Puffer fish buoyancy issue with bulge

Deewings

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 125 gallon
How long has the tank been running? 8yrs
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 79
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 Fahaka Puffer

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 30%
What do you use to treat your water? Nothing
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Yes

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? N/A
What do you use to test the water? Test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 5-7x a week
How much do you feed your fish? 1-2 mussels or a frozen cube of blood worms (thawed first).
What brand of food do you feed your fish? N/A
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Frozen

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 7 yrs
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Almost 2 weeks
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Found puffer laying on the bottom of the tank. He can’t swim properly, just rolls around when he tries. There’s a bulge on his side that will move as he moves. If he’s laying on his right side, the bulge with be on his left. If he’s laying on his left side, the bulge will be on his right side. The bulge is always on the side that is up. His color is normal, eyes are normal, and fins are normal. He hasn’t eaten in this time either.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? We tried burping him because we thought he has an air bubble. It didn’t work. Tried to get him to inflate and he won’t/can’t. Tried to feed him a thawed and shelled pea and he spit it out. Done a couple of water changes and added aquarium salt.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Bulge in side remains the same size.
 

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ChrissFishes01

My first thought would have been air bubble, too. Did the bulge form overnight, or did it grow over time? It could be a mass that's pressing on his swim bladder, but I doubt that'd form in such a short time.

I've never kept a Fahaka long-term. Zach72202 , is this something you've seen before?
 
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Deewings

My first thought would have been air bubble, too. Did the bulge form overnight, or did it grow over time? It could be a mass that's pressing on his swim bladder, but I doubt that'd form in such a short time.

I've never kept a Fahaka long-term. Zach72202 , is this something you've seen before?

The bulge suddenly appeared. It hasn’t gotten bigger or smaller.
The bulge suddenly appeared. It hasn’t gotten bigger or smaller.

I’d like to add that he will not inflate no matter what we do. We haven’t ever really handled him or had to net him at all since we got him about 7yrs ago so, you would think that having to handle him now he would be a little scared or stressed and would inflate but he hasn’t. That makes me a little uneasy as well. I’m not sure if a swim bladder issue would cause issues with his ability to inflate or not? We just added epsom salt to the tank because we don’t know what else to try or do for him, sadly.
 
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