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Help Help!! dog face puffer sick!

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nananurse

Active member
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Dec 29, 2004
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25
Location
NEW MEXICO
I bought a dog face puffer 4 days ago. He has been fine and even eating from my hand. Today he is just lying still and breating a little hard with no appetite. He is in a 50 gallon with about 40 lbs of live rock. I use prime to condition my water. My nitrites and ammonia are up to .25 I did a 5 gallon water change with no change in water parameters. What do I need to do?
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Hi nananurse. I would perform a large water change, if you can. You will make a bigger dent in your parameters. How large is the puffer, is there anything else in the tank that may have died creating the ammonia spike? How long has the tank been up? How was he acclimated? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to come up with some possiblities.
 

nananurse

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
My puffer is about 31/2 inches, the tank has been up about 1 month. My salinity is 1.021. I ended up doing 10 gallons more so I did 15 Gallon water change on a 50 gallon tank. I added Stree Zyme. He looks a little better, but my nitrites still show .25
I have a Dr. app so I won't be able to answer your questions for a while I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. Any advice you have will be appreciated! :)
 
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gobie

dave the gobie
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
366
Location
Auburn
for about 3 years I took care of a puffer at the seattle aquarium a few years back. There are a few things people should take in to consideration when keeping these fish.
don't feed them feeders. this gos for all salt water predators. there are too many problems associated with feeding them live feeders. often it is the fact that they are given goldfish this is not a natural diet for them and actually causes their bodies undue internal stress, liver damage, and sometimes fungus which will come from eating infected fish.
2 keep your water clean. this goes with feeding. puffers are messy eaters and expellers. so, good mech filtration and chemical filtration is a must. and salinity should be kept at around 28ppt, 1.021 to 1.020 sg this reduces the chance if ich for which all puffers are prone . i hope this help a little
 

Terry B

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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
162
It sounds like you tank is new and has not cycled yet. It is better to cycle a tank without any fish in it so they are not put at risk. What else is in this tank? You should feed very little until the tank has cycled. You are going to have to continue making lots of water changes. Any trace of ammonia is highly stressful to the fish (as in poison). Mix and aerate your water for 24+ hours before using it. You could add some Poly Filter by Poly Bio Marine to help remove some of the toxins in the water. Keep up the water changes.
If this is a fish only tank without inverts or live rock you can reduce the salinity to help. Can you get some sand from a disease free, cycled SW tank to seed the tank with more good bacteria to remove the ammonia?

Terry B
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
210
Location
Seattle
I have another question that might be helpful. Terry, is it better for someone in this situation to use a de-chlorinator and perform water changes more quickly? Or is it better to do fewer/small water changes with 24hr aged water? Some people dont have much space for mixing water. I mix water in a bucket in my second shower, hehehe.

I have a ro/di unit so I don't think it really matters as much in my case. Obviously, dissolving all of the salt is important, so I let a pump sit in the bucket for an hour before doing a water change myself.
 

nananurse

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
puffer

I put live sand in my tank to help it cycle faster when I put the tank up. Wouldn't you think if I took out 15 gallons of a 50 gallon, you would see a difference in your nitrites and ammonia? There is no difference
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
210
Location
Seattle
It depends on your accuracy of your tests. You changed 10%, then 20% again. That means that 28% -> 14 gallons of you water is new. Therefore if you should see roughly a 1/4 of a reduction in your ppm... I know that I can't tell that much difference in my tests. They aren't that accurate and its hard to read changes unless they are large (orders of magnitude different). Am I right?

In my opinion (which isnt worth much in this community of experts) all you can do is let it sit and hope for the best, or return the puffer to the LFS for a few weeks until your tank finishes cycling.

If the bioload is already stressed, the puffer might introduce enough of a bioload to cause some serious problems. When introducing any fish to any aquarium (well almost any), the resulting increase in bioload will cause a spike in ammonia, nitrites, nitrates (I mini-cycle)... Keep an eye on the levels, if they keep increasing you are going to have to do something. Hopefully, they will be calming down and the tank will finish cycling.

If you have questions about the value of my opinions, please refer to my title:
Ignorant and Oblivious...
 

wrightme43

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Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Do you have a protein skimmer? They increase dissolved oxygen, clean the water, and just generally are a good thing. I got a call today about fish gasping and dieing in saltwater. Went thru a big long list untill I thought of a skimmer. If you have a newly cycling tank with ammonia and your adding dechlor and its warm water, and all this stuff is using o2 the poor fish can suffocate, especially after its gills are being burned with ammonia. And sometimes fish are already damaged from shipping. And its a combo of things that pushes them over the edge. If you dont have a skimmer a power head directed to make the surface of the water rough can help alot. If its too bad see if the fish store will hold him for you. Most of them will, and most of them wont sell you a puffer if you tell them you just set up your tank. For me when I was working at the local fish store, I asked alot of questions if I didnt know the person buying something. It makes a few people mad, but most people appreciate it. Hope it helps you in some way Steve
 

Terry B

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Mar 6, 2004
Messages
162
It would be better to mix and aerate the saltwater for 24+ hours before using it. It takes time for all the salts to dissolve fully and for the water to stablize chemically. Raw saltwater is very irritating to delicate gill tissues and it causes stress for the fish. large water changes will dilute the toxins in the water better than several small water changes. Keep a batch of water mixing at all times now so it will be ready for the next water change. I use a large 44 gallon Rubbermaid container for my water change supply. I keep it mixing and aerated. Can you get some Poly Flter by Poly Bio Marine?

HTH,
Terry B
 

nananurse

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
Reply

My puffer looks better this morning, is there any better set as far as filters and skimmers, he is a very messy eater. I did anpther 10 gallon change this morning and I found a dead snail under the sand that smelled horrible. But after the water change nitrites were still up a bit closer to .10 which is better than .25 and he is swimming around again. If it is the tank cycling is the nitrites going to be like that until it has cycled or will my daily water changes do it. Also with the water changes am I keeping it from cycling?
 

gobie

dave the gobie
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
366
Location
Auburn
i have followed this thread but nowhere near what I wanted to what do you have in your tank? I just read snail, right? here presents a problem. puffers love to snack on snails ,crabs, sessile inverts. this is the reason for the little beak type plates on the front of their mouths. here is a little thought for you you may need to get some product like cycle.
 

nananurse

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
I had one sand sifting snail that stays under the sand. The rest of the tank is live rock and the puffer. Water parameters are great since last water change and I added prime. Puffer is back to normal. Thanks to everyone! I just wonder if I am keeping my tank from cycling by doing the water changes
 

gobie

dave the gobie
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
366
Location
Auburn
yes the water changes are prolonging your cycle of your tank. this is why i suggested to get some stuff to help with the cycling of your tank. this will reduce the stress on your fish, thus prolonging his life. remember the larger the body of water your fish comes from the more sensitive they are to changes.
 

nananurse

Active member
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Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
It says it removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia and detoxifies Nitrite and Nitrate.
It also provides slime coat and it does not mess up your skimmers like some do.
 

nananurse

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
25
Location
NEW MEXICO
yes, but you can also put in the water before adding to your tank.
other than having to do a daily water change do you know how to keep the tank clean with a messy puffer?
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
210
Location
Seattle
Get an awesome skimmer. What kind of protein skimmer do you have? Chemical filtration is usually prefered as a last ditch effort (not an everyday thing).

I only run carbon every once in a while. I'm getting some phosban because some of my carbon leaked phosphate into my tank and caused a cyano algae bloom.
 
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