Seahorse Tankmates


I failed Kobayashi Maru
With their docile attitude, would they be ok with a firefish, clown goby, and pistol shrimp? They're in my 45g high tank right now (wasn't planned). I was originally going to make that tall tank strictly seahorse, since it's annoyingly tall and the waterflow is pretty weak in there.
The problem with seahorses,is their slow.
Thats why they usually dont do very good with most fish.The fish out compete the horses for food.
Most very docile fish do ok with seahorses. It is best to keep horses in their own tank dedicated to their own unique needs (lots of macro algae, diffused water flow and such). That being said, if you keep your water in great shape you can add one or two very docile tankmates. A firefish, a clown goby and a pistol shrimp could cause competition for food so if you are going to add one of them I would be sure to keep an extra good eye on your pod population. Also, you might run into difficulties if you are going to breed your horses, fry are tiny and make tasty snacks for some shrimps. I don't think I would keep all three in there with the horses but one might be ok. The firefish or the goby would be my choice.

What type of horse are you looking at? :)

Dunno yet....I am just in the planning stages LOL Hence why I'm asking. I'll probably move the goby and shrimp into the 125.
Some of the horses like frigid temperatures which might make it difficult to have any tankmates.

I think a firefish would be fine with your horses unless he's got an uncharacteristically nasty temper. Horses are happiest in herds and with a 45 gallon you'll want to save as much of your bioload space for them as you can. :)

Seahorse Source Seahorse Source, the ultimate place for captive bred seahorses. will have a group of H erectus available in a month or two. You could get 4 in a 45 gallon, 6 if you've got a heck of a cleaning system. Another option is H. fuscus, aka: the sea pony. They are a smaller breed. Have fun getting to know the different types! Horses are so personable, you'll just love them!

David, I keep H erectus and H reidi. It is recommended that these be kept between 71-74* F. I have a heater on my tank which keeps it around 72-73 during the day. I haven't needed chillers. Some horses like it much cooler. I'm looking into the H abdominalis for my old bow-front. They like it around 65* so I would have to get a cooler for them. Depends on your species which is why it is so important you know your species BEFORE you buy. My LFS told me my species was "yellow" so there is a lot of confusion about that. "Yellow" is not a species and many types of horses are "yellow". Thankfully, I knew better but the other horses he sold all died in their new homes. I got the last two he had and told him if he ever tried to order them in again to PLEASE educate their new homes about their requirements!

The 45 is perfect then, temperature wise. I have a hard time maintaining the temp above 75 as it is. It's at 79/80 right now. And the basement stays relatively cool even in summers. That plus no VHO lighting = easy to control temp. It's so friggin' tall that it's hard to set it up for good flow.

I know they don't like strong flow, so what do you recommend as far as pump gph and power heads? Right now, i have a crappy old pump (dunno what it's rated, but I"ll probably replace it), a k1 and a k2 powerhead. Plus a 550 Marineland to ripple the surface. Once I put the algae in there for the ponies, I know flow will be how do you maintain a healthy flow, while at the same time, ensuring the flow isn't too much? Tall tanks def'ly make it trickier to set up.

I think I will definitely just make it strictly a pony tank. The firefish might have to go back to the lfs (he was a jerk and nipped my other firefish's dorsal fin, which is how he ended up banished to the 10g w/ the goby and shrimp. I don't want to risk him continuing to be a jerk to Stumpy in the 125....last time, I had to pull al my rocks out to catch him). The goby and shrimp will def'ly go in the 125g.
Just checked out that site....I love how they've trained their seahorses to eat frozen mysis!! Awesome! Is that where you got yours?
Most species of horses actually like a good flow. The don't do well with jets. I've got one jet in my 55 and every time one swims in front of it they zoooooom. They do not like to go "extreme sailing" as a whole but they aren't that delicate. I'm using Koralia's and I keep the current moving the macro and coals and try to keep the sand on the bottom. My macro grows all around my Koralia's and every now and then I kind of dig them out but it seems to be ok for me.

I wouldn't get a horse unless it has been trained on frozen mysis. I feed mine defrosted mysis that have been soaked in "Vibrance" Vibrance I - $44.95 : Ocean Rider, Inc., Giant Truly Tropical Farm Raised Sea Horses - Home of the Famous Ocean Rider Mustang and Ocean Rider Sunburst Sea Horses I soak them until the heads turn red then rinse them and target feed with a thing that is like a long turkey baster. Many people train theirs to eat out of a "trough" made of a hollowed out shell. I don't like to scatter feed because it mucks up the tank. The seahorse source folks encourage enriching their diets with cultured rotifiers, gut-loaded brine and artemia, and a variety of other shrimps and planktons. They also don't agree with the use of Vibrance as they say it pollutes the water. If you don't rinse them or if you scatter feed, they are right. I'm going to start supplementing gut-loaded brine and I'm getting ready to farm my own phytoplankton but mine have done well with the Vibrance and I don't have plans to change that. Another thing to think about is that if you get them too used to live foods they will stop taking the frozen.

