Seahorse Plan - Please comment

Discussion in 'Other Livestock' started by abgg118, 28 Mar 2010.

  1. abgg118

    abgg118 MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Die Wilgers, Pretoria
    Hi again all,

    After my Freshwater (Malawi) tank's base got a small crack in it, I had to empty it out and this presented the opportunity to re-plan what to do with it once the base is patched - don't we all just love planning a tank!?

    Now, I've had this 620Wx450Dx500H tank for which I've built in an overflow and made a small sump that I've been wanting to keep seahorses in for quite a while. It would be a small enough volume so that they could find the live food easily, and the sump would double as a small refugium with small DSB. However, the drawback would be smaller water volume, the refugium being below the display (causing live food mutilation from the 'fuge on the way up).

    So, I started thinking about this bigger Malawi tank and the possibilities of keeping seahorses in them. I'd like to run my plans by you and get some feedback and thoughts (especially from the people with seahorse experience), to see whether it's feasible and what else I need to cater for from the start.

    The biggest positive I see (if it actually does work sufficiently well) is being able to bring the 'fuge to the same level as the display, so that the live critters can flow into the main tank by normal "gravity feed".

    But let's start with the tank dimensions and build. It's 1500Wx590Dx600H, with a built-in overflow in the right-rear corner, a small, closed sump, and a wooden canopy (where T5's can be DIY-fitted - I actually started with this just before the tank cracked) and stand. It also has 2 sliding covers.
    The plan is to add a pane of glass across the width of the tank, from the overflow on the right to the left-hand side, splitting the display into a front and a back part. See the following crude diagram:

    [​IMG]

    Now, from the sump, the water is pumped into the back compartment, where there'll be a pretty big DSB, and live rock and macro algae as a refugium (and nutrient export) for the critters, then proceed over the added glass pane into the front display (either across the length of the pane or only a part of it to have stronger flow which will "suck" through critters more easily). This - with strong enough return pump(s) - will probably provide enough flow in the display, since weak flow is required, which means no extra unsightly circulation pumps in the display.

    In the sump (which is too small for a proper DSB), I'd still be able to keep a skimmer, since most critter activity is in the 'fuge just after the skimmer and return pump, and also in the main tank, and only whatever flows over to the sump may be shredded.

    Current planned livestock (if anything clashes with the seahorses, they're out, of course):
    2x Seahorse Pairs (preferably tank-bred and the hardier species)
    Placid clownfish pair and anemone (which can be placed right under the water inflow for more flow than the rest of the tank). If anemone/clowns are not a problem.
    2x Cleaner Shrimps
    Some appropriate corals/invertabrates/whatever else, but not too much - suggestions?

    Aquascaping across the pane of glass, with seahorse requirements specfically in mind, and I'll also have to find a way of making the glass look good instead of seeing through it into the 'fuge. The actual volume in which the livestock occur is still "small enough" for "targeted feedings" if required, and the viewable-width is still 1.5m, with a 46cm deep right-hand-side and around a 25cm deep left-hand-side.

    I will be culturing greenwater and rotifers (for seahorses and breeding clownfish) soon, so I can always add that to the system as required, but I would like them to have a continuous source of live food from the 'fuge, as far as (if) possible.

    So, please comment on:
    1) Any general comments, ideas and advice?
    2) What can I do on the glass pane to make it look good and hide the 'fuge?
    3) Will the critters in this setup continuously provide a fair amount of live food to the seahorses?
    4) Any specific critters that need to be cultivated in there, or will a "natural mix" ( I can seed from my 2m established tank) suffice?
    5) Livestock ideas and comments?
    6) Will this work for seahorses - suppling enough live food so that 4x a day "manual" feedings are not required?
    7) Any tips for a greater number of more specific "areas" in the 'fuge (should I split it up also) for some practical uses?

    Thanks,
    Gideon
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Anemone

    Anemone

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    USA - Chicago Area
    This size setup is not going to be large enough to keep seahorses fed long term. Seahorses eat a lot every day. Unfortunately, brine shrimp is not adequate food for seahorses (except dwarfs). I don’t recommend buying wild caught seahorse because they are tough to feed, and also can come with disease. Too many have died in captivity because there was not enough food available.

