- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 3 weeks ago by tlskahan.
June 16, 2022 at 12:53 pm #78245
I have a 90G tank with 7 ponies, 4 of which are Ocean Rider, 3 captive bred young ones I got 5 months ago from my local retailer. I raised them for 2 months in a separate tank as they were each the size of a paper clip. I take a roll call every feeding (2x/day) to ensure that everyone is eating and looks fine. Last night I could not find my young male for the dinner feeding. This morning I discovered him hiding in a dark corner of the tank. He has not shown for either meal today. He did not respond when I dropped mysis right in front of him this evening. He DID swim around a little last night so I was able to do a thorough inspection of his body and there are no visible injuries or oddities. I have a number of antibiotics/antifungals on hand to treat him but I’m uncertain which one(s) to use, Kana Plex, Neo Plex, Metro Plex, FOCUS enhancement, General Cure, Triple Sulfa? and Furan 2. What would be the best broad spectrum medication to spike his food with and which one can I add to the hospital tank and the mysis? Please adviseJune 16, 2022 at 1:50 pm #78252Pete GiwojnaModerator
I am sorry to hear about the loss of appetite in your juvenile seahorse. You have a good assortment of medications on hand, which will be very helpful if the issue is an illness or infection of some sort.
In this case, I would avoid General Cure, which is an extremely effective antiparasitic medication. It is quite safe to use with seahorses, but it is unlikely to be helpful in this case since your juvenile seahorse is not scratching or showing any indications of infection with external parasites.
Furan2 is a good broad-spectrum antibiotic that works well with seahorses, and which may be helpful if the loss of appetite is due to a bacterial infection of some sort.
However, Furan2 is ideally administered orally via gutloaded adult brine shrimp, and this method of treatment relies on the medicated brine shrimp being ingested, which means that it will be problematic for treating a pony that has stopped eating…
For whatever it’s worth, here are the instructions for gut loading live adult brine shrimp with the Furan2, sir, (courtesy of Ann at the org):
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.
In my experience, the best way to gutload the adult brine shrimp is to set up a clean plastic pail with 1 gallon of freshly mixed saltwater, add one packet of the Furan 2, add enough live adult brine shrimp for a generous feeding for all of your seahorses to the bucket after you have thoroughly and carefully rinsed them in freshwater to disinfect the shrimp. Leave the adult brine shrimp in the medicated bucket for at least two hours and then feed them directly to the seahorses. Repeat this procedure twice a day for 10 days.
In this case, since your juvenile seahorse has stopped eating, I feel your best option will be to treat the pony in a 10-gallon hospital tank using the Triple Sulfa, which can be added directly to the water in the treatment tank, as explained below in more detail:
A 10 day regimen of kanamycin + triple sulfa is appropriate. Here are the instructions for using the triple sulfa, which should be administered along with the kanamycin:
TRIPLE SULFATE (Sulfa/Sulpha) Dosage and Preparation Instructions for a 10g/38L Hospital Tank
Active Ingredient: Sodium Sulfathiazole, Sodium Sulfamethazine, and Sodium Sulfacetamide
Indication: bacterial infection
Brand Names: Triple Sulfa, Triple Sulpha, Trisulfa
Dose per package instructions for 10 days. (Normally ~380mg per day for 10 days). Disregard package
info concerning water changes.
Replace the medication in ratio to the amount of water changed daily as needed to control ammonia.
DAY 1 of Treatment
• Thoroughly mix the medication 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 the medication with about 1 cup of marine water.
• Pour the mixture into a high-flow area of the hospital tank.
If the ailing seahorse(s) is/are still eating, tlskahan, then you could also treat them by combining KanaPlex with NeoPlex and Focus, applying this mixture of medications to frozen Mysis, and then feeding the medicated Mysis to the ponies.
The following information will explain how to combine SeaChem KanaPlex (kanamycin sulfate) and Seachem Focus with frozen Mysis which can then be fed to your seahorses as usual, sir:
The antibiotics that work best for most home hobbyists when treating seahorses are a group of medications by SeaChem that can be used together and mixed with frozen Mysis in order to administer the medications orally.
The SeaChem medications that work best for this purpose are SeaChem KanaPlex, SeaChem NeoPlex, and Focus by SeaChem.
The active ingredient in SeaChem KanaPlex is kanamycin sulfate, a potent aminoglycoside antibiotic that is a very broad spectrum, and which can be combined with the neomycin sulfate (another aminoglycoside antibiotic) in SeaChem NeoPlex to create a synergistic effect that is more effective than either of these antibiotics used by themselves.
The SeaChem NeoPlex contains neomycin sulfate, a good aminoglycoside antibiotic that is very effective when ingested, and the SeaChem Focus contains a good nitrofuran antibiotics and is the perfect medium for mixing medications with frozen foods. I will explain more about how to use these two products together for you below.
