I’m sorry to hear that your seahorse has developed a problem, sir.
As you know, the primary danger with a heater burn or any other type of open sore or ulcer is infection. The skin is the seahorse’s first line of protection against infection and disease, and once this protective barrier has been damaged, secondary bacterial or fungal infections can easily set in at the side of the wound. In fact, most is affected heater burns are actually the initial stages of marine ulcer disease, a nasty type of bacterial infection most hobbyists simply referred to as "flesh-eating bacteria." Aggressive antibiotic therapy is required to treat this condition, and the treatment regimen you are following is appropriate. Kanamycin is a very good aminoglycosides antibiotic for treating such infections and the formalin dips are helpful when certain parasites or secondary fungal infections are involved.
However, I would suggest a couple of changes in your treatments that may make them more effective. First of all, I would add triple sulfa to your treatment regimen. It can used safely with aminoglycoside antibiotics such as kanamycin sulfate and neomycin sulfate in order to form a potent, synergistic combination of antibiotics that are considerably more effective than either antibiotic used by itself. Triple sulfa can be obtained from most any well-stocked local fish store
Secondly, I recommend is gradually dropping the temperature of the hospital tank to help control the infection. Reducing the water temperature in the hospital tank will further increase the effectiveness of the antibiotics and help your seahorse recover faster. Lowering the water temperature cools down the microbes and slows their metabolism and rate of reproduction accordingly, which can markedly slow any bacterial infection (Giwojna, Oct. 2003).
Tropical seahorses such as Sunbursts and Mustangs will be fine as low as 68°F (20°C) providing you drop the water temperature gradually. But the temperature does not need to be reduced markedly to have a very beneficial effect on a bacterial infection; just dropping the water temperature a few degrees will be very helpful.
One simple way to drop the water temp in your hospital tank is to position a small fan so it blows across the surface of the water continually (Giwojna, Oct. 2003). This will lower the water temperature a several degrees via evaporative cooling (just be sure to top off the tank regularly to replace the water lost to evaporation). Leaving the cover/hood and light off on your treatment tank in conjunction with evaporative cooling can make a surprising difference.
In a pinch, some hobbyists will even freeze plastic bottles 3/4 full of water and float the frozen bottles of water in their tank during the hottest part of the day. If necessary, that may worth trying in your case too, depending on how well your aquarium temp responds to the other measures.
Here are some additional suggestions on cooling down your aquarium from Renée at the org that you may also find helpful:
Some summer tips are:
· Use computer fans (you can wire them to AC adapters… we are making some this weekend for our tanks).
· Use a big ol clip-on-fan or a fan on a stand that you can set close. (Just be mindful of water evap.)
· Float ice containers in the tank (Use water/liquid that you wouldn’t care if it sprung a leak. Those blue lunch/picnic type cooling things are not acceptable IMO…. what if it leaks? It will kill everything. I would recommend using bottled ice water because it will stay frozen even longer than fresh water….. but if you do use fresh water make sure it is water you wouldn’t mind spilling into the tank…. good ole tap water is not acceptable.)
· If you have a hood or canopy on the tank…..keep it off or lifted.
· Cool down the room the tank is in by using a portable or window AC unit. The window units can be pretty cheap.
· If the sun really heats up this room, look into some window tinting. This is what I did when I lived in South Texas. It dropped the room temp TEREMENDOUSLY! (If ya wanna go the cheap method, foil was used in many windows in the city I lived in… wasn’t the prettiest method but it saved many people lives who lived in places without central AC and couldn’t afford well working window units.)
· Shorten your photoperiod…. if possible don’t have the lights on in the hottest past of the day. But at any rate, shorten the amount of hours the lights are on for.
When reducing the water temperature via evaporative cooling, I should also caution you to observe all the usual precautions to prevent shocks and electrical accident when you are using an electric fan or any other electrical equipment on your aquarium, Jerome.
One such precaution is to install an inexpensive titanium grounding probe in your aquariums. That will protect your seahorses and other wet pets from stray voltage and should also safeguard them electrocution in the event of a catastrophic heater failure or similar accident..
But the best way to protect you and your loved ones from electrical accidents around the fish room is to make sure all the outlets are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. And it’s a good idea to make sure all your electrical equipment is plugged into a surge protector as well to further protect your expensive pumps, filters, heaters, etc. from damage. Some good surge protectors, such as the Shock Busters, come with a GFCI built right into them so you can kill two birds with one stone. So when you set up your cooling fan(s) on the aquarium, be sure they’re plugged into a grounded outlet with a GFCI or a surge protector with GFCI protection.
It’s encouraging that the side of the pouch that is infected seems to be responding to the treatments and improving, and if you can drop the water temperature in the hospital tank somewhat and add triple sulfa to your treatment regimen it may be even more effective.
No one on this forum is involved in filling orders for packing orders or shipping, Jerome. Did you place your order online? If so, you can specify the delivery date and explain the urgency of your need in the "comments" section of the online order form. The best way for you to reach someone at Ocean Rider regarding your order is by telephone, as outlined below:
Want to talk about your order before buying? Call us at 808-329-6840 8am-4pm MON.-FRI. Hawaii time which is the same as:
Eastern Standard Time 2pm-10PM
Central Standard Time 1pm-9pm
Mountain Standard Time 12pm -8pm
Pacific Standard Time 11am-7pm
Best of luck treating this bacterial infection and healing the wound, Jerome. Here’s hoping your stallion makes a speedy recovery.