Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Brackish Puffer Disease/Health 3

Related Articles: Freshwater/Brackish PuffersAlone But Not Lonely: The Importance of  Keeping Puffers Individually by Damien Wagaman, Green Spotted Puffers (GSP's), The Arrowhead Puffer, Tetraodon suvattii, miraculously malicious, True Puffers, Puffers in General, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffy & Mr. NastyPuffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: BR Puffer Disease 1, BR Puffer Disease 2, GSP Disease, Figure-Eight Puffer Disease, & BR Puffers 1, BR Puffers 2, BR Puffers 3, BR Puffer Identification, BR Puffer Behavior, BR Puffer Selection, BR Puffer Compatibility, BR Puffer Systems, BR Puffer Feeding, BR Puffer Disease, BR Puffer Disease 2, BR Puffer Reproduction, Freshwater Puffers 1, FW Puffers 2, FW Puffers 3, FW Puffer Identification, FW Puffer Behavior, FW Puffer Selection, FW Puffer Compatibility, FW Puffer Systems, FW Puffer Feeding, FW Puffer Disease, FW Puffer Reproduction, Brackish Water Fishes in General, Puffers in General, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Green Spotted Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes,  


Pufferfish, MBU, with lump 5/5/08 Hi Bob, attached please find a few pictures of Klaus, a +50 cm big MBU ... AQ 1000 L The fish is in good shape (is active, eating regularly etc.), however shows up with a lump on the left side of his mouth. <I see this> If possible, please let me have your feedback if the lump could be dangerous for the fish and how it should be treated. Thanks for your support, Heike PS I ask the same question Martin Himmel, administrator of http://www.pufferforum.net <It may be that this is a "thyroidal" (Chromaffin tissue) tumour. These can often be treated with administration of iodine/ide/ate via foods/feeding. Do you administer vitamins already to this fish? Am sending this msg. to MarcoL for more/better input. Bob Fenner> Re: Pufferfish, MBU, with lump -- 05/06/08 Hi Bob, <Marco here today.> attached please find a few pictures of Klaus, a +50 cm big MBU ... AQ 1000 L The fish is in good shape (is active, eating regularly etc.), however shows up with a lump on the left side of his mouth. If possible, please let me have your feedback if the lump could be dangerous for the fish and how it should be treated. Thanks for your support, Heike. PS I ask the same question Martin Himmel, administrator of http://www.pufferforum.net <Hi Heike. As Bob already suggested this lump may be related to a lack of iodine, especially if the diet of this fish did not consist partially of crustaceans with their shell on. Another possible explanations would be a bacterial infection. In this case a sample (e.g. with a hypodermic needle) would have to be examined by a vet. If you decide to try that and if you are located in Germany the animal hospital Giessen ("Klinik für Vögel, Reptilien, Amphibien und Fische") would be one possible place to call and ask how to take and send a sample for further examination. They can possibly also refer you to another institute in case they are too far away. Also, measure nitrates as an indicator for organic pollution and in case they are beyond 30 ppm do a series of partial water changes. This might enhance its immune system, for the same purpose add vitamins to its food. Good luck with Klaus. Marco.> Pufferfish, MBU, with lump -- 08/06/08 Dear Bob, <Hello Heike, Marco filling in for Bob this time.> Thank you for your immediate reply. We´re located in Germany and I´m afraid I did not get all answers (especially the 'terms') correctly. If possible please let me have your reply once more with words a bit more easier to understand for *Germans* for these points: - Do you think the lump could be dangerous for the health of our puffer? <Possible, especially in the long run.> - What products do you suggest to provide our MBU with vitamins? Concerning your question about vitamins: We´ve put some drops of *V-Maxx Marinus Gel* (suggested from our dealer in Germany) on the food from time to time when feeding the MBU. <That's okay, I'd change the 'from time to time' into an 'often' until the lump is gone. For iodine consider feeding marine foods like unseasoned North Sea shrimps with their shell on.> Once more, thank you very much for your support! <I hope you did also get the e-mail re the University of Giessen and the suggestion to check organic pollution of the tank.> Best, Heike. <Greetings from the vicinity of Heidelberg. Marco.>

