Dwarf puffer help please

  • #1

So a quick update, I will post test results tomorrow but all have been much better, with a small spike in nitrite, up to 1 from 0, ammonia was almost 0 and nitrates still 0. Will do another test tomorrow to be sure, BUT!!!!

One of my fish, the one who only eats snails, isn't growing any larger at all, still very small and very thin. He eats until he has a little belly but isn't growing at all.

Another fish was acting skidish for a few weeks, running from my hand instead of observing it like the rest do, and tonight when I came home for lunch, he was at the top of the tank, like he was bobbing for air, which wouldn't make any sense because we have two oxygen bubble makers in the tank, and when I reached my hand in to check and see if he was dead, he started swimming away, but shortly after, began spiraling while swimming and one time even became straight up and down in the tank. Only for a second but long enough to really scare me. I don't know what to do about it or what to check for, please help! I don't notice any colour difference other than he looks a little darker than usual, but the way he is acting is now scaring me.
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  • #2

So here is everything the little guy did, he was bobbing up and down at the top and spiraling, then he did like a minI puff, then came down from the minI puff and seemed fine for a few minutes. Then started bobbing at the top again. Well, I went back to work not knowing what to do and he passed away before I got home. So I am a bit sad about it, but now I'm more concerned for the other fishies. None of them are acting the way he does other than one being a little skiddish still, but I'm worried he got sick or something, it all seemed very sudden. We fed them yesterday and he was fine then in the middle of the night started doing all that weird and died within a few hours of starting to act that way.

Any info or help would be great, anything I can look for or test for? I will post my level again to see if they are still good. A few days ago they were:

PH 7.2 to 7.4
Amonia .25 ppm
Nitrite 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 0 ppm

Will test again today but I don't see how they could get bad enough in two days to kill one overnight? They eat brine shrimp and there are plenty of tiny snails in the tank. Any info will help, thanks again!
  • #3
I'm thinking it has to do with being in an uncycled tank judging from those numbers. How often and how large are your water changes? Have you been replacing your filter media or rinsing them under tap water instead of tank water? A cycled tank especially with puffers should have some nitrates.

I would do at least a 50% water change dosed with Prime. I'd also pick up a bacteria supplement like Seachem Stability to help you get this tank cycled.
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  • #4
We change the tank every day, missing a day every so often, at least 50% but sometimes a little over, we use Prime, don't have stability yet but we are getting it. We rinse the media in tank water but I was told not to replace it.

What should my numbers be?
  • #5
your numbers show that the tank is cycling properly. in the end when the tank is fully cycled you will see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 10-20, maybe up to 40ppm nitrAtes.
my best advice, since you're already doing large water changes, is get that stability asap! it has worked wonders for me in the past and your puffers definitely need the tank to be cycled as soon as possible. good luck

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  • #6
I am going to get it before the end of the week. I don't want it to happen again, I had like a panic attack when I saw the little guy freaking out, then puff up a little bit. And we have only had them for a month or so but when we got home from work and found him dead I cried like a baby and felt terrible. I will post if any of them start to show any more signs of anything else. Thanks for your help.
  • #7
And just checking but are you banging nitrate bottle #2 really hard against a counter or hard surface before adding it to the tube? Sometimes the crystals settle if you don't bang or shake it hard enough and then you get a false reading.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
No but I will during todays test.

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