Contest Team SEAHORSE: Catherine

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Seahorse Whisperer
OK, Everyone already has their tank up and running and here's mine:


This is going to be a pixie seahorse tank.

I've got some serious obstacles right up front: Pixie seahorses are only live eaters so I've got to get a sustainable source of brine shrimp going ASAP. Also, moving water around is going to be interesting. I got the plans for this DIY tank from:
DIY Do It Yourself Seahorse Tank - DIY Do It Yourself Seahorse Tank

I'm using the plans only for this tank the stocking advice is horrible and the filtration/ water movement suggestion is inadequate. This should produce a 12 gallon tank suitable for pixies.

I forgot to turn my date stamp on my camera when I took this shot. I'm gluing tomorrow and I'll take a shot then of something that has a date on it.


It is my hope that doing this will encourage others to appreciate these fascinating creatures and to encourage responsible ownership of these guys.
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This will be awesome! Are you making a rim for it or will it be rimless? I love horses, but aren't they hard to care for?
Thanks, Bobby. This will be rimless. I've got a couple pairs of ponies now; two erectus and two barbori. These breeds are easier to care for than the pixies because I can feed them frozen mysis shrimp. If you have a dedicated tank the horses are actually very easy. The pixies will only eat live food so that's going to be something I need to work out before they get here. It's going to be an adventure.

Good luck!!!!
Cant wait to see the tank up and running

When they said nano build you took em seriosly and are actually building your tank:Cheers:
Oh, snam, Alexander. I totally forgot I mentioned that one. I did set up a 10 gallon a few weeks ago. I could use that one. Hmmmmmm, dumped a bunch of bristle worms in it a few days ago. If I'm going to do pixies I'll have to get them outta there. Pics later.

OK, Here's a shot of the tank I started a couple weeks ago:


This tanks was set up initially to add some water mass to my pony tank and to breed pods. There is a small layer of crushed argonite on the bottom and the two agrocrete rocks are soaking because there were going into my 55 gallon I just got. Well, a few days ago I was pulling bristleworms out of my traps and I dumped them into this tank. I hate to kill them. This tank is plenty big enough for a whole herd of pixie seahorses so this morning I stirred around trying to get those bristleworms out of there because Pixies are super delicate. Well, the texture of the agrocrete grabbed onto the burrs of the worms and now I've got a bunch of those things in my hand. Bottom line, those rocks are staying in that tank, not moving into my 55 and pixies are NOT going in there. I can make it a nice nano but it won't be a horse tank. So, I spent today making plans for my tanks. I'll keep planning both tanks until the decision is made about entering my 12 gallon.

What I've learned today about nano builds was truly fascinating. Because of their compact size, nano's will offer the ability to try out the newest technology but still stay on a reasonable budget.

Going to use a heating mat instead of a tank heater.
Drilling my 12 tomorrow designing a sump.

Leaning toward more decisions but need to price them out.

That cave rock is bad a$$. Did you make it yourself? If so what recipe did you use?
Spent the week planning. I always seem to jump in to things and then figure out what I'm doing. So.....

My 12 gallon build a tank will not be used in this contest, I'm using the 10 gallon I set up September 29. Today, I moved the tank down into my studio, added some live sand and removed the big rock. Tomorrow, I'll order some wondermud from GARF and some snails.

It took me a while to make sure I was going to be able to set up the tank I wanted. Finally found a source of dwarf seahorses that are trained to eat frozen mysis which will make this doable. I also found a web site that advertises a variety of marine plants. Tonight I'll sketch out my design and get my plants ordered. Also getting a few nano tank flow things and another 10 gallon to make into a sump/ refugium. I have no idea how to get water out and back in at the same rate which should make the sump idea interesting. For lighting I'm just going to do a small pendant. Horses don't need a lot of light and my corals/ plants don't need a ton so it should be fine. I'm guessing I should be able to keep 10-14 dwarf horses pretty easily in this nano.

So, a lot of plans and decisions are made. I'm pretty sure I'll get my ass handed to me by the other contestants since my tank won't look like the traditional reef tank AND I've gotten a wicked slow start! Sigh.

Hey now I have last place in the bag so you are going to have to come in second to last. :D
Excited that my plants should arrive today! WooT!

I've got rehearsals all afternoon and evening so I won't get to post pics until tomorrow. While I'm waiting I wanted to jump on my soapbox and talk about responsible seahorse ownership. I wanted to do this nano-tank for seahorses to hopefully get others interested in raising these beautiful creatures. Unfortunately, seahorses are endangered so responsible ownership is important. In most countries the selling of wild-caught seahorses is illegal. Please be sure that your seahorses are certified tank-bred. ORA and Ocean Rider are two excellent sources of tank-bred horses. Wild caught horses are extremely delicate and do not do well in captivity. Feeding them is a problem because it is extremely difficult to get them to accept frozen or dead shrimp and they host a variety of illnesses including worms. The key to success with seahorses is to be certain that your horses are captive bred by a responsible breeder AND that you give them a dedicated tank. If these two criteria are met they are remarkably easy to keep!

I've decided to build my own light according to the IPSF video: [ame=]YouTube - Cheap Nano Reef Light Hood (a)[/ame]

This will have to do until funds are available for a new light. Pics tomorrow!
Great idea for a light and nano tank at 1/3 the price. Wish I'd known about that sooner I might have entered the contest myself.
So, my plants are in! My tank looks like a big refugium. I'll take photos in the morning. Very excited to get these in and going so I can get my ponies ordered.

Now, the question, do I pull the live rock out of the aiptasia tank? The guys at the other LFS, the one I don't go to, say that I should buy this rock scrubber stuff and it will get all the aiptasia off. I don't believe them. Budget won't let me get more rock right now. Hmmmmmmmmm, decisions.
Could you boil the rock? I know it wouldn't be "live" anymore, but if you have some non-aiptasia rock that you could also add to the tank, a couple pieces of dead rock wouldn't matter.
So, the dust has settled after dumping in my plants yesterday and this is what I've got:


Most of those are not staying in there. I'm on my way to Wal-Mart to get a light.

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Could you boil the rock? I know it wouldn't be "live" anymore, but if you have some non-aiptasia rock that you could also add to the tank, a couple pieces of dead rock wouldn't matter.

I was thinking about doing that. They are small so it's doable. Hate to kill the rock but don't want to add any aiptasia to my nano!

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