- This topic has 12 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 8 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
May 24, 2006 at 3:24 am #825Marina_RyanMember
Greetings to all. I just joined the forum because I found everything very useful. I have a desperate questio: my girl is not doing well. She started breathing very heavily yesterday. I lost 2 fish from that tank (5 gallon) because one of them came sick). I did a water change everyday for the past 3 days. I just did the methylane blue today. She just looks terrible and I\’m not sure if she will pull through. Any ideas of sugestions for this despetare pewrson here? Thank you.May 25, 2006 at 1:15 am #2547Pete GiwojnaGuest
It’s very difficult to determine what may be wrong with your little girl based on such sketchy information but I would be happy to share my thoughts on the matter with you. It would be helpful if you could give me a little more information about your tank in the meantime.
A 5-gallon aquarium is really too small for any seahorses other than Pixies or dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae), so I assume your little girl is a female dwarf seahorse. Is that correct? How long as the aquarium been set up, Marina? What are your current aquarium parameters (temperature, pH, specific gravity or salinity, and the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate)? What type of filtration does your five-gallon tank use? Are there any fish or tankmates in the aquarium other than seahorses?
You did very well to perform a series of water changes, Marina. 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.
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 a series of water changes was an excellent first step towards addressing this problem, Marina. Methylene blue is an excellent medication whenever fish are experiencing respiratory distress, so you also did the right thing in treating your little girl with methylene blue next to help ease her breathing. Just remember, though, that methylene blue should be used in a hospital tank, or as a brief dip or bath for the affected fish, rather than adding it to the main tank. This is because methylene blue can disrupt the biological filtration in your aquarium, which would cause a whole new set of problems.
If if the water changes didn’t help, and you recently, lost two fish from your tank shortly after adding a new acquisition that arrived ill, my best guess is that your little girl’s problem is not due to an environmental disease but rather to parasites that were introduced to the aquarium with the ailing fish. There are a number of very common ectoparasites that attack the skin and gills of fish, such as Uronema, Cryptocaryon, and Amblyoodinium, and these parasites typically enter the aquarium on a fish obtained from your LFS.
Without knowing more about your setup, and keeping in mind the materials you are likely to have on hand right now, the best thing I can suggest that this point would be to treat your little girl with a freshwater dip followed by a very brief dip in concentrated methylene blue. The freshwater dip will eliminate many of the parasites infesting the gills of your seahorse, thereby providing her with some immediate relief, while the methylene blue will further aid respirations. My best advice would be to proceed as follows, Marina:
A freshwater water dip is simply immersing your seahorse in pure, detoxified freshwater that’s been preadjusted to the same temp and pH as the water the seahorse is accustomed to, for a period of at least 10 minutes (Giwojna, Dec. 2003). It doesn’t harm them — seahorses typically tolerate freshwater dips exceptionally well and a 10-minute dip should be perfectly safe. Freshwater dips are effective because marine fish tolerate the immersion in freshwater far better than the external parasites they play host to; the change in osmotic pressure kills or incapacitates such microorganisms within 7-8 minutes (Giwojna, Dec. 2003). A minimum dip, if the fish seems to be doing fine, is therefore 8 minutes. Include some sort of hitching post in the dipping container and shoot for the full 10 minutes with your seahorses (Giwojna, Dec. 2003).
If you will be using tap water for the freshwater dip, be sure to dechlorinate it beforehand. This can be accomplished usually one of the commercial dechlorinators, which typically include sodium thiosulfate and perhaps a chloramine remover as well, or by aerating the tap water for at least 24 hours to dissipate the chlorine (Giwojna, Dec. 2003).
If you dechlorinate the dip water with a sodium thiosulfate product, be sure to use an airstone to aerate it for at least one hour before administering the dip. This is because the sodium thiosulfate depletes the water of oxygen and the dip water must therefore be oxygenated before its suitable for your seahorse(s).
