Pea Puffer Sick? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Imthatpeep100, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    (Non-permanent) Set up:
    Shallow 6g tub (has base dimensions of standard 10g)
    adjustable heater: 77F
    no substrate
    duckweed and rotala indica
    sponger filter meant for a 20g
    **I plan on adding an air-stone when I get home.

    Nitrate ------- 5
    Nitrite -------- 0
    Ammonia --- 0
    pH ------------ 8
    I did not test for kH and gH.

    I'm positive my water quality can be ruled out, but let me give background on the situation. First, I have two pea puffers (1 m and 1 f) with a plan to get more females and maybe one more male. The male was originally a rescue from a "friend" who kept in an unfiltered and unheated 2.5g with a butt-load of pest snails. There was no substrate, plants, hides, etc. I took him in hoping I would be able to give him a good life. I'm pretty sure he's barely a year old since he didn't develop male colors with me until a couple weeks or so when I first got him. He was in a standard 10g by himself until I managed to buy a female from a LFS (they are always sold out in my area, and since it's getting cold weather I'm unsure if I want to buy tropical fish online).

    Before the summer, I freed up a standard 20g I had, so I moved the two puffers into there in so I could have a larger group. However, I let depression get me during the summer, so I neglected my tanks for a while. I ended up getting Cyanobacteria in the 20g and another 10g. I got the waste down in the tanks, did black outs, etc. (didn't do chemicals since I was too nervous to try it especially with my pea puffers). I decided since September 19th or so, to redo and move my tropical tanks into one room. I recently got to the 20g with the puffers. I took all my decor out, caught them, and drip acclimated them to my hospital/quarantine shallow 6g which have the parameters above^^.

    Penelope (male puffer) has always been timid, but a very good eater/hunter. However, since being in this tub (around four days) he has been extremely lethargic. He seems super thin to me which makes sense since I haven't seen him eat. Usually when I drop a snail near him, he's right on it. However, this time he slowly moved away if at all from snails I placed by him. If he's not laying in one spot, he's laying in another. I know he's not sleeping since he shows the same behavior when the tank lights are on (aqueon opti+ bright or whatever that light is called).

    I know the female, Pepper, isn't picking on him since they seem to show aggressive behavior towards each other when they want the same snail. Since Penelope hasn't been hunting, she ignores him. I've even seen her swim right past and both ignored each other.

    I give water changes every other day on this tank. I siphon with standard airline tubing as to not stress the puffers out with too abrupt of water flow. I then add water (usually matched to 74F or so) back using standard airline tubing. The same way with drip acclimation, but I don't knot the tub. This usually takes 25 or so minutes which leads me to think that his problems aren't with the water especially since Pepper is doing great.

    Could I have possibly injured him when removing decorations? He seemed okay in the acclimation process since he moved around a bit and when he first came in here, but he's more lethargic by each day. Is his background catching up to him? Should I stop worrying and wait until I add him to the 20g?

    So far, I have concluded that it is due to the small environment, but I would like others insight since I'm an over worrier and wanna make sure he's not injured, sick, etc. I care about him and promised that I would give him a better life.

    Their 20g is scaped and currently cycling. I put in two 20g sponge filters that are hooked up to a 75g air pump. Both of the filters have two sponges, so I swamped one each of the sponges out with already established sponges. The 20g has been cycling since Wednesday night. I tested the 20g parameters this morning and it came back with some ammonia, so it's not cycled yet. I'm thinking it shouldn't take much longer since my tanks usually cycle in 3 or so days with this method.

    I've been trying to research on my own, but since my water parameters are okay and I've never experienced sickness with either puffer (not even ich), I'm really unsure if he's injured/sick or severely stressed.

    **I did a water change after the pictures, so all the snail poop and such is gone. Apologies for bad photos, but it's hard to get a clear picture through plastic and my lights weren't on yet and I'm taking them from another post I made.


    Attached Files:

  2. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    Has he ever been treated for internal parasites? I had a puffer act like this after a few months of owning him. I found out to late it was parasites. Especially if he's skinny.

  3. JamelieValued MemberMember

    I'd get some meds to treat for parasites for sure! Pea puffers usually have some when wild caught. My male also went through a phase of not eating while all my females are fine. The only thing he ate were white live worms and I HAD to seperate the females from him when he got fed because he would be too shy to eat.

    Good luck :)

  4. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    He has not. I have a general parasite medicine I could use?

    Attached Files:

  5. JamelieValued MemberMember

    Try to get something for internal parasites like tapeworm. I used prazipro on my fish
  6. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    It doesn't look like that med addresses internal parasites. How's he doing?
  7. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    Hey y'all... I've been really busy and kind of forgot that I posted on here. Unfortunately, my female didn't make it. I had to do a clove oil bath on her. Apparently, my cycle crashed somewhere between the 20th and 23rd... My male was on the verge of passing, so I took everything out of my betta's 10g and divided my other betta's 10g to stick them both in there. They're doing great. Now my male, Penelope was moved into the 10g once I had it brackish for him. He's been swimming and hunting a lot better now.

    I've been trying Prazipro since the 17th. I don't know if it's doing anything, but I made his tank brackish and I think that's been doing more than the medicine. However, he isn't gaining weight even though he's eating on average 3-5 snails everyday along with a few nips of his frozen food (I need to see the ingredients since I can't remember what's all in there). I haven't had a new picture yet since he's been moving too much, but he's a lot skinner than he was before... Like a lot... He looks anorexic. I am looking into different medicines since this prazipro isn't helping or I'm dosing it wrong which I doubt since I read the directions to the T.

