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Old 08/25/2016, 01:55 AM   #1
ThRoewer
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Gas Bubble Disease

I got a new pair of Bluestripe Pipefish which came down with gas bubbles on their snickering mechanism (hyoids). The male also has one bubble on his eye.
Other than that (and possibly some ich) they seem OK. They are also still able to eat.

The question now what causes this and what are the options to treat this?
I don't have Acetazolamide (Diamox) on hand and likely also no way of getting it quickly enough.
Is there anything else that could be done?
What about antibiotics?


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 08/25/2016, 01:17 PM   #2
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Well, it seems all it took was a tank transfer (= totally clean tank and full water change). This morning the gas bubbles were almost gone.
Though I still think that there is an underlying issue, like a bacterial infection for example.

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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 08/25/2016, 06:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThRoewer View Post
Well, it seems all it took was a tank transfer (= totally clean tank and full water change). This morning the gas bubbles were almost gone.
Though I still think that there is an underlying issue, like a bacterial infection for example.

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Or maybe too dissolved organics in the water. I don't know anything at all about GBD in pipefish but too much dissolved organics is thought to be a cause of GBD in seahorses. The change in tanks would have remedied that. I am only guessing however.


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Old 08/25/2016, 09:03 PM   #4
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I don't know why they got it, but less than 24h after the full water change it's completely gone.


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/01/2016, 02:40 AM   #5
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After a closer look at my two spawning pairs (#1 & #2) I noticed that both males have gas bubbles in their pouches. The females are clean and the males also have no external bubbles.

Pair #1 is in my main system where the water quality should be OK, though due to carbon dosing the bacterial load is likely up a bit.
Pair #2 is in a 10 gallon QT without skimmer - that tank probably needs a thorough cleaning and full water change. Tank mates are a pair of dottybacks and a female Banggai.
Pair #3 (the one from the initial post) is now in a 10 gallon on it's own. They are now free of bubbles.

The 3 single males I have do not show any symptoms. One is in my 100 gallon tank and the other two are still in specimen containers for QT.

I'm starting to wonder if this could be something infectious besides being caused by high organic loads...


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/02/2016, 06:08 AM   #6
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Gas bubble disease is poorly understood. There is not a consensus on this by the experts.

I don't believe high organic loading is the direct cause, rather indirect. High organic loading leads to higher microbial activity in both protozoans and bacteria. The microbial activity can be either beneficial or pathogenic, both or shift between the two.

Diamox will sometimes reduce gas bubbles but doesn't treat underlying cause.

When I get help calls for this, the first recommendation is to move the animal to clean new saltwater. In many cases, the issue resolves itself within 2 or 3 days without any further treatment. Some cases this is not enough. The second step is to analyze the environment. Usually I find one or more of the following: no protein skimmer, crushed coral or gravel substrate, canister filters overdue for media change out, not enough flow, overstocking, or other means that organics can build up. To bad there is not a simple to test for organic loading. Redox and O2 saturation can be a clue though.

Some swear by antibiotic therapy. This sometimes works, but in many cases doesn't resolve the issue.

We still have a lot learn on this subject!

Dan


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Old 09/02/2016, 10:32 AM   #7
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Gas bubble disease is poorly understood. There is not a consensus on this by the experts.

I don't believe high organic loading is the direct cause, rather indirect. High organic loading leads to higher microbial activity in both protozoans and bacteria. The microbial activity can be either beneficial or pathogenic, both or shift between the two.

Diamox will sometimes reduce gas bubbles but doesn't treat underlying cause.

When I get help calls for this, the first recommendation is to move the animal to clean new saltwater. In many cases, the issue resolves itself within 2 or 3 days without any further treatment. Some cases this is not enough. The second step is to analyze the environment. Usually I find one or more of the following: no protein skimmer, crushed coral or gravel substrate, canister filters overdue for media change out, not enough flow, overstocking, or other means that organics can build up. To bad there is not a simple to test for organic loading. Redox and O2 saturation can be a clue though.

Some swear by antibiotic therapy. This sometimes works, but in many cases doesn't resolve the issue.

We still have a lot learn on this subject!

Dan
Thanks Dan, this is good to know.


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Old 09/02/2016, 05:25 PM   #8
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On the male of pair #1 in the main system the bubble disappeared as sudden as it had shown up.

