planning tank


Reefing newb
i was thinking of setting up a 55g that i have for sea horses. would this be an adequate tank for them i saw on seahorse source that they need a tank at least 18 in deep so it would meet that but what else do i need to consider that may not be obvious? i have plenty of pods from other fuges that i could transfer and let them reproduce in there. and i also have a bunch of cheato and caulerpa in another tank and i was thinking of getting some mangrove plants will all these be ok with the horses? how many would i be able to keep? i would like to be able to keep two pairs and seahorse source says i can but i wanted a second opinion. the species i was looking at were H. erectus, H. kuda, and H. reidi which would be best? this will be my first seahorse tank but i have kept other delicate species like sharks and stingrays. so i am not a beginner but like to get to know the species i have. :) thanks in advance!
Two pair would be perfect in a tank that size. A 55 makes a good tank size, just don't make the sand bed too shallow. Pods are good, but you will need to feed your seahorses, at 2-3 times a day.

I prefer refugiums on my tank, I would consider that. Seahorses like macro, but don't think that's the only thing you can do with the tank. One of my tanks is a soft coral reef. Live rock is also good, just make sure you have more open spaces than you would a typical reef.

My preference is H. reidi or H. erectus. True captive bred H. kuda are hard to come by in the US. H. erectus is by in far the easiest, though H. reidi are pretty hardy still.

One thing to keep in mind is that you'll want to run the tank cooler than a reef tank; seahorses do best at temps under 75F. Even tropical species. This is because they are prone to bacterial infections, and bacteria grows more quickly at higher temperatures.
AAccckkk, sorry I missed this thread!

+1 Aquagirl!

I've got 6 horses in my 55 gallon. Horses like to be in herds so you want to get as many in there as your bio-load will allow.

Seahorse Source is a fabulous place to get your horses!

You want to put a lot of stuff for the horses to "hitch" onto with their tails. Finger leathers, non-stining corals, live rock and macro work great for this.

When planning your water flow you want to be sure there is good movement but not too strong, horses are wimpy swimmers.

H. erectus have more personality and are hardier than the H. reidi, in my opinion.

Plan your clean up crew to include a variety of snails and no crabs, crabs will pinch!

My next tank will have ONLY dry rock that has been brought back to life. I'm so tired of chasing bristleworms.

You'll love horses! Good luck!
Is there any type of korella that can be used? I know they are not strong swimmers but I want to get some more water movement Just to ride tank of unwanted waste there are alot of tail holds but it is still cool to see them lock tails and go around tank. I think my last mishap was from listing to my LFS when he said the coral beauty was ok since I removed him the stress level is down and things are looking great I might add another pony in a few weeks after I am sure everything is back to normal my water tests are still ok and were not the reason for my problem it was that fish but I could not bring myself to avenge my past fish on him. I don't think I told you last time the back chamber of the JBJ can double as a refugium which it is and I introduce pods every once and a while to keep their numbers up.
There was a discussion in another forum recently about flow and seahorses. The general consensus is that seahorses are fine with flow rates of 10x and even 20x turn over an hour, just make sure you have places that are sheltered from the flow, and that you provide adequate hitching posts. I keep my seahorse tanks at around 10x turn over and have been for the past few years. I think the tanks are healthier because more detritus is moved around and can be skimmed out.

It used to be standard to recommend 3x - 5x turn over, but I think that's to slow for a healthy tank. The exception being dwarf seahorses.

koralias need to be protected to keep seahorses from hitching on them and damaging their tails. I don't use a koralia, but I've heard people using the guard it comes with, and gluing screen to the outside. But I dont' have any personal experience with them in fish tanks, so I don't how well those measures work.
I have 4 koralia's in my tank. 2 nanno's and 1 pump 2 and 1 pump 3. I also have an overflow and a sump/fuge return. My return is not very strong and does not alter the water movement. My pump 3 is in the back corner pointing up and my pump 2 is in the other corner, wrapped in macro and it is about 4 inches from the surface also pointing up. I've got one nano in the bottom corner wrapped in macro and this is where my horses hang out most of the time. My other nano is on the same side as my pump 3 in the middle pointing at the front. I agree with Aquagrrl, if you don't move your water you won't have a healthy tank. I have a few hairy mushrooms in different spots through the tank and I like the water to gently move their little hairy bits. My 3 bigger horses are fine with the koralia's and I was extremely nervous about putting my babies in there so I wrapped them with mesh to stop them from hurting their tails. I've seen the babies hitch onto all of my koralias and I really don't think they could get their tails in there but I'm not going to risk it until they are much bigger! Horses aren't as delicate as most people think but you don't want to stress them out with too much water flow. They should be able to move about freely without working too hard!