Observe the horse closely during the dip. You may see some immediate signs of distress or shock. Sometimes the horse will immediately lie on its side on the bottom. That’s a fairly common reaction — normal and to be expected, rather than a cause for concern, so don’t be alarmed if this happens. Just nudge or tap the seahorse gently gently with your finger if it lies down on its side. Normally, the seahorse will respond to the slight nudge by righting itself again and calm down for the duration of the dip. However, if it does not respond, stop the treatment.
Most seahorses tolerate the treatment well and experienced no problems, but if you see continued signs of distress — twitching, thrashing around etc. — stop the treatment.
After you have completed the dip and returned the seahorses to the aquarium, save the dip water and examined it closely for any sign of parasites. The change in osmotic pressure from saltwater to freshwater will cause ectoparasites to lyse (i.e., swell and burst) or drop off their host after 7-10 minutes, and they will be left behind in the dipping water. Protozoan parasites are microscopic and won’t be visible to the naked eye, but some of the other ectoparasites can be clearly seen. For example, monogenetic trematodes will appear as opaque sesame seeds drifting in the water (Giwojna, Aug. 2003) and nematodes may be visible as tiny hairlike worms 1/16-3/16 of an inch long. Other parasites may appear as tiny dots in the water. Freshwater dips can thus often provide affected seahorses with some immediate relief by ridding them of these irritating pests and can also aid their breathing by flushing out gill parasites.
For best results, consider following up the 10-minute freshwater dip with a very brief (5-10 seconds — no more than 10 seconds maximum) dip in a solution of methylene blue between 30-50 ppm, as described below. Prepare the solution of methylene blue using saltwater from your seahorses tank ahead of time, before you do the freshwater dip, so you can dip them in the meth blue for 5-10 seconds right after you do the freshwater dip. Time the very short Methylene blue dip closely — maybe keep each seahorse in your hand while you dip it in the blue so there’s no fumbling around to capture it when time’s up — pull the pony out after 5-10 seconds and immediately return it to the main tank afterwards.
If you can obtain the Kordon brand of Methylene Blue (available at most well-stocked local fish stores), their suggested treatment protocol for treating external parasites as a dip is as follows:
For use as a dip for treatment of external parasitic protozoans:
(a) Prepare a nonmetallic container of sufficient size to contain the fish to be treated by adding water similar to the original aquarium.
(b) Add 5 teaspoons (24.65 ml) per 3 gallons of water. This produces a concentration of 50 ppm. It is not recommended that the concentration be increased beyond 50 ppm.
(c) Place fishes to be treated in this solution for no longer than 10 seconds.
(d) Return fish to original aquarium.
See the following link for more information on treating with Kordon’s Methylene Blue:
Click here: KPD-28 Methylene Blue
If your methylene blue is not Kordon (KPD-28) Methylene Blue, then disregard the instructions above and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using your brand as a bath or dip instead. Please let me know how your little girl tolerates these first aid measures, Marina, and will proceed from there…
Best of luck resolving this problem, Marina! Once I know a little more about your seahorse setup, I may be able to provide you with some better advice and additional treatment options.
Pete GiwojnaMay 25, 2006 at 1:32 am #2548Marina_RyanGuest
Thank you very much for your reply. My girl is a dwarf. My tank is a hexagon 5 gallons. I have a biowheel filter, and heater. My girl had a tank mate (actually 2- one scooly blenny, and a pearl jawfish. I got the blenny from I place that I don’t think I will be getting anything from there anymore because I lost 3 fish from them -only one was in the little tank). The tank was set up for almost 2 months before I added the seahorse (I had the pearl fish there only). Temperature of 73F, I have being checkinh pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and everything was fine until the fish died and the nitrate elevated a little. The seahorse was still doing fine and 4-5 days after (doing water changes everyother day, no cleaning filter) I noticed she started to breath heavier. I changed the water again, and this morning she was worst, so I took her to the petshop I work for and set her up in a tank there. She was still not completely stable, but better than her tank here. I had my tank medicated with malafix for 3 days after my blenny died. If she is better tomorrow I will keep her at work until everything here stabilized. I tested the water in my little tank and still the levels of nitrate needs to go down a little. I’m also adding live bacteria, dechlorinating water (everything I do mith my bigger tank). The little side note is that I gor my girl from this petshop which I lost 3 fish in a row. She was fine for the past 3-4 weeks, eating very well live and frozen food.
