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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
update:5/16 sick fish please help
sadly one of the dwarf puffer looks like it may die, its inactive and sluggishly floating around the bottom of the tank. It moves away if something is moved by it, and it can swim up, so I do not beleive its swim bladder. Its not discolored, starved, or bloated. No signs of damage/fin rot/irritated gills or body. No visible lesions/parasites.. and I don't see white poop in the tank but I have not seen this specific fish poop recently to confirm its color. The other two are swimming around just fine. They were all drip acclimated for a couple of hours to make sure they would not have shock from the water parameters when they were received on Tuesday of this week (its now friday). Ammonia and nitrite=0, nitrate=20 range, ph constant 7.5, temp 78F. This fish was eating fine and swimming around normally several hours ago with the others. Now its got that half dead floating thing going on... can anyone offer suggestions as to the cause, or a cure that might save it?




[original post]
3 dwarf puffers arrived yesterday (sold as Carinotetraodon travancoricus). One is noticeably different form the others as it is smaller and the larger spots on its body have a metallic/reflective blue (or even blue-green) hue rather than being black. Has anyone else seen this in their dwarf puffers?

1 of the 2 'normal' dwarf puffers


blue spots

pardon the blur, little buggers don't want to hold still.. exploring their new homes and all

I think they're too young for it to be male vrs female.. and googling it I only found one instance of a person mentioning this in a yahoo answer, but not sure how credible it is..
"Though first described in 1941, the Malabar Dwarf Puffer Carinotetraodon travancoricus did not become available to the United States until the later 1990's, and in 1991 a color variation of this species was described, the Dwarf Imitator Puffer Carinotetraodon imitator.
This fish was probably imported simultaneously with the Malabar Puffer. Whether a distinct species, subspecies, or a variation is not yet determined, but the Dwarf Imitator Puffer is distinguished by having blue spots."


Anyone heard of this?
 
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Looks like a male to me. My male looked like than and after two months of having him, his spots turned to a dark stripe and he got a very yellow stomach. The other one turned bright and got lots of spots (female).

I've always wondered if I got two different kinds because the male (like yours looks) picks on the female a ton and chases her all around the tank.

I've heard of the possibility that there may be different species of dwarf puffers. I haven't heard of the blue spot thing, but mine doesn't have blue spots. Mine has green eyes, however. It's very creepy, because in the right lighting they're bright green / glowy.
 
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Spots differ on fish to fish, not a different species. Males have wrinkles behind their eyes and get a brown stripe on their stomach when they are ready to mate.
I noticed my male had a brown stripe on his stomach. He chases the female around and keeps her away. He stays plump and fed and her stomach caves inwards drastically if I don't feed blood worms daily. Does it really indicate spawning? I thought it was just a physical feature of males.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Mine had rather distinctive iridescent blue blotches and stripes that seem to be reducing / morphing as they get older.

v3
 

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Carpe Diem
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Love the first picture!
Am I seeing 3 girls in the 5th picture or the right-most one is a guy?

Cool that they can 'chose' their gender. That might be fun :).

v3
 

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Love the first picture!
Am I seeing 3 girls in the 5th picture or the right-most one is a guy?

Cool that they can 'chose' their gender. That might be fun :).

v3

there are only 3 of them in that photo - as I said, I only have 4. the other 2 are reflections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[updated first post with same info]
Sadly one of the dwarf puffer looks like it may die, its inactive and sluggishly floating around the bottom of the tank. It moves away if something is moved by it, and it can swim up, so I do not beleive its swim bladder. Its not discolored, starved, or bloated. No signs of damage/fin rot/irritated gills or body. No visible lesions/parasites.. and I don't see white poop in the tank but I have not seen this specific fish poop recently to confirm its color. The other two are swimming around just fine. They were all drip acclimated for a couple of hours to make sure they would not have shock from the water parameters when they were received on Tuesday of this week (its now friday). Ammonia and nitrite=0, nitrate=20 range, ph constant 7.5, temp 78F. This fish was eating fine and swimming around normally several hours ago with the others. Now its got that half dead floating thing going on... can anyone offer suggestions as to the cause, or a cure that might save it?
 

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If the other 2 have paired up they might be killing it off. I had tried 3 dwarf puffers several times in a 15 gal until I figured out that was happening. Each time one stopped eating, was not hanging out with the other two and within a few days was found dead. It did not matter if I had 2 females/1 male or 2 males/1 female. With just the pair left all was well. If you can, move the sick one to another tank or even a bucket with tank water and an air stone will do for a short time until you can set up something for it. A 2.5 gal tank will be large enough for one. What are you feeding them? Bloodworms are a must and they like mini ramshorn snails and grindal worms.
 
