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FAQs about Burrfishes, Porcupinefishes Disease 5

FAQs on Burrfish Disease: Burrfish Disease 1, Burrfish Disease 2, Burrfish Disease 3, Burrfish Disease 4, Burrfish Disease 5, Burrfish Disease ,
FAQs on Burrfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutrition, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic, Treatments 

Related Articles: Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Puffers in General, Puffer Care and Information, A Saltwater Puffer Primer: Big Pufferfish! by Mike Maddox, Pufferfish Dentistry By Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: Diodontids 1, Diodontids 2, Diodontids 3, Burrfish Identification, Burrfish Behavior, Burrfish Compatibility, Burrfish Selection, Burrfish Systems, Burrfish Feeding, Burrfish Reproduction, Puffers in GeneralPuffer Selection, Puffer Behavior, Puffer Systems, Puffer Feeding, Puffer Disease, Puffer Dentistry, Puffer Reproduction, True Puffers, Freshwater to Brackish Puffers, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes

Porcupine puffer (Diodon holocanthus) not doing well      11/8/19
My porcupine puffer (Diodon holocanthus) has been acting weird for a few weeks now. I noticed that his breathing was a bit labored, but he has been eating fine and acting normally. He has a few spots in his fins (yes I meant "in," because they haven't changed for weeks if not longer), but they stay consistent so I am not thinking velvet or crypt. Also, all the other fish in the tank (tang, angel, angler, Foxface) show no signs of spots or any behavioral problems.
<You’re right, this is not likely protozoan but stress related.>
Recently, I noticed that his belly is a bit sunken in. He doesn't have the same "blimp" look that I am used to. This is why I am thinking something internal, perhaps a parasite or worms. I often feed fresh clams, oysters, and mussels from the grocery store that may have had something. 2 days ago, he barely ate (he couldn't resist his cockle, but turned down squid and crab which is unheard of). And now that I think if it, in the last week or so, he has been eating but not with the same gusto (spitting water at me) as usual. Yesterday he did eat 2 cockles, small octopus hood, and 2 shrimp, but not with the same fierceness.
I want to treat him for internal parasites/worms. I have GC (API General Cure Praziquantel/Metronidazole) and PraziPro. I think that GC would be easier to bind and it has Metro in it, but I read that sometimes metro kills good intestinal bacteria as well. I don't want to cause more harm than good.
<Meds should be used only if necessary as they are toxic and stressful for most marine life, in this case I think it is more an environmental issue.>
Should I just wait and see what happens?? I know these guys are tough as nails, but I don't want to wait too long.
<I’d improve water quality by changing 20-30% and adding vitamin supplements before attempting to medicate this fish.>
One last thing, he seems more interested to eat when the lights are off on on night mode recently. He spends the day up in the front corner where the lights aren't as intense. Could the lights be too bright for him causing stress?
<Probably, dim the lights for a day or two and see if this helps.>
This picture is from 2 weeks ago. He seems a bit thinner at this point. I am also trying to get rid of the Cyano by lowering PO4, no chemicals.
Could Cyano make him sick?
<Not likely, no.>
Water parameters are good, pH around 8. NH4 is 0, NO3 is under 25. The tank is a 220 gallon.
<What about temperature, specific gravity, ph and ammonia readings?>
Thanks in advance for any help,
<Welcome. Wil.>

Re: Porcupine puffer (Diodon holocanthus) not doing well      11/8/19
Thanks for the reply.
The pH is around 8 (it changes from day to day)
<A bit low, aim to 8.3 by using a buffer>
Ammonia is zero, SG is around 1.023-1.024. Alk is 8.5. Temp is around 80-81. No swings in temp, I use a fan if it gets above 81.
I do use VitaChem and Selcon on the food. A 20% water change is tough to do on a 220 gallon tank, haha. I can do it over a couple days if needed.
<You may do smaller frequent changes (10% every other day).>
I will dim the lights this weekend to see what happens. His condition seemed to have worsened this past weekend when we changed the clocks. Perhaps the different lighting schedule affected him. I just want to keep him eating.
<If it’s not too late, you’ll see an improvement by changing the water and dimming the lights, hope this helps. Wil.>

Re: Porcupine puffer (Diodon holocanthus) not doing well       11/9/19
I will try the dim lights first. If it does turn out to be something intestinal, would the fish be able to fight off the parasite with low stress and nutrition?
<If you are positive that it has internal parasites, treat it in a separate tank ASAP, It would not fight against parasites just with good nutrition and low stress, even though these will help.>
<Please keep us posted. Wil.>

Porcupine Puffer Nose Down; data       9/28/19
Hello, I am in bad need of some help. Two days ago I noticed that our Porcupine Puffer, Porky, was swimming kinda weird. My girlfriend and I returned yesterday from her surgery to him sleeping in some of the live rock nose down.
<Yikes, bad>
I wake up this morning to her crying and saying he is dead.
I looked and saw he was in the same spot and position as yesterday. I immediately start taking the rock work apart very carefully but as fast as I could thinking I was getting her beloved puffer out to be buried. To my surprise, he started swimming. Only he was swimming nose down and in circles. I got him out of the tank and placed him in a tank by his self.
Continued to swim in circles and nose down at the top of the tank. He is still alive, how can I help him? I tried burping him, still no difference.
He has a lump on his left side rear. Please help me, I have gotten attached to the fellow and my girl friend, well, loves him more then me I think.
<Need information: What do you feed this puffer? What other life is in this system? What have you done w/ this system in the last few days? Am thinking Thiaminase poisoning, or that possibly the fish has bitten off, swallowed something that's toxic... or been toxified by...? Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer Nose Down

His tank mates are three green spotted puffers, figure 8 puffer, dog face puffer, two clowns and that's it. I feed Mysis shrimp, blood worms, and they had two clams day of the start of the bad swimming. 75 gallon, 1.025,
ammonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 8.1, nitrate 20.
<I would cut the sewer worm larvae out completely and use less Thiaminase-bearing foods.
Please read here:
And search (the tool on every page) on WWM re Puffer Nutrition Disease FAQs.
Bob Fenner>

Pls help. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer      8/8/19
I do rescue. And my first love are puffer fish. A baby came in about a week ago. He had flukes and I treated his hospital tank w PraziPro. The flukes disappeared and a small bacterial infection arrived on his back where the flukes had been. I used Kanamycin to resolve that.
All has been going well he eats well and is active but today he had a large jelly type mass hanging from his bottom.
<Yikes; see this in your pic>
It was quite long and I was able to touch the end of it and hold it. One piece broke off and it does not feel or look like waste. I was concerned it could be internal but there is no redness or swelling around the bottom. He still eats and swims to get his food. I'm hoping it could be parasites exiting but I'm still very concerned it could be prolapse. It is not pink but clear or almost tan colored. It is a variety of shapes. He is bottom sitting and breathing a bit hard but still eats.
In the week he's been here he's been alone in a hospital tank eats well but as I clean his tank I dont see alot of waste. My larger puffers expel solid waste that I vacuum up but I haven't seen much with this little puffer. He is about the length of your index finger. Any guidance on how to help appreciated. My reef shop owners I know have not seen anything like this.
Here is a short video..
<Mmm; just the still, which is fine>
I'm feeding a krill w Metroplex to assist if this is internal parasite related and also with some new life spectrum probiotic pellets and garlic oil.
<I do hope/trust that this is either some sort of distended waste or part of the G.I. that will waste and decompose outside the animal, or be returned. I would continue on the treatment regimen you list.
Bob Fenner>

Re Thank you. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer        8/9/19
Waste/jelly thing passed with him really wiggling against the glass for about 5 minutes. He was able to pass what looked like a hard ball of poo which was attached to now what appears to be mucus. This could be IP
related or some other reason his internal organs are making mucus. But luckily it's over. He still bottom sits and I'm going to wc and begin treatment w a rid ick product which has safer on my puffers. I'll continue to feed the anti ip med on his krill.
I stopped the kanamycin for now to let him deal w that blockage but if his bacteria infection is not fully healed should I start up again with the kanamycin until it is?
Meds I'd be using in overlap in treatment would be Kanamycin for the bacterial infection, the Metroplex on food but not dosing in tank and Kordon rid ick plus which is a formalin type product w Methylene blue.
Do you see any contradictions with these? Thank you again.
<Mmm; no; but do take care w/ the formalin... a biocide; very toxic. Best to use in a dip/bath fashion; NOT added to the system water itself. Bob Fenner>
Re: Thank you. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer        8/9/19

Ok ty. Can you advise how long to do a bath for him? The rid ick doesn't kill it on the fish but kills it in tank and in larval stage on live rock..
<Please search on WWM for formalin, baths and Cryptocaryon. B>

Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19
Hi Bob, I wanted to give you an update on Fugu and see if you could assist with a twist in the recovery. Since June, Fugu has been doing better and better with the Lockjaw. I hand fed him squid injected with VitaChem. He slowly improved and his mouth week by week was noticeably better.
<Ah, good>
His energy as well. As of two days ago he was fantastic, back to eating from tongs, mouth very much 80 percent back to normal, full of energy. But now there’s a new twist. Last night we noticed that his left pectoral fin was clamped at the top, wouldn’t open. We were concerned and kept a close eye. We thought it might be an injury of some kind.
<Mmm; might be; have seen this before... one pec not moving on puffers>
This afternoon we noticed that part of the fin was white, almost as if the skin was disappearing. The white continues up the caudal peduncle. Then we noticed his anal fin has the same and is fraying, as well as the tip of his dorsal fin. It happened quickly. He is more lethargic and hiding, though he still comes out to swim and has been feeding. My only guess is either an infection or perhaps I have been feeding him too much VitaChem and it became toxic?
<This last is highly doubtful. This (Boyd) product is very safe... and effective>
I’m pulling him from the display tank and moving him to my 30 gallon quarantine. I have Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Any additional thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.
<I might move this fish, but not use the antimicrobials; instead, drop the specific gravity precipitously... like to 1.015. Will need to be raised back slowly, but the change in osmotic pressure may well arrest whatever the cause of "fin erosion" is here, and shouldn't harm the puffer. Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19

