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Old 07/17/2012, 11:44 AM   #1
despot101
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Any other way to treat gas bubble disease?

Other than using diamox, which I cannot seem to get ahold of locally. Called all of the vets in the area, even called my doctor.




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Old 07/17/2012, 12:32 PM   #2
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Can you give a little more information about your situation? Sometimes gas bubble disease seems to be caused by maintenance issues, i.e. water to slow, infrequent water changes, tank or filtration too small for waste produced, among others. The wrong kind of skimmer can also cause problems, as well as problematic pumps which cause cavitation of bubbles. If those are the cause, and you correct those problems, it can go away on it's own.

Information that would be useful is details about your setup, as well as water quality (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, phosphate, temperature, kh, calcium). How long you had the seahorse and where the gas bubble is appearing is also helpful.

You can also get it shipped from overseas here:
http://www.inhousepharmacy.biz/p-138...azolamide.aspx


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Old 07/17/2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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IMO, the bubbles from equipment are NOT the cause of the bubble disease.
It is often caused by water conditions not being optimal, or it can happen beyond your control just because a seahorse has internal organ problems even if water quality is not an issue.
As mentioned, first would be to assure the water is not the problem by doing a severe tank cleaning and large water change, and don't forget to clean down the glass surfaces and decorations if any as bacteria cause a film to form.
Re-assess your housekeeping protocol to lessen the chances of repeat problems.
I don't know of any other medication to use.


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Old 07/17/2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
IMO, the bubbles from equipment are NOT the cause of the bubble disease.
I agree, and perhaps I should clarify. Bubbles generally aren't a problem - the exception being cavitation of bubbles, which can happen with air or bubbles pass through a pump, especially when there isn't sufficient off-gassing.


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Old 07/17/2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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You mean like the mini power head that I have in each seahorse tank that sucks up bubbles from the rigid air line tube and spews out very fine bubbles?
I haven't had problems from them in any of my seahorse tanks.
I may be wrong but I believe I've seen a post by Dan Underwood saying that people at a public aquarium have discounted that as a cause.
Maybe he'll see this and give his opinion.


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Old 07/18/2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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I have a pair on a 10g tank for around 9 months now. (I know a 10g is too small they are going to move to a 29 once he is over this issue). Tank has been up almost a year now.I have a small air driven skimmer in the tank but it's in a back compartment so there isn't really any micro bubbles in the main display part. I'll do a water change today yet and go from there. Also the bubbles are appearing on his tail.
ph is 8.0, s.g. is 1.024, temp is 78, nitrates are around 3. Don't really test for anything else in the system.


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Old 07/18/2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
You mean like the mini power head that I have in each seahorse tank that sucks up bubbles from the rigid air line tube and spews out very fine bubbles?
I think I have my terms mixed up, cavitation is the formation of bubbles, not caused by bubbles. It's been a while since I looked into it and the term escapes me.

But, the supersaturation I am thinking of is caused by bubbles going through a pump - but its not all bubbles. The bubbles have to be small enough, and the pump has to create the right type of low pressure that forces the gas into a liquid state. And then you must have inefficient off-gassing (example: surface agitation), to release the super saturated water.

This can cause gas bubble disease in all fishes, though seahorses, being more prone to gas bubble disease, are more likely to have it show up first.

Quote:
I haven't had problems from them in any of my seahorse tanks.
I don't think its common in home aquariums, but there are circumstances it can occur. Especially if someone is trying to go with low flow and little surface agitation, but has a skimmer that "chops" bubbles or pump that is pulling air through the impeller (and a few other possible causes, but likely not in most home aquariums). Though skimmers themselves also act as an off-gassing device, so it might just be a wash.

Quote:
I may be wrong but I believe I've seen a post by Dan Underwood saying that people at a public aquarium have discounted that as a cause.
Maybe he'll see this and give his opinion.
I believe it's been ruled out as the sole cause, but many public aquariums now have off-gassing systems for their seahorses to compensate for gas supersaturation. I was surprised to learn somewhat recently that pubic aquariums still do struggle with gas bubble disease. Nowhere near as bad as the past, but it does still happen.