I got 2 horses from Liveaquaria and 2 from my LFS. I will not get from either of them again. After speaking to Dan and Abbey at Seahorse Source, I will make all my future purchases from them.

Melosu58`s seahorse diary - Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community

This is a diary of my seahorse tank. IME they need to be in a species only tank. Almost all fish will out compete them for the food. I dont keep them anymore but they were beautiful animals. I might even start one up another day.

Melosu, I know we've disagreed on this issue before so I want to get my opinion out clear and simple. I agree with you. Keeping horses in a dedicated tank is extremely important. I think most LFS's mis-represent horses and their needs so there is a lot of confusion out there. I hear about people having one horse in with other fish and they tell me "it's ok, I've got a really huge tank..." The main reason I pushed to get this horse thread is to have a discussion just like this, so people can be informed about the needs of horses BEFORE they impulse buy and then, unfortunately, kill their horses so I'm so glad we are putting this information out there.

Now, that that is said, I do think there are a few situations that will allow people to keep a non-syngnathid (seahorse family fish) in their tank. Here's when I think it will work. ONLY if you've got a well established tank, filled with macro algae and non-stinging corals. Good cleansing system. Normal tank lighting (no need for extreme T5's or silver halide) and places for the horses to go to get out of the light if they want. Tank temperature to accommodate your species of horse and you've got horses that are hand fed 2-3 times daily. Hand feeding means you either target feed each horse or you make a "feeding trough" and you watch as each horse eats from the trough. Horses are slow, pathetically slow eaters. Even a vegetarian fish will out-compete a horse for food. If you have a good supply of macro algae then you probably have more than the average supply of pods in your aquarium. If you target feed your horses then you know they are eating. You will look at each horse several times a day and know they are getting the nourishment they need. If you do decide to add a fish it should be mature and you should be certain of it's personality. There will always be the risk that the fish will "change" it's personality and start picking on the horse so you'll have to be prepared to deal with that. Only with care and consideration would I suggest adding a tank-mate but it is, in my opinion, a possibility.

It also depends, of course, on the species of horse. I would never suggest a tankmate with dwarf horses (H. zosterae) and there are many species of horses that have specific temperature requirements that would prohibit adding tank mates. H. reidi are more temperamental types so you wouldn't want to make them uncomfortable. Most H. erectus are extroverts and personable enough that they would do well if the above conditions are met.

Final word: Tank mates with seahorses is NOT a good idea. Keep the horses in a dedicated tank. They love to be in groups so get a tank big enough for a whole herd and their personality will make you fall in love. FISH ARE BORING: GO SYNGNATHIDS!

That's why I'm not considering purchasing ponies yet :D I'm not prepared to house them in the 45 yet....first, gotta move the mean firefish out (probably back to the LFS), move the clown goby and pistol shrimp to the 125, then I have to get some macros in there. I have a fuge tank that's TEEEEEEEMING with a sh*tload of pods now. Problem is, I might have to redesign its location. It's under the tank, and I'm not necessarily sure if enough of them are getting to the main tank through the return pump (which I also have to replace).

You figure, you invest in a couple hundred bux on livestock, you better make sure your tank's ready for them.
I understand Catherine. You cant discount experience so if you`ve had good and positive experience with adding fish to them then who am I to disagree. I`ve just not had that good experience but I respect yours. Hope that makes sense.
Do you think a 75 gal with 2 Koralia # 3's is too much? I've read that horses don't care for too much current.
One of the new posters here and even catherine have found that their seahourses love current...the problem, from what I understand, is that if the horse is too small, and gets too close to the powerhead, it might get sucked in. I'll leave it to the resident experts :)
Don't use Koralia's that large. Nano's are about as large as I would use, maybe if your seahorses aren't babies when you get them a 1 might work. Otherwise you're risking your horses losing their tails when they wrap them around the Koralia's and end up between the spaces on the pump and hit the fan. Seahorses will attach to anything and everything they can and they don't check to see if it is safe first.

I have seen some tanks where people used larger Koralia's but whenever they did they made some kind of netting around the outside of it to prevent their seahorses from attaching to it.
I've got a couple of 2's and have no trouble at all with them. I wouldn't have any trouble with 3's. My horses like flow and water movement so I wouldn't have trouble with the flow it's the mechanics. I've floated some caulerpa around the heads in my little tank to keep them from getting "sucked in." It also depends on the species. I would never do that with dwarfs or even fuscus but erectus or reidi should do ok when they've matured a bit.

I must be lucky I have a 12 gallon Aqapod with 1 Pony 2 false clowns a sand sifting goby as well as a mandrian along with 2 peppermint shrimp and a blood.