Ok thanks Bob. How quickly would you recommend the s.g. drop? Is it safe to do quickly?
<Yes; as in all at once; really. A bunch can be said, and found in books, and I imagine the Net re tolerance for spg. variation, change in Diodontids esp.>
One other note, he now takes in and spits out the food, refuses it. And i noticed one of his spikes is showing through the skin. Something is happening quickly.
<I'd be moving, making this change pronto. B>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19

Ok on it now. Would i let him sit at 1.015 for a time like a day? and then bring up the s.g. hourly or daily? Thanks so much for your fast replies.
<Leave for a week or two... Please search WWM re puffer disease/s for general background. B>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw          7/12/19

Thanks Bob, I got an appointment with a local fish veterinarian I found for tomorrow morning!
<Real good Scott. Do please relate what you learn. Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw       7/13/19

Just got back. I think the most important thing I learned is that I have a “wet vet” 15 minutes away. Dr. Kirsten Love in Lantana, Fl. Very valuable! Great experience, though harrowing in getting a 10 inch, 15 year old, sick puffer there and back (buckets, aerators, thermal blankets, etc). She wouldn’t do a home visit on first visit, but now having seen and treated him, she’s likely to going forward if necessary. She took a small tail sample and determined that there was no evidence of bacteria, but a full blanket of white blood cells, indicating his immune system had kicked in and was defeating the infection.
She also felt his left pectoral fin and found no structural damage and some of its own movement away from clamping. She suggests he’s in good shape and recommended stay the course.
<Ah, good>
I was in such a rush to get him home after that, I forgot to ask for how long, I have a follow-up email in. The visit was, of course, stressful to an already stressed puffer. Made even more so because during the sampling, I held the puffer in place while she did the sample. Despite my best efforts, when he predictably puffed up, he did get one bubble of air in which didn’t release. After giving it 15 minutes on the ride home, I had to burp him.
Then acclimate to the QT again. Needless to say, he had a hectic day (as did his owner). He’s getting some much deserved R&R now in the QT with the lights dimmed 95%. I still have the s.g. at 1.015, with an intent to slowly raise a degree a day after about 48 more hours. That really did seem to inhibit progression.
Thanks Bob, for all you and WWM Crew do for our community, you’re always there, and always responsive.
<Thank you for this update Scott. BobF>

Puffer question     12/18/18
You guys have a quick one for you have you ever seen a parasite show up on a Caribbean porcupine puffer when salt is brought to 1.010 that causes pale pigmentation in the facial area rapidly progressing and killing the fish
<Tom; geez; where's your punctuation?! The pale pigmentation might well just be due to the stress of suddenly dropping, being in water of low specific gravity. If you're interested, I'd sample the area (See Ed Noga's works on Fish Disease) and take a look under a 'scope. Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer question     12/18/18

Sorry using talk to text.
The puffer was kept in this lower salinity for almost 2 months.
Unfortunately it is in an area I will not be for many months. So getting to look at it under a microscope will not happen unfortunately. This just happens to be one that someone bought from us in October proclaims it was covered in ich dropped it to 1.015 salinity. Then after taking it to his local pet store they told him to drop it down to 1.010 rather than give it Prazi and formalin baths
<Mmm; well, I doubt if the Crypt/Ich is still there. I'd return the fish to NSW (near natural seawater) strength... slowly; like a thousandth of density per day. Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer question     12/18/18

Sadly it is too late somehow they managed to kill the puffer. They are blaming it on this expanding palish spot that was on the fishes face.
<Aye ya... likely just loss of ionic balance. Cheers, BobF>

Treating a new Porcupine Puffer with Ich; rdg., using WWM     10/8/18
Hi all,
I have a new 3 1/2 inch Porcupine Puffer in my 29 gal quarantine tank. I bought him from my friend who owns a local fish store, and the fish had been there for about 3 weeks and was eating well. He's been in my QT tank for about 4 days now, is eating fairly well (clams on the half shell and Spirulina brine shrimp thus far), but has come down with a bad case of marine white spot disease (Crypt, Ich, etc).
Being a scaleless fish, I'm wondering if Cupramine would be too harsh to treat the Ich, even at half a dose (which is the min recommended therapeutic level for treatment by the manufacturer).
<This is one of the better copper-based medications. Persistent, consistent in concentration>
Freshwater dips won't be effective if the fish is put back into QT with Ich still in the system.
<Correct; the fish would have to be serially moved to a sterilized system>
Would you use a half dose of copper and see how the fish responds?
<Mmm; no; only a physiological dose will work>
Would a full dose spread over 48 hours likely kill the puffer?
<Highly unlikely... if the fish is healthy otherwise>
Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
<DO read on WWM re treating Diodontids, puffers for Crypt, the use of chelated copper products. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer Lethargic and Not Eating     6/11/18
Hi Crew. I hope this email finds you well
<Thank you Mike>
I have a 8"-9" Porcupine Puffer in a 150 gallon FOWLR Tank. I have had the puffer for 8 years. Also in the tank is a 6"-7" Harlequin Tusk I have had for around 3.5 years and a 24" Snowflake Eel I have had around 8 years.
Around a week ago, puffer seemed to not want to eat. During feeding, he did try to grab some and got some but seemed like he was missing it. In the last few days ago, he does not seem interested. Today he is breathing heavy sitting on the bottom. He does swim around, but is more on the bottom.
<Mmm; what are you feeding? This reads as a classical B vitamin issue>
No signs of ich or flukes. I have noticed that recently the tusk is a little aggressive towards the puffer. That is why I am at is getting back on a better feeding schedule think that is causing the aggression.
The eel and tusk seem fine.
Last time I added anything to the tank it was the tusk.
I used to change 35 gallons of water weekly, then monthly, and in 2017 every 2 to 3 months. Last water change I did was 2 months ago (40 gallons) and today I just changed 45 gallons.
I also have not run carbon or GFO in the last year. Today I put carbon and GFO back online.
I tested (before today's water change) the water and have:
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 100
<Yikes; 100 ppm? Way too high. I'd have you search, read over on WWM re NO3 control; do what you can to keep under 20 ppm
Phosphate high. My phosphate tester maxes out at 2.5
<Not such an issue with fish health>
Specific Gravity is around 1.0225
Temps fluctuate from 77.7 to 79.1 (I have a chiller kicks on at 79).
I feed a mix of silver sides, prawns, squid, clams, mussel, octopus.
<Mmm; I'd sub a good pelleted staple (Hikari, Spectrum, Cobalt...) for much of the mass here.
Do you supplement/soak foods, add vitamins, HUFAs directly to the water? I would>
Up until a few months ago, I would feed 3 to 4 times a week. Last few months it dropped to twice a week. In the last week, i started getting back to feeding 3 to 4 times.
Any ideas on the puffer? I am thinking stress from the tusk, but not sure.
Anything I can try?
<The pellets, supplement mix (e.g. SeaChem Vitality, Selcon...) to the food, water>
I do not have my QT running, so not looking to pull him out.
<And please search, read on WWM re Thiaminase. Bob Fenner>

Spiny boxfish    1/8/17
Hi there,
I was looking on your website and could not see anything that could help me. I have a spiny boxfish that has a clasped side after it had puffed up.
I came home to find him stuck under some live rock (not knowing how he got there)
<Scooted in little doubt>
I released him and he immediately puffed up but slowly started to go back down now he looked like he has an injured fin and collapsed side.
<Have looked at your next message pic of this Chilomycterus...>
I don’t know what to do, will he be ok?
<Likely so... puffers do rest on the bottom, go on hunger strikes... get seemingly bummed out at times; including having sides that looked caved in>
Is there anything I need to do?
<Perhaps a reading over Diodontids on WWM period... The usual upkeep of good conditions, nutrition; keeping your eye on the fish; making sure it's eating, not getting bullied>
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Burrfish... puffed up!      12/25/17
I added a spiny puffer Burrfish to my 210 gal softie reef tank about 4 weeks ago.
<Neat animals!>
He's seems very healthy and eating but his belly has gotten large. Could this fish be pregnant?
<Mmm; doubtful. More likely it has either over-eaten (very common) or has swallowed a good deal of water... also happens often). I would not panic; but just take a wait and see attitude. This issue should resolve itself within several days. Bob Fenner>
Re: Burrfish     12/26/17
Thank you
<Welcome. BobF>

