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Old 05/29/2012, 11:42 AM   #26
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I got three seahorses about a week ago. I was really worried about two of them and adjusting the salinity while a challenge that i accept i am going to have to measure daily seems to have helped.

For one his pouch is really inflated, does that sound like gas bubble disease?

I do NOT want to massage his pouch because I am absolutely scared to death i will hurt him and cause additional stress.

Are their other solutions? If it truly is salinity and I'm slowly getting it perfected will the problem go away without me massaging him?

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Old 05/29/2012, 12:53 PM   #27
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Tried to post here earlier and it didnt work.

I have three new seahorses and one of them has been lethargic since day one and now i am thinking he has gas bubble disease. He pouch is really inflamed.

The salinity was definitely high and i have been adjusting that and he is slowly becoming a bit more active but his pouch hasn't changed and he doesnt feed as well as the other two and while they both dance about the aquarium he won't rise.

I dont want to massage it for two reasons
1. I am scared to death I will hurt him
2. In a new environment causing additional stress seems like a terrible idea

Will this just go away? If not what can i do?

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Old 05/29/2012, 04:14 PM   #28
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First of all stability of the salinity is NOT a cause for gas bubble disease.
Small bubbles in the water are also not responsible.
Most likely cause is chemical imbalance that may happen from water that hasn't had sufficient tank husbandry.
NEVER massage air from a pouch. Instead, use a cannula or rubber tipped bobby pin and open the pouch while the seahorse is upright and under water.
You have only mentioned the pouch as "inflated" and haven't mentioned a buoyancy problem. That tells me you don't have gas in the pouch as it would probably be tail up or at least floating on it's side and having problems staying down in the tank.
Males inflate their pouches as a part of courtship to entice the female to produce eggs for him to accept.
It's also a possibility that the seahorse is pregnant.
Many males tend to be less active than the females. (but not all)

Seahorses. Culture nanno, rotifers and brine shrimp.

Current Tank Info: Seahorses
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Old 06/03/2012, 06:55 AM   #29
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I tried to send you a private message but haven't posted enough.

I wish this forum sent offsite emails :/

You are right. It isnt gas bubble. He isn't buoyant, if anything he is quite the opposite.

The second (healthy) male has started puffing up his belly and it's really cute. He is for sure less active than the female who loves dancing especially to her own reflection but he will swim about a bit and likes to spend his time with both the female and the male.

It's not just that he isn't active though. He has a very odd posture, he keeps his head down and mostly hides under a rock.

Because the other two are so active at feeding time he gets very little.

The salinity is 1.021 but I will admit it was a bit high when i put them in due to bad advice. Nitrate and Ammonia are nil. Water temp is 18.1 celcius.

Any tips or if you want to help a beginner my address is

Really appreciate all the help i've gotten so far!!!

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Old 06/03/2012, 07:25 AM   #30
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Oh and also...if you think its possible husbandry what tips do you have? I don't want to make massive changes to the environment because two of them are doing so well. So torn, I can't believe how much I care about these guys

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Old 08/14/2012, 03:30 PM   #31
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Location: Madison, WI
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I see there is alot of debate on GBD and i'm hoping someone can help me.

I've had 4 erectus horses for a year now and everything was going fine until a couple months ago. One of my males started with the pouch problems and then i noticed bubbles on his tail so I treated him in a separate 10 gallon. Weeks went by and he was fine then both males got it so i treated both of them. Ever since then they both need pouch evacts every couple days... not real sure whats wrong. I change the water every week.

background on the tank they are in.

38 gal.
salinity: .024
temp: 76 (a little warm, chiller is getting fixed)
filtration: 2 quiteflow 20 (h20 level is always at the top of filter. tank will be drilled this weekend.)
2" sand bed
36" coral life T5
30 lbs. Live Rock
I feed them gamma slice mysis shrip and brine. occasionally live brine

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Old 08/14/2012, 10:06 PM   #32
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As you have 4 erectus in a 38g tank you are placing a huge bioload on the tank and system, especially for 4 erectus which are a very large bodied seahorse.
Water quality seems to be a big thing with GBD and pouch emphysema so I'd figure you have to do larger, more frequent water changes coupled with vacuuming of detritus and uneaten food before it can decay.

Seahorses. Culture nanno, rotifers and brine shrimp.

Current Tank Info: Seahorses
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Old 04/30/2014, 01:55 PM   #33
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Don't bug me I did my research,
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Old 01/28/2016, 01:58 PM   #34
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Just a theory of mine, but could an infection be causing the gas and not the other way around?

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Old 01/28/2016, 03:32 PM   #35
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That's been looked at numerous times and it's still debated but the general consensus seems to be no.. However, numerous pathology studies have come back with no bacteria. Sometimes vibrio is found in association with it, but most assume is that trauma from the gas allows for an invasion of opportunistic bacteria.

Further on that note, people have tried treating with antibiotics and they generally don't work. Diamox, which acts on carbonic anhydrase does resolve the symptoms, at least in the short term.


It's all about the snick!

Current Tank Info: I have a fish room.
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Old 09/13/2016, 12:38 AM   #36
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Location: Fremont, CA
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I had the gas bubbles primarily with breeding male pipefish who had them in their belly fold. This was in rather dirty tanks, some with and some without skimmer.

To me opportunistic bacteria as the underlying case seem plausible. The primary location would fit some dirt getting trapped and starting an infection.
At least with my pipefish it was for sure not super saturation. If it was I would have expected to see males and females equally affected.

If it is caused by opportunistic bacteria, antibiotic treatment is unlikely to have a lasting effect.

Diamox treats the symptom, but not the cause.

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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