Figure 8s surface swimming

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Since this board has been up, we have found there are several questions that routinely get asked in order to help diagnose problems. If you can have that information to begin with in your post, we'll be able to help right away (if we can!) without having to wait for you to post the info we need.

1) Your water parameters - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates and salinity (if appropriate). This is by far the most important information you can provide! Do not answer this with "Fine" "Perfect" "ok", that tells us nothing. We need hard numbers.

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants. Include algae eaters, plecos, everything. We need to know what you have and how big the tank is.

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank (examples: Cycle, Amquel, salt, etc)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so. Sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it? If you don't know what cycling is read this: Fishless Cycling Article and familiarize yourself with all the information. Yes. All of it.

We want to help, and providing this information will go a LONG way to getting a diagnosis and hopeful cure that much faster.

While you wait for assistance:
One of the easiest and best ways to help your fish feel better is clean water! If you are already on a regular water change schedule (50% weekly is recommended) a good step to making your fish more comfortable while waiting for diagnosis/suggestions is to do a large water change immediately. Feel free to repeat daily or as often as you can, clean water is always a good thing! Use of Amquel or Prime as a dechlor may help with any ammonia or nitrite issues, and is highly recommended.

Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
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MasonPaulUk
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:41 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by MasonPaulUk »

Hi Puffer forum :)

I'm a new Figure 8 puffer owner, with a few years experience with keeping "regular" tropical fishes but I really need you collective help with these new guys :(

Answers to the red rules are:
7.5PH / 180 GH / 0 Ammonia / 0 Nitrite / 20 Nitrates / unknown salinity (new hydrometer in the post) / Temp around 26C
Tank c95 litres, housing 3 juvenile figure 8s since picking them up from local store 2 weeks ago, plants Java fern and some java moss.
Fed on shelled tiger prawn, clam, ramshorn snails, frozen bloodworm.
Water changes 50% weekly, though since experiencing this problem 30% each day for the last 3 days.
On Sunday I introduced two large pinches of Marine salt (OceanReef) into the mix before waiting then adding it during the weekly water change.
They are currently being treated with API Primafix for white fuzz on one of their bodies (hangover from the condition at the store), they are on week 2 of treatment for worms (1.5mm per week for 4 weeks).
Aquariums set up for around 6 weeks now, i take readings every other day with dips, and once a week with liquid kits.

So everything has been fine until 3 days ago, when I noticed the smallest of the 3 circling at the top of tank, a few hours later i noticed that the other two joined in. This behaviour is completely different to that of when they expect feeding as they pay no attention to me and just circle around at a 45degree angle with mouth on surface of water.

I immediately added a airstone and have run this constantly during the day. I also changed 30% of their water, and waited thinking it might be to do with the oxygen in the water (ive set my outflow to the aquarium wall to reduce the flow as it seemed too powerful for the pufferS). They seemed to react normally but then by the late evening the behaviour came back. I carried out a further 30% change before bed and tested the water.


I had thought it had resolved itself with the water change however they started doing it again, ive conducted further 30% water change daily since (day 3 now), this evening they are pretty much at the surface constantly. I contacted my local store and was told I should start introducing marine salt now, therefore I added half a cup of marine salt with my water change today (leaving it to dissolve over a number of hours). This currently seems to have no affect.

Im really worried about them but stuck as to what to do? Nothing ive read suggests any other solution than those i have already done? If you can please help.

Thanks all
MasonPaulUk
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:41 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by MasonPaulUk »

So update: all three have been mouth to surface for the last 6hrs, I caved in and changed c50% water and they are now swimming freely and investigating as normal... though this seems to be the trend and fear ill wake up to the same cycle again tomorrow :/
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Pufferpunk
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Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by Pufferpunk »

Hi, I swear, this sounds absolutely crazy! I've been doing this for a very long time & have never heard anything like this. What liquid test kits are you using?
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
MasonPaulUk
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:41 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by MasonPaulUk »

Hi Pufferpunk thanks for you reply. I know right its so odd

My liquid test kit is AP Freshwater Master test kit and my sticks are API 5in1.

My other two tanks of tropical are absolutely fine (same tap water. I can try and link photos/video if i can work out how :)

Edit: Todays update;
- AM they were behaving as normal apart from the smaller one which is spending c50% of its time with mouth on surface. by the afternoon all of them were on the top again.
- 7.4PH / 0.25ppm Ammonia / 0 ppm Nitrite / 20 - 40 ppm Nitrates (tap is around 20ppm nitrates here) fresh reading using liquid kit.
- conducted a c50% water change and behaviour returning to normal again for now...

Edit: 1st July;
So it would appear for now things are back to normal, no signs of distress since i did that 50% wc. Weird that it went on for 4 days, despite c50% wc daily? Though I have stopped with the Pimafix?
Last edited by MasonPaulUk on Thu Jul 01, 2021 12:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 32150
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by Pufferpunk »

Maybe it was the Pimafix then. Do your other tanks have 0.25 ammonia in them, too?
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
MasonPaulUk
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:41 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by MasonPaulUk »

They usually read about 0.

So things had gone back to normal after around 5 days of 50% WC, However....

Yesterday they started again! :*( I changed 50% water, and this morning back to the top i did 30%, and within 2 hours they are back at the top! Im about to do another 50% change, its madness.

I have since stopped with the Pimafix as the white spot from the shop cleared up so it cant be that. It cant be the dewormer as this happened before I put their weekly dose in.

The only common thing I can tell is the feeding of "dried FD Snails" these dried snails seem more like marine ones with hard shells, my local store told me they would be fine for Fig8 however when i opened the pack its the very hard shelled variety you find shells of on UK beaches they pick at them but as they are so hard they really cant get into them like the live Ramshorns i was feeding. :/ Could it be these dried snails are polluting my water?
User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 32150
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by Pufferpunk »

How is the O2 exchange in there? Plenty of surface agitation?
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
MasonPaulUk
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:41 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Re: Figure 8s surface swimming

Post by MasonPaulUk »

So I had stopped with the new "dried snails" food and the issue hadnt come back I thought yay thats got to be it but.. I did my weekly maintenance today, tank water didnt look as clean as it usually does so did around 70% WC as on has some cloudiness to one of its eyes. Added in some API Melafix and tap safe. All seemed well, but then I was about to go to bed tonight and turn around and all three are up at the top again :*( its killing me :(

Immediately did a 20% WC turned on the airstone and changed the outfloor to spray along the entire top of the water.

As you ask about the 02 exchange and surface agitation id say, maybe that is the issue. I had for a number of days this week, along side the not giving them those dried snails, changed the outflow spray bar to go across the tank. I had noticed the flow was a bit strong for them and they didnt swim around as freely as normal but i thought it see how they got on. I changed it back this afternoon to face the side of the tank to reduce the flow, and BAM tonight they are on the top again! With the heat too and the outflow not breaking up the surface of the water could that really be the problem?

My other two tanks have the outflow at the same position, facing the glass to reduce flow, and to not disturb floating plants and none of those fish have a problem (granted some are Gourami).
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