All that being said, water quality does seem to be a different but important cause of gas bubble disease. And that is probably what we see more in home aquariums. But without knowing what someone's system is, I prefer to check for all the possibilities.


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Old 07/18/2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by despot101 View Post
I have a pair on a 10g tank for around 9 months now. (I know a 10g is too small they are going to move to a 29 once he is over this issue). Tank has been up almost a year now.I have a small air driven skimmer in the tank but it's in a back compartment so there isn't really any micro bubbles in the main display part. I'll do a water change today yet and go from there. Also the bubbles are appearing on his tail.
ph is 8.0, s.g. is 1.024, temp is 78, nitrates are around 3. Don't really test for anything else in the system.

Yeah, your tank is too small. I wouldn't wait to get your pair in the new tank, I'd do it sooner rather than later (cycling first, of course). Also, the temperature is too high, it should be no higher than 74 for tropical species, 72 for erectus. I wouldn't drop it down immediately, but a degree or two a day will help.

What other filtration are you using? And how often are you doing water changes now? A nitrate reading of 3 in that small of an aquarium makes me very suspicious and I can't help wondering if the test kit isn't bad. I'd also check for phosphates, if anything, high phosphates will indicate that the nitrates aren't necessarily testing true - either being used by microalgae or the test kit itself being wrong.


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Old 07/18/2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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what about ammonia ?


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Old 07/18/2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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I think I have my terms mixed up, cavitation is the formation of bubbles, not caused by bubbles. It's been a while since I looked into it and the term escapes me.
But, the supersaturation I am thinking of is caused by bubbles going through a pump - but its not all bubbles. The bubbles have to be small enough, and the pump has to create the right type of low pressure that forces the gas into a liquid state. And then you must have inefficient off-gassing (example: surface agitation), to release the super saturated water.
This can cause gas bubble disease in all fishes, though seahorses, being more prone to gas bubble disease, are more likely to have it show up first.
I don't think its common in home aquariums, but there are circumstances it can occur. Especially if someone is trying to go with low flow and little surface agitation, but has a skimmer that "chops" bubbles or pump that is pulling air through the impeller (and a few other possible causes, but likely not in most home aquariums).
The chances of super saturation occurring in a hobbyist tank I consider to be slim to none.
Cavitation in hobby return pumps and power heads shouldn't happen unless the intake is throttled back. (Throttling should always be after the pump)
Public aquariums have pumps that are extremely large and are much more prone to cavitation without any pre throttling.
Quote:
Though skimmers themselves also act as an off-gassing device, so it might just be a wash.
I'm not sure what you are "off-gassing but I don't know how a skimmer is going to do it. A skimmer actually doesn't do much in the way of gas exchange of CO2 and O2. The bubbles that are small enough to work a skimmer have a surface tension that the dissolved organics attach to, preventing and gas exchange of significance. A large disturbed surface area in contact with sufficient oxygen content in the air works immensely better.
Quote:
I believe it's been ruled out as the sole cause, but many public aquariums now have off-gassing systems for their seahorses to compensate for gas supersaturation. I was surprised to learn somewhat recently that pubic aquariums still do struggle with gas bubble disease. Nowhere near as bad as the past, but it does still happen.
I can understand the need in public aquaria.
Quote:
All that being said, water quality does seem to be a different but important cause of gas bubble disease. And that is probably what we see more in home aquariums. But without knowing what someone's system is, I prefer to check for all the possibilities.
Yes, IMO, water quality is the biggest cause of problems and failures in the seahorse hobby.
People think their tanks are running clean but after a period of time that varies with use and husbandry, the water quality degrades and normal tests done in our tanks don't show that the deterioration is causing seahorse internal chemical imbalances or beds/feed for nasty bacteria that end up causing seahorse problems.


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Old 07/18/2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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While I disagree on some of the finer details, you make a very good point. It is going to be much less likely to occur in a home aquarium, and water quality is really much more of a cause & concern for hobbyists.