Again, Thank you very much for your advise.May 25, 2006 at 6:03 pm #2549Pete GiwojnaGuest
Thanks for the update and the additional information about your five-gallon aquarium. Your basic setup sounds fine and the bio-wheel should do a good job of filtering the tank. A water temperature 73°F is ideal for most seahorses.
It was a very good idea to relocate your female to your pet store while your 5 gallon tank stabilizes.
Your little girl’s respiratory distress may have been due in part to the Melafix you were using to treat your blenny. I have received several anecdotal reports linking Melafix with seahorse deaths, with asphyxia being the most likely cause of death.
The active ingredient in Melafix is Maleluca tree oil, which has been known to impair the breathing of seahorses under certain circumstances for a couple of reasons. First of all, it seems to stimulate excess mucous production, and may cause the gills to be coated with a layer of slime. Secondly, it reportedly causes a drop in oxygen (O2) levels during treatment.
The drop in O2 levels is definitely a cause for concern, particularly if excess mucous production is impairing respiration by causing the gills to be coated in slime at the same time. If a thin film of this oil covers the surface of the aquarium, that could interfere with efficient gas exchange at the air/water interface, resulting in a drop in O2 levels and a build up of CO2.
Seahorses are more vulnerable to asphyxiation, and to low O2/high CO2 levels, than most fishes because of their primitive gills. Unlike most teleost (bony) fishes, which have their gills arranged in sheaves like the pages of a book, seahorses have rudimentary gill arches with small powder-puff type gill filaments. Seahorses are said to have "tufted" gills because they appear to be hemispherical clumps of tissue on stems. Their unique, lobed gill filaments (lophobranchs) are arranged in grape-like clusters and have fewer lamellae than other teleost fishes. Because of the difference in the structure and efficiency of their gills, you have to be very careful about using Melafix in a seahorse tank.
So making those water changes and getting your seahorse out of the tank that had been treating with Melafix was probably the best thing you could have done for her. Hopefully, she will recover completely now that she’s set up in a new tank at the pet store. If not, if she begins panting or huffing or showing any other signs of respiratory distress, don’t hesitate to administer a freshwater dip and a brief dip in concentrated methylene blue to assist her breathing.
Best wishes with all of your fishes, Marina!
Pete GiwojnaMay 26, 2006 at 5:42 am #2551LeslieGuest
I just wanted to add something to Pete’s wonderful response….
Unfortunately 5 gallons is much to small a tank for either a Scooter Blenny or a Jawfish. Both have special needs that cannot be met in a tank that size.
Please do have a look at the following articles for more info on
Scooter Blennies http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm
Best od luck with your little girl.
LeslieJuly 4, 2006 at 10:17 am #2619seahorselunaGuest
Unfortunately I just lost one Seahorse to a similar problem (heavy breathing, then sudden spasms). I wish I found this topic about 8 hours earlier. I still have another seahorse left in this aquarium. It is a seahorse only aquarium (except the freindly feather duster). In looking at my other female seahorse, it does not show signs of heavy breathing and has been eating well. Do I have to worry about this one obtaining the same symptoms? Should I be safe and do the freshwater dip for cautionary purposes?
I’ve checked my water conditions and they are nearly perfect with the Nitrate, Nitrite, Ph, etc.. However I did have a spike in temp. that shot to 82 F. when I put a new lid on the aquarium. Could this have been the cause? I have since then removed the lid and temp has been reduced to 75. Also I replaced the air filter to a larger one for more flow. The original one seemed to have lost much of its power flow as of late last night.
I look forward to your knowledgeable input.
KiraJuly 4, 2006 at 11:04 pm #2625Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m very sorry to hear that you lost your seahorse like that! All my condolences on your loss.
Yes, it is very likely that the temperature spike your aquarium experience contributed to the seahorse’ s respiratory distress and ultimately its demise. Elevated water temperatures increase the metabolism of your seahorses, and therefore their consumption of oxygen, at the same time that the rise in temperature is reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen the water can hold. That creates a dangerous situation for seahorses and may well result in respiratory distress and rapid, labored breathing.
