Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

please help…

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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  • #1705
    shelleygoff
    Member

    🙁 I am so sad..I have had several seahorses atract what looks like ick of fin rot over the last month and i am loosing horses. I am not an expert but I would like to be, it is so disheartning when the tank is near perfect…all my levels are checked every few days, I keep the tank clean have special filteres to keep nitrates down, uses prime when it even so much as gets to .25 and I feed them live food and frozed cyclopeezs. I bought a seahorse yesterday to companion the one I currently have and it was sick so it made the one I had sick and he didnt make it through the night.:( I am devestated. When i had this same problem before i litterally dumped the tank and started over to avoid infecting any new horses i put in the tank. until yesterday we were doing great. Now i have a new sehorse that is covered in white crust and deteriorating fins and my healthy one is lying at the bottom of the tank covered in the same stuff. I dont know what to do. Please help….shelley goff… could it possibly be that the store is selling me sick seahorses, the avereage time from acclemating them to the tank before they get sick and die is two to three days…I have had two last almost a month…

    #4887
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Shelley:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the problems that you have been having with your pet shop ponies. Do you know what type of seahorses you have (i.e., the species or common name), Shelley?

    Yes, it is certainly possible that the seahorses you have been getting from your local fish store were not in the best of health. One potential problem when ever you get seahorses from your LFS is that they are typically kept in holding tanks that share a common water supply with all of the other fish in the pet store. This includes marine fish from all around the world, which means that the seahorses could be exposed to a long list of parasites and pathogens during their stay at the pet dealers. This problem is often aggravated by the fact that the staff at the pet store is often poorly informed regarding the specialized requirements of seahorses, which means the seahorses don’t receive the best of care while they are being held at the pet shop in many cases. In addition, many of the seahorses available from your local fish store are collected from the wild, so you may be getting delicate wild-caught seahorses rather than hardy captive-bred-and-raised stallions.

    For these reasons, Shelley, it’s very important to examine pet shop ponies very closely for any signs of a health problem before you consider making a purchase, and it is always best to quarantine the new seahorses for 4-6 weeks before you introduce them to the main tank with the rest of your herd.

    For future reference, here are the warning signs and symptoms to check for when you’re giving a seahorse at your local fish store (LFS) a visual inspection, as outlined in the "Sygnathid Husbandry Manual for Public Aquariums, 2005 Manual":

    <Open quote>
    Physical Examination — Visual Assessment

    When performing an initial physical exam, the posture and buoyancy of the seahorse should be closely scrutinized. A seahorse bobbing at the surface is abnormally and positively buoyant. Buoyant animals will often struggle to maneuver deeper into the water column. They should be evaluated for air entrapment problems such as air in the brood pouch (males) or hyperinflated swim bladders. If the tail is extended outward caudodorsally or ‘scorpion-style,’ examine the subcutis of the tail for gas bubbles (subcutaneous emphysema). Subcutaneous emphysema of tail segment also appears to be a condition restricted to males.

    Just as abnormal is a seahorse that is lying horizontally at the tank bottom for extended time periods. This may be an indication of generalized weakness or it may indicate negative buoyancy associated with swim bladder disease or fluid accumulation in the brood pouch or the coelomic cavity.

    Evaluate the seahorse’s feeding response. Seahorses normally forage almost constantly during daylight hours. An individual that consistently refuses appropriately sized live food is behaving very abnormally and should receive nutritional support to meet its caloric needs.

    The rate and pattern of breathing should also be evaluated. Rapid breathing and ‘coughing’
    (expulsion of water in a forceful manner through the opercular opening or the mouth) suggest gill disease [or gill parasites].

    The entire body surface including the fins should be examined for hemorrhagic regions, erosions, ulcerations, excessive body mucus, unusual spots, lumps or bumps as well as the presence of subcutaneous gas bubbles. Evaluate both eyes for evidence of periorbital edema, exophthalmia, and any testicular or corneal opacities. Since seahorses are visual predators, maintaining normal vision is absolutely essential to successful foraging. The tube snout is also very important to normal feeding activity. It is utilized like a pipette to literally suck prey out of the water column.

    Evaluate the tube snout for evidence of edema, erosions, and successful protraction/retraction of the small, anterior, drawbridge-like segment of the lower jaw. Close evaluation of the tail tip for erosive/necrotic lesions should also be performed.

