Seahorse gas bubble advice – reef central online community o goshi

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The water quality issue is due to the natural feeding habits of seahorses in that they are very selective in their choices of the pieces they eat, leaving other pieces to decay. Also, when they snick their food, the masticate it and particulate matter passes out through the gills and into the water column.

This water quality CANNOT be measured using test kits available in the hobby as it is a measure of how conditions support the expansion of nasty bacteria in the system where the decaying crap is providing food and bedding for such proliferation.

You will need to treat the seahorse in a hospital tank, preferably with Diamox but you will more importantly have to fix the water quality of the display tank, locating the cause of the water degradation and then updating your husbandry protocol to prevent this from happening again.

In the immediate timeline, a MAJOR water change needs to happen, but first dislodge any seen and UNSEEN detritus and uneaten food with a turkey baster or hand held powerhead, allow to settle and siphon out with the removal of water for the large water change. Any mechanical filtration should also be cleaned and then done on a much more frequent interval than you have previously been doing.

Just take a small powerhead and hold in hand to blow all areas of the tank and SEE just what all of a sudden comes into the water column. THIS is what degrades the water quality for seahorses. It provides food and bedding for the nasty bacteria that affect seahorses so much even though other marine fishes are quite capable of handling it.

Low flow for seahorses has NOT been recommended by experienced keepers now for a decade or more although it WAS the recommendation when I started about 15 yrs ago. Minimum would now be 10X flow but most hobbyists would now be closer to or above 20X flow.

The thing to consider when setting up is to be sure that no flow is hard enough or direct enough to blast a seahorse against something and damage it. Be sure to have hitching in low, medium and high flow areas so they can choose where to hitch at any given time.

I don’t know what you use as a primary mechanical filter, but you need excellent tank flow to be able to keep crap in suspension long enough for it to be captured by the filters to be cleaned out every 3 to 7 days depending on type of filter. As I said previously though, that STILL won’t removed a lot of the detritus seen OR unseen in the tank. Only experimenting with each seahorse system can we know what is needed for that particular system for detritus/food removal.

FWIW, other than first starting up a system, I NEVER test for the water parameters one tests for in reef tanks. I make sure at the start that ammonia is totally under control (meaning always zero) but nitrates have no bearing on anything IMO when it comes to seahorses, especially with the larger and more frequent water changes and husbandry.

The water quality issue is due to the natural feeding habits of seahorses in that they are very selective in their choices of the pieces they eat, leaving other pieces to decay. Also, when they snick their food, the masticate it and particulate matter passes out through the gills and into the water column.

This water quality CANNOT be measured using test kits available in the hobby as it is a measure of how conditions support the expansion of nasty bacteria in the system where the decaying crap is providing food and bedding for such proliferation.

You will need to treat the seahorse in a hospital tank, preferably with Diamox but you will more importantly have to fix the water quality of the display tank, locating the cause of the water degradation and then updating your husbandry protocol to prevent this from happening again.

In the immediate timeline, a MAJOR water change needs to happen, but first dislodge any seen and UNSEEN detritus and uneaten food with a turkey baster or hand held powerhead, allow to settle and siphon out with the removal of water for the large water change. Any mechanical filtration should also be cleaned and then done on a much more frequent interval than you have previously been doing.

Just take a small powerhead and hold in hand to blow all areas of the tank and SEE just what all of a sudden comes into the water column. THIS is what degrades the water quality for seahorses. It provides food and bedding for the nasty bacteria that affect seahorses so much even though other marine fishes are quite capable of handling it.

Low flow for seahorses has NOT been recommended by experienced keepers now for a decade or more although it WAS the recommendation when I started about 15 yrs ago. Minimum would now be 10X flow but most hobbyists would now be closer to or above 20X flow.

The thing to consider when setting up is to be sure that no flow is hard enough or direct enough to blast a seahorse against something and damage it. Be sure to have hitching in low, medium and high flow areas so they can choose where to hitch at any given time.

I don’t know what you use as a primary mechanical filter, but you need excellent tank flow to be able to keep crap in suspension long enough for it to be captured by the filters to be cleaned out every 3 to 7 days depending on type of filter. As I said previously though, that STILL won’t removed a lot of the detritus seen OR unseen in the tank. Only experimenting with each seahorse system can we know what is needed for that particular system for detritus/food removal.

FWIW, other than first starting up a system, I NEVER test for the water parameters one tests for in reef tanks. I make sure at the start that ammonia is totally under control (meaning always zero) but nitrates have no bearing on anything IMO when it comes to seahorses, especially with the larger and more frequent water changes and husbandry.