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FAQs about Seahorse & Pipefish Compatibility

Related Articles: Seahorses & their Relatives, Fresh to Brackish Water PipefishesSeahorse Care Guide

Related FAQs: Seahorses & their Relatives 1, Seahorses & their Relatives 2, Seahorse Identification, Seahorse Behavior, Seahorse Selection, Seahorse Systems, Seahorse Feeding, Seahorse Disease Seahorse Reproduction,

With LPS corals?
With fast moving fishes, aggressive feeders?
No May be eaten by them. Won't be able to compete for foods

Seahorse compatibility      3/6/14
I've got a question on the seahorse compatibility I have a 70 gal with 20 gal refugium I currently have 30 lbs of rock with 20 lbs of sand. The fish I have are 2 clowns
<Which species? No anemone present I take it>

and a gold headed goby and soon will get 2 hippocampus erectus. My question is will a flame fin tang be compatible since they are the smallest tang and every where I've read they seam to be the most well behaved in their tanks?
<May be hard to feed the horses in this size system; with these other fishes present; otherwise should be behaviorally compatible. Bob Fenner>

Seahorse tankmate? Aiptasia control sel.     1/11/13
Good Morning crew Brian here with really quick question.  In my main display seahorse system housing three pairs of erectus seahorses I have found a few Aiptasia popping up, due to design of the system removing the rock and removing the Aiptasia is not a option (the tank is over four feet deep and all the rock is one big unit weighing over 150lbs in a large column and the Aiptasia are on the bottom of the rock structure).   I have been attempting to research the use of peppermint shrimp to take care of these pests but there seems to be some varying opinions with there use in tanks with horses.  Do you think peppermint shrimp will cause any problems and if you do what would your next choice be for removing  these pests that is seahorse friendly!
<They will not cause trouble, but Berghia Nudibranchs, even a chemical solution might be better (the latter if the Aiptasia are not too numerous. Read here re:
and the linked files at the bottom on WWM>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Additions to my seahorse tank   2/8/12
Thank you for the valuable service you offer to those of us who are obsessively stumbling our way thru this amazing hobby.
<Pleasure to help.> 
I actually have two questions, but as I have learned before, I will send them separately. I have a 45 gallon seahorse reef tank with 7 gallons in the refugium and canister filter.  I currently have 3 seahorses, 2 Pajama cardinals, 1 watchman goby, clean up crew and corals.
<Are the seahorses captive bred or wild caught?>
I would like to add a bit more movement to my tank.
I especially want 2 pipefish and 2 Banggai cardinals.  Seahorse.org says that I could have one pair of seahorses per 15 gallons.
<Depends on the species.>
If I extrapolate that to pipefish then adding them shouldn't be a problem.
<Size should not be a problem, but wild caught pipefish may introduce pathogens or parasites which can be lethal to
captive bred seahorse.>
But what do you think about the cardinals?
<Highly likely to fight the Pajamas in that size tank. See here-
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/banggaicomp.htm >
Re: Additions to my seahorse tank 3/08/12

Thank you.  All of my tank is captive bred (except possibly some of the corals that I got before I understood aquaculture).  I am now very conscientious about using reputable vendors.  I am a great fan of ocean rider.
<Ahh! I do miss Carol, Craig and their twin boys... and the Big Island.
Cheers, BobF>

Seahorse Problem... too crowded w/ incomp. tankmates   3/19/11
<Hello there>
I hope you might be able to offer us some help with our new, little seahorse.
We have had our marine tank set up for a year and a half now. We started off with 2 Kuda seahorses and a goby. About 8 months ago our female seahorse died (we are not sure why, seemed perfectly happy and eating, etc) we watched our male carefully but he has been fine and has grown into a real beauty :)
<Mmm, were these animals captive-produced, i.e., not wild-collected?>
In our tank now we have our 2 seahorses, a cleaner shrimp, a goby, 2 cardinal emperors, a 6 line wrasse and a brittle starfish. Our tank is 95 litres.
<Yikes... hard to keep such small volumes stable, water quality optimized... and this mix of fishes and depending on the species of the shrimp... are trouble>
About 3 weeks ago we brought another female Kuda. She seemed to be settling in fine and eating well. 3 days ago my husband came home to find her trapped upside down in a plant, she seemed quite distressed, he managed to free her but since then she has not been right.
To begin with it looked as if something had attacked the fin on the side of her head and it looked white around it.
<Yes... could be the shrimp, wrasse, Pterapogon kauderni or even the Brittlestar! All of these could be potentially picking on the new Kuda Horse... or it might have "come in" with a pathogen, or just be "beat from the ride"... In other words, I can't discern better than these
possibilities from the data presented. But.. this mix, in this small volume, is untenable>
This now seems a bit better but the tip and bottom of her tail has now turned white, she has another white tip on her chest and her back fin also looked like it has a white patch around it.
We thought maybe she might have made herself sore if she was trying to free herself when trapped but now we are not sure.
She is now not eating and although she is swimming round the tank still, she seems more lethargic, and is clinging to things in more of a curled up ball. She was breathing quite fast on the first day but this seems to have calmed down now. I have done lots of research on your great site and on the internet in general and I don't think it looks like white Ich or flesh rot (from pictures I have seen) but I could be wrong.
We went to the fish shop where we go regularly and from where we purchased her and they have given us something called eSHa TRIMARIN, but I'm not sure if this was because they just didn't know what else to recommend?
<Mmm, really, another system to place either the Horses, or everyone else>
I just don't want her to be suffering. Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Gemma
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Question For My New Planted Marine Tank/Pipefish/Systems 2/2/10
<Hello Mike>
I found your articles very informative on the different marine algae, some good pics of what I am looking to do. Here's my plan, if you would like to skip it and get to the question go for it.
<Haven't gotten to the question yet.>
I have a 90 gal with a 40 gal sump. I plan on about 4 to 5 inches or so of aragonite sand mixed with a gallon of fresh mangrove mud. I have a 4 bulb T5 system with two daylight bulbs and two actinic (they are stock) along
with LED night lights (something new for me, I am excited). I plan in the future (in about a year) when I move, to have a true seagrass tank with shoal and turtle grass
<Maiden's Hair (Chlorodesmis sp.>
and part of the purpose of this tank is to mature the sand bed. In this tank I plan on keeping various species of macroalgae, mainly Halimeda and Sargasso. Are there any long leafy algaes out there?
<Mmm, the Shaving Brush and Mermaid's Fan Plants are generally available on-line or your LFS may order for you. Some macros may not do well with your lighting system based on your tank depth. Do check into lighting
requirements before making the purchase. The Maiden's Hair or Turtle Grass will require moderate to strong lighting.>
I have an alternating current device which should make things go back and forth every ten seconds or so. On either end of the tank I will have some rockwork making a couple caves. The sump will be divided into section with
the center section filled with LR rubble and hopefully having fan worms and sponges.
As for inhabitants I am planning on various pipefish, namely Alligator pipes and possibly some other Pacific species. Once again after the tank matures, although I plan on adding a pod culture early on as well. I anticipate a large pod population. Also considering Banggai Cardinals.
<Do not add these fish. You do not want any fish that will out compete the pipefish for food.>
Here are my questions:
I am looking at shrimp as being a big part of my tank. I definitely want sexy shrimp and blood red shrimp. Thinking of skipping the skunk cleaners as I don't want them harassing my pipes. What about Camelback Shrimp (Hingebeaks, I think)? Will they a: get along with the other shrimp?
<Should, rather peaceful.>
b: Mess with the pipes?
Are there any snail-like critters I can put in the tank to eat nuisance algae or will anything I get eat the macro? Astreas, Chitons, cowries, cerinth <Cerith> snails? I will have Nassarius snails as well.
<Astreas are good algae cleaners and actually prefer to eat nuisance algae and are also known to eat Cyano and diatoms. The Cerith snails can consume large amounts of detritus, uneaten food, fish waste, and algae. Some
species of the Cerithium genus often burrows in your aquarium sand and helps maintain adequate oxygen levels in the substrate. I would stay away from the cowries, not necessary, the other choices are fine.>
Thanks alot. <a lot.
You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Coral and seahorse compatibility  3/1/09  Is a flowerpot (Goniopora) coral safe in a tank of all seahorses and pipe fish? <Mmm... likely the Poritid will not consume the tube-mouthed fishes... but I should state that Flowerpots have dismal survival histories in captivity... urge you to read re their needs... that each polyp needs to be fed...> Fish store salesman said it was fine, like a Xenia and non-toxic. <Mmm, all this a matter of degree, definition... I would categorically NOT state that either of these genera were entirely non-toxic> I got home, used bare hands to put it in and then became worried when it began to emit clear mucus threads with air bubbles on the ends. Looked it up and it seems to be very toxic and hard to keep alive. <This last is definitely so> I am worried that it may be toxic to my seahorses and pipe fish. I will take it out now if there is any risk. <There is> I cannot find any information in my books or on the Internet as to compatibility with my fish and this particular coral. Does anyone know? Thanks Jim <A matter of anecdotal accounts in the pet-fish realm... You can search the Net, just the bit that is WWM... with the tool on the site, elsewhere, and the question... "Goniopora toxicity Seahorses". Bob Fenner>
Re: Coral and seahorse compatibility  3/1/09 
Thank you very much for your time and information. <Welcome. I do encourage your participation on the "Seahorse bb's"... In particular, the one associated with friends' "Ocean Rider" I have found to be excellent, straight-forward. I would posit your questions, concerns there. BobF>

