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Old 12-28-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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To powerhead or not to powerhead...that is the question.

Soooooo.....I have set up my first SW tank last week. It is a 20g high that will be housing seahorses. Eventually, after doing a little more research, I plan on adding a few soft corals. I'm looking into polyps, a yellow fiji leather and a blue mushroom. I was told a powerhead may wisk my little seahorses all over the place, stressing them out, which will lead to a short existence. I bought a powerhead anyway, just in case. It is rated at 160 gph. My skimmer (a seaclone 100) provides low current throughout the tank and some oxygenation.

As of right now, I have a penguin biowheel for filtration (which also provides some water movement), my skimmer, and a heater. The powerhead is still in the box. My lighting is a dual sattelite 2x65w, 1 dual daylight, and 1 dual actinic with a lunar light. The only thing in the tank is 8 lbs of LR. I plan on adding more as I find pieces I like. My LFS is awaiting an 800 lb shipment that should be in sometime in the next week.

Sooooo, between the movement from the filter and the current and oxygenation provided by the skimmer; will this be enough for the corals?
Will the current from the skimmer combined with my 160gph powerhead be too much for my horses??
I don't want to skimp on the current and oxygenation, but I don't want my seahoses stuck in an underwater typhoon either. Any and all feedback is appreciated!!
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:08 PM   #2
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As for the power heads they will be fine on a medium to low setting. However you will want to look into placing a corner that can act as an internal over flow system to hide pumps and intakes so that they dont get caught up in the intake . Also by pointing the intakes to a corner and coering them may also help prevent them getting tangled . I would also say to unplug them at night so that if the move they are not caught especially if the intakes are nto secured .
overflow
something liek this or you could fashion your own from a plastic garbage can .
The liverock you will once added could also cuase a bit of a prolonged cycle but not much more if it is cured . As for the PH I say yes you do need them to keep the uneaten food kicked up and grabbed in the filter and the filter media ... it also helps control algea and cyno from the feedings that are needed by horses . As to the skimmer just increase your water changes to 20 % per week insted of 10 % this should take care of the excess neutrients .HTH
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:54 AM   #3
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Soft corals do not require high flow such as the SPS I keep in my tank.

Your flow shoud actually be ok, not to strong.

There was an articel in the Jan/Feb edition of TFH that talked about a sea horse reef. Although, I do not agree with every point as I have experience in breeding them it is still not a bad read.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:52 PM   #4
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What kind of sea horses are you keeping and what is your water temp?
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:52 PM   #5
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Well, before we get into anything else....I found out that the bubbles coming from my skimmer is BAD. I was told the horses (and every other living thing i.e. inverts) can ingest the tiny bubbles and it can cause problems. I got some suggestions and I'm working on fixing that right now. One person suggested nixing the skimmer, but because I plan on keeping some softies, I'm going to stay with the skimmer and work on fixing the bubble problem. My LFS got in their shipment of LR, so my LR stock is up to 23 lbs.

I have the TFH issue you talked about. I skimmed through it, but I'll be sure to read over it again. I bought a book on corals yesterday. It's not as thorough as I expected. Nor does it cover all the species I am looking into. I want to get as much information on every possiblity before making my choice as to what corals I put in there. I don't want too many, and two of my choices that I'm almost certain I will be putting in there (zoas and blue mushroom) tend to spread. My other choice would be the yellow fiji leather, but I need to do more research on that. As of now, those are the corals I think I'm going to go with. Having said that, do you think the water flow from my skimmer and HOB filter will be sufficient?

As for your other question..... I'm going with tank bed or captive bred. Def not wild. I heard they are to hard to feed. I do not have acces to live mysis, nor do I plan on breeding either those or bine shrimp. The guy at my LFS said he drops a cube of the frozen brine shrimp in once a day and they do fine with that. He has stock in the store which is for sale, but he also has pets in a nanocube system. Because he has had the pets for some time, I trust his word.
My tank is still cycling. 20lbs. of the LR I have in there was not cured, so my levels are way out of control right now. I'm going to do a pwc today to get some of the crap out of there.
My water temp is at 82. I was thinking 80 would be better. I need to go with a compromise in water parameters because of keeping the ponies and the SC. From what I understand, the horses can stand cooler temps (77ish) but the corals need higher temps. So I think 80 is a good compromise. I want everything in there to thrive. Although it would be nice to have everything go fantastic, I'm sure there is going to be some trial and error, as this is my first SW adventure.
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:04 PM   #6
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Not so much stand cooler temps, however most need cooler temps. I strongly disagree with some of the temp. advice given in the TFH article...strongly.

As far as microbubles I may be able to help..What kind of skimmer?

As far as feeding non-live food this can touchy. A good rule of thumb with any fish is if you plan on feeding a prepared food, you should see the animal eating prepared food at the store.

Please be careful and always check with what any LFS tells you. I am confident you can do this because you have a willingness to research but many seahorses die to to inproper care.

What species are you interested in keeping?

Also, species only? I won't go into much about the concept of a "species only" system, but if you are going to keep other fish with the ponies, they really should be "similar" in size, and habits etc. Pipefish, dragonettes, even gobies should be okay, but anything else that is either "fast and agressive" or just plain old food gluttons, should not be kept with seahorses.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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I have a seaclone 100 skimmer. I got some spongy stuff at the LFS and they showed me how to stick it on my skimmer to stop the bubbles. It's the same media that is used in a diffuser box. I haven't tried it yet, and any other advice is appreciated.
I always 2nd guess what people tell me, especially someone in a petstore. The guy I'm dealing with now has been an avid aquarist for 20 some years. So far he hasn't steered me wrong.
I really haven't checked into the species. I will be getting the seahorses from the guy I'm dealing with now. They will be the same ones he keeps as pets. All I know is that they are not wild. He told me if I decide to go with wild, I'm asking for trouble.
As far as livestock, this is my plan......
As soon as my tank cycles, I'm gonna start stocking some inverts. Turbo snails, nassarius snails. A skunk cleaner shrimp. Possibly some sexy shrimp (gotta do a little more reading on those).I'm not sure if I want to go with hermit crabs? I was thinking some zebras, but I'm scared they might pinch at my ponies. I want an electric flame scallop. (I've already done the research.short life span. phytomax and zoomax for food)
For corals, a few soft ones. Probably the ones I've mentioned. I'll have 2-5 seahorses. And after my LR really matures, I plan on getting a blue dragonnette. That's it.
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STARFYRE
And after my LR really matures, I plan on getting a blue dragonnette. That's it.
Bad idea on the dragonette they will compete for food from the horses . This is because horses feed through out the day and not just at feeding time. They both eat pods so this will deplete your tank in a matter of weeks if not days
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:17 PM   #9
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I want one fish in there, to help sift sand and just because. So what do you recommend??
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:53 AM   #10
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Agree about the mandarin. It is important that you figure out species and gear from there.

As far as another fish, I am a firm believer in ponies being in species only or pipefish. I strongly disagree with some of the TFH article and horses are always better in species only being the slow to get to food animals.

FWIW, the seaclone skimmer is a very poor piece of equip. but you can worry about that later.
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