Sick porcupine puffer

JCW

New Member
I have had Craig my puffer for 4 months, and he is about 6 inches long. Last Thursday I did a normal water change and cleaned out some of his clam shells. The next day he was hanging out at the bottom of the tank were he likes to put his shells when he's done. Since he didn't come to great me when I got home from work, I immediately tested the water & all the levels were good. He looked ok & still ate some, though not as much as normal, so I thought he was upset because I cleaned his area out. Two days later he was starting to act himself again, and ate a shrimp. But the next day he was at the bottom of the tank again. This time he was breathing heavy, his skin is discolored, holding his fins in, and started looking bloated. He is in a 150 gal tank, with a clown, lawnmower blenny, pajama cardinal, and a lunar wrasse. I have not added anything to the tank in over 2 months. I bought the set up used and ran it for a month with the cardinal, clown & blenny since they came with the tank. None of the other fish seem to be having a problem.
 

beth

Administrator
Staff member
What are feeding him, how often, and are you offerring him hard shelled foods so he can keep his teeth filed down? Notice any aggression? How did you clean the clam shells? Are you saying that the puffer will move the shells with his mouth?
 

JCW

New Member
What are feeding him, how often, and are you offerring him hard shelled foods so he can keep his teeth filed down? Notice any aggression? How did you clean the clam shells? Are you saying that the puffer will move the shells with his mouth?
He gets a 1/2 clam shell in the morning then a shrimp in the evening. He's never been aggressive & none of the other fish both him. All I did was remove the clam shell that he had piled up from his feedings. He normally drops them in one specific area.
 

beth

Administrator
Staff member
Is he still eating? If so, try to offer him a bit more variety with the food. A single source is not ideal. Is the shrimp marine and is it alive or dead? You can get raw seafood at your local food store seafood department- pick up a few small portions of different things (you can keep frozen until use. Add Selcon to the fish food as you prep to give it to fish, letting it soak for about 5 mins.

Can you post a quality digital pic?
 

JCW

New Member
Is he still eating? If so, try to offer him a bit more variety with the food. A single source is not ideal. Is the shrimp marine and is it alive or dead? You can get raw seafood at your local food store seafood department- pick up a few small portions of different things (you can keep frozen until use. Add Selcon to the fish food as you prep to give it to fish, letting it soak for about 5 mins.

Can you post a quality digital pic?
He stopped eating yesterday. The shrimp is raw from the freezer section of the grocery store & the clams are frozen from the pet store.
 

Attachments

beth

Administrator
Staff member
His body still looks good, at least from the pics. Is it possible that the food is spoiled? Noticed that you said he got sick 2nd time after eating shrimp. Try doing daily water changes, very small gradual changes (two-three gals day). You can remove 3 gals, and then replace it gradually. See if this helps out. I'm assuming that you premix and age your water prior to doing water changes? Be sure that there is no ammonia and nitrites, check your pH, salinity, temp.
 

JCW

New Member
His body still looks good, at least from the pics. Is it possible that the food is spoiled? Noticed that you said he got sick 2nd time after eating shrimp. Try doing daily water changes, very small gradual changes (two-three gals day). You can remove 3 gals, and then replace it gradually. See if this helps out. I'm assuming that you premix and age your water prior to doing water changes? Be sure that there is no ammonia and nitrites, check your pH, salinity, temp.
Yeah, I premix all my water at least 24 hours in advance. I did put a multi treatment in from the pet store Tues. night. I had to do a 25% change last night. He started to get a little active while I was removing water. Then after I got the new water put in, he had a rather large BM. Then a little later his bloating started going away. He's still not very active, but he does look like he's doing better. I'm going to go get him some different food today. He did eat his clam shell this morning like he did before this started. I will also try the small water changes like you suggested. I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me work through this.
 

beth

Administrator
Staff member
Just a note, it is better to do smaller water changes, even every day, rather than large ones. You get a steady supply of refreshed water daily without the animal stress of major water variants which happens with periodic water changes. Of course, that requires keeping a supply of water ready to go all the time.

Hopefully, he will do better now.
 
Top