Pregnant Seahorse or Gas Bubble Disease?

Apachee

New member
How can you tell if a seahorse has gas bubble disease or if he is in fact pregnant? I have an 8month old erectus male that for the last couple of weeks has been seeming like he is pregnant and staying curled up around the top of my heater. I have been thinking that he was staying up there to be better able to feed....by the way, he has been eating great....same appetite as usual...his coloration has been good (if he ever gets stressed or scared he turns a real dark brown, and his markings go away) he has not been doing that. Thinking he is pregnant, we set up a maternity tank to move him over and that is when I noticed that he floats and doesn't swim down into the water. After reading up to see if this was normal I discovered that seahorses can get gas bubble disease....so many different things printed about it...I am confused. By my calculations from when he started nesting....21 days will be in 4 more days. BUT...if he is sick and not pregnant then I would like to try to help him. I have raised seahorses in the past(about 10 years ago) and only dealt with females mostly...so this is all new to me but I am devoted to learning. By the way, while reading up on pregnant frys is where I first heard of the disease and it said during pregnancy if some of the babies die while in the pouch it can cause gas to build up in the pouch and they will float up to the top like a bobber. When I read that warning bells and whistles went off...but then when you disturb him he does submerge and act irritated that you disturbed him. Please help! I'm so confused!!! What is normal and what is not?
 

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mtc1966

New member
you can take the heater out shouldn't be needed.i have not bred erectus but that last pic looks way over extended to me. lets see what the breeders have to say.
 

rayjay

New member
I agree, heater not needed and from the picture, the bloat is excessive and not typical of pregnancy that I've ever seen.
If you want to be more sure, you can candle the seahorse using a high powered light source to see if you can see egg/fry in the pouch.
I doubt that will be the case and you will have to immediately open the pouch to release the gas.
What temperature are you keeping the water at?
Have you read the links at the bottom of "My Thoughts on Seahorse Keeping" written by experienced hobbyists who post here and on the "org" as well as probably the most respected seahorse breeder in North America?
 

Apachee

New member
thanks so much for your help...it took a few tries by me and then I quickly seen where I was gonna need an extra set of hands. I grabbed a friend and using caution not to hurt him was able to get him to open his pouch and air released. Was only able to get 90 percent out tho....I didn't want to hurt him. Will he be ok if I wait until tommorrow to repeat your procedure? His pouch seems to be really stretchout and I fear that I will hurt him. Oh yeah...no eggs or babies. also, thanks so very much for the links at the bottom...most helpful and appreciated. my tank temp was being kept at 76 but after reading I have been slowly adjusting it down to make it between 68 and 72. When I had seahorses before I used to keep my temp between 74 and 76 and my ladies did fine for little more than 3 years until I had to get rid of my tank due to relocating from one coast to the other...I feared they would not make the trip well....and that was 10 years ago too. Out of those 3 years I only lost one seahorse and I fear he was sick when I got him. I agree seahorses are very sensitive and highly susepticle to an awful lot of things. I feel if you pay attention to their needs there is nothing like it tho. On behalf of my little guy at this end THANK YOU!
 

rayjay

New member
If you can't get all the air out by opening the pouch, then flushing the pouch with clean salt water (same temp, pH and s.g. as tank) using a syringe and cannula (I use 18mm, same as I use for forced feeding) should accomplish the task.
 
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