Puffer Upside Down

Oh no! Sick fish?! Come here and see if someone can help!
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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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l1ttlej7
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Location (country): North Carolina

Puffer Upside Down

Post by l1ttlej7 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:14 pm

Hey guys I need some serious help.

My largest puffer (reticulated 17") who I have had for years isn't doing well. He's just getting over copper treatment from a bad case of velvet (cupermine, didn't have a choice since I don't have a large enough QT for the fish and can't test for CP).

He hasn't been eating normally and swimming oddly (flips and rolling but could swim up and down) over the last week and has stopped eating crabs and clams which he did before and during the copper treatment.

Last night I was petting him and he freaked out swimming all over the tank erratically and partially puffed up which he has never done. Initially it appeared that he had an air bubble so I removed him from the tank in hopes that it would go away and it did, he seemed to right himself, however, this morning he appeared to have a large air bubble and was upside down. I read to hold him by the tail with his mouth facing up to try and release the bubble. I tried this and he fully puffed and watch him expel everything and seemed to have fixed it. However, he is now upside down and breathing normally and aware but I don't know what to do. I can't tell if he has an air bubble or if that's just his stomach-maybe constipated?

PH-8.0
KH-10
NO3/4-0
Nitrate-100
Nitrite-0
Salinity-1.021
Copper- 0.41 (Hanna tested, currently running purgien, cubisorb, seagel, trying to remove it not sure why it's not dropping)
Completed a 100g WC yesterday and last weekend
Tank Size-500g
Tank Mates
-8" and 6" porcupine puffer
-8" Pinktail Trigger
-7" Assai Trigger
-10" Miniatus Grouper
-4' Dragon Eel
-2.5' Zebra Eel
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Pufferpunk
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Posts: 31302
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
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Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by Pufferpunk » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:38 pm

I'm thinking there might be more air in there. Sometimes, you have to burp multiple times.
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!"

l1ttlej7
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Location (country): North Carolina

Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by l1ttlej7 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:22 pm

So net him and try to get him to puff again?

I was going to take him to contact a specialty vet and possibly bring him in.

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Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31302
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: Puffer Upside Down

Post by Pufferpunk » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:24 pm

You can also try holding him underwater, head up & gently press his belly from the bottom towards his mouth.
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!"

l1ttlej7
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Location (country): North Carolina

Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by l1ttlej7 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:57 pm

Last time I tried he puffed completely and I couldn’t really burp him or rub his belly.

He’s been tryin to flip himself but couldn’t so I was able to help him but he’s had issues swimming for a week so could it be swim bladder?

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31302
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: Puffer Upside Down

Post by Pufferpunk » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:48 am

Puffers don't have a swim bladder.
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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eieio
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Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:34 am
My Puffers: *
The Congo Puffer:
"olivia"
and.......
The DP:
"cream puff"
RIP cream puff :-(
Location (country): U.S.A.
Location: Prescott, Arizona

Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by eieio » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:28 am

ammonia level?
tank is overcrowded.
copper may also be the issue. many puffers don't do well with chemical treatments.
"I plan ahead. That way, I don't have to do anything right now!"

l1ttlej7
Puffer Fry
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Location (country): North Carolina

Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by l1ttlej7 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:51 pm

ammonia level is posted in original thread

I don't think the 500g tank is over crowded with 5 fish and 2 eels

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31302
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: Puffer Upside Down

Post by Pufferpunk » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:10 pm

I think she may have said that, due to your nitrate level. That's really HIGH! Any reason as to why? How much live rock is in there? Do you run a sump?
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!"

User avatar
eieio
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:34 am
My Puffers: *
The Congo Puffer:
"olivia"
and.......
The DP:
"cream puff"
RIP cream puff :-(
Location (country): U.S.A.
Location: Prescott, Arizona

Re: Puffer Upside Down

Post by eieio » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:24 am

l1ttlej7 wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:51 pm
ammonia level is posted in original thread
where?
l1ttlej7 wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:51 pm
I don't think the 500g tank is over crowded with 5 fish and 2 eels
I do.
There's obviously something wrong, and as in almost all cases, it's probably water/toxin related.
I see no reference to ammonia levels, and your nitrate level is off the chart!
It may be that the velvet was the a result of poor water conditions.
Your tank is WAY overstocked with fish!

Copper is also poisonous to puffers.
"I plan ahead. That way, I don't have to do anything right now!"

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31302
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: Puffer Upside Down

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:45 pm

I don't think the 500g tank is over crowded with 5 fish and 2 eels
Might be easier to judge that if we knew the species & size of all tank inhabitants.
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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