- This topic has 6 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 7 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
April 15, 2011 at 6:01 am #18787painthorsesMember
Hi Pete! I havn’t talked to you in a while! I have a Giant Brazilian femaile that got stuck in the rock. I have a male and a female but for some reason the female is VERY ridged bodied. I’ve had the pair for about 6 months now. Needless to say she has 2 small lesions on the outside of her tail. I am freaking out not knowing what to do! She’s cut back on her eating and seems very depressed. Her color has changed from yellow to a yellowish brownish. I went through all my paperwork that I printed off that you sent me to find an answer on what to do. I think I’m panicing! I have 2 Brazilian and 4 erectus in my tank. I’ve had seahorses for about 2 years now and have never had this problem! Please help me Pete! I don’t want it to get worse!! Thank you for your time.
JulieApril 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm #5298Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m very sorry to hear about the tail injury the in female Hippocampus reidi has suffered. I suspect that the scrapes she got when she was stuck in your rockwork have become infected, and I think that is why she is off her feed and has darkened in coloration.
Tail infections are always serious, Julie, and require prompt treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics in order to heal. These types of antibiotics cannot be used in the main tank because they would destroy the beneficial bacteria that carry out biological filtration, so I feel that your best option is to treat the Brazilian female with a good antibiotic, or combination of antibiotics, and a hospital tank.
The medications I recommend for this are aminoglycoside antibiotics (either kanamycin sulfate or neomycin sulfate, or better yet — both of them) combined with triple sulfa or other sulfa compounds. However, kanamycin sulfate and/or neomycin sulfate are sometimes difficult for hobbyists to obtain from their local fish stores, and it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible, so other good treatment options would include Maracyn-Two, which contains minocycline as its active ingredient, and Furan2, both of which can often be obtained locally. You should be able to obtain one of these antibiotics at your local fish stores, Julie, and I will provide you with the instructions for using all of these antibiotics below:
Kanamycin sulfate powder
USE: Gram-negative bacteria and resistant strains of piscine tuberculosis and other bacterial infections. Works especially well in salt water aquariums.
DOSAGE 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gallons of water. Treat every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days. For piscine tuberculosis, use for up to 30 days.
This is a potent broad-spectrum, gram+/gram- antibiotic. It is
wonderfully effective for aquarium use because it is one of the few
antibiotics that dissolves well in saltwater and that is readily
absorbed through the skin of the fish. That makes it the treatment of
choice for treating many bacterial infections in seahorses. Kanamycin
can be combined safely with neomycin to further increase its
efficacy. Like other gram-negative antibiotics, it will destroy your
biofiltration and should be used in a hospital tank only.
For best results, it’s an excellent idea to combine the kanamycin with neomycin to further boost its efficacy, as described below:
Neomycin sulfate powder
USE: Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas), piscine tuberculosis and other bacterial infections. Works well in freshwater or saltwater aquariums.
DOSAGE 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons of water. Treat every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days. For piscine tuberculosis, use for up to 30 days.
Neomycin is a very potent gram-negative antibiotic. Most of
infections that plague marine fish are gram-negative, so neomycin
sulfate can be a wonder drug for seahorses (Burns, 2002). As
mentioned above, it can even be combined with other medications such
as kanamycin or nifurpirinol for increased efficacy. For example,
kanamycin/neomycin is tremendous for treating bacterial infections,
while nifurpirinol/neomycin makes a combination that packs a heckuva
wallop for treating mixed bacterial/fungal infections or problems of
unknown nature. Keep it on hand at all times.
Neomycin will destroy beneficial bacteria and disrupt your biological
filtration, so be sure to administer the drug in a hospital tank.
If you obtained neomycin in capsule or tablet form rather than the powder, the standard treatment protocol is 250 mg/gal (66 mg/L) as the initial dose and 50% replacement (125 mg/gallon) thereafter with a daily 50% water change repeated for 10 days.
Kanamycin and/or neomycin sulfate can also be combined with various sulfa compounds. One that seems to work well is combining neomycin sulfate with triple sulfa. You may be able to get neomycin sulfate and triple sulfa compound at a well-stocked LFS. If not, you can obtain kanamycin sulfate, neomycin sulfate powder and triple sulfa powder from National Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. You can order them online at the following site:
Rather than ordering antibiotics to the male and the laying treatment until they are delivered, Julie, you might have better luck locating Maracyn-Two or Furan2 at your local fish store so you can begin treating your female’s tale infection immediately:
* Broad-spectrum antibiotic for gram-negative bacterial infections in aquarium fish
* Effective fish medication for Dropsy, Septicemia, Popeye, and Fin & Tail Rot
* Prevents secondary bacterial infections and treats sick fish that will not eat
A broad-spectrum antibiotic for internal or external gram-negative bacterial infections. Effective treatment for fin and tail rot, popeye, gill disease, dropsy, bleeding or red streaks, secondary and internal infections. Also helps treat sick fish that will not eat. Active ingredient: Minocycline. For freshwater, use 2 tablets per 10 gallons first day and 1 tablet per 10 gallons thereafter. For saltwater, use 1 tablet per 10 gallons first day and 1 tablet per 20 gallons thereafter.
