- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 9 months ago by nigelseahorse.
May 31, 2006 at 8:49 pm #831nigelseahorseMember
Hi, I was away for four days and I came back and saw my female redi stuck in the siphon. I thought she was dead but I saw her mouth moving. After I got her out she bobbed up at the top and had an infection on her tail just like the one on my zulus that died. I removed her into a hospial tank and put in some Neo3. She isn\’t bobbing up anymore and looks a lot better than when my Zulus had this. Also the male seems ok but he is dragging his tail at the bottom, should I put him in too? The hospital tank is 5gallons.May 31, 2006 at 11:48 pm #2563Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m sorry to hear that your female Hippocampus reidi suffered a mishap while you were away. Did the accident occur in your reef system, sir?
When designing a reef tank that will include seahorses, one must anticipate the different ways they might be injured in such a setup and then take precautions to prevent them from coming to harm. The process of rendering your reef system seahorse safe is much like the measures new parents take to childproof their house when they are expecting their first child. Intake tubes for the filters should be shielded, siphon tubes should be equipped with filter baskets or screens, and so on…
For instance, when powerful water movement in a minireef is combined with overflows, there is a risk that seahorses could become pinned against an overflow or even go over it (Delbeek, Oct. 2001). Therefore, in the seahorse reef, overflows must be baffled and/or screened off, or the water flow should be adjusted sufficiently to prevent that from happening.
And remember that powerheads can become death traps for seahorses if their intakes are not properly shielded or screened off, and take the necessary precautions (Delbeek, Oct. 2001). Carefully conceal the intakes amidst the rockwork where they will be completely inaccessible to seahorses, otherwise shield them, or screen them off with a sponge prefilter.
Neo3 is a good antibiotic for tail problems and it sounds like your female H. reidi is responding well to the medication. Whether or not you should treat your male H. reidi along with the female depends on whether you think her tail infection is a secondary infection or a primary infection, Nigel.
If you feel her problem is due to an opportunistic secondary infection that took hold at the sight of an injury when she got sucked up against the siphon, then there’s probably no need to treat the male. However, if you feel your female H. reidi probably became ill with an infection while you were away, which subsequently weakened and debilitated her, and that she only got sucked up against the siphon because the illness left her weak and vulnerable, then it may be a good idea to treat your male at the same time, particularly if he seems to be carrying or holding his tail in an unusual manner that indicates tenderness or a loss of prehensility. In other words, do you feel your female developed an infection because she got sucked up against the siphon, or do you feel that she got sucked up against the siphon because a bacterial infection weakened her beforehand?
Remember to check the ammonia levels in your hospital tank at least once every day during the treatment period, and make water changes as necessary to maintain good water quality, redosing the antibiotic to compensate for the amount that was removed during the water changes. If you are going to have two H. reidi confined in a five-gallon hospital tank, you will probably need to make substantial water changes daily to protect them from ammonia spikes.
Best of luck with your H. reidi, Nigel!
Pete GiwojnaJune 1, 2006 at 2:06 am #2564nigelseahorseGuest
The sick one died. I did a 15% water change and the male looks good but seems lonley.:( how long should I wait until I get another redi?June 1, 2006 at 11:21 pm #2565Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m sorry to hear that your female that got caught up in the siphon tube didn’t make it. All my condolences on your loss, sir!
Before you add any more seahorses to your aquarium, you’ll want to wait long enough to make sure that the male Hippocampus reidi is completely healthy. Yesterday you were concerned about the way he was dragging his tail, so you should watch him carefully for a while for any signs of tenderness or loss of prehensility in his tail that could indicate the initial stages of tail rot or white tail disease.
Whenever you suspect a bacterial infection may be involved, it’s important to make sure that your aquarium isn’t harboring any pathogens or parasites before you acquire new seahorses. A water change is a step in the right direction in that regard. Because diseases are so often directly related to water quality, or due to stress resulting from a decline in water quality, when trouble arises the first thing you should do is to break out your test kits and check your water chemistry. Very often that will provide a clue to the problem. Make sure the aquarium temperature is within the acceptable range and check for ammonia and/or nitrite spikes first. See if your nitrate levels have risen to harmful levels and look for a drop in pH. Since the trouble began while you were away for several days, it’s quite possible that your water chemistry may have gotten a little out of whack in your absence, Nigel.
Be sure to check your dissolved oxygen (O2) level too. A significant drop in O2 levels (6 – 7 ppm is optimal) is very stressful yet easily corrected by increasing surface agitation and circulation to promote better oxygenation and gas exchange. At the other extreme, oxygen supersaturation is a red flag indicating a potentially deadly problem with gas embolisms (Gas Bubble Syndrome).
If any of your water quality parameters are off significantly, that may well be the cause of the problem or at least the source of the stress that weakened your seahorses and made them susceptible to disease. And correcting your water chemistry may well nip the problem in the bud, particularly if it is environmental, without the need for any further treatment.
Clean Up & Perform a Water Change
After a quick check of the water chemistry to assess the situation, it’s time to change water and clean up. In most cases, the surest way to improve your water quality and correct the water chemistry is to combine a 25%-50% water change with a thorough aquarium clean up. Siphon around the base of your rockwork and decorations, vacuum the top 1/2 inch of the sand or gravel, rinse or replace your prefilter, and administer a general system cleaning. The idea is to remove any accumulated excess organic material in the sand/gravel bed, top of the filter, or tank that could degrade your water quality, serve as a breeding ground for bacteria or a reservoir for disease, or otherwise be stressing your seahorses. [Note: when cleaning the filter, your goal is to remove excess organic wastes WITHOUT disturbing the balance of the nitrifying bacteria. Do not dismantle the entire filter, overhaul your entire filter system in one fell swoop, or clean your primary filtration system too zealously or you may impair your biological filtration.]
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, 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 and correct the source of the stress before your seahorse becomes seriously ill and requires treatment.
So I would wait at least a few weeks to make sure your seahorse tank has stabilized and the water quality is back up to snuff now that you’re back home, and that your male H. reidi is thriving before you introduce any new seahorses to the aquarium. In the meantime, you can take steps to seahorse-proof your reef tank as we have been discussing so there won’t be any more accidents with siphon tubes or filter intakes.
Pete GiwojnaJune 2, 2006 at 6:32 pm #2566nigelseahorseGuest
He is doing better since the water change. He seems lonley, he swims up and down near the glass to see his reflection. For the time being I will get him a cousin of his(Janns’ Pipefish) to keep him company until I get a new mate. He now wraps his tail around gorgonias and curls his tail as he swims, he also has a good appetite.
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