View Full Version : Seahorse Illness Advice

Julia Pinkdog
03/30/2017, 08:05 PM
Hello seahorse lovers! Please let me know if I have posted in the wrong place!

I just started my first seahorse tank about 3 weeks ago, and have a male and female H. Erectus seahorses. For the past few weeks, they have been doing great, eating a lot, being very active, and even dancing around with each other. But yesterday, I started to notice my female start to shake and breath a bit heavier. Today (Thursday), she has continued to do this shake every few minutes, and both of my seahorses haven't eaten all day. I noticed yesterday that the female seemed to be trying to scratch herself with her tail, and after checking the water to see if there had been any spike in ammonia, or anything else that could cause irritation(it was fine), I decided to try to do a fresh water dip (which seemed to be recommended by various sources online) to check if it they could have parasites. They thrashed around quite a bit during the dip, which I read means that they probably have some sort of parasite (though I don't know if this is a for sure thing or not). I had my father (who has experience with saltwater/freshwater tanks, just not with seahorses) help me add some anti parasitic medicine (which was used during their initial quarantine) to the tank.

I know that any treatment will take time, but I wanted to ask if anyone had any advice on what to do to help the seahorses recover from whatever is causing them stress. I'm hoping that they will eat tomorrow, but I don't really know what to do if they don't, or if the medicine we used doesn't help them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm just really worried about them, and don't want them to suffer any more than they have to.
Thank you!
- Julia

04/19/2017, 09:29 PM
How's the sea horse doing? Have you checked you nitrites and nitrates by taking a sample from the bottom of the tank?

04/20/2017, 05:14 AM
If you have a fish store with live feeder ghost shrimp I would try to buy maybe 10 small ones to entice them into eating again. Or if you have a reef tank or a friend that has a reef tank see if you can get some amphipods off filter pads as those also entice ponies to eat. Even live artemia, although barren of nutrition it can start the feeding response. If you can get them eating again the battle is half won.

04/20/2017, 09:08 AM
Based on your description and the results of the FW dip, I think it is safe to assume you have a parasitic problem. You do want to rule out Ammonia, Nitrites and pH being off. Something is off to be having this issue only 3 weeks into having the seahorses.

To get a better idea and to be more helpful, we need a full history of the tank, how it is setup, what is in it, flow rates, temperature, what the actual parameters are, etc. The more info the better. Really hard diagnosing through a forum so complete history and description is key.

Also what medication was used, how was it dosed and was it in the display tank?

Meanwhile, in the short term, the live foods suggestion is a good one. You can also try adding a drop of garlic to the frozen food and allow it to sit for a minute or two before feeding. Garlic is a food attractant and is sometimes helpful.