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Old 07/18/2012, 06:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishGrrl View Post
Yeah, your tank is too small. I wouldn't wait to get your pair in the new tank, I'd do it sooner rather than later (cycling first, of course). Also, the temperature is too high, it should be no higher than 74 for tropical species, 72 for erectus. I wouldn't drop it down immediately, but a degree or two a day will help.

What other filtration are you using? And how often are you doing water changes now? A nitrate reading of 3 in that small of an aquarium makes me very suspicious and I can't help wondering if the test kit isn't bad. I'd also check for phosphates, if anything, high phosphates will indicate that the nitrates aren't necessarily testing true - either being used by microalgae or the test kit itself being wrong.
I am currently holding off on moving them to the 29 because I don't want the added stress. It's been up for months now. They have done quite well in the tank so far, been breeding for the last 6 months or so. No other filtration, just biweekly water changes. Got phosphates tested today, they were .34 on a hanna checker so that shouldnt be a problem. I do add nitrate reducer to the system and use that on both my tanks with really good results so I am pretty sure the nitrates are low. I know they were probably a little underfed at the beginning of the month probably didn't help. Had about a week there where they weren't getting their normal feedings.

I'll do another water changed tomorrow probably, already dropped the temp down to 76, and then I'll adjust again tomorrow probably.


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Old 07/18/2012, 06:59 PM   #13
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thats not a good phosphate level . what about ammonia . they will die in that ten g tank .


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Old 07/18/2012, 08:05 PM   #14
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Ammonia levels are zero.


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Old 07/18/2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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It usually takes a while for the bad things to catch up with your tank. It works fine for a while, so you assume it can't be the cause - but the reality is, when people give recommendations for best practices, it doesn't mean that problems will arrise immediately if you break the rules - but somewhere down the road, you likely will face those problems.

I did a brief stint working in a fish store several years back and I saw this all the time - someone was doing something they had been told not to, and it worked for a while sometimes YEARS and then things would quickly go downhill. Because the thing they had been doing for years appeared to "work", they'd argue vehemently that it couldn't be said factor. Water changes were the most common, people deciding not to do them at all, then wondering why 2 years later everything was going wrong.

That's probably what is happening with your tank now. That phosphate level is pretty high. Phosphates won't harm your seahorses, but it is a sign that your tank is producing a lot of organic wastes. I'd like to see a complete break down of your water perimeters in addition to what you've got now - nitrite, kh and calcium. But regardless, I am going to lean towards a combination of temperature and water quality. Gas Bubble Disease in seahorses is almost exclusively an environmental issue - the specifics can vary, as you can see from the discussion between RayJay and myself - but the short version that it is believed to be almost entirely caused by environmental factors.

I'm not suggesting your tank is a terrible place, but seahorses are more sensitive than other fish so even something just a little out of whack might be too much. Also, if your seahorses were considerably smaller when you bought them, they might have been fine; but growing in the subsequent months they now make up a much larger biomass of the tank.

You are right that moving to a new tank will be stressful, but if they were mine, and I had a cycled tank ready, I'd choose to move them and reduce the stress of a too small tank over the stress of moving them. I've kept seahorses in 10 gallon tanks temporarily, but the key is it was temporary, and all but perhaps the smallest species will be cramped in a tank that small for any prolonged period of time.


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Old 07/19/2012, 07:56 AM   #16
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fishgrrl you have a great way of putting thing into perspective.


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Old 07/19/2012, 09:57 AM   #17
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I agree with Tami that the move should be made now if the new tank is properly cycled.


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Old 07/19/2012, 01:55 PM   #18
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They have been moved over. I'll update his condition if it changes.


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Old 07/19/2012, 02:47 PM   #19
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Just remember that this isn't something that happened overnight, even if it seemed like that. It will take some time to heal.
Meanwhile, assume your husbandry protocol was not sufficient and do more now. Try to eliminate as many spots as possible where food can get trapped unseen, vacuum out any uneaten food and detritus daily, and do more frequent/larger water changes in addition to the new water you add after vacuuming.


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Old 08/28/2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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Pregnant seahorse or gas bubble disease?

