- This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 5 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
September 21, 2006 at 4:01 am #939stephanie_71982Member
🙂 :unsure: [size=4][/size]hello its me stephanie again,,i am having trouble with finding a protein skimmer.i dont quite know what they do but was told i need one.i am setting up a sea horse tank in the near future..i plan on just having sea horses in the early part and then adding a few star fish..i know to get the fromia and linkia types thanks to the good advice i recieved from this forum..everyone has been so kind and helpful..i will be using a 30 or 40 gallon tank with a bio wheel filtration i will have live sand and aquarium tank cleaners..i plan to use artificial plants and corals so i can concentrate on my sea horses and aquarium..eventually i would like to have liverock and corals..but that will be a couple of years..i was told the c r p bak pak protien skimmers were the best to use ..i see on premium aquatics there are 2 c p r bak pak skimmers first one is c p r bak pak 2 skimmer w/maxijet 1200 its supposed to be very loud..then the second one is c r p bak pak 2r skimmer w/maxijet pump..they bothcost the same so whats the difference in them..how do i choose..and what exactly does it do in the set up..i know that i have to have a hydrometer i will be using the premium blue refractometer r h s-10atc dose anyone know anything on this particular brand or have any suggestions on the hydrometer. also what is a wet /dry trickle filter and what exactly does it do for the set up..also on the thermometer does anyone have any recomendations on this i have seen the kind that stick on the aquarium and the floating ones..i am in the process of putting together my shopping list for this wonderful hobby and i want to make sure i get everything..i have found some of the meds for the seahorses but not many ,,how do i get them and where..i want to have all of them on stand by just in case they are ever needed..i live many many miles from town so it would be in the best interest of my sea horses to be fully prepared..if any one can help me it would be greatly appreciated..if you have any advice for me on anything please let me know..i thank you for your help..sincerely stephanie..:)September 21, 2006 at 3:21 pm #2889hooze1Guest
Hi Stephanie- I use a Remora C skimmer that is easy to use and just hangs on the back of the tank. The least expensive way to go is to use a "Skilter FIlter," but I’ve never had one, so I don’t know how well they work. You are doing the right thing to gather information before you buy. Keep searching the web and learn all you can. This is a fascinating hobby!!September 23, 2006 at 9:36 pm #2896Pete GiwojnaGuest
When it comes to skimmers, both the AquaC Remora and Euro-Reef series of protein skimmers are first-rate units that will serve you well. You can’t go far wrong if you select a quality AquaC or Euro-Reef skimmer rated for an aquarium of at least 40 gallons. I’ve also heard good things about the H.O.T protein skimmers. I believe Premium Aquatics carries all of those brands of hang-on-the-back protein skimmers, and I would select one of the above if I was you.
If space is at a premium as far as installing a protein skimmer grows, a lot of hobbyists like the Red Sea Prizm protein skimmers because of their sleek compact design. Some seahorse keepers like the convenience of the CPR Cyclone Bak-Pak series of protein skimmers because they combine biological filtration with an efficient skimmer, but as others have are ready pointed out, they have their drawbacks and are notorious for releasing clouds of microbubbles into the aquarium.
Regardless of what brand and/or model you get, it is indeed an excellent idea to install an efficient protein skimmer on your seahorse tank, Stephanie. Although seahorses can certainly be kept successfully without the use of a protein skimmer, I recommend including a good skimmer for best results. As a rule, seahorses are messy feeders, particularly when scarfing down enriched frozen Mysis. Ample evidence of this is revealed every time they scarf one up. As they snick up a shrimp with their slurp-gun snouts, water is passed over their gills and expelled forcibly (it is this very process that generates the powerful suction they use to slurp up their prey). As the jet of water is ejected through their gills, it carries a cloud of macerated particles and debris with it. It is a startling sight the first time you observe this phenomenon, for it brings a fire-breathing dragon to mind. As one young hobbyist matter-of-factly described it, "My seahorse blows smoke out of its ears when he eats." I’ll be darned if that’s not exactly what it looks like, too!
