Do I really need a sump? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Do I really need a sump?

I have a 29 gal. tank that won't be housing much more than two Seahorses (eventually) and some cleaner fish/inverts. I have read up on sumps (as much as I really can) I have a Rena Smartfilter and plan to let the live rock and sand do the work of biological filtration. Seeing as how it's such a small tank, water changes aren't really that difficult. I have a dosing chamber on my filter so I don't need a sump for that either. Soooo do I really need one. It seems like it would be more of a financial drain and hassle than anything.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 11:14 AM
You might not, but the smaller the tank the harder it is to take care of. I don't think all that will fit.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Really? Two 6" seahorses and some shrimp won't fit? I already have the live rock, the filter, heater, and powerhead attached. None of it really compromises the space too much. I only need a small current due to the nature of the horses (don't want to send them flying) so I won't be adding much more equipment. The tank is still cycling but here's a picture. I plan to add about ten more pounds of small live rock pieces.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 01:08 PM
You'll be alright without one if you don't feed heavily. I see some possible problems with a sea horse tank. It is possible that they could get stuck to the intakes of the powerheads and or canister filter. You'll need to make up some larger screens to prevent this. You can buy plastic cross stitch panels for about $3 a 24"x24" square. I used fish string to "sew" it together to make prescreens when I had delicate fish. Make them about 3" diameter and fix it to the powerheads so that they create a large buffer area before the intake. Also keep in mind that seahorses can take quite a lot of indirect flow but you may wish to put them on timers so that at night the water calms. Any offspring will be drawn through the canister filter and lost. I wouldn't add any fish to a seahorse tank as they will outcompete the seahorses for food.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Are there any fish that are peaceful bottom feeders?
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-21-2007, 11:14 PM


Oh wait saltwater, lol.

I honestly can't think of any fish that wouldn't shove seahorses out of the way. Everyone that I know that is SERIOUS, IE not just "I have a seahorse and prove you all wrong", keep them in species specific set ups. They don't even mix the different sub species of seahorses. I have seen some successful set ups that included pipe fish with seahorses. Those were not what I would call a serious seahorse tank but more of a hobbyist that did not know better or refused to heed the advice given by others. Personally in the end I think you'd be a lot more excited keeping 3-4 of the same seahorses in the tank and try your hand at raising the offspring.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-22-2007, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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My only issue with breeding them is that I have no clue what to do with the all of the babies. I was reading about the compatibility of other fish, inverts and coral with seahorses. I would really like something to sift through the sand and as for other fish, to be honest, no saltwater fish really tickle my fancy too much other than the horses. I am really more of a freshwater (i.e. cichlid) girl. Anyway... has a great list of creatures to check for compatibility levels here I may get a few very, extremely peaceful fish (maybe) something to clean up the sand, and some easy, peaceful coral that can double as an easy feeding station. Too much? I know that most would recommend species only, but fear not the Seahorses will be my first priority.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-22-2007, 06:42 AM
Well let me break it down like this. First forget about the compatibility aspect for a minute. You have a small tank. Seahorses demand high water quality. Most of the people I know that raise them typically have very weak filtration so as not to disturb the seahorses. They do very frequent water changes and stock VERY lightly so as not to pollute the water. Keep in mind that seahorses are a challenge to feed, this can easily create a water quality issue as most people tend to overfeed the tank trying to feed the seahorses. I understand your idea of saying "hey since they may miss something, I'll just add more fish to eat that food". This in turn impacts the water quality even further. The few people I know keeping other fish with their seahorses have 100g tanks or larger. They do not feed the seahorses. Instead the seahorses gather their food from the micropods that grow naturally in a large tank. In a 29g I'd just keep the seahorses and or pipe fish. Coral won't count against you as a fish. They are completely different and intake 90% of their diet from the photosynthesis of good lighting. A seahorse tank full of mushrooms, leathers, and gorgonia are very nice to look at. You'll need to get ahold of some "perches" before adding the seahorses to your tank or they won't have any place to hitch to. This can create other physical problems with the seahorses.

But in the end you'll do as you want no matter what type of advice is given. So it really does not matter. You may lose the seahorses because the water quickly fouled after adding those clown fishes but decide you like the clown fish even more than the seahorses.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-22-2007, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Like I was saying, I don't plan on stocking my tank with some pretty fish and seahorses. I was trying to see if there were some functional fish or inverts that would not disturb the horses and act as a clean up crew. Not because I plan on throwing down a ton of food in hopes that the horses will get some even if they don't get all. I plan on either buying or building a feeding station, and or using specific kinds of coral as a feeding station. But because it's inevitable that the sand will trap things that I can either siphon out (which I still plan to do) or be eaten by another animal in between siphoning. Of course it would be lightly stocked. I am really not jumping into this in the "ooh pretty fish" state of mind. Like I said, I am really not too impressed with other saltwater fish. I listen and take all of your advice into consideration. Believe me. You and most of all people on here are far more experienced than I am at handling saltwater aquariums. And seriously, what do you do with all of the babies?
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-22-2007, 06:29 PM
If your looking for something to clean your sand and rock and eat up the uneaten food inverts are the way to go. Snails, hermit crabs, starfish,ect. Your gunna need them to keep your rock clean. Before you add your sea horses add about 10 snails and 10 hermits and wait a week and watch them work there magic, My rock is looking much better sense adding my cleanup crew. Im using trosos snails, and blue legged hermit crabs. From here it looks like your rock needs somthing to clean it.
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