Re:sick seahorses

Pete Giwojna

Dear Gordon:

Your aquarium parameters are all good and it looks like you’ve done a pretty good job of bringing the water temperature down. I think it’s an excellent idea to reduce the specific gravity in your main tank to 1.017 in order to control Cryptocaryon or any other parasites that may be present.

It’s very difficult to be certain exactly what you’re dealing with based just on your description. It’s hard to say if the white spots you are describing are Cryptocaryon irritans alone, Cryptocaryon plus some sort of secondary bacterial or fungal infection, or a mixed infection of some sort. The irritation from the burrowing of the Cryptocaryon parasites does cause excess mucus production, and the affected fishes will then slough some of this excess mucus off in an effort to rid themselves of the parasites. But it’s difficult to say if that is what is causing the white stuff or greenish brown stuff you are describing. A picture or two would be very helpful in clarifying the situation and if you cannot post one on the forum, please feel free to send digital photographs to me inserted in her e-mail at the following address: [email protected]

In the absence of a picture, my best guess is that the greenish brown stuff on the seahorses is algae growth. Since you have live corals in this tank, the relatively strong lighting that is required for the corals to thrive may be contributing to algae growth on your ponies. That’s not an uncommon occurrence with seahorses and it’s completely harmless. Algae often grows on the exoskeleton of seahorses, typically on their head and neck which are closest to the light source. If the greenish brown stuff is microalgae, that’s perfectly normal and nothing at all to be concerned about. In fact, seahorses often encourage algae to grow on them as a protective device to enhance their camouflage, and it’s often best simply to ignore any such growth.

I am not familiar with Nitrofuracin Green Powder, but I suspect it consists of one or more nitrofuran antibiotics, possibly combined with malachite green. (Nitrofuran antibiotics are photosensitive and can be deactivated by light, so it is a common practice to combine them with a dye such as methylene blue or malachite green in order to absorb the light.) Nitrofuran antibiotics such as nifurpirinol have antifungal properties and are useful in treating minor external skin infections. Malachite green is helpful in controlling Cryptocaryon, so if the Nitrofuracin green powder is indeed a combination of one or more nitrofuran antibiotics plus malachite green, it might be a good treatment for this problem. It should only be administered in a hospital tank since it can disrupt the biofiltration.

I would suggest giving the seahorses a formalin bath as described in my previous post, and then transferring them to a hospital tank for treatment with the Nitrofuracin Green Powder. The formalin will provide some quick relief from Cryptocaryon irritans and is also a powerful antifungal.

In the meantime, continue to reduce the salinity in your main tank to at least 1.017 to eradicate protozoan parasites. But hold off on the CopperSafe until you can provides me with photographs of the affected seahorses , either on this forum or in an e-mail that you sent me to me personally. With the help of the photographs, it can give you some more definitive answers regarding the problem you are dealing with, Gordon.

Best of luck resolving the situation, sir!

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


Contact Ocean Rider

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

My Online Order Details

Purchase Policy

Site Terms and Conditions