Porcupine Puffer... fdg., hlth.     11/23/17
Hi - I have been reading up on Thiaminase deficiency on your site. There are several issues going on with my porcupine puffer.
<I can see... a Protozoan issue, likely Cryptocaryon on this fish in your pic>
90 gallon tank and he is the only fish with the exception of a small clown fish. Water parameters are fine with exception of nitrates which according to API strips read 40.
<Mmm; need data (not subjective eval.); strips are neither accurate nor precise, and 20 ppm is all I'd allow concentration wise for NO3>
Tank is only cleaned once a month but my hands are tied as it is the tank at my work and my boss refuses to have it cleaned more often.
<If this is the case, I'd have your service install/utilize a chemical filtrant... likely ChemiPure. See/read on WWM re>
I have at least talked him into getting a skimmer and I use nitrate filters.
<Ahh! Good>
Puffer hasn't eaten well in some time. Seems to have trouble swallowing and takes food in over and over and over again. His mouth is hanging open wider than usual, he paces and sometimes jerks. I have also noticed pink near the base of his back tail and fin which I have read could be due to the clam only diet and thiaminase deficiency. He refuses to eat a varied diet and leaves food lying at the bottom of the tank which I clean out at the end of
each day so it doesn't add to the nitrate problem.
<Tres bien!>
I also was soaking his food in Clam Max for nutrient value. Another issue is a pink protrusion which appears to be his intestines. The guy that services our tank said its his manhood??
<... no; nonsense. Are broadcast spawners, no internal fert. This is a prolapsed "colon">
Today he excreted a lot of yellow slime while the protrusion was hanging out. I have attached a picture below of the protrusion from a month or so ago before the pink started developing around his tail/fin. So several issues going on. The tank appears crystal clear. Nitrate problem?
Thiaminase deficiency? Both?
<Perhaps both; but you are right/correct to be concerned. This fish and system NEED immediate attention; else this Puffer will perish, and soon. The other foods, vitamin additions, reducing nitrate!>
I am going to try to get my boss to purchase some vitamins and the frozen mix you speak of and possibly some snails. I have saved this guys life several times now so I'm not stopping now!
His main diet has been shrimp, krill once a week and clams on the half shell. His breathing seems faster than normal, tail curled and hiding in the rocks. Doesn't greet me anymore. :( Would appreciate any help you can offer.
<Please show your boss and service company person this mail; have them contact me if there is confusion as to how to proceed. I do concur with what you're written as plans going forward. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine fish in trouble      7/9/17
I've had a porcupine fish for about 1 year now with no real problems. I woke up this morning and he looked fine. I left to pay some bills and came back and noticed the spikes by his face are sticking up. I checked on him a
few minutes later, and one of the spikes is broken and dangling on his face. My very active fish is now laying on the sand breathing heavy. Do those spikes grow back?
<They can; yes>

What can do to save him?? He's my favorite fish! I want to put him in my QT tank, but am scared, because of his heavy breathing. PLEASE HELP... thank you
<... What do you consider the cause here? Has this fish encountered a pump intake or such? Another fish attack it? Did it traumatize itself by swimming into something? I would do what water test/checks you can, and the
usual default of changing out a quarter of the system water; renew the chemical filter media. Bob Fenner>

Diodon holocanthus with crypt     4/4/17
 I know there are some threads on this, but I have a hard time sorting  through and finding the information I need. Please forgive me.
<The search tool (on every page) should bring folks to what they are looking for>
I have a 210 Aqueon tank, pH is 8.0, kH, 9, SG 1.023, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates ~10.
I have a small Diodon holocanthus who came down with a case of crypt nearly  overnight.
<Was always there; just "sub-clinical">
He was fine on Saturday night and had it on Sunday evening. He was (and still is) acting perfectly normal. None of the other tankmates (harlequin tusk, dwarf fuzzy lion, dwarf eel, Kole tang, Foxface, and coin bearing angler) have even one sign of crypt.
<Mmm; not to bum you out (excessively) but your system "has it">
I started treatment with Kordon Herbal Ich attack
<Mmm; often doesn't work... complexed by...>
as that is all I could get at the LFS that wasn't copper based. I had a > porcupine for 4 1/2 years previously who used to beat the ich on his own.
<Ah yes>
I would just use Voogle (immune booster) and feed. Sometimes I added kick  ich,
<Scam, sham>
but it is hard to say what the actual cure was. I was just happy he was cured. After 3 days of the Ich Attack he seemed to be getting better, then it reappeared and has been pretty bad for the past week or so. I started the
treatment of Kick Ich which I had to order. I cannot get my hands on any Voogle at this time. He does not seem to be getting any better or worse.
If  you couldn't see the crypt, you wouldn't know he had it. He is still eating like a horse and outcompeting fish that are 3 times his size.
<Good signs. Are you lacing/soaking the foods....?>
He's still in the main tank as all I have for a QT is a 10 gallon which I can have set up in about an hour so that is where I have been treating.
<Too small for this>
Here is what I know, copper is not an option (is Cupramine safer but still  copper?),
<Yes; search on WWM...>
hyposalinity is not good for puffers, so where do I turn. I read your  praises of Chloroquine. Is Chloroquine safe for puffers?
Any side effects?
<Yes; possibly>
I ordered some Dr. G Anti-parasitic caviar and I am going to lace the food  with this. Should I leave him in the main tank and target feed him the food
so he is not stressed or set up the QT?
<I'd do the former>
Should I just keep him well fed and happy until he beats it on his own?
I have also shortened the light cycle so he can rest longer. No one else in the tank is picking on him or pays any attention.
Thanks for any help,
Jason Russo
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptpuffs.htm 
and onward re soaks (vitamins, HUFAs...) when you get to a link. Bob Fenner>
Re: Diodon holocanthus with crypt    4/4/17

Yes, I am soaking the food in Selcon, garlic, and VitaChem.
<Ahh; good>
Which do you say is a scam, the kick ick, Voogle, or both?
<The first; don't know what Voogle is>
Also, what do you mean by "complexed by?" Does it make it worse?
<Mmm; makes it non-existent... trouble/s w/ organics added to marine systems; they're highly change-able>
I will read your links, thank you for the response.
<Welcome. B>

Re: Diodon holocanthus with crypt     6/1/17
So I have good news to report. I ended up transferring all my fish to QT and treating with CP for 28 days. I'm happy to say that my porcupinefish is cured. I had to dose some erythromycin as well to help with a cloudy eye
condition, but that is all cleared up as well. His fin scars are all gone and he is eating like a horse (my dwarf lion from another post is also doing very well in the same tank).
<Ah good>
My reason for the message is that my puffer has developed a bump/growth on his lower lip. I don't know if I should be concerned about it. Is it just a skin tag?
<I think so... an owee, from rubbing its face against the tank side likely>
Will it fall off on its own? It doesn't affect him in any way and I will just ignore it if it is nothing.
Jason Russo
<I would count on this self-curing as you state. I would move all back to the main/display. Bob Fenner>
Re: Diodon holocanthus with crypt     6/1/17

I would love to move everyone back, but I am doing the fallow thing. I hear 76 days is the norm. Is that correct?
<Mmm; a trade off... stress to the hosts, vs. loss of virulence in the display... You must judge when>
It's unfortunate because I know everyone would be happier in the big tank.
<Yes; and healthier>
<BobF, who would be moving all. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm>

Porcupine puffer emergency        3/12/17
Hi, I have a huge question...I have a porcupine puffer and I've had her for 14 years...she stops eating for days every once in a while.
<Not to worry; this is a "natural behavior". Please see here re:
Normal . my problem now is she hasn't eaten for a week, did a water change thinking it was due which it was, 150 gallon nitrates 40 normal for her tank no ammonia salinity 1.023 . I know she is old I'm worried maybe she has
lockjaw, her mouth won't close all the way ,

<Yikes; not good>
but when I look inside it looks like something maybe stuck in there, she gets clams in shells, etc. I do feed her frozen krill but not everyday, she gets a lot of diff things....
I tried tube feeding her but she isn't having it, and it looks soft in her moth like something blocked...hard to describe, here is a pic best I can get.
Stacy Burks
<Please read the above link AND:
I WOULD supplement any offered foods AND the water directly as gone over...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Porcupine puffer emergency       3/14/17
So, I've read everything you said, and had already read that or knew it....she is still not eating and I have tried to force feed her and it all just comes back out...it's almost as if it is a soft bubble in her mouth ,
<This fleshy bit in your pic is natural... Sometimes puffers just DO refuse food... for weeks. This specimen doesn't appear overly thin. I would NOT handle/force feed the specimen (too stressful), but instead soak grass, ghost shrimp, smallish crayfish or such in a feeding supplement (HUFAs, Vitamins) as SeaChem's Appevite>
like she puffed up and some part inside her mouth won't deflate,
<Again; this is part of the puffers anatomy>

I'm attaching the best pic I can get. It's been like at least 2 weeks of no eating :( I think she knows what I'm trying to do when I get the tube and stick it in her mouth because she lets me do it but she can't bite down on it and she does not puff up ever when I try. The "bubble" is across her whole mouth inside ...I've even tried a turkey baster and she open her mouth really wide and let's me do it, then closed it all the way but then it goes back to half open...and again she doesn't puff up so that's what's getting me thinking she can't deflate inside somehow??
<More likely a B vitamin deficiency syndrome>

She had puffed up right before all this started im thinking now, for no apparent reason which is how she always puffed up when she did.im very stressed and with her being 14 years old, I think I'm stressing her out more..thoughts please...
<Yes to the added stress>
Stacy Burks
<Bob Fenner>