One Finned Puffer  1/4/07 Hi There <Hi Melissa, Pufferpunk here> My Name is Melissa. I recently got a green spotted puffer a few weeks back. He has been doing great since I got him. <Good to hear.> Today I went to feed him and he greeted me at the tank like he usually does and I noticed that he was missing his fin on the right side of his body. I am really worried because there are no other fish in his aquarium. What could have happened?  Is his fin gone for good now? The only items I have in his tank are a little log decor thing that and a rock thing with fake plants on it. They are both small and I don't see how that could harm him. I hope you can help. Thank you. <Sometimes fish look like their fin is missing but it's just using one fin.  If it continues for more that a few days, check his gill on that side.   If it looks inflamed or also is not moving, he may have gill flukes.   Read: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13 Also: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm You are welcome to join www.thepufferforum.com, for some great puffertalk!  ~PP> Melissa

Puffer fish ... ID, disease/env./sys.  11/16/06 Hi <<Hello>> I just bought 2 spotted puffers a couple days ago. Did they look like this?: http://www.pufferresources.net/puffer_profiles/viewtopic.php?t=19>> They were completely normal until yesterday when I noticed that one looked like he had ick. First of all what can I do about the ick. I am putting some medication in the water. <<Please don't before you know what kind of puffer you have, what ails it, and have them in a cycled, aquarium.  If these are indeed GSP's, (Tetraodon nigroviridis) then they need 30 gallons of water each minimum, and require full marine conditions as adults.>> Second, the same puffer sits in this one corner all the time while the other puffer is swimming around the tank. Is this normal? <<No. Please get back to me, and visit www.pufferresources.net.>> Thanks <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Puff Daddy not Well  7/27/06 I wrote yesterday hoping to get some insight as to why my puffer is ill.  All I got in response was that I was keeping a brackish water fish in fresh water.  <I assumed, since you IDed it as a FW puffer, you were keeping it in FW.> He is in brackish water, the pH levels are right and the water temp is 80 degrees (been very hot here).  Puff Daddy has a variety of foods but doesn't seem to be interested in much of anything.  He tends to stay up close to the surface of the water and is a very dark grey.  He almost looks as if he is having trouble breathing.  Is there anything I can try to make Puff Daddy feel better? <Heavy breathing is usually sign of ammonia/nitrite poisoning.  How was the tank cycled?  Did you read that article I linked you to?  Are you using marine salt?  What's the SG?  I also asked you to check the water parameters.  Get back to me with those & I'll try to help further.  ~PP> Puffer in Trouble!  6/2/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a mini green puffer fish that is not doing so well. <Please go here for proper ID: www.pufferlist.com> It seems to be very skinny then when I got it. <I see 2 mistakes so far--buying a fish without researching it & buying an unhealthy specimen.> We went to Petco and got brine shrimp. <Fairly unhealthy food--not very nutritious--mostly water.> I took him out of the tank and into a bowl with sea salt and pH down in it. <Why?  Please put the fish back in the tank!> I also put in the brine shrimp. His side fins are moving but he wont swim or move or eat. Please tell me what  can do to help him. I am completely helpless. <Go to www.thepufferforum.com & look at the articles in the Library there.  Read about the feeding of puffers & the care of them.  Read about cycling a tank too.  Read in the Hospital forum about treating internal parasites.  ~PP> -puff <Please be sure to use proper capitalization in your future letters.>

Treating Puffers with Ich  3/24/06 <Hi Brolin , Pufferpunk here.> I recently (over a week ago), purchased 3 figure-eight pufferfish from Wal-Mart.   <I wouldn't purchase toilet paper from them.> I know but I couldn't stand seeing such wonderful fish waste away. <Just encouraging them to buy more, since they see these fish sell.> They were already covered in ich.   <Never buy sick fish.> I chose three that seemed to have lots of energy.  I have cured ich in fish before and figured I could do the same with these puffers.  I have tried so many combinations of treatments and none have seemed to work.  I have been treating them with Quick Cure Ick (a formalin and malachite green solution).  I've added salt and raised the temperature and increased aeration, to prevent anoxic conditions.  I do a 50% H2O change if not once a day, every other day but the cysts on the fish have seemed to double the in the last two days.   <Bump that up to 80% daily.  Bare-bottom tank is best.> The fish still have a tremendous appetite, so I feel that there is still hope. <That is a good sign.  Sometimes it looks worse, before it gets better.> I was thinking about switching aquariums everyday until the fish are cured and thoroughly clean the previous tank but I didn't want to stress the fish out more and make them more susceptible.   <That does sound stressful.> I also have Clout, but it says not to use it on scaleless fish.   <I wouldn't use it then.> I was also wandering what kind of filtration would be good to have going?  I am currently running an undergravel filter with a power head and a power filter with just a fiber cartridge, no activated carbon. If I switch aquariums, should I just not use any rocks or substrate? <Bare bottom, simple filtration is best for a QT.> Please help!  I truly appreciate it, and so do my fish!! <Sounds like you are doing everything possible for these poor fellas.  Check here, to see if you missed anything: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9 Check out that forum too!  ~PP> Thanks and God Bless, Brolin Evans

