Seahorses sick / dead

Discussion in 'Seahorses and Pipefish' started by AmberSunrise, May 31, 2012.

  1. AmberSunrise

    AmberSunrise

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    Well I came home from work today to one dead seahorse, one that is stiff and just barely breathing and one that is curled up tight around a coral and wont move.

    All my other fish are perfectly fine swimming around ate dinner etc

    My ammonia is 0, nitrates about 5, PH 8.0 and salinity is 1.026 just like always nothing out of the ordinary.

    I dont know what would wipe out just my horses

    It hurts so bad to watch them be sick and not be able to do anything or even know what is wrong all I can do is sit here and cry.

    :sniffles:
     
    AmberSunrise, May 31, 2012
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  2. AmberSunrise

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    From my reading, sea horses tend to need a species specific tank. Maybe the other fish are out competing them for food and they are starving? :dunno: I do hope you figure out what is happening though.
     
    bjohanson1234, May 31, 2012
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  3. AmberSunrise

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this :( I have absolutely no advice, but just wanted to acknowledge your post and say I'm sorry
     
    FishyReef, May 31, 2012
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  4. AmberSunrise

    Smitty

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    I'm so sorry to hear that Amber...I wish you the best of luck with them.
     
    Smitty, May 31, 2012
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  5. AmberSunrise

    AmberSunrise

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    No this is not true at all I have had a community tank for over a year, they are well fed and eat just fine.

    One more has died down to one now its not looking good at all for her either. My pipefish are perfectly fine along with the shrimp and other fish this is something that only affected the horses.
     
    AmberSunrise, May 31, 2012
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  6. AmberSunrise

    Smitty

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    Awwww man...that sucks.
     
    Smitty, May 31, 2012
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  7. AmberSunrise

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Sorry to hear :(
     
    wontonflip, May 31, 2012
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  8. AmberSunrise

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Did you get them at the same time? Could it be a lifespan issue?
     
    FishyReef, May 31, 2012
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  9. AmberSunrise

    lilmatty5dimes

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    Sorry to hear for your loss. Hope you figure out what's wrong.
     
    lilmatty5dimes, May 31, 2012
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  10. AmberSunrise

    little_fish Moderator

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    Amber, I am soooo sorry to hear this.

    How warm is your tank at right now?
     
    little_fish, May 31, 2012
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  11. AmberSunrise

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    Awww man, that sucks. Very sorry to hear Amber.
     
    fastrd400, May 31, 2012
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  12. AmberSunrise

    Odanhammer

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    SEAHORSE KEEPING
    this guy ray-jal on another forum has alot of advice for seahorses and explains in detail why seashorses can be great / horrible to have.

    How long did you have the seahorses in the tank? how big a tank is it? what else exactly is in the tank?

    Seahorses rarely are kept with anything else other then seahorses as they need lower temp water , are messy eaters , and get infections and diseases very easy (hence the lower temp of water)

    Very sorry for your loss , hopefully that website can help you in the future .
     
    Odanhammer, May 31, 2012
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  13. AmberSunrise

    Aquagrrl

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    So sorry to hear about your loss. It can be just heart breaking, especially with seahorses.

    Two things jump out at me - I am assuming the pipefish are not captive bred, and since they're in the same family as seahorses, and wild caught ones especially can carry diseases that the seahorses are susceptible to.

    If the temperature is too warm, as it often is in reef tanks, they're going to be more vulnerable to bacterial infections. Most people recommend keeping it under 75 for tropical species. 72 and under for H. erectus, which is more subtropical. If you've had some heat spikes because of a warm spring, this could easily cause an infection that is attacking all the seahorses.

    Another thought that occurs to me now is low oxygen. Seahorses seem to need more oxygen than other fish, and it a tank where there isn't enough surface agitation, or the temp gets to warm, or the ph drops at night, seahorses will be the first affected. I'm make sure that you have adequate flow and surface agitation.

    A word on keeping them in a community tank. It really depends on the fish you have, but seahorses generally do best in a species only tank. Some exceptions are slow moving gobies or dragonettes. They may have been fine for a period of time, but that doesn't mean that they'll be fine forever - this is generally what seahorse keepers mean when we say certain things can't be done - it doesn't end well. That doesn't mean that it is instantly a problem, but people assume that 6 months or a year is a sign of success, and its not. 5+ years or more, you can start considering it a success - though now more and more people are finding their seahorses are living a decade, sometimes longer.

    I'll also mention that most people don't recognize an underweight or starving seahorse - I've even seen photos of seahorses at public aquariums that are underweight. Despite popular belief, seahorses that are inadequately fed can last a very long time if they aren't hit with another disease. What you'll want to look for is fat between the plates. At the very least it shouldn't be hollowed out, and it should bulge a little. This will be most noticeable on the upper part of their necks.

    If you can post a picture of the remaining one, it might give some clues as to what the problem is, and what can be done to fix it.
     
    Aquagrrl, May 31, 2012
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  14. AmberSunrise

    AmberSunrise

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    UPDATE The one seahorse made it through the night, she is hitched onto her normal mangrove and even ate a few shrimp today. I think she will pull through. I will have to replace her friends in the next couple of weeks she looks so sad right now.

