Mysterious Dwarf Puffer Death, Seeking Closure

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Mysterious Dwarf Puffer Death, Seeking Closure

Post by jacijaci » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:20 pm

Dwarf Puffer, named Pip
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Saltwater: none
Tank Residence: 1 Month
Tank Mates: Redeye Tetra, Guppy, Snail, Neon Tetra, & Shark Catfish (forgot the species name)

He died overnight, but exhibited strange behavior the day before. He was lethargic, and when I fed him the night of his death, his face was red and swollen and he swam blindly, knocking into things and not really eating. It was so sudden, I couldn't help him before he died. He seemed fine and active the month I had him until this night, and he even followed me whenever I passed the tank, looking at me with his independent gaze. We did recently introduce the catfish and snail into the tank if that gives any clue, and his diet was primarily shrimp/kill, and bloodworm. I have a lot of guesses to his death, but I want to know which is true. Currently I think he either was attacked, hit his head, choked on food, grew a tumor, got a mouth infection, or over ate. I've enclosed some images I took the afternoon after his death as well for closer inspection of his corpse.

Image Link:
Image Link:
Image Link:

Please respond with your educated guesses so that in the future this may not happen again, and tell me if the links to the images do not work and I can relink them so they are viewable.
Thank you.

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Re: Mysterious Dwarf Puffer Death, Seeking Closure

Post by Pufferpunk » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:07 pm

Poor guy! I see his mouth is open. Was he struggling to breathe? What test kits are you using? You should be showing some nitrate. Some of those symptoms resemble nitrite poisoning.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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Re: Mysterious Dwarf Puffer Death, Seeking Closure

Post by pufferkeeper411 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:28 am

When you listed its tank mates, you said a neon tetra, guppy, redeye tetra and shark catfish.

The tetras that you listed are schooling fish and a shark catfish does not seem like a good tank mate for a dwarf puffer anyway. Even a guppy can get pretty stressed from the dwarf puffer.

Although I agree with Pufferpunk on the nitrate poisoning, it could have died from a disease it had from the store, which is fairly common with dwarf puffers as many are wild caught.

I hope you do find out the real reason why it died and I'm sorry for your loss.
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Remember Water changes, Water changes, Water changes.

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Re: Mysterious Dwarf Puffer Death, Seeking Closure

Post by eieio » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:42 pm

Did you do a water change immediately when you first noticed symptoms?
Based upon your sketchy water parameters & description of the behavior, i'd go with poisoning.
We can't stress the importance of proper water testing enough, it answers 90% of the questions, in addition to heading off a problem before this kind of thing happens.
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