3 dead gsp - Puffer Fish Information - Pufferfish, Boxfish, and Cowfish
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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3 dead gsp

Hi,i'm new here,but have been reading through the forums building up my puffer knowledge for a while now.
Sorry to start off on such a bad foot,but I have lost three gsp in the last 2 weeks and I don't know why.
Ok here is what happened,sorry if it's a long post.

Had a 15 gallon tank quite heavily stocked with a under gravel filter all nicely set up and running for over 2 years alongside my larger 50 gallon tank. Anyhow I fancied a change so I decided to empty my 15 gallon tank and get 2 gsp to go in there with nothing else (I know they need a bigger tank,but was planning on moving them in 6/12 months time to a bigger tank as they were only about 1/1.5 inch in size).
Checked with my lfs and they were using api aquarium salt so before adding my gsp's I added the same amount of salt as the shop was using,the temp was 26,ammonia and nitrites 0 (tank had been running for 2 years) and nitrates weren't 0,but under 20 as I did a large water change when adding the salt.

Added my 2 gsp's and everything seemed fine,fed them the following day some blood worm which they went mad for,also the tank had a really bad snail problem,but the 2 gsp's virtually wiped them out in a day or so.
The problems started about 3 days in,they didn't seem quite right hanging around the bottom of the tank/letting the flow of the filter push them around and what look liked heavy breathing/panting. Following morning 1 was dead,checked ammonia/nitrite both still 0.
So I thought that the problem could have been I was using aquarium salt like my lfs and not marine salt,so to try and save my last gsp I did a water change and added some marine salt (0.002) anyhow 2 days later that 1 died.

Went back to my lfs and took some water in for them to sample,everything spot on,only thing they could think of was my ph was a bit low (around 6.9/7) so I got some ph up and they gave me a replacement gsp.
Before adding my new gsp I bought the ph up to approx 8,added my new gsp and yet again he looked to be breathing heavy and going around with his mouth constantly open,but I put it down to him settling in.
Things didn't improve over the next day thou and the following morning that 1 had passed away to,I feel so bad but don't know what the cause can be.
Any suggestions?
Sorry to be so long winded,but wanted to give a much detail as possible.
The tank had been running fine for the last 2 years with no diseases in there what so ever,I am relatively experienced with tropical fish,thou this was my first attempt at a brackish/puffer setup.

Ohh 1 last thing,the gsp semed fine in the shop,lovely bright green heads,white bellies,feeding well and very active so it wasn't like they were on their way out before I picked them up.

Thanks

Last edited by sabatier1; 03-26-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 07:35 PM
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it really sounds like an ammonia problem. I know you stated the 0's but how old is the test kit?

Are you cleaning up the food waste after you have finished feeding them?

Possibly a lack of O2 in the tank?



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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 12:58 PM
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how big was your snail problem? Is it possible that the puffers gorged themselves to death? I know they are notorious gluttons and will eat until they kill themselves if the food is there.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 01:01 PM
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hard for me to imagine food waste being the culprit after only one or two feedings. when you emptied your tank, did you also empty out the gravel? I am sure you didn't, with your experience in tropical fish... just trying to help you troubleshoot ;)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 06:05 PM
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I lost my GSPs to food waste. There was a piece a shrimp I didn't find when cleaning the tank and it caused an ammonia spike and "poof" dead in under 24 hours.

All the other fish survived and the bioload corrected itself not long after that.




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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys it's much appreciated,sorry I haven't posted earlier,but that thing that gets in the way of my life called "work" has been calling!

Test kit is a API freshwater master,but it is I guess about 3 years old now,something I certainly hadn't thought of,but maybe its out of date and giving dodgy readings.

When I emptied the tank I left the gravel there,I did a big water change and had a good hoover round,and I stripped down the powerhead,but nothing really more drastic than I was doing every 2 weeks when it had my other fish in.

Don't think lack of oxygen is a problem as I have a spray bar just out of the water with a really good current moving the surface around.

There wasn't much food to clean up as I only fed them a few times before they passed away.

I certainly does sound like an ammonia problem and maybe the puffers overfeeding on snails caused a massive spike.

I really want to get a puffer,but certainly don't want to loose another one so I think I will get a snail trap and try and get rid of them before trying again.

Any other suggestions on what I could do before adding another one?
Also while I am here what are peoples thoughts/suggestions on other types of puffer,don't mind if they are freshwater/brackish,but don't want a type that gets bigger than 6" as when I upgrade my tank I won't be able to go much bigger than 30/40 gallon.

Thanks again for all the comments some ideas I hadn't thought of have come up and hopefully maybe a answer to my problem.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 07:25 PM
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Brackish:
GSPs are usually a good choice. They require higher salt levels and can go full marine.
F8s are really cool also. Their salt levels are slightly higher than FW up light brackish. (less long term cost than GSPs).

FW:
Congo puffers (if you can get one)
Red Eyed puffers are also very cool but aggressive
SAPs but then need to be kept in groups so 55+ gallons is really needed.

There are a few others but it is really only limited by your budget. =)




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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 07:54 PM
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Wow, good info on the food waste ammonia spike. I never knew it could happen so fast!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like my next puffer will either be a f8 or another gsp,if I was to get an f8 I guess it would save me upgrading my tank (15 gallon).

Any preferences between these 2? putting aside the different requirements needed for each one.

Cheers
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 08:06 PM
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In that situation it was under 24 hours from feeding to death. usually only ammonia can do that especially to multiple fish.

Most scaleless fish are very sensitive to water perams. Thus, keeping a 4" puffer in a 60 gal is not unheard of.




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