Marine Hermit Crabs (compatibility with Seahorses?) 4/22/08 Hello I have 2 marine hermit crabs (Clibanarius species) I have had them for about 3 weeks. They are in a seahorse tank. The seahorses seem very interested in eating them. Yesterday I noticed one of the crabs out of its shell dead and thought one of the seahorses sucked it out. But last night I looked in the tank with a torch and both the crabs were moving around so I am assuming it was a baby it was very small. Am I right? If so do I need to put small shells in there for future babies. Thanks for your help. Jodie <Most likely it was just a molted shell from the existing hermits.> <Chris>

Seahorse and reef, tog.?   2/23/08 Hello WWM, I just wanted to say thank you guys for this web site. I Have a thirty-five gallon tall hex tank with a xp3 Rena filter on it. I have a MH on it also. I have green star polyps, yellow gorgonian, xenia (pink and red) feather dusters a cool green looking brain and two big brown in color on the outside Zoanthid but under the actinic the glow green. flower pot some hermit crabs and a very big maxima clam. I just added a seahorse (Kellogg) My question is did I mess up by adding the seahorse? Will any of my corals sting him? <Possibly, yes, if currents, some other influence causes it to be pushed into them> Also can I add any fish with him. Thank you, Kimberly from Corpus Christi <Only time can/will tell whether this fish can settle in with this mix... is going to be crowded in time... Bob Fenner>

Seahorse Compatibility, Labrid ID   2/10/08 Hi there was wondering if you could help, I have a 300litre marine aquarium I've had for over a year now it is my second set up as I used to have a 200 litre tank with 2 giant seahorses that I kept with a scooter blenny, pair of purple Firefish and a pair of common clowns, I sold the set up on due to a house move but it was a very successful tank. I am looking at going back to having seahorses in my setup now but need to know what fish I will have to sell on before I can introduce the horses, I currently have a pair of black Polymnus clowns, flame angel, algae blenny, Bengali cardinal, red Firefish, mandarin fish <The last four should be fine, the first two... perhaps not... too much competition for food> and a wrasse that I am not certain of variety, <Looks to be some species of Halichoeres... a super-sized genus> I also have hermits, snails and a reef lobster. <Yikes! Predaceous> obviously I want to keep as many fish as I can but understand I will not be able to do this. I also have 3 Seio pumps in the tank a 620 and two 840's outputs of 2600 and 3200 LPH, is this to much current for the horses, if so what would you recommend? <To keep the intakes covered. Rate of flow should be fine> I also have a problem at the moment with green hair algae covering rocks, I am doing regular water changes and using phosphate remover, and also introduced the Seios as I had slower flow before thinking this was the cause, the tank tests are all fine, any help? <Posted... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm and the linked files above> I have included a photo of the wrasse so you can identify it. Cheers for the help and a great forum. look forward to hearing from you. Simon <Mmm, maybe H. melanurus... what do you think? Bob Fenner>

Re: seahorse compatibility  2/10/08 Thanks guys for the speedy reply, I was also going to ask about suitability of a scarlet Hawkfish with the seahorses and other tankmates, as I was also going to introduce one of these into my setup as I love there behaviour and cheeky look. <Me too. Should go along... just no shrimps...> one last thing is that I was looking at getting a maximus clam as my LFS has just got them in and I think they are amazing, I have 2000k <Mmmm?> twin halides on my set up with twin 39w t5s and have been told that I'd be best placing the clam close to the light source, is this correct? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tridaclgtgfaqs.htm and the linked files above> I also know they can have problems with small snail infestations, and I'm also concerned with my flame angel pecking at the clam although it doesn't bother with my zoos and other corals. Would you recommend one of these clams in my tank, or would you say it's taking a gamble as they are expensive and are so delicate. Thanks again guys. Simon <I'd recommend you spend some time searching, reading. BobF>

Actual size pic. RMF

Sea Horse Newbie... sys., comp.   2/2/08Hello, <Hi there> I have added a "Great Seahorse" Hippocampus kelloggi to a 30 Gallon bowfront reef tank. The setup is 18 months old with LPS corals <Mmm... may be trouble with the seahorse... consuming> and two feather duster worms and a derasa clam. Their are two powerheads for circulation <Keep their intakes screened> in addition to the flow generated by a BAKPAK Filter/skimmer combo and on Eheim canister filter. My question relates to the circulation regarding seahorses. I have read contradicting info regarding too much vs. too little circulation. For the most part it seems the circulation I have fits the bill. Good circulation throughout with areas he can "relax" in and get out of the way. <Well-stated> Here's where I need clarification. He seems to like to get in the current which is fine with me but he looks out of control and bangs up against the glass or rocks. <Not good> Is this normal? <Mmm, not healthy> Does his "armor" take this into account? <Only to a degree... is too stressful> He can wrap his tail in various places but I want to make sure he's in an environment that's not going to be too rough on him. Thanks, FJ <The powerheads flow needs to be subdued in some way... or removed. Bob Fenner>