Furan2 would also work well for this sort of infection and can be used as follows:
Furan2 is a good combo medication that consist of two nitrofuran antibiotics (nitrofurazone and furazolidone) plus good old methylene blue. That gives it both bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties, and makes it active against various gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. The methylene blue stains the water in the treatment tank as and prevents the photosensitive nitrofuran antibiotics from being deactivated by light. Methylene blue is effective in preventing fungal growth, and it has antiprotozoal and antibacterial properties as well, by virtue of its ability to bind with cytoplasmic structures within the cell and interfere with oxidation-reduction processes. This makes the combination of methylene blue, nitrofurazone and furazolidone very broad spectrum and quite potent. Furan2 is especially effective for treating mild skin infections.
However, Julie, you have to take special precautions when administering nitrofuran antibiotics such as Furan2 because they are photosensitive and can be deactivated by light. That means you’ll need to darken the hospital tank while you treat the seahorse(s). Do not use a light on your hospital tank, cover the sides of the tank with black construction paper or something similar, and keep an opaque lid or cover on the aquarium during the treatments. Remove this cover from the aquarium only long enough to feed your female Hippocampus reidi.
Or, alternatively, you could treat the hospital tank with methylene blue at the same time as you are administering the Furan2. The methylene blue will darken the aquarium water and protect the active ingredients in Furan2 from the light.
You should also be aware that using methylene blue with the Furan2 will cause discoloration of the aquarium water, turning it a shade of blue-green. This is harmless and can be removed after the treatments using activated carbon filtration. Furan2 will impair beneficial nitrifying bacteria and disrupt your biological filtration, so it should be administered in a hospital tank.
Here are the instructions for dosing and administering the Furan2 for best results, Julie (courtesy of Ann at the org):
FURAN-2 (immersion) Dosage and Preparation Instructions for a 10g/38L Hospital Tank
Active Ingredient: Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone
Indication: bacterial infection
Disregard package info concerning water changes and duration of treatment. Dose medication daily for
Replace the medication in ratio to the amount of water changed daily as needed to control ammonia.
This product is best administered by feeding it to adult live brine shrimp, then in turn, feeding those
animals to the Seahorse. If this is not an option, it may be administered as follows.
DAY 1 of Treatment
• Thoroughly mix one packet of Furan-2 with about 1 cup of marine water.
• Pour the mixture into a high-flow area of the hospital tank.
DAYS 2 – 10 of Treatment
• Perform a 50% water change.
• Thoroughly mix one packet of Furan-2 with about 1 cup of marine water.
• Pour the mixture into a high-flow area of the hospital tank.
However, Julie, the Furan2 is most effective when it is administered orally via gutloaded adult brine shrimp, and the live food will also encourage your ailing female to eat more aggressively, which will help to get some nutrition into her in order to keep her strength up, so if possible tried to administer the Furan2 as follows:
FURAN-BASED MEDS (oral) Dosage and Preparation Instructions for a 10g/38L Hospital Tank
Active Ingredients: Nitrofurazone and/or Furazolidone
Indication: bacterial infection
Brand Names: Furan-2, Furanase, Binox, BiFuran+, FuraMS, Furazolidone Powder
Feed adult brine shrimp gut-loaded with medication to the Seahorse 2x per day for 10 days.
• Add a small amount of the medication to one gallon of water and mix thoroughly.
• Place the amount of adult brine shrimp needed for one feeding into the mixture. Leave them in the mixture for at least 2hrs.
• Remove the adult brine shrimp from the mixture and add them to the hospital tank.
• Observe the Seahorse to be certain it is eating the adult brine shrimp.
And here is how to set up a quick hospital tank if you do not already have a quarantine tank up and running, Julie:
The Hospital Ward or Quarantine Tank
A bare-bottomed aquarium with plenty of hitching posts will suffice for a hospital ward or 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 but which can hold activated carbon or polyfilter pads when it’s time to pull the meds out. It’s important for the hospital ward to include enough hitching posts so that the seahorse won’t feel vulnerable or exposed during treatment. Aquarium safe, inert plastic plants or homemade hitching posts fashioned from polypropylene rope or twine that has been unraveled and anchored at one end are excellent for a hospital tank. No aquarium reflector is necessary. Ambient room light will suffice. (Bright lights can breakdown and inactivate certain medications and seahorses are more comfortable and feel more secure under relatively dim lighting.)
