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Puffer Q

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Okey I recently got a new tank and I had a pretty good idea what fish I wanted to put in it. I have 4 tiger barbs that I had gotten to put in my 55 gal only to realize that they weren't the idea tank mates for the current inhabitats. Anyways while I was shopping I saw these super cute Figure 8 Puffer fish. Not knowing anything about them...and beleveing the fishes bio that said it was a semi agressive fish that get along with plates, Mollies, Diminos, barbs exc.....Upon bring the two puffers home I quickly figured out that they were more AGRESSIVE then the fish guy lead on....within 10 mins they had killed my poor little pink Glo-fish...

SO now I am a lil lot as to what to put in there. So far the Barbs r doing fine. But its a large tank so I wanted to add other tank mates? Any ideas?

Also what about Blood Parrots Ciclids? Would they make a good take mate?

I'd appreciate any advice or help u may have.

thank u!

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Guest Spanky_


Figure 8 puffers need to be kept in Low-end brackish water (SG = 1.005 - 1.008). They will fin nip most other fish although considering the size of your tank you might be lucky. Tiger barbs are also pretty aggressive so they might hold their own for a while. Tiger barbs will not do well in the brackish set up though so if i were you i would remove them and make it a species tank for the puffers. Either that or return them.

You need to feed the puffers a varied diet of mollusks and crustaceans. Hard-shelled food is important to prevent beak overgrowth.

Hope that helps.

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I apreciate ur advice. And I didn't know about the hard shell foods. Sounds like these lil guys r going to be a challege.

I am up for it tho. so wish me luck. SO far the Barbs r holding there own. But I also figured if I kept there little bellies full then we won't have any problems with them killing off my tank. but no worries tho I know not to over feed them.

And I did read somewhere that figure 8 puffers r one of the only breed of puffers that will thrive in brackish as well as freshwater. They were purchaced in a freshwater tank and my tank is freshwater. So I dunno. Maybe that artical was wrong but so far they seem to be doing well. But of course I am no expert.

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Guest Spanky_

There are many type of puffers that are brackish, a few fresh water and some marine. even if things work out for a while with the tiger barbs you will wake up one morning and discover a casualty or two, guaranteed.

Found this info for you, saves me typing it....

Don't get me wrong, figure eights are highly adaptable to water conditions, they will probably survive in fresh water for extended periods, but will be weaker, stunted, and more subject to disease or infection there. It is best in brackish water (BW) in my experience but is not at all demanding as to the exact specific gravity. It will frequently tolerate conspecifics (other fish of the same species) as tank mates in sufficiently large and visually complex tanks, as it is one of the least aggressive of the hunter/predator puffers. However, as pointed out in earlier articles (1, 2, 3) it is impossible to predict the behaviour of any particular specimen. There is a wide range of "personality" within a species, just as there is between species, some individuals of even the milder (for puffers) species being incurable nippers or even killers. Similar to its cousins, it is best in a visually and spatially complex environment, with no toxic metabolites (ammonia or nitrite) and low nitrate and generally high water quality. As these are active fish, they need room to swim (exercise) and explore, but will appreciate some refuge (cave or overhang or plant thicket) where they can "feel" secure.

The fish can be adapted to your feeding during QT as well. The same foods set out before in the articles listed in the footnotes (1, 2) should be used. If the fish are less than an inch long, daily feeding is a good idea. If more than one meal per day is required to make you comfortable (it is not for me), be sure you monitor the water conscientiously and do any water changes needed - these fish do not need additional stress during this period. If the fish are over an inch long, one good meal per two days is sufficient. After a "good" meal, the Figure-8s will show potbellies, at least a bit. They should not be fed to the point where they have difficulty swimming and look pregnant or massively beer-bellied. That is overfeeding and not good for the fish or the water. If you are not already culturing snails to feed the puffer(s), the QT period is a good time to start your culture (6). All puffers and most other adult fish in my care fast at least one day per week.

P.S. you need to use proper marine salt when (slowly) converting your freshwater to brackish water. API aquarium salt is NOT suitable as it does not contain the same trace elements as the salt sold for marine tanks.

Any other questions just ask.


P.P.S. good luck, they are great fish, really interactive and fun.

Edited by Spanky_
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