Concern about Algae in Teeth - Puffer Fish Information - Pufferfish, Boxfish, and Cowfish
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Concern about Algae in Teeth

Hello,

I am new here, and know little about fish. I do not have my own aquarium, but I've been observing a tank at my college, and I have a concern about their valentinni's sharpnose puffer. The poor little guy has a lot of algae stuck in his teeth. I noticed this almost three weeks ago, and it has not improved. Last week, I did a good chunk of research and found that puffer fish need to have their teeth ground down or they starve. This one looks like it's still eating (I have video) and it is defecating, so something is still getting through I guess, but his teeth do look quite large, and his jaw never seems to close as much as in pictures of healthy ones I've seen. There is coral in the tank which I've seen him nibble algae off of, and I suppose that could hypothetically wear down his teeth, but I'm still concerned. Am I worried over nothing? I tried to attach (poor quality) videos and photos I took today, but it wouldn't let me for some reason.


PS: According to what I read on the internet and the posted settings on our tank, some of the settings are slightly out of this species's comfort range. I assume this is to keep a balance with the other inhabitants of the tank. Should this be a concern?
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Attempt to post a photo

Let's see if this works...

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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:46 PM
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Ouch, his beak looks bad...
I know freshwater and brackish puffers love love snails, and that's what we use to keep their beaks ground down, they eat the live snail, shell and all. I know that there's snails for saltwater tanks so some crunchy food is your best bet.

I've heard of people filing down their beaks but that sounds terrifying. O___O

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Let's see if I can get video to work: This is him eating. At about 45 seconds and for a while after that, you can see his mouth move a little, but I'm not sure his mouth ever closes normally. http://s1244.photobucket.com/albums/...urrent=220.mp4
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:05 PM
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You may want to ask a local saltwater shop or put up an ad somewhere to try and find someone that can clip his beak for you, I don't think it'll recover at this point without a good snipping. If you can't find someone to do it for you, you'd have to do it yourself.. It involves putting the fish to sleep temporarily and using cuticle clippers. I have no clue how to euthanize saltwater fish safely so don't have any ideas for that one.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thing is, it's not my fish. It's the school's. I talked to the man who runs stuff like that in that building, and printed out information, but he didn't seem to concerned. I just want to ask some puffer experts about whether I'm just unnecessarily concerned.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:12 PM
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I have no clue about the algae, but that fish is in pretty severe condition. Not sure how long it can go on, but it's like not clipping a dogs nails, or letting a rabbit's teeth get overgrown (if any of those comparisons help). It's going to keep getting worse and worse, and if something happens to it's mouth, it's pretty much over.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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One more video: http://s1244.photobucket.com/albums/...urrent=209.mp4

At about 1:40, the chewing (after he nibbled on what may have been algae) behavior is really well shown.

Also, I realized when looking at the video that his jaw looks kinda off center. It does not in person. The algae just makes it look off. Also, on the bottom, the algae is only on his lip. The teeth go way higher (so when he chews the teeth do touch. The video kinda looks like they don't, and there is a gap, but the white space is his teeth.

And thanks for your replies, Olympia!
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