Re:Will pouch gas dissipate on its own?

Pete Giwojna

Dear Jake:

Males with pouch gas can sometimes eliminate the trapped gas on their own during their vigorous pouch displays in which they inflate their pouches to the fullest and pump water in and out. Just occasionally they can expel pouch gas or trapped air during these displays of "Pumping."

In fact, in the old days, I corresponded with Bart Goedegebuur, a successful seahorse breeder in the Netherlands, about one such incident in which a male H. erectus of his was able to expel the trapped air on its own. Afterwards, Bart noted that: "The releasing of air bubbles out of the horse pouch due to his own actions seems to me very interesting. Because till now I only read that trapped air has to be removed manually because the horse can’t do this himself." It’s obvious that English is Bart’s second language, but he always manages to get his point across nonetheless.

So it’s possible for a male seahorse to expel the trapped air bubbles on its own, Jake, but that’s a relatively uncommon occurrence. Most often problems with positive buoyancy tend to recur as more gas builds up within the brood pouch until the seahorse is again unable to swim or feed normally. Ordinarily, the aquarist must intervene in order to evacuate or release the trapped gas, so be prepared to step in if necessary.

It sounds like you are already pretty well-versed in the different techniques for evacuating air bubbles or gas from your male’s pouch, sir, but for more information on how to proceed should it prove necessary, please refer to the discussion thread on this forum titled "Swimming upside down help!!!!!!" if you copy the following URL and paste it into your web browser, it will take you directly to the proper discussion:,com_joomlaboard/Itemid,219/func,view/id,5507/catid,2/

Best of luck resolving your stallion’s pouch gas problem once and for all, Jake!

Pete Giwojna

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