I did a 50% water change today. Wouldn't nitrate poisoning affect the other fish? Also, I did a 25% water change two weeks ago, a 10% water change when i did dead lifts the weekend before that and a 50% change the second weekend of February because my little brother spent the weekend with me and I had a grounding to enforce. I know it's not a proper schedule but I do have about three handfuls of plants inside the 46 gallon and feed sparingly because the inhabitants eat the algae, plants and snails all day. I fed enough to ensure the snails were nutrient-rich. Maybe it wasn't enough and he died due to some kind of nutrient deficiency?
I guess I need to be more specific about what I meant by "unknown causes". My friend Duane worked with puffers/ kept puffers for many years. He said it was most likely a genetic issue. He sometimes when he was working at Old Town Aquarium in Chicago fish would just die and there was no specific reason why, hence an "unknown" cause although the cause was the makeup of the fish's genes.
A mod on this site I had messaged in private, whom I have the utmost respect for due to all the assistance and proper information he's provided me with in the past, also mentioned it could be a genetic issue.
Another person I emailed in private said it sounded stress related.
I feel it was a combination of those factors.
Stress because I witnessed the same symptoms in two Brazilian Rams November 2010. Some idiot put two rams in a freshly cycled tank with the wrong ph required for them to live proper. A week later the female was swimming weird, tail up, sideways sometimes and seemed disoriented. She died hours later. The male lived for a week after that. The ph of the tank was slowly lowered to the proper level. A week later he started swimming odd and was rushed to Preuss pets in Lansing for care. He stayed overnight but sadly, passed too. That idiot was me, about two years ago, when I bought two rams without doing any research. My same fish friend, Duane, kept rams and I assumed they were hardy. Dumb, especially considering most of the fish he cared for, after much research, I found were extremely picky about their living quarters and did not purchase for my tank because I seek out fish that are fairly hardy.
Maybe it was stress because I have been a little neglectful this month due to school and work and didn't have time to get safe, stare at my tank, replant all my plants Pig Pig dug up and wonder if my fishes were "truly" happy.
Genetic because I didn't do anything majorly different this month compared to the months prior. I've been caring for my fish the same way since November. They stayed with my mom from August till Thanksgiving and I called her every day to make sure my fish were alive. She changed the water twice the whole time they lived with her and overfed them all the time. I thought if I was going to lose any fish from poor water quality it would've been then.
Anyone heard of plant nutrients stressing out fish? I feel like I've asked this before and it doesn't.
Anyways, thanks for the assistance. Pig Pig will be sorely missed and never replaced. I'm going to find two more fish like sir fatpants in the picture so my tank doesn't look so barren now that Pig Pig isn't utilizing all that free space for zooming and playing in the bubbles.