Both the KanaPlex and the Focus come with little scoops for measuring out the proper dose of the medication, tlskahan, and preparing the frozen Mysis with the medications is actually pretty easy. First, you want to find out how much of the Mysis you are using amounts to a tablespoon. I imagine that several of the cubes of Mysis would be needed to fill a tablespoon after you have thawed it out as usual, if that’s the form of frozen Mysis you happen to have. (It’s important to find out how much of the thawed Mysis constitutes 1 tablespoon because the correct dosage for KanaPlex is one scoop or measure per tablespoon of Mysis.)
Once you have thawed out 1 tablespoon of the frozen Mysis, you then measure out one scoop of the KanaPlex and five scoops of the Focus and mix the two medications thoroughly so that they bind together. (You always add five times as much of the Focus as the amount of antibiotic you are using.) Once you have mixed the powdered KanaPlex and Focus together very well, you then add the resulting mixture to the tablespoon of thawed Mysis you have prepared and very gently but thoroughly mix the powder and Mysis together so that the medications bind to the shrimp. You can then either feed the medicated Mysis to your seahorses immediately or freeze it for later use.
Once you have prepared the medicated Mysis, you feed it to your seahorses twice a day for at least five consecutive days or as long as is takes for the symptoms to clear up.
Of course, you can prepare more than 1 tablespoon of the medicated Mysis at a time in order to make it more convenient, Dustin. For example, if you wanted to prepare 5 tablespoons of medicated Mysis at one time, you would thaw out 5 tablespoons worth of your Mysis in advance. Then you would take 5 scoops of KanaPlex (one scoop of KanaPlex per tablespoon) and 25 scoops of the Focus (5 times as many scoops of Focus as the antibiotic) and mix it together thoroughly with the five scoops of KanaPlex so that they blend together and bind. Finally, you would take the mixture of powders and gently but thoroughly combine the powdered medications with the thawed Mysis so that the medicine also binds with the shrimp.
If you want to prepare extra medicated Mysis in advance, it’s best to spread it out on a piece of Saran wrap or Glad wrap or aluminum foil, or something similar, so that you can cover it completely to protect it from freezer burn until you’re ready to use it.
Here is some additional information on the Focus by Seachem Laboratories, which explains how to use it to combine medication with food:
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 contaminating 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. Its intended application is to assist in binding medications to fish food.
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, Dustin that at an:
“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 and 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 Piscine Energetics frozen Mysis. I figured it was softer and smaller. I was thinking along the lines of more surface area for the medication to adhere to, and 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 and rinsed the shrimp thoroughly in a little colander and let it sit on a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
Then I put in it in a small dish and added the Focus and KanaPlex in the recommended ratio which is 5:1 (5 scoops Focus / 1 scoop KanaPlex). I mixed it thoroughly and added a few drops of Garlic Power.
Then I measured out 5 – 1/4 tsp. servings and 4 servings I placed on a sheet of Glad Press & Seal, sealed them and put them in the freezer, since it says in the instructions that you can freeze what you don’t use right away, and the remaining 1/4 tsp. I split in half and fed to them this morning. The rest I’ll give to them this afternoon and I’ll do this every day with the remaining shrimp that I already prepared and 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.”
Okay, tlskahan, 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. If you got the NeoPlex instead of the KanaPlex, it can be combined with Focus and administered in exactly the same way as outlined in the instructions for the KanaPlex above. Or, if you have both KanaPlex and NeoPlex, he can be used together safely and combined with the Focus, so that all three medications can be mixed with frozen Mysis together and then administered orally.
Best of luck restoring your youngster’s appetite to normal again, sir.
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech SupportJune 20, 2022 at 6:34 am #78436
Thank you Pete for your help. The juvenile male died the next afternoon. Whatever this is it strikes hard and fast.
Now my juvenile female has gone off her food. She is breathing hard and has a large discolored area on her neck with white patches on it. (I sent you a pic in an email) I put her into the hospital tank last night which had one dose (two level spoons) of KanaPlex that never treated another pony. I added the second dose of KanaPlex as the tank was due today.There are a couple Hawaiian shrimp in the tank which has intrigued her, but not enough to pursue them. She stopped eating mysis two days ago. She’s hitched but is starting to do that blank stare.
If I can’t save her, what can I do to try and ensure the remaining 5 ponies don’t get this? Any ideas?
TamraJune 20, 2022 at 7:27 am #78467Pete GiwojnaModerator
I’m very sorry to hear that you lost your juvenile male, and that your juvenile female is also affected and has now stopped eating.
It’s very difficult to diagnose disease problems like this from afar, when you cannot observe the seahorse personally, have no access to clinical tests or cultures to test sensitivity, and cannot take samples for microscopic examination. However, I can tell you that pale areas of depigmentation are commonly seen in bacterial skin infections, such as vibriosis. And Vibrio infections are often secondary infections associated with protozoan parasites like Uronema.
Many such pathogens (e.g., Vibrio, mycobacteriosis, Uronema, fungal infections, and even intestinal parasites) are ubiquitous, commonly found in any aquarium system, or sometimes even within the body of the fishes themselves, but are normally present in small numbers and cause no problems for healthy seahorses until something happens that stresses the seahorses, weakens their immune system, or creates conditions that favor the pathogen or trigger its virulence genes.