The tank of pair #2 gets cleaned up today and I hope that fixes the issue there as well.

One of the singles was in a quart with really dirty water (just changed it) in a Lee's Specimen Container without a pump (LA/QM screwed up the sexing so I have too many males for the QTs I can have up) and that one never showed a single bubble. Based on this I would say that unsanitary conditions may contribute and promote it, but are not the actual causative agent. That I would suspect to be an opportunistic bacterium.


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/13/2016, 12:18 AM   #9
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The male of pair #2 didn't improve and couldn't swim down anymore so I punctured the 3 gas bubbles he had in his pouch. For now he is on the ground - I suppose he needs to readjust the gas content of his swim bladder for the proper buoyancy.

I'm wondering which antibiotic would be right to treat against the bacteria that likely cause this.


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/13/2016, 05:02 PM   #10
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I would not have punctured the bubbles, but that is me.

There is no way of knowing which bacteria you are dealing without a culture so you want a good wide spectrum antibiotic that works in saltwater. Furan 2 seems to work well with seahorses, but Triple Sulpha or Kanaplex may also be considered.

Dan


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Old 09/13/2016, 05:56 PM   #11
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Puncturing was necessary as the fish could no longer swim but was basically stuck on the surface.
It seems that the bubbles closed up again as it looks like they are filling up again.

I would have BiFuran, Kanamycin, Amoxicillin, Cipro, Septra and some other I would have to look up.

One thing I can do is to add more Tigger Pods as they consume bacteria and add variety to the food.

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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/26/2016, 12:25 AM   #12
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Interestingly only the males in pairs have issues, but not the females or the single males...

I'm gonna try getting some Acetazolamide so I can at least treat the symptoms on the male of pair #2 - the puncturing only brought short term relief.


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/26/2016, 12:00 PM   #13
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Or maybe too dissolved organics in the water. I don't know anything at all about GBD in pipefish but too much dissolved organics is thought to be a cause of GBD in seahorses. The change in tanks would have remedied that. I am only guessing however.
Do you have a link on where you read about DOC's and their correlation with GBD.

Thanks!


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Old 09/26/2016, 08:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DanU View Post
Gas bubble disease is poorly understood. There is not a consensus on this by the experts.

I don't believe high organic loading is the direct cause, rather indirect. High organic loading leads to higher microbial activity in both protozoans and bacteria. The microbial activity can be either beneficial or pathogenic, both or shift between the two.

Diamox will sometimes reduce gas bubbles but doesn't treat underlying cause.

When I get help calls for this, the first recommendation is to move the animal to clean new saltwater. In many cases, the issue resolves itself within 2 or 3 days without any further treatment. Some cases this is not enough. The second step is to analyze the environment. Usually I find one or more of the following: no protein skimmer, crushed coral or gravel substrate, canister filters overdue for media change out, not enough flow, overstocking, or other means that organics can build up. To bad there is not a simple to test for organic loading. Redox and O2 saturation can be a clue though.

Some swear by antibiotic therapy. This sometimes works, but in many cases doesn't resolve the issue.

We still have a lot learn on this subject!

Dan
pledosophy, after reading what Dan said in the above quote, I realized that I may have drawn a wrong conclusion about high DOCs and how they relate to GBD. I will however try to find what led me to that conclusion.


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Old 10/14/2016, 02:13 AM   #15
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Well, it seems it went away on its own...

I had a bad RO membrane and wonder if that may have played a role in this case...

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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 11/26/2016, 11:33 PM   #16
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pledosophy, after reading what Dan said in the above quote, I realized that I may have drawn a wrong conclusion about high DOCs and how they relate to GBD. I will however try to find what led me to that conclusion.
I haven't been on in awhile, forgot all about this, maybe you did too. I'm bored and looking for some reading material. Did you ever find it?


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Old 11/28/2016, 04:51 AM   #17
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I haven't been on in awhile, forgot all about this, maybe you did too. I'm bored and looking for some reading material. Did you ever find it?
No, I was not able to find it. I did so much reading from all sorts of sources when I was home caring for my mother in law but unfortunately I forget where it is that I read cettain things. Ha ha, I am not quite 60 yet but my memory is sadly not what it used to be.


