Before anyone tells me how irresponsible or stupid this was... believe me, I know, but I'm trying to figure out what to do next!!!
Ok, here's the story:
I had a small 2 gal. tank on my desk at work for about 1 1/2 years now. I went away for two days and came home tonight to a 20 gal. tank with two Green Spotted Puffers in it! My teenage son thought it would be a great present for me. He did what they told him to do at the pet store (they were a bunch of idiots in my opinion!!) and thought he was doing a great thing for me. I told him it was great and I loved it and now I have to do everything I can to keep these two fish alive!!
So, per the pet store, my son bought the 20 gal. tank, brought it home and emptied the 2 gal. tank (gravel and fish included). Then added tap water and water conditioner pack that came with the aquarium set up. He added marine salt (he said 3 pounds like they told him at the store), plugged in the filter and heater and floated the two puffers for half an hour. Then he set them free into the tank. All of this happened about 36 hours ago. This is where I am right now:
water is a bit cloudy
temp is 78 degrees
salinity?? or specific gravity?? is 1.02 (they sold him a thermometer that floats in the tank with a hydromoeter on top) yes, I'm sure it's not the most accurate
I don't have any water test kit and won't be able to go to the store until tomorrow morning (believe me, I'll go right away)
the two tiny cat fish, 1 Zebra Danio
and 1 Neon Tetra
that were in the original tank all died at some point yesterday (son feels really bad for killing them which is part of the reason why I want to do whatever I can to save these guys)
I know the tank should have been cycled first and that puffers are not a hardy fish and shouldn't be used for cycling, but in your opinions, is there any chance for these fish to survive the cycling?
I don't want to break my son's heart and return them to the store and at this point, I would think that moving them to another tank would be traumatic to their systems.