    Rotifers are not adequate food for seahorses, unless they are fry, and that will only last a few weeks at the most until they need something larger.

    Beth from www.seahorsecorral.com is willing to work with anyone from SA to get captive raised dwarfs and Southern Erectus imported into South Africa from the US. The erectus are trained to eat frozen food, and are disease free. The order would have to be quite large, so I do recommend several people, or even the sponsors of MASA getting involved in a group order to cover the costs. Also, hypn was working with Beth, you may want to contact him and see if he is still moving forward with this.

    You can’t keep anemones with seahorses.

    Also, seahorses don’t like to be groomed, so I would skip the cleaner shrimp. As far as coral, you would have to stick to soft coral, zoanthids, mushrooms, xenia, Kenya tree, etc.
     
  4. lIghty

    lIghty

    Joined:
    3 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    5,053
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Westville, Durban
    abgg118, I agree with Anemone, the biggest problem with keeping ponies is the food they require. I'm say without a doubt, they WILL die, especially if wild caught! and I've yet to find someone supplying captive bread. Sorry to be so blunt, its so sad to see these beautifull creatures fade away.

    I do respect your decision to ask first, good on you!

    Wish I could give you better reply but on my mobile.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    2,531
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I would like to add, seahorse fry eats brine shrimps from day one. No rotifers required.
    Adam Scott told me, he can get weaned, captive bred horses in. Can´t find his details right now, but you should know him as he is based in Joburg.
    Together with horses you can keep pipe fish, mandarins, harlequin shrimps, sexy shrimps.
    But still, food will be your main problem. The small critters we know from our systems are not enough to keep the horses running.
    I was always facinated about horses and I understand you want to keep them.
    Maybe, if I got some space left in my new hatchery and the market requires enough horses, so it will be worth to breed them, I will do it. I did already and a few hundred horses to wean is much easier than a few. Same for mandarins and pipe fish.
     
  6. Anemone

    Anemone

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    USA - Chicago Area


    That is not true for all species of seahorses, and can vary within species. Most H. reidi need rotifers for the first week or so as the brine is too large for them. Occasionally, a batch of reidi fry is born large enough to take brine, but that is rare and there are usually a few in the batch that can’t eat the brine at birth.


    H. erectus and H. zosterae will take newly hatched brine at day one.



    That is awesome! Is he on MASA? There have been several people that have commented about getting captive raised seahorses in SA. I’d like to see this information given out more often.

     
  7. Anemone

    Anemone

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    USA - Chicago Area
  8. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Die Wilgers, Pretoria
    Thanks all - the hints, tips and things to keep in mind is really helping me to decide what, how and why to do this. Much appreciated.
     
  9. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    2,531
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Cape Town
    If everything goes according to plan, you should get locally bred and weaned horses until the end of this year.
     
  10. hypn

    hypn

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    roodepoort
    sea horses

    edit via admin: Post removed. This is not a buy and sell thread, you are not a sponsor so please refrain from advertising on the forum or your account will be terminated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2010
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    29 May 2007
    Posts:
    17,868
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Cape Town
  12. FransSny

    FransSny

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,697
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Hermanus
    Post removed. As stated above this is not a buy and sell thread!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 12 Apr 2010
  13. fish4life.

    fish4life.

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    jhb
    Hi I used to feed seahorses with newly hatched ith brine shrimp and crap flesh after that they got guppy's and they love them and thrived on them. But this is years ago.
     
  14. timinnl

    timinnl

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    135
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Greetings from Amsterdam,

    www.seahorse.org has lot of info into raising & breeding seahorses. Some of them require rotifers as a first food.

    As for the H. zosterae, I feed them 48hour to 5 day old enriched artemia, mysis & peppermint larvae, tisbe, moina, tonsa & Nitokra lacustris.

    The H. zosterae are coming in from Beth in the states to Helen the importer in the UK. But I also buy & trade with other H. zosterae owners from Germany, Belgium & here in NL.