Toolman, I think it's great you're getting another horse! Now, if I can get you to move your clowns........

About ready to throw a hammer througt the tank came in to work this morning to find another fish doing a back float I am POed but the water keeps checking out ok?
When you say "checking out okay" what exactly does that mean? What are the parameters specifically? One man's "okay" is another's "OMG it's all on fire!" Also, are you quarantining your fish before adding them?
I take a sample to the LFS for the test the the two n's and ammoina are zero. I am putting the horses in the "nurse" tank which has been established for almost a year and let the big one go by itself untill I see some growth on the back wall of the tank myself. I should have trusted my gut and waited but with being told that It had already cycled I went ahead against my better judgement my goal now is to protect the horses.
I take a sample to the LFS for the test the the two n's and ammoina are zero. I am putting the horses in the "nurse" tank which has been established for almost a year and let the big one go by itself untill I see some growth on the back wall of the tank myself. I should have trusted my gut and waited but with being told that It had already cycled I went ahead against my better judgement my goal now is to protect the horses.

How is the ph? I've had ph crash overnight (long story) but it can happen for a variety of reasons. This is especially likely if the fish were fine the night before but gasping or dead in the morning.

Also, if the nitrAte is 0, chances are the tank isn't cycled; you should see at least some nitrate in a cycled tank. But that alone wouldn't cause a fish to go belly up overnight. It would take a few days to weeks for the ammonia to build.

The fish you lost was that a seahorse or another fish? Your post wasn't clear. And was it quarantined?

You also might want to invest in your own test kit. Many fish stores use those crap dip stick tests and they're extremely unreliable.
You definitely need your own test kits. That way you'll be able to tell before a problem gets out of hand, rather than after.

How much of a temperature swing does your tank experience in a 24 hour period? If it's any more than 4 degrees or so, that can be enough to stress some fish to death.
A clown that I had for three months I transfered my stock from my 12 gallon to the 28 only newbees were the fire fish (2) and a Coral beauty. You justed joged my memory the coral beauty replaced a flameback angel from the LFS that didn't last 2 days and I did not like the looks of him when he went in. Makes me wonder what came in with him? Oh well the horses are in the nurse tank for an extended period of time 2 weeks? or should I wait longer? the coral beauty went back to the store today and there is not a mark on him I think I went too fast into the new tank
my guy uses the API test kits I did another water change and noticed the cheto was like all slimey and broken down almost like when you clean the grass out of the bottom of your lawn mower so in hine site the cheto could be almost like a rotting plant and raised the ph through the roof. I am bringing another sample tomorow to test just for that I know it will show low because of the three gallon change but I need to know what is killing the cheto.:grumble:
Well it's a total loss. only things left are the two sea horses and a sand sifting gobie (who might be gone under a rock) I am dosing both tanks now with MICROBE-LIFT from HERBTANA for the next ten days Skimmers and Chemi Pure out and and then water changes after the ten days ........Tell me again this is a hobby?:frustrat:
Toolman, I'm so sorry for your loss. I was so worried about your tank when you first posted about it. I don't know much about water chemistry but hopefully someone here will help. Once you get your water right we can help you put together a healthy tank that won't crash. My sympathies. It will get better!

Sorry to hear about your tank :( It's always sad to lose things. Yes this is a hobby, and it can be a very enjoyable one if done right. If you rush things, it can be so stressful and awful! I think tank crashes are probably the #1 reason why people get out of this hobby (either that or the expense of it, probably). Keep doing your maintenance routine. Your tank will be fixed over time. After that, the main lesson to take away is not to overstock, and not to stock too quickly. If you follow those simple rules, everything else comes pretty easily.
The simplest rule is use common sense I went with what other people told me and some poor innocents paid the price.
There's a steep learning curve in this hobby. You hear something different from everyone you ask. People receive bad advice all the time, and it's hard to even characterize some of it as bad because what works for one tank won't work for all tanks. Some people can add a new fish every day it seems, and never have a problem. But that won't work for 99% of the other people that try it. That's just part of learning the rules of your own tank.
The problem was I got a bad fish I called the LFS back the same night I got it and told him I didn't like the look of the fish his response was it's stressed out and will be ok in a couple of days the thing was dead in 24 that was when the snowball started to roll. I should have bagged him that night and bought him back but I listened to the guy. That was when common sense went window and I heard what I wanted to hear.
Sorry for you loss Toolman. Sometimes things can go really wrong, but most of the time this "hobby" is quite rewarding. It will get better. :frustrat: