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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got my new broodstock in from Australia.
After having raised H. reidi and H. erectus now for many years, I imported 8 H. barbouri which I had a decade or so ago when I didn't know enough to keep them until they bred, and, I also brought in 6 H. abdominalis which I've never had before but they grow to the 12" range but need water temp. at no higher than 68°F.
At the moment, all 8 barbs are in this 40g T with 20g sump, but only temporary as that tank is only large enough for one pair of barbs. After I see how they pair up, I'll move pairs to 3 other tanks the same.



The 6 abs are in a 90g tank with 40g sump in an area of my basement "walled" off with construction plastic and air cooled by a Kijiji $50 AC so I can keep the water temperature at 66° without having to spend a gazillion on a chiller.
If they all survive I will have to sell off a pair as the 90g tank can only handle four of these when mature. I can't get a pic with all six or even two at a time just now being spread out so much.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One should NEVER buy a seahorse for it's colour.
Whatever colour they are when you get them, most often changes as they feel out their new surroundings. They instinctively change their colour to what they perceive to be best for their own protection in view of their new surroundings.
At the moment, the abdominalis are all tan/brown/black combined on each.
With the barbs, some are a pale yellow, some bright yellow and some have a red yellow.
 

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The tank looks so new. Seahorses don't require a well established tank? What silinity do you keep them at?

Are they eating frozen or live only?
Are they aquacultured or wild?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't remember just how old the tank is but best remembrance is about 14 yrs old now. Two at that age and two at about 7 yrs old. The 90 with the abs was set up in summer of 94. I used to have a LOT of tanks but age and health finally made me quit the reef tanks and normal marine fish, but continued on with seahorses as I only started that hobby in about 2002.
I've been raising H. reidi and H. erectus over the years, but have not tried either of these species yet. My health will determine how far I can take it.
The seahorse tank is the way it looks by choice. At 74 I'm needing simple, and with seahorses needed water better quality than any reef tank, (for best chances of survival) I don't have corals (many not compatible anyway) in any of the tanks, just artificial decor for hitching which I can remove for easy cleaning, and no substrate to harbour the detritus for nasty bacteria to feed and bed in. Bacteria is the number one cause of seahorse problems as they generally cannot handle it like most marine fish can.
Most seahorses sold to the hobby don't make it beyond 3 months to a year as people don't understand the work involved in keeping the water clean enough and over time, the degradation leads to deaths.
Others do understand, but human nature takes it's course and chores sort of are allowed to stretch out in between times, and when nothing goes wrong, more slides lead to the eventual fail point. Unfortunately there are NO test kits available to the hobby to tell you when the water quality is eroding seriously so preventive maintenance is the key.
Some seahorses, like some people, have better than normal resistance and seem to survive under conditions not normal for captive seahorses, and, people reading of others success, try to duplicate it but end up with seahorses that like the majority, don't have the same resilience.
If you ever REALLY want to get into seahorse keeping, and don't mind doing more work for it than you would for a comparable size reef tank, let me know and I can steer you onto the best available information.
 

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Ray,
Love the abdominalis and the barbs, good on you for bringing in new species!. If you get to the point you need to rehome a pair, let me know. I keep a coldwater tank at 65 and have a back up chiller for qt if needed.
What are they eating? What have you done preventative wise for treatment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The tank looks so new. Seahorses don't require a well established tank? What silinity do you keep them at?

Are they eating frozen or live only?
Are they aquacultured or wild?
I didn't answer all your questions, sorry.
If you know what you are doing, you can set up a tank one day and put seahorses in it the next day as it's just a matter of neutralizing the ammonia until the system grows to match the needs. I've done the same with some of my reef tanks.
I keep them at 1.024/1.025.
They are true captive bred as the title says, from Seahorse Australia and like all captive bred (and even the lesser desired offshore tank raised), are trained on frozen mysis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm really amazed.
Months ago I posted an query to see if anyone wanted in on this imported order so that shipping costs could be defrayed. I didn't get one order.
Now, I get people wanting any I choose not to keep.
The per cost could have been a lot lower based on the queries I've had lately.
 

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I recall the post Ray where you were looking for other people interested in purchasing and it was really hard not to respond. It was bad timing for us at the time. We had a pending move, no idea what was ahead of us, as our new place is a former stable converted to a church hall. We currently still have 6 months of work on new house, but at least have gotten all our tanks move with very little loss of livestock to our temporary place.

