RIP Baymax and Bloat the porcupine puffers

TSM Aquatics


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Nov 21, 2020
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Hello, im not sure if this is the right place for this but I am new around here and want to share my experience with people who understand, most of our friends and family dont care about fish.

We purchased a pair of porcupine puffers both about 6" long at our LFS in 2019. Porcupine puffers have been my favorite fish since I was a kid, I always loved reaearching about them, and seeing them at zoos and aquariums. We are aware that you are not supposed to keep Porcupine Puffers in groups or pairs but they were together at the store and we never saw any agression between them, they seemed very friendly towards one another, and they were both the same size. Their DT is 150 gallons and we were planning on a 250 or more gallon tank in the future. We loved their goofy faces and their huge eyes, they would spit water at us and follow us around the tank as we moved around the fish room. They brought us much joy.

In January 2021 we moved from Florida to Pennsylvania and we had a rental van full of containers with fish and air stones, it was a nerve wracking 18 hours but we only lost a Siamese algae eater and 2 mollies, all our larger fish and puffers survived the journey.

In early February Baymax showed signs of Brook, per advice from an aquarist friend we decided to allow their DT to run fallow for 60 days, we gave them a Rally bath and put them into a fresh 40g quarantine tank. They were in there for about 6 weeks, i did water changes 2-3 times a week and tested the water daily, as well as adding Seachem beneficial bacteria daily for the first two weeks.

This week we fed them Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning when I checked on them Baymax was dead, his front half of his body was white and Bloat was darkly discolored and his belly was white. Bloat was sitting right next to Baymax's dead body, it broke my heart. I immediately had a panic attack and called my wife. when i got my bearings we decided to scoop Bloat out and put him back into the empty DT. I watched Bloat closely and he also died after a few hours.

It appears that the nitrates spiked dramatically and killed them. I have rarely shed tears in my life but i did for these two my favorite fish. It hurts more because i feel guilty that we should have made different choices that would have led to them living long and happy lives, but in this hobby thats not always possible, i have to live with this hurt now and while i will probably own a porcupine or two in the future i am afraid of making mistakes again.

If you read this far I want to thank you, I Just wanted to vent to people who I hope understand and are sympathetic to my wife and I's feelings right now.

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