Re:Rearing Question

#4751
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear Sean:

Since you follow an exemplary maintenance schedule in your nursery tanks and the water quality has ever been an issue, it seems unlikely that this problem is the result of ammonia poisoning or nitrite toxicity. Since your not having a problem with water quality and your dissolved oxygen levels should be good, I suspect that the rapid respiration could be due to protozoan parasites that attack the gills.

The methylene blue was a good thought and is an appropriate medication whatever seahorses are experiencing respiratory distress. In addition to reversing of ammonia poisoning or nitrite toxicity by converting methemoglobin backing to hemoglobin, and is also an effective treatment for fungus and protozoan parasites. Normally you would dose the nursery tank with the methylene blue one time, and then perform a water change after 3 to 5 days and resume activated carbon filtration to remove the medication. If you are performing daily water changes, redose the tank with the methylene blue following each water change (according to how much water was replaced) during the treatment. For example, if you perform a 50% water change, add 1/2 (i.e. 50%) of the indicated dose of methylene blue to the nursery tank following the water change to restore a therapeutic dose of the methylene blue. Allow the methylene blue to remain in the nursery tank for 3-5 days and then remove it via water changes and/or activated carbon filtration.

I will go over the instructions for Kordon methylene blue in more detail later in this post, Sean, but first I wanted to say that if the methylene blue does not have the desired effect, I would immediately begin treating your nursery tanks with formalin instead. Professional aquarists typically treat the nursery tanks with formalin at the first sign of protozoan parasites. The newborns tolerate the standard 25ppm formalin dose (about 1 mL per 10 gallons of water) just fine. (Note 1 mL = 1/5 teaspoon or 20 drops.) So consider treating the nurseries with formalin next, sir.

Okay, let’s look at the instructions for the methylene blue little more closely:

Methylene Blue
Item No. 37311 – 1fl. oz. (29 mL) bottle, Item No. 37344 – 4 fl. oz. (118 mL) bottle.
KPD-28
PURPOSE AND BENEFIT
Methylene Blue is effective against superficial fungal infections of fishes. The drug may be used as an alternative to Malachite Green for the control of fungus when it is known that the fish to be treated are sensitive. Methylene Blue is safe for use with fish eggs and fry for the prevention of fungal infections. As a secondary use, it is effective against some external protozoans, such as Ichthyophthirius (Ich), Chilodonella and Costia. Click for additional information on the ICH LIFE CYCLE <kpd57.htm>
The properties of the drug as an oxygen transporter (it converts methemoglobin to the normal oxygen carrying component of fish blood, hemoglobin) allow it to be used in the treatment of known cyanide and nitrite poisoning of aquarium fishes. It has been suggested that newly arrived marine fish placed in Methylene Blue can have their survival rate increased as Methylene Blue aids in the reversal of nitrite and/or cyanide poisoning.

GENERAL DIAGNOSIS OF PARASITIC DISEASES OF FISHES
The following brief summary of clinical signs often associated with the parasitic protozoans discussed above is intended only as an aid for the beginning aquarist. It is not to be thought of as a definitive diagnostic key. It is also important that the aquarist consult appropriate, accurate references for more specific information regarding disease problems of fishes. In addition, if possible, skin and/or gill smears should be made and examined by a qualified fish diagnostician. Microscopic examination is recommended and is always essential for confirmation of a particular disease. In the clinical signs indicated below, a particular description may be followed by a specific disease causing organism in brackets. This indicates that there is a high probability that the cause of the disease you may observe on the fish is the organism indicated in the brackets. It should be qualified that different clinical signs can be seen during the disease process and that these can occur as the result of more than one disease causing organism.