Of the 3 fish I lost, one was my sea horse. She was the only one I had, but was a beauty.

I am probably a year away from being completely settled, at which time I will actively start to look for options for sea horses. However, for now, at least I know we have space and a set up, if something became available.

My offer was not an intent to actively pursue a purchase, it was more to let you know that if you needed a home, I could help you out either temporarily or permanently.
 

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What do you keep in the coldwater tank? What size is it?
Like all captive bred seahorses, they eat frozen mysis.
What do you mean what have I done preventative wise?
My temporary coldwater tank has 2 orange sponges, possibly a few snails, one Catalina Goby and a brachiosaurus blenny in it. It is 55 gallons with a 30 gallon sump.

i had more Catalinas, but had to really down size the tank quickly last winter, when we had to list the house for sale. Lost most of them when we moved from this tank to a 20 gallon with no sump.

When we set this tank up again in our temporary place, the tank was the last one we moved and only had a few weeks to cycle, so unfortunately I lost most of the inverts. The brachy and one Catalina survived the move.

The question about preventative was more curiosity about if you treat them for parasites or worms when you bring them in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry to hear of your losses on moving. I've always had a hard time with losses of ANY livestock.
I've had multiple offers, even some that found out my shipment was coming but not even here yet.
Thank you for the offer to rehome if needed, but that tank as it stands would not be the best for the abdominalis.
Best chances of longevity for the seahorses is to be in a species only tank.
Better than that is to place them in a system that has never had other fish so that they don't succumb to parasites they haven't grown up with and had no previous exposure to. (Probably the number two cause of failure after nasty bacteria) I actually use everything sterilized first, even the rock. (which I place in the sump so it's easier to see the seahorses)
When one purchases seahorses from a reputable breeder, (like Dan Underwood of seahorsesource.com in the US, or in this case Seahorse Australia, you normally don't have to worry about the parasites as such companies use properly filtered and treated for such BEFORE being being used in the systems so that they are NOT like wild caught seahorses.
Most imports of seahorses from offshore are seahorses raised in large containers like the large round cement vats in Asian sources, using ocean water NOT sufficiently treated, (if at all) so their viability is less than those of reputable breeding sources or even other hobbyists who use salt mixes for water.
Now, if I add any seahorses to a system, say for replacement purposes, I would ONLY add seahorses from the same breeding source so that the inherent parasites would be still the same as the originals. (they will always have some parasites, even after a removal protocol.
If I were to purchase wild caught ones, or for some reason add ones from a different source, (never have to this point) I would then treat them with a 3 drug, 9 week protocol. Not all seahorses make it through that regimen though.
If anyone is thinking about breeding seahorses, it is a long, laborious task, and sales usually can't make up for all the expense and labour that goes into the task. It's best done by someone just wanting the challenge and doesn't mind what it takes to accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
With no knowledge of ozone use, I can't comment on that.
As for UV, I feel it is a waste of money. Buy a good skimmer rated for a tank at least 5 times larger for a better investment.
UV is ONLY going to work on organisms that pass through the UV. The nasty bacteria that affect seahorses the most are benthic and not pelagic, staying on surfaces rather than free swimming so they don't go through the UV.
There is a lot you can learn BEFORE you get into the hobby that will help you decide what is best for seahorse needs and indeed your own as well.
The most up to date comprehensive site would be https://fusedjaw.com/ with a lot of articles you can go through.
The best forum for seahorses is seahorse.org which also has an extensive library but is sadly lacking in updates for a lot of it. The hobby has evolved quite fast.
The best breeder in North America, is also one of the greatest to help in the hobby and he is Dan Underwood of seahorsesource.com. He has a page of articles and anything Dan writes is worth reading. http://seahorsesource.com/?page_id=781
For my own thoughts on seahorse keeping: http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/seahorsekeeping.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have 13 of the 14 I bought and received June 26, 2017.
I lost a male abdominalis two days after it gave birth to hundreds of dead fry. I still have no idea what the problem was. The others are now 7-8" long.
The barbouri are doing fairly well though but seem to be slow in maturing and range from 2.5" to 4" so far.
 

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That's pretty good!
Did you ever sort out cooling on the Abdominalis system or are you still using the air conditioner?
 
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