The majority of the undesirable metabolites, organic wastes and excess nutrients that accumulate in our aquariums and degrade water quality are "surface-active," meaning they are attracted to and collect near the surface of a gas-liquid interface (Fenner, 2003). Skimmers take advantage of this fact by using a column of very fine air bubbles mixed with aquarium water to trap dissolved organics and remove them from our systems. This air-water mixture is lighter than the surrounding aquarium and rises up the column of the skimmer until the foam eventually spills into a special collection cup atop the skimmer, which can be removed and emptied as needed. Proteins and other organic molecules, waste products, uneaten food and excess nutrients, and a host of other undesirable compounds stick to the surface of the bubbles and are carried away along with the foam and removed from the aquarium (Fenner, 2003a). As a result of this process, these purification devices are typically known as foam separators, foam fractionators, air-strippers, or simply protein skimmers.
In my experience, nothing improves water quality like a good protein skimmer. They provides many benefits for a seahorse setup, including efficient nutrient export, reducing the effective bioload, and increasing both the Redox potential and dissolved oxygen levels in the water (Fenner, 2003a). They do a tremendous job of removing excess organics from the aquarium, including phenols, albumin, dissolved organic acids, and chromophoric (color causing) compounds (Fenner, 2003a). Their ability to remove dissolved wastes BEFORE they have a chance to break down and degrade water quality makes them indispensable for controlling nuisance algae. A good protein skimmer is an invaluable piece of equipment for keeping your nitrates low and your water quality high when feeding a whole herd of these sloppy eaters in a closed-system aquarium.
When it comes to hydrometers,Stephanie, refractometers in general are much preferable to either the simple swing-arm hydrometers or floating hydrometers because the refractometers are much more accurate and precise, so you should be all set when it comes to measuring your specific gravity.
As far as biofiltration goes, wet/dry trickle filters are probably the most desirable units for the seahorse keeper after live rock filtration. They are top-of-the-line units that feature a thin film of water trickling over filter media with an ultra-large surface area, thereby allowing maximum air-water contact. This provides excellent oxygenation with efficient offgassing, which is very important for seahorses. It helps keep dissolved oxygen levels high, CO2 low, and effectively prevents gas supersaturation, which can sometimes contribute to serious problems (gas bubble disease) for our aquatic equines. As an added benefit, wet/dry trickle filters can also support a tremendous population of aerobic nitrifying bacteria that provide remarkable biological filtration, which gives these systems excellent carrying capacity and a decent margin for error for beginners.
If you have a biowheel, as it spins and exposes the filter media to the air, it essentially acts as a wet dry trickle filter, so you already have that covered as well.
Either type of thermometer should be perfectly satisfactory.
When it comes to obtaining the commonly used medications for seahorses, Stephanie, methylene blue, formalin, and metronidazole should be available from any well-stocked fish store.
Pouch Kits and beta-glucan (a primary ingredient in Vibrance) can be obtained directly from Ocean Rider (http://www.seahorse.com)/.
Betadine or something equivalent should be available from any drug store or pharmacy.
You can obtain the right kind of Panacur (i.e., fenbendazole) online from the following web site:
Click here: KV Vet Supply / KV HealthLinks – Pet, equine & livestock supplies / Quality nutrition for you!
(Get the 22.2% granules of Panacur/fenbendazole rather than the paste.)
You can get a wide range of antiparasitics, anti-fungals, and antibiotics, including pretty much all the medications on my list from National Fish Pharmaceuticals (aka the Fishy Farmacy) at the following URL:
Click here: Fish Medications
Diamox (the tablet form of acetazolamide) will be the toughest of the most-have medications to obtain, since it’s a prescription drug. Most hobbyists will need to obtain it via their family physician or local veterinarian.
Having the items above in your fish room medicine chest, ready to use, will enable you to respond to almost any emergency or disease problem that may arise quickly and efficiently.
Best of luck with your research and preparations for the care and keeping of seahorses, Stephanie!
Pete GiwojnaSeptember 24, 2006 at 5:04 am #2900stephanie_71982Guest
[b][size=4][/size]:) thanks pete for the great advice i am searching for the skimmer now..i have found most of these meds..
trisulfa antibiotic powder
i also have found these and plan to keep them in a rubber maid box under my aquarium in case i ever need them..
bi furan +
gel tek ultra cure bx
these are the ones i researched and know where to get them..now thanks to you i know where to get the diamox medicine.now i just need to get these medicines…
ceftazime [ fortran ]
acetazolamide [ diamox ]…you told me where to get it .
