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Old 01-07-2006, 12:22 PM   #1
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Valentini Puffer

I got a valentini for Christmas. It was doing fine, eating well, then it just started hanging out topside and then laying around the bottom. It eventually died, within I'd say 20 minutes of the time I noticed it was acting weird. It was eating well the day before, this happened early am.

I tested my water, everything was fine, got a couple damsels to add to the tank and they are doing fine.

I got another valentini puffer. This time I did a very careful acclimation. I floated the bag in the water, then opened it and added 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every five minutes for about 20 min, then removed half the water from the bag and repeated the process.

Yesterday this puffer was eating well and seemed fine, then he found a perch on top of a plastic plant and just stayed there into the evening. Today he was dead.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 15
PH - 8.0 (Aquarium Pharmeceuticals test)
PH - 8.1 (Hagen test kit)
Temp - 77

Acclimation process from liveaquaria.com, their sites says ph should be 8.1-8.4. I have not tested the alkalinity. Their site says 8-12 dkh, but my test kit reads as 105-125.

Any ideas? I don't want to be a fish killer!
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:20 PM   #2
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With new fish, the two most common issues are ammonia poisoning (from transport) and osmotic shock if the salinity was much lower than the tank being acclimated to. Along with that is temp change and dramatic pH increases if the bag was opened too quickly. This is what makes a QT so important. The void environment makes it easily adaptable to vary it's conditions to that of the water the fish was transported in (less the ammonia isses ). The QT can be manipulated as needed and the fish acclimated with less issues and stress.

There is also the possibility of aggression from another animal in the tank... Both tanks you have listed are well (over?) stocked as it is but neither tank from what I can see is a good match for this particular species of fish, especially if in the 15 gal with that damsel.

As for the older addition, again the same applies but a common possibility that comes to mind is the types of foods fed and their storage. Internal baterial infections could result from what your describing. Did the fish have unusual feces or belly buldging?

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Old 01-12-2006, 02:29 PM   #3
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No unusual feces or belly bulging from what I could see/remember.

This is actually a different specialty tank I had set up for that particular fish, not one of the ones I have listed. It was cycled using sand/gravel from my main tank and was running for a few days prior to adding the first fish. I did do ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/ph testing daily on it before deciding it was cycled properly.

I am not adding another valentini puffer to that tank. I have the two very small damsels I added after the first puffer died, to make sure the tank is healthy. I have been testing it regularly, with no ammonia spikes or anything suspect. The only thing I found so far was the low PH (8.0/8.1) I had the water tested at the lfs and I added, just yesterday, a midnight Angel. It's a dwarf and should (according to my book) be able to live in a 20 gallon, which is what I plan to upgrade the tank to eventually, it's a 15 gallon now.

It's so strange that both valentinis died. Both were eating fine and swimming fine. Of course it bugs me to not know for sure what happened, but needless to say, my acclimation procedures have changed since I added the first valentini.
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdellin
was running for a few days prior to adding the first fish.
That actually pretty much sums it up. Puffers no matter the species are increadibley sensitive species and will not tolerate much in the way of new or unstable tanks. Even though you did not detect anything harmful at the time the tests were performed, does not detract from the "newness" of the set up. Puffers should only be added to established tanks. The pH could have been an issue, really depends on the time of day tested and the early AM reading. 8.0-8.1 unto itself will not have been the issue.

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Old 01-13-2006, 02:22 AM   #5
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Thanks Steve. I learn something new with every forum I visit on this site. Unfortunately, that doesn't make me feel better about having failed those two little fishes! Boo Hoo.
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