Seahorses/corals, comp.   11/5/07 Hello All! <Melinda> Just getting back into reef keeping post Katrina... Glad to know yall are still here! I'm planning out my new tank and stumbled onto seahorse.com. <A worthy site> I was planning on a full blown reef, but I may have just changed my mind. Seahorses don't look as daunting as they did several years ago... yay for aquacultured seahorses and frozen food! <Yes> Here's my question: Can I do a seahorse tank with lots of soft corals (non-stinging) and macro algae? How about some SPS corals like Acropora? Maybe some Montipora species? <Possibly, sure> Do you think it's possible to have one side of the tank a higher flow than the other and keep the sea horses happy? <Yes> Thanks! Melinda <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Seahorses and crabs 10/16/07 Hi. I recently purchased a pom pom crab. He is ready to come out of quarantine. I was planning on putting him in my reef tank, although I have a Rolland's damsel that is becoming aggressive and may have just killed my strawberry crab. I witnessed the damsel attack the strawberry crab the other day. The crab got away quickly, but this morning I found him laying dead in the sand and am wondering if the damsel is to blame since the crab seamed otherwise healthy. Plus the new crab is so tiny that I doubt I will ever see him again in a 55 gallon tank. <Too likely so> I also have a 20 gallon tank with two young h. erectus. Would it be safe to house the pom pom crab in the seahorse tank? <Mmm... a better choice than with the Rolland's...> I know that anemones and seahorses do not mix, but will it matter when they are so tiny? Is there any way the pom pom crab would hurt the seahorses? Thank you all so much for your help. Your website and helpful expertise are a blessing! -Connie <Thank you. I would take the risk here myself with the Seahorses. Bob Fenner>

My opinion regarding a question of 10 gallon tanks and dwarf seahorses  5/15/07 Hi Crew, Someone asked about a 10 gallon with 4 dwarf seahorses and a clown goby and wanted to know about adding a chalk bass. (see below) Aside from the overcrowding there is an issue with seahorses in that they are slow eaters. They should be in their own tank. Dwarfs are fed freshly hatched brine shrimp and that goby will take care of the shrimp long before the horses get started eating. A 10 gallon for 4 dwarfs is too big. You can not get enough food concentrated around the horses to have them eat enough. As far as reducing water changes if you have more live rock etc. You also have to remember that 10 gallons is a small tank to begin with ( I have one) and rock displaces water and so does sand. So effectively you end up with a much smaller volume of water than 10 gallons. So when you try to figure what fits in a 10 gallon you have to take all this into account. Actually water changes is your only chance to make  a 10 gallon work. And if the writer is looking for an easy way out then be aware that dwarfs are the most time consuming of all horses because it is almost impossible to get them to eat anything other than live food. A good source of info about all seahorses and dwarfs in particular is http://seahorse.org. I used to have dwarfs and that site was very useful. <Thank you for this useful input Samuel... Is it getting time for you to be joining the Crew? BobF>

Re: My opinion regarding a question of 10 gallon tanks and dwarf seahorses  5/15/07 <Thank you for this useful input Samuel... Is it getting time for you to be joining the Crew? BobF> Thanks for the offer but really all I have is 4 years with a 10 gallon which is really a very limited experience.  And you would be upset with me if I told you what was in it. But I give you the credit for making it work. And besides, I do not think I could handle seeing some of those ungrateful emails. <This I do understand. Thank you for your ongoing friendship. BobF>

My opinion ... gobies feeding comp. with seahorses  7/28/07 Hi Crew, <Hello Sam> Below is a conversation about fish in a seahorse tank. I agree that the fish being considered are peaceful but I would still not suggest them for a seahorse tank. Seahorses just feed too slowly and will be no match for gobies. Have you ever seen gobies in action when food is around. They are really fast. <Most gobies, at least the ones I have encountered, feed at the extreme lower level of the tank, very apprehensive about gaining too much altitude (like me with flying). Seahorses generally grasp onto objects somewhere near mid-level putting them in a different food zone. While I agree that seahorses do best in a specie tank, I have seen tanks with seahorse/goby combinations doing well with no ill effects. Just have to be careful which gobies are selected in this scenario.> Thanks <Thank you for your input, Sam. James (Salty Dog)> Goby Compatibility, Gobiodon, Gobiosoma/Elacatinus 8/25/07 My 55 gal tank has been running for 4 months. Currently the tank contains LR, LS, and cleaning crew with snails and red legged hermits. I plan on keeping tank-raised seahorses, some macros, soft corals, and a couple mellow fish. How many neon gobies and/or clown gobies could I get? Will the two types live together peacefully? <The two types should live together peacefully, but having more than one of each, could lead to fighting unless they are a mated pair. In your size tank, this may not happen, and this holds true for both gobies. The Citron Goby or Clown Goby may occasionally nip at corals, something to keep in mind. James (Salty Dog)>

Seahorses, starfish and shrimp comp., worm removal  - 03/09/07 I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 seahorses a chocolate chip star fish and   wayyyy to many bristle worms, these worms are everywhere and they hang under   need the starfish when he tries to eat... I wanted to add a natural predator to   the tank such as coral banded shrimp or peppermint shrimp but don't want to risk  injuring my seahorses of its possible.  Please let me know if its ok to add shrimp of even a orchid dotty back unless that would harm my starfish~   HELP <Mmm, I do share your concern re the compatibility of a worm predator here with your seahorses... if they are of a small to dwarf species mostly... The CBS might go after them... after finishing up with most of the available worms. The/A Lysmata species is much preferred... maybe the Peppermint, or a Skunk, even a Blood/Debelius... and an Orchid Dotty would almost certainly not harm your horses... and add a bit of interest to your system. Bob Fenner>

Seahorses and Cardinals    9/22/06 Hi, (to whom gets to answer my questions today:) <That would be me, Leslie> I have a 30 gallon hex tank with 2 captive bred seahorses (I'm not sure what kind they are, but they are about 4" long) a yellow Watchman Goby and a Cleaner Shrimp. For filtration I have a Rena 3 canister filter with the flow turned down so the seahorses don't go flying around the tank. The whole setup has been running and happy for over a year now and the question that I have is.....would it be okay to add 2 or 3 PJ Cardinals to this system? Some websites say yes others say no and on WWM I have not been able to find an answer. <Well they would do fine with seahorses and do well in small groups. They do however get to be close to 4 inches long and are wide dorso-ventrally. IMO a 30g hex is to small and does not have enough horizontal swimming space. Instead you might want to consider a captive bred Pseudochromis fridmani (Orchid Dottyback); an Assessor either the A. flavissimus (Yellow Assessor) or the A. macneilli (Blue Assessor); a Firefish either the N. decora (Purple Firefish) or the N. magnifica (Fire Goby); or a Ecsenius midas (Midas Blenny)> Thank you for your time and expertise, Diana <You're most welcome, Leslie>