.i will be looking for the others..maybe they will be on the links you sent me..i only have 7 more to go to have them..are there any others that i may need that may not be on the list pete…i know this seems like alot to have but i may not be able to get them at a time when i might really need them..thats why i am trying to get it all at once..you are always so helpful pete and i thank you sincerely for all your efforts to help me with my dream.thanks again pete..and thanks to all who replied to my questions,,you have been most helpful..in my quest..
ps.where do i get these items [ the essential tools to have on hand.]…
fine gauge i v catheter flexible tubing with out needle..
i hope my sea horses never get the bubble gas disease and i never have to use them..but where would i get them to have in case of an emergency.i would like to have these also just in case..thanks again pete.
🙂 🙂 🙂September 27, 2006 at 3:55 pm #2919Pete GiwojnaGuest
Wow, I admire your zeal and diligence in lining up good sources for the various medications that are commonly used to treat seahorses!
Of course, when it comes to health problems, prevention is our first goal but that is not always possible to achieve, and when disease problems do crop up, early detection of the problem and prompt treatment are the keys to restoring health. Some diseases are remarkably fast acting, such as pathogens and parasites that multiply by binary fission and can quickly explode to plague proportions when conditions favor them. By the time a health problem becomes apparent, there is often no time to make the rounds of your local fish stores searching for the right medications, much less time to order the meds you need through the mail.
Savvy seahorse keepers avoid such delays by keeping a few of the most useful medications on hand at all times so they’re right there when needed. For the greater seahorses, the following weapons should be in your disease-fighting arsenal at the ready, and I strongly suggest you stock your fish-room medicine chest will the following: first aid preparations such as methylene blue, a pouch kit, and a good topical treatment for wounds such as betadine; potent antiparasitic agents such as formalin and metronidazole; a good antifungal agent; and broad-spectrum antibiotics. And don’t forget the heavy artillery for emergency situations when you’re not sure what you’re dealing with — combination drugs with ingredients that are effective against protozoan parasites, bacteria, and fungal infections alike.
So it’s certainly great to be prepared well in advance, Stephanie, but it’s not really necessary to keep all of the medications on your list on hand. Finding good sources for these meds so you know where to obtain them if and when you need them is always a good idea, but you don’t need to purchase all of them and have them at the ready.
In general, I would say that a basic seahorse First Aid Kit should include the following items and these are the items you should make sure you have on hand in your fish-room:
Methylene Blue (for reversing nitritepoisoning and relieving respiratory distress);
Betadine (as a topical treatment for disinfecting small cuts, scrapes, or minor injuries);
Formalin (for treating ectoparasites and fungal problems);
Antiparasitic for treating internal parasites (i.e., praziquantel or metronidazole);
Small Syringe with Needle and Cannula (pouch flushes, tube feeding, needle aspirations);
Diamox (i.e., acetazolamide for treating Gas Bubble Disease);
Deworming Agent such as Panacur (for hydroids, Aiptasia, nematodes and bristleworms);
Vibrance (includes beta-glucan to boost the immune system and help prevent disease);
Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics (i.e., neomycin sulfate or Neo3 for treating bacterial infections).
Having the items above on hand will allow you to address nearly all of the common afflictions of seahorses promptly and effectively. In short, your seahorse First Aid Kit should include all of the basics listed below:
Small Syringe with a fine needle and cannula or catheter
Together with freshwater dips, these items comprise the basic first aid measures you will need to deal with heavy breathing and many of the most common problems hobbyists encounter, such as bloated pouch and hunger strikes. They are the fish-room Band-Aids, disinfectants, and tools you’ll need for scrapes and abrasions and other minor problems.
Along with your basic First Aid Kit, the seahorse keeper’s medicine chest should also include the following categories of must-have meds so that you are prepared to deal with any major disease problems that may arise:
Antiparasitic Agents: Praziquantel or metronidazole for internal parasites (pick one and keep it on hand at all times), plus a good antiparasitics for external parasites such as formalin or Parinox.
Antifungals: Nifurpirinol (Furanase) is recommended.
