Puffer Problems Swimming.

Sheldon13

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Ok, so these two guys just came to me Tuesday last. This evening I notice the more docile of the 2 is swimming with his left pectoral fin clamped down to his body. When I first found him he was actually swimming in CIRCLES because of it. His caudal fin is intermittently clamped as well even since he first arrived. My first thought was that the other puffer injured him, but I can see no sign of trauma. This little guy was obviously picked on where he came from as well as evidenced by a few little tears in his fins. He’s so sweet and my favorite of the two. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. Should I house him in a bucket temporarily while he heals so he won’t have to fight the water flow? Or will moving him stress him even more and be counterproductive? Any guesses what caused this?

Note: I have the pair of them in a 60. I would think that would be enough space but I see the more docile guy cowering in a corner much of the time. Should I separate them or rehome one?

Also, I did a 75% water change today. He was fine before that.

Don’t think you need them but parameters before water change were:
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20
pH 8.0
Temp 76

 

richie.p

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that left hand side looks as if he's been squashed somewhere along the line, there's no sign of disease so i'd leave him where he is, they do like company, i read something similar a while ago but i just cant remember, i don't think there's a lot you can do anyway just see what time dose
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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Well, now the other one is doing it with his right side. I got a picture of him in “C” shape. I had just fed them some brine shrimp, and he seemed fine, then all of the sudden he very quickly snapped into this position. He let himself sink to the bottom of the tank and is just sitting there now, all contorted.

Really needing help with this one, guys.

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I think I have ruled out electrocution. I don’t feel anything when I stick my hand in the water. Also, the other one had no reaction this time.

Also I noticed today that puffer #1 who had the problem at the beginning of my post, well he (maybe she) has an enlarged anal opening. I couldn’t get a picture of it.

Is this a parasite maybe?
 
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Crispii

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Have your puffer been exposed to air? I heard that it's not good for puffers to make contact with air. It can cause many issues such as stress, swimming issues, and possibly death.

But then again, I am not a puffer expert nor have I kept puffers.
 
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Hey sheldon, did you worm them when you got them? Alot come with parasites...I did with my boys way back in the beginning

I've never seen them go into a C shape like that, has he gotten any better?? How long has he been like this? And are they pooping?
Sorry for the questons
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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@Crispii no no air exposure. I was very careful when I transferred them to the tank and didn’t even use a net. I scooped them up in cups and let them gently swim out.

@Minxxy no I didn’t worm them but I think I’m going to. What should I work with? Never done it before. I haven’t SEEN them pooping, but #1 does have an enlarged anal opening. I couldn’t get the pic though. Tried to. I went back to the tank 15 minutes later and he (#2) was totally back to normal. Same thing happened with #1 a few days ago. Did this C shape thing and the shortly later was fine. It’s weird that they have both done it. It’s like they lose control of their swimming muscles momentarily and they are spasming and staying in one position, and then it releases and they are fine.

Just ordered Fenbendazole.
 
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richie.p

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Hi sheldon this is strange it's almost like mini strokes, didn't the first just have his pectoral fin freeze up or did it do that as well, the parasite normally associated with them shows signs of body wasting but agree with @Minxxy its worth doing anyway, I've never come across this behaviour I'll do a bit of digging see what I can find,
Just a thought I'm wondering if the are having a reaction to the brine shrimp,
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I've been doing some digging on s puffer forum and it seems this problem is quite common yet no one know why it happens one says his fish died others say they grew out of it, one did question another to make sure he had a freshwater puffer and not a brackish type, best I can do so far
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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Last night was the first time I gave them the brine shrimp so it can’t be that. #1 did the c shape thing, then spent hours not using his left pectoral fin even after he stopped the c shape. His c shape only lasted a few minutes. #2 did the c shape thing for at least 15 minutes, but when he came out of it was using his fins just fine. I dunno what to think but I’m glad you’ve found it’s happened to others. Sucks they haven’t figured out why. I’ve been scouring google with all sort of search terms and I can’t find anything except goldfish disease, but for them the shape is permanent.

They are Figure 8 puffers and I currently have them at 1.006 salinity. Working up to 1.008 slowly.
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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Read through it. My guys (as you can see) are definitely not emaciated. They do eat with vigor, but I have not actually seen them poop. This doesn’t mean there are issues, just that I have not seen it. I’m hoping that it is in fact parasites and that treatment will cure this issue.
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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They both seem well tonight, though #1 (I swear I’m searching for names for them) has a decreased appetite. He ate some daphnia but would spit out about half of them. Neither has a sunken belly though. The meds arrive tomorrow and I look forward to taking care of that for them. Does anyone know if fenbendazole kills BB? Should I take the cartridge out during treatment? Maybe just 1 out of 2 filters?
 

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What were the water parameters the fish were in before you got them? Sounds similar to nitrate shock which can be caused from being in water with too high levels of nitrates (which you don't have) BUT can also occur in fish who are moved from a tank with high levels of nitrates to water with very low levels of nitrates (when any big change in nitrate levels occurs suddenly). Sure looks a lot like that to me--wobbly swimming, intermittent paralysis of fins, c-curvature to the side...I'd be checking out the water they came from...
Be On Alert for Nitrate Poisoning in Aquarium Fish
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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Oh I wish I had saved some and I would have tested it. I’ll email the company though and see what they can tell me.
 

Momgoose56

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Oh I wish I had saved some and I would have tested it. I’ll email the company though and see what they can tell me.
They were shipped? How long were they in transit? Were they shipped by air? That may be part of the problem. Animals that are shipped by air are typically kept at an air pressure equivaIent to 8000 ft altitude. If they're shipped from low altitude then in the air for hours and then land several thousand feet lower or higher they can suffer from all kinds of atmospheric pressure change problems. I would certainly contact the breeder/shipper.
 
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Sheldon13

Sheldon13

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They were shipped? How long were they in transit? Were they shipped by air? That may be part of the problem. Animals that are shipped by air are typically kept at an air pressure equivaIent to 8000 ft altitude. If they're shipped from low altitude then in the air for hours and then land several thousand feet lower or higher they can suffer from all kinds of atmospheric pressure change problems. I would certainly contact the breeder/shipper.
They were definitely shipped by air (next day air). I had no idea they didn’t keep them in a pressurized area. How awful.

They're so darn cute though, makes me think someday maybe I'll get more
They are my favorite! I think I have a boy and a girl, and I’m still trying to think of names.
 
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