Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

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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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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 4:30 pm

Not brackish at all. They come from African rivers (not estuaries) and lakes. Start reducing the salt gradually. Doing it too quickly will kill your beneficial bacteria. I'm not sure how to tell you how slowly to do this, exactly, since you're not measuring specific gravity or salinity. Someone else will have to help. If you ever use salt again, pleeeeease be careful! Variation like that, from 1 to 3 tablespoons, will definitely kill your cycle and can hurt your fish. You should be using a refractometer or hydrometer to check your salt levels. Did you work up to this level gradually when you first switched from cichlids to puffers?

Since your salt levels have been varying and your tank wasn't really cycled to begin with, I'd suggest checking your water parameters again. What kind of tests are you using - liquid or dip strip?
The level of salt has been consistent. When I say 1-3, I guess I was implying the range of what people typically put in when they have a sick fish.

Also I don't know how it was implied my tank wasn't cycled to begin with. It was. As far as low nitrates, the color "light blue" and the color "light blue-purpley-blueish-sorta-kinda" on the API test kit (drops) is a difficult one to discern, so I guess I'll call it a .1 ppm.

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 4:33 pm

Pufferpunk wrote:What was his favorite food before he stopped eating? Soak that food for a couple of hours in crushed garlic cloves & try feeding him again. After you get him eating, keep using the garlic soak & add the Jungle Parasite Clear to the soak.
Interesting. Will minced garlic in a can work? Should the food (krill) get soggy with it?

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Pufferpunk » Sat May 26, 2012 4:52 pm

If the ONLY ingredient is garlic, then yes. I'd use some water, too. If there's garlic juice in that can, then use that.

The reason folks questioned whether your tank was cycled or not, is because an established system shows nitrate. It comes from the breakdown of ammonia/nitrite.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 5:40 pm

Pufferpunk wrote:If the ONLY ingredient is garlic, then yes. I'd use some water, too. If there's garlic juice in that can, then use that.

The reason folks questioned whether your tank was cycled or not, is because an established system shows nitrate. It comes from the breakdown of ammonia/nitrite.
Yup, I know. A low level is a low level though. All the aquariums I have are at the same low nitrate level, including my 125 gallon...difficult to portray all this on a forum! Tried to be as detailed as possible in OP. Overall, I'm just freaking out over the white spot on his back. It's convex shaped, so it's almost like it's coming out of him.

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by J-P » Sat May 26, 2012 5:46 pm

that sounds bacterial. Kind of like a pimple. There have been many people that have has similar situations.

Keep that water quality super clean. 50% daily changes with carbon isn't unheard of.

I know I may be over reaching here, but I'd lance that. Before you do wait a bit until others chime in.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Nuclear_Glitter » Sat May 26, 2012 5:57 pm

The NitrAte test results aren't purple, or blue, that's the nitrite ones. Nitrate is the one with two liquids, and when you test for it, you must first shake the holy crap out of the bottles, then put liquid 1 in. Then you have to wait 30 seconds (NO LESS, AT ALL) and then put liquid 2 in, or else it won't register, at all. The results for for the nitrAte test are yellow to red.

Please re-test everything for us. Shake the crap out of the bottle before putting the drops into the test tubes.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by LilGreenPuffer » Sat May 26, 2012 6:00 pm

The level of salt has been consistent. When I say 1-3, I guess I was implying the range of what people typically put in when they have a sick fish.

Also I don't know how it was implied my tank wasn't cycled to begin with. It was. As far as low nitrates, the color "light blue" and the color "light blue-purpley-blueish-sorta-kinda" on the API test kit (drops) is a difficult one to discern, so I guess I'll call it a .1 ppm.
Didn't you say you cycled your tank by using water from another tank? That doesn't cycle a tank.
Aquarium has been set up for a few months now. Never actually got cycled, since the water came from my 125 gallon.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 6:09 pm

LilGreenPuffer wrote:
The level of salt has been consistent. When I say 1-3, I guess I was implying the range of what people typically put in when they have a sick fish.

