above comment is referring to, often not being able to recognise the signs that may indicate two that have made a pair bonding. This then results in a male and female being separated, thus possibly causing further stress to the separated seahorses. Lack of knowledge in sexing, identifying species, determining condition and knowing what conditions to provide is another factor. It will not affect the deworming process directly, but indirectly can be assumed to cause further stress and thus compromise the survival.
    Usually the WC species coming into SA presently are (H. comes) Tigertail seahorses that not only are wild caught, but also nocturnal feeders that are only taking live foods, not fish fry or larvae so molly fry, guppy fry, clownfish larvae, etc. are not suitable. For those with access to live foods from the coast; mysids, very small shrimp, amphipods, etc. are suitable. Unfortunately in large quantities, resulting in increased nutrient loads in the tank.
    I generally advise people not to buy them and even to return them when they ask me for advice. They take several weeks and lots of effort to convert to feeding during the daytime and taking frozen foods and are among the harder seahorse species to breed as the babies need rotifer as nhbs appear to be too large.
     
  14. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    Sorry. I see the answer had already been given, I think some species are still basically monogamous, but will look for another mate if they lose their partner. I am sure like people they are probably not always good seahorses though. :)
     
  15. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    Another factor that is important, apart from height of tank, food provision and tank flow, etc. is temperature. Many seahorses prefer a cooler temperature than you may have on a reef tank.
     
  16. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Seahorses take alot of effort to keep.. Lol that idea left my head lol
     
  17. frankie fish

    frankie fish Thread Starter

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    That is why I'n doing a lot of planning and research. The main idea for the tank is to act as a secondary sand bed,where I can plant some grasses to create a breeding place for pods,mysid shrimp (which I saw thriving in ernst's tank) I then further thought of introducing a mandarin or 2, or maybe pipefish,but the ultimate would be seahorses. The secondary tank will be part of my reef system,but to compensate for the cooler temps needed, I' planning to add a small cooling tower before it enters the tank. Now my dt is running at 25 degrees constantly,so I only need to lower the temp with about 2-3 degrees,if I'm going to add seahorses.
     
  18. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    If the room it is in is Air conditioned you may get away with using an ATS over the secondary tank which will then cool the water through evaporative cooling, remove nutrients, assist with degassing, stabilise or raise pH and produce pods. As far as the livestock goes initially I would try to get the system running and established along with seagrass and/or suitable macro algae then try one of the three types of fish first and only if it is still doing well after several months and the pod population looks like it can sustain it add another species.
    If it takes several months maybe you will be able to put in CB seahorses trained to eat frozen foods and the pods are just supplementing the diet.
    Mandarins would probably like live rock also.
     
  19. frankie fish

    frankie fish Thread Starter

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    My ats is inside the cabinet already, but running a pc fan on a spiral of tubing that runs into the tank may work,as I tested it already. The setup will run for about 5months,before I start to add anything,unless I ad bengai cardinals at first. My only concern is the lighting for the grass,and the flow in the tank,cos it needs to be strong enough for the grass,yet gentle enough for the pipes,ponies ect. What should the correct ratio be?
     
  20. Anemone

    Anemone

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    This is way too many fish that are dependant on live food for this system.
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone

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    I think some seahorses choose to stick to one partner. As far as being by species...I don't know, there hasn't been enough research done. I suspect that we would find that with each species you will find some that are (until they are forced to find another mate) and some that are not, and will go to who ever.

    I know that in my tank I have two males who regularly compete for the eggs of the only female in the tank. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the male who regularly gets the eggs was removed. Would she pick the male that normally competes, or pick another one that hasn't competed in the past? Or possibly not pick anyone at all.

    Then there is the dorky males who haven't figured out that they actually need a female to mate with and insist on doing the mating dance with another male. :whistling:
     
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