However, it’s unlikely that your seahorse could have asphyxiated as a result without the other seahorse suffering the same fate, or at least showing some signs of rapid breathing. That makes me suspect that your seahorse died as the result of an infection of some sort (perhaps due to ectoparasites or possibly an underlying bacterial infection), which the heat stress contributed to by weakening the seahorse’s immune system, as described below.
Heat stress is especially debilitating and dangerous for seahorses 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 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.
That’s what I believe probably happened to your seahorse, Kira. Fortunately, it appears that the seahorse that died was weaker or more vulnerable for some reason than the seahorse that survived under the same conditions. It’s a very good sign that the survivor is eating well and showing no signs of respiratory distress whatsoever. Now that you have corrected the problem and brought your water temperature back down to 75°F, hopefully the seahorse that survived will remain unaffected. As long as she is not exhibiting rapid respiration or heavy breathing, or any other symptoms of a problem, I would not subject her to the stress of a prophylactic freshwater dip at this time.
You did very well to remove the hood and lower your water temperature, Kira, and it was also a very good idea to replace your filter and increase the water circulation in your aquarium. Those measures will certainly help prevent the recurrence of any such problems in the future.
However, I would like you to take a couple of other precautions as well. For starters, consider adding an ordinary airstone to your tank, anchored just beneath the surface of the water. That will add surface agitation, extra aeration, and promote more efficient gas exchange at the air/water interface. Unless you’re quite certain your system already has plenty of water movement, it is also advisable to add a small powerhead for extra circulation. Seahorses can handle more water movement than most folks realize, and you can always turn it off during feedings. Just screen off the intake for the powerhead as a precaution so it can’t accidentally suck up a curious seahorse.
Aside from your basic water quality tests (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH), Lori, I also recommend that you use a test kit for measuring the dissolved oxygen in your seahorse setup in the future. The reason for this is that a drop in the level of dissolved oxygen is a great early warning indicator that something is amiss in the aquarium, and can thus predict potential problems (and allow you to take corrective measures) BEFORE they become full-fledged disasters. For example, a drop in O2 levels could be an early indicator of overcrowding — a signal that your system has reached its carrying capacity. Or it may merely signal a rise in the water temperature due to a summertime heat wave or indicate that the tank is overdue for a water change and/or a thorough cleaning to remove excess organics and accumulated detritus. Or it could be telling you that your tank is under circulated and you need to increase the surface agitation and water movement.
The point is that checking the O2 levels in your aquarium can alert you to impending problems and allow you to do something about them before they have dire consequences. A drop in O2 levels is often the first sign of a water quality problem and it can tip off the alert aquarist that trouble is brewing before his seahorses are gasping for air in obvious respiratory distress. Checking the dissolved oxygen levels regularly is the next best thing to continuously monitoring the Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) or redox of the water, which is a luxury few hobbyists can afford.
The Tetra Oxygen Test Kit (TetraTest 02) is an adequate liquid reagent test kit for fresh or saltwater with simple color scales for comparing readings that tests for 02 in the range of 2-14 ppm (the optimum dissolved O2 level is 6-7 ppm). It will cost you between $8.50 to $14 depending on where you shop and should be available at any well-stocked LFS. Salifert also makes a nice 02 Test Kit (their 02 Profi-Test) that will run you about $20.
In addition, I would like you to perform a water change in conjunction with a judicious aquarium cleaning, just as described in my previous post above. You should also pick up some methylene blue at your local fish store as soon as possible. It’s inexpensive and that’s a very useful medication for the seahorse keeper to have on hand in case of such emergencies.
Finally, I would like you to be sure to administer a daily dose of beta-glucan (a potent immunostimulant) to boost the immune system of your surviving seahorse. This can easily be accomplished simply by enriching frozen Mysis with Vibrance (both Vibrance formulations now include beta-glucan as a primary ingredient) and feeding your seahorse as usual.
The research on the health effects of Beta Glucan is pretty phenomenal. It has long been used in the aquaculture of commercially valuable food fishes and seafood, such as cod, turbot, salmon and shrimp. It improves the growth rate and reduces mortality rates among the fry (or larvae in the case of shrimp), and improves disease resistance in juveniles and adults.
