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

Sleepless in Jacksonville

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  • #1330

    I know you guys must hear this ALL THE TIME – I will be the first to admit that I had absolutely NO BUSINESS trying to raise seahorses. That being said, I now have what I think to be something very bad happening to 3 of the 5 that I have. I have no clue what species these sweet things are only that 3 were marked as \"Long Snout\" 1 as \"Atlantic Seahorse\" and the last as \"Brizilian Yellow Seapony\". 3 males and 2 females

    The Brizilian was a VERY bright yellow when purchased last week and is and has been for the past few days, white. swims ALL OVER THE TANK – I have not witnessed her eating any of the mysis I have fed. Spends a great deal of time farming the live rock.

    The 3 \"Long Snouts\" (I\’ve has these guys for about 6 or 7 months now) all have this strange \"fuzzy\" appearence. They are all very good eaters with the exception of the last week or so when the heat when out in the house and the tank heater died….it\’s been a VERY long few weeks!!! I haven\’t seen them eat any of the mysis lately, either.

    The last addition was the Atlantic (yellowish and black – very cool little guy) he spends all of his time with his nose in the rock as well…I have not seen him eat since we\’ve had him but he doesn\’t appear \"concave\".

    My tank (an 80 gallon bow front) had a really bad diatom algae problem including a red slime issue – I resolved the red slime by dosing with a \"red slime remover\"…and deep cleaned the tank and got rid of the diatom….I think that\’s what\’s on the long snouts…..NOTE: I\’ve had this tank setup for about 5 years. It has only RECENTLY been modified for seahorses.

    Tank mates:
    Red pipefish
    blue stripe pipefish
    peppermint shrimp
    two tank raised percula clowns
    blue legged crabs and turbo snails

    HELP!!! I am in WAY OVER MY HEAD and I\’m EXTREMELY worried that I\’ve sentenced these poor creatures to death

    Post edited by: Dana, at: 2008/01/09 04:20

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Dana:

    I’m sorry to hear about the problem some of your seahorses have developed. It is very difficult to identify which seahorses you have from their common names alone, much less to diagnose the condition that is plaguing the three long snout seahorses, but I would be happy to share my thoughts on the matter with you.

    The bright yellow Brazilian seahorse is very likely Hippocampus reidi, and it sounds like he is managing to scrape up enough copepods and amphipods from your live rock in order to get by, at least for the time being. Brazilian seahorses (H. reidi) are notoriously finicky eaters and can be very difficult to wean away from their dependency on live foods. But in a well-established 80-gallon aquarium with lots of live rock, you’re Brazilian pony may be able to find enough natural fodder to keep him going, just as a Mandarinfish would do.

    The Atlantic seahorse is most likely a Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus), but I cannot say with any certainty what species the Longsnout seahorses may represent since several different seahorses are commonly referred to as Long Snouts.

    My best guess is that the problem with the long snouts was caused by chilling when you lost the heat in your house and the aquarium heater would not function. The drop in temperature may have stressed the seahorses to the point that their immune system was compromised, leaving them vulnerable to opportunistic diseases. Fungal infections in sygnathids are often associated with chilling, and some fungal infections can give the seahorse a "fuzzy" appearance, so I would be inclined to treat your three long snout seahorses accordingly.

    The treatment I would recommend in your case is a formalin bath, Dana. Formalin has a powerful antifungal properties and would also help eliminate diatoms or algae growth if that is what the causing the fuzzy appearance of the seahorses. Here is how to proceed:

    Formalin Baths

    Formalin (HCHO) is basically a 37% solution of formaldehyde and water. It is a potent external fungicide, external protozoacide, and antiparasitic, and is thus an effective medication for eradicating external parasites, treating fungal lesions, and reducing the swelling from such infections. It is a wonder drug for treating cases of Popeye caused by trematodes, and also eradicates external nematodes.

    In my experience, provided it is administered properly, seahorses tolerate treatment with formalin very well at therapeutic dosages. For a long term bath the correct dose is 15 to 25 mg/L. [Note: 25 mg/L equals 1 ml (cc) of 37% formalin per 10 gallons of water.] This is typically done every other day for 3 treatments.

    For a short term bath (dip) the correct dose is 250 mg/L. This would equal 1 ml (cc) of 37% formalin per 1 gallon of water. This should be for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. In my opinion, formalin is a safe, effective treatment for parasitic infections in seahorses providing you don’t exceed these dosages and observe the following precautions for administering the medication properly:

    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 go to top Chemical Laboratories. Or whatever brand of formalin is available at your fish store should work fine, Dana.

    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 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, Dana, these are the instructions you should follow for your formalin dip:

    (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

    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).

    Gradually raise the water temperature of the main tank to between 72°F-75°F, administer formalin baths to the affected seahorses as explained above, and hope for the best.

    If you can tell me a little more about your 80-gallon aquarium, the filtration equipment you are using, and your current aquarium parameters (ammonia, nitrate, nitrate, pH and water temperature), Dana, I can tell you if there is anything else that you should be changing in your system at this time to restore optimal water quality and create a healthy environment for your seahorses.

    Best of luck with your pet shop ponies, Dana.

    Pete Giwojna

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