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[updated first post with same info]
Sadly one of the dwarf puffer looks like it may die, its inactive and sluggishly floating around the bottom of the tank. It moves away if something is moved by it, and it can swim up, so I do not beleive its swim bladder. Its not discolored, starved, or bloated. No signs of damage/fin rot/irritated gills or body. No visible lesions/parasites.. and I don't see white poop in the tank but I have not seen this specific fish poop recently to confirm its color. The other two are swimming around just fine. They were all drip acclimated for a couple of hours to make sure they would not have shock from the water parameters when they were received on Tuesday of this week (its now friday). Ammonia and nitrite=0, nitrate=20 range, ph constant 7.5, temp 78F. This fish was eating fine and swimming around normally several hours ago with the others. Now its got that half dead floating thing going on... can anyone offer suggestions as to the cause, or a cure that might save it?
Some are pretty weird. Don't give up. I think I went through 6 to get 2 to live. I think the need lots and lots of cover when you first add them, so a heavily planted tank is a must. You should leave the lights off for at least two days if you want them to be calm. I don't even check my water parameters, but you should have an established tank.

Again don't give up, buy more and buy them in good numbers. Maybe get 3 to 5 each time and hope they live. They're pretty cheap where I live, and definitely worth going through multiple to get a few to survive. They're the most inquisitive, intelligent fish I believe I've ever had.
 

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GGGGG seems like I am always seeing your suggestion for any new fish to survive is to keep the lights off for a day or 2 when they are introed. Never heard this from anyone else.

The paired off thing does somewhat make sense to me.

Are they in a tank alone or is it a community tank?
 
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GGGGG seems like I am always seeing your suggestion for any new fish to survive is to keep the lights off for a day or 2 when they are introed. Never heard this from anyone else.

The paired off thing does somewhat make sense to me.

Are they in a tank alone or is it a community tank?
No not really any new fish, and not really 2 days. I think puffers are way more sensitive though. When I added mine, there wasn't a lot of cover and the light was bright. I found they survive better if the lights are kept off a couple days.

For other fish like guppies I keep lights off for the rest of the day, then turn them back on their regular cycle the next day. I'm sure many people keep lights off for the day after adding new fish, don't they? That's what I do, I'm paranoid about them freaking out and dying, which has happened to my fish a lot in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If the other 2 have paired up they might be killing it off. I had tried 3 dwarf puffers several times in a 15 gal until I figured out that was happening. Each time one stopped eating, was not hanging out with the other two and within a few days was found dead. It did not matter if I had 2 females/1 male or 2 males/1 female. With just the pair left all was well. If you can, move the sick one to another tank or even a bucket with tank water and an air stone will do for a short time until you can set up something for it. A 2.5 gal tank will be large enough for one. What are you feeding them? Bloodworms are a must and they like mini ramshorn snails and grindal worms.
I put him in a breeding net hung int the tank so the puffer could have clean water and not be pestered by the others... Sadly it passed overnight. I bought it from a site that offers a 5 day gauentee after fish arrive so I contacted them via email (office not open for calls). Hopefully I can get a replacement and try this one more time.

These are new fish, arrived this Tuesday, and I think still adolescent (do not have sexually mature markings that allow you to determine gender), I don't beleive they would pair off before sexually mature? The fish that passes did not have noticeable peck marks/shredded fins which I would suspect from harassment from the others, but if it had been chased around and not nipped that could explain it. They did not harass it for the few hours I was by the tank eying the ill puffer.

I have live blackworms that live in the sand (and a few trying to live in the foam cover over the canister intake.. stupid worms), also have a lot of mts and some pond snails thrown in. I have frozen blood worms but they are a Sat treat for everyone, and he did not make it to enjoy the treat.


The other two puffers seem fine (though so did the now deceased one several hours before I found him being odd) but for caution I am going to do a water change and start a melafix and paragaurd treatment.
 

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Bloodworms should be a stable diet for them, not just a treat. Good luck with them I hope you have more luck keeping 3 of them together than I did. I miss the little guys. Probably my favorite fish.
 

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It is true in odd numbers two will gang up on the weakest one and destroy him or her. Also in a small tank I could never keep two one would always kill the other. Solo fish are not so bad. Pond snails can be raised in a glass jar. Great for pea puffers.
Mine would go through 20 mini snails in 1 minute.
 
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