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Old 02-21-2005, 10:04 PM   #1
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Sick Puffer

I have had my porcupine puffer for nearly a year now. For probably the past month or two he has seemed to have a slime coat on him. He is still eating well and my water parameters seem fine. Does anyone have any ideas on what might be wrong with him or how to treat him.

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Old 02-21-2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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Was there anything new introduced into the tank recently? Excess slime coatings can signify stress due to parasites whether external or a trematode type internal parasite that can cause protazoan diseases (such as brooklynella that's commonly seen in clownfish). Has the puffer lost any weight?
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:23 PM   #3
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He doesnt seem to have lost any weight. i treated him with copper because i thought he might of had ich. ever since i put him back in my main tank he has seemed to have that coat.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:50 PM   #4
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Ich looks like grains of salt. Try to refrain from medicating an animal unless you are positive of the problem it needs to be treated for. Meds are stressful so it's best to try to go without having to. Did the puffer have ich? Were there any new fish put in the tank recently? What other fish live with the puffer? You said the water seems fine. When was the last test done and what were the results?

For right now, he can go back into the hospital tank, but don't medicate with copper. Just simply make sure the temp is stable and maybe add a little garlic in the tank. Kent Marine and Seachem make garlic additives. You can also give him a dip for three minutes in temp appropriate dechlorinated freshwater. I'd like to know the results of each test...ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and specific gravity.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:43 PM   #5
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No new fish have been added recently. he was covered in "grains of salt" they have went away just now left with the slime. I am not positive of the parameters of the last test because i am at school and my mom is taking care of the fish. but when i talked to her yesterday she had the water tested saturday at the fish store i go to and they said everything seemed fined however the PH was a little low and the specific gravity is between 1.019 and 1.02. none of the other fish in the tank have seemed to have been bothered by ich. i have a banded bamboo shark, catshark, cortez ray, snowflake eel, green bird wrasse, and foxface in the tank with him. I have had however a loss of other fish possibly from ich. i was wondering if you think that a UV sterilizer would be useful.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:08 PM   #6
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UV Sterilizers are indiscriminate in the microbes they kill. It may interfer with the bio. Uv Sterilizers are good for very large systems that experience a large turn over in fish.

If the ich is gone and all there's left is the slime coat, he may have picked up a protazoan disease. Again, back in QT and try using Formalin awhile. Do the three minute freshwater bath perhaps twice a week too. Give at least a week or two for treatment.

The SG is ok, though should be a bit more. 1.019 is often used in hospital tanks trying to combat parasites. Evaporation will have the SG where it should be (1.023). pH on the other hand should be buffered to 8.2 - 8.3.

How big is this tank? You have a few big fish or will be big fish. The catsharks are sweet. That's what my avatar is...a banded bamboo catshark that was hatched at the store. The photo was taken less than 24 hours after he was born
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for the helpful info. my mom was going to put some buffer in this week to raise it up. i have a 125 gallon tank and am starting a 50 gallon refugium, as well as 2 fluval 404 and one 304, and a seaclone protien skimmer. yeah both of the sharks i would probably guess are 18 inches long. i got them close to that size. it is like a feeding frenzy when i feed them. its the best part.
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Old 02-22-2005, 10:03 PM   #8
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Plan on setting up a 300+ gallon tank sometime in the near future? You'll need it for the sharks and the ray when they outgrow the 125. That may not take all that long for them to do so. Those sharks get 3 to 4 feet each. I don't know the exact adult size for the ray, but I do know they get large too. Keep a sharp eye on ammonia levels. Sharks are quite sensitive.

That little catshark in my picture started eating like a champ right away. Sucking down squid like there was no tomorrow...lol. I can imagine more than one when dinner is served...lol. Good luck with them. Hey...a tank over 300 gallons would be a nice addition. If I had the room, I'd do it. One of my customers has a 1,000 gallon marine tank. That's insane. That's like having your own dive in tank to swim around with your fish. LOL.
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Old 02-22-2005, 10:26 PM   #9
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I was planning on getting a large tank but was hoping to wait till i was on my own. so hopefully they can handle a couple of years in there if not i might be buying it sooner. will the puffer get over the protozan disease if i just let him be and give him a freshwater dip twice a week without putting him in the QT and treating him with the meds.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:08 PM   #10
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The puffer really should go into a QT. It's still just an educated guess to what he has. The only real way to know for sure would be to send some type of bio samples from the fish (like tissue or excrement) to a lab for testing. Otherwise it's all just a guess for the most part in this hobby. Which makes it even more important to isolate any animal suspected of being ill away from healthy stock. You want to avoid infecting healthy animals. So, the isolation is to pretect the other fish. The Formalin is for the possible disease. The freshwater bath is to help rid any remaining external parasites. There may be other parasites on him that you don't know about. If he does have a disease, he will not get better on his own.

Diseases caused by parasites can be really difficult to treat with any kind of medication. That slothiness may or may not be caused by parasites but given the fact he was infected with ich, he may have gotten ill from it. The possibility is there. If the slothiness comes from just being stressed becuse of the ich outbreak and not diseased, the Formalin will help stop anything before it starts. You may have caught something early enough to make it easier and quicker to erradicate. Watch the puffer's breathing and any signs of weakness in swimming.

When and what was the last fish introduced into the tank?
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The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
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