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Old 09-16-2005, 01:59 AM   #1
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Brown spot on Stars & Stripes puffer....question about i

I noticed yesterday that by the puffers mouth there is a brown patch of skin, darker than the rest. I didn't notice this at the LFS, but I could have missed it I guess.

I'm worried however that it may be a disease. What do you guys think?

I've had him in my tank for 4 days now.
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Old 09-16-2005, 11:28 AM   #2
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Is the fish in the main or a QT?

Please provide any additional details about the puffers behavior, however slight...

Breathing, overall color, appetite, swimming agility, activeness, slime coat, stringy/white feces, thin/bloated etc...

If possible, answer as many of these as possible.

1. How long have you had the fish? Do you know if it was wild caught, or tank raised?
2. How long has the fish been in the tank? What are the tank mates? Any aggression?
3. Is the fish eating? If so what does it eat?
4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using?
5. Is the fish showing any physical signs of disease, grain of salt size spots, discoloration, ragged fins, misting or spots on the fins, cuts, cloudy eyes, etc?
6. Is the fish "flashing" (scratching or rubbing on rocks, decorations or substrate)?
7. How is the fish acting? Is it swimming around, or just hovering in one spot or corner of the tank?
8. Did you use quarantine? If so for how long and did you have a need to treat for any ailments? Is it in qt now? Are you currently treating with any medication(s)?
9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated.
10. What size system? What type of filtration do you use? Do you have any live rock or sand?
11. Do you use any additives? Have you used any sort of meds in the main tank?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 09-16-2005, 02:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Is the fish in the main or a QT?
Main tank

Please provide any additional details about the puffers behavior, however slight...
swims around like normal, healthy

Breathing, overall color, appetite, swimming agility, activeness, slime coat, stringy/white feces, thin/bloated etc...
Seems normal. I haven't noticed anything you've listed here.


If possible, answer as many of these as possible.

1. How long have you had the fish? Do you know if it was wild caught, or tank raised?
Today is day 5. I do not know if it was caught wild or tank raised.

2. How long has the fish been in the tank? What are the tank mates? Any aggression?
In the tank for 5 day. There is 1 lionfish and 3 damsels. No aggression.

3. Is the fish eating? If so what does it eat?
Yes. Frozen krill.

4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using?
Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - .1-.3, Nitrate - 5, SPG is 1.023I'm using a Nutrifin kit

5. Is the fish showing any physical signs of disease, grain of salt size spots, discoloration, ragged fins, misting or spots on the fins, cuts, cloudy eyes, etc?
No, none of these other than a darker splotch by the mouth.

6. Is the fish "flashing" (scratching or rubbing on rocks, decorations or substrate)?
No

7. How is the fish acting? Is it swimming around, or just hovering in one spot or corner of the tank?
It's been swimming around pretty normally.

8. Did you use quarantine? If so for how long and did you have a need to treat for any ailments? Is it in qt now? Are you currently treating with any medication(s)?
No, and no.

9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated.
Brought it home from the fish store with the lionfish. Floated in bag in tank for 20 minutes. Then introduced to the main tank. These were my first two fish (other than the damsels used for the cycling) and they were in the same tank at the LFS so I did not QT. The puffer did however, poke holes in it's bag while it was floating in the tank.

10. What size system? What type of filtration do you use? Do you have any live rock or sand?
120gallon tank, 2 cascade 1500 canister filters (w/biomedia balls), no live rock or sand.

11. Do you use any additives? Have you used any sort of meds in the main tank?
No additives other than some bacteria and liquid gravel vac during after a water change. The last water change was 7 days ago (10%). No meds.

Cheers
Steve
Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-16-2005, 05:21 PM   #4
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How long has the tank been established for? Your Nitrites should be 0 once the cycle completes. What is your pH reading?
It sounds like the tank may still be in the cycle stage. please let us know. Thanks

Mike
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using?
Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - .1-.3, Nitrate - 5, SPG is 1.023 I'm using a Nutrifin ki

9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated.
Brought it home from the fish store with the lionfish. Floated in bag in tank for 20 minutes. Then introduced to the main tank. These were my first two fish (other than the damsels used for the cycling) and they were in the same tank at the LFS so I did not QT. The puffer did however, poke holes in it's bag while it was floating in the tank.
The bold text are most likely your main issues. Nitrite greatly limits the fish's ability to gain O2 from the water. You need to do several water changes to get that as near zero as possible. A puffer in particular is especially sensitive to water quality and will not suffer it for long.

Acclimation must be done carefully. Fish as with most marine animals are extremely sensitive to changes in pH and salinity. Floating the bag for 15 min before opening stabilizes temp and helps the pH. Next and quite important is the salinity. Many LFS will keep their salinities on the lower side to save $$ and ease on acclimation stress albeit not really low enough for that. When acclimating, it's often important to check the salinity of the transport water. If it's a close match to the tank it's going into, all the better. If much lower it presents a good sized problem. Fish can tolerate quick drops in salinity but have a very stressful time attempting to osmoregulate quick changes upward. It can cause a fair amount of damage and sometimes leads to death. This is where a QT comes in handy especially. The QT can be easily manipulated to match the incoming fishs current salinity and allow for a smooth transition. The SW can then be slowly manipulated upwards over a period of days which is much less stressful on the fish. Not to mention the fish will be in a tank it can adjust to easily without the added stress of "the community" and if necessary is in an isolted space where treatment (if needed) is easily administered without delay and even more stress of recapture.

You will need to observe the puffer for a little while to see if the acclimation and nitrite are the issue or a parasite problem. The water changes will help but be sure the new SW is well aged/aerated for a day before use. If there are no inverts in the tank ( you said no live rock or sand.), don't be afraid to drop the salinity some as well. Wouldn't hurt to call the LFS to see what salinity they keep their tanks at and how it's measured.

Cheers
Steve
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