Broad Spectrum Antibiotics: if you can only keep one antibiotic in your fish-room medicine cabinet, make it neomycin sulfate due to efficacy and the ability to combine with the other antibiotics mentioned above. For example, it can be used together with nifurpirinol to create a potent combination that’s effective in combating both fungal and bacterial infections. Or another good choice would be Neo3 by Aquabiotics, which is a concentrated formulation of neomycin sulfate combined with sulfa compounds to produce a potent rot-spectrum antibiotic with synergistic effects.
If you can afford to keep more than one antibiotic on hand, build on that approach and add others that can be safely combined with the neomycin to further increase their potency, such as Kanamycin and Sulfathiazole or other sulfa compounds (e.g., Triple Sulfa).
Combo Medications: When it comes to the heavy artillery, Paragon II and Furan2 are my favorite big guns (pick one and keep it at the ready in your arsenal). They can save the day when you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a fungal problem, a parasite infestation or a bacterial infection. But remember, they are weapons of mass destruction that will nuke your biofilter, so use them with discretion and only in a hospital tank.
Diamox (Acetazolamide): in all its different forms, Gas Bubble Syndrome is one of the most common problems that plagues seahorses, and Diamox is your primary weapon for defeating this affliction. But as a prescription drug, it can be difficult to obtain.
It sounds like you’ve already rounded up almost all of these items, Stephanie, but I would be happy to point you in the right direction with regard to the ones you have not yet located.
Paragon2 is a great combination med for seahorses but it has unfortunately been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available. However, as long as you have Furan2 in your arsenal, that will certainly suffice in place of the Paragon2.
Ceftazidime (Fortran) is another carbonic anhydrase inhibitor similar to Diamox (the tablet form of acetazolamide). Like the Diamox or acetazolamide, ceftazidime is a prescription drug that you will need to obtain through your family physician or veterinarian.
If you have difficulty obtaining a prescription for Diamox from your Vet or family physician, which is often the case, then there are places you can order Diamox online without a prescription, but save that for a last resort for reasons we will discuss in more detail below.
But if you ultimately need to go that route, Stephanie, the following source is the one most seahorse keepers have found works best:
Click here: Inhouse Drugstore Diamox – online information
They offer 100 tablets of Diamox (250 mg) for around $20 US, but they ship from Canada by mail, which usually takes a little under two weeks for delivery.
In practical terms, there’s nothing wrong with obtaining the Diamox online, and that is perhaps how most seahorse keepers obtain it. It does complicate matters somewhat, however, in certain regards. The first of these complications is that the medications will take a week or two to arrive when you order them online, which is very troublesome when your seahorse is ailing and needs help ASAP. Secondly, there’s the fact that the US government frowns on the practice of ordering prescription medications from outside the US without a prescription. Customs officials can intercept and confiscate such shipments, in which case you forfeit the money you paid for the drugs. Finally, you can’t always be certain of the quality of the medications you receive without a prescription from such online sources outside this country; in some cases, you even need to be concerned about counterfeit drugs, although Diamox certainly shouldn’t fall into that category. (That is the primary reason the US government is concerned about this practice.) Canadian sources are generally more trustworthy in that regard than sources from some other parts of the world.
Nitrofurazone is available from National Fish Pharmaceuticals at the following URL:
Click here: Fish Medications
Neo-3 is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that consists of neomycin combined with various sulfa compounds. It is sometimes available from the following vendor, which is also a good source for the fine flexible catheters or cannulas and small syringes you are looking for:
If the Neo-3 is no longer available, you can create your own version of the medication that should be just as effective by using neomycin together with triple sulfa compound or tri-sulfa antibiotic powder.
Kanacyn is a brand name for kanamycin sulfate, which is also available from the National Fish Pharmaceuticals and is the active ingredient in several medications you can obtain from your LFS.
The only other items I would suggest adding to your list are a Pouch Kit for treating pouch gas and performing pouch flushes, and Vibrance (a great way to provide your seahorses with a daily dose of beta-glucan, a powerful immunostimulant for fighting disease), both of which are available from Ocean Rider.
For additional information on must-have beds for the seahorse keeper and putting together a first aid kit, see the following discussion on this forum:
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Preparing a 1st aid kit
Best of luck assembling the rest of your first-aid kit, Stephanie! Keep up the good work!
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