Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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InvertPlanet 07-29-2011 12:50 AM

For Haku

Originally Posted by Haku
Invert Planet,

I see your wisdom and wanted to ask your advice. I just purchased two GSPs. They were purchased at Walmart about a week ago. One of them appears to be on his death bed. At first I thought he was being very playful and swimming upside down and then he would spin like a twister from the bottom to the top and was doing backflips. He seemes to be in control of these manuvers. However, the next day all he was doing was spinning. Now he swims on his side and lays almost upside down like he is dying. He has lost weight also. I did feed them cooked shrimp but switched to raw. I tried adding a bit more salt incase he was constipated. Nothing has worked. His colors are normal thought but he is always bent in half and upside down but his eyes are still alert. I thought at first there was something wrong with his brain like a virus. I suppose it must be an intestinal bacteria or parasite. What can I do? Should I just remove him from the tank so as not to get the other sick. They are in a 10 gallon tank. Ph balance is 6.8. The other is healthy and happy. Please any advice would be most appreciated.


Hello Haku,
This really should be posted in the forum so that others can read and learn from it also.

1) I have a feeling the tank wasn't set up properly. It appears that they may be suffering from Nitrite poisoning. Was the tank newly set up when you purchased the puffers? How long has it been set up?

2) Walmart puffers are famous for being kept in poor conditions. Don't feel bad. That is just the way it is. If possible obtain a liquid test kit so you can test for: Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Those reading will tell you when to do a water change. Ammonia should read 0, Nitrite should read 0 and Nitrate should read under 20. If any of those number are higher then you must do a water change.

3) The puffers may be small now, but they will need a larger tank. The sooner the better. It is recommended that they have 30 gallons of water each. Thus you will need a 60 gal tank if they both survive.

4) They will need brackish water to full marine conditions also. You can worry about that later as they grow, but it does mean that you will need to purchase more equipment.

5) When trying to diagnose a disease, it is always helpful that you provide a detailed picture. In your case, it sounds like Nitrite poisoning, and is usually fatal in 4 - 10 days.

6) after feeding your puffers make sure that you clean up after them. They are messy kids and any pieces of food remaining will only compound the problem.


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