Spiny box puffer. Hlth., trtmt f's      2/8/17
Hi crew, to start out with thank you for your work and all that you do. I have a spiny box puffer that is ill and I am at a stand still as to what I should do.
<Let's see...>
He is 3.5 inches long, I have had him about 3 months. He had clear gelatin looking spots on his fins when I first got him, lfs said it was excess mucus and would go away (didn't buy that but was willing to give a go anyway).
<More likely other elements from too much stress (happens often when these animals are moved, challenged)>
Treated him with Metro. due to indications of intestinal parasites in a QT for 5 days, eating good and gaining weight (still had Jello spots) put him in with other fish after 2 week's. Long story short spots got worse began to look like something between Lymphocystis and ich. Tried several meds to no avail then finally treated using Cupramine (.25) two weeks and
was all clear. Put him back in DT and within 3 days ich was back and caused a out break in the tank.
<Ugh! No fun>
Treating DT with Cupramine at about .25 to .35. (Seachem website Q&A stated it needed to be 28 days of treatment rather than the 14 days stated on the bottle)
He is puffing up uncontrollably and spinning in circles and has quit eating and lost some color (started this before copper treatment and gotten progressively worse)
<Puffers of all kinds REALLY don't do well with copper exposure. You can see/read this in many responses regarding... over the last decades. At this point, I'd cease the copper use, elevate temperature to the mid 80's F. and (yes) lower specific gravity (unless you have non-vert.s/invertebrates present that will suffer from this); drastically; down to the 1.015-1.016 range. You'll need to raise it slowly (a thousandth per day or so) in a few weeks...>
He has these fits several times a day. Also shakes his head like he is trying to dislodge something. Then he will be ok for a time. No spots (treated for 6 days now) slight deterioration on the tail fin.
<The med.s....>
Everything else in the tank is doing quite well with the treatment (very peaceful tank everyone gets along well)
150 gallon, 30 gallon sump. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10+/- nitrates. 1.023 sg Fowlr. 110lb lr. 1 each ; 4" Indian Trigger, 4" Porcupine, 3" Blue spot Toby, 3"Blue jaw, 3"Picasso, and of course the Spiny box. (Have different tank that two of the fish are going into eventually)Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
<The copper compound will exit on its own; or you can employ remover: Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/curemovalfaqs.htm
I'd drop the spg pronto. The rest of the fishes listed will be fine with this change. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer... hlth., nutr.    7/6/16
Hi - Im hoping you can help me with my little buddy. I have a porcupine puffer in my tank at work. I believe it is a 100 gallon tank. We have the puffer, a blue tang (aggressive) a small clown fish and a small damsel. Recently, my boss decided he wanted to add some fish to the tank. I was against it as I just saved the puffers life months prior and had to feed him with a syringe as he got lock jaw from a diet of freeze dried krill only. That is what our prior tank people who we bought him from told us was to be his only diet.

After reading on the forums and through Google I determined a varied diet best so I make him a chutney of shrimp, mussels, clams, silversides and some clam juice for vitamins. Questioning the silversides after doing some reading.
<You should. Try other whole marine fishes or fillets. Oh, and good pellets; like Hikari and Spectrum brand; soaking foods in a supplement like SeaChem's "Vitality">
He was doing fine until the new butterfly fish and Foxface were introduced.
A couple of weeks later the butterfly fish was missing and the tank smelled like rotten fish. I found the butterfly fish and removed him. He just happened to be under a rock that the puffer prefers to stay under.
The next day I noticed the puffers eyes covered in a white film. I called our tank people and suggested a water change and requested help for his eyes. They treated the tank with ACI tetracycline and tried giving him a dose of Dr G's antibacterial RX food which he spit back out. The other fish look fine so far and the puffer doesn't seem to have any
white spots that I can tell. If he does they are very tiny but he does seems to have stringy threads here and there coming from the top of his body.
<Any chance to sample these and look under a 'scope? Might be Trematodes... I'd treat w/ Prazi/quantel>
One eye looks better today but the other is worse. Much whiter with a spot in the middle. Breathing seems fine for now but hasn't eaten for 3 days.
Is this ich or a bacterial or parasitic infection and what can I do to help him?
<Can't tell what from the description>
He has hidden under the rock from the day we bought him. We have had him almost a year. He doesn't seem to like being around the other fish. He is very tame now and comes out twice daily like clockwork to greet me until this happened.
Im assuming adding the new fish to tank may have been enough to stress him and the butterfly fish dying didn't help.
<And perhaps introduced a pathogen inadvertently>
I worked diligently to save this little guys life once. Im upset this has happened. Can you help? SO appreciative!
<A well-resolved pic would help... I'd look for the Prazi. Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer       7/7/16

Thanks so much for responding. I do not have the means to look at a sample under a microscope.
<Ahh; perhaps a fish store nearby can be of assistance; or an aquatic vet., learning institution...>
Puffer looks better today. Foggy eyes not completely gone but every day they seem better. People who clean the tank treated water with API/Tetracycline and are now pulling it out via carbon system and are going to try something called Sulfaplex for bacterial and fungal infections. Are you familiar with Sulfaplex? Would the Prazi be better?
<Am familiar... not a fan of Sulfa drugs in marine systems. PLEASE learn to use WWM. The search tool, indices. Praziquantel is a vermifuge... sulfas are antimicrobials...
Could the dead butterfly fish in the tank for several days have caused puffer to get sick?
<Possibly; yes>
He didn't seem to exhibit the symptoms of excess ammonia though.
I have read that bad mussels/clams can cause Trematodes.
<Bad? No>

I buy puffers clams & mussels at Publix Supermarket. Wondering if I got a bad batch. Tank people also put a live oyster in tank a couple of weeks ago and problem started soon after. I noticed they took it out yesterday. Could
it have had a parasite?
Lastly - I feed the other fish Spectrum but the puffer doesn't go for it so I mix it in the chutney I give him and he eats it fine that way.
When you say feed "other whole marine fish/fillets" what type of fish are you referring to that would be better for than Silversides?
<... WWM. BobF>
Re: Porcupine Puffer       7/7/16
Can you tell me why you are not a fan of Sulfaplex?
<.... rarely efficacious in water treatments w/ marines>
I tried doing a search on it at wetwebmedia.com and it connects me to directly to Amazon.
<? Sulfa drugs:

People that service our tank want to use Sulfaplex today.
Puffer eating a little better. Eyes a little better but still slightly foggy but he has a very fine salting of white spots on body. Very tiny.
<READ on WWM re Diodontids, Crypt.... Don't write: READ>
They have done 2 water changes, treated water with API and pulled the API back out following day for a couple days. Another water change today and they want to add some Sulfaplex.

Porcupine Puffer Is In Bad Shape... nutr., plus poss. env.          4/29/16
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I'll start with the tank and stock.
55G tank with 0's on all levels
<Mmm; not likely zip NO3
78 Degrees50lbs of live rock1 damsel2 clowns2 small choc chip stars
<Not aquarium hardy>
1 coral beauty1 pseudo Chromis and finally our 4inch porcupine puffer (I know the tank is small, we have had him since he was 2inches, he will be getting an upgrade to a 120 in about 6-8 months, he has had no problems in
this tank so far)
About 6 months into owning this dude, we realized he shouldn't be eating only krill.

We got him on mysis, scallops, squid, pellets, and then the occasional krill. Recently, his appetite got a lot weaker, and now he isn't eating at all. He has developed a hump on his back, and it doesn't feel hard, but I don't think it's air either. He has a hard time swimming, occasionally flipping or thrashing slightly. Today is the first day in 1.5 weeks he has even eaten a single bite. I held him gently in my hand, and literally placed mysis in his mouth. He sucked it in, but spit almost all of it back out. He only nibbled on the krill I tried. I don't know if it's a parasite or what, a LFS says it's possibly an internal injury and we might just have to let him work it out. What can I do, we really love this guy and can't bear to lose him.
<I'd be supplementing (soaking) foods and adding directly to water... a vitamin/HUFA mix... MicroVit, Selcon... these also acts as appetite stimulants. Search the terms and READ on WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer suddenly has injured eye - attacked by Annularis Angelfish     3/16/16
Hello there. I need some help with treating an eye injury in my porcupine puffer. He was totally healthy until yesterday. When I got home from work
I noticed him sitting in a little hiding spot in the rocks rather than greeting me like normal. I also noticed my Annularis angelfish being dominant to him (swimming into him and briefly nipping at his face - my puffer backed away). I haven't seen this before. I'm not sure if the Angelfish did this damage to my puffer or if it was monopolizing on the situation. Regardless, I put a 55L plastic bin with holes drilled in it in my tank (180 gallon) to isolate the pufferfish.
<Good move>
Puffer's eyes are cloudy white and have what look like injuries on them.
<How long have you had this puffer? Might be parasitic involvement here... Trematodes, possibly Crypt>
Sorry I don't have a picture. The whiteness is more on the bottom half of the eyes. The skin directly below the eye is also slightly damaged (white). It looks like the other fish picked at him (from the bottom
direction) over and over and injured his eyes/skin below the eye.
He was in isolation overnight. When I checked on him this morning he was pretty similar except the bottom of the eyes seems to be "sagging" slightly. He can't see well and bumps off the walls of the container, and
since his eyes stick out that's the part that keeps bumping things. I'm not sure how to keep his eyes from contacting the walls.
<Me neither>
I'm concerned about a secondary bacterial infection developing. Is there an antibiotic I can give him orally (he's eating very well) so I don't have to isolate him in a quarantine tank?
<None that are effective unless the fish is eating; can be introduced via foods>
Or, I do you recommend I quarantine him and treat the water with antibiotics or copper?
<? For what? I would not simply expose this animal, system w/o a purpose>
Please advise for the best course of action to help him heal and recover.
<The usual: Reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BurrfishDisF5.htm
see the linked files above? Disease by Category? Social, Trauma.... read
Very concerned fish owner.
<And the Angel and Puffer will have to housed separately. Bob Fenner>
P.S. Water quality:
180 gallon
76 degrees F
Salinity 1.0225
PH - 8.1
Carbonate Hardness: 15dkh
Phosphate = 0.25
Ammonia and Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0.3 (I did a 10% water change the night before his eye got bad - trying to bring this down).
Re: Porcupine Puffer suddenly has injured eye - attacked by Annularis Angelfish      3/17/16

