Re:Sick female– GBD, I think

Pete Giwojna

Dear Carrie:

I’m very sorry to hear about Zoe’s problems. If her abdomen is swollen and she is having problems with positive buoyancy, then it does indeed sound like a case of internal Gas Bubble Syndrome. It’s excellent that you had the foresight to acquire some Diamox before you even received the seahorses, and I would begin treating her in your hospital tank right away.

The current thinking is that the proper dosage for most seahorses is 250 mg of Diamox per 10 gallons (Dr. Martin Belli, Keith Gentry, and all). Crush the proper amount of the Diamox tablet into as fine a powder as possible (a blender may be helpful for this) and dissolve it in the QT tank at the dosage suggested above. Perform a 100% water change using freshly mixed saltwater that has been preadjusted to the same temperature, pH, and specific gravity as the treatment tank each day, and administer a fresh dose of the Diamox each day.

For best results, Dr. Martin Belli now suggests maintaining the Diamox treatments for up to 7-10 days or until all signs of positive buoyancy and GBS have cleared up.

That is a difficult dilemma regarding the live foods, but I would suggest that you try to obtain some of the post-larval white shrimp from Seawater Express in as timely a manner as possible. They provide bite-sized white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in batches of anywhere from 50 to 1000 each for fairly economical prices. They are hardy, easy-to-keep and disease free. I recommend getting the smallest of the "Snicking Shrimp" they offer in order to entice Zoe to eat during the treatments:

Seawater Express Inc.
Organic Shrimp Farm / Hatchery

it may take a couple of days for the shrimp to arrive, but Zoe is unlikely to feed while her abdomen is so swollen anyway. Hopefully, the medication will have a chance to reduce the swelling and the live white shrimp will stimulate her appetite and get her eating again when she’s feeling a little better. I certainly hope so — your diligence and foresight in keeping the Diamox on hand in case it was ever needed deserves to be rewarded.

In the meantime, check your dissolved oxygen levels, Carrie. If they are higher than normal, it may indicate a possible problem with gas supersaturation, which would be relatively easy to address.

Best of luck treating Zoe’s problem with gas bubble syndrome, Carrie!

Pete Giwojna

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