Not only should Beta Glucan help keep healthy seahorses healthy, it should also help ailing seahorses recover faster. Research indicates that it helps prevent infections and helps wounds heal more quickly (Bartelme, 2003). It is safe to use in conjunction with other treatments and has been proven to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics (Bartelme, 2003). It will be great for new arrivals recovering from the rigors of shipping because Beta Glucan is known to alleviate the effects of stress and to help fish recover from exposure to toxins in the water (Bartelme, 2003) .
For more information on the potential benefits of Beta Glucan for aquarium fish, please see the following article:
Click here: Advanced Aquarist Feature Article
In the meantime, keep a close eye on the surviving seahorse and let us know immediately if she goes off her feed, develops any breathing difficulty, or shows any other symptoms of a possible health problem. Be prepared to perform a diagnostic freshwater dip and/or a brief bath and methylene blue if the survivor begins to exhibit respiratory distress.
Best of luck with your seahorses, Kira!
Pete GiwojnaJuly 5, 2006 at 6:01 am #2627seahorselunaGuest
Thanks for your detailed information, unfortunately she just started heavy breathing about 30 minutes after she fed. I just did the freshwater dip for 8 min., but I do not have the medication dip. I just put her back in the newly changed water tank, and she is pretty much at the botom. I’m not sure if she is going to make it. I’ll keep watching and hopefully she’ll come through.
I’ll keep you posted.
KiraJuly 5, 2006 at 6:27 am #2628seahorselunaGuest
:cheer: the seahorse has started to swim normally around the tank again, the breathing has reduced a little, but that could also be the stress from the fresh water dip. She has latched on to the feather duster and has gotten her original color back (black with shades of white), before the fresh water dip, she was almost completely pale white. I think she is going to pull through. We will keep a close eye on her and pick up all the recommended health products tomorrow morning. Thank you again for all your advice. Also in the freshwater dip tank, I noticed (after she was pulled out) little white specs floating. Are these the bacteria you were reffering to? Now I might just be over paranoid now, but we do notice white specs around her gills. Is this something to worry about or am I just getting over paranoid?
Thanks again. Tomorrow I’ll post the results, but it looks like she is pulling through!
Kira & NicholeJuly 5, 2006 at 4:42 pm #2629seahorselunaGuest
Just a final update, the seahorse is doing great! I only wish I could have saved the other one 🙁 . This forum has been the best place for increasing our seahorse knowledge. Thanks Pete for your detailed steps on improving our seahorses health.
Kira & NicholeJuly 5, 2006 at 11:02 pm #2630Pete GiwojnaGuest
Dear Kira & Nicole:
Thanks for the updates! It’s really good to hear that your seahorse responded well to the freshwater dip and is now back to normal again.
However, that may be only a temporary reprieve. If her respiratory distress or labored breathing recurs, you may need to treat her again with another freshwater dip and/or a very brief dip in concentrated methylene blue. So do be sure to pick up some methylene blue at your earliest opportunity.
The white specs you noticed in the dipping container afterwards are not bacteria, which are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye, but they could well be external parasites that were infesting her gills. There are quite a number of protozoan parasites and gill flukes that can cause the sort of respiratory problems your seahorses have been experiencing, especially after they been stressed out and weakened by heat stress or a temperature spike. The freshwater dip will provide your seahorse with some immediate relief from such ectoparasites by causing many of them to rupture or lyse and forcing some of the embedded parasites to detach in the freshwater. However, if those parasites are still present in the main tank in large numbers, there is a good chance that your seahorse will be reinfested by them again at some point after its return to the main tank.
In that case, Kira, if the respiratory problems keep returning, it will be necessary to treat your main tank for these parasites. Hyposalinity or Osmotic Shock Therapy (OST) is one option for accomplishing this, as are various antiparasitics such as Parinox that are safe for seahorses and won’t impair your biofiltration.
