/* Added for Lightbox to Blog Posts */

Seahorse infection

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #51482

    Hi. I have a tiger tail male that has an open sore on one of his spines and what it seems to be an abscess under it. He’s eating and acting normal. I’ve tried researching to see what this could be and how to treat without any success. Can you please help?

    I have a pic but don’t know how to post it.

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear hobbyist:

    I am very sorry to hear about the problem your Tigertail has developed. The affected seahorse should be isolated to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of your ponies and treated in a hospital tank with a good broad-spectrum antibiotic. The antibiotic I would recommend without being able to examine the affected seahorse is kanamycin sulfate, a potent aminoglycoside antibiotic that works very well in saltwater, as explained below:


    USE: It is used to treat many sensitive gram–negative and some gram–positive bacteria. Works especially well in saltwater aquariums. Works well combined with Nitrofurazone for flexibacter (columnaris) (Symptoms: Fuzzy, thin, white coating on the body and fins. Looks like a fungus). Also useful for Pseudomonas-Open red sores or ulcerations; fin and tail damage, fins and tail are eaten away, in severe cases, down to the body. Kanamycin is very effective in high pH applications, especially Vibrio, making it useful for brackish and marine treatments.

    Kanamycin can be effective for whirling disease , suspected kidney disease and dropsy.

    Kanamycin sulfate appears to prevent bacteria from making their cell walls, so the cells die.

    If the infected spine has an underlying abscess, then administering the antibiotics orally so that they can attack the infection internally. Therefore, as long as your Tigertail seahorse is still eating well, I would recommend treating it with some good broad-spectrum antibiotics that can be mixed with it frozen Mysis.

    For this purpose, I recommend that you obtain some Seachem KanaPlex and administer it to the seahorses orally by mixing Seachem Focus and the KanaPlex together with frozen Mysis that you have carefully thawed and prepared. The Focus will bind with the medication in the KanaPlex and then bind to the frozen Mysis in a manner that masks the unpleasant taste of the medication and makes it more palatable to the seahorse. The active ingredient in the KanaPlex is kanamycin sulfate, a potent aminoglycoside antibiotic, so when the seahorses subsequently eat the frozen Mysis, they will ingest the antibiotics and get the maximum benefit they can provide.

    Likewise, the Seachem Focus includes a nitrofuran antibiotic, which can be safely combined with the aminoglycoside antibiotic in the KanaPlex (i.e., kanamycin sulfate) to create a potent, synergistic combination of antibiotics that is more effective than either antibiotic used alone.

    I think that will give me your best chance for a positive outcome to this problem.

    Here is some additional information about the Seachem KanaPlex and how to use it properly:

    <open quote>
    KanaPlex by SeaChem

    KanaPlex™ is a blended kanamycin based medication that safely and effectively treats several fungal, and bacterial fish diseases (dropsy, popeye, fin/tail rot, septicemica). Because it is absorbed by fish it is useful in treating internal infections in those situations where food is refused.To enhance palatability use with Garlic Guard™. Food may be refrozen.

    Types of Infections Treated


    DIRECTIONS: Use 1 level spoonful (180 mg) for every 20 L (5 gallons). Repeat every 2 days as required up to a maximum of 3 doses. Turn off UV, ozone, and chemical filtration.

    To feed, blend 1 measure with about 1 tablespoon of frozen food paste. Food may be refrozen.

    Contains kanamycin sulfate
    Active ingredients: kanamycin sulfate (50%). Inactive ingredients: potassium sulfate (50%)
    <close quote>

    And here is some additional information on the Focus by Seachem Laboratories, which explains how to use it to combine medication with food:

    <open quote>
    Seachem Laboratories Focus – 5 Grams Information

    Focus ™ is an antibacterial polymer for internal infections of fish. It may be used alone or mixed with other medications to make them palatable to fish and greatly reduce the loss of medications to the water through diffusion. It can deliver any medication internally by binding the medication to its polymer structure. The advantage is that the fish can be medicated without conDaniellenating the entire aquarium with medication. Fish find Focus™ appetizing and it may be fed to fish directly or mixed with frozen foods. Focus™ contains nitrofurantoin for internal bacterial infections. Marine and freshwater use. 5 gram container.

    Types of Infections Treated:


    DIRECTIONS: Use alone or in combination with medication of your choice in a 5:1 ratio by volume. Feed directly or blend with fresh or frozen food. Feed as usual, but no more than fish will consume. Use at every feeding for at least five days or until symptoms clear up.

    Contains polymer bound nitrofurantoin.

