Urgent: Dwarf Puffer Sick

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by thinkpink94, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Hi Fishlore,

    Something is wrong with one of my dwarf pufferfish. I have two of them in the tank. This morning, I came down to find pip lying on the sand in the back of the tank. I thought she was dead, so I went to scoop her out with a net, but she twisted away from the net and went back to lying down, so I know she's alive. I immediately tested the tank water and it is immaculate ( ammonia: 0/ nitrite: 0/ nitrate: 0) and I did a 40% water change less than a week ago (they're due for another water change tomorrow). Also, my other puffer, Sydney is swimming around fine, so I really don't think it's the water. I also don't think Sydney attacked her because she has no signs of physical damage and I saw Sydney swim past her twice without paying her the slightest attention. The past two or three days, pip has not eaten much, but I chalked that up to typical puffer pickiness and I was going to find something else for her to try (right now I'm feeding them frozen bloodworms and frozen shrimp). The only other physical thing off about pip (besides lying on the ground) is that her color is much darker than usual.

    Note: I posted this same topic under freshwater fish diseases, but it hasn't gotten any responses, so I'm going to post it here as well. Sorry for the overload.

    Here's a picture of pip: ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1436124448.528126.jpg

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  2. NanoNaterNew MemberMember

    Double post?

    Edit: Ahhh I see, :console:
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
  3. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    do you feed them anything aside from frozen foods? Snails, mosquito larvae, black worms?

    What size is the tank and how long have you had them?

    My male dwarf puffer is much darker than my female, and smaller. She also chases him when she gets the chance, but not when he is near the bottom of the tank. What kind of hiding spots do you have?
    Is the tank planted?
  4. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Unfortunately, Pip passed away :(

    I haven't fed them anything other than the frozen food, but I've only had them 2 or 3 weeks so I was going to get them something new this week. The tank is 5.5 gallons and extremely well planted. I'm pretty sure both of them are females. Both have white bellies, no wrinkles around their eyes. Pip was a very very pale green (almost white) with dark spots, but when she was lying down this morning, I thought her coloring was much darker, she almost looked completely brown on top.

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  5. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    Sorry for your loss :(
  6. MJDutiWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry to hear that. Since you saw no physical changes other than getting darker, any other behavior or swimming changes? Is it just them in the tank? Did you do anything different recently? It's crazy to me because it all happened so fast.
  7. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    Could've been an internal parasite. Had that happen to my platies. Perfect water parameters and both died within 2 days of taking them home. The white stringy poo should've been my first indication, but I brushed it off. Then I realized once they started to lay in the substrate all the time that something was wrong. Did you notice any white poo from pip? This sounds very similar to what happened to my fish which I diagnosed their problem (I'm not 100% sure) as swim bladder disease. Do you think that could've been it?
  8. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    It was just the two of them in the tank. I did nothing differently. I change their water on Mondays. I added water yesterday, but I added prime to the new water before adding it (and Sydney's doing great so I'm not sure it's a water issue). What I noticed is that yesterday and the day before, Pip wasn't eating much. She would examine the food and take a few bites, but she certainly wasn't filling up (as opposed to Sydney who engorges herself at each meal). I was going to get them a new food to try today but pip didn't make it before I could do so :(

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

    bettamars it could've been a parasite. I just don't know :(

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2015
  9. Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry for your loss! :(
    Here is some great information on puffer care.
  10. MJDutiWell Known MemberMember

    at least you tried what you could to save him. I think a good portion of us have lost fish to bizarre situations, including myself. It's best to try to figure out why in case it may affect the rest of the tank and its inhabitants. Him not eating for a few days didn't directly kill him. Most fish can go quite some time without food, obviously not recommended though.

    IF it was IPs (internal parasites) then there is always a chance that the other might have them. Your current puffer just may have a stronger immune system at the moment. But if stressed or something happens to it, then it may become infected. If you think it was a good shot of IPs, then I would lightly treat your current puffer. You can either do it via water or food, food being the most direct and best route.

    IF it was a swim bladder issue you would have known by very bizarre swimming/floating/spinning, etc.

    Is there anywhere in the tank that he could have got stuck?

    Let us know if anything comes back to you, so we might be able to figure it out.
  11. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Thanks MJDuti, I definitely want to figure out what happened. I agree, I thought fish could go at least a week if not two without eating, so I don’t think 2 days of minimal eating would kill her.

    I’m leaning towards it being internal parasites. I never saw Pip poop, so I can’t say if there was anything wrong with her poo. (I’ve seen Sydney poo, as recently as today).

    I’m going to rule out swim bladder disease because she wasn’t bloated and she had been swimming completely fine less than 24 hours before. This was very sudden, I have no idea what happened to her which makes me sad :(

    What do you mean about her getting stuck in something? I have a little cave she could swim in, but it’s not small enough she could get stuck in it. Could she have gotten stuck in the fake plants? How would this have made her ill? The stress? She had NO physical damage when I pulled her out of the tank.
  12. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    It could've been anything. A disease that she contracted at the store/breeder that took a while to present itself and eventually took her life or an internal deformity from birth/hatching, etc. I would just keep a close eye on Sydney in case it was contagious, but there's no need to beat yourself up over it. It sounds like you were taking good care of Pip and gave her a good life before she passed :)
  13. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Thank you so much bettamars. That's very kind to say :) I hope Pip did have a good couple of weeks with me
  14. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    So do you guys recommend I should start treating Sydney for a possible parasite? If so, what do you recommend I do?

    Thanks :)
  15. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. Treating before any symptoms could do more harm than good.
  16. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Okay! Thank you! That's what I figured too. Sydney seems fine, so I didn't want to treat her unless everyone thought it absolutely necessary.