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lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 07:15 PM

New Puffer struggling
1~What type of fish is afflicted? my South American Puffer... he is laying on the ground and it almost looks like he is panting. He isn't laying on his side or anything.. just his tummy..
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Ammonia is a little below .25
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? 29gal.. cycled by two goldfish I ended up fish sitting for but I got the puffers earlier this afternoon
4~What type of filtration are you using? Its a HOB Whisper.. not sure the numbers
5~How many fish are in the tank? Just two SA puffers
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time? I did it this morning before I picked up the puffers
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? 6 hours... Left them floating for 15-20min.. added some tank water and let them acclimate another 15min
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? Nope
9A~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? I fed them some bloodworms when I got home... one ate like a pig the other didn't have anything to do with them but I can't tell which one is on the ground now

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 07:15 PM

*goes to check nitrites and nitrates*

Jchillin 04-26-2005 07:20 PM

Just a thought lyquid, since I'm no expert on puffers.

You are aware that puffers prefer a slighlty brackish tank?
Most fish are shy as all heck when introduced to a new Rams took two days to get out of hiding and start eating.

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 07:27 PM

South Americans are the few FW species of puffers

pH is higher than I thought- 7.8
and the nitrites are a little less than .3

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 07:33 PM

Hehe i posted so quickly cuz I didn't want to forget the numbers

When i put them in the tank they explored for a while and seemed to be doing pretty well, now he is just laying there on the gravel panting

makes me sad =o(

Jchillin 04-26-2005 08:05 PM


Just a thought lyquid, since I'm no expert on puffers.
I told ya I'm no puffer expert. I didn't know there was a FW I know.

Was he active at the LFS? If he was, then he may just be very nervous...unlike the other one. Give him some time and keep an eye on him.

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 08:07 PM

He isn't swimming at all... and when he tries to move I can tell its a HUGE struggle for him

The fish store said they had been there for 3 days and when he picked em out of the tank he was like "Wow, these are too good looking fish"

I would expect them to hide n stuff but not being able to swim really scares me

Hehe, there are several FW puffers, but most need large tanks and personally aren't as cute hehe

thatmagicguy 04-26-2005 10:44 PM

Hi,,I'm confused about a few things,,,you said, "How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? 29gal.. cycled by two goldfish I ended up fish sitting for but I got the puffers earlier this afternoon "....You still didn't say whether the tank is actually cycled or how long it has been set up,,you said you cycled it with the goldfish,,,but how long were they in there?

The thing with puffers,,,,the thing with many fish,,,is,,,that if the tank is still cycling,,and your slightly elevated numbers indicate this,,,,fish bought from the lfs have been through a very stressful regimen,,,,and wild fish, like puffers,,are especially prone to stress related problems in shipping, will do badly if placed into a tank that is not stable.

FW puffers are collected in fresh water,,they are kept in various holding facilities as they make their way through wholesalers to your store. Many people along the way feel they need salt,,as some posters have shown. Along with this they are medicated by who knows what,,and how much.

If your tank is unstable with fluctuating ammonia, nitrites and other things,,then your new puffers will be less than comfortable. I would suggest doing slow gradual water changes almost constantly until the water parameters are zero. Also you said you fed them bloodworms and you've only had them for 6 hours. it's always a good thing to let fish settle in for at least 24 hours before feeding them,,heavy feedings further add to stress.

In newer tanks it is best to start with small hardy and sturdy fish like barbs or some of the larger tetras,,head and tail lights come to mind,,or black tetras. Getting wild caught oddballs is usually not a good thing and they seldom do well. Good luck, Bill

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 10:57 PM

Its a 29gal that has been cycled for about a month with goldfish that my friend took back yesterday. I did a water change last night

The other puffer is doing wonderfully, and they were doing so well in the beginning, that is why I fed them- one ate the other didn't

In the fish store I noticed one was not as vibrantly colored as the other (the first store had them for 3 days)

Because these are FW puffers, I would rather not add salt to the tank.

Ive been keeping fish for a while, and did a lot of research on these puffers before I bought them, however I didn't expect to see them in the store and wasn't as prepared as I should have been. I have a 75gal full of barbs, tetras etc etc... but this tank was set aside specifically for these puffers

lyquidphyre 04-26-2005 11:44 PM

I just noticed something- his little dorsal fin is missing. I don't know if it was there when I brought him home or not. Because that fin is kind of small anyways (and when it moves it looks almost nonexistant) I don't know if was like that at the LFS or not

Would this add to all the stress as well?? I feel so bad, i hope he pulls through

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