Re:cloudy eye

#3980
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear bikini:

I’m sorry to hear about the problems one of your red ponies has developed. The cloudy eyes and the fin rot on its dorsal are both indications of a bacterial infection. Because there are signs of an infection at two different sites, I would ordinarily recommend treating the seahorse with a formalin bath followed by treatment in a hospital tank with Ampicillex, which is a synthetic form of penicillin that is effective in treating fin rot and stubborn eye and mouth infections. It will explain the treatment protocol I feel is appropriate later in this post, but first I would like a little more information about the ailing seahorse.

You describe your new acquisitions as "red seahorse babies," and that makes me wonder how old they are. Newborn seahorses cannot tolerate the same medications and dosages as older seahorses, so I would hesitate to use the formalin if the new seahorses are indeed babies. Juvenile seahorses that are at least a few weeks old can generally be treated with the same medications and procedures as the adults. Can you tell me how old your new red seahorses are, bikini? Do you know what species they are?

Assuming they are not newborns, I would suggest that you administer a formalin bath to the affected seahorse and then transferring it to a hospital tank for treatment with Ampicillex, which should be available at any well-stocked LFS. As with other antibiotics, use the Ampicillex every other day for 5 days (3 treatments are recommended). Adjust the specific gravity of the saltwater in the hospital tank to 1.020 and add just enough methylene blue drop by drop to tinge the water a light blue coloration.

Here are the inspections for administering the formalin bath:
Formalin Baths

Formalin (HCHO) is basically a 37% solution of formaldehyde and water. It is a potent external fungicide, external protozoacide, and antiparasitic, and is thus an effective medication for eradicating external parasites, treating fungal lesions, and reducing the swelling from such infections. It is a wonder drug for treating cases of Popeye caused by trematodes, and also eradicates external nematodes.

In my experience, provided it is administered properly, seahorses tolerate treatment with formalin very well at therapeutic dosages. For a long term bath the correct dose is 15 to 25 mg/L. [Note: 25 mg/L equals 1 ml (cc) of 37% formalin per 10 gallons of water.] This is done every other day for 3 treatments.

For a short term bath (dip) the correct dose is 250 mg/L. This would equal 1 ml (cc) of 37% formalin per 1 gallon of water. This should be for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. In my opinion, formalin is a safe, effective treatment for parasitic infections in seahorses providing you don’t exceed these dosages and observe the following precautions for administering the medication properly:

Many commercial formalin products are readily available to hobbyists, such as Kordon’s Formalin 3, Formalin-F sold by Natchez Animal Supply, and Paracide-F, sold by Argent go to top Chemical Laboratories. Or whatever brand of formalin is available at your fish store should work fine, Pam.

A formalin bath simply involves immersing the seahorse in a container of saltwater which contains the proper dosage of formalin for a period of 30-60 minutes before transferring it to your hospital tank. Include a hitching post of some sort in the container and follow these instructions: place the fish in a three-gallon bucket or a similar clean, inert container containing precisely one gallon of siphoned, aerated tank water. Medicate the bucket of water with with the appropriate amount of formalin for a concentrated bath according to the directions on the label. Place an airstone in the bucket and leave the fish in the bath for 30 minutes. If at any time the fish becomes listless, exhausted or loses its balance, immediately place the fish in clean, untreated water in your hospital tank.

I want you to be aware of these precautions when administering the formalin bath:
Formalin has limited shelf life and degrades to the highly toxic substance paraformaldehyde (identified as a white precipitate on the bottom of the solution); avoid using any formalin product which has such a precipitate at the bottom of the bottle.
Formalin basically consumes oxygen so vigorous aeration must be provided during treatment.
Time the bath closely and never exceed one hour of chemical exposure at this concentration.
Observe the seahorse closely during the bath at all times, and it show signs of distress before the allotted time has elapsed, remove it from the treatment immediately.

If you can obtain Formalin 3 from Kordon at your LFS, Pam, these are the instructions you should follow for your formalin dip:

METHOD 2 (DIP) FOR THE PREVENTION OR TREATMENT OF FISH DISEASES
(a) To a clean, non-metallic container (i.e., a plastic bucket), add one or more gallons of fresh tap water treated with Kordon’s AmQuel . For marine fish use freshly prepared saltwater adjusted to the same specific gravity (or salinity) as in the original tank. Make sure the temperature in the container is identical to that in the aquarium
(b) Add 1 teaspoons of Formalin·3. This produces a concentration of 100 ppm. formaldehyde.
(c) Agitate the solution with an airstone and adjust for a moderately strong flow of air.
(d) Remove the fishes to be treated and deposit them in the container for a treatment period of not more than 50 minutes. Immediately after the treatment period, or if signs of distress are noted, remove the fishes to a previously prepared recovery tank. The fishes may be returned to their original tank, but the presence of the original disease-causing agents in the tank water may result in a reoccurrence of the disease condition.
(e) Observe recovering fishes. Make sure that tankmates do not molest them during recovery.
(f) Repeat treatment as needed, every week. Each treatment is very stressful to the treated fishes. Do not reuse the dip solution.

For additional information on treating fishes with Formalin 3 by Kordon, see the following web page:

Click here: KPD-54 Formalin-3
<http://www.novalek.com/kpd54.htm&gt;

If you get another brand of formalin, just follow the instructions that it comes with for a concentrated bath or dip (not prolonged immersion or a long-term bath).

Best of luck clearing up your seahorse’s cloudy eye am the white line on its dorsal fin!

Respectfully,
Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2008/02/11 03:47


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