Improperly Housed Puffers - 2/21/2006 Hello <<Hello Jeremy.>> I have recently come across your site searching for questions about my puffer's water condition. I have 3 GSP and 2 Fahaka puffers (all are in the neighborhood of 3.5 inches long) in a 46 gallon tank (tall corner unit) with a Penguin BioWheel 200. <<Your Fahaka's needs freshwater, and a 125 gallon tank each, while your GSP's need high-end brackish water, and 30 gallons PER fish.  They are not compatible, regardless of aggression, as they need entirely different water parameters.>> I have had them in this tank for about a year now and they all seem to get along just fine, no problems with aggression towards each other. <<See above.>> Recently I have been having problems with my tank looking cloudy, more like a white haze. My water parameters are as follows Ph 7.8, Ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, and nitrate 20ppm.  Specific gravity is 1.006. <<Your Fahaka's need 100% freshwater, and the GSP's need much higher SG.>> I do 20% water changes every week and clean the gravel. The water turns cloudy after about 2 days or after I feed them. I feed them 3 cubes of bloodworms every other day. <<Inappropriate diet.  These guys need shell fish/snails/crunchy foods.>> The water starts to clear up but when its time to feed them again its gets cloudy. Any suggestions on what might be causing this condition? <<You have some really problems on your hands I fear!  Please start by reading here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/puffer/introtogsp.html, and visit www.thepufferforum.com for proper information on caring for your puffers.  This tank is not only way over-stocked, but filled with fish with differing water needs, none of which are being met.  Hope to see you at The Puffer Forum.>> Thanks, Jeremy <<Good Luck.  Lisa.>>

Figure 8's with Ick  2/10/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just  lost a figure out to Ick a few days ago, and I got two  more that I set up in a separate tank until I completely get the other  one clean.  My two new ones now are starting to get Ick and I  tried the Ick Cure (blue stuff) on the last guy and it did  NOTHING.  I noticed the pet store I work in carries a medicine for ornamental fish that is suppose to kill all parasites and Ick, would  that be a good thing to try?...if not what should I do because I don't  want to loose another puffer, especially not within a week of buying  the 2 new ones? < http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9  ~PP> Treating Puffers with Ich  1/26/06 I recently bought 2 Green spotted and 2 Fig 8 puffers.  The 4 of them share a 2ft brackish water aquarium (salinity's around 0.008).   <Wow, sounds way too small for all 4 of these fish.  What is that around 15-20 gallons? I'd either return 1 F8 & the GSPs, or get 2 larger tanks.  Even if that tank is 20 gal, you should keep 1 F8 in 15g & 10g for every one added.  GSPs are going to grow up to be too large & aggressive to keep with F8s.  They also require much higher salinities--even marine conditions as adults.  F8s are best kept at a SG of around 1.005, for life.> They're all eating and all seems to be fine but one Fig 8 has developed a few tiny white spots on its tail & fins (looks almost like tiny air-bubbles). <Sounds like it should a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifilius (ich for short).  Here is a safe, non-medicinal treatment for it: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9   I am actually surprised they would have it though, if the SG is as high as 1.008.  Do you think it could just be bubbles?> I don't want to fiddle with them unnecessarily but they're an important part of our lives now and I'd hate anything to happen to them, especially as a result of ignorance (and a reliable source of information of puffers in South Africa is limited - to be polite). <Here's a huge source of information on puffers for you: www.thepufferforum.com  Excellent articles on your puffers in The Library at that site.> Do you reckon it's a disease and if so, what's the best way to treat the little guy? Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. <Check out the info I've given you & see ya at TPF!  ~PP> Thanks, Adrian

