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Old 01-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #1
Pufferfish22
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advice needed for trimming an F8 pufferfish's beak

I have 4 F8's who are fed snails and cockles to keep their beaks trimmed but one of them has an over grown beak and I need to trim it. Help, how on earth do I do this, I read on the internet to put 4 drops of clove oil in a 1 litre pot and put the fish in it until it is sedated enough to pick up under the water and to then trim his beak using cuticle clippers. In theory this sounds OK but pactically I'm terrified of hurting him and damaging his body as he has skin and not scales.

It's a long shot but is there anyone in the South West of England who could do this? If not I need to give it a go myself but any hints or advice would be gratefully recieved. Why has this happened to him and not the other 3?
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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no clove oil!!!

see if you can get MS-222

also think about going without meds.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENX6NZ2Bb_c]Trimming the teeth of the Colomesus Asellus without sedatives - YouTube[/ame]

that is me doing a trim. An F8 shouldn't be much different but when in doubt use MS-222
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Your not going to be able to get MS-22, especially in the UK. Besides that there are research papers that say clove oil (eugenol) is a suitable replacement for MS-22. I've used it a number of times to sedate fish without a problem. If you are unsure about using clove oil practice with some guppies. I personally have never lost a fish I intended to sedate using clove oil.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Your not going to be able to get MS-22, especially in the UK. Besides that there are research papers that say clove oil (eugenol) is a suitable replacement for MS-22. I've used it a number of times to sedate fish without a problem. If you are unsure about using clove oil practice with some guppies. I personally have never lost a fish I intended to sedate using clove oil.
You're right, I can't get it in the UK, how much clove oil should I use? Is 2 drops in 1 litre too much?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pufferfish22 View Post
You're right, I can't get it in the UK, how much clove oil should I use? Is 2 drops in 1 litre too much?
I've never actually used a specific dosage. I usually move the fish to a small container then add 1-2 drops of clove oil. Gently swish it in, its oil and won't mix in much don't be bothered by this. The eugenol can actively diffuse from the oil into the water. Make sure you have a container of fresh water setup ideally with some aeration or use fresh dechlorinated tap water(w/ salt if you have that in the tank). Once you add the oil in with the fish watch the fish closely. He will probably freak out at first then slow down. Watch his behavior closely, particularly gill movement. There will be a point where he will begin to loose balance and probably turn sideways (most fish end up sideways then upside down). Leave him in there only until you feel like you can handle him safely without much struggling, this may be before he even looses balance. He does not need to be completely out. Do not wait once he is sedated enough to handle. Start trimming his beak and if he struggles too much put him back in the sedative. If he is out well enough to handle I would move him to the fresh water while working on his beak. Again watch gill movement through the entire thing. His breathing will slow but should be regular. If it becomes really slow then abort and put him in new water. Once done leave him in the new water and watch his breathing. He will take awhile to come back around and it will be gradual, a good 30 minuets is common so don't be worried. Once he is alert and able to swim normally and confidently he can go back in the tank. Watch him closely for the next few days to make sure he is in good health.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq65U-c2m00&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL"]This [/ame] This is a good video for sedating, he uses MS-22 but the process and behavior the fish goes through is the same as clove oil.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Haxa-VeR0kk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL"]this[/ame]
The last half of the above video shows recovery. Obviously not all of these techniques will be usable for small fish. Hopefully they will give you something to go off of and some confidence. Confidence is the biggest thing, sedating is fairly easy and safe on healthy fish.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Thank you so much that was very helpful, feel a bit more confident about doing it now, just one more thing, how much should I trim off
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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I'd HIGHLY recommend against clove oil.

If you go this route, you have to ensure a proper diet. It is believed that clove oil is carcinogenic. Multiple applications take higher doses to sedate the puffer and eventually the puffer does not recover.

I have had people tell me that a few times.

IMHO if you use clove oil make certain that the diet contains enough food with "crunch" value to ensure that you don't have to preform the procedure again 90%+

Also you only want to trim the edges of the teeth. Too deep and you risk snapping the tooth from the root. Too shallow and you'll have to do it again.

Ask your vet about getting some MS-222. They should be able to prescribe it, and thus you can order it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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The sun is also a carcinogen. Clove oil has long been used to reduce tooth pains and is a common ingredient in food.

I've never heard of or experienced that repeated treatments have any effect on fish. Fish go under and come back the same they always do from my experiences. While you may be able to get MS-22 in the US with only a little difficulty, getting it in the UK is gonna be much more difficult.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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With all that said Invert Planet is right you only one to give a puffer clove oil once or twice in its life, it might be ok on regular fish but puffers are 100 times more sensitive than any other fish.
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