Reply To: How do i help my seahorses

Pete Giwojna

Dear Charlotte:

I am very sorry to hear about the mistakes that endangered your seahorses and the problems they have been experiencing as a result.

I am unfamiliar with Southern Knight seahorses and unsure what species they may be, but that’s not really important under the circumstances.

Your seahorses are having problems because freshwater and saltwater differ dramatically in two key areas – salinity and pH. Freshwater is naturally much lower in both salinity and pH then saltwater, and your seahorses experienced osmotic shock and pH shock as a result.

All the while your ponies were in the freshwater aquarium, water was steadily moving into their bodies via osmosis and disrupting the normal osmotic balance of their cells, which in turn may have affected their blood chemistry. This has caused the seahorses a great deal of stress with harmful consequences.

Now that they are in a saltwater aquarium, the excess water is moving out of their bodies again, which is good, but they are also experiencing significantly higher pH in the saltwater aquarium, and it’s going to take them time to adjust.

Whether or not he will be able to recover fully and return to good health again will depend on how much of a shock the changes they have experienced in salinity and pH have had on their systems.

I don’t know of anything you can do to help them right now, Charlotte, since it is naturally going to take time for them to recover from this setback and we don’t know how much damage their kidneys or other internal organs may have suffered in the meantime.

However, I can tell you that severe pH shock is very serious and difficult to recover from, so the outlook is not good…

Can you tell me what the current aquarium parameters in your seahorse tank are for ammonia, nitrite, salinity or specific gravity, and, of course, the pH, Charlotte? I am wondering if your saltwater aquarium was just recently set up, and if the beneficial nitrifying bacteria have had a chance to complete the nitrogen cycle and provide adequate biological filtration for the ponies?

Please get back to me with the additional information I requested as soon as possible, Charlotte. Good luck in the meantime.

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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