Puffer suffering from Internal Parasites 11/7/05 Hey guys, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I'm concerned with my puffer fish. I've had the little guy for approximately three weeks now and I'm starting to notice that the fish's abdominal area is appearing sunken. There also appears to be a bump in the rectal area. Today I noticed the puffer in a still position, kind of resting up against the tank's wall, facing down with its tail curled towards its body. I thought for sure it was a goner but all of a sudden it resumed its normal activity; this happened twice today. To further complicate the matter he's, on occasion, rubbing up against the tanks wall.  <Definitely internal parasites. Common to wild-caught fish, like puffers.> I'm totally confused but my guess is that it's related to some form of an internal parasite. There aren't any visible forms of parasites on the fish's body or gills. Unfortunately, I've been somewhat unlucky trying to find a product on the market that can treat this issue. Please help in anyway you can.  <I have had best success with Discomed, by Aquatronics, but unfortunately they have been out of business for a while. You may be able to do a search for it at some shops, or the internet. Otherwise, read this: http://www.thepufferforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=7.> Some additional information: The tank has been acclimated over the past three weeks to a salinity level of 1.006 by doing weekly water changes; my target level is approximately 1.008 to 1.01. The pH, nitrate, nitrate, and ammonia levels are all in good standing. The little guy is still eating -- frozen bloodworms.  <Look here for other food options (& all around good puffer keeping info), as they need to be eating crunchy foods (crustaceans) to keep their teeth trimmed: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm ~PP>  Silk Plant Stuck in Puffer's Teeth  9/9/05 Hi, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a leopard puffer who has bitten down on a silk plant in my tank. <It is not uncommon for puffers to attack plants.> A  small portion of the plant is now lodged in his mouth. We were able to trim back the largest part of it  but he began to start puffing up so we stopped handling  him. <Although generally stressful for a puffer to puff, as long as you keep it underwater it will puff with water, which it will expel as soon as you let it go.  On the other hand, never let it puff with air!> This small piece of silk plant is lodged right in the center of his mouth.  He is able to eat, but his belly is becoming very black. <Sounds like he is stressed out about this.  If you can't get the plant off his teeth by pulling (while keeping the fish underwater), I would tranquilize him with clove oil: fill two, one-quart containers with 3 cups of tank water. Put 3 drops of clove oil in 1 container. Add the fish. Within 1 minute the fish will roll on it's side and then lay on its back. It will seem dead. This will look scary to you, but your fish will be fine.  After 60 seconds, your puffer should roll over on its back and be ready for you to remove the piece of plant. I would also check it's teeth at this time to see if they are too long.  This may be the reason for your problem.  If they are too long, they will need to be trimmed with cuticle nippers (See: http://www.thepufferforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=8) Take the fish out with a net, (as to not damage it's skin with your hand) & hold it through the net. Peel back the net, until the puffer's head and teeth are exposed. Quickly but carefully pull out the plant & and/or clip it's teeth, being sure not to cut its mouth. Their teeth are different than you'd think. It's more like clipping a fingernail. Try clipping straight across and as short as feasible. Make sure to pull down the lower lip and check those teeth too.  Place the puffer in the container of fresh tank water. You should see it breathing. After 1 minute it will right itself, and within 2 minutes it will be swimming around. After your puffer seems calm and is swimming normally around the container, you may place it back in the tank. Keep an eye on it for a while; it should be swimming as if nothing has happened. This all needs to be done as quickly as possible, as clove oil can also be used for painless euthanasia of fish. A good reason to use the clove oil is once the fish is tranquilized, you may remove it out of the water, without the worry of it puffing with air. A puffer puffing with air can become a deadly proposition, if the air can't be removed. I do not recommend tranquilizing your fish if it is sickly or has been weakened due to starvation--it may not recover!> Please what can I do to save my little puffer. I have had him for about 6 months and would hate to lose him now. Hope to hear from you VERY soon, Samantha <I'm sure he'll be fine after this.  Here is another good article on them: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  ~PP>

Sickly puffer 8/03/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Hello, I have a 20 gallon long brackish puffer tank, with three baby puffers, all under two inches (one is almost 2 inches now). I have not tested my water levels, but I do a 20-30% water change every week, as well as use AquaPlus and Cycle products according to manufacturer specs. <I do not know what AquaPlus is, but Cycle is a bad product & a waste of money.  All you are adding with Cycle is dead bacteria, which can actually add to the bioload of your tank & stress out your fish.  Your tank is overcrowded & needs weekly water changes of 50%.  I would definitely test for ammonia, nitrItes, nitrAtes & pH regularly.> I have had my two spotted and one figure eight for about 6 months now, and up to this point all have been doing great. <I do not recommend housing these species together as adults.  The GSP is much more aggressive, grows to 3x the size & needs a much higher salinity than a F8.> However, a few days ago I noticed my medium sized spotted puffer (lucky) was swollen...REALLY swollen, his mouth is locked open it seems, and his breathing is shallow and fast. He has also not eaten in at least three to four days. <Signs of ammonia/nitrIte poisoning.> He can still swim fine, but he is much less active and seems very scared, hiding in the corner all the time now. I just started a Dropsy med. program today, but I am not sure if that is what it is...any other ideas.... <Never ever medicate a fish on a whim.  It can do much more damage than good.  You can remove the med by doing a large water change & filtering with fresh carbon.  Puffers especially, are sensitive to many meds, being scaleless fish.> I have also heard they can become dangerously constipated easily...??? <Never hear that.> What should I do if this dropsy medication does not work, and how long should I give it before trying something new? <If indeed your fish is constipated, you can add 1 tbsp Epsom salt/5gal.  I don't think that is the problem.  Please read this, to be sure you are taking proper care of your puffer & feeding correctly: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm> Thanks, Marcel <Good luck with your puffers.  I'd start planning for a bigger tank for the GSPs in the near future.  ~PP>

