View Full Version : Pouch Evacuation for Seahorses

05-29-2010, 07:10 AM
Hi Everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has any tips of getting the air bubbles out of the male seahorses pouch? I've had my seahorses for one week now & one of my males (H. Bourbouri) has started to swim upside down when he's not holding onto something. I have spent a couple of hours so far trying to get the air out with a bobby pin as described in some of the articles I've found on the internet & by watching examples on you tube. Maybe I'm a chicken & not applying enough pressure, I'm unsure but I don't want to hurt the little guy either. Anyways any helpful hints or tricks would be very much appreciated. If I'm unsuccessful I may need someone to come & give me a lesson : )


05-29-2010, 04:07 PM
I went through the same thing for about a month and a half. I most likely watched the same vid and read the same articles as you. It does work, you might not be applying enough pressure. I had to do this everyday and eventually there was little air bubbles that would protrude from his skin on his face like a zit. Although i've had seahorses for a while i'm not experienced enough to help you out. Good luck.

05-29-2010, 04:20 PM
Male barbouri are known for this problem more than other horses.
I don't have the problem with any of my other species of seahorses, just the male barb.
When using a bobby pin to open the pouch you have to be sure the seahorse is directly upright so the gas can rise upwards and out.
It takes very little pressure moving upwards along the pouch to evacuate.
You will probably find it easier to use a syringe with an improvised short tip on the end that will open the pouch like the bobby pin, and then squirt water in, flushing the pouch and gas from it.
I do this in a separate container so that anything flushed from the pouch does not go back into the tank, just as a precaution, not that I know it could cause a problem.
If it persists, recommendation is to flush the pouch with Diamox.
However I have none left and am unable to get a vet to prescribe more for me so I'm just flushing with salt water.

05-29-2010, 05:04 PM
This is a pretty nerve wrecking thing to try and do the first couple of times, but once you've figured out how to do it then its not that bad. It's the coordination of massaging the pouch with the right amount of finger pressure and opening it at the same time to let the air escape is the trick.

05-29-2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks so much everyone! I now have a much happier little guy. I was not nearly applying enough pressure before & I don't think I actually found the pouch the first couple of times that I tried. I'm not that coordinated, so I found it much easier without the bobby pin & I just sort of spread the little pouch opening apart with my fingers on one hand & rolled up his belly like toothpaste, with my other hand. Hopefully this does not persist but if it does I now feel much more confident.

Thanks Again,

05-29-2010, 07:37 PM
Great news that you got the bubble out!

Not to hijack the thread or nothing, but do seahorses get this in the wild?
If they do what do they do to get rid of it??

05-29-2010, 07:53 PM
My sister asked me the same thing this morning when I was trying to get the bubbles out....

07-08-2010, 07:27 AM
Are you running a skimmer on the tank? Sometimes micro bubbles can cause this...

07-08-2010, 12:03 PM
Diana, there is no documentation that this actually happens and is no longer considered to be a cause of an inflated pouch by the more knowledgeable people on the org. In fact, there are many many seahorse tanks out there now with microbubbles (for one reason or another) and with no problems of this pouch emphysema (PE).
As mentioned before, it is a very common experience with the barbouri species but in most other species it is much less prevalent.
Present day thoughts are that the pouch inflation is a result of a chemistry imbalance and treatment with Diamox is needed if the condition persists.
See "Working Notes", A guide to seahorse diseases.