Seahorses, Yellow clown goby and shrimps  7/15/06 Hello, I've been reading as much as I can at your site and it's been truly informative! I added it to my favourites right away, so congratulations on making a terrific site. <Thank you> Anyway, my query is about my new tank which I've had cycling for about two months while researching as much as I can on seahorses and appropriate tankmates and watching the stock in the LFS. <Ahh, both good techniques to do simultaneously> It's a 40 litre marine tank standing 15" tall and has crushed seashells in the bottom and a small live rock (about half a kilo). Two tiny sea snails have appeared out of the LR also, as well as small "anemones??" <Mmm, you may want to do a bit more to identify these... might be problematic down the line with your seahorses, other livestock> and a little red wormy thing that lives in the LR. I've read in various resources that yellow clown gobies can be good tankmates for seahorse (which I'm planning on putting in the tank at a later date), so I was planning on getting one in the next week to add to the tank as a first occupant. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I get the seahorse in and let them settle first? <Is a good choice... I really like Gobiodon spp.> One of my LFS advised that a pair of pot-bellied seahorses <... Hippocampus abdominalis? Mmm, the Gobiodon is a tropical genus... these horses are decidedly coldwater... not compatible environmentally> would be good to put in the tank but I feel that the tank may be too small for them, <Agreed also> and thought that a pair of H. Barbouri would be better occupants. What do you think? <A better choice for sure> Also, I was considering getting some marine shrimp that may breed and perhaps offer a live food source for the seahorse and/or yellow clown goby. Would this be a good idea? If it is, what types of shrimps are ideal? <Mmm, this volume (less than ten gallons) is actually too small for this... Do consider "tying in" a live sump... refugium where such shrimp might be placed... or better, where microcrustaceans can proliferate, add food...> I know that my tank is small so would you advise that I pick either the seahorse or the goby or would they be small enough to live happily together? <Both could go here> I don't want to be a bad "fish mother" so your advice is greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance! Regards, Melody Powell, Australia <Bob Fenner>

Seahorse Compatibility  7/5/06 Hello, <Hello Michelle> My name is Michelle.  I have currently set up a new 29 gallon saltwater tank that will eventually house at least 20 lbs of live rock, 2-3 blue-green Chromis, 2 Banggai cardinal fish, and 2 false clown fish. <Too many fish for a 29, Michelle.  The two cardinals and clowns would put you at the max.> The filtration that is in my tank is an undergravel filter, <This filter is more trouble than it's worth. The live rock will take care of your bio-filtration with no need for the undergravel filter.> a Berlin air-lift 60 protein skimmer and an Aqua-Tech 20-40 hang on filter.  I'm currently using an Ocean Sun 10,000k standard fluorescent light.  The tank has been cycling now for 1 1/2 months.   Eventually I would like to add no more than 2 sea horses to the mix.  I know that anemones are a definite no-no with them, but I was wondering what kinds of corals would be compatible with them. <Seahorses are a no-no.  They are very slow moving and could not possibly compete for food among aggressive feeders.  Best left to a specie tank only.> What kind of lighting would they need, <What is the wattage of your light?  With a twin 10K PC fixture you could keep mushroom corals, star polyps, and some species of LPS corals.  I'd gain a little experience before getting into LPS corals.  Do search/read articles/FAQ's on our site pertaining to such.  But, a good starting assortment would be Candy Cane, Plate Coral, and Pineapple Brain Coral, all relatively easy to maintain and should flourish under a twin 10K PC (130 watts) fixture.>   I don't mind up-grading the lights, but I don't want to go to metal halides due to my space and wallet restrictions.  I am new to the saltwater hobby and have been trying to do as much research as possible before I make any purchases. <An excellent idea.> Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re:  Was Seahorse Compatibility, now Limpet care   7/6/06 Thank you for getting back to me so fast. <You're welcome.> I am going to wait a while for the seahorses and I am going to research the PC fixtures.  I will probably do a seahorse only tank later, after I gain more experience with saltwater tanks. <A good idea, in the meantime do research/read on this subject.> I want to do the right thing for tank inhabitants so no one is going to be stressed or die. My new question is, I was given a limpet snail that was brought back from the ocean as a hitchhiker on a horseshoe crab shell and a small section of Dictyota verde (I believe).  My niece gave them to me.  I had put them in a small 10 gallon quarantine tank but I have no idea how to care for them.  They all seem to be doing fine but I'm not sure as what the requirements are so that they can thrive. <The verde is going to require moderate lighting to flourish, and the limpet, much like a snail, feeds on algae, bacteria, and diatoms.  Should do well just scavenging in your marine tank. In future queries, please reply with original query.  Does help us sort/file.  James (Salty Dog)>

Pipefish and Pistol Shrimp  6/25/06 - Hi Bob, <Hi there, Leslie in for Bob this evening.> I was just wondering if its safe to keep a pair of Bluestripe pipefish in a tank with a pistol shrimp? <Not in my opinion. The only shrimp I would consider with any of the syngnathids would be a few of the cleaner shrimp….. Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni), Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) or the White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) .>Thanks. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Seahorse compatibility ... and sys.  - 05/20/2006 I am currently starting a 265 gallon reef tank. My objective is to create a seahorse and pipefish tank centered around other reef compatible fish. My question undoubtedly is what other fish I can put in this type of tank. I have a few ideas and I wanted to see if you agree with my arrangement. My tank would include:      4 seahorses   6 pipefish   5 blue reef chromis   6 shrimpfish   1 six- line wrasse   1 yellow candy hogfish   1 green mandarin   1 long nose Hawkfish   1 Tassled filefish ( this is the one fish I am not sure about) <Gets too big to "fit" with the other fish livestock here>   1 purple tilefish      I appreciate any help you can give me. Thank You. <Better to house syngnathids in smaller systems... to "keep track", assure they're getting sufficient nutrition... Can/do get "eaten up" by many types of Cnidarian life commonly kept in "garden" reef aquariums. If you do go forward with mixing pipes, horses here, do make provision for moving them. Bob Fenner>

Macroalgae for a seahorse tank  - 5/19/2006 Hello crew! I have read a ton of your FAQ pages, and I can't quite find what I'm looking for.  I have a seahorse tank that is 30" tall.  I would like to add macroalgae for hitches and looks, but I can't figure out what kind to get. I only have a 50/50 (15 watt) bulb on my tank.  It seems that every alga that does well in low-light needs high-flow, which I can't have in my seahorse tank.  Any suggestions for low-light low-flow macroalgae will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all you do. C. <Mmm, this is posted on WWM, please see there... there are a number of browns, reds and green algae that are offered in the trade that would do here. Beware of coldwater varieties... but most all can be cultured in low-flow settings. Bob Fenner>