Sick Puffer 8/4/05 <Pufferpunk again> Thanks for the info, Aqua Plus is a water conditioner which is suppose to make tap water safe for fish. As far as Cycle goes...what would you recommend using instead, or should I just not use it at all? <If the tank is cycled, then the only additive necessary is a good dechlorinator during water changes.  I use Prime.  If the tank is not cycled, then you need to use Bio-Spira to cycle it.> If my puffer does have Nitrate or Ammonia poisoning, what can I do besides water changes?  Will he get better on his own? <Adding Bio-Spira after a large water change will instantly cycle a tank & take care of the toxins.  Look up cycling a tank at the WetWebMedia website.  In the meantime daily 50-80% water changes will prevent your fish from being poisoned by toxins produced by an uncycled tank.  You REALLY need to test your water to be sure.> Right now I keep my puffers in water with 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 US gallons, but I don't think it is "sea salt".  Does that matter? <Definitely!  Neither aquarium or "sea Salt" is the proper salt for BW aquariums.  You must use the same marine salt that is used for SW aquariums.  You will need a hydrometer to measure it.> Thanks, and sorry to bother you again. <No bother!  Make sure to read that article I link you to in our last email.  Come over to my forum & learn more about your puffers: www.thepufferforum.org.  ~PP> Cloudy Eye & BW Water changes  7/18/05 Hello Pufferpunk, I need to do a partial water change for my 55g <Yes, should be doing 50% weekly with puffers.> I am treating my sick puffer with PimaFix.  I think that's the name. <Pimafix> Anyway, I have been treating one of my puffers who eye is cloudy and looks like he is going to lose it, for 6 days.  The tank is brackish.  When we started the tank we used aquarium salt.  I have bought marine salt "instant ocean" for the change.  How much salt should I add per gallon back in the tank?    <For me, a rough estimate is that 1 cup of salt/5gal raises the SG .005.  You can only raise the SG .002/water change, so a little math is in order.  You must premix the salt in a large container & pump the BW back into the tank. Let mix sit for 24-48 hours & check several times with your hydrometer for accuracy of correct salt content.> BTW, His eye is still cloudy, can you help? <I have had good luck with Melafix & pristine water conditions.  ~PP> Thank you for time with us.

Puffers & goldfish?  7/13/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just purchased a FW puffer from Wal-Mart (yes I know, not a reliable source) all it said for care was to feed it flake food and tank mates was goldfish.  Well,  brought the cute little guy I am assuming is a green spotted puffer by the pics I have seen on your site.  He is spotted with a little yellowish/greenish glowing area on his head.  I put him in my 44 gallon tank, which is kept very clean (almost like there is no glass there).  I also purchased six very small goldfish for my sons baby water snake.  I keep them in the tank and just take out two at a time for him to feed to the snake.  My problem is, shortly after putting the fish into my tank which already had three fancy fan tailed gold fish, small, medium and extra large, two loaches and two small suckerfishes, the tank became cloudy. The tank is more than adequate to keep him in, he look like a tiny fish in comparison <There are many things wrong here.  1st of all, how "clean" are you keeping that tank?  Are you cleaning it out totally, every time you clean it?  Goldfish are messy fish & produce high amounts of ammonia & other waste, it is recommended to do 90% weekly water changes on their tank, not completely cleaning out everything every time.  They also need heavy filtration.  The other problem I see is GF are freshwater coldwater fish & the GSP is a brackish tropical fish.  The puffer will not be able to handle the ammonia & other toxins produced by the GF.  The fact that the tank became cloudy, makes me believe it is overloaded & not cycled properly.  That tank is probably only able to support the fish that are already in there.  Read the info on goldfish & also about cycling at WWM.> So it wasn't a room issue and I feed twice a day.  I added only him and not the water he was in in the bag from the store. Well, he just went belly up when I thought he was fine. I am upset, he was a cute little guy and I was interested in getting more. The other fishes are fine but one of my goldfish, the medium one, has a bloody scale on his side, could this be form the puffer? <Bloody scales are from bacterial infection, due to poor water quality.  The tank may look clean, but could be high in toxins like: ammonia, nitrItes & even nitrAtes at high levels can be dangerous.  Large water changes, good filtration & test the water often for the above parameters.  Try adding Melafix to the water for the bloody fin.> He never had that problem before and there are no other aggressive fish in the tank.  What made the tank go cloudy?  It was crystal clear for a long time up to the point the puffer was put into the tank. <Cloudy water is a bacteria bloom, usually do to an uncycled tank or by adding too many fish at one time, it can cause the system to "crash".> I am really interested in getting another puffer but only if I can get some advice on what happened and what I can do in the future to keep these fascinating fish. <Puffers are difficult fish to keep (especially BW ones) and are not for novice fishkeepers.  Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  ~PP> Thanks again for your time and consideration, Michele