HI Bob. Thank you for the prompt reply. I've done a lot of reading. Your website is a wealth of information!
<Ah yes; many hours have gone into WWM>
I've had the puffer for two weeks. The fish store I bought him from had him for a month prior and he seemed healthy (I had my eye on him for a while and they held him for me for a few weeks), so I'm skeptical that it's
a parasite, especially with how quickly this happened (in a 8 hour period).
<Well; I wouldn't discount the possibility entirely. Some do show up very quickly (clinically)>
For now I'll keep him in my main tank, but in the isolation bin and continue with daily 10% water changes to get the nitrates down. I've also kept the lights off so the tank is not so bright.
He is still eating great.
<A VERY good indication of health; recovery>
Do you have a recommended antibiotic I can feed him while he's still in my main tank to prevent a secondary bacterial infection, or will even edible antibiotics wipe out my biofilter?
<Some anti... microbials, -biotics more than others. I'd rather you soak, lace the foods with vitamins, HUFAs, probiotics... there are such prep.s available commercially... Selcon, Micro-Vit....>
I've been feeding him Hikari brand frozen clams on a half shell. Also bought some raw shrimp from the grocery store (mainly to feed my zebra moray eel) and sometimes the puffer grabs pieces of that.
<Mmm; Oh, see this below.... Please read on WWM re Thiaminase poisoning>
Are these okay to continue feeding on a regular basis, or do you recommend adding something else to their (both puffer and eel) diet to make sure they're getting enough Thiamine vitamin and not too much thiaminase?
<Oh! Yes... fish, fillet or whole small>
Crab leg pieces?
<Invite me over!>
Selcon soak?
The angel is going back to the fish store because this tank was set up specifically for my puffer. :-(
<Ahh; this is the better choice>
Thanks again for your time.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer Ingesting air      1/20/16
Hi Crew!
Again I turn to you for your infinite wisdom!
<Def. not infinite; and more like simple knowledge; recorded facts/FAQs>
This should be a quick question for you :-) Thanks to your site I've been able to determine my puffer has been ingesting air and it's becoming trapped in his intestines. I'm worried about his long term health, since he does this very frequently. Your advice to other writers alluded to possible infections due to dried out skin. I believe he's either a) gulping it at the surface when he's scouring for food or b) getting it from the air stone which he loves playing in.
<Ahh; likely activities>
I've tried burping him several times following your instructions, but have never seen bubbles. I'm assuming he just manages to work them out on his own since some days the lump is gone, just to return a day or so later!
Just when you think you're in the clear...!
Do you have any suggestions for how I may help him avoid this reoccurring issue?
<Move the airstone to the back where the puffer can't get to it (behind rock?), and start feeding it via tongs underwater>
Or perhaps am I wrong on my diagnosis. I'm sure he can't be to impressed with my hands always around him poking and prodding.
Here's some background:
<Will need something larger in time>
50lbs live rock
1.024 sal
0 amm
0 nitrite
10 nitrate
420 cal
1200 Mag
12 kH
24 degrees
1x porcupine puffer 5" (pic with lump)
1x blue spotty puffer (Toby)
1x two spot goby
2x turbo snail
3x baby hermit crab
1x blue tuxedo echinoderm
1x flower pot
1x hammer coral
1x unknown coral (pic)
Thanks so much!
Your biggest fan,
<Cheers dear; Bob Fenner>


Re: Porcupine Puffer Ingesting air       1/21/16
Thanks Bob!
<Welcome Renee>
I will try your suggestions absolutely. When I checked on him this morning, again, the lump was gone. So it in fact only appears on days where I feed him, which is every other day. Followed by a day of no lump. I'm currently feeding him brine shrimp, trying to slowly introduce him to new things.
<Oh yes; for sure. Artemia can be like a diet of cotton candy... Do see/read on WWM re Diodontid feeding>
Hopefully I can find something that'll work and resolve this issue! I'm sure he'll be delighted not to be constantly bobbing for apples or captured by my giant hands haha.
Adieu mon ami!
<Ah, mon cher. Au revoir. BobF>

Porcupine puffer having a bad week       10/13/15
<Why seven MEGS of pix files, WHY?>
Hi crew.
I wish I was writing under happier circumstances but unfortunately my poor puffer has had a very rough week and I find myself looking to you guys for some help.
To start, I've had him roughly 6 months. No illnesses to mention. My water parameters in his new solitary 55gal hospital tank are:
Sal: 1.025
Nitrate: <20
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
pH: 8.3
<This all is fine>
This problems all started 5 days ago when he was attacked by my (now rehomed) Dardanus Megistos. He nearly lost his entire right fin and had some other surface cuts. I'll include photos at the bottom for reference.
He seemed to be alright for the days following the attack, normal behaviour, swimming, resting, eating, breathing normal so I left him in the main tank with his buddies. Well three days in I noticed the cowfish picking at his wound and decided to set up a hospital tank for him to recover in peace. His new home is bare bones. Glass bottom. One fake log cave. Air stone. Powerhead. Heater. Side filter. One of those 'all included' kits from the store jobs. I set it up with 35% water from the
main tank and the rest fresh mix, like a big water change. He's been in there 24hours at this time. He's been fed once and he accepted it normally.
My main concern is his breathing appears to be very laboured. Mouth open.

Almost gasping. At a slight inclined angle, not sitting on the ground. At first I thought the side filter wasn't providing enough aeration so I put in the air stone to bump it up but he hasn't improved. I see no visible sign of illness on his body but he appears to be hiccupping? When I transferred him to his new tank I ushered him into a juice jug and to my knowledge, never let him come in contact with the air. He did partly puff for a brief second while in the jug but he quickly let it out and never
puffed again since.
Would you be concerned about this laboured breathing?
<Only a bit... likely still recovering from the Hermit and Hovercraft fish traumas>
What about treating his injuries?
<Oh; yes; the reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SWPuffTraumaF.htm
and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BurrfshTraumaF.htm
Your advice is very much appreciated!!
I included a video, hopefully you're able to view it.
<Henceforth, PLEASE store someplace (e.g. YouTube) and just send along the link>
Your biggest fan,
<There's something there. Bob Fenner>

Re: Porcupine puffer having a bad week       10/13/15
Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Renee>
Thank you very much for your quick reply. I'll keep my eye on him and watch for infections. I've also blocked off my intakes a little better after reading those pages you linked me. Preventative measures!
<Perhaps a bit of Epsom>
Your site is truly amazing. The FAQs on Marine Treatment Tanks was everything I needed and more to make this possible!
Kind regards,
<And you, BobF>
Re: Porcupine puffer having a bad week        11/18/15

Good evening Bob,
<Good morrow now here Renee>
Just a quick follow up for you. The puffer took about a week to acclimatize to his new home.
<Mmm; about right>
He is loving his new digs! All his dead spines and skin shed off by week three. His fin joint took exactly a month to become useful, begin undulating properly again, and over the last three days his fin has made impressive gains in size!
I'd expect it to be entirely healed in less than two weeks. What an incredible thing to witness. Why can't we regrow our parts? Haha
<Some day soon>
Thanks again for everything you and your amazing team provide!
<Welcome dear>

Porcupine Puffer Collapsed Eye?        9/8/15
Hello, just stumbled onto this site as I was frantically searching for an answer to my problem. 2 days ago I noticed my Porcupine Puffer laying at the bottom of my tank breathing hard. I have moved the little guy into a separate tank and that's where he's been since then. He has not taken any food no matter how hard I try to get him to eat. I've been stumped as to
what is causing this, today I noticed his eyes seem to have collapsed?
I've been browsing the internet to see what could be causing this but I have yet to find anything. I've tried taking a picture but it isn't clear from the picture what is going on with his eyes. Normally his eyes, the outer "shell" looks like this, ). Looking at his eyes now only a tiny bit of the center protrudes out, everything else is flat. There also seems to be nothing wrong with the muscles in his eye as he is able to pull off all his regular eye movements. His eyes have also lost that glittery sheen to them and his pupil is no longer circular in shape, instead it resembles a seed.
I'm going to keep looking to see what is going on but I was wondering if maybe one of you have seen this kind of situation before?
<Yes.... need data... what other life is in this system? What do you feed?
What changes recently? Water quality tests.... See WWM re other Diodontid health issues to gain an idea of the sorts of information we're looking for.
Bob Fenner>>
If so, what should I do, and will he ever recover? The only thing of importance that happened before I discovered my puffer laying at the bottom of my main tank was a water and filter clean/change 2 days prior. Thanks for your time.
Re: Porcupine Puffer Collapsed Eye?        9/8/15

<Is there a full moon? 4.5 megs of uncropped pic>
Hello again, thanks for your quick response, my main tank after water change parameters are Nitrites at 0-5.0 PPM, pH is 8.0, and Salinity is at 1.026. Other fish in this tank are a Blue Tang and a Comet Wrasse.
<All this is fine>
Current parameters for the Q tank that Puffer is in are comparable to my main tank.
I feed the puffer a mix of cuttlefish, Krill, and Clams.
<Bingo... search on WWM re Thiaminase poisoning.
Usually he can't stop eating but he hasn't taken anything for the past 2 days. I've also managed to take a clear photo of what's happening to his eyes and have attached it.


