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New valentini in trouble, needing help

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:42 pm
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!

Re: New valentini in trouble, needing help

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:30 pm
by Pufferpunk
Any signs of sickness before the blenny died?