tank set up?


Reefing newb
Hi I'm trying to set up a seahorse salt water tank and I can't decide what tanks to get, I will probably keep 2-4 lined sea horses and a Green Mandarin
1. A 35 gallon hexagon tank with a magnum 350 canister filter, heater, gravel and 35 pound of live rock.( this tank seems to be pretty thin but very tall) $100

2. A 55 gallon normal tank with a 50g and a 20g hang over filters, heater, lights plus 42 pounds of live rock. $120

3. A 150 gallon normal tank with a 150 pounds of dead living rock(would need to cure it? sump filter(older), light system and every thing else I would need.
Is $2 a pound plus $15 gas a good price for live rock?
do I need live rock for sea horse if I have a sponge filter or a canister filter and lot of live sand?
Last edited:
Welcome aboard.

A mandarin is a hard fish to keep. You need a lot of live rock for the amount of pods they eat in a day. Bigger tank is better and waiting a year for the tank to settle in would help out alot.

Harlequin shrimp again are hard to keep because you need to supply them stars. They only will eat stars and it will cost a butt load to keep. I had a star fish out break, no joke 500 of them, and the harlequin only lived 3 to 4 months.

Sea horses I know nothing about so sorry I can't help you there.
I would say none of them would be suitable habitats for either the sea horses or Mandarin for at least a year of maturing. I would do the 150 one, stock it with fish that you liked, get the filtration zeroed in where your parameters are stable, make sure you have pods in the sump then get the Mandarin. After the year, stop replacing fish when they die and eventually add the sea horses when the Mandarin is all that you have.
I would not do Seahorses unless they are captive raised. Not unless you have the determination to hatch brine shrimp daily. Also, if you intend on doing a Mandarin, I would recommend WAITING on getting one until you can locate one that eats prepared foods (Frozen, Pellets, etc.). This will greatly increase the chances of survival. By running a sump on the set up, and having a rubble/chaeto/macro algae refugium section in the sump, you can give pods a great place to reproduce without being harassed. Unfortunately, you've picked some seriously difficult fish to keep as your goal, and I recommend (Just like Big K and Mario said) waiting for the tank to mature for a while (I say at least 6 months is fair) before even attempting them. Trust me when I say, dosing a tank with pods can get expensive, fast.