- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 2 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
July 30, 2006 at 4:24 am #875dafuzz305Member
I was just wondering if you could recommend any books dealing with diseases and cures for my ponies and pipe fish. I have noticed that two of my pipe fish (Doryrhamphus multiannulatus) have something wrong with their tail fin. Their fins seem to be disapearing and you can see the small bone or cartalidge sticking out. Is this fin rot? There is no sign of any fungus.
I am looking for a good book with illistrations to make diagnosis easier.
the ponies are great and I have to admit that I am hooked.
I think that I have found the perfect combination with the pipes and ponies. I also have two (commonly named) dragon or banded pipe fish with my mustangs. Talk about entertainment.
SandyJuly 31, 2006 at 2:34 am #2703Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m impressed with your collection of pipefish! To my knowledge, no one is culturing pipefish at this time and the wild specimens are definitely more delicate then captive-bred-and-raised seahorses. Your success with several species of pipefish is an indication that you should do very well with domesticated seahorses.
Yes, indeed — the symptoms you describe do sound very much like fin rot. If you catch it early enough, it usually responds very well to standard, off-the-shelf treatments. I would go to your LFS and pick up a good medication intended for marine fish that indicates it is effective in treating cases of fin rot on the label or instructions. Treat the affected pipefish as directed in a hospital tank. I would also suggest gradually reducing the temperature in your aquarium several degrees as discussed below, since like other bacterial infections, fin rot is often associated or exacerbated with elevated temperatures and/or heat stress:
Heat stress is especially debilitating and dangerous for seahorses in pipefish due to a number of reasons (Olin Feuerbacher, pers. com.). For one thing, elevated temperatures can have a very detrimental effect on the immune system of fishes. This is because many of the enzymes and proteins involved in their immune response are extremely temperature sensitive (Olin Feuerbacher, pers. com.). Some of these protective enzymes can be denatured and inactivated by an increase of just a few degrees in water temperature (Olin Feuerbacher, pers. com.). So when seahorses or pipefish are kept at temperatures above their comfort zone, their immune system is compromised and they are unable to fend off diseases they would normally shrug off.
So, if like most parts of the country, your area has been experiencing a summertime heat wave and your aquarium temperatures have risen above normal as a result, Sandy, it would be a good idea to employ a few simple measures that can reduce the water temperature by several degrees. For example, a simple way to drop the water temp in your aquarium is to position a small fan so it blows across the surface of the water continually (Giwojna, Oct. 2003). This will lower the water temperature a few more degrees via evaporative cooling (just be sure to top off the tank regularly to replace the water lost to evaporation). Leaving the light off on your seahorse tank in conjunction with evaporative cooling can make a big difference.
Here are some additional suggestions on cooling down your aquarium from Renée at the org you may also find helpful:
Some summer tips are:
· Use computer fans (you can wire them to AC adapters… we are making some this weekend for our tanks).
· Use a big ol clip-on-fan or a fan on a stand that you can set close. (Just be mindful of water evap.)
· Float ice containers in the tank (Use water/liquid that you wouldn’t care if it sprung a leak. Those blue lunch/picnic type cooling things are not acceptable IMO…. what if it leaks? It will kill everything. I would recommend using bottled ice water because it will stay frozen even longer than fresh water….. but if you do use fresh water make sure it is water you wouldn’t mind spilling into the tank…. good ole tap water is not acceptable.)
· If you have a hood or canopy on the tank…..keep it off or lifted.
· Cool down the room the tank is in by using a portable or window AC unit. The window units can be pretty cheap.
· If the sun really heats up this room, look into some window tinting. This is what I did when I lived in South Texas. It dropped the room temp TEREMENDOUSLY! (If ya wanna go the cheap method, foil was used in many windows in the city I lived in… wasn’t the prettiest method but it saved many people lives who lived in places without central AC and couldn’t afford well working window units.)
· Shorten your photoperiod…. if possible don’t have the lights on in the hottest past of the day. But at any rate, shorten the amount of hours the lights are on for.
In addition to cooling down the aquarium gradually, it might also be a good idea to increase the aeration and surface agitation is much as possible in order to improve oxygenation and promote efficient gas exchange at the air/water interface. That will raise those dissolved oxygen levels in quicker than cooling the aquarium will, so consider adding an ordinary airstone or two, at least until the aquarium temperature as gradually drop-down to the 73°F-75°F range again.
