Are figure eight puffers especially susceptible to ammonia spikes?

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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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Are figure eight puffers especially susceptible to ammonia spikes?

Post by jakedipity »

Unfortunately my first Figure Eight Puffer died today. It's health quickly deteriorated over a week and I think I was too passive in dealing with it. It was in a community tank that had been fine for about 2 months and none of the other fish were displaying the same symptoms. The symptoms I noticed in order are as follow:
  • First I noticed the color was less intense
  • Two days later I noticed the puffer was constantly hiding
  • Two days later I noticed the puffer, when out and about, was completely listless and mindlessly bumped into things, but still swimming upright. I also noticed redness in the gill area, but wasn't sure if it was because the less intense color was allowing me to see through the skin slightly.
  • Two days later dead fish
I never noticed my puffer gasping for breath, nor did I ever see the puffer at the top of the tank. Only hiding at the bottom.

On the second day I tested my water parameters and came up with the following:
  • Ammonia: 0
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: 10-20 mg/L
  • pH: 8
  • sg: 1.003
Nothing out of the normal, so I decided to wait it out.

On the fourth day, becoming frantic, I dosed the entire tank with Prazipro and Seachem Prime. The symptoms mostly lineup with ammonia poisoning, but only my puffer was affected so I wasn't sure. I also know that puffers can suffer from internal parasites (even though I didn't see any physical symptoms) and Prazipro being a relatively gentle drug, I decided to try it as a last ditch effort.

The only thing I can think of is that I changed my water changing schedule from every week to every month. Last weekend I did my first water change after a month of no water changes, and I decided to wash out my sponge filters (not biological media). I tested my nitrates every week during the month and they never exceeded 20 mg/L. The only thing I can imagine is that somehow I caused an ammonia spike (no idea).

If I had to go back and do it again, I would probably start by doing a water change once I saw the coloring was faded. I'm still not sure what happened though, and would hope to get some insight from your past experiences with puffers.

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Re: Are figure eight puffers especially susceptible to ammonia spikes?

Post by Pufferpunk »

Here is shy you do WC weekly, NOT monthly. If you added Prazi for internal parasites, it won't help to dose the water, as FW fish do not drink water.
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!"

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Re: Are figure eight puffers especially susceptible to ammonia spikes?

Post by eieio »

what size tank?
what other occupants?
what kind of water test kit? strips or liquid?
why check nitrates, but not nitrites & ammonia?
did you dose the tank with Prime without checking for ammonia?
"I plan ahead. That way, I don't have to do anything right now!"

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