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I bought a sick Dogface Puffer... Ugh

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:16 pm
by Fisker
Hey guys,

I went out yesterday and visited 4 stores across my state. I was looking for a lot of fish/items, and one of those things was a small (less than 3") dog face. I wanted a small one so I could comfortably QT it in one of my 10 gallons.

On my second stop, I saw one that looked pretty rough. A few ich spots (10-12 spots total, not bad), a strange-looking mouth, drab and gray coloration, and a very "sad" demeanor. He just looked miserable. He's about 6", so much bigger than I wanted. I asked to see him eat, and he did. I ended up taking him home - kind of an impulse buy, I know. Not good. I won't be going back to that store again - they've had sick fish and complaints lodged against them before, but it's usually been pretty minor stuff. Lots of sick fish and extremely nasty tanks yesterday, though.

So here I am. I've got him in his 10 gallon QT, and am lowering him into hypo for ich treatment. I also treated him with metroplex, as I'm sure he's got worms. My main questions are the following:

1) His mouth looks pretty funky. I can see his beak, but just his "canines", if that makes sense. He seems to have issues with food, too. He just sucks it into his mouth, takes a tiny bite, and repeats. Think maybe someone's trimmed his beak too short? Maybe recently, and that's why he's keeping his mouth open? I can post a pic, but it'll be later tonight.

2) Is hypo the best way to treat ich with puffers? I know that most of them are sensitive to copper, so I'm reluctant to use my Copper Power, especially when it's such a minor infection. I do have concerns with doing hypo in such a small tank - evaporation is gonna be tough. I'm currently doing hypo in my 55 FOWLR, but I'm already a few days into the 30 required. It'd reset the clock, and introduce any other diseases he may have. I'm not necessarily against that, but I want to know if you guys think the risk may be worth it.

3) He'll be going into a 180, filled with mostly peaceful fish. Can anyone give me tips on success?

Thanks for any help.

Re: I bought a sick Dogface Puffer... Ugh

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:11 am
by Pufferpunk
10g isn't large enough QT for a 6" fish. You're never going to be able to keep up with the ammonia waste.
Yes, I would treat with hypo.
Personally, I'd never purchase a fish from a shop who mistreats them & offers to sell sick fish. You are just telling them that no matter how neglective they are, their fish still sell.

Re: I bought a sick Dogface Puffer... Ugh

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:58 am
by Fisker
Fair enough.

I moved him to my 55 FOWLR that's currently in hypo - it reset the clock, but he seems much happier. Eating well, and his ich symptoms have passed, so that's a relief. Still feeding foods soaked in metronidazol to try and deworm him, as well as treating the tank with prazi, but I think he's pretty well-off other than the ich. Doesn't seem to be too skinny, and has a healthy appetite.

I agree, by the way - that's generally the same view I take. This was an impulse buy (kind of), and I wish I had bought this sweet little 3" puffer I saw at another store the same day. But, I didn't, and I'll have to be a little smarter in the future.

Since I've got a thread open, may I ask your opinion on tanks?

I own a 125. I just have to drill it. That was the original plan for moving my 55 into a bigger tank, and why I went ahead and bought a few fish that needed a bigger tank. I knew I could upgrade them. That said, I know that a 125 is a pretty minimum tank size for a dogface, so I was wondering what you would do in this situation. Use the 125 with a 55 gallon sump, OR try and find a 180 with a 125 gallon sump. Obviously, the 180 would be better, but would it be completely worth it, in your opinion?

Re: I bought a sick Dogface Puffer... Ugh

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:17 pm
by Pufferpunk
Bigger is ALWAYS better! Glad he's doing better. :)

Re: I bought a sick Dogface Puffer... Ugh

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:07 pm
by Fisker
Good to know!

He was just taking food into his mouth, chewing it, and spitting it out yesterday. Today, he's eating! Pretty excited. Hoping to get him onto a variety of foods soon, as I know krill isn't an awesome staple, but just glad to see he's eating and the store feeding wasn't a fluke.

However, he still has some spots on him after 3 days in hypo - I know it can take up to 7 for the parasites to fall off into their next stage, I was just hoping he'd move along a bit quicker. Hopefully they'll disappear soon and I haven't run into a hypo-resistant strain of ich.