There is one good disease book on seahorses that you would find very informative, Sandy. Dr. Martin Belli, Marc Lamont, Keith Gentry, and Clare Driscoll have done a terrific job putting together "Working Notes: A Guide to the Diseases of Seahorses." Hobbyists will find the detailed information it contains on seahorse anatomy, the latest disease diagnosis and treatment protocols, and quarantine procedures to be extremely useful and helpful. It has some excellent dissection and necropsy photos as well as a number of photos of seahorses with various health problems. This is one book every seahorse keeper should have in his or her fish-room medicine cabinet, and I highly recommend it! In time of need, it can be a real life saver for your seahorses. It’s available online at the following web site:
Click here: Working notes: a guide to seahorse diseases > books > The Shoppe at Seahorse.org | CafePress http://www.cafepress.com/seahorses.55655887
In addition, there are also a number of good photographs showing seahorses with various disease problems and conditions available online at the following web sites:
Click here: syngnathid.org – Quick Seahorse Disease Guide http://www.syngnathid.org/articles/diseaseGuide.html
Click here: seahorse.org – A Guide To The Most Common Seahorse Diseases and Medical Conditions
Click here: Seahorse Pathology
Click here: seahorse.org – Pictoral Disease Guide http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/diseaseguidepictorial.shtml
Best of luck with your pipefish and seahorses, Sandy!
Pete GiwojnaJuly 31, 2006 at 11:21 pm #2706dafuzz305Guest
Thanks again for the great info. I am already working on the temp. problem. I read a post the other night and you had advised the same solution. I have a 24 gal Nano and the temp stays around 82. I have been leaving the top slightly up and it has brought the temp down to between 78 to 80. the pipes seem to be doing a little better W/O meds and the temp change.
SandyAugust 1, 2006 at 3:59 pm #2707dafuzz305Guest
I am going to the computer store today and get the fans you talked about. I am not an electrician. so what else do I need to make the power cord?
sandyAugust 2, 2006 at 3:05 am #2710Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’ve never used the computer fans myself, so I’m not sure regarding all the details of how to wire them for cooling the aquarium. As I understand it, you’ll also need to obtain an AC adapter for each computer fan; the computer fan is wired to the AC adapter which is then plugged into an electrical outlet.
I prefer to use chillers or the clip on fans that are equipped with a cord and already to go right off the shelf when I need to cool down one of my tanks, as Leslie Leddo described below:
Fans work great for decreasing tank temps. Small 6 to 8 inch plastic electric clip on fans are available at most home improvement centers and places like Longs or Rite Aide. They can be clipped on to the tank rim and adjusted so that the air from the fan blows across the surface of the water rippling it a bit. This works very well. I would suggest 2, one on either side of the tank.
It does increase evaporation quite a bit so you will need to top off more frequently.
It is also a good idea to use a heater set at the the low end of the goal range. If your tank is 78 without a heater start by setting it to 76 with the fans running and decrease it by 2 degrees every day until you figure out just how much the fans will bring that temp down. I am guessing with 2 fans you should be able to keep the temp about 75, which should be just perfect.
I should also caution you to observe all the usual precautions to prevent shocks and electrical accident when you are using an electric fan or any other electrical equipment on your aquarium, Sandy.
One such precaution is to install an inexpensive titanium grounding probe in your aquariums. That will protect your seahorses and other wet pets from stray voltage and should also safeguard them electrocution in the event of a catastrophic heater failure or similar accident..
But the best way to protect you and your loved ones from electrical accidents around the fish room is to make sure all the outlets are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. And it’s a good idea to make sure all your electrical equipment is plugged into a surge protector as well to further protect your expensive pumps, filters, heaters, etc. from damage. Some good surge protectors, such as the Shock Busters, come with a GFCI built right into them so you can kill two birds with one stone. So when you set up your cooling fan(s) on the aquarium, be sure they’re plugged into a grounded outlet with a GFCI or a surge protector with GFCI protection.
Best of luck with your pipefish and seahorses, Sandy! Good luck beating the heat and cooling down your tanks.
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