Pea Puffer Sick? Help

  1. I

    Imthatpeep100 New Member Member

    (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.

    upload_2018-10-12_9-56-47.png [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  2. S

    Scubagirl1 Valued Member Member

    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. J

    Jamelie New Member Member

    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. OP

    Imthatpeep100 New Member Member

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

    Attached Files:

  5. J

    Jamelie New Member Member

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

    Scubagirl1 Valued Member Member

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