So just a bare tank with hitching posts is all you need for your hospital ward. No heater. No reflector. No lights. No substrate. You can even do without the sponge filters or external filter in your case, just adding a couple of airstones to provide surface agitation and oxygenation. That’s it.
In a pinch, a clean 5-gallon plastic bucket (new and unused, NOT an old scrub bucket!) can serve as a makeshift hospital tank. It should be aerated and equipped with hitching posts and perhaps a heater, but nothing else. This makes a useful substitute when the Quarantine Tank is occupied or in use and a seahorse needs treatment.
Stay on top of water quality in the hospital tank/bucket with water changes as often as needed during treatment, and and when you are treating the occupants for a health problem, re-dose with the medication(s) according to directions after each water change
In addition, Julie, you might consider treating the tail lesions on your female with Biobandage as a first-aid measure. This is a combination of neomycin, a vitamin complex, and unique polymers that form a sort of "biological bandage" that binds the medications to the wound, thus helping to prevent infection and promote rapid healing.
In summation, Julie, I would recommend treating your female’s tail lesions using broad-spectrum antibiotics in your hospital tank, along with topical applications of Biobandage to the scrapes.
Best of luck resolving this problem, Julie.
Pete GiwojnaApril 17, 2011 at 3:02 am #52997painthorsesGuest
Pete, I can’t thank you enough!!! You are incredible! Us seahorse freaks would be lost without your help! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! BERTHA (MY REIDII) has been in the hospital tank for 3 days now using Furan2. Her wounds look MUCH better already. I am doing 50% water change every day and adding a new packet of Furan2. The hospital tank is 10 gallons. Just to confirm, I continue this for 10 days, correct?? Again, thank you for everything!!April 17, 2011 at 7:19 am #53007painthorsesGuest
I apologize for the post earlier. I understand that it is a 50% water change for 10 days and at each water change I mix 1/2 packet Furan2 to the 10 gallon tank. My question is do I also put 1/2 teaspoon of Methylene Blue at each water change? If so, at each water change I am adding both Furan2 and Methylene Blue?? Thanks again for everything!!!!!!
JulieApril 17, 2011 at 10:20 am #5301Pete GiwojnaGuest
Yes, that’s correct — continue to treat with the Furan2 for 10 consecutive days. One of the packets is the proper dosage for a 10-gallon hospital tank. Each day you will need to perform a water change in order to maintain good water quality and keep the ammonia from rising to a dangerous level. If you change 50% of the water (5 gallons) each day to control the ammonia, then you need to add 50% of the recommended dose of the medication after performing the water change, which would be 1/2 packet of the Furan2. If you needed to change all of the water in the hospital tank weapons (100%) in order to control the ammonia, then you would need to add an entire packet of the Furan2 afterwards to maintain the proper dose.
The methylene blue is safe to use with the Furan2 and will help to darken the aquarium water and protect the photosensitive medication from being deactivated by light. You can add more methylene blue each day following the water change, if necessary. I would add the methylene blue drop by drop, using just enough to give the water in the hospital tank a nice blue tint, but without darkening the tank so much that it is difficult to observe the seahorse clearly, or so that the seahorse has any difficulty targeting its prey and feeding normally.
Some hobbyists will feed the seahorses adult brine shrimp that has been soaked in Furan2 in addition to adding the medication to the water in the hospital tank, and report good results with this method of treatment. The Furan2 is known to be more effective when it is administered orally, and the live adult brine shrimp also help stimulate the seahorse’s feeding instincts, so don’t be afraid to feed your pony medicated adult brine shrimp in addition to treating the hospital tank.
Best of luck with the treatment regimen, Julie! Here’s hoping that big Bertha is soon back to normal again.
Pete GiwojnaApril 23, 2011 at 6:10 am #53037painthorsesGuest
I just want to let you know that Big Bertha is doing FANTASTIC!!!! I put her back into her home after being in her hospital tank seems like forever! After I made sure the temperature of her hospital tank was 75 degrees, same as her home tank, I put her in. She didn’t want to let go of my finger. All the other seahorses came up to see her as she hung onto my finger. It was so incredible!!! It was like they were welcoming her back!! After she let go all 6 of them swam and danced! They are so amazing!! Bertha’s bright yellow color is back and she looks beautiful!! Thank you for all your help! She wouldn’t have made it without your advice! She is so happy now!! God Bless You!April 28, 2011 at 1:09 am #5304Pete GiwojnaGuest
Thanks for the update! It’s great to hear that Big Bertha responded so well to the treatments and is now back to her old self again. You did a fine job of nursing her through this incident, Julie, and it sounds like there was a happy reunion when she was finally able to return to the main tank. Well done.
You can continue treating Julie using live adult brine shrimp that have been gutloaded with the Furan2 even now that she is back in the main tank with the rest of the herd, if you wish, as an added precaution.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Julie!
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