Puffer Breathing Heavily, Lying On Side

The Patriot Way

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Tank specs: 20 gal - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ~80 nitrate, ph 7.4-7.6 or so

Hi all, I've got a sick Amazonian puffer here (Charlie) who I'm really fond of. I've put him in a quarantine tank for now. He hasn't eaten in a few days, and has been lying on the bottom of the tank, today I came home and he was lying on his side, so he's definitely getting a lot worse. Seems like today or tomorrow might be his last day unless I take drastic action. :/ Any idea what's wrong with him? I have salt, melafix, Maracyn, Maracyn II...haven't used anything on him yet because I don't want to make it worse, but definitely something has to be done. Thank you.
 

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The Patriot Way

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Here's another pic of him. I forgot to mention he's got this white spot on his back, but he's had that for pretty much as long as I can remember. I don't know if that's ich maybe?
 

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Skye_marilyn

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The Patriot Way said:
Here's another pic of him. I forgot to mention he's got this white spot on his back, but he's had that for pretty much as long as I can remember. I don't know if that's ich maybe?
Looks like a columnaris lesion as well as some internal parasites causing him to be so skinny. I don’t have experience treating puffers but I’m sure some one on here will.
 

Mazeus

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Did you treat him for parasites when you first got him? I believe (as many puffers are wild caught) they often have parasites when you buy them.
 

Sarah73

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that's a lot of nitrates. is there any air bubbles or oxygen? heavy breathing can be from nitrate overdose (too much nitrates)
 
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The Patriot Way

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. Yes, Charlie was gone by the time I came home from work today. I actually didn't even realize how thin he was, but he hasn't been much larger than that for the entire two or so years that I've had him. He always ate plenty of shrimp at feeding time. I put some salt and maracyn 2 in the filter last night but I guess it was just too late.

Everybody else in the tank seems to be fine, so I don't know if it's the nitrates...I have a filter that's waterfalling into the tank, but no bubbling mechanism. I do add Fluorish Excel from time to time though. Poor guy. He was a great fish, very smart and curious.

I didn't treat him for parasites when I first got him.. If I end up getting another one I will do that.

Thank you again for the replies.
 

bgclarke

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You did well if he lived 2+ years without being treated for parasites.
I lost one of my dwarf puffers within a month of getting them.
The other one passed away Tuesday.
 
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