    Kind Regards,

    Tim
     
  15. hypn

    hypn

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    roodepoort
    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for the info and YES indeed like with yourself the current Sea-Horse import we await will be from Beth in the States. I have made contact with Helen with the aim of getting smaller orders and also a larger variety but has of yet not had a reply from her. (could you PM me with her address)

    For those hobbyists in South Africa waiting for the Sea-Horses all paper work is still in progress and we await approvals. The first set of paperwork in the states has already passed approval but await medical clearance. The second larger order from Beth seems to be taking slightly loner

    Andre
     
  16. zayd

    zayd

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    727
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thanks for the update Andre.
     
  17. timinnl

    timinnl

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    135
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I think you have to go via Beth to import them into SA. Helen is setup to supply the EU market for them. I do not think she is able to supply the proper paperwork & permits require to ship them from the UK to SA.

    There are two German breeders of them & (one?) somewhere in NL. But they only sell within the EU and do not export.

    I tend to relay info in the forums, I do not like using PM other than making jokes.

    I sent helen an email to see it she received your email.

    Tim
     
  18. hypn

    hypn

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    roodepoort
    Thank You Tim appreciate the help.
     
  19. timinnl

    timinnl

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    135
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Hi Andre,

    I emailed Helen @ Welcome to the SimplySeahorses she only had an email from you last year & nothing current. But then again, they have been having some problems with their emails.

    If you are trying to source different kind of seahorses for the SA market, look at :

    http://www.orafarm.com They outsource their seahorse breeding I think. They only deal in wholesale. Not sure if they will ship anything requiring a C.I.T.E.S permit?

    Aquamarine International based in Sri Lanka Aquamarine International They will export only to wholesale customer in large orders.

    De Jong Marinelife Import Export Wholesale of marine life here in NL. Wholesale only. They do ship to SA already to public aquariums & (maybe a wholesalers there?) WC, CB & TR are available. Again not sure if they will ship anything requiring a C.I.T.E.S PERMIT.

    Stay away from the H. kuda/H. comes coming out of Vietnam. The market dry up for them in the states & the EU. They have a dismal record. They come in with a long list of problem & should be treated as a WC one.

    All of these companies requires you to hold a valid permit/license to deal in the pet/fish trade.

    Kind regards,

    Tim
     
  20. hypn

    hypn

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    roodepoort
    Hi Tim,

    Thank you so much for the comprehensive list of information. I will follow up with Helen and the other leads you provided. As you might have noticed Sea-Horses are not a big topic on the forum, largely because most of those landing in South Africa are H.Comes or other wild caught captive held seahorses which arrive starved, old and riddled with disease.

    I think there are a few people on the group that share your sentiment regarding not buying from places like Singapore and this is something I am hoping to address once our shipments arrive in South Africa.

    Because my aim is to keep only tank raised Sea-horses we can possibly introduce a healthier version into the market.

    Once again thanks for all the leads - appreciated

    Andre
     
  21. timinnl

    timinnl

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    135
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    It is the same problem here. People buy by price points & not on the quality of the stock. I contacted the breeder in Vietnam way back when. I asked for references & he provided me with them. The thing that caught my eye was the fact that they export the H. comes under the permit he has for H. kuda.

    Luckily there are some hobbyist breeder in Germany managing to raise f2 & f3 of the H. comes & H. kuda. I am learning alot from Angi into the ways they breed & feed the fry.

    Tim

    PS, When are you going to become a sponsor on here?;) That way you wouldn't be banned.:yeahdude:
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Seahorse Plan Please Forum Date
Seahorses at Jungle Aquatics JungleAquatics.NET BLOG 28 Aug 2016
Seahorses Jungle Aquatics 28 Aug 2016
[wtd] Wanted 2 x seahorses Wanted 11 Jun 2016
Seahorses General Discussions and Advice 21 Jan 2016
World’s largest seahorse found Internet 2 Oct 2015
Stunning captive bred seahorses! Pet Stop SA 2 Sep 2015
[wtd] Seahorses Wanted 12 Aug 2015