For example, many species of Vibrio are natural aquatic flora that are present in all aquarium systems. They are opportunistic invaders that normally only get out of hand and cause problems when something tips the balance in their favor (e.g., deteriorating water quality or low dissolved oxygen levels), a wound or mechanical injury gets infected, or something stresses the seahorses to the point that their immune system is suppressed, leaving them vulnerable to disease. They are typically benign and nonpathogenic until something switches on their virulence genes or creates conditions that favor their growth.
In many cases, it’s an environmental problem that triggers a disease outbreak, such as a spike in the ammonia or nitrite levels, a drop in dissolved oxygen levels due to overcrowding and a lack of aeration/surface agitation, a summertime temperature spike, or some such stressor. The water chemistry in a small, closed-system aquarium can go downhill so quickly and easily. The water quality may have gradually deteriorated in some such respect to the point where it dipped below a critical threshold of some sort and tipped the balance in favor of the pathogens that were present all along. When that happens, the population of opportunistic bacteria can very rapidly get out of control and change from benign to virulent literally like flipping a switch.
Heat stress is a common precursor to many Vibrio infections. For example, here’s what Olin Feuerbacher reports regarding the effect of temperature on bacterial infections. Olin is a marine biologist who is now working as a Molecular Biologist and a member of the research staff at the Arizona Genomics Institute, and who runs a small aquaculture business raising clownfish, gobies, a bit of coral, and all sorts of odd food items including a lot of pods, microalgae, etc. He is also an avid seahorse keeper and has done a lot of research in tropical diseases. His field is marine microbiology, mainly ocean-borne human pathogens, and his specialty has been the Vibrio bacteria!
In short, Olin really knows his stuff when it comes to this sort of thing. Here are his thoughts on bacterial infections in seahorses:
“They (Vibrio infections) start as a secondary infection after either mechanical damage or parasites or cnidarian stings. Once established, they are difficult to control. This is due in part to the fact that they are typically normal flora in all tanks. They are generally benign until they get an opportunity to invade.”
As for the importance of avoiding heat stress when it comes to bacterial infections (or the value of maintaining reduced temperatures when fighting a bacterial infection), this is what Olin has to say:
It is interesting that you mentioned the elevated temperatures. I think this is a critical factor in a
number of ways. First, elevated temperatures can have many adverse effects on the immune status of many organisms. Many of the enzymes and proteins involved in an immune response are very temperature sensitive. When studying an outbreak of vibriosis in echinoderms during an El Nino event in the Sea of Cortez, I found that several defensive enzymes in the echinoderms were inactivated by a rise of only a few degrees in water temperature.
In addition to the effects on the hosts, water temperature may have very significant effects on the pathogens as well. First, elevated temperature will obviously increase the rate of microbial growth. Perhaps more importantly, recent research has implicated temperature as a major factor in the regulation of virulence genes. When in the cooler pelagic environment, a bacterium wants to conserve energy, so virulence genes will not be expressed since there is probably no host. However, in warmer temps, these genes can be turned on resulting in pathogenesis.
This is especially true for bacteria such as Vibrio species which exist both as normal aquatic flora and as pathogens in many mammalian species with our nice warm digestive tracts etc. One particularly interesting study showed that the coral pathogen Vibrio strain AK1 was completely benign, despite heavy colonization, in corals at one temp (I forget exactly what, I think it was about 25C), but when temperature was raised by 3 degrees, all of the virulence genes in the Vibrio’s pathogenicity island were turned on. This resulted in severe infection and rapid death of the corals. Bad news for aquarists, but I still think this kind of gene regulation is really cool!
In short, Tamra, heat stress is commonly associated with these types of infections, and that may have been a contributing factor in your case with the record temperatures we have seen across the country recently.
In order to help assure that the rest of the seahorses in the main tank are not affected, be sure to make sure that the aquarium temperature remains at 75° F or below, consider installing a good ultraviolet sterilizer with the proper flow rate and dwell time on your main tank, and go ahead and feed the rest of your ponies with medicated Mysis (see my previous post on this discussion thread for instructions on how to prepare the medicated Mysis).
If you are having difficulty keeping the water temperature at 75° F or lower, Tamra, just let me know and I would be happy to provide you with some suggestions for dropping the aquarium temperature.
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech SupportJune 29, 2022 at 1:34 am #78483
Pete, as always, thank you. My male juvenile appeared to have Urenoma. This female appears to have Vibrio. Two weeks ago my husband turned the AC off and forgot to turn it back on. The temp in my seahorse tank went from 70-71dg to 76dg by the time I realized something was wrong in the house. It took 2 days to drop it to 72 again. Within 10 days I began losing ponies. The tank is now stable at 72dg but the damage was done.
I will begin feeding my remaining ponies the KanaPlex loaded mysis tomorrow. I hope this does not take out my whole stable. Interesting that it affected my juvenile ponies first?
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