Saturday, 26 May 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Just a word of warning to folk to keep a vigilant eye on temperatures at this time of year.

Now that the summer days are finally upon us (hope I've not just jinxed it!), we need to keep an eye on our tank temps to avoid any problems for our seahorses.

Increased temperatures in tanks cause problems for a number of reasons:

  • Higher temperatures provide a better breeding ground for bacteria in the tank. For example, the Vibrio sp. increases at just 74* and starts to become more infectious at this temperature.
  • The dissolved oxygen within tanks lowers as temps get higher
  • Evaporation

So, what can we do about it?

Well, to try and keep the temperature down, if you can't afford a chiller;

  • Remove the lid from the tank if possible
  • Use a desktop fan aimed at the top of the water (obviously make sure the fan is in a safe position where it can't fall in the water)
  • Reduce your photo period

Some people do freeze bottles of RO water and place these in the tank. I personally don't like this method as its hard to control the rate of defrosting and thus constant temperature.

Oxygen can be increased in the tank by adding additional airlines, powerheads (make sure inlets are safely covered to avoid trapped tails) or positioning spray bars to increase surface agitation.

Evaporation needs to be very carefully monitored as you may need to top up your tank every day or more frequently. A top up unit is perfect at this time of year!

Any of the above going unchecked for a day or two can cause severe problems for seahorses and its usually at this time of year when we see more problems with bacteria related issues.

Remember, prevention is better than cure! 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Ich Outbreak!

Computer problems have prevented me updating my blog recently and updates may be fairly infrequent until I get a new computer.

What a nightmare the last couple of days have been after discovering our clownfish covered in what appears to be ich.  This is in the new seahorse tank too, so I'm feeling pretty fed-up and angry with myself about the whole thing.  Although I added some macro to the tank this week, I had FW dipped it and as the same macro is in other tanks that aren't showing signs of infestation, I can only conclude that the cause is actually pajama cardinals that were added to the tank around 2 months ago.  Everyone else in the tank has been with me for years.

At the moment, the seahorses aren't showing any signs although I believe that the first place ich attacks with seahorses is their gills, which would obviously be devastating.  So, the seahorses have been moved to a 25 gallon tank whilst treatment begins.  The clownfish has been moved to a tank of his own where we are treating him fairly aggressively.  He's handling the treatment well so far.  I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with the tank at the moment but my options are to leave it fallow for a three month period or treat the whole tank.  

I'm used to treating seahorses for common issues associated with them but not with clownfish. The most effective treatment for ich is not suitable for seahorses so that adds to the dilemma!

Here is a picture of him when he was moved to QT.  He looks pretty bad, doesn't he!

***And in Other News***
Everyone else is doing great.  We're obviously having to be extra careful not to contaminate any of the other tanks so there's additional sterilizing, etc going on right now.

It looks like my little dwarf that I was hoping was pregnant isn't as we haven't had any babies and he's still looking rather rotund!

Here are some pictures that I took this week of various broods......I hope you like them :)

We did have a huge die off of the youngest brood.  I added live macro to the fry tank and soon after this we started losing between 7 - 10 babies almost every day.  As soon as I removed the macro, the deaths stopped almost instantly.  Of course, thinking about it logically, the macro provides a host to pathogenic bacteria to live and thrive.  Fingers crossed that we have now seen an end of the deaths!

6 weeks old

6 weeks old

8 months old - my favourite.  I think I might keep her.
4 month olds

8 months old
4 month olds

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