    Finally, the anal region should be closely evaluated for redness, swelling, or tissue prolapse. For closer evaluation it may require getting the seahorse in hand. If this is the case, wear non-powdered latex gloves to prevent injury to the integument of the animal.
    <Close quote>

    If the seahorse passes this visual examination, and is eating well and behaving normally, with none of the red flags or warning signs discussed above, only then should you consider taking him home. That’s a quick checklist you can use to determine if the seahorses at your LFS appear to be healthy or not before you make a purchase.

    The Quarantine Tank

    Once you have found healthy specimens with none of the symptoms or problems outlined above and make your purchase, it is equally important to quarantine the new seahorses before you introduce them to your main tank! A potential problem when obtaining seahorses from your LFS is that they are typically maintained in aquaria that share a common filtration system with all of the other fish tanks in the store. Of course, those other fish tanks house a wide selection of wild fish that have been collected from all around the world, and any pathogens or parasites those wild fishes may have been carrying can be transmitted through the common water supply to the seahorses. That makes fish from your LFS potential disease vectors for a whole laundry list of disease organisms and makes it mandatory to quarantine such specimens before they are introduced to your display tank.

    In its simplest form, quarantining aquarium fish simply involves introducing them to a quarantine tank (normally with the same aquarium parameters as the tank they will be eventually going in) all by themselves for a period of several weeks to assure that they aren’t carrying any diseases. The idea is that any health problems the wild fish have will manifest themselves in isolation during this quarantine period, and they can then be treated with the appropriate medications without affecting the health of the rest of the fishes in your display tank. While they are in quarantine, some hobbyists will also treat wild fish prophylactically for internal parasites using praziquantel or metronidazole, and for any external parasites they may possibly be carrying using formalin bath(s) and/or freshwater dips.

    A bare-bottomed aquarium of at least 10 gallons (the bigger the better) will suffice for a Quarantine Tank (QT). Ideally, the hospital tank should have one or more foam filters for biofiltration along with a small external filter, which can easily be removed from the tank during treatment, if necessary, but which can hold activated carbon or polyfilter pads when it’s time to pull the meds out. No aquarium reflector is necessary. Ambient room light will suffice. (Bright lights can breakdown and inactivate certain medications and the fish in quarantine will be more comfortable and feel more secure under relatively dim lighting.)

    For seahorses, it’s important for your quarantine tank/hospital tank to include enough hitching posts so that the ponies won’t feel vulnerable or exposed during their stay in quarantine. Aquarium safe, inert plastic plants or homemade hitching posts fashioned from polypropylene rope or twine that has been unraveled and anchored at one end work well for this if you’re short on such decorations.

    Cycling the sponge filters is important because otherwise the only way to maintain water quality is by making partial water changes every day or two throughout the treatment period. Breaking in the biological filtration will eliminate the need for such frequent water changes and assure that the quarantine period is less stressful for the fish by eliminating transient spikes in the ammonia and/or nitrate levels.

    Be sure to avoid sponge filters with weighted bottoms or other metal components since they will rust when exposed to saltwater. Sooner or later this will cause problems in a marine aquarium. Select a sponge filter that has no metal parts and is safe for use in saltwater. The proper units will have suction cups to anchor them in place rather than a weighted bottom.

    The seahorses can be treated prophylactically to eliminate internal parasites while they are in the quarantine tank, using medications such as praziquantel and fenbendazole. Finally, when the quarantine period is up, it is customary to give the new seahorses a freshwater dip or formalin bath to remove any ectoparasites they may be carrying before they are introduced to your main tank.

    Marine fish and seahorses should be quarantined for 4-6 weeks as explained above. The only exceptions are High-Health seahorses obtained directly from Ocean Rider (seahorse.com), which are guaranteed to be free of pathogens and parasites. Because of the rigorous health screening they undergo at the aquaculture facility, there is no need to quarantine high-health seahorses before they are introduced to the main tank, which simplifies things for the home hobbyist. The Ocean Rider aquaculture facility provides multi-generational captive-bred-and-raised seahorses that have now reached a high level of domestication and are very well adapted to aquarium life.

    But that’s just something for you to keep in mind the next time you want to get some new seahorses, Shelley.

    The seahorses you are concerned about right now are very ill and need immediate treatment. It’s difficult to say precisely what disease organisms are the cause of their problems, but they appeared to be suffering from mixed bacterial and fungal infections and I would treat them accordingly. There are two good options for dealing with such mixed infections, Shelley — if the seahorses are still eating, you could treat them with FormaGreen (a combination of formalin and malachite green) in the hospital tank while you administer the antibiotics orally via gut-loaded shrimp; or if the seahorses are no longer eating, then you can administer broad spectrum antibiotics to the hospital tank and then give the seahorses a series of baths in formalin every other day.

