Figure 8 constantly swimming top of water. -please help - Puffer Fish Information - Pufferfish, Boxfish, and Cowfish
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Figure 8 constantly swimming top of water. -please help

Dear all.

I am having a nightmare. I have been running my brackish tank for nearly 4 years. 6 figure 8's and a Colombian shark! Absolutely no problems at all with limited Maintenance.
As the shark continued to grow I have bought a new tank. Read, seeked advice and believe that I did not have to fully cycle the tank as I was transferring over my old filter and was going to leave that in for 6 or so weeks.
Anyway, setup new tank, waiting a week and then carefully bagged up the fish, transferred to new tank and slowly mix water etc before releasing them into tank.
After 10 hours later after all was looking good I noticed that 5 of the puffers where all floating at the top motionless. Honestly I thought they had passed away.
I panicked and so whipped them out straight back into the old tank. After 2 minutes 4 of them where visibly better, 1 remained upside down motionless (god knows but after 10 minutes he was back with us :) ).

The issue then comes that 24 hours later 2 of them are swimming along with their noses on the top of the tank. (In 4 years they have never done this!) even in my old tank.

Does anyone have any idea why they would be swimming on the top?

Even the shark seems to be breathing heavier with big gulps.

I am worried now I will loose all of them as I have no idea what is wrong.
I am put of now even considering moving them to the new tank in the future (if they survive! :(.

Any advice gladly received.

Ben
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:33 PM
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Sounds like they are in need of oxygen. You have any flow in the tank breaking up the water surface? Have you taken any water readings? What is the water Temp?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I thought! The temp is at 23. Exact same as the tank they come from. Exact same salinity in both tanks too. The power head is not the strongest I have seen, tank is a juwel trigon tank but I do have 2 45cm airstones also operating, which where on for a week or so constant before I put the fish over into the tank.
It's really strange as I thought this would have supplies a nice mixture of oxygen into the water.
Water readings tomorrow on both tanks, missed the shop today for kits.
They seem to be doing better again now as have done a partial water change on my old tank as well and have just left them there for the time being. Scared to move them (did not realise how attached I got to them. ;) ).

I actually had a young mono and a night goby in the new tank. They have been in for nearly a week now in the new tank and have been doing fine, hence why I thought it would be ok to move over the other fish and the filter.
Will test waters ASAP tomorrow.

Thanks for the response reeding madness.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 07:25 PM
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Water parameters will give us a better idea whats going on.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Right so water testing kit acquired. Never realised they were so expensive. Never had one before! Bad fish keeper I am but not had 1 death in my brackish tank in 4 years.

I am not what to make of the readings and have to do more research. Maybe these will mean something to you.
I have taken readings from new tank and old.

New
Ph: 7.6-7.8
Ammonia: 0.00-0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 5 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm
Temp: 24 degrees Celsius
Salinity: 1.007

Old tank
Ph: 7.6-7.8
Ammonia: 0.00-0.25
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Temp: 23 degrees Celsius
Salinity: 1.008

Obviously I am more concerned about getting the new tank right as they are perfectectlynhappy in the old tank even though the nitrate seemed high (from what I know about readings.

To further break up the surface water I have purchased a mini power head to which is getting a nice breakup on the surface now to increase oxygen.

So any thoughts or conclusions?

I think I may have to just transfer 1 by 1 over several weeks and keep a very close eye!

Cheers
Ben
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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From what I have just read it seems to be the nitrite? Would I be right in my conclusion?
The fish where at the surface, listless and gasping for air. Which seems to be everything I have read about high nitrite levels at at 5ppm I believe that is pretty high!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:30 PM
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Nitrite is not as dangerous and Amomonia, which burns thier gills, and robs them of oxygen. the Ammonia and Nitrite readings are telling me that your tank is still in cycle. They are to high to just be random numbers. Your fish are in for some trouble there if you can't get the Ammonia down to 0. Try doing a few high volume water changes to bring it down. The Nitrite in the water tells me you did recently have or still have Ammonia that your test kit is not picking up entirely.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again. I will do a high volume change and continue to monitor. All the time the nitrite and ammonia are not at zero then I will not be transferring the fish over. I should have looked further into testing the water before attempting to move the fish.

Cheers. Fingers crossed my next post is a positive one!

Ben
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:53 PM
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