Yes, if Zephyr’s somewhat weak-swallowing issue is in any way related to a parasite infection, the oral metronidazole should be helpful for him. It’s a good medication for internal parasites of all kinds, not simply the intestinal flagellates or intestinal bugs.
I would keep the ponies on the medicated Mysis for 10-14 days, after which they should be free of any harmful internal parasites, Diane.
What your finish with the regimen of metronidazole, I would shift gears and administer some oral antibiotics as well to protect the seahorses against secondary infections. I like the neomycin sulfate, which is the active ingredient in Seachem NeoPlex, for this purpose, and it should be again combined with the Seachem Focus, which makes the medicated Mysis taste good to the seahorses and includes a nitrofuran antibiotic.
As you know, the neomycin sulfate is a good aminoglycoside antibiotic, which can be safely combined with nitrofuran antibiotics to produce a synergistic effect that makes the combination much more potent and effective than any of the medications used alone.
The Seachem Focus and Seachem NeoPlex are readily available from any local fish stores that carry Seachem products and it’s very easy to use them to medicate the frozen Mysis to feed to the affected seahorse so that the medications will be ingested and move efficiently into the bloodstream, where they can be the most effective in combating infection.
In short, I would recommend that you follow up the metronidazole parasite treatments by obtaining some Seachem NeoPlex and administer it to the seahorses orally by mixing Seachem Focus and the NeoPlex together with frozen Mysis that you have carefully thawed and prepared. The Focus will bind with the medication in the NeoPlex and then bind to the frozen Mysis in a manner that masks the unpleasant taste of the medication and makes it more palatable to the seahorse. The active ingredient in the NeoPlex is neomycin sulfate, a potent aminoglycoside antibiotic, so when the seahorses subsequently eat the frozen Mysis, they will ingest the antibiotics and get the maximum benefit they can provide.
Here is some additional information on the Focus by Seachem Laboratories, which explains how to use it to combine medication with food:
Seachem Laboratories Focus – 5 Grams Information
Focus ™ is an antibacterial polymer for internal infections of fish. It may be used alone or mixed with other medications to make them palatable to fish and greatly reduce the loss of medications to the water through diffusion. It can deliver any medication internally by binding the medication to its polymer structure. The advantage is that the fish can be medicated without contaminating the entire aquarium with medication. Fish find Focus™ appetizing and it may be fed to fish directly or mixed with frozen foods. Focus™ contains nitrofurantoin for internal bacterial infections. Marine and freshwater use. 5 gram container.
Types of Infections Treated:
DIRECTIONS: Use alone or in combination with medication of your choice in a 5:1 ratio by volume. Feed directly or blend with fresh or frozen food. Feed as usual, but no more than fish will consume. Use at every feeding for at least five days or until symptoms clear up.
Contains polymer bound nitrofurantoin.
Active ingredient: polymer bound nitrofurantoin (0.1%). This product is not a feed and
should not be fed directly. Its intended application is to assist in binding medications to fish food.
And here is an excerpt from an e-mail from another home hobbyist (Ann Marie Spinella) that explains how she uses the NeoPlex together with the Focus for treating her seahorses, Tami:
“When I bought the NeoPlex yesterday I also picked up a tube of Focus. According to the instructions, it says it makes the medication more palatable to fish & reduces the loss of the medication once it’s in the water.
So I followed the dosing instructions exactly. I used regular frozen mysis instead of PE. I figured it was softer & smaller. I was thinking along the lines of more surface area for the medication to adhere to & with the softer shell hopefully it would absorb into the shrimp a little better.
I used 8 cubes which came to just about 1 tablespoon. I thawed & rinsed the shrimp thoroughly in a little colander & let it sit on a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
Then I put in it in a small dish & added the Focus & NeoPlex in the recommended ratio which is 5:1 (5 scoops Focus / 1 scoop NeoPlex). I mixed it thoroughly & added a few drops of Garlic Power.
Then I measured out 5 – 1/4 tsp. servings & 4 servings I placed on a sheet of Glad Press & Seal, sealed them & put them in the freezer, since it says in the instructions that you can freeze what you don’t use right away, & the remaining 1/4 tsp. I split in half & fed to them this morning. The rest I’ll give to them
this afternoon & I’ll do this every day with the remaining shrimp that I already prepared & froze.
In the video you can see that the seahorses are eating it. Yea!!
Thanks for all of your help & I’ll keep you posted.”
Okay, Diane, that’s the rundown on using the NeoPlex together with the Focus so that you could administer the medication in the NeoPlex orally after adding it to the frozen Mysis for the seahorses daily meals, which you can do once you’ve completed the regimen of metronidazole. That’s the best way to use antibiotics safely in the main tank.
I don’t think there is an urgent need for you to replace Galene with a new female, Diane, but it would be a good idea to even out the sex ratio in your herd at some point if you want the ponies to continue to breed regularly and produce offspring. I don’t think there’s any danger that Zephyr’s health will suffer in the meantime…
Best of luck with all of your projects, Diane!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support