We've moved to new platform. Passwords set before 24th July, 2014 will not work. Please reset your password, follow this link if help needed.
  1. We want to see anything and everything that is in your saltwater aquarium! FISH - CORAL - INVERTS - EVEN INTERESTING AQUASCAPES - WE WANT IT ALL!! To enter, post your picture in the "PHOTO CONTEST!!" thread under the Photography Forum *CONTEST ENDS SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT EST*

Seahorse Disease And Treatment

Discussion in 'Seahorses & Pipefish' started by reefreak29, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. reefreak29

    reefreak29 New Member

    Seahorses are prone to species specific diseases. Here is a list of possible diseases a seahorse can get and there treatments.
    Pouch emphysema: pouch emphysema can be traced to decaying mater in the pouch, producing gases and causing the pouch to bloat and or physical air bubbles in the water column entering the pouch. Treatment of this is to first determine the problem. Check for air bubbles from power heads or your skimmer return. If there are no bubbles make sure the tank size is at least 3 times the height of the seahorse. This will allow ample space for the seahorse to exercise and flush out its pouch. For immediate relief you can manually remove the bubbles by gently rubbing the pouch with your fingers in an upward motion. For a recurring problem u can use an antibiotic neomycin does a good ob of relieving this.
    Internal gas bubble disease: this is caused by gas supersaturating or a bacterial infection. Usually when a seahorse gets this it’s very hard to treat and most times very fatal. The seahorse starts to bloat and makes it very hard to maneuver almost acts like a buoy. The only way to treat this is to put the seahorse in a tank that is at least 3 feet deep. You need to keep the seahorse at the bottom of the tank for several hours to decompress. U can also try injecting the seahorse with acetazolamide.
    External gas bubble disease: these are air bubbles just underneath the skin that cause the seahorse trouble in swimming ultimately causing much stress. This is generally caused by air bubbles in the water column. To treat this disease u can use a sterile needle into the gas bubble to lacerate it and evacuating the gas. Or the best treatment would be diamox baths
    Pop eye: pop eye can be brought on by internal fugal infections are parasitic infestations. The eye itself will protrude from the socket damaging the organ, if not treated immediately it can be very fatal. The only treatment that won’t actually kill the horse would be to use an internal parasite medication such as niclosamide.
    External parasites: Macro-parasites such as flukes and isopods can be seen with careful examination. However, often they will take on the coloration of the host, so you may be looking for odd bumps on the fish, rather than the telltale signs of the organism itself. Micro-parasites such as Cryptocarion irritans and Amyloodinium ocellatum rarely attack seahorses, assumedly due to their tough, but thin, skin not providing enough depth for the parasite to insert and incubate. Other micro-parasites such as monogenetic trematodes are far more common in seahorses.
    Symptoms include cloudy eyes, erratic swimming, flashing (scraping on the rocks, decorations, or substrate), rapid breathing, weight loss, and listlessness. Parasites, once given the chance to get a foothold can cause a terrible death for your fish as they sap the energy and vitality from their host like little vampires. When treated with the proper medications, this pathogen can be completely eradicated and the fish can experience a complete recovery. Treatment for this should be first treated with a freshwater dip, then formaline a dip, and finally the best, but most dangerous solution, Trichlorfon highly toxic to marine fish and deadly to invertebrates.
    Internal parasites: Internal parasites are typically organisms such as trematodes (commonly called "flukes"), cestodes (commonly called "tapeworms"), or nematodes (commonly called "roundworms"). These organisms usually attach at some point along the digestive tract or liver of the host animal by use of a sucker or a rostrum (hook-like proboscis), feeding off the incoming nutrients, blood, and tissue. This prevents the host from obtaining appreciable nutrition for its meals, resulting in a gradual wasting, and oftentimes in complete refusal to eat, assumedly due to discomfort. Left unchecked, these parasites will literally consume the host animal, leeching vital nutrients right out from under it, causing tissue damage, hemorrahging, and eventually death. metronidazole is a good first choice medication as it is very safe to use, not effecting the bio-filter or invertebrates, and almost impossible to overdose with sensible usage.
  2. reefreak29

