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Needless to say, your fish-room medicine cabinet does not need to include all of the items listed above. But it should include all of the basics listed below:
Methylene Blue Betadine Formalin Pouch Kit Small Syringe with a fine needle
Together with freshwater dips, these items comprise the basic first aid measures you will need to deal with heavy breathing and many of the most common problems hobbyists encounter, such as bloated pouch and hunger strikes. They are the fish-room Band-Aids, disinfectants, and tools you’ll need for scrapes and abrasions and other minor problems.
Along with your basic First Aid Kit, the seahorse keeper’s medicine chest should also include the following categories of must-have meds so that you are prepared to deal with any major disease problems that may arise:
Anti-parasitic Agents: Praziquantel or metronidazole (pick one and keep it on hand at all times).
Anti-fungals: Nifurpirinol (Furanase) is recommended.
Broad Spectrum Antibiotics: if you can only keep one antibiotic in your fish-room medicine cabinet, make it neomycin sulfate due to efficacy and the ability to combine with the other antibiotics mentioned above. For example, it can be used together with nifurpirinol to create a potent combination that’s effective in combating both fungal and bacterial infections. If you can afford to keep more than one antibiotic on hand, build on that approach and add others that can be safely combined with the neomycin to further increase their potency, such as Kanamycin and Sulfathiazole or other sulfa compounds (e.g., Triple Sulfa).
Combo Medications: When it comes to the heavy artillery, Paragon II and Furan2 are my favorite big guns (pick one and keep it at the ready in your arsenal). They can save the day when you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a fungal problem, a parasite infestation or a bacterial infection. But remember, they are weapons of mass destruction that will nuke your biofilter, so use them with discretion and only in a hospital tank.
CAUTION! Antibiotics can become toxic in the presence of copper sulfate, so it is important never to combine antibiotic therapy with copper treatments.
Diamox (Acetazolamide): in all its different forms, Gas Bubble Syndrome is one of the most common problems that plagues seahorses, and Diamox is your primary weapon for defeating this affliction. But as a prescription drug, it can be difficult to stockpile.
Many of the medications mentioned above can be obtained from your local fish store (LFS). Those that are not available locally can be obtained online through National Fish Pharmaceuticals, aka the Fishy Farmacy:
Having the items above in your medicine chest, ready to use, will enable you to respond to almost any emergency or disease problem that may arise quickly and efficiently.