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Old 11/28/2016, 08:36 AM   #18
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I'd LOVE to have back the memory capacity that I had when I was in my sixties. It wasn't good, but definitely better than what I have now.
I have to make a lot of note, but then I forget I have the notes, or can't find the proper heading I filed them under..


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Old 11/28/2016, 11:00 AM   #19
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I don't know if there is anything published on DOC's and GBD. There are tons of stuff on food webs and nutrient recycling. What I can tell is what we have found over the years. When we first started we had our share of Gas Bubble Disease (GBD) and Pouch Emphysema (PE). Back then everyone was saying Protein Skimmers caused GBD & PE, it was also believed that low flow was needed for seahorses. It seemed that everyday we some seahorses we were either treating for GBD or deflating pouches. When I first added a skimmer to a system, we noticed right away, that system had less GBD & PE issues. We then added micron filtration. Again noticed a reduction. Finally, higher flow further relieved the systems. Today, despite the number of seahorses we have on hand, we rarely see either GBD or PE. It has been well over a year since I have deflated a pouch. On the rare occasion that we do see it, it is normally a one off instance that does not repeat. I can't remember the last GBD issue we have had. All of our systems have a 100 micron filter sock, a 5 micron canister filter and a Protein Skimmer.
Regularly we get help calls from customers and non-customers with this issue. Well over 90% of the time, we are able to resolve the issue by hunting for the cause of organics building up in the system. It can be from any number of issues such as a coarse substrate such as crushed coral or gravel, lack of a skimmer, too low of flow, lack of mechanical filtration, too small of a tank, over stocking, over feeding, etc.
GBD remains poorly understood and the exact cause has not been proven. In general, all of the above efforts to remove organics leads to a healthier tank. I have this subject on my list of recommended studies that I give to students when I get students doing research projects visiting asking for ideas for their research papers. To date, everyone has done other projects which seem cooler or easier to do. I would love to see data compiled on the total DOC's, microbial counts, ORP & O2 saturation levels and temperatures and the overall effects.


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Old 11/28/2016, 11:08 AM   #20
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I'd LOVE to have back the memory capacity that I had when I was in my sixties. It wasn't good, but definitely better than what I have now.
I have to make a lot of note, but then I forget I have the notes, or can't find the proper heading I filed them under..
O dear rayjay, you are not helping me to look forward to my 'golden' years! LOL


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Old 11/28/2016, 02:02 PM   #21
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I try to look at the bright side, as my memory goes, I will get to meet so many wonderful new friends and family!
Prior to computers, I used to know where to look for my notes, what type of paper it was on, the paper color, how worn it was or what notebook or folder it was in. Sometimes I would have dig some, but I would find it. Today, I have to remember did I bookmark it? Did I make notes or copy and paste? Which computer was I using? Which drive did I save it on? Which folder? How did I name it? In the old days when you had to look stuff up in books, write notes and did not have copy & paste, you remembered more! Also I didn't get distracted as much with finding other cool information.
I still like my technology gadgets and won't give them up!!!!


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Old 11/28/2016, 09:43 PM   #22
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O dear rayjay, you are not helping me to look forward to my 'golden' years! LOL
I have news for you.
For many of us, the "golden years" are anything but golden.


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Old 11/30/2016, 09:44 AM   #23
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I try to look at the bright side, as my memory goes, I will get to meet so many wonderful new friends and family!
Prior to computers, I used to know where to look for my notes, what type of paper it was on, the paper color, how worn it was or what notebook or folder it was in. Sometimes I would have dig some, but I would find it. Today, I have to remember did I bookmark it? Did I make notes or copy and paste? Which computer was I using? Which drive did I save it on? Which folder? How did I name it? In the old days when you had to look stuff up in books, write notes and did not have copy & paste, you remembered more! Also I didn't get distracted as much with finding other cool information.
I still like my technology gadgets and won't give them up!!!!
Ha ha, thats kind of funny if it weren't so true Maybe you should still make notes on what you did on the computer, LOL! I am not as techy as you and still do as much as possible with sticky notes. I also try to limit how much info I have to remember but I don't run a buisness either. That is a luxury I am sure that you do not have!


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Old 11/30/2016, 09:45 AM   #24
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I have news for you.
For many of us, the "golden years" are anything but golden.
Yes, so I am learning from my friends who are a bit ahead of me.


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