    reefreak29 New Member

    snout rot: Snout Rot is commonly attributable to either severe bacterial infection (usually Costia sp.) or to external fungal infection of Saprolengia sp.. Initial symptoms include discoloration and slight swelling in the area, refusal to eat, and lethargy. As the disease progresses, the tip of the snout will inflame and erode, inhibiting the fish's ability to feed. This is a difficult malady to cure, and often progresses to the point where the snout is damaged so badly that feeding is no longer possible.
    treatment is a topical solution of high-dose Sodium Chloride, which is safer if ingested. Antifungal medications such as Nifurpirinol or Phenoxyethanol are also very effective but unless ingested by the fish, must be used in the tank and can be damaging to other inhabitants.
    skin errosion: same as above
    information on internal parisites where taken from sh.org. anyone can feel free to add to this im sure i missed something.
  3. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Just as your reply to my post, it is impossible to include every possiblility in keeping.
    Research is necessary, experience plays a part and common sense once you uderstand the seahorses basic requirements.
    And now..( ) asking questions!
  4. rykna

    rykna New Member

    Originally Posted by PonieGirl
    Just as your reply to my post, it is impossible to include every possiblility in keeping.
    Research is necessary, experience plays a part and common sense once you uderstand the seahorses basic requirements.
    And now..( ) asking questions!
    Well...research and experience are a must, but what exactly would you put down as the top ten seahorse basic requirements. Everywhere I've searched information contradicts. I would feel much better if the few of the experienced horse keepers would write up what worked for them.
  5. monalisa

    monalisa New Member

    I would like to know about what caused problems and why. And how those problems were reversed since things need to move so slowly with these guys.
    I sure hope I don't end up adding to this thread with a quote from my own post...
    Lisa
  6. reefreak29

    reefreak29 New Member

    Originally Posted by Rykna
    Well...research and experience are a must, but what exactly would you put down as the top ten seahorse basic requirements. Everywhere I've searched information contradicts. I would feel much better if the few of the experienced horse keepers would write up what worked for them.
    your really asking alot there
  7. rykna

    rykna New Member


    Originally Posted by MonaLisa
    I would like to know about what caused problems and why. And how those problems were reversed since things need to move so slowly with these guys.
    I sure hope I don't end up adding to this thread with a quote from my own post...
    Lisa
    I'll second that. So far all the digging I've done points to one main item mentioned across the board. Water Quality

    The info I've read most of(80% maybe?) diseases break out when water quality declines in horse tanks. Any dip in any of the levels or other stress causing situations, if not corrected imeadiately, will cause the weak immune system of a horse to become vulnerable to any number of diseases.
    I have no idea how these "fragile" fish make it in their wild environment. From little experience I have...they seem to be a opertunistic predator. So it makes me think that their wild habitate must be swarming cocepod/amphiod seahorse buffett, with ghost, skeleton, and mysis shrimp as the main meal. The environment would be incredable high in nutrients to substain a nutritious flood of food. Some sights state that in the wild seahorses have been recorded eating up to 3000 pods and tiny shrimp.
    To substain water quality with this amount of food avaiable..wouldn't the current need to be at least a moderate to high flow...which would point to why horses like to hitch, and are oportunistic feeders?
    Another chapter begins.....
  8. reefreak29

    reefreak29 New Member

    bump whered it go
  9. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Hmm.
    I don't agree that seahorses are fragile.
    I do agree that water cleanliness is the only way to keep any enclosed aquatic system healthy.
    Seahorses can deal with a wide variety of water conditions (NOT dirty, though). In natural environments, the transition from one SG range, say 1.021 to another, say 1.026 is slow, slow, slow. Or different PH levels. They don't dart around the ocean. We know that. They hang out, they breed, they may move at certain stages in life or certain seasons...who knows? They can handle change and different levels of water chemistry, but definitely not radical changes.
    So my #1 would be system stability.
    In nature, they do live where their food thrives. Seagrass beds, rock and coral beds. They do not dwell in open empty waters.
    #2 in my opinion would be a stable natural live food source, even for captive bred seahorses.
    I'll have to think some more...10, huh?

Share This Page