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Can't Find My Pea Puffer


Ali
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Just now, Colu said:

That looks a bit like a worm if you fish has died I wouldn't expect it to decompose that quickly unless you have snails and or fish that will eat his body once he died

That's what I was expecting! I have no idea what kind of worm this is if it's a worm. It definitely has worm-like texture. He's alone in his tank. 

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8 minutes ago, Ali said:

@James Black Am I crazy for thinking this? Or is this.. evidence of his death?

I dont have any experiance on this, so for all I know is that worm is your beloved freind. But I doubt  it looks more like poop.

If that pea puffer is dead inside your tank your going to find out soon based on the water quality.

Have you checked around the tank for his remains? maybe he jumped out? do you have cats, did they eat it? Whats your filtration like, did he get sucked in?

If anything this sounds like another fish portal...

 

Edited by James Black
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That *really* looks like a worm to to me and not anything to do with your puffer. Did you do a water test?  Dead things in tanks usually result in an ammonia surge even when they decay quickly.  A lot of critters are really good at hiding when they become sick.  I'm sure that you've checked "the splash zone" around the tank and the filter about 700 times now- if you haven't done this yet,  get a *bright flashlight* and carefully check all of the corner seams in your tank.  I've had several cases where fish and snails have parked themselves tight against a corner and you could stare straight at them and they'd be "cloaked" due to strange reflections from the glass meeting and room/ambient lighting.

Edited by NanoNano
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You may want to do a thorough check around the tank. I had the same thing happen and my little pea puffer had jumped out of the tank during the night and I found her desiccated on the rug the next morning. They usually come to greet you unless they are no more. I hope you find him, but it does not bode well. 😞

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I found my puffer hiding, which as you guys have commented is very unlike him. That thing I found was definitely a worm of sorts, so thanks for tolerating my panicky dumb mistake. That's what this forum is for, right?!

My puff puff perked up once I got his attention and got some food out, but he didn't seem himself and was maybe a little skinny. I tried feeding him extra over the next couple days. After an initial improvement, he declined again. I found the poor thing looking really skinny and paralyzed on the substrate today. I thought he was dead, but when I moved him, his eyes made eye contact with me 😢 The poor thing couldn't swim anymore and could only move his eyes. I had to put him down 😢

My assumption with finding the worm was that he had some sort of parasite that eventually led to his demise. I have no idea if that was a land or aquatic worm. I do know puffers tend to get internal parasites, and he became very skinny despite eating. I have had him for a couple years. I'm not sure what triggered this, but he did live a good life. 

Water test revealed trace ammonia- less than 0.25 ppm, mayyybe 0.1 if I could guess based on color. Very low nitrates, which is usual for this tank. It's heavily planted but also tends to grow algae, so I have always had to play a balance game with the lighting and adding water to replace what has evaporate. 

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22 minutes ago, Ali said:

Update: I found my puffer hiding, which as you guys have commented is very unlike him. That thing I found was definitely a worm of sorts, so thanks for tolerating my panicky dumb mistake. That's what this forum is for, right?!

My puff puff perked up once I got his attention and got some food out, but he didn't seem himself and was maybe a little skinny. I tried feeding him extra over the next couple days. After an initial improvement, he declined again. I found the poor thing looking really skinny and paralyzed on the substrate today. I thought he was dead, but when I moved him, his eyes made eye contact with me 😢 The poor thing couldn't swim anymore and could only move his eyes. I had to put him down 😢

My assumption with finding the worm was that he had some sort of parasite that eventually led to his demise. I have no idea if that was a land or aquatic worm. I do know puffers tend to get internal parasites, and he became very skinny despite eating. I have had him for a couple years. I'm not sure what triggered this, but he did live a good life. 

Water test revealed trace ammonia- less than 0.25 ppm, mayyybe 0.1 if I could guess based on color. Very low nitrates, which is usual for this tank. It's heavily planted but also tends to grow algae, so I have always had to play a balance game with the lighting and adding water to replace what has evaporate. 

So sorry about your little guy. They have a way to steal your heart and it is so sad when something bad happens to them. 😔

I hope you are okay…

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So sorry for your loss...Mother Nature is the house, and while the house always wins in the end,  you and Puff Puff had a solid  winning streak for a long time.  As far as a parasite goes...most internal parasites don't let their host survive more than the generation they need to spawn,  so I think that scenario is unlikely.  I'd like to think that it was simply age that got him.

As far as the worm goes...I was searching on aquatic leeches after reading another post (yeah,  not how envisioned spending my time in my adult life, but here we are) and there's a species of asian aquatic leech (Barbronia Weberi) that look remarkably similar to earthworms.  These leeches eat other worms and crustaceans (not fish),  but it might be taking a look a them closely as I don't think you would want them in your tank.  Planaria traps appear to work for them,  so *if* that's what you found in your tank,  you might be able to eradicate them without having to carpet bomb the tank with a dewormer.

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