Badman's Tropical Fish

All-Water Boards => Fish and Tank Health => Topic started by: ACoss72 on November 12, 2008, 05:36:34 PM

Title: Sick Green Spotted Puffer???
Post by: ACoss72 on November 12, 2008, 05:36:34 PM
  ***HELP!!!***  I have a Green Spotted Puffer and he's about 2" in size, eats well (mostly freeze dried krill & flake food) but he is SO skinny especially by his back and tail.  He used to be very active and constantly swim from the bottom of his tank to the top.  He is kept in a 15 gallon brackish tank w/4 other fish: 1 cory, 1 black loach, and 2 (?'s).  Lately his color has been off too.  He used to be bright yellowish green w/black spots but now he is darker in color.  I keep his water very clean and do partial weekly water changes (3-5 gallons every week).  He hasn't stopped eating but keeps looking thinner and thinner.  I need help!  I've had this little guy for about 2mths and every morning & night when I feed him he swims to the top of the tank to greet me.  Any advice would be VERY appreciated!  --Thank you VERY much--   Anthony

Title: Re: Sick Green Spotted Puffer???
Post by: mduros on November 12, 2008, 06:09:50 PM
Most puffers need snails in their diets.  Do you feed him any snails?  Please read this profile  I believe that is your fish.  They should be in a species tank, i.e. not kept in a community setting.  Secondly, none of your other fish should be kept in a brackish tank I don't think but others will correct me on that if I'm wrong.  Third, a 15 gallon is way too small for him.  It's likely he's already stunting and you won't be able to reverse that damage to his system.

But hang on, I'm sure others with more knowledge of the species will answer.
Take care,

Title: Re: Sick Green Spotted Puffer???
Post by: ACoss72 on November 12, 2008, 08:47:16 PM
Thank you so much Mary.  I'll definitely take your advice to heart.  It's so hard to figure out exactly what is wrong with him especially when there's tons and tons of info & it becomes hard to cut through the b.s. and find the facts.  I should have mentioned that the aquarium has been salted with aquarium salt and not marine salt.  This was recommended to me by the pet shop that I bought the puffer at.  The other fish with him were said to be compatible with him as tank-mates.  I've run tests on the water and everything is okay.  Hopefully he just pulls through.  It's just so odd that he's eating and eating but he looks skinnier everyday.  I do have small snails in the tank but he won't touch them.  Again... thank you for your reply. -Anthony-

Title: Re: Sick Green Spotted Puffer???
Post by: mduros on November 12, 2008, 09:08:59 PM
If he's eating and he's getting thinner I would think an internal parasite maybe.  Gee, I'm hoping someone else has an idea here.  I'm sorry he's sick though.  I love puffers and if I could have a set up for one, I would have one.  Can you tell us exactly what fish are in there with him?  What kind of cory, what kind of loach, and the other two fish?  Would it be possible for you to take a picture of the fish?
Take care,

Title: Re: Sick Green Spotted Puffer???
Post by: RTR...Grumpy Ole Fogie on November 12, 2008, 09:45:18 PM
There are several problems with your tank, and with the local species profile.  GSPs (green spotted puffers) are not FW fish, they are brackish water and tolerate full marine.  They are best in sizeable species-only tanks (if set with groups of very young fish) or as solitary specimens. 

They absolute require a diet high in "crunch" to keep their incisors from overgrowing - which starves them to death, as they cannot open their mouths enough to eat.  A proper diet for young fish is snails, once they grow a bit they can take other shell-on seafoods such as smallish clams and other bivalves, crab and lobster legs.  It is quite possible that your fish has overgrown incisors.   Examine the fish's mouth - does it look bucktoothed or very toothy?  It is possible to save such fish with anaesthesia and a bit of dentistry.

Their water should be increased gradually over a period of months while they are young from FW (if they are purchased in such) to at least mid-level brackish water, at about a specific gravity from 1.010 - i.015.  Under such care they can be expected to live ntoi their mid-teens as highly personable >6" fish.  Many hobbyists move then to full SW conditions as water quality maintenance is actually easier at that level by the addition of skimmers, sumps with live rock or 24/7 lighted macroalgae refugia, and skimmers - none of which can be used at mid-BW specific gravities.

Unfortunately, your fish is already on its way to being stunted from the lack of space and inappropriate diet if you had it more than weeks.  You don't specify how you define brackish, but if a cory cat and a loach (both FW fish) are living there, the tank is not really brackish (specific gravity at or over 1.003 with marine mix), and is overcrowded.  Puffer are extremely high bioload fish, and demanding on water quality and oxygenation..

Intestinal parasites are not rare in these fish, but given the diet and the tank conditions, they are less likely than simple diet, complicated by crowding and lack of proper conditions as the fish has been in your care more than a few weeks, unless the weight loss started from day one.  If the fish is new, it might be more likely be paraitized if on a proper diet - these are all wild-caught fish.

GSPs have been kept in FW, especially hard alkaline FW, for several years, but are prone to shin and eye problems and stunting in such conditions.

What are the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH and KH reading from your water in the tank?

What is the specific gravity of the tank?