    The antibiotics I recommend are either doxycycline (alone or in combination with kanamycin) or kanamycin sulfate or neomycin sulfate (or both) used in conjunction with various sulfa drugs. If you can obtain them, Neosulfex or Neo3 would be excellent choices. If not, you can achieve the same affect by combining neomycin or kanamycin with triple sulfa compound.

    The formalin baths should be administered at a dosage of 250 mg/L. This would equal 1 ml (cc) of 37% formalin per 1 gallon of water. This should be for a bath of about 45 minutes to an hour, repeated as necessary. (See the complete instructions for administering formalin baths below.)

    All of the medications mentioned above can be obtained online from National Fish Pharmaceuticals at the following URL:

    Click here: Fish Medications
    <http://www.fishyfarmacy.com/products.html&gt;

    Formalin baths used in conjunction with these antibiotics will help eliminate any ectoparasites or secondary fungal infections that may be involved. Formalin is basically a 37% solution of formaldehyde and water. It is a potent external fungicide, external protozoacide, and antiparasitic, and seahorse keepers commonly use formalin to cleanse new arrivals of ectoparasites during quarantine. Formalin (HCHO) is thus an effective medication for eradicating external parasites, treating fungal lesions, and reducing the swelling from such infections.

    Many commercial formalin products are readily available to hobbyists, such as Kordon’s Formalin 3, Formalin-F sold by Natchez Animal Supply, and Paracide-F, sold by Argent Chemical Laboratories. Or whatever brand of formalin is available at your fish store should work fine.

    A formalin bath simply involves immersing the seahorse in a container of saltwater which contains the proper dosage of formalin for a period of 30-60 minutes before transferring it to your hospital tank. Include a hitching post of some sort in the container and follow these instructions: place the fish in a three-gallon bucket or a similar clean, inert container containing precisely one gallon of siphoned, aerated tank water. Medicate the bucket of water with with the appropriate amount of formalin for a concentrated bath according to the directions on the label. Place an airstone in the bucket and leave the fish in the bath for 30-60 minutes. If at any time the fish becomes listless, exhausted or loses its balance, immediately place the fish in clean, untreated water in your hospital tank.

    I want you to be aware of these precautions when administering the formalin bath:

    Formalin has limited shelf life and degrades to the highly toxic substance paraformaldehyde (identified as a white precipitate on the bottom of the solution); avoid using any formalin product which has such a precipitate at the bottom of the bottle.

    Formalin basically consumes oxygen so vigorous aeration must be provided during treatment.

    Time the bath closely and never exceed one hour of chemical exposure at this concentration.

    Observe the seahorse closely during the bath at all times, and it show signs of distress before the allotted time has elapsed, remove it from the treatment immediately.

    If you can obtain Formalin 3 from Kordon at your LFS, these are the instructions you should follow for your formalin dip:

    METHOD 2 (DIP) FOR THE PREVENTION OR TREATMENT OF FISH DISEASES

    (a) To a clean, non-metallic container (i.e., a plastic bucket), add one or more gallons of fresh tap water treated with Kordon’s AmQuel . For marine fish use freshly prepared saltwater adjusted to the same specific gravity (or salinity) as in the original tank. Make sure the temperature in the container is identical to that in the aquarium
    (b) Add 1 teaspoons of Formalin·3. This produces a concentration of 100 ppm. formaldehyde.
    (c) Agitate the solution with an airstone and adjust for a moderately strong flow of air.
    (d) Remove the fishes to be treated and deposit them in the container for a treatment period of not more than 50 minutes. Immediately after the treatment period, or if signs of distress are noted, remove the fishes to a previously prepared recovery tank. The fishes may be returned to their original tank, but the presence of the original disease-causing agents in the tank water may result in a reoccurrence of the disease condition.
    (e) Observe recovering fishes. Make sure that tankmates do not molest them during recovery.
    (f) Repeat treatment as needed, every week. Each treatment is very stressful to the treated fishes. Do not reuse the dip solution.

    For additional information on treating fishes with Formalin 3 by Kordon, see the following web page:

    Click here: KPD-54 Formalin-3
    <<http://www.novalek.com/kpd54.htm>&gt;

    If you get another brand of formalin, just follow the instructions that it comes with for a concentrated bath or dip (not prolonged immersion or a long-term bath).

    At this point, the prognosis for the affected seahorses is poor, but an aggressive treatment regimen that combines broad spectrum antibiotics with formalin using either of the techniques described above is your best hope for a good outcome.

    Best of luck clearing up this problem, Shelley.

    Respectfully,
    Pete Giwojna

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