Rats! I’m very sorry to hear about the run of bad luck you’ve been having! The heat stress and tail infection were just too much for your male Zulu to handle on top of being in the advanced stages of pregnancy and going through labor. What a shame that he went through such an ordeal and none of the newborns survived either! All my condolences on your losses, sir.
And then to have the freeze packs you were using to help cool the main tank split open and leak their contents into the aquarium, creating another crisis, only adds insult to injury! I suppose the sudden contraction and expansion from going directly from the freezer into the warm aquarium water may have caused some cracks in their casing.
At least your pair of reidi came through with flying colors. It’s great to hear that they are doing so well in your reef tank, Nigel! Judging from your description, they are getting serious about courting and breeding, so I suppose the silver lining in the whole situation may be that you should soon have a brood of reidi fry on the way.
Hopefully, your female Zulu will pull through despite it all. If she does, you might consider ordering a pregnant male to replace her mate, in which case you would have instant babies to jumpstart your rearing program, and the male would very likely pair up with the female shortly after giving birth.
If things work out that way, there are mini aquarium chillers available that are relatively inexpensive and can easily handle a small aquarium the size of your seahorse tank, so that heat stress needn’t be a concern for your H. capensis next time.
I would go ahead and get the Neo3 as a precaution. Prevention is our first goal but is not always possible to achieve, of course, and when disease problems do crop up, early detection of the problem and prompt treatment are the keys to restoring health. Some diseases are remarkably fast acting, such as pathogens and parasites that multiply by binary fission and can quickly explode to plague proportions when conditions favor them. That’s true of the Vibrio bacteria that caused tail rot. By the time a health problem becomes apparent, there is often no time to make the rounds of your local fish stores searching for the right medications, much less time to order the meds you need through the mail. Savvy seahorse keepers avoid such delays by keeping a few of the most useful medications on hand at all times so they’re right there when needed. Lining up a good antibiotic like Neo3 would be a good place to start, Nigel.
Best wishes with all your fishes, sir! Here’s hoping you’re up to your eyeballs in healthy reidi babies before you know it, Nigel!