Puffers.......HELP  7/9/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just bought some puffers from Wal-Mart. I used  aquarium salt for the tank. I have bought them some squid and some frozen dead fish.  I thawed the frozen fish before I fed them.  I am new to keeping puffers and wanted to know why they curled up on the bottom of the tank.  What did I do wrong?  What is their favorite temp/acid level they like?  My baby puffers are  3/4 inches long and my biggest one is about 1 1/2 inch.  Please email me ASAP so I can keep my babies alive and healthy.  Thank you - Brandy and Melody. <1st you need to find out what kind of puffers you have.  Go to www.pufferlist.com.  There is also a lot of info on keeping puffers there & at www.thepufferforum.org.  Good luck with your new "friends".  ~PP>

Puffer Parasite? 5/13/05 Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> My name is Cullen and last week I broke the cardinal rule of research before purchase. I've been keeping freshwater tanks for a couple of years now, with a fair amount of success and very few casualties. Last week while at the pet store, looking for a small ornamental fish for a newly cycled 2.5gal, my girlfriend fell in love w/ a small leopard puffer. I bet you can guess which fish we came home with.  <Can't blame her there, they are cuties!> So here I am with this very interesting little fish, with very special needs. I knew before the purchase that puffers were BW fish so I've begun slowly bringing the salt content up, the LFS of course had him in FW.  <Not all puffers are BW fish. You should properly ID him here: http://www.pufferlist.com/ > Now after combing the puffer posts on your site (GREAT BY THE WAY!) I have some questions. Question 1, What is the difference between marine salt and standard aquarium salt that is produced from salt water? <Aquarium salt is sodium chloride. Marine salt is usually a composition of sodium chloride and some other stuff (depending on brand) like calcium, magnesium, chlorine, strontium, potassium, boron, fluorine and sulfur to simulate natural seawater, which is best for BW fish.> If I make the switch to marine salt with my next water change will the change stress the fish? <No (if your puffer is BW), just start adding marine salt to your next water change. Most folks really don't add very much salt at 1st. You'll need a hydrometer to measure it. Start at a SG (specific gravity, a measurement of salt with a hydrometer) of 1.002 & raise the SG .002, every weekly water change. Make sure to dissolve the salt in a bucket, before adding to your tank. For a rough estimate, it takes around a cup of salt/5gal, to raise the SG .005. Check the SG in your tank a few hours & the next day after adding salt, to be sure.> Now my second question comes directly from information I obtained on your site, I was not aware at the time of purchase that puffers are wild caught fish, this worries my slightly because I've noticed my little puffer's back seems to have a bit of a curve (to the left). I know some internal parasites can "twist up" a fishes spine so to speak. Should I be worried?  <Although a bent spine can be caused from starvation due to internal parasites, it may or may not be. You can treat for IPs just in case though. I have had much success with Discomed, by Aquatronics, but since the company has be out of business for a while, you may be hard-pressed to find some. My biggest concern is that you may be keeping this fish in the 2 1/2gal tank you mentioned. Even a juvenile needs at least a 10g tank & 30g, as a 6" adult. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm > I've fallen in love with this little guy and want him to live a happy, healthy, long life... I've already started preparations to set up a 20gal BW tank for him. Thanks for the help. <Please try to get him into the larger tank as soon as possible. You can

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: