Sea Horses in a 12.5 gal?


friend to the fish
One of the reef stores I go to has a great guy who's very helpful and always gives me sweet deals on corals and livestock. He's only open Fri/Sat and doesn't have a huge selection (he focuses more on tank installation) but I've gotten a torch coral, diamond goby, and (today!) a red linkia starfish from him.

I've been fascinated with seahorses, and he's had a 12.5 gal Aquapod Nano Aquarium display tank in the front with two small (maybe two inches long?) sea horses in it.

I've read you should have at LEAST a 15 gal tank that is at least 18 inches tall, but these horses are obviously happy and healthy.

I'm wondering if it possible to have that exact same set up with two female horses... They need the height mostly for courting, right? So if you had two girl ponies you wouldn't necessarily need so much height, would you?

Let me know your :twocents: please! =]
Which species of horse do you want to keep? You can keep dwarf seahorses in a tiny tank.

Any other species will need the height and will extra water space. You can't count on getting girls to avoid breeding as they will change gender if there are no males around. In other words, you might start with 2 girls but odds are you'll end up with a mated pair. There are a lot of reasons horses need a bigger tank not just the courting. You really need 25-30 gallons for a pair of horses and add 15 gallons per pair after that.

You'll also need to get rid of your torch coral. They sting and will harm or kill your horses. The goby might be ok but horses really do better when they are the only species in a tank.

If you're interested in learning more about horses, Pete Giwonja offeres a free online course: - Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories - Seahorse Life - An Introduction

they are beautiful and wonderful animals but they have special needs. Good luck,

Oh no, I'm starting a completely different tank for them, no corals. :)

Thanks for the info!

Not sure what species I want. I hear dwarfs are serious business.
no, you have to hatch it yourself. You'll either need to decapsulate your brine or purchase decapsulated. It's done each night but they say it's really easy to do on a schedule. I've always stayed away from the dwarfs because of their intense feeding requirements so I can't really give you good advice about that. Call Abbey at Seahorse Source, the ultimate place for captive bred seahorses. and she'll explain the process to you so you can decide if it's for you.

That sounds super time consuming. Probably won't bother even looking in to that. Between my 28 gal reef tank and a new one, I wouldn't have enough time.

Do you know what the next smallest species of seahorse is?

Thanks again for answering my questions! :D
To the best of my knowledge it's the H fuscus known as the "Sea Pony". I've been looking for a pair of tank bred fuscus forever. they are very hard to come by. You could get away with a pair of them in a 20 gallon. If you can find them, let me know. After that you're looking at the H reidi or H erectus which is the most common size of horses. They are the ones that need the 25=30 gallon tank.

If you find some H fuscus, let me know!

When you buy your horses, you want to be absolutely certain they are tank bred. Wild caught do not do well in captivity. Tank raised horses are trained to eat thawed frozen foods while they are babies. Wild caught horses are extremely difficult to train. If you can't train them then you need to keep an assortment of live foods as brine shrimp is not enough to keep them alive. Worse, they are almost all full of parasites that will infect your tank unless you de-worm them and it is a really horrible process to watch because the horse thrashes about like your killing it.

I haven't seen the fuscus you showed me. I'm wondering why they are claiming that they need live foods? Also, they claim their horses were grown by ORA . ORA is a fine company but they do not raise fuscus. I called them last fall about dwarf horses and about fuscus and they referred me to The Seahorse Source. Their facility is near ORA in Florida and ORA highly recommended them Seahorse Source, the ultimate place for captive bred seahorses.. I'm skeptical about that site you sent. I hope I'm wrong but it sounds to me like they are selling wild caught horses.

As far as I know, there is no law against the sale of wild caught seahorses but there should be. There are lots of laws about importing them from foreign countries but I'm pretty sure it's ok to sell wild caught. I could be wrong about that though.

I'm in Wisconsin, a long way from the beach!

Owning seahorses sounds difficult but it is really quite easy once you've got your tank set up correctly for them. They are beautiful and fun animals and soooo worth the extra effort. I hope you find a pair that work for your situation. :)

Thank you so much Catherine! If I do decide to start a tank I will post lots of pictures. :)

I haven't bought anything online before nor do I plan to...I'd rather just ask the LFS to get some for me. They work with me because I'm in there so much. x_x
Nope, I haven't started a sea horse tank. Yet. :p

I need to start a tank thread for my nano but I just re did all the rock and I hate it, so I'm not going to post any pictures yet :P