Re:Stopped Eating

#3135
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear Haynes:

I’m sorry to here your female is off her feed. Some of the factors that have been reported to contribute to a loss of appetite are listed below:

(1) deteriorating water quality.

(2) low oxygen and/or high CO2 levels.

(3) a deficiency of trace elements and minerals.

(4) various disease processes — in particular, internal parasites.

Regardless of how your water chemistry appears right now, I would perform a 25%-35% water change immediately to safeguard the water quality and replenish depleted trace elements and minerals. (At first glance your aquarium parameters may look great, but there are some water quality issues that are difficult to detect with standard tests, such as a decrease in dissolved 02, transitory ammonia/nitrite spikes following a heavy feeding, pH drift, a deficiency and trace elements/minerals, or the gradual accumulation of detritus. A water change and cleanup is a simple preventative measure that can help defuse those kinds of hidden factors before they become a problem and stress out your seahorses. These simple measures may restore your water quality as well as your seahorse’s appetite.)

Be sure to check your dissolved oxygen (O2) level in addition to the usual pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrite readings.. A significant drop in O2 levels (6 – 7 ppm is optimal) or rise in CO2 levels is very stressful yet easily corrected by increasing surface agitation and circulation to promote better oxygenation and gas exchange. Add a shallow airstone just beneath the surface if necessary and increase the circulation throughout your tank it possible.

If your female’s change in appetite was accompanied by a change in her fecal pellets, that could indicate a problem with internal parasites. For example, a change from fecal pellets of normal color and consistency to white, stringy feces accompanied by a loss of appetite is often an indication of intestinal flagellates. If you think that this could be a factor in your case, Capricorn, then treatment with metronidazole or praziquantel is usually an effective remedy. Let me know if your female does not respond to the water change and increased aeration and surface agitation, and I will be happy to run through the suggested treatment measures for internal parasites, sir.

Best of luck restoring your female’s appetite, Capricorn.

Respectfully,
Pete Giwojna


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