Seahorses and a Fully Stocked Reef?  Not On My Watch.... - 04/05/2006 I have a 125g saltwater reef tank with 3" sandbed, 150 lbs of live rock, 3-250watt MH and Actinics, 40g sump/refugium with in-sump skimmer, UV sterilizer (I only turn it on when there is a threat of ich), additional plants in the main tank including Codium, Ulva, Gracilaria, Caulerpa, Maiden's Hair, Turtle Grass, and more, and dozens of LPS, SPS, polyps, mushrooms, Clams, Gorgonian, feather dusters and sponges.  I also have Sea Urchins, a long-tentacle anemone, Sailfin Tang, a Blue Chromis, True Percula Clowns, Six-Line Wrasse, 2 Yellow-Striped Clingfish, 3 Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp, 2 bull's-eye pistol shrimp, a few snails, yellow cucumbers and Seahares, hermit crabs (20 or so), a marble sea star, 2 Linckia Stars and probably more that I don't know about.   <Sounds neat.  I like clingfish a great deal!  They're not exactly common in the trade.> I try to add one or a few of every different type of peaceful, reef-safe species.  I want to add pipefish and seahorses but am doing my pre-purchase research.   <.... and thank goodness.  They are not by any means compatible with your system.> I was thinking about also getting a Powder Brown Tang, <I would be hesitant about adding a tang to this system, and though I understand A. japonicus makes an *excellent* aquarium denizen, A. nigricans may not....  please read here for more:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GoldRimSs.htm > a mandarin goby, a shrimp-goby and a blenny.   I see no problems with these.> QUESTIONS: Firstly, would any of my current fish or prospective fish pose definite threat to the seahorses or pipefish?   <All of them, yes.  Seahorses are very difficult to feed *without* any competition; add *any* more capable fish to the mix, and they simply starve.  The will not last long at all with your mix of hardy, active animals.> Secondly, some of my corals are rather large (like my Colt), and while my fish seem to have not problem with any of them, would seahorses?   <Quite possibly.> What are the best and worst corals for seahorse and pipefish? <Some seahorses are commensal with some gorgonians, but some corals may spell doom.  I wouldn't say there are "best" and "worst", but that horses and pipes should maybe not be kept in a mixed coral reef.> Third, and lastly, would the anemone pose less of a threat, if I removed the plants, gorgonians, etc away from it to discourage seahorses from "hanging out" near it?  <Probably would still be quite a threat.  I would absolutely not add any horses or pipes to this system.> I know this is a long question, but I want to get it right the first time without any casualties.  Thanks for you answer and any additional information and suggestions pertaining to my situation.  -Krissi <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

55g reef with seahorses    3/2/06 Greetings from North Carolina to the WWM Crew!  I would like to say your website is a blessing to me, as I have just started a 55g reef tank.  I will cut to the chase.  I started with 2 seahorses, which I now know was a "no-no", but they are doing well and eating.  They were the whole reason for starting a saltwater tank.  Now I have fallen completely in love with my new hobby and have begun to add different fish.  I have had my tank set up for 7 weeks and I actually have not had any spikes in nitrates, nitrites, ammonia or pH.  I have a crushed coral base, appx. 35-40 lbs. of live rock, 1 chocolate chip starfish, 2 (mated pair, by accident) coral banded shrimp, 4 Mexican Turbo Snails, 1 blue damsel with a yellow tail, 1 Perculas Clown, 1 Pygmy Angel that seems to be on the very territorial side (unless I move everything around when adding fish), of course the 2 seahorses, 1 yellow clown goby, 1 twin spot goby, 1 orange spotted filefish, <... what species?> 3 feather dusters, 2 small anemones, <... not good to keep with Seahorses...> and 1 Banggai Cardinal.  Before you say it, I realize now the pet store wanted to really sell me the filefish and the twin spot goby because they are not eating in my tank. <I'll bet> The filefish is not eating at all (which you have so nicely told people in the past) and the Twin Spot Goby just takes the crushed coral in his mouth and moves it around, although he appears happy, I have not seen him eat.  The pet store said they were eating brine shrimp, I know now I should have witnessed it, but guess what...I didn't.    I wanted to know what other fish I could gradually add to my tank that will coexist with my friends?   <I urge extreme caution here... and study> I want to eventually get corals and I realize I should wait about 6 months to do so.  I have ordered a Coral Life Light to start with.  Any suggestions? <At least another tank... to move the Seahorses to> Oh yeah, I have started with a Penguin Bio Wheel for a 75 gallon and a power head.  What do you recommend adding to my filtration before the coral? <Yes> Do you like the canister filters? <For some purposes... posted on WWM> I do not wish to get rid of my seahorses; however, parting with the Pygmy Angel would not hurt my feelings if I could catch it, which I cannot, so I must keep it and get others to go with it.  I would like to get a Tang (any suggestion of type?) or some other really different or unusual species that are not common.  I am not sure when my tank will be at the maximum limit for fish and if this would also include corals and invertebrates.  Please give me your suggestions.       Thanks so much for your help.  Ann <Ann, I am very concerned with your future success... don't want you to have real troubles with incompatibility or disease... I encourage you to slow down to stop on acquiring more livestock period... To invest in and use a quarantine tank for new livestock... to study instead of buying more biota. You have been mostly "fortunate" up to now... How will you feel when (not if) the goby and filefish perish from starvation? Please do consider what you and I have written here. Bob Fenner>

Boxfish and Seahorses  - 2/21/2006 I have a box fish. <Hi there, Leslie here with you today> Could I put that in with my seahorses and the royal Gramma? <I am sorry but boxfish are not an appropriate seahorse safe tankmate, for several reasons. When stressed they can excrete a toxin into the water, they have a high incidence of ich and most get much to big requiring tanks larger than your average seahorse set up.  While we are on the subject of seahorse tankmates your Royal Gramma is actually not one of the better seahorse tankmate choices. Please do keep a very close eye on your Royal Gramma. A back up plan, should removal become necessary,  is always a good idea. The fish should be removed at the very first sign of any sort of harassment of your seahorses, including territoriality.  HTH, Leslie>

Seahorse Tank/Live Rock Critters - 01/03/06 Hi, <<Hello>> This is probably a silly question. <<Only if you don't ask it.>> I have a 55 gallon tank that is freshly cycled with only about 8lbs of LR, 4 Blue Legged Hermits and a Camel Shrimp.  I'm setting it up to house seahorses, pipefish and other peaceful fish. <<I hope you have other supplemental filtration aside from the small amount of live rock.  And do have a read here, and among the indices in blue at the top of the page.  The more research you do the better your chances for success with these delicate creatures: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tube-mfi.htm >> My question is, lately I've noticed all sorts of living "stuff" from the LR, small reddish worms in the sand, feather dusters, etc. <<Yes>> Are any of these things likely to harm the horses? <<Probably not...though problem hitchhikers are always a possibility.  I think those Camel Shrimp may pose a hazard though...depending on the size of the shrimp/seahorses.>> Thanks <<Regards, EricR>>

Chocolate chip star fish and seahorses in same tank  1/1/06 I  have a 60 gallon seahorse tank with 6 medium Ocean Rider seahorses. I have 2 pincushion urchins and 2 chocolate chip starfish also in the tank as a cleanup crew <Okay> I know brittle starfish are not safe with seahorses. I have not seen anyone say one way or the other whether seahorses are safe with chocolate chip starfish. <Usually no problem... these stars are too slow to catch the horses> I know the chocolate chip starfish will eat invertebrate but will it eat seahorses? <Would if they could get their tube-feet on them> Do you think it is a realistic problem that the chocolate chip starfish might eat the seahorse while he is sleeping? <Mmm, nope> I really don't want to move the chocolate starfish unless you feel this is a realistic problem.   <I wouldn't be (overly) concerned here. Bob Fenner> William J. Unroch, Attorney