    I haven't had much time to spend just for him since I'm getting caught up in sickness and getting behind in work. I don't want to ethunize him since he is getting around and such... but now and then he floats a little above the ground panting so I know he's working on or going through pain? I'm unsure and it's just breaking my heart since I'm trying to help but it isn't enough so far.
  8. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    Remind me again why you did a clove oil bath? Usually that is to sedate them to clip their teeth.

    Since you treated him for internal pests , I would now watch him. If he's that skinny he's delicate. Is he eating anything other than snails? I would offer him more snails if not. My puffer would eat 3-5 snails in seconds. Have you tried bloodworms? That's something even the picky eaters can't resist.

    Any new pics?
  9. aced itValued MemberMember

    Clove oil can be used to euthanize fish if they're too sick to cure and suffering.
  10. JamelieValued MemberMember

    Brackish water is not good for pea puffers!! They're true freshwater. The salt might kill him
  11. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    Yes I agree but she was trying to save this one. That's why I asked what she was using it for. Sometimes even w best of care when cutting teeth...they don't wake up. Another reason I use snails in feeding.
  12. aced itValued MemberMember

    I believe OP intentionally euthanized her female puffer and is trying to save the male.
  13. JamelieValued MemberMember

    But pea puffers don't need their teeth trimmed :( so clove oil would only be used to euthanize...
  14. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    Pea puffers in the wild are found in fresh and brackish, and my LFS guy has been keeping his pea puffers in brackish set ups for years with no problems. They are suitable for both as long as conditions are kept stable. If they were tank raised in fresh, I would have kept them fresh, but since mine are wild caught I went with brackish which seems to be doing a lot more than the Prazipro since when I made it brackish they became more active and hungry than when I first added Prazipro.

    I ethunized my female with clove since she was extremely unresponsive (she even got sucked up by my siphon with no restriction) or may have already been dead to which I wanted to ensure she was dead before burying her in the garden. After she was removed and going through the clove bath, I checked my parameters to ensure those were okay-- they weren't. My male was still breathing and responsive, so jumping into action I did the whole thing with my 10g to plop him in there.

    His activity has increased since then, but still is losing rather than gaining weight. I have around 20-25 pest snails all the time in his tank. When I come home, only 4-5 shells are floating or laying on their side. He doesn't like bloodworms-- even when soaked with garlic. The current frozen food pack I used was recommended by puffer guy at my LFS and Penelope eats that when garlic soaked.
    Side note: Penelope didn't come from the same place as my female. Penelope was a rescue from an acquaintance that moved away. He was only fed bladder snails in an unfiltered, uncycled and completely bare 2.5g, so feeding him anything besides snails is challenging unlike my now deceased female who came from the LFS. I still assume he is wild caught since most pea puffers in my area come from a provider that catches those kind of "rare" fishes (since my area is very rural and breeders are typically sparse, expensive or not as available as wild caught providers).

    I will provide pictures when I get home since I managed to go to work today. Although, I am losing hope in Prazipro since I don't think it's doing anything. I believe it only has 2/3 "ingredients" typically needed to effectively treat parasites. I read another old forum post on a different site and cannot find it again... I'll try to find it and post a link with the pictures later if I can. It was about someone else's "journey" of treating their puffers with internal parasites.
  15. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    "So later after much research, I went out and bought some API General Cure, and this is why: From what I can tell, there are really only 3 medications (and please correct me if I am wrong) that are effective in dealing with de-worming the type of worms that dwarf puffers and other fish commonly get; praziquantel, metronidazole, and levamisole. I decided to purchase API General Cure instead of Prazipro or others because it contains both praziquantel and metronidazole. I could not find any brand of levamisole in stores near me and as I hear it is very hard to obtain but very effective in treating camallanus worms, (which I understand can be extremely difficult to get rid of once in a tank) but I did find some on eBay for $27.00. I haven't ordered it yet, but may consider buying it in the future."

    This quote comes from this forum-->  

    Reading through that forum again, I'm going to call my LFS if they have the medication so I can pick it up on my way home, if not I'll have to order it online. I may not use it right away, but I want it on hand in case he's not gaining weight over the next couple days...

    Prazipro treatments started on the 17th and re-treated every 5 days which is when I do water changes in the 10g, but before I did water changes on the 6g every other day, so I did very small dosages of the medicine to ensure it was being effective. I wasn't doing baths since I'm afraid they were do fragile, and he is surely too fragile to do baths with now.

    I'm not home yet, but I'll post photos of everything when I can. Let me know what y'all think so far though. Your concerns and help is much appreciated ^_^
  16. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    Here are some pics. I got him sleeping on his fake plants for now. Ugh, I hate these but they're good for hospital tanks... Otherwise I said some other stuff before but didn't reply to any one so I wasn't sure if people get notified then? I dunno exactly how this forum works :p

    Attached Files:

  17. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    I got the pics of food but none of the fish. How is he today?
  18. Imthatpeep100New MemberMember

    Oh I thought I attached them... I see them on my end though.

    He's eating more. I took out 8 snails last night and this morning there were at least three more snails. My LFS wasn't open for some reason yesterday so I'm gonna call them again today and see what's up as well as if they have medicine. I'm getting a little more hopeful, but who knows.
  19. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    i hope that isn't why it was used
  20. Scubagirl1Valued MemberMember

    Just seen this post. So sorry you had to do that.

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