Clinical Signs
Increased respiration; loss of normal body color; presence of discrete white spots (freshwater or marine Ich); scratching on tank bottom or on objects; lethargic behavior; white tufts or strands on body [Fungus]; dustlike "peppered" spots on body surface, having a yellowish cast [Oodinium].
SPECIFICATIONS
Contains zinc free, chloride salt of Methylene Blue. Provided as a 2.303% water solution.
MODE OF ACTION
The therapeutic action of Methylene Blue on bacteria and other parasites is probably due to its binding with cytoplasmic structures within the cell and also its interference with oxidation reduction processes.
STABILITY
Methylene Blue is stable indefinitely in the 2.303% solution. Aqueous solutions show very little, if any, decomposition even when exposed to sunlight.
COMPATIBILITIES
Kordon Methylene Blue is compatible with NovAqua®, Acriflavine, Chelated Copper and PolyAqua®. Note: The presence of extensive amounts of Kordon’s AmQuel® will reduce or eliminate the presence of Methylene Blue.
CONTRAINDICATIONS
Methylene Blue is not indicated for the treatment of Oodinium, bacterial infections, flukes (monogenetic trematodes) or for moderately-severe to severe fungal infections. It is not indicated for use as a net disinfectant or sterilizer.
The use of Methylene Blue is primarily for the control of fungus on eggs, and to assist the transport of oxygen in fish poisoned by cyanide and nitrite ion. Secondary uses are for the control of some external protozoan parasites of fishes. Methylene Blue is an alternative for treatment with other medications when prevailing factors preclude the use of another medication. For additional information on Ich, click on LIFE CYCLE OF ICH <kpd57.htm>.
CAUTIONS
This product should not be used in recirculation systems that utilize biological filtration. Methylene Blue will interfere with the normal biological processes of nitrifying filter bacteria. Methylene Blue can also interfere with normal plant growth.
TOXICITY
Methylene Blue has a wide safety margin and is nontoxic when used as recommended. Fishes tolerate relatively high dosages without side effects.
SUGGESTED TREATMENT PROCEDURES
The following procedures are suggested for freshwater and marine aquariums and ponds. Methylene Blue is removed by activated carbon filtration. It will also be absorbed by porous materials such as rock, coral and wood. The product is best used in bare aquariums or ponds, especially if they are new. Methylene Blue may permanently color the silicone sealant in aquariums. At the conclusion of all treatments, a partial or complete water change should be made and activated carbon replaced in the filter.
Prevention or treatment of fungus on fish eggs:
(a) Remove carbon from the filter and continue to operate with mechanical filter media.
(b) Add 1 teaspoon of 2.303% Methylene Blue per 10 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 3 ppm. For increased concentrations, add approximately 1/3 teaspoon (1.64 ml) per 10 gallons for each required 1 ppm increase.
(c) Only one application is needed. Treatment should continue for 3 days past free swimming stage or for livebearers 2 days after birth.

Prevention or treatment of fungus or external parasitic protozoans:
(a) Remove carbon filter and continue to operate with mechanical filter media throughout the treatment period.
(b) Add 1 teaspoon of 2.303% Methylene Blue per 10 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 3 ppm. Continue the treatment for 3 to 5 days.
(c) Make a water change as noted and replace the filter carbon at the conclusion of the treatment.
Note: If the fish are heavily infected with external gill and/or skin parasites, it is advisable to modify the above procedure by adding 1 teaspoon of Acriflavine ( Kordon’s 3.84% Trypaflavine solution is recommended) per 10 gallons of water in combination with Methylene Blue. Gill parasites such as Oodinium cause severe pathological damage to the host, which results in respiratory distress. Acriflavine aids in reducing this distress by acting as an oxygen transporter. Refer to the product data sheet concerning the proper use of Acriflavine (KPD-29) in established aquariums and ponds before using this optional procedure.

As an aid in reversal of nitrite (NO2-) or cyanide (CN-) poisoning of marine and freshwater aquarium fishes:
(a) Remove carbon filter and continue to operate with mechanical filter media throughout the treatment period.
(b) Add 1 teaspoon of 2.303% Methylene Blue per 10 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 3 ppm. Continue the treatment for 3 to 5 days.
(c) Make a water change as noted and replace the filter carbon at the conclusion of the treatment. parasite protozoans."

For use as a dip for treatment of fungus or external parasitic protozoans and cyanide poisoning:
(a) Prepare a nonmetallic container of sufficient size to contain the fish to be treated by adding water similar to the original aquarium.
(b) Add 5 teaspoons (24.65 ml) per 3 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 50 ppm. It is not recommended that the concentration be increased beyond 50 ppm.
(c) Place fishes to be treated in this solution for no longer than 10 seconds.
(d) Return fish to original aquarium.
©1997 Novalek, Inc.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with protozoan parasites or nitrite toxicity/ammonia poisoning, the proper dosage of Kordon methylene blue is 3 ppm or 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons of water. You would treat the nursery tank with that dose once and then allow the methylene blue to remain in the aquarium for 3-5 days. At the end of the treatment, he would then remove the methylene blue by performing water changes and using chemical filtration. If you make water changes in the nursery tanks before the 3-5 treatmentperiod has elapsed, re-dose the methylene blue proportionally to how much water was replaced.

For best results, I would suggest adding Kordon Acriflavine (KPD-29) along with the methylene blue as indicated above, since the acriflavine will help eliminate external gill parasites (protozoans) and aid the breathing of the fry by acting as an oxygen transporter.

Again, if the methylene blue and acriflavine are not effective in resolving this problem, consider treating your nursery tank with formalin instead.

Best of luck restoring your H. erectus fry to good health again, Sean!

Respectfully,
Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2009/04/03 20:25


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