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Old 04-03-2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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Seahorse (H. Erectus) Spitting Out Food, Losing Weight

My male seahorse has suddenly stopped eating. For a couple days about a week or so ago he wouldn't eat anything. Then he snapped out of it, and showed interest in food - however he spits out 90% of what he snicks up. I have 4 seahorses in a large 160g set-up (including sump/fuge water). Tank mates include a couple shrimp and a mandarin. The other 3 horses seem healthy, apart from one of the others who has, in the past couple days, began spitting out food as well, but not as frequent and she is not losing weight.

He doesn't appear to be keeping much down. What's happening is, he gets very excited over the food, goes to the feeding station and starts snicking up mysis right away. Snick is making a snapping noise and he appears to be on target, but he makes a kind of hiccup motion as if he's trying not to regurgitate it back up. This goes on for 5-10 seconds and he finally spits it out, sometimes along with other mysis he has swallowed.

Parameters are

Ammo 0
Trites 0
Trates 5
pH 8.0
Temp 72-73
SG 1.023

I've got a plague on my hands with flatworms and I'm batting cyano (both of which I'm working on - the low flow and height of my tank is a problem that I'm trying to resolve...but, not easy with seahorses).

Any ideas what could be wrong? Taking advice from seahorse.org, I gave the little guy a freshwater dip and he was a real trooper. I only dipped for 7 minutes, and I'm being told I should have shot for 10 so I may try again tonight. He didn't appear stressed at all. However, it did not appear to help. He's still spitting out food. He's now searching my rockwork for pods day and night. So, it's not a lack of appetite - he just can't keep it down. I may try to grab some formalin somewhere locally in case I need to do a formalin bath.

Any help would be appreciated.

- Skins

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Old 04-03-2007, 03:55 PM   #2
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I had the same problem SP. All mine ended up dying and I`m not keeping any more. Mine would do what your are doing and then not eat at all then get this white stuff all over them. I`m not much for FW dips but let me know what happens. The only info I got from SH.org was to treat them with tri sulfa and it did not work.

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Old 04-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #3
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Awww, Mike, I didn't know you lost all of them. Sorry for you losses. Good luck to you Skinny. Keep us updated.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:51 PM   #4
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You might want to email Jorge and get his advice. If I am remembering correctly, didnt you get them through him? Maybe he will know what is going on.

If you are battling cyano and flatworms, your water has too much in it in the way of nutrients as well. What are your nitrate readings? Seahorses, as mentioned before, need pristine water conditions.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:27 PM   #5
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I really think it's my water flow, to be honest. My parameters are listed above and the Nitrates at 5 is high for me. They are usually undetected or 2.5 at most. I added flow near the bottom of the tank, but low flow on a tall 110 g tank is not a good combo. Since adding flow cyano is almost gone and flatworms are backing down. I also do water changes weekly. I really don't think it's water quality.

Yeah, I'll contact Jorge. We've exchanged emails in the past and he's been helpful. I'm going to try a formalin dip tonight.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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Well, so far so good. I gave the two that were having eating issues a formalin bath last night for 60 minutes. I offered frozen mysis soaked in Zoe about 20 minutes later and they ate like pigs. The female ate every one I offered, the male spit out 2 but ate about 10 pieces (he's the one that's getting skinny).

This morning I offered more and the results were even better. Both ate every piece I offered. The male did not spit out any. He even went back to his little mating dance after eating, which I haven't seen him do for about a week.

So - fingers crossed. I'm going to dip them again tomorrow to play it safe.

Thanks for the help. Formalin appears to have worked (at least temporarily).

- Skins

210 gallon aggressive tank in process.
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food, seahorse

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