    Active ingredient: polymer bound nitrofurantoin (0.1%). This product is not a feed and
    should not be fed directly. It’s intended application is to assist in finding medications to fish food.
    <close quote>

    And here is an excerpt from an e-mail from another home hobbyist (Ann Marie Spinella) that explains how she uses the KanaPlex together with the Focus for treating her seahorses, Danielle:

    “When I bought the KanaPlex yesterday I also picked up a tube of Focus. According to the instructions, it says it makes the medication more palatable to fish & reduces the loss of the medication once it’s in the water.

    So I followed the dosing instructions exactly. I used regular frozen mysis instead of PE. I figured it was softer & smaller. I was thinking along the lines of more surface area for the medication to adhere to & with the softer shell hopefully it would absorb into the shrimp a little better.

    I used 8 cubes which came to just about 1 tablespoon. I thawed & rinsed the shrimp thoroughly in a little colander & let it sit on a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.

    Then I put in it in a small dish & added the Focus & KanaPlex in the recommended ratio which is 5:1 (5 scoops Focus / 1 scoop KanaPlex). I mixed it thoroughly & added a few drops of Garlic Power.

    Then I measured out 5 – 1/4 tsp. servings & 4 servings I placed on a sheet of Glad Press & Seal, sealed them & put them in the freezer, since it says in the instructions that you can freeze what you don’t use right away, & the remaining 1/4 tsp. I split in half & fed to them this morning. The rest I’ll give to them this afternoon & I’ll do this every day with the remaining shrimp that I already prepared & froze.

    In the video you can see that the seahorses are eating it. Yea!!

    Thanks for all of your help & I’ll keep you posted.”
    Ann Marie

    Okay, that’s the rundown on using the KanaPlex together with the Focus so that you could administer the medication in the KanaPlex orally after adding it to the frozen Mysis for the seahorses daily meals.

    Good luck!

    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support


    Thank you so much for your response. I had already dosed kanaplex 2 days but haven’t seen any improvement. As far as getting him to take the antibiotic orally, he’s only eating live ghost shrimp. I’ve tried everything to get him to eat frozen without success. Anything else I can do to get the medication in him?

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear hobbyist:

    If the seahorse is only eating live ghost shrimp, then you should gutload the ghost shrimp with plenty of the medication (kanamycin sulfate in this case) before you feed the ghost shrimp to the seahorses.

    There are couple of different ways that you can try gutloading the live ghost shrimp with the kanamycin. For example, you can soak flake food in a concentrated solution of kanamycin and then feed the medicated flake food to the ghost shrimp until the bellies of the shrimp are full.

    Or another approach would be to gutload live adult brine shrimp with kanamycin and then feed the medicated adult brine shrimp to your live ghost shrimp before you feed the ghost shrimp to the seahorses.

    Just add a generous amount of the kanamycin sulfate to one gallon of water and mix thoroughly. Place the amount of live adult brine shrimp you wish to medicate in the mixture and leave them there for at least 2 hours (the longer, the better). Then remove the medicated adult brine shrimp from the mixture and feed them to your live ghost shrimp and then immediately feed the gutloaded ghost shrimp to your seahorses.

    In my experience, the best way to gutload the adult brine shrimp is to set up a clean plastic pail with one gallon of freshly mixed saltwater, add plenty of the antibiotic, and then let the adult brine shrimp soak in the medicated bucket for at least two hours before you feed the brine shrimp to the live ghost shrimp and then feed the ghost shrimp directly to your seahorses. Repeat this procedure twice a day for 10 days.

    Hopefully one of these methods for gutloading live adult ghost shrimp with medication will work well for you.

    Good luck.

    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

America's Only Seahorse Aqua-Farm and One of Hawaii's Most Popular Attractions

Ocean Rider seahorse farm is a consistent Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winner and "Top 10 Things To Do" Kona, Hawaii attraction. Our "Magical Seahorse Tours" are educational and fun for the whole family.

Tour tickets are available for Purchase On-Line. Space is limited and subject to availability.

small seahorse Ocean Rider, Inc. is an Organic Hawaiian-Based Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Aquarium that Follows Strict Good Farming Practices in Raising Seahorses and Other Aquatic Life.

Seahorse Hawaii Foundation

Inspiring ocean awareness by saving the endangered seahorse and sea dragons around the world from extinction through conservation, research, propagation, and education.

Help us save the seahorse and the coral reefs they live in with a tax deductible contribution to the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation. You will be helping to protect and propagate over 25 species of endangered seahorses, sea dragons and friends.

Make A Tax-Deductible Donation Today!

A Different Kind of Farm (Video) »

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii

Ocean Rider Kona Hawaii
Seahorse Aqua-Farm & Tours

73-4388 Ilikai Place
Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740
Map & Directions

Contact Ocean Rider

Copyright ©1999-2020
All Rights Reserved | Ocean Rider Inc.

Purchase Policy
Site Terms and Conditions