Also I don't know how it was implied my tank wasn't cycled to begin with. It was. As far as low nitrates, the color "light blue" and the color "light blue-purpley-blueish-sorta-kinda" on the API test kit (drops) is a difficult one to discern, so I guess I'll call it a .1 ppm.
Didn't you say you cycled your tank by using water from another tank? That doesn't cycle a tank.
Aquarium has been set up for a few months now. Never actually got cycled, since the water came from my 125 gallon.
The water and filter were from an already established tank. This was also all long before my puffer got close to the tank. I only typed that out because I simply wanted to answer all the questions in the big pink box as best as possible, since many people do not bother at all.

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 6:31 pm

Nuclear_Glitter wrote:The NitrAte test results aren't purple, or blue, that's the nitrite ones. Nitrate is the one with two liquids, and when you test for it, you must first shake the holy crap out of the bottles, then put liquid 1 in. Then you have to wait 30 seconds (NO LESS, AT ALL) and then put liquid 2 in, or else it won't register, at all. The results for for the nitrAte test are yellow to red.

Please re-test everything for us. Shake the crap out of the bottle before putting the drops into the test tubes.
I got my a's and i's mixed up. Here's the results for your viewing pleasure.
http://i.imgur.com/TgOa8.jpg

One of them is from another tank, which has been cycled for years.

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Nuclear_Glitter » Sat May 26, 2012 6:34 pm

Fhkpffr wrote:
Nuclear_Glitter wrote:The NitrAte test results aren't purple, or blue, that's the nitrite ones. Nitrate is the one with two liquids, and when you test for it, you must first shake the holy crap out of the bottles, then put liquid 1 in. Then you have to wait 30 seconds (NO LESS, AT ALL) and then put liquid 2 in, or else it won't register, at all. The results for for the nitrAte test are yellow to red.

Please re-test everything for us. Shake the crap out of the bottle before putting the drops into the test tubes.
I got my a's and i's mixed up. Here's the results for your viewing pleasure.
http://i.imgur.com/TgOa8.jpg

One of them is from another tank, which has been cycled for years.
Did you wait the 30 seconds (minimum) before putting liquid two in, after liquid one, and shake the bottles. Nitrates will not register in the tubes unless the directions are followed. Plenty of people thought theirs were at 0, and weren't. Also, what's the expiration date on the test kit?

I am not trying to be rude, or cause problems, I am just trying to clear everything up so we can help you properly.

Thanks for your time.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by puffykid » Sat May 26, 2012 6:37 pm

You said that you added the water and filter pad in before you put in the fahaka, how long was the time between?
If it was more then a few days you got to feed the bacteria by putting in fish food.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 6:49 pm

Did you wait the 30 seconds (minimum) before putting liquid two in, after liquid one, and shake the bottles. Nitrates will not register in the tubes unless the directions are followed. Plenty of people thought theirs were at 0, and weren't. Also, what's the expiration date on the test kit?

I am not trying to be rude, or cause problems, I am just trying to clear everything up so we can help you properly.

Thanks for your time.
I PROMISE I waited the 30 seconds. I will make a video of me doing it next, if it means getting some more help and suggestions.

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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Pufferpunk » Sat May 26, 2012 6:59 pm

I think you've gotten quite a bit of help here. :)
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Nuclear_Glitter » Sat May 26, 2012 7:26 pm

First, I am curious. Why was your fahaka in a 29 gallon? Also, why is it in the 65 gallon now, instead of a bigger tank?

I would assume the scratching your fish was doing at first was because of the salt you were adding. Your fahaka is going to need really clean water to get better of course. You should begin addressing the IP issue, order the jungle parasite fizz tabs if you need to, but those are what will helps with the IPs. As already has been suggested to you soak the food with garlic and the IP meds.

Stop feeding the fish krill, and use something else. Krill can cause lockjaw. Order a vitamin supplement such as vitachem and start adding a few drops of that to your treatment food as well. It will help out the puffers immune system. Begin treating with melafix again.

Does the spot seem at all fuzzy, or to be spreading at all?

Do 20% water changes daily, that way the fish is getting clean water and has a better chance of healing.
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Re: Fahaka Puffer--quite sick.

Post by Fhkpffr » Sat May 26, 2012 8:00 pm

puffykid wrote:You said that you added the water and filter pad in before you put in the fahaka, how long was the time between?
If it was more then a few days you got to feed the bacteria by putting in fish food.
There were 12 african cichlids in the water about 5 minutes prior to me putting the puffer in. The same day I had decided african cichlids were boring, and the issue with my puffer provided perfect motivation to bring all the cichlids to my LFS for store credit.

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