New valentini in trouble, needing help

Oh no! Sick fish?! Come here and see if someone can help!
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Read this before posting!!

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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Puffer Fry
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:48 pm
Location (country): United States

New valentini in trouble, needing help

Post by Tonic »

I'm having trouble with a brand new valentini. I'm not new to puffers - I also keep peas, gsps, and a porcupine. This little guy just got in a couple of days ago and was being quarantined with a bicolor blenny that he came with. The puffer seemed totally fine after he got over his initial stress. He ate a bunch 2 nights ago and seemed to be getting along just fine. However, the blenny was found dead yesterday, morning, and last night the puffer was breathing pretty hard, looked like he was going to the surface intermittently (for air? I don't know), his mouth is wide open - as much as it could probably get - and he was refusing food. Otherwise his color looked fine, and he wasn't clamped.

He had been staying mostly toward mid-level of the tank, and not having notable swimming issues, but when I went to go check on him before bed, he was on his side at the bottom/back of the tank.

I've been checking his parameters daily, and the only thing that had been elevated was ammonia, which started at around 0.10ppm and had gradually been going down in it's own. I was told elsewhere just to leave it if it was going down by itself (maybe bad advice). I took parameters again when I found him last night, and everything looked fine except ammonia, which had spiked up to maybe just under 0.20ppm. I did a 30-ish % water change and used erase-cl to bring the ammonia under control, which is coming up at 0ppm now.

I also thought it could be an air issue, but I have a pretty hefty filter going (bigger than called for, for the tank size - it was pulled from a larger healthy tank to help seed the quarantine tank during setup, and has seemed to be doing fine there ever since) as well as a small powerhead. I did change the direction the powerhead was pointing last night for more surface agitation, though I'm honestly not sure if that was the right move, just a best guess.

I have access to meds but didn't want to do anything to make it worse without knowing what was going on, but after seeing how he was last night, I decided to add pimafix, just in case. I'm holding off on cupramine with how weak he looks, unless I can get some better info. I can add prazipro to his food if I can get him eating.

This morning he is upright again, in what has become his "sleeping position" against a rock, but still breathing hard.

Tank info:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 2.0ppm
PH: 8.2
Salinity: 1.023

10 gal temp quarantine tank (tub actually, that I use for quarantine), pretty new and fully cycled (but fairly recently), fishless, heavily using seed materials from a healthy 2-year-old tank, also Seacham Stability and Prime.

No tank mates now - blenny died

I got him from what I now know to be a less than reputable company with a lot of deaths after arrival. But I'd really like to avoid that if I can - I really like him.

I'd appreciate any help!
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Location: Chicago

Re: New valentini in trouble, needing help

Post by Pufferpunk »

Any signs of sickness before the blenny died?
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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