Stressed/sick horses after water change.

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii Forums Seahorse Life and Care Stressed/sick horses after water change.

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    Hi all I am desperately hoping someone can help me.
    I have had two kuda seahorses one female and one male for about a year now.
    The other day I realised the salinity in my tank had been off as my hydrometer was not calibrated correctly and my tank was due for a a water change anyway so I did I 50% water change and topped up the salinity.
    Following the change the salinity went from 1.013 to 1.017.
    All the inhabitants of my tank are fine but my seahorses and scooter blenny have reacted very poorly and I have no idea why.
    Params are all in check, I took a sample of water to my lfs and they had no clue what to do or how to help.
    Temp 24°
    My seahorses are not eating and the female seems like she is in shock, the male seems fine besides the fact that he looks at his food like it is foreign now.
    Please help, my heart is breaking.

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Destinee:

    It sounds like you raised the salinity or specific gravity of your aquarium too rapidly, and that your seahorses are suffering from osmotic shock and dehydration as a result.

    Remember, the salinity in a seahorse tank can be lowered relatively quickly without any problems, but raising the salinity upwards must be done very, very slowly to avoid dehydration.

    I would suggest gradually reducing your salinity or specific gravity again over a period of several hours to provide your seahorses with some relief. This can help if they have not already suffered irreparable harm from the dehydration.

    If your seahorses respond positively, and you feel you need to increase the specific gravity again at some point, be sure to take your time and raise the salinity very slowly and gradually. As I mentioned, fish can become dehydrated if the salinity is increased too rapidly, so be methodical and raise the salinity over a period of many days. Don’t hesitate to take a full week or two weeks to gradually return the specific gravity to normal levels again in small increments.

    Seahorses can do very well at a relatively low specific gravity of 1.013 indefinitely and may experience fewer problems with protozoan parasites at such hyposalinity, so there is no need nor any rush to increase the specific gravity as long as your Hippocampus kuda were doing well at the reduced salinity prior to this incident.

    Good luck!

    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support


    Thank you very much for your reply.
    Unfortunately my female horse passed away this morning.
    I lowered the salinity slowly and the male is starting to peck at food if it is presented right in front of him.
    He still seems to be lacking and energy and to be in respiratory distress.
    I very much appreciate your response.
    Thank you again.

    Pete Giwojna

    Dear Destinee:

    I am very sorry to hear that my recommendations were too late to save your distressed female. All my condolences on your loss, Destinee!

    Hopefully, you are on the right track now and your male will make a full recovery in time.

    Please contact me with a brief e-mail message at the following address and I will provide you with some additional information on hyposalinity and how to manage it and administer it safely in a manner that would actually be beneficial for your seahorses:

    [email protected]

    I know it’s too late for your female, Destinee, but the additional information I would like to share with you can help assure that you will never have to deal with another incident like this again.

    Good luck.

    Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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