Porc. Puffer help... Crypt?       6/11/15
I have a porcupine puffer who gas been in a quarantine tank for two months while my dt stayed farrowing to kill off ich. After the two month I put a clown wrasse back in dt and after two weeks of him being fine I put the puffer back in. Within two days he started getting white blotches on his fins
<Mmm; could be.... simply stress... the moving for instance; or might be a preamble to crypt>
and he became very inactive and spent most his time hidden with his tail tucked in. The spots were similar to the ich spots but not identical.
<... only way to tell for sure is sampling and microscopic exam.>
There didn't seem to be any eye to these spots as before and they were more blotchy than extended spots. I quickly returned the puffer and began hypo.
<Rarely effects a lasting cure... esp. w/ very mucusy fishes like puffers>
He has showed no signs of illness since and is now his own self. The clown wrasse due to being incapable of catching him us still in dt
<Will act as a reservoir host if Crypt is present>
and us actually flourishing, got larger more active and no sign of ich or illness. So my question is this, was what I saw on the puffer in the dt actually ich or is this something that happens to puffers through stress or other illness?
<See above; and WWM>
Water parameters are all as expected. Salinity 1.022. Hope u can help
<Read on! Bob Fenner>
re: Porc. Puffer help     6/12/15

It's says read on at the end. Am I missing something?
<Sorry for the lack of clarity. The blindness issue w/ your Puffer is likely due to both the Thiaminase from too much shellfish feeding and water quality as you state. READ on WWM re feeding/nutrition. B>
re: Porc. Puffer help     6/12/15

I think u replied to wrong msg lol. My puffer hasn't got blindness.
<Ahh, I do apologize>
It was suspected of ich if u can remember. I guess now my question would be how do I know if my dt is clear of ich or not.
<Can't know with great certainty. Most all marine systems have a degree/latent infestation... see the "Three Sets of Factors" piece archived on WWM re "balance">
Clown wrasse is showing no signs but obviously that could be a misleading factor
<Ah yes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blind porcupine puffer      6/11/15
> Subject: Blind porcupine puffer
> I haven't had much lucky with porcupine puffers for some reason
> <Luck?... Most go blind from nutritional issues... fed too much krill,
> silversides... Thiaminase... Some from too-bright lighting, ala
> Lionfishes>
I don't feed much krill...it makes up about 5% of my food mix, and the
porcupine really never ate it as the other puffers or trigger got first.
The primary food that the porcupine eats is cockle, clam on half shell,
lots of squid, and unshelled cocktail shrimp.
<... go back and read>

I don't feed and live foods other than occasional crawfish, and i have never feed silversides or other fish as i never wanted my fish getting to like taste of other fish lol.
I do have high power leds on that tank, so will try turning them down, but i would think if they caused him problems, he wouldn't be staying at top of tank.
I did read about the Thiaminase issues and i don't use much food that contains that and also use multivitamins in the food. Right now he gets mostly squid as he likes the large stuff...he is 10"
Are porcupine puffers just more prone to problems? I have two other puffers with him and had for years with no problems and they eat the same thing...i also have 7 other puffers in different tanks that have had for years...I've only had issues with porcupine puffers.
> ...i love them very much, but cant seem to keep one longer than 8 months.
> They just die for no reason. My latest one is a year old and was fine, then
> one day acted like could see. He has now been acting blind for over a month
> with no other symptoms.
> <Put the two words: "Puffer blindness" in WWM search tray (on every page)
> and read>
I had done that before contacting you and didn't find anything...mostly it seemed people had this issue right after getting a porcupine puffer, or exposed to copper. I have had mine for nearly a year and never exposed to copper. I do know that ph greatly affects porcupine puffers and their eyes, and why i suspect the water issue i had was the cause...i forgot to mention
in last email, ph had dropped to 7.2 along with the low Alk. The issue is fixed and what caused the problem identified so that wont repeat...but if my suspicion is correct and this was the cause, do you think he will recover? Anything i can do to help him recover? Again, he acts perfectly normal, just cant see...eats like a pigs still so long as put it at his mouth.
> He eats well when i put food into his mouth and is very active but tends to
> always swim around the top of the tank. Im pretty sure he can see light n
> shadows, but not actually see. He knows where to go for feeding time when
> the pumps go off, and waits for someone to stuff food in his mouth..but
> other wise spins around if food is near or i miss as he surely can smell
> it. Eyes are clear, and normal with no damage. Tank is a 300g fish only
> with artificial reef, running for 5 years. Tank mates include a yellow
> belly dogface(been in tank for 5 yrs) stars n stripes puffer, indigo
> hamlet, Chromis, desjardinii tang, mated male female bi color angels, mated
> blue throat triggers and two Columbian sharks(catfish). Sump is 100gal with
> vertex480 internal and a Deltec external skimmer, along with twin external
> sulfur denitrators, each rated at 900g. Ammonia0, nitrite0, nitrate <1.0 ,
> Alk 9, ph 8.1 .. The only problem I've had with the tank in last few months
> was an Alk drop and calc spike which i corrected slowly over two weeks. Alk
> dropped to 4 and calc had risen to 900
> <?! as in PPM?>
Yes 900ppm...
i thought test went bad but confirmed it with other tests. I used to maintenance dose the tank with an all-in-one calc,alk,mag that also had other trace. That drove the calc up since Mag is used more in a fish only than calc and caused an imbalance. Now i only supplement dose with an alk builder and Mag when needed.
> with Mag staying at below 1200. I originally assumed this was the cause and
> corrected it, and it has been over a month and stable, but no improvement
> with his eyesight. No other fish is having a problem. I make my own food
> which is a mix of jumbo mysis, salad sized shrimp, squid, clam, Nori,
> mussel, krill.
> <This is the problem. See WWM re Thiaminase as well>
> I add in garlic, Vitamarin, amino/omega, and angel elixir. Any
> suggestions?
> <Reading, using WWM. Bob Fenner>

Blind porcupine puffer       6/10/15
I haven't had much lucky with porcupine puffers for some reason
<Luck?... Most go blind from nutritional issues... fed too much krill, silversides... Thiaminase... Some from too-bright lighting, ala Lionfishes>
...i love them very much, but cant seem to keep one longer than 8 months.
They just die for no reason. My latest one is a year old and was fine, then one day acted like could see. He has now been acting blind for over a month with no other symptoms.
<Put the two words: "Puffer blindness" in WWM search tray (on every page) and read>
He eats well when i put food into his mouth and is very active but tends to always swim around the top of the tank. Im pretty sure he can see light n shadows, but not actually see. He knows where to go for feeding time when the pumps go off, and waits for someone to stuff food in his mouth..but other wise spins around if food is near or i miss as he surely can smell
it. Eyes are clear, and normal with no damage. Tank is a 300g fish only with artificial reef, running for 5 years. Tank mates include a yellow belly dogface(been in tank for 5 yrs) stars n stripes puffer, indigo hamlet, Chromis, desjardini tang, mated male female bi color angels, mated blue throat triggers and two Columbian sharks(catfish). Sump is 100gal with vertex480 internal and a Deltec external skimmer, along with twin external sulfur denitrators, each rated at 900g. Ammonia0, nitrite0, nitrate <1.0 , alk 9, ph 8.1 .. The only problem I've had with the tank in last few months was an alk drop and calc spike which i corrected slowly over two weeks. Alk dropped to 4 and calc had risen to 900
<?! as in PPM?>

with Mag staying at below 1200. I originally assumed this was the cause and corrected it, and it has been over a month and stable, but no improvement with his eyesight. No other fish is having a problem. I make my own food which is a mix of jumbo mysis, salad sized shrimp, squid, clam, Nori, mussel, krill.
<This is the problem. See WWM re Thiaminase as well>

I add in garlic, vitamarinM, amino/omega, and angel elixir. Any suggestions?
<Reading, using WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ich/Puffers and Hypo   2/21/15
Hey crew, thanks for doing what you do!
<A pleasure, honor and life-fulfilling to share>
Question, I see that you don't recommend hypo treatment for Cryptocaryon (SW "Ich"). In the case of Holocanthus puffers, copper treatment is suggested to be potentially very harmful.

I'm just doing the freshwater dip now and heading to the quarantine tank.
Was set to hypo, but if you don't recommend hypo, what would you recommend for Holocanthus that you would consider a safe, effective treatment?
<Chloroquine phosphate is best currently. Use the search tool on any page on WWM...>

I did do a search using some terms but didn't come up with something (probably just didn't do it right!)
Thanks very much,
Scott Goorland
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
Bob as a ps- I know in my last note I went from the no hypo/copper to some level, but just trying to find something prophylactic till I get my hands on the right stuff.... Thanks so much again
<Figured, but thank you for this clarification. BobF>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
Bob, thanks so so much for your super fast reply! I've read your articles and books for what seems to be a very long time! (I was a U of Miami grad in the 90s from the Marine Science school, went a different direction but never left the love of it!) I've read up before on Chloroquine, hear super things about it. Your support of it is even referenced in a Pufferforum
post. I even was able to get some Dr G's which i soaked shrimp in and feed the puffer with it while I got the QT set. Of course, Dr. G's only provides an internal medication, and does not treat the external parasite in the tank. That would require dosing.
<?... the quinine does treat for external Protozoans>
The problem I've had is that I can't seem to find anyone that carries it.
<... See here:
Most of the LFS's have never even heard of it. And the one that sold me the Dr G's, who swears that Chloroquine does wonders, doesn't carry it because he's just start up and dealing with start up costs. I can't quite understand why if it's as effective as I've read, it isn't fully commercialized.
<Meh... newer tech; the regulations... expense of start ups; lack of momentum...>
I'm going to see if I can find it somewhere, I haven't had much success on the web either. Any thoughts on where to find a product?
The LFS guy is trying to order some for me from a place in Gainesville, FL (we're in West Palm Beach) if he can. But he says it will be until Thursday before he could get any in. (he did say the market for this should open up, in his opinion it's been limited to commercial operations).
In the meantime I was going to try one of two options to get things going for the puffer. I dipped him in fresh water last night on the way to the QT for 10 min.s. 'Most' of the Crypto came off. He's swimming happily in the QT and begging for food. (note, all the other scaled fish will be placed in a separate QT and copper dosed, and the DT left fallow for 6 weeks). I am considering starting either a hypo treatment combined with a daily formalin dip and daily 50% bottom vacuumed water changes; or a half dose Cupramine regime, which I've read can be effective against crypto and if slowly dosed up correctly is safe for puffers (of course, keeping a close eye on levels and behavior to make sure). Any thoughts on these as
prophylactic while waiting for a Chloroquine supply?
Thanks again,
Scott Goorland
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
Got it! Fish Pharm CP. Not cheap but worth it! Will keep extra on hand (and thus also support the market growth!) Do you have dosing instructions on WWM?
If so I can do a search, or I can contact fishPharm. Will also look at that NLS Ich Shield Powder, seems to contain chloroquinine as a dip. Re your question of why I mentioned Dr G's for internal, what I meant to say (I probably could have said better) is as I understand it, the product works on the fish itself (internally and externally), but not on the tank water in the QT where the crypto will still remain unless I somehow treat that as well?
<Don't understand this statement... but quinines are not effective on free-swimming and off-host intermediates as far as I'm aware. B>
Thanks again for all you do Bob
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo

Hoping to help spread the word, here's another supplier I found, no word on quality:
50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% |
N4-(7-Chloro-4-quinolinyl)-N1,N1-dimethyl-1,4-pentanediamine diphosphate
salt | J64459 | Alfa Aesar| Alfa Aesar
| 50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% | N4-(7-Chlo...Hazard
Statements ...
| View on www.alfa.com
<Thanks. B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
As I understand it, I can treat the fish with CP foods, but even with treatment if the off host intermediates are still in the water, unless I eradicate the off host forms as well, they'll just keep attacking the host.
If quinines don't treat off host intermediates, won't the problem just continue as a cycle until I find some way to treat those as well? Scott
<A few approaches can work here: Moving hosts to non-infested systems serially... in actual practice, IF one is dealing w/ a single (not multiple, over-lapping) generations of Protozoans, eradicating those on the host fishes generally effects a system cure. Reducing the numbers and viability of parasites off-host can be done in numerous ways... B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
Now that is great! Looking forward to the employment of the method! Thanks
again for all. Scott G.
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Puffer.... NOT following stated directions       2/13/15
> <The size limit of 50 MB for mailbox 'crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com' has been > exceeded. Incoming mail is currently being rejected.>
> Please help. .. what can I do for my puffer. . His eyes are almost covered  in white and he looks like he is burned on his back. The nitrates are at 40, nitrite are at 0, ammonia is at 0 and ph is 8.2.. and I'm doing large
> water changes weekly to get the nitrates down. .
Re: Puffer

sorry their was no message... please help
Re: Puffer     2/14/15

<Nothing attached. Get help w/ your email>
wow sorry missed that i resent only pic of my puffer this time sorry

What can i do for my puffer his eyes are cloudy and he looks like he had a burn on his back. .
<Learn to use WWM... the indices, search tool. I'll look this up for you this time; READ HERE:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer

great that was helpful
<... Next time... do please provide useful data... the environment; foods/feeding/tankmates, system... B>

Porcupine Puffer disease or wound?     1/10/15
Hello WWM Crew,
I read all of the posts on puffers and disease and didn't see pictures that
looked like this.
I have a 125 gallon tank, spg 1.023, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are 0,
<How is NO3 rendered thus?>
pH is 8.4, temp 79 degrees Fahrenheit
My porcupine puffer shares his tank with a bi color angel, a Siganus
<May have poked...>
rabbit fish and a rather Large Dardanus
<... pinched>

crab in a 6 inch Triton
Tonight when I got home I noticed a mark on my Porcupine puffer Kirby.
<All at once I take it>

is in front of his gill on his left side. It was Not there yesterday,
<Ah yes; an injury>
is whitish/pink area. It is about an 1/2 inch wide by a little under an inch long. I have attached a picture.
<A nice one>
It doesn't look like ich or velvet
or other diseases I have seen first hand. I am wondering it it looks fungal or bacterial in nature to you?
<Maybe secondary>
Or if it looks like a wound perhaps
inflicted by a rather large crab living in a triton shell. Any thoughts?
<Same as yours>
I can quarantine Kirby the puffer and medicate him if need be.
<I wouldn't>
I would
rather not medicate him if it is a wound that will heal on its own.
is 6 years old. He doesn't seem lethargic at all or breathing fast either. He is eating well. Are there bacteria's or fungus that move this quickly in less then 24 hours?
<Not w/o an opening>
Thanks for your help this is an amazing site.
Regards, Kellylynn
<There we have it; a mix of dangerous characters; the puffer cut, slashed open by one of them...
With good conditions, nutrition will heal in time (weeks). Bob Fenner>

Re: Porcupine Puffer disease or wound?        1/12/15
Hello Bob
"<how is NO3 rendered thus?>"
I have a refugium stuffed full of plants, a nitrate filter from Aquaripure and religious water changes because puffers are really messy.
Maybe how I should have phrased it is that the nitrates are undetectable with 2 different test kits. So I think it is a combination of all three things.
There must be a titch of NO3 as the plants are doing fine but I think the plants take up what is left by the puffers messy eating habits. The NO3 with 2 different tests it is not detectable.
I definitely think the puffer was wounded by Roger Rabbit fish or the Dardanus crab. I am kind of leaning toward the crab. Kirby the puffer seems to be giving the crab a wider leeway and to some degree avoiding the area where the crab is. I do not remember him doing that before.
Thanks again for this site. It is a treasure trove of knowledge.
<Thank you for adding to it. BobF>

Update on Kirby the Puffer and the Dardanus Crab       2/7/15
Hello WWM crew,
Kirby is now healing from his injury from a few weeks ago. It was the crab I am 99% sure who wounded Kirby.
<Me too>
There is a small area that is lighter in color and some of his spots are farther apart then they were before. He Has given the crab a wider berth then he did before. That is what has led me to believe it was the crab and not Roger Rabbit (Siganus doliatus). The behavior is different toward the crab.
<Perhaps next molt/move, it will be the Puffer's chance...>
You will be happy to know that I have purchased a 200 gallon tank for them.
<Ah good>
I am just waiting for the stand to arrive. It will have space for a 100+ gallon refugium underneath. Which brings me to my next question......about stocking the bigger tank. Kirby is 7 inches long, Roger is 8 inches long. The crab will be spending more time in the refugium I think.....to keep everyone safe.
<Tres bien>
Can I switch him from the main tank to the refugium here and there?
Since it is the same system? He is a good clean up crew for the puffers messy way of eating. Other occupants will be my bicolor angel and a small 4 inch aquacultured purple Tang.
<?! Have never seen an aquacultured Zebrasoma sp. Where are you buying/getting this from?>
I know the tang will get lots bigger.
<Mmm; not as large as some congeners... likely only five-six inches overall here over years time>
The tang and bicolor get along swimmingly (pun intended) now and are never very far from each other. Will it stay that way as the tang gets bigger or is he more likely to bully the Bicolor?
<Can't say; both animals being individualistic... but I give good odds that they'll get along well enough>
I also have a purple indigo Pseudochromis in that tank should I move him to a smaller tank even though he seems to be doing just fine with the big fish?
<If there's sufficient cover I'd leave in; are smart, quick>
I was thinking of adding a pink tailed or blue throat trigger to the mix after the new tank is up and running for a while.....am I pushing my luck with the thought of a trigger and puffer together or the trigger and my rather large Rabbitfish?
<A peaceful Balistid species might go>
Could I put a different species of rabbit fish in a system this size?
<I would not>
I know you shouldn't put con-specifics together but could it work with this size tank?
<Not a good gamble>
What would you suggest for other fish to add with this pugnacious bunch of fish?
<That you read; decide for yourself. You can/could just peruse the "Compatibility FAQs" on WWM for all the species you have, desire>

That I adore I might add ☺.
Are there wrasse that might work like the dragon wrasse or Thalassoma species?
<Yes; plus Coris and a few others>
Could a hawk fish work with this bunch or would my puffer eat a Hawkfish....
<A larger species could fit>
he has left the pseudo alone... He has left the cleaner shrimp alone which has amazed me. I want to make the right choice of fish to add to the larger system once I get up and running.
Thanks again for this amazing site. I have spent dozens of hours reading on it. P.S. I often shop at my Asian grocery store to find new and interesting things for Kirby the puffer to eat. They often have an array of marine shellfish you wouldn't find at your regular grocery store and the often have very high quality squid compared to my local grocery store.
<Neat. Thanks for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Question about Porcupine Puffer   2/2/15
Hi, I hope you can help me. I just wanted to ask you a question about my Porcupine puffer fish. I have had him for 6 years and he is 12" long. I would say at a guess that he is around 10-12 years old as he was quite a good size when i got him. He seems constipated.
<A common issue with larger puffer species, specimens.... What do you feed this fish? Have you read on WWM Re?>
I noticed 5 days ago that the lower part of his belly was quite big and sticking out. You could see that he was trying to go to the toilet but not able to go. He is swimming around as normal at night, and staying on the bottom of the tank between his rocks during the day and does not seem stressed, but is moping about a bit. I read on the internet that peas are good as a laxative.
<MgSO4 much better>
I tried earlier with some peas (i took the outer skin off them) on one of my food grabbers. He was not interested. He is not interested in any of his food at the moment. I just wanted to double check with you, that peas are ok for marine fish?
Is there any other things i can do for his blockage?    2/2/15

Some people on the internet say to try to get him in a container and massage his belly. I cannot do this because he is big and heavy and i don't want to chance him puffing up and stressing more or getting air in him. I'm just stressed out because i have had him a long time and want to do all that i can to get him better. I mainly feed cockles in shell, mussels, superba krill, and lancefish. His favourite is the shelled cockles though.
<Yikes... also see WWM re Thiaminase>