    Little fish I do think its because my temp crept up to about 79 its normally about 74-75 my guess is it was a bacteria that became active in the higher temp.

    I didnt make the post to get anyone's advice only to share my story with my LR friends, thanks to everyone who offered it though.
    My seahorses and pipefish were all purchased from ocean riders and seahorse source after an intensive training class I am not a noob. ;-)
    I have had them for about a year they are captive bred and live in a peaceful community 55 gallon tank.
    Don't believe everything you read online, my seahorses are fantastic tankmates to my other fish and they eat and socialize perfectly. I would never recommend them to someone who is not experienced or who has aggressive fish but they are not the fragile creatures they are made out to be.
     
    AmberSunrise, Jun 1, 2012
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  15. AmberSunrise

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Amber, I am so glad to hear that your one girl made it through the night and even ate today! I really hope she pulls through for you! Any idea why the temp crept up that far so that you can prevent it from happening again? I so envy your seahorses and your abilities to keep them!
     
    FishyReef, Jun 1, 2012
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  16. AmberSunrise

    Smitty

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    I'm glad to hear she's doing well.
     
    Smitty, Jun 1, 2012
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  17. AmberSunrise

    little_fish Moderator

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    Im glad to hear one made it through the night, like Aquagirrl, i was thinking that the warm temps had caused a bacteria infection/outbreak that wouldnt bother the other fish.

    But, I also wouldnt be so quick to dismiss Aquagirrl's advice, she really knows her stuff. She has been keep, breeding and raising seahorses for a long time. I would put her advice up there with the people from SeahorseSource and Seahorse.com.
     
    little_fish, Jun 1, 2012
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  18. AmberSunrise

    Aquagrrl

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    I'm glad the remain horse looks like it's going to make it. That's great news! I would still consider the possibility of an oxygen deprived tank, as warmer water holds less oxygen. Bacteria is a suspect, of course, but it generally isn't going to kill that quickly and not leave some kind of symptom. Watch the remaining horse closely for discoloration, especially around the snout and tail. I would really try to keep the temperatures down, and see what you can do to increase surface agitation, perhaps adding an airline to the tank. Actually, considering your in FL, is there a risk there was any kind of power outage due to rolling blackouts?

    So I wouldn't rule out bacteria, but my gut says there was a situation where the tank was deprived of oxygen, which would affect the seahorses before the other fish. If the tank got warmer than 79 when you weren't home, and there wasn't enough water movement, that would certainly be a problem.

    I hope you know I wasn't trying to attack your ability as an aquarist. The recommendations for seahorses aquariums exist because they *can* be delicate and die at the drop of a hat (see this thread). People very frequently try things that go against "common wisdom", and think everything is fine - until it's not. This is true in every aspect of aquarium keeping, from goldfish to the most complicated reef setups. Short term success does not mean continued success. For example, I noticed that you have corals with sweeper tentacles and other stinging corals. One easy to spot scenario is a seahorse getting stung, stressed out, and opening it up to a secondary infection. Because seahorses have an underdeveloped lymphatic system, it then won't be able to fight the infection, opening up the possibility it infects the others due to increase virulence and spore count. Or it may never happen. Most people are not comfortable with those odds.

    I don't want to fight over this, but please try to keep your mind open if you have any additional problems. I was there once, thought I knew better than what others were telling me, did everything wrong, had everything die, and it wasn't until much later that I ate my humble pie and finally did it "the right way".
     
    Aquagrrl, Jun 1, 2012
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  19. AmberSunrise

    SarahSmile :)

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    We know you aren't a noob Amber ;) I DO know it is frustrating when you post a question/situation and people who may not know you post advice that may seem a bit rudimentary and you want to say DUH, I KNOW that! I remember once I posted about a fish dying (I had had a tank up for maybe 7-8 months) and a new member wrote me all about cycling. At the time I was beyond annoyed, but, it may be helpful to others who read the thread to see advice or pointers that we already know and everyone is just trying to be helpful in their own way.
    We know you know what you're doing Amber and I am so sorry about your horses. Please keep us posted!
     
    SarahSmile, Jun 1, 2012
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  20. AmberSunrise

    AmberSunrise

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    Yes you are both right I was sad and stressed out and found some of the replies to be annoying and elementary.

    My seahorses were not starving at all they ate like pigs they swam with the others, chased and gobbled up shrimp that had been soaked in vibrance vitamins that I bought from ocean riders.

    There have not been any power outages just normal warming of the temps here in florida. My tank is usually around 74 degrees and stays steady

    I dont have any threatening or deadly corals just a few soft ones the seahorses never went near them after all they somehow live in oceans full of them with no issues. They stayed on their mangrove roots or the hitches I put in just for them.

    My last female has just disappeared. I cannot find a body or anything. I really loved my seahorses and I feel awful that this happened. My pipefish however are doing just fine with no signs of stress at all. They are swimming and eating like normal.

    Anyway I am really bummed right now. I probably wont try seahorses again in this tank.

    Thanks to everyone for the replies the advice is taken to heart and while I am not a noob I am well aware I am not an expert either. I speak from experience only and this was an experience I wouldnt wish on anyone.
     
    AmberSunrise, Jun 2, 2012
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