Re:white spot

Pete Giwojna

Dear Farmer:

Congratulations on your success breeding your zebra-snout seahorses (Hippocampus barbouri) and raising some of the young. Well done!

The suspicious white spot that appeared on the flank of your male barb could be most anything from a bacterial lesion or pustule to a glugeal cyst or granuloma to a bit of harmless Lymphocystis. But if it is almost one half centimeter in size, then we can rule out saltwater ick (Cryptocaryon irritans) since the white spot is much too large for a case of ick. I would need to see a picture of the suspicious spot in order to give a more accurate assessment of the situation and to recommend an appropriate treatment, so let’s address your dilemma with the photographs first.

Here is a copy of a post from one of our members that explains how to display photographs on this forum:

<Open quote>
1st you have to host the photographs(s) you would like to post somewhere like photobucket or in my case AOLmyspace but you must make it small as the board will only take a small photo.

You click on the orange Img tag in the reply window and add your address of the hosted PIC etc.. newseahorse.jpg

Make sure to hit the close all tags tab after you are finished and then preveiew your post to see if it worked that way you can keep trying till you get it right without posting.

An image resize tool is very helpful.

For a larger image you could add a link with URL tab to the hosted photo. In some cases it will not work for all people but will for others it will (I never understood that) prob an AOL issue in my case!


<close quote>

Or you can always send the photographs to my personal e-mail address ([email protected]) if you are having trouble posting them on this forum.

In the meantime, while I am waiting to see a picture of the white spot, I can at least provide you with some suggestions for getting your outbreak of Aiptasia rock anemones under control. Getting a peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) was a step in the right direction. They are secretive little shrimp, but once they become accustomed to the aquarium and grow a bit, they will become more bold. As you know, they ordinarily do an excellent job of eliminating small Aiptasia rock anemones and will be invaluable in helping to control the Aiptasia in the long run. But large Aiptasia anemones are often too much for the peppermint shrimp to handle, so I usually recommend a combination of biological control and lethal injections when Aiptasia anemones appear in a seahorse tank.

The biological control can be provided by peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) or by Berghia nudibranchs, both of which are very effective in chowing down on the smaller Aiptasia. The aquarist can dispatch the larger Aiptasia rock anemones by administering the lethal injections, and the combination of the hobbyist killing off the larger specimens while the peppermint shrimp mow down the smaller ones will usually eradicate even a heavy infestation altogether in a matter of weeks.

Aiptasia rock anemones can easily be killed by injecting them with a number of solutions — Kalkwasser, boiling water, lemon juice, a number of commercial products — and there are also products such as Joe’s Juice which you add to the aquarium water to eliminate the anemones without injecting. In cases where hobbyists have had a problem with Aiptasia rock anemones stinging their seahorses, I usually suggest using a combination of such injections and biological control to eradicate the pesky anemones.

Joe’s Juice, in particular, has produced good results for many seahorse keepers. It is a white fluid and comes with a small syringe that you use to spray the fluid over the oral disc of the anemones when they are expanded.

I should warn you that attacking large Aiptasia anemones with surgical tweezers and other sharp, pointed instruments will not be enough to kill them. Aiptasia anemones can reproduce by budding and by fragmentation of their pedal disc or foot. So it isn’t enough to destroy the head (oral disc) of the anemone, you must eliminate the entire foot or it will simply regrow from the pedal disc and even spread if the pedal disc was fragmented during the assault. So it’s always best to try injecting them rather than skewering them.

Best of luck with your barbs and your Aiptasia rock anemones control program, Farmer!

Pete Giwojna

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