Pea puffer beak/jaw injury...have you ever seen anything like this?

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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.

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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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Jwiercx
Puffer Fry
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:18 pm
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Pea puffer beak/jaw injury...have you ever seen anything like this?

Post by Jwiercx »

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Hi there. I'm really concerned about one of my little pea puffers.

1) Water parameters - I just happen to be out of my testing supplies so I have no parameters from today but my most recent water test, 4 days ago, showed that the PH was 7, nitrites 0, ammonia 0, and nitrates were 0 ppm.

2) Tank is a 20 gallon with 6 Pea Puffers, 6 Pygmy spotted rasbora and 6 chili rasbora. I have a couple of amano shrimp and 3 cherry shrimp in there too.

3) I do daily 10% water changes. I use excel and flourish at the recommended dosages, the occasional PH buffer, and some shrimp mineral supplements every third or fourth water change.

4) Nothing different within the past week. All I can think of listing is that I rearranged some plants nearly 2 weeks ago.

5) Tank itself is 4 months old. I spent a month allowing the plants to grow in a bit and for the water to have consistently healthy parameters. I cycled the tank by adding "start smart complete" when I first set it up and adding a sponge filter. The rasboras and the shrimp were in there after the first month. The pea puffers were added after the second month. And here we are 2 months later.

As respectfully as I can word this... I have people get on me all the time about daily water changes and keeping puffers in a community tank but these things are working well for me and continue to work well in my other tanks too. The puffers have never never targeted the shrimp or the rasbora, all fish and inverts are safe and happy (injured puffer excluded, obviously).

I noticed yesterday that one of my puffers was swimming a little erratically. Darting around etc. I saw that there was something white sticking up from its 'nose' area. My first thought was that its a parasite. I wanted to take a look but he hid very effectively until this morning. When I was able to take a closer look I noticed it looks more like the puffer had rammed into something and broken its beak/jaw. Mouth is permanently open. I have observed her poking at plants etc but I haven't actually seen her eat. She hasn't been around during feeding time. The puffers usually surround my tweezers when I drop some bloodworms in.

I'm not sure what to do. Seems like euthanasia is probably the only option for the poor thing. Would be nice if I was wrong, though.
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Pufferpunk
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Re: Pea puffer beak/jaw injury...have you ever seen anything like this?

Post by Pufferpunk »

You definitely need a test kit, as your tank is overstocked. You should be showing nitrate. What test kit are you using?

DPs don't get dentistry issues. Are you sure it's not a deformity?
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!"
Jwiercx
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:18 pm
Location (country): USA

Re: Pea puffer beak/jaw injury...have you ever seen anything like this?

Post by Jwiercx »

Pufferpunk wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:35 pm You definitely need a test kit, as your tank is overstocked. You should be showing nitrate. What test kit are you using?

DPs don't get dentistry issues. Are you sure it's not a deformity?
Update: Sadly the puffer died, its beak was definitely broken. I guess that would be considered a dental issue. Certainly a beak injury. I can only imagine that it got spooked by something and rammed into the glass or rock.

As for my stocking: Not to worry -- My tanks water parameters would be problematic if I wasn't so meticulous with maintaining it. I test very often, my nitrates are almost always 0 because I make sure to adjust my level of maintenance to the fact that I have a school of puffers as well as a school of rasboras in there. I just happened to have ran out of my tests because there are massive wildfires in my area and my main concern was to be ready for evac. Trip to petco wasn't on the agenda. Tested the day after I posted this and all parameters were still safe. Thanks for your input!
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Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31832
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: Pea puffer beak/jaw injury...have you ever seen anything like this?

Post by Pufferpunk »

:rip:
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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