Seahorse and Sharks… Yep, that's what it says  12/9/05 Hi there, <Hello.> Can seashores be placed in a tank with a juvenile Banded Cat Shark (temporary home for the shark, say 4 - 5 months)? <Uhh….no. Not even temporarily. Far to large messy, aggressive and active, a COMPLETELY different class of specimen than the fragile seahorse. Within 4 to 5 months this animal (the shark) will be pushing 1 foot already, will need a LARGE tank.> <<Seahorses would be very easy for a baby banded to catch and SLURP!  Mm.. horsemeat (I hear it's popular in Europe).  Marina>> Thanks very much, <Keep reading.> Scott <Adam J.>

Seahorse compatibility 10/13/05 Hi! <<Hello>> I'm planning to buy in a few weeks a seahorse. My LFS received some lately, but I can't say exactly which species they are (They look a lot like Hippocampus barbouri). But anyway, they look in perfect health! <<The key to successful seahorse husbandry is tons of research prior to purchase and finding healthy livestock that will eat frozen foods.>> I'm concerned about the compatibility with his future tankmates. I have an ocellaris clown (I don't think this one's a big deal), a bluespotted watchman goby (quite peaceful, always hiding), a Yellowhead Jawfish (very peaceful too) and a royal Gramma. The Gramma is quite peaceful too, but I'm more concerned about him... <<I would be worried about him also.>> Even if he is, is there a chance for him to harm or even kill the seahorse? <<Actually, a very good chance.>> As other tankmates, I have the usual clean up crew (hermits, snails, shrimps), a brittle star and a tuxedo urchin, and the corals are not really aggressive. <<Depending on the species of your starfish it may be an issue. More research would be required to clear him in my mind.>> As I told you, I will not buy it before two or three weeks, just to see how they are doing at my LFS. <<That is a good idea and make sure you witness them feeding a few times before you purchase them also.>> Thank you very much for your help!! It's appreciated! <<As a final suggestion, please use the time between now and when you plan on getting your ponies to read up on their special requirements and make sure you and you tank can meet their needs. They are wonderful critters, but I would give them an expert level ranking.>> Ivan <<TravisM>> 

Brittlestars and Dwarf Seahorses  9/29/05 Can Small dwarf seahorses be kept with Brittle Star fish <Yes.  James (Salty Dog)> <<... not all species. RMF>>

Pony Pals...Seahorse compatibility (7/9/05) I am currently in the process of starting a 77 gallon seahorse tank. <Congratulations! Seahorses are my absolute favorites!  This is a very nice size for a seahorse corral. Please do look into stocking your tank with captive bred seahorses. They are a healthier, heartier and an environmentally friendlier option. In addition the reliable breeders will have them trained to accept frozen Mysis, so that feeding is not as challenging and costly as feeding their wild caught relatives. There are a few reliable sources these days> I am looking for suitable tankmates for the seahorses. <You can find a list of suitable pony pals on syngnathid.org….. http://www.syngnathid.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=FlatMates&Number=824&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1> I learned from seahorse.org that Firefish could make a good addition to my tank. Yes they make an excellent seahorse companion. I had a pair of purple Firefish Nemateleotris decora for years.> My question is does that hold true for the purple tilefish, which is in the same family? <Actually the tilefish are in the family Malacanthidae and Firefish the Microdesmidae family. Tilefish historically have a very poor survivability. You can read more about the tilefish here…..http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tilefishes.htm. If you are interested in something that is purple you have a few options….. There is the purple Firefish Nemateleotris decora, which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dartfish.htm. The Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm. The Dottybacks typically do not make suitable tankmates for seahorses but the Fridmani Pseudochromis is an exception to the rule. They are also available captive bred which is a very nice advantage. However,  beware not to confuse this fish with Pseudochromis porphyreus the Magenta Dottyback which has more of the typical Dottyback personality which would not be appropriate with seahorses. Then there is the Black-Cap Gramma, Gramma melacara which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/grammas.htm. You can find additional information and support at www.syngnathid.org. Best of luck with your new seahorse corral, Leslie>

- Fish & Seahorse Compatibility - Hello, I need your advise please! I have 1 1/2 inch blue tang and 2 inch baby brown sea horses 2 of them do you think they will be okay to raise with each other blue tang is still shy but swims around very hardy so far the same with the horses?  2 inch yellow tang baby blenny Nemo all are about the same size and live rock corals thank you from R.G. <Hard to answer this question properly without knowing how large your tank is. Cheers, J -- >
- Fish & Seahorse Compatibility, Follow-up -
Hi, sorry the tank is 70 gallons thank you from R.G <Likely they will do fine - they probably won't breed with other fish in the tank, but as long as they are eating, they'll likely do fine with this mix. Cheers, J -- > Hello, I need your advise please! I have 1 1/2 inch blue tang and 2 inch baby brown sea horses 2 of them do you think they will be okay to raise with each other blue tang is still shy but swims around very hardy so far the same with the horses?  2 inch yellow tang baby blenny Nemo all are about the same size and live rock corals thank you from R.G. <Hard to answer this question properly without knowing how large your tank is. Cheers, J -- >

Temperate Tankmates for H. abdominalis 4/10/05 Dear Mr. Fenner <Good evening, Leslie standing, well actually sitting,  in for Mr. Fenner this evening> I am trying to find suitable tankmates for some Hippocampus abdominalis.  I would like to find a few small fish and some inverts that won't out-compete them for food, and can tolerate lower temps.  I have not been able to find much info on the web for coldwater saltwater animals.  The tank will be about 150 gal, and have excellent filtration and lighting.  Any tips on tankmates or sources for info would be greatly appreciated. < What an awesome tank you have planned there. 150 g is a great size for abdominalis. I am green with envy . The reason you can't find much info, is because there are not many temperate fish and inverts available to us here in the US.  There is one very pretty and interesting  little fish I know of that you can find now and again….. Catalina Gobies Lythrypnus dalli Have a look here for a photo….. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobies.htm . In addition www.syngnathid.org is an excellent source for information and support. There are several members keeping abdominalis and Tracy Warland who breeds these amazing creatures just happens to be  one of the moderators there.> Thanks,  Timothy Loyd <Your most welcome!! Best of luck with your new corral>

Seahorse compatibility... need species tanks 2/6/04 I have a serious problem all the fish I like are like impossible to look after. What's with all the nice fish being so difficult.  <you are not looking keen enough at the hundreds of others that are hardy and beautiful <G>> Well I have picked a fish not as hard as the Moorish idol and powder blue tang. Its the seahorse. Would 5 or so be able to go in with a purple tang, 3 clownfish, 1 six line wrasse, 1 Banggai cardinal fish. the tank setup is 75 gallons, U.V. sterilizer, BioWheel filter, 80 pounds of live rock, and some live sand.  Would this work. Thanks a lot Scott <it will be almost wholly impossible. They are not suited to the rigors of high water flow and excessive hard substrates of most community type aquaria. And if they don't get their eyes picked out by the wrasse or get bullied into starvation by the tang, then they will be out competed by the Clownfishes for food. They also almost certainly need a mature and established plankton generating refugium to fare well/best long term. Any reading at all will tell you that these fishes need a species tank. And do consider their natural biotopes (commonly seagrass beds) which are entirely incompatible with a community fish tank. There is much information in our archives and abroad on the Net if you'll take the time my friend. Ocean Rider has some great info on tank-raised seahorses. Anthony>

