Lethargic Puffer - not eating - Puffer Fish Information - Pufferfish, Boxfish, and Cowfish
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Lethargic Puffer - not eating

Please help, the larger of my 2 F8 puffers is very lethargic and keeps sleeping a lot which is very unusual for him as he is the more active of the two. He is 2 inches long, the more dominant over food and has been looking emaciated. He has looked a bit better since nibbling on some small bits of frozen mussel but still very disinterested in food and ignoring larger chunks. The other fish is fine. The sick puffer does have protruding teeth and I am worried he might be unable to eat and starving. He has taken to curling up in the tops of plants which is very odd for him as he rarely rests in the day.

Tank spec:
One Monolux light unit,
One Juwel tube Daylite T8 fluorescent tube length 457mm, 15 watts
Filter Model Juwel Bioflow Super
Poly Pad, Carbon Sponge, Nitrate Sponge, Fine Sponge.
Pump, Juwel Bioflow 280
Heater, Juwel 50 watt heater

Volume: approx. 63 litres
Aquarium Size: 61 x 31 x 42cm external measurements

Sand substrate, plenty of bogwood and fake plants. Brackish conditions and temperature around 25 centigrade. Poor sunlight as east facing room. Have been keeping the light on during the day since the puffer took ill but normally it is not switched on until we switch the room light on.

Tested for the following:

Ammonia - 0
No3 - 10
No2 - 0
GH - 8od
KH - 3od
PH - 7.2
Cl2 - 0

If advising any medication, it needs to be available in the UK. Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by Algae82; 05-30-2012 at 06:23 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 08:34 AM
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that sucks... But I know something that might help. this fish naturally eat shelled creatures IE shrimp krill ect. I think that you should put him in another tank ALONE and feed him Omega ome freeze dried tubifex worms. they are very healthy can you can press them onto plants or the side of the tank and they will stick to it. Another is freeze dried brine shrimp like I said they like shrimp and other live food Omega one brine shrimp come in cubes and when they get ripped apart by fish it spreads just like flakes would, all around the tank. My last word of advice is try to get frozen foods or live shrimp frozen foods are most likley in little cubes so you can hand feed the puffer. and live shrimp will try to escape so it gets to move more.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Algae82 View Post
Please help, the larger of my 2 F8 puffers is very lethargic and keeps sleeping a lot which is very unusual for him as he is the more active of the two. He is 2 inches long, the more dominant over food and has been looking emaciated. He has looked a bit better since nibbling on some small bits of frozen mussel but still very disinterested in food and ignoring larger chunks. The other fish is fine. The sick puffer does have protruding teeth and I am worried he might be unable to eat and starving. He has taken to curling up in the tops of plants which is very odd for him as he rarely rests in the day.

Tank spec:
One Monolux light unit,
One Juwel tube Daylite T8 fluorescent tube length 457mm, 15 watts
Filter Model Juwel Bioflow Super
Poly Pad, Carbon Sponge, Nitrate Sponge, Fine Sponge.
Pump, Juwel Bioflow 280
Heater, Juwel 50 watt heater

Volume: approx. 63 litres
Aquarium Size: 61 x 31 x 42cm external measurements

Sand substrate, plenty of bogwood and fake plants. Brackish conditions and temperature around 25 centigrade. Poor sunlight as east facing room. Have been keeping the light on during the day since the puffer took ill but normally it is not switched on until we switch the room light on.

Tested for the following:

Ammonia - 0
No3 - 10
No2 - 0
GH - 8od
KH - 3od
PH - 7.2
Cl2 - 0

If advising any medication, it needs to be available in the UK. Thanks in advance for your help.
I'm sorry for your little guy. I'm interested in this post, because I'm looking to get a F8 puffer soon. A vet that specializes in exotics could trim the teeth, which you probably need to do to rule out starvation. I also saw a YouTube video with instructions how to do it, with a product you can find in a tooth care aisle. If you're brave you could do it yourself. Check out YouTube, with a search for Trimming teeth of F8.

The other thing I would do is google "puffer fish diseases" and start seeing what you can learn, in case it takes someone awhile with experience to help you here. Good luck! I hope he gets better!

Gwen

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 09:36 AM
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by Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo
Do you feed any clams, or other crustations so his teeth are able to be ground down?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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by Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo
Do you feed any clams, or other crustations so his teeth are able to be ground down?

Thanks for your messages of sympathy and advice, really appreciate this. To answer the above, we feed them snails (small ones from another tank though these have recently died out so we need to get more) but not as often as I suspect that we should. We occasionally feed them snails from the garden, they are not common garden ones as such, but smaller, striped ones. They've always been fine with those but I guess they could have parasites? Ick.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 04:13 PM
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possible parasites. Treat the food with parasite clear. To entice eating try soaking the food in garlic puree. It is a known attractant.

The combination of these should help. "Should being the key word there".

For food, while treating I'd stick with raw frozen shrimp for the next few weeks and see if that helps.




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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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possible parasites. Treat the food with parasite clear. To entice eating try soaking the food in garlic puree. It is a known attractant.

The combination of these should help. "Should being the key word there".

For food, while treating I'd stick with raw frozen shrimp for the next few weeks and see if that helps.
Thanks, I'll try that. Should we be avoiding feeding our fish with non-water based snails do you think? I'm going to get some frozen shrimp (they've only ever had frozen mussel before and deserve a change anyhow). I'm a bit nervous about treating for parasites as I heard some treatments are too strong or not effective but I'll try this. I left the little guy alone for most of yesterday and he seemed to rest most of the day in the top of plants. Today he's been in a corner with his head down, then back in the top of the plant.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 07:45 AM
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treating for parasites is fine. You can't OD on that treatment. Bacterial and fungal infections are different. You can OD on those.




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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treating for parasites is fine. You can't OD on that treatment. Bacterial and fungal infections are different. You can OD on those.
I went straight to the pet shop and got some frozen shrimp. I asked them about parasite treatment and the guy said they didn't have that specifically. I'd picked up a bacterial treatment so now I know why he was reluctant that I use that. He said it wouldn't treat parasites and that I might need to go to a specialist store so will see what I can find (I'm in the UK). He also said that I should try lowering the water temp as it has been unusually warm here for a week or two (now cooling down). The tank water has been 25 bordering on 26 centigrade so I have put about 1 litre cold water in to see if that lowers it. The sick puffer heaved himself out of a crevice to nibble a bit of frozen daphnia but still not rushing at food like normal. I'm just debating whether to leave the light off now, in case it's heating the water at the same time.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 08:16 AM
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I went straight to the pet shop and got some frozen shrimp. I asked them about parasite treatment and the guy said they didn't have that specifically. I'd picked up a bacterial treatment so now I know why he was reluctant that I use that. He said it wouldn't treat parasites and that I might need to go to a specialist store so will see what I can find (I'm in the UK). He also said that I should try lowering the water temp as it has been unusually warm here for a week or two (now cooling down). The tank water has been 25 bordering on 26 centigrade so I have put about 1 litre cold water in to see if that lowers it. The sick puffer heaved himself out of a crevice to nibble a bit of frozen daphnia but still not rushing at food like normal. I'm just debating whether to leave the light off now, in case it's heating the water at the same time.

It's good he's eating a bit, but I think you need to act quickly and find treatment, like Invertplanet suggested. I'd do a google search and see where you can find that near you, or from what retailer would ship to you quickly.

Gwen

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