How can you tell if a seahorse has gas bubble disease or if he is in fact pregnant? I have an 8month old erectus male that for the last couple of weeks has been seeming like he is pregnant and staying curled up around the top of my heater. I have been thinking that he was staying up there to be better able to feed....by the way, he has been eating great....same appetite as usual...his coloration has been good (if he ever gets stressed or scared he turns a real dark brown, and his markings go away) he has not been doing that. Thinking he is pregnant, we set up a maternity tank to move him over and that is when I noticed that he floats and doesn't swim down into the water. After reading up to see if this was normal I discovered that seahorses can get gas bubble disease....so many different things printed about it...I am confused. By my calculations from when he started nesting....21 days will be in 4 more days. BUT...if he is sick and not pregnant then I would like to try to help him. I have raised seahorses in the past(about 10 years ago) and only dealt with females mostly...so this is all new to me but I am devoted to learning. By the way, while reading up on pregnant frys is where I first heard of the disease and it said during pregnancy if some of the babies die while in the pouch it can cause gas to build up in the pouch and they will float up to the top like a bobber. When I read that warning bells and whistles went off...but then when you disturb him he does submerge and act irritated that you disturbed him. Please help! I'm so confused!!! What is normal and what is not?


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Old 08/28/2012, 10:20 AM   #21
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It's NEVER normal to float at the top.
Seahorse males do get GBD but they also get pouch emphysema.
If it is floating with an inflated pouch then almost always it is pouch emphysema and not pregnant, although it is possible to be both as it is also possible to have GBD at the same time as pouch emphysema.
Many of us feel that it is best not to use the Diamox right off if the problem can be handled in an other manner.
First thing to do is to use something to open up the pouch while holding the seahorse upright under water, allowing any gasses to escape. It can take multiple attempts to get it all out. I use a rubber tipped bobby pin but others use things like a cannula.
It is NOT recommended to "roll" or "squeeze" the gas out with your fingers as you may damage the insides.
Some people prefer to "candle" the seahorse first to see if fry are present, but if the seahorse is floating, to me the important thing is to get the gas out, pregnant or not. I'd rather loose fry than the adult.
The very next thing to do is to reassess your tank husbandry procedures as MOST times it is a water quality issue that causes this.
Testing for ammonia, nitrite phosporus etc.... will NOT give you the answer because this happens even with all those still in line.
You just have to be sure to keep the tank water a lot cleaner by removing all uneaten food, especially what gets trapped under and around rocks and decor. I also like to wipe down the glass surfaces every 7 to 10 days and run a filter that "polishes" the water to remove what gets wiped off, usually bacteria.


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Old 08/28/2012, 11:56 AM   #22
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thanks rayjay..you sound knowledgable....can I bug you for a minute? Being new to this forum I wasn't sure where to ask my questions....so I asked here and also asked on new thread of where I put up a few pictures of him...would you mind taking a look?


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Old 02/02/2013, 11:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
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The chances of super saturation occurring in a hobbyist tank I consider to be slim to none.
Cavitation in hobby return pumps and power heads shouldn't happen unless the intake is throttled back. (Throttling should always be after the pump)
I have lost fish due to gas supersaturation caused by using a prefilter sponge on the pump intake. As the prefilter sponge became clogged it was the same as throttling back the intake and caused cavitation. It took me a while to figure out the error of my ways. I know it is a fairly common practice, especially with seahorse keepers, to put sponges on pump/powerhead intakes so I don't think it is as uncommon as you think.


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Old 02/03/2013, 08:27 AM   #24
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IMO, the sponge being clogged up shows that insufficient maintenance is occuring and THAT will be more problematic than any micro bubbles.
It provides a breeding ground for nasty bacteria like the vibrio species that cause so many seahorse problems and deaths.
It may also have been the REAL cause of your deaths, as mentioned already in post #2 above.


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Old 07/18/2017, 11:54 AM   #25
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My water level got low and pump started sucking air and blew out alot of bubbles couldn't hardly see in the tank, could this be why one of my tangs has bubbles on his body

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