Which of these remedies may be most suitable in your case, Kira, depends on whether or not you have any delicate corals are invertebrates in your tank as tankmates for your seahorses. I know you have a feather duster worm, but do you have any other invertebrates in the tank as companions for your seahorse or as aquarium janitors? Any peppermint shrimp or cleaner shrimp? If you have a cleanup crew, what type of snails and/or small hermit crabs does it include? If you can let me know what other specimens are in the tank beside your seahorses, I will be able to better advice you on how to proceed if the heavy breathing or other symptoms recur.
The pallor you described is very characteristic of seahorses that are not getting enough oxygen. This can be due to either gill parasites or low oxygen levels (or high CO2 levels) in the aquarium. Seahorses will blanch when subjected to hypoxic conditions. So the return of your seahorse to her normal their coloration is another good sign that she is breathing better now since the freshwater dip.
If you need to repeat the freshwater dip or administer a very brief dip and methylene blue, be sure to aerate the water in the dipping container thoroughly beforehand to saturate it with oxygen. It would be a good idea to leave an airstone in the dipping container while you are performing the dip, if possible.
Please keep us posted if your seahorse develops any further problems. Hopefully, now that you have the temperature back down to 75°F and her gills have been cleansed of parasites by the freshwater dip, she won’t have any additional difficulties. Do pick up some methylene blue ASAP and let me know about the tankmate situation right away just in case.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Kira and Nicole!
Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2006/07/05 19:04July 6, 2006 at 4:09 am #2631seahorselunaGuest
😛 Thank you once again Pete, for all of your valueable advice. In response to your earlier question about our seahorses tankmates…at this point all that we left in there is her feather duster, a few small purple colored hermit crabs, a live fiji rock, a piece of dead coral and a small bunch of caulurpa. We had a live small finger leather coral in there, but we decided to put him back in our larger reef tank. What parasite solutions would you recommend?
At this moment, she has retained her color, breathing normally, and swimming around like she used to. As excited as we are, we are still very cautious and keeping a close eye on her. We have another freshwater dip waiting in case we have another emergency. Thank you, and we will hear from you soon.
Thanks for everything,
Kira & NikkiJuly 7, 2006 at 3:37 am #2632Pete GiwojnaGuest
Dear Kira & Nikki:
You’re most welcome! It’s very encouraging that your seahorse has recovered so quickly and is acting more like her old self again. With any luck at all, now that you’ve corrected the temperature and increased the circulation, and the conditions in the aquarium are back to normal, she won’t have any further difficulties.
But it would be a good precaution to keep some methylene blue on hand for respiratory problems should the labored breathing recur, and it would be prudent to obtain a good antiparasitics in case it becomes necessary to treat the main tank.
In your case, Kira and Nikki, I think Parinox by National Fish Pharmaceuticals would work well for you, as described below:
USE: For Ich, hexamita, costia, ichthyophthirius, ectoparasites, monogenia, hirudinea, parasitic copepods, argulus, lernaea, anchor worms, fish lice, leeches. Also a protozoacide. Anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, very wide spectrum. Our version of a "cure-all".
DOSAGE: Use 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gallons. Treat once a week for 2 weeks. If water changes are done, add back the percentage of medication according to how much water was changed.
As you can see, the medication is effective against all of the ectoparasites and protozoan parasites that attack the gills of fish and cause respiratory distress. Although Parinox is safe for seahorses, it can be hard on crustaceans and certain invertebrates, but since the only invertebrates in your seahorse tank are a few hermit crabs and a feather duster, that should not present an insurmountable difficulty. If it becomes necessary to treat your main tank with Parinox, the hermit crabs and feather duster could easily be removed to a hospital tank or your reef tank for the duration of the treatment, and the medication should certainly rid your aquarium of any troublesome parasites that may be present. It’s another good medication to keep in your fish room medicine cabinet.
You can obtain Parinox online from National Fish Pharmaceuticals at the following URL:
Click here: Fish Medications
Best of luck with your seahorse’s breathing, Kira and Nikki! Be sure to follow up on the other preventative measures we discussed previously, such as increasing the aeration in your aquarium and enriching your frozen Mysis with Vibrance so your seahorse gets a daily dose of beta-glucan to boost her immune system.
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