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Kremis
11/01/2016, 09:51 PM
About half an hour ago, my seahorse started violently thrashing out of nowhere. So I did some research online and found this is most likely because of skin parasites. It said the treatment was freshwater dips. I decided to do this, being that most sites (including this one) said it wouldn't hurt. Once I adjusted the params of the freshwater to the tank, I placed the seahorse into the bucket of fresh water. The seahorse then started thrashing around a bit, and swam circles on the bottom of the bucket. After 9 minutes, I placed him back into the tank. After 1 minute of lying on the sand, he got up and hitched on one of my macro algaes and appeared to be fine. My question: was this the right thing to do? Will my seahorse be ok? Thanks

rayjay
11/01/2016, 10:30 PM
No one can tell you absolutely for sure but indications initially are good.
I normally due 12 minute dips matching temperature and pH to the water it came from.
However, parasitic action IMO, comes to a head when the seahorse's immune system has been compromised long enough for the parasites to get out of hand. This means unless you correct the situation you may have a repeat, and/or other seahorses in the tank may also be affected.
The problem can be stress from other tank mates, deteriorating water conditions, or possibly an internal medical problem usually caused by deteriorating water conditions.
Unfortunately, there are NO test kits available to the hobbyist to be able to tell when the water is degraded sufficiently to cause problems. It is beyond the normal test kits we use such as testing for the elements.
It's my opinion that seahorses do best in water that exceeds the quality of the water found in reef tanks, which means superior filtration and husbandry/water changes.
If any mechanical filtration is involved, make sure to clean out any trapped food/detritus often (5 to 7 days depending on load in tank) BEFORE it can decompose to lower the water quality.
Just so you know, I'm well into my senior years and have been keeping/raising seahorses since about 2003 and I'm always learning. I still find times where I DON'T have the answers when I experience a fatality.

Kremis
11/02/2016, 08:31 AM
No one can tell you absolutely for sure but indications initially are good.
I normally due 12 minute dips matching temperature and pH to the water it came from.
However, parasitic action IMO, comes to a head when the seahorse's immune system has been compromised long enough for the parasites to get out of hand. This means unless you correct the situation you may have a repeat, and/or other seahorses in the tank may also be affected.
The problem can be stress from other tank mates, deteriorating water conditions, or possibly an internal medical problem usually caused by deteriorating water conditions.
Unfortunately, there are NO test kits available to the hobbyist to be able to tell when the water is degraded sufficiently to cause problems. It is beyond the normal test kits we use such as testing for the elements.
It's my opinion that seahorses do best in water that exceeds the quality of the water found in reef tanks, which means superior filtration and husbandry/water changes.
If any mechanical filtration is involved, make sure to clean out any trapped food/detritus often (5 to 7 days depending on load in tank) BEFORE it can decompose to lower the water quality.
Just so you know, I'm well into my senior years and have been keeping/raising seahorses since about 2003 and I'm always learning. I still find times where I DON'T have the answers when I experience a fatality.
My skimmer has been having problems this past week, and I only just got it to work again a few days ago, so could this possibly be the problem? There are 2 seahorses in the tank, should I dip them both again?

rayjay
11/02/2016, 08:55 AM
It's doubtful that the problem has only occurred in the last week or two. Usually the water quality issue is something that develops over a longer period of time as in 1 to 6 months or even longer.
The biggest cause for water quality deterioration IME is uneaten food/detritus that doesn't get removed before decay sets in, releasing nutrients (AND provides bedding for) fueling nasty bacteria expansion.
For most people used to having a reef tank, this means that if they maintain seahorse tanks the same as a reef tank, the deterioration will happen over a slow period of time, so that when something happens, they are looking for a cause that is more recent when in fact it's a problem accumulating over a longer period of time.
While you can't possibly keep the tank so clean as to NOT have ANY decay at all, with good husbandry practices, your skimmer, if large enough (rated for many times actual tank size) and set up properly, will help to remove much of that decayed product that is in the form of dissolved organics. Larger and more frequent water changes are a big aid as well and are determined more by how good your filtration set-up is and your attention to locating and removing crap that ISN'T removed by the filtration.
I like to use a power head to blast the whole tank to get as much crap in suspension for the filtration to remove it, and then when doing the water change, siphon out any remaining detritus. Remember to clean the filtration devices afterwards.

rayjay
11/02/2016, 09:23 AM
I forgot to reply on the dipping.
I would not dip the same seahorse again so soon, but wait to see how it recovers from the first dip.
The other seahorse probably has a stronger immune system so at this point has been able to control the outbreak of parasites.
For now I would just keep a close eye on both of them.
I would also take remedial measures to improve water quality because that is the most likely cause IMO of the stress that allowed the parasitic explosion to occur.

vlangel
11/02/2016, 03:05 PM
It's doubtful that the problem has only occurred in the last week or two. Usually the water quality issue is something that develops over a longer period of time as in 1 to 6 months or even longer.
The biggest cause for water quality deterioration IME is uneaten food/detritus that doesn't get removed before decay sets in, releasing nutrients (AND provides bedding for) fueling nasty bacteria expansion.
For most people used to having a reef tank, this means that if they maintain seahorse tanks the same as a reef tank, the deterioration will happen over a slow period of time, so that when something happens, they are looking for a cause that is more recent when in fact it's a problem accumulating over a longer period of time.
While you can't possibly keep the tank so clean as to NOT have ANY decay at all, with good husbandry practices, your skimmer, if large enough (rated for many times actual tank size) and set up properly, will help to remove much of that decayed product that is in the form of dissolved organics. Larger and more frequent water changes are a big aid as well and are determined more by how good your filtration set-up is and your attention to locating and removing crap that ISN'T removed by the filtration.
I like to use a power head to blast the whole tank to get as much crap in suspension for the filtration to remove it, and then when doing the water change, siphon out any remaining detritus. Remember to clean the filtration devices afterwards.

+1 to this advise.

Kremis
11/02/2016, 10:31 PM
Thank you both. The skimmer I have set up is meant for 75 gallon tanks, so that is good. I will do a water change tomorrow. When I water change, I generally siphon the "dead zones" of sand, where typically a lot of detritus ends up.

vlangel
11/05/2016, 10:55 AM
Thank you both. The skimmer I have set up is meant for 75 gallon tanks, so that is good. I will do a water change tomorrow. When I water change, I generally siphon the "dead zones" of sand, where typically a lot of detritus ends up.
It sounds like you have a good skimmer for the tank. Oversized is best for seahorse tanks.
You are wise to syphon out the accumulated detritus. ACtually every 3 days is not too often.

I found when I began keeping seahorses that I did 3-4Xs the water changes that I did on the same size reef. I also wipe down all the glass surfaces in the tank once a week to remove the slime coat that accumulates.

Kremis
11/19/2016, 12:58 AM
No more thrashing has happened again. The seahorses are now happy and healthy. Thank you everyone

rayjay
11/19/2016, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the update.

vlangel
11/19/2016, 12:25 PM
I am very glad to hear that all is well. I always love a happy ending!