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Lost My First Puffer, Diagnostic Help

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:01 pm
by ThatPufferGirl
Hello everyone, I just lost my first puffer yesterday. His name was Petey and he was an Amazon puffer. I had only had him for about three months but I loved that little fish very much. I just lost him very abruptly yesterday and I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what could have happened. Nothing will bring Petey back but some answers would be helpful. Thank you.

So, at first I had a 10 gallon tank that, at first, only had a banded log sucker in it. His name is Marvin. I had Marvin in that brand new tank for about a month, because I wanted to be sure the tank was good and cycled before I had gotten a pufferfish in there. The day I was going to get Petey, I had tested the water parameters, and they were exactly what an Amazon puffer needed. But I even brought in a water sample into my local tropical fish store, so they could test it, just to make extra sure. I had gotten Marvin and Petey from the exact same shop. They spent a short 2 weeks together in the small 10 gallon, which was obviously temporary until I could set up my 29 gallon tank for a more permanent home.

So once I got that 29 gallon tank set up, I cycled it for a week and a half, it had about 6 adult plants in there, and then I went ahead and put Petey and Marvin in there. Both had had a really good appetite. I fed Marvin little bottom feeder pellets and gave Petey a bit of frozen blood worms for a good two weeks before I started feeding them every other day, and even gave Petey form freeze dried krill to munch on once a week to keep his beak down. I had gotten 3 clown loaches from another very reputable tropical fish store, that I also made sure treated their fish before selling them. The first fish store I got Petey from I had to wait as well because they treated their puffers for internal parasites. I had those five in there for a while. Petey was a very kind fish, he never nipped at other fish's fins, and I watched for signs of stress on Petey to make sure the other fish were treated him well. All was good.

Then I got three rosy barbs from the same store I got the loaches from to complete my tank. About a week after that is when Petey suddenly got sick. And I mean like in a day. I had fed all of the fish the day before, and when I went to check on everyone the next day, I couldn't find Petey. And he always came up to the glass to say hi. That's when I found him on the ground, motionless and completely emaciated. I didn't get why he was so skinny, I physically saw his stomach get a bit pudgy after every time I fed the fish. Then I thought maybe he had some internal parasites since puffers were so prone to getting them, I had made sure I had a box of the API general parasite cure on hand. So I dosed my big tank, put some of the tank water in a bucket along with Petey while I rinsed out and set up the 10 gallon to quarantine Petey. I dosed the 10 gallon with API general parasite cure, put a bit of frozen blood worms in there, a heater, and a sponge filter, and put Petey in there as well. I tested the water in the 29 gallon tank, ammonia was 0, nitrates 20, nitrites 0, hardness 150 ppm, chlorine 0, alkalinity 80 ppm, pH 6.8- 7.2. I did weekly 30% water changes in the 29 gallon tank.

Petey mainly rested at the bottom of the 10 gallon tank, occasionally tried swimming but swam very strangely, either doing corkscrews or getting pushed by currents. He had a strange seizure like thing one time and later died that night. My entire family was heartbroken and we buried him with some flowers in the front yard.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this, and I thank anyone who answers this. I just want some answers so I know how to provide the best life to my fish. I am going to continue to dose the 29 gallon just in case and I am planning on returning the rosy barbs to the pet store in the event in the future where I get another puffer.

~RIP Petey. We miss you.

Re: Lost My First Puffer, Diagnostic Help

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:06 pm
by bertie 83
Sorry for your loss, welcome to the forum. A week and a half is not long enough to get a tank set up, how did you cycle this tank? Puffers are sensitive creatures that need a well set up tank to thrive. Personally I think a 29 gallon tank is far too small for an active species like this but I feel your issues came from an unstable tank. Krill Will in no way help keep teeth trimmed, you need snails or real hard shelled foods to do this. Also fresh water fish do not drink water, the best way to medicate for parasites etc is to soak their food in a suitable med. hope this helps

Re: Lost My First Puffer, Diagnostic Help

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:42 pm
by ThatPufferGirl
Thank you so much for your help. It's been really hard but I have learned a lot from my mistakes. I am determined to not give up!