Dogface Puffer - Velvet
My dogface pufferfish - about one year old - has come down with an advanced stage of Velvet. He has been in a QT for just over three weeks now.
The first photo is when he started to show signs of a problem. The texture of his skin has raised bumps. Almost like goosebumps. Also there are small white specks on the fins. Possibly thought to be ich, but there were no problems with the gils at the time. No loss of appetite.
The second photo is when he was having a somewhat bad day. His color darkened (often occurs if he's moody) and looking a little filmy. It is at this time that we moved to get him in a QT. For a couple weeks we simply worked to treat him with elevated temperature and hyposalinity. We wanted to avoid chemicals if it possible. He managed to get along in the QT for three weeks with no changes in his condition. He wasn't getting better, but he wasn't getting worse. No loss in appetite.
Photos three and four were taken yesterday (on about the 22nd day of quarantine). I came home from work and he was sedentary on the sand, dark, labored breathing and cotton-like film hanging all over his body. I immediately took photos and went to the fish store where a sickness expert diagnosed him with velvet. He instructed me to immediately treat the QT with Ruby Reef Rally.
I bought the Rally and started it that day (yesterday). After about 5-6 hours the puffer started to show a little bit of life. He was moving around, but staying near the sand. He sat near the air stone (which I added when I treated the water with Rally). His color improved slightly and the breathing calmed down a little bit.
this morning he was still swimming. But when I cam home from work he looked exactly like when I found him yesterday: lethargic, dark, covered in that spiderweb looking mucus. I immediately gave the water a second treatment of Rally (it's a daily treatment). And now this is where I am.
I'm looking for any advice or information from aquarists who have dealt with velvet. And how it turned out for you. I'm hoping I can nurse him back to health, but he looks so bad right now. And everything I read gives me the inclination that he doesn't have much time left.
I have been told that puffers are resilient and could fight off the infection, so that's what I'm hoping for right now. BUT I still would like to get any and all advice I can.
I want to give him an RO dip to get the goop off of his skin, but I am afraid that - in his weakened condition - the stress from the dip would hurt him even more.