Seahorse tank stocking questions Hello there, I hope it's warm wherever you are.  Thank you for answering so many great questions on a daily basis.  My question regards stocking.  We have experience with salt water aquaria for over a year now and are venturing onto a 12 gallon Eclipse System tank (11 pounds live rock and 9 pounds live sand, standard cleanup crew of a variety of snails, a serpent star and blue leg hermit crabs) dedicated to two seahorses.  The tank is still in the cycling stages.  In this tank I would like to add some Caulerpa for the seahorses to hold onto with their tails.  Would this be a mistake or would it be beneficial and assist with nitrate control.<don't bother with the Caulerpa in the main aquarium>  I also plan to add xenia and green star polyps (Pachyclavularia), and a few mushroom polyps.  The lighting is upgraded to 32 watt compact fluorescent.  Would I also be able to add a pair of red head gobies for disease control (I would like to get a male and female pair if possible.)<If you want to keep sea horses I suggest you plan their home around them...sea horses are very delicate creatures and need both special care and attention>  If these are not a good choice, what would be a better small fish to help clean up the excess food?<neon gobies are wonderful little cleaner fish>  Thanks so much for your help, it is a pleasure to read you on a daily basis<Do read the articles related to Sea horses and their relatives on the WWM and also browse through the FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pipehorsies2.htm. Good luck, IanB>

Seahorse-Gorgonian Compatibility Hello I've got 90g cube tank, and I want to put in only seahorses and gorgonians. Will they live together? Best regards, Darek <Well, Darek- it is certainly possible to put these animals together. The seahorses will probably hitch on to the gorgonians at some point, which may irritate them, so do keep an eye on things. I'd also make sure that the gorgonians that you are contemplating keeping are species with a good track record in captivity. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

-Xenia / Seahorse compatibility- Hello crew, My tank is ready for captive bread seahorses!!! But I was wondering, is it a good idea to mix this coral pom pom xenia in with the seahorses??? I heard they sting, I have right now button corals and green star polyps!! <Well you heard wrong, xenia are one of the few corals which do not possess nematocysts (no stinging!).> Would that be a good mix??? <Supposing you have the appropriate lighting, you should be all set.> Thank you so much!!! <Enjoy, -Kevin>

Too Much Force For His Seahorse? Good morning Scott, <Hi there!> I need some advice, I'm looking to get into captive breed seahorses from OceanRider. I got my tank ready to go but I was wondering about water flow. I have a 44 gallon with a Mag 350 a CPR skimmer and  2 125 jet pumps. Do you think is to much flow for my tank? <Well, it might be a bit more than the seahorses may like...You might want to dial down the flow just a bit...> How much flow do I need? <Well, enough to keep things moving, but not enough to interfere with the seahorses' ability to feed...> And also do you think a flame angel or a coral angel would be a good tank mate? <I would pass on this...> I got 2 Banggai cardinals right now. <That's about all I'd add right now...> Thank you so much, I hope you have a great morning!!! <Thanks very much! Do check out our friends at Seahorse.org. You'll find some very talented, educated, and passionate seahorse enthusiasts on the site that can really share their talent with you! I met a few of them at MACNA, and they are great people! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Seahorse compatibility- Lol...I just got done writing you about my blue/green Chromis in with my erectus seahorses!  But, alas, I need your help once more... <That's what we're here for, fire away!> I went to a marine store near where I live in Ohio today (was supposed to buy some small crabs and such for both my 30 gallon tank of seahorses and for my 5 gallon of dwarf seahorses).  Well, when I was in there I picked up a Nudibranch ...Phyllidia arabica I realized tonight from reading on here.  I am wondering now if I should not have bought this little bugger! <Well, do you know what it eats? Unfortunately, these things are incredibly hard to identify, and if you didn't collect it yourself, you have no way of knowing what it ate in the wild (they are usually specific feeders). Nudi's similar or the same as this one have been know to release toxins when damaged. All that said, it probably was not a smart buy.> I talked to the owner of the store and he told me it would do just fine in my tank with the seahorses.  I also went in looking for a chocolate chip starfish, which I thought would make a wonderful addition, well....sigh...I let not only the owner, but my friend as well, talk me out of the chocolate chip and in to purchasing a green brittle star instead. <Hehe, come armed w/ info!> Again, the owner of the store said that it would do well in with the seahorses and I had nothing to worry about. <Green brittle stars are notorious for chowing on unsuspecting fish at night, I doubt that your seahorse would be immune from this.> I am now shaking my head and embarrassed to say that after reading up on both of my new purchases that it seems neither is right for my tank! <Hehe, unfortunately it happens to everybody. Try to learn from these mistakes and come into the store knowing what you want and how to keep it. If something is really cool and you're not sure about it, put it on hold and research it.> Am I just over reacting?  I LOVE my seahorses and do not want to introduce them into harms way because of my lack of knowledge on these two specific species.  Will my guys be okay with these two new additions, or should I remove them pronto?  Any help on this quandary I have made for myself at the risk of my seahorses (wondering if I should start kicking myself now) would be gratefully appreciated! <If your LFS guy is cool, he may let you return what you've just bought. If you LOVE :) your seahorses, you'll want to remove them. Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you again,  Jena

Compatibility. lions and horses. is a NO NO hi, I have a 90 gal. fw rocks only tank. may I mixed two lion fishes with seahorses since both are slow on their swimming habits? <number one...the lions will probably eat the seahorses. and number two...lions get very large, your small 90 gallon aquarium will only accommodate them for a short period of time> please explain, since they-re all I want in the tank<well I suggest you invest in two aquariums because this mix will definitely not work> thanks<IanB> AJ

Blastomussa wellsi and Seahorses? 7/30/03 follow up I received a Red Blastomussa ......Blastomussa wellsi is the species that was listed on the invoice. I have enclosed a photo just in case they ID it incorrectly. <seems to be indeed> It was sent with an order, as an extra. I seem to remember a conversation I had with a reefer friend who told me that they have very potent nematocysts and can inflict a pretty nasty sting. <nope... not true or accurate. Quite the contrary... they are passive and easily harmed by others> I could of course be confusing it with something else. <perhaps some of the Faviidae with which it is commonly shipped but not related> I keep seahorses and worry about them because they will hitch to just about anything and they can stay put for an incredibly long time. I avoid anything that can sting and possibly injure them. <seahorses with any cnidarians are unnatural and unsafe IMO. Please do re-examine their natural bio-topes. No place with corals or anemones in the aquarium> Do you know anything about this species and it's stinging potential?   <weakly so indeed... still enough to irritate seahorses> If not is there somewhere you could refer me. I have not been able to find a resource that includes this sort of information about corals as it relates to fish coming into close proximity. Any information is much appreciated.  Thank you so much for your help! Leslie <best regards, Anthony>