He always seems to crunch the shells fine and spit them out. Do you think that maybe bit of shells could have gotten stuck in his stomach, or even maybe a full cockle as his mouth is big. I would have thought that in the wild they eat shelled things all the time and their stomachs would deal with it ok?
<Yes; agreed>
Do they ever pass it naturally after a few days?
<Almost always; yes>
I know they can go quite a while without food and be ok. I'm hoping if the peas are ok, then he will start feeding again soon. I can try to put the peas into his food like the mussels. He last fed on Saturday 24th January in the morning. Sorry about all the questions. I can't seem to find much on the internet about what has happened to my puffer. I went to the local vets
on Friday 30th January. That's the earliest the vet could see me. I could not bring the puffer with me as he is big and i did not want to stress him more. I took videos and photos to show the vet. He said he could maybe x ray him which would be stressful for him or get liquid paraffin down into him via a tube to make him throw up. Not sure if this would work either,
because the lump seems to be far down near his back passage.
<There are other, more useful lavages for fishes>
My water parameters are great and all the other fish are fine. I hope to hear back from you soon. Many thanks. Neil.
<Do you need help using the search tool (on every page) or indices on WWM?
Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Porcupine Puffer      2/3/15

Hi Bob, thanks a lot for the reply. I completely forgot to say in the last message that i am currently doing Hyposalinity in my main tank that had a break out of Ich. I have done it for 6 weeks and am just starting to now bring the SG back up slowly over the next 2 weeks as the Ich is completely gone now. Could this affect my puffer at all with a blockage and not
eating? Thanks again. Neil.
<Ah yes. BobF>

Porcupine Puffer Issues; hlth.; iatrogenic. No reading as usual         1/21/15
Hello, I recently got a porcupine puffer (About a month ago), and it was eating great and acting normal
up until few days ago, when it contracted the itch.
<... ich>

After reading on itch and the puffer and learning that itch medication tends to harm the puffer, I decided against medication.
<I'd try CP... as gone over on WWM, for Diodontids w/ Protozoan issues>
The itch resided and I thought everything was ok, as the puffer returned to normal.
When I went to feed the puffer today I noticed it was acting abnormal.
Usually when I step up to the tank, the puffer will swim out and hang around near the surface of the water, waiting for me to feed it (Frozen Krill,
<.... see WWM re Thiaminase. Krill is a very poor diet>

that has been thawed out). Today it never swam out. I decided to coax it out with some food held near its usual resting place. My puffer swam out and I noticed that both its eyes, were slightly cloudy, and it almost seems like they pulse in and out every couple seconds. I also noticed that the itch returned. After eating 2-3 Krill, the puffer lost all interest in eating and I couldn't coax it with food anymore. My other fish ( 1 Juvi Emperor Angel, 1 Yellow Tang, and 5 Banggai Cardinal fish), all
were acting as usual, and were enthusiastic in their feeding, none of these fish contracted itch (the Emperor Angel did have a small bout, but it went away within the day and has not resurfaced). I also have an Anemone that was acting normal (got it 2 weeks ago) but as of today has contracted. The only real thing I have changed recently, was my water, and I finally managed to get an in tank skimmer (Has been running for 5 days). I have enclosed a Video of my puffer fish. You'll notice its weird swimming and random jerking. Please let me know if you need photo's or video of anything. Also where do I find your reply to this question?
<Where you'll be reading; on WWM>
On the FAQ or should I expect an email reply? Thanks for your time.
<Keep reading; the above. Bob Fenner>
- Tank levels on 01/01/15
- Calcium, 380-400 ppm
- Hardness, 1790197 ppm
- Phosphate, 0.5-1.0 ppm
- Nitrate, 0.0-.05 ppm
-Tank Levels on 01/20/15
- Calcium, 360-380 ppm
- Hardness, 297-214 ppm
- Phosphate, 1.0-2.0 ppm
- Nitrate, 5-10 ppm​
Puffer Fish problems.mov
Re: Porcupine Puffer Issues... another non-reader
Hello, thanks for you speedy reply regarding issues with my puffer. I did do more research after I sent my initial email and came upon the Thiminase issue myself.
<Ah, good>
Your article regarding Thiminase was extremely helpful,
<Not very impressive as you're not spelling the condition correctly>

because like you said, there is not much information to go around. I would like to know what diet I should be feeding my fish to avoid this issue.
<Also posted on WWM... please learn to/use the search tool (on every page) and/or indices.>
Currently only my puffer seems to be suffering as it is the only one that eats the krill. The other fish in my tank are fed Frozen Bloodworms
<Also very poor>

and to not display any of the symptoms (Yet, after reading your article I am worried that this will change). What do you think I should be feeding my fish to help my puffer recover and to avoid this issue in the future?
<Reading. BobF>

Thanks again!

Cloudy eye? No reading, or data, but 9 megs in blurry non-cropped pix    12/11/14
Is this cloudy eye or ich?
<Could be both, either, neither>

He hasn't eaten in a couple of days and today he's just been hanging out on the sand bed. Our tank went through a funk

during thanksgiving where the nitrates and ph spiked and killed a lot of our hard coral but that's under control now.
Any info would be awesome
<See WWM re Diodontid Puffer Disease... All will be revealed. Bob Fenner>


Pouting Porcupine Puffer     6/2/14
Hi WWM crew,
First, thanks for taking the time to answer questions like these and keeping an online archive like you do. It is a great resource. To the (long) question.
<Ah, welcome>
Background: I have had a series of salt-water tanks (displays of 125g FOWLR, 150g Reef, and 17g anemone) all on the same system for years now. Water parameters are good (nitrates and phosphates never get to 0 though due to feedings of the fish heavy systems…
<No big... chemo- photosynthates need measurable>
but it has been like that for years now with no ill results… zero algae, good coral growth etc). Almost 2 weeks ago I noticed very early stages of what I believe to be Ich on some of my fish (Bummer…). I am diligent in my quarantine process for fish… but not so much with frags and corals… guess that caught up to me. Lesson learned. I separated the fish from the reef and anemone tanks and removed those tanks from the overall system giving me several tanks all on a central system in which I could begin my course of action / treatment of hyposalinity (I brought the SG down gradually in the system to 1.010 over the course of 4 days). Some fish are in large community tanks together (like the 125g), and some alone. One of the fish alone is my 7 year old porcupine puffer Jiggly Puff in a 29 gallon on the system (with a good amount of live rock for her).
Problem: She (The puffer) was fine in the tank at first, a bit sad, but eating fine (garlic and Selcon soaked mussels normally) and swimming around like she normally does. At day 3 after reaching the salinity of 1.010 (so day 7 in the tank), she began to wedge herself under rocks and basically stay put. If she moved out from under the rocks, she would float vertically and swim in circles. She also stopped eating. First, I thought it could be an air pocket (even though I transferred her to the new tank without exposing her to air), so I attempted to “burp” her. Held her vertically and massaged her gently for a while (she is a good gentle girl and does not bite / enjoys us petting her normally so holding her did not seem to bother her much). Got nothing. The next day we tried again for a bit longer. She puffed up at the end this time but again, even when she expelled the water from inflation, she did not “burp” and continued not to be able to swim. Gave her a day off to see how she would do and then tried again today… but again no “burp” and hiding under the rocks / involuntary vertical floating (Tail up). What else could this be?
<The hypo., move... small space>

Could she have gotten impacted by eating a large piece of shell (she normally does not ingest the shells… but she did brake off half of one the other day and did swallow it… which she has done before… just not normal for her)? Could she have gotten a bacterial infection? Is her digestion just off due to the new salinity (killing off her normal gut flora)? Could it be parasites?

Her general symptoms and behaviors have been: Wedging under rocks (and not moving / coming out), vertical floating (tail first) and swimming in circles when she is out from the rock work, occasionally doing something that looks like coughing / dry heaving with nothing coming out (usually after we try and burp her though…), not eating. Have not noticed any lumps to speak of (and the small amount of Ich she did eventually develop is not visible at all now). Also worth noting that all other fish on the same system (close to 40) are doing great.
Hoping you can provide some guidance. I am tempted to remove her tank from the large system (cut off water flow) and treat with some kind of a combination (or single treatment) of PraziPro, an antibiotic (i.e. maracyn 1, 2, or plus), or something like MelaFix
<Nah. Worse than worthless>

(I know this gets a ton of flack… but an option my wife has brought up due to the numerous postings on forums etc regarding the product). Treatment would just be stabs in the dark… but just feel helpless at this point as she is a great fish… probably my favorite ever… and we are pretty attached so we hate to see her like this. Any help you could provide by replying is greatly appreciated!
<If it were me, mine... just patience. This puffer can go for weeks w/o feeding... Patience. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pouting Porcupine Puffer     6/3/14
Thanks for the quick reply! Waiting a few more days (a week or so) was what I was thinking of doing as well...
<Ah, good. I take it you've read other's accounts archived on WWM re Diodontids>
Although it breaks out heart to see her so sad... I think waiting a week or so without bothering her much is probably the way to go. Again, thanks for the reply!
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Pouting Porcupine Puffer     6/13/14
<Is it a full moon? Oh, yes; it is. Why are folks sending orders of magnitude too large files?>
Wanted to follow up with the previous emails regarding our 7 year old porcupine puffer.
<Have you read on WWM re Diodontids?>
We gave her a bit more time and it appears that she does have a rather large lump on her left side behind her pectoral fin and gills (it seems like she is being floated by this lump). She also appears to be doing worse with labored breathing. It has been quite a while now with her like this. Any advise?
<.... reading>
Maybe try burping her more vigorously? Or try bringing the SG back to normal (still in hypo 1.010)?
<A poor idea. Stop writing, and read. Bob Fenner>

I attached some pictures as well this time.
Thanks again for the help,

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