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My babies are scratching

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  • Offline Knap_123
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My babies are scratching

« posted: 1 year ago »
My babies are all scratching themselves . I'm guessing it's ciliates. Can I enrich brine shrimp with Jordon rapid cure to treat?
  • Offline Bruce
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #1 posted: 1 year ago »
Are you talking about seahorse fry or just adult seahorses?

What makes you think it is ich?

Could be flukes or even hydroids. You should be sure before you treat them.
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  • Offline Knap_123
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #2 posted: 1 year ago »
Fry, and I'm not 100% sure.  I looked up common causes for the scratching themselves. I found ciliates as a good choice.
  • Offline rayjay
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #3 posted: 1 year ago »
In my opinion you can't feed liquids to brine shrimp unless they are first emulsified.
You might get some to them by feeding spirulina powder soaked in Seachems Focus which is supposed to bind liquids to foods.
Brine shrimp feed off particulate matter, capturing the appropriately sized particles and moving them along to the mouth to be ingested. They DON'T pass water through their bodies, filtering out the food from the water.
I don't have the time/patience right now to find the exact spot but it is in section four of Production and Use of Live Foods for Aquaculture
Also, I'm not sure if I would use that product anyway when I'm not sure if malachite green is OK for seahorses.
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  • Offline rayjay
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #4 posted: 1 year ago »
I think Dan recommends formalin for the fry.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #5 posted: 1 year ago »
No, you would not want to feed that to fry! It and medications like that are essentially antiseptics, and not meant to be ingested. Rayjay is probably right about the liquid issue, I hadn't heard that but he is usually right on these things.

I wouldn't use any malachite green on seahorse fry, and use sparingly on adults. It's a strong med and mutanigenic. I don't recognize the other ingredients, so I can't speak to their safety with seahorses.

Two causes of fry twitching- one is ciliates but the other is ammonia, which is often overlooked. I honestly think that even trace amounts of ammonia can make them twitchy. When I raise fry with "greenwater", they rarely twitch. I'd have to use formalin every once in a blue moon for presumptive ciliates. My assumption has been that's because the phytoplankton is using the ammonia as fast as its produced.

If it's not ammonia, then treat with formalin. 37% is ideal, and just follow the package directions.
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  • Offline Knap_123
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #6 posted: 1 year ago »
Awesome, thanks guys.
  • Offline Bruce
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #7 posted: 1 year ago »
When I was raising fry I would sterilize everything every 5 days. If you go much longer than that you increase the possibility of hydroids etc. Although it would be nice to have a lab setup like DanU most of us only raise a couple of broods at a time. I used to do between 3-5 feedings and water changes a day and after five days place the fry in a new sterilized tank/bowl.
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  • Offline DanU
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #8 posted: 1 year ago »
I agree with what has already been posted.

The first thing we look at with fry scratching is Ammonia, Nitrites and pH!  Make whatever corrections that are necessary to get them back into proper range.  Next inspect for hydroids.  In our case, well over 90% of the time we find that it is some type of protozoans.  We then use formalin 37% at 1 ml per 10 gallons given every other day for 3 times.  If scratching has not stopped, we will repeat the regime.

With benthic fry such as H. erectus and H. barbouri, we will start the formalin regime prophylacticly on day 1 and repeat as necessary.

Bruce's method (or even variations of it) can work if start the protocol from the beginning.  Once the scratching has started though, you are behind the eight ball and need formalin.  One variation of Bruce's method that I have seen used commercially is to have 2 setups, where every other day or so, a tank is cleaned, drained and refilled and the fry moved to it.  This can work but takes a lot of labor and water.

The problem with most fry tanks is the high stocking density, excess nutrients in water from feeding and the low flow without adequate filtration.  Think of it like this, what would happen to a reef tank if you grossly overfed it, turned the flow down to a trickle and didn't run enough filtration?  The smaller the tank, the faster it can crash!  Excess organics, even when the basic parameters look fine, still creates problems as there is food for microbial life to take off.  Happens even faster the warmer the water is.  ORP and 02 saturation go to crap and besides the fry being stressed they start becoming attacked by the microbial organisms.  Irritation can even be by organisms considered commensual.  Some protozoans such as the ciliate Uronema, very commonly found in highly organic environments, can cause a complete crash of the culture often mimicking the signs of bacterial issues which often crop us as a secondary issue. 

Formalin is tolerated very well by seahorses.  Getting it at the hobby level is getting tougher.  Formalin MS is usually the easiest to find.  Amazon and a couple of other places.  You should also watch out for shipping it in cold weather.  Below around 40 degrees it can turn to Paraformaldehyde which is toxic.  Commercially, many of us order in warm months with quantities to carry us through the cold months.  You can check formalin by pouring it into a clear glass type container.  If the formalin is clear with no crystals on the bottom, you are fine.  If it has turned milky and has a bunch of crystals on the bottom don't use it. 

Also keep it well out of the range of children.  Try not to breathe the fumes and ideally wear gloves. 

Dan
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  • Offline Knap_123
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #9 posted: 1 year ago »
How's this? And how much for 5 gallon fry tank?directions say 1 tsp. Per 10 gallons. So 1/2 for 5 gallon. But read online to modify the dose. 1ml. Per 10 gallons. Or 20 drops per gallon. Because it's only 3% formaldehyde.
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #10 posted: 1 year ago »
As I read it, you have 3% and Dan is specifying dosage for 37% which is 12 1/3 times stronger.
At his dosage of 1 ml/10g then your dosage would need to be 12 ml for a ten g, and therefore 6 ml for a five g, which is just over a teaspoon for the 5g.
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  • Offline DanU
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #11 posted: 1 year ago »
Ray is pretty much on track.  1 ml of 37% formalin in 10 gallons yields 25 ppm.  5 ml (1 tsp) of Formalin 3 in 10 gallons yields 10 ppm.  Therapeutic dosing is considered 15 to 25 ppm. So I would go with 5 ml (1 tsp) in 5 gallons yielding 20 ppm. 

If you are using a typical 5.5 gal tank, it actually holds 4.8 gallons filled to the very top.  Odds are, it isn't filled that high.  So your dosing of 5 ml is probably going to be just a tad over 20 ppm. 

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  • Offline Knap_123
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Re: My babies are scratching

« Reply #12 posted: 1 year ago »
Thanks guys!