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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi fellow members,

When you create a new topic we will need to ask a number of questions about your situation so we can best determine how to help you. To speed up the process, we ask that you have the following information available at the time of your first post:

1. What is the size of your tank? 20 gallons

2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used. 0 amm, .5 nitrite, 0 nitrates ( this tank was previously cycled with tiger barbs but i think the puffers bioload is much bigger so ive now had a nitrite spike and have no idea where my nitrates went) ph is 7.6-7.8, kh is 5, gh is 1-2. Kit is the api master kit and the api kh and gh kit.

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? Freshwater

4. How long the aquarium has been set up? Almost 4 months

5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? I have 2 south american puffers. Ive had them about 3 weeks and there are about 1.5 in long

6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
No the fish were not quarentined but they are the only inhabitants and were bought together.

7. What temperature is the tank water currently? 79 degrees

8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? Yes, i currently have 8 bunches. I do not know the names of them all, but there are 2 lillies and some nymph all growing well and thriving.

9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity.
Marineland penguin 250. I rinse the filter cartridge every 3-4 weeks with tank water.

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)? No

11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)? No real natural sunlight, blinds r open but windows in house are 100% uv. I have lights on 12 hours a day from around 6am to 6pm.

12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate?
Last water change was 50% on 12 mar. I treat water with prime. I do vacuum substrate. Since nitrite spike about a week ago ive been doin 50% changes every other day and using prime to protect fish.
13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule? My puffers get a ramshorn snail 2 times a day to share and and bloodworm each. I hand feed each of them and watch their bellies to determine when they have had enough

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish? Just the white spots.

15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis. Yes i treated with Mardel coppersafe. I talked to lfs and told them i thought it was ick and needed something safe for scaless fish. Tey gave me coppersafe. During waterchanges, i medicate based on instructions. Fish are active and eating well. Seem to be feeling well. I have attached a photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Please help. We love our puffers. The medication is suppose to help with ick, velvet and other external parasites. Their names are harold and mikey and we love them like any other pets :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is a whole tank shot. Any idea what the plants are? Any changes i should make?
 

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It sounds like Ich but here's the thing and I don't know the direction to tell ya to go. The treatment for Ich is usually dose meds as you have and raise the temp above 80 for a week but being you have high nitrites you can't really go a week without doing water changes as you have been doing them every other day and using Prime. So the meds are not going to much good if you keep doing water changes. So here's the question which is more harmful high nitrites or Ich? I personally thinking the high nitrites are in this case as puffers are extremely sensitive to them but I don't know how bad the Ich is either so I can answer the this question and hopefully someone else will/can step in and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It sounds like Ich but here's the thing and I don't know the direction to tell ya to go. The treatment for Ich is usually dose meds as you have and raise the temp above 80 for a week but being you have high nitrites you can't really go a week without doing water changes as you have been doing them every other day and using Prime. So the meds are not going to much good if you keep doing water changes. So here's the question which is more harmful high nitrites or Ich? I personally thinking the high nitrites are in this case as puffers are extremely sensitive to them but I don't know how bad the Ich is either so I can answer the this question and hopefully someone else will/can step in and help.
Thank you for the input. Your thought process is mine exactly. I truly believe my puffers contracted the ich because their immune systems were lowered due to the nitrite spike. I feel like if i can get my nitrites under control then their immune systems will be stronger to fight the ich.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also i have aquarium salt but am hesitant to use it due to my plants. I know my puffers would handle the salinity fine, but i dont wanna lose my plants in the process. To salt or not to salt?
 

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Yes high nitrites can lower the immune system (and cause other problems as well I am sure.) which can lead to other illnesses like Ich in this case.
Being you. 5 nitrites which pretty high I personally would be doing water changes everyday till it comes back down. Then treat for Ich. Though again I don't know if this is the right way to be handling this situation. So please ask around this is just me thinking out loud and these are obviously your pets.
After cycling the tank with Tiger Barbs and taken them out did you tank out anything else?? I am wondering if you somehow put the tank into mini cycle on accident?
 