Nocturnal Disappearances Hi Guys, Greetings from Dubai in the Middle east. Ok...there's war goin on here but I've got bigger problems... <Well, not really bigger, but a nice distraction from the war, nonetheless> I have a 66 gallon marine tank with ocean rock (made coral skeleton and shells) for homes stocked with 2 medium clarkii clowns 1 ocellaris, 1-3 spot damsel, 2 green Chromis 2 blue damsel Two weeks ago my wife went to Colombo and met a friend who has a marine farm and he gifted her...2 carpet anemones, 1 Formosa Wrasse 3 fire shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 2 Anthias (squamipinnis) 2 seahorses (1 yellow 1 black)( I was against putting them in the tank but I hadn't a choice !), 2 bi colored blennies, 2 cleaner wrasse. I know what you're thinking by this overstocking (Don't shout at me please...) :) <Ok, but it's still overcrowded, LOL!> and yeah I was shocked as well at his kind gesture but they all seemed to get on well no arguments no chasing AND ALL WERE FEEDING WELL on the flake food + Raw shrimp pieces + blood worms. <Well, fish that eat are fish that live> One evening I returned from work last week and found the yellow seahorse missing....I looked about the rocks and there was no trace. Anyway two days later I saw the red carpet anemone burping the skeleton out!!! <What a nightmare!> My wife wasn't pleased as she's the seahorse fan...3 days later the black seahorse went missing...2 days later, a piece of the skeleton emerged from the same place again...Now One cleaner shrimp has disappeared and so has my poor Formosa Wrasse...Is there any chance that this wrasse has burrowed itself under the 3 inch coral substrate ? He never ever went near the anemones....was always eating 24hrs from the rocks... <Certainly a possibility...However, your guess is as good as mine here...I hope it wasn't the anemone....Just keep an eye out for him.> Also one of my blennies has got stripes along his body like stretch marks...What is this ? <Again, hard to say from here, but it could be a coloration pattern of some sort. I notice very subtle bluish stripes on the facial area of my lack Sailfin blenny...particularly noticeable when he is agitated...could be nothing...I would not be overly concerned about it> How do I stop this from happening ? I am a big fan of my tank and ensure that the water is in peak condition every weekend...I have done a crazy amount of reading on marine life and on WWM's FAQs so I'm kinda puzzled... <Well, if it is the anemone snapping up your fishes in the middle of the night, the only real solution is to remove either the fish or the anemones...That way, no one is at risk, and there is no problem...> Appreciate the help bud's Thanks God bless you all @ WWM <Thank you for the kind thoughts! Sorry I don't have any earth-shattering revelations for you, but I think that you need to review the stocking and compatibility of the animals...An hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Clueless ... Lyndon
Nocturnal Disappearances (Pt. 2)
Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for the reply...was eatin dinner yesterday and saw the red carpet anemone trapping my fire shrimp...I started a 911 rescue operation (aided by the Clarkii clown...hahaha) immediately but the anemone would not let go...so I coaxed the killer outta the tank and managed to extricate the shrimp carefully...but the poor bugger was almost dead...unfortunately I couldn't give him CPR and the shock must have accelerated his demise. Guess where the anemone is...Quarantined. <Given the recent events in your tank, I'd say that this was a wise move on your part!> Is this normal for anemones ? Perhaps its instinct ?. <Well, they are not "aggressive", but the tentacles do perform a "reflex" action by trapping whatever makes contact with them, be it a piece of food, or an expensive fish! They certainly don't discriminate!> Also I've noticed that my two Clarkii's behave in a curious manner...the bigger one chases the smaller sized one and the smaller guy does a kind of vibration act with his whole body slanted or sideward...then he proceeds to eat the rock...and this continues....now I notice both are doing this side act.....what's up with them ? Are they bumping each other or is it Break dance ? <Actually, more like a courting dance! The smaller, submissive fish is almost certainly the male. In clownfish courting, the mail will generally "tremble" in the presence of the female (don't get any ideas, ladies out there), before he submits to her and a pair is formed. It's fascinating to watch, and definitely a sign that a male/female pair is becoming established...In the near future, you may even see a spawning event! Start reading up about breeding and rearing Clownfishes, if you're interested! It's an amazing and fascinating hobby in its own right!> Thanks Once Again Regards Lyndon <My pleasure, Lyndon! Have fun with your newly formed clownfish pair! Regards, Scott F>

Cleaner goby in a seahorse tank? (03/03/03) Hi, <Hello! Ananda here today...> I an  putting together my first salt water aquarium. It is a 20 gallon extra tall.  24" tall to be exact. I will be putting seahorse in it when cycled. My question is can I also put a Gobiosoma oceanops in it as well? <Yes, it should be fine.> Would there be any draw backs to my chose or would another species of goby do better? <None that I can think of... you might need to feed a bit more, which might mean more frequent water changes.> Thank you Lisha <You're welcome. Do check out the seahorse-centric web sites and discussion boards -- we have a small one in the WetWebFotos chat forums. --Ananda>

Mixing Seahorses Hello I would like to know if you can mix seahorses with other seahorses?  Also what other fish can you put with them? I would also like to know how  many you can put in a 10 gallon tanks. Thanks for your time << Seahorses can be mixed in with others species of the same family (Syngnathidae), but I wouldn't even try the tinier species in such a small tank... Ten gallons is too inherently unstable to give you much chance of success. In a much larger (let's say forty gallons minimum) system these peaceful fishes can be kept with other very passive fishes and invertebrates. Bob Fenner>>

Anemones and Seahorses Mr. Fenner, I have been wanting to add either a green carpet anemone [Stichodactyla haddoni] or a "pizza" anemone [Cryptodendron adhaesivum]. I have been slowly putting together a reef system and currently have types of Acropora, Montipora, blue mushrooms, orange Zoanthids, and star polyps. As for animal life, I have cleaner shrimp, white burrowing star, black-banded star, blue Linckia, frilled cowry, Tassel filefish, six-lined wrasse, various small hermit crabs and snails, and two mustang seahorses. My question is, what are the chances that my seahorses will fall victim to the anemone? I understand that nothing can be guaranteed, but what are your thoughts? <There is a risk... incalculable... circulation can "blow" seahorses into such peril... as can errant movement during darkness> I sure wouldn't sacrifice my seahorses for the anemone, but I wasn't sure if the seahorse "exoskeleton" is vulnerable to an anemone. <Of a certainty not... the stickiness of the Cryptodendron alone would prove fatal> The horses like to drag along the bottom looking for Mysis shrimp; I'm sure they would come in contact with an anemone eventually. I'd really value your advice. Thanks. Sam, MN <Do agree with you... and I wouldn't try them together. Another tank? Bob Fenner>

Cleanup Crews I have two mated pairs of seahorses. I want to purchase a clean up crew from Flying Fish Express, but I don't want any harm to come to my animals. Are all snails and hermit crabs compatible in my tank? I have a 75 gallon tank, with 75 pounds of live rock and crushed coral substrate. My tank is over a year old. I have a bristle star, mandarin, blenny, Firefish, and a few corals. <I am not sure which package you are looking at, but will give you some general recommendations. FFE has the "Classic" CleanUp™ Crew and Reef Relief™ Cleanup Crew, both for 75 gallon tanks. I am not a fan of these package deals. I much prefer to buy individual groups of animals. I generally steer clear of any hermit crabs and avoid the green Mithrax crabs to. All of these guys are opportunistic omnivores, which means they can and will eat anything they choose to. A few others I do not keep would be any cucumbers and sand sifting starfish. I do like to use a variety of snails; Turban, Astrea, Trochus, Nerite, Cerith, and Abalone. -Steven Pro>

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