Re:Gas Bubble situation

#3880
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear Kim:

I’m very sorry to hear about your problems with gas bubble syndrome (GBS). The stallions are much more vulnerable to GBS then the females because their heavily vascularized, physiologically dynamic brood pouches leave them predisposed to the formation of gas emboli under certain circumstances.

However, GBS is not at all infectious. It isn’t caused by bacteria or a virus or any other pathogen. It is an environmental disease, triggered by certain conditions within the aquarium itself. In my experience, there are three main conditions that are most often associated with an outbreak of GBS:

1) Insufficient depth (aquaria that are less than 20 inches deep are very susceptible to GBS, and the taller the aquarium is, the more resistant it will be to GBS).

2) Gas supersaturation of the aquarium water, which can lead directly to the formation of gas emboli within the blood and tissues of seahorses.

3) Changes in the seahorse’s blood chemistry (i.e., acidosis). Anything that tends to acidify the blood of the seahorses can result in GBS, including stress, low levels of dissolved oxygen and/or high levels of CO2, and low pH in the aquarium water, among other factors.

Since GBS is an environmental disease, Kim, if you can provide me with a little more information about your seahorse setup, I’m very confident we can make some changes in your aquarium that will make it much more resistant to GBS and help prevent such problems in the future. What are the dimensions of your seahorse tank? What kind of filtration system are you using and what equipment do you have installed on the aquarium? Are you using a protein skimmer, it and, if so, what type of skimmer are you using on your seahorse tank? Please provide me with the current aquarium parameters for your seahorse tank and the information requested above, along with the list of all the inhabitants of the tank, and I will be happy to provide you with some detailed recommendations for preventing GBS in the future before you restock the aquarium.

At some point, Ocean Rider may consider offering a basic First Aid Kit for seahorses that will include a selection of the must-have medications that are most useful for seahorse keepers to keep on hand. However, this would not include prescription medications such as Diamox (the tablet form of acetazolamide), which is the medication of choice for the various forms of gas bubble syndrome

Unfortunately, Kim, obtaining Diamox can often be a Catch-22 situation for hobbyists. It is a prescription drug often used for treating glaucoma, hydrocephaly, epilepsy, congestive heart failure, and altitude sickness in humans so you have to get it from your Vet or perhaps your family doctor. Unfortunately, Veterinarians are often unfamiliar with Diamox — it’s very much a people med and unless you find a Vet that works with fish regularly, he or she will probably never have heard of gas bubble disease or treating it with carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Many pet owners are on very good terms with their Vets, who are accustomed to prescribing medications for animals, so it’s often best to approach your Vet first about obtaining Diamox despite the fact they may never have heard of it until you brought it to their attention. Your family doctor, of course, will be familiar with such medications and have Diamox on hand but it can sometimes be difficult to get your MD to jump that final hurdle and prescribe it for a pet. Either way, it can be tough to get the medication you need under these circumstances.

However, I would exhaust those possibilities first before I considered an online source for the Diamox. Do a search for "carbonic anhydrase inhibitor" on this forum and print out some of the detailed information that’s been posted regarding gas bubble disease and how it’s treated using Diamox and present that to your family veterinarian and/or your family practitioner. (Veterinarians are prohibited by law from prescribing medications to treat an animal they have not personally seen and examined. If you have had a close personal relationship with your vet over a period of years, they are often willing to bend that rule in the case of fish, but you may well have to bring the ailing seahorse in for a quick checkup to get the desired results.)

If not — if neither your Vet or family physician will prescribe Diamox — then there are places you can order Diamox online without a prescription, but save that for a last resort. (You can’t always be certain of the quality of the medications you receive from such sources; in some cases, you even need to be concerned about counterfeit drugs, although Diamox certainly shouldn’t fall into that category.) The medications will take a week or two to arrive, which is troublesome when your seahorse is ailing and needs help ASAP. And be aware that customs officials can confiscate such shipments.

If you ultimately need to go that route, the following source is the one most seahorse keepers have found works best:

Click here: Inhouse Drugstore Diamox – online information
http://www.inhousedrugstore.com/neurological/diamox.html

They offer 100 tablets of Diamox (250 mg) for around $20 US, but they ship from Canada by mail, which usually takes a little under two weeks for delivery.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Kim.

Respectfully,
Pete Giwojna


America's Only Seahorse Aqua-Farm and One of Hawaii's Most Popular Attractions

Ocean Rider seahorse farm is a consistent Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winner and "Top 10 Things To Do" Kona, Hawaii attraction. Our "Magical Seahorse Tours" are educational and fun for the whole family.

Tour tickets are available for Purchase On-Line. Space is limited and subject to availability.

small seahorse Ocean Rider, Inc. is an Organic Hawaiian-Based Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Aquarium that Follows Strict Good Farming Practices in Raising Seahorses and Other Aquatic Life.

Seahorse Hawaii Foundation

Inspiring ocean awareness by saving the endangered seahorse and sea dragons around the world from extinction through conservation, research, propagation, and education.

Help us save the seahorse and the coral reefs they live in with a tax deductible contribution to the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation. You will be helping to protect and propagate over 25 species of endangered seahorses, sea dragons and friends.

Make A Tax-Deductible Donation Today!

A Different Kind of Farm (Video) »

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii
Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Tours

73-4388 Ilikai Place

Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740

Map & Directions


808-329-6840

Contact Ocean Rider


Copyright ©1999-2023
All Rights Reserved | Ocean Rider Inc.

My Online Order Details

Purchase Policy

Site Terms and Conditions