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Ohh I don't know about salt...... Some puffers can't handle it and some plants can't either. That's a question for someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes high nitrites can lower the immune system (and cause other problems as well I am sure.) which can lead to other illnesses like Ich in this case.
Being you. 5 nitrites which pretty high I personally would be doing water changes everyday till it comes back down. Then treat for Ich. Though again I don't know if this is the right way to be handling this situation. So please ask around this is just me thinking out loud and these are obviously your pets.
After cycling the tank with Tiger Barbs and taken them out did you tank out anything else?? I am wondering if you somehow put the tank into mini cycle on accident?
Oh im most definitely sure i sent the tank into a minicycle. The penguin 100 filter i originally had with the tank did not provide enough current or filtration for my puffers. I changed out filters but thought i did it the right way by leaving both filters in for about a week an then keeping the filter cartridge from the original filter into the new filter. I regret it now, but the filter was goin to have to be upgraded at some point.
 

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I would just raise the temp and continue water changes, but that's just my gut reaction. Nothing to back that up, besides higher temps kill Ich. 86F I'm pretty sure, with extensive gravel cleaning.

I wouldn't use salt with plants, I've heard of it completely destroying it.

Again, this is just my gut reaction. I haven't had to personally deal with ich, just read a lot about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well i decided i can replace plants ( although i really dont want to) but i cant replace harold and mikey. I added salt. We shall see
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the salt will melt away your plants, raise the temp in the tank to 85-87 for about 2-3 week keep up with your water changes and the ich should clear right up. its one of the most easyiest tank ailmetns to treat (in my experience) a salt dip will suffice if in place of addding to the tank which will kill of your plants. the puffers were also probobly weakend due to being in complete freshwater these guys are brakish or even full salt species. being in the fresh might have strained and weakend their system. i would look into swaping to salt and ditching the freshwater idea. you would have to ditch your plants aswell but it comes down to if you want to constantly battle illness with them in the freshwater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the salt will melt away your plants, raise the temp in the tank to 85-87 for about 2-3 week keep up with your water changes and the ich should clear right up. its one of the most easyiest tank ailmetns to treat (in my experience) a salt dip will suffice if in place of addding to the tank which will kill of your plants. the puffers were also probobly weakend due to being in complete freshwater these guys are brakish or even full salt species. being in the fresh might have strained and weakend their system. i would look into swaping to salt and ditching the freshwater idea. you would have to ditch your plants aswell but it comes down to if you want to constantly battle illness with them in the freshwater.
All of my research has shown the the asellus puffer ( south american puffer) is a true freshwater species. Can you provide me with any evidence otherwise? I know the green spotted, dwarf and figure 8s are brackish, but i went with the sap because they r freshwater
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All of my research has shown the the asellus puffer ( south american puffer) is a true freshwater species. Can you provide me with any evidence otherwise? I know the green spotted, dwarf and figure 8s are brackish, but i went with the sap because they r freshwater
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now that you bring that up i deserver a totall facepalm moment, i was thinking of the guys you see in all the petstores the figure 8's and the dwarfs. my bad im not a puffer guy just had a spitballed theroy and went with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
now that you bring that up i deserver a totall facepalm moment, i was thinking of the guys you see in all the petstores the figure 8's and the dwarfs. my bad im not a puffer guy just had a spitballed theroy and went with it
No worries :) i thought u may know something i didnt lol. They can tolerate lightly brackish water but mostly reside in freshwater. I am waiting for my new heater to come in cause the one i have is nonadjustable. The ich looks just terrible. They r covered in it, but seem to be feeling fine. I just want it to go away!!!
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hah yeah sorry i have a bad habbit of assuming and generalizing, once you maintain the water at 85-87ish neighborhood the sists on the fish will burst from the heat and the parasite that is inside the sists and free floating and eggs will all die off. the parasite cannot tollerate the heat but the fish can ive still yet to lose a fish from treating this way while i have lost several while using medication
 

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Not sure id the salt will help without raising the temp too or along with it. Ohh btw South American puffers are freshwater and so are Dwarf puffers (Carinotetraodon travancoricus). That's the puffer I have and find soo interesting. Freshwater is all I will deal with. LoL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just an update, i used coppersafe, aquarium salt, and frequent pwc and my puffers are almost healed up.
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