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FAQs on Freshwater to Brackish Puffer Behaviour

Related FAQs: Brackish Puffers, BR Puffers 2, BR Puffers 3, BR Puffer Identification, Puffer Identification, BR Puffer Selection, BR Puffer Compatibility, BR Puffer Systems, BR Puffer Feeding, BR Puffer Disease, BR Puffer Disease 2, BR Puffer Reproduction, Puffers in General, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, BoxfishesGreen Spotted PuffersFigure Eight Puffers,

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Takifugu ocellatus

Cichlid (cross, neo-trop.) Breeding and Puffer (indet. sp. beh.) Questions.   9/2/09
My Convict and Green Terror Cichlid seem to have laid eggs. They are in a tank with other cichlids and a few snails. The eggs are stuck onto a rock and spread out in a single layer. I believe the eggs belong to them
because they are both very protective of the eggs when other fish approach them but never to each other.
Just wondering if this was possible.
<Well, it's happened, so seems to be very possible! If you're asking me will these eggs hatch into baby (hybrid) cichlids, then I don't know, but imagine not. Some cichlids hybridise quite readily -- a bad thing,
generally -- but not all.>
On a semi unrelated note, I also have a puffer fish in a separate tank with a few feeders who have survived the tank's cycling (put them in to make sure the water and filters were fine, all of them survived except the ones the puffer has destroyed.) Twice I've seen her get very stiff, roll into a ball and suck in her pectoral fins so that they actually seem to be inside her body.
<Odd.>
There were no reasons for her to go into shock (if that's what it is.) The room was quiet and the water has not been changed. I've had her for a few months and she's never been sick (although she was recently moved to a new tank.)
When I saw her (caught her in the act) I dropped in a freeze dried shrimp in an attempt to distract her. It took her a second to loosen up, but she went right for it.
<Good.>
Her colors are bright, and I was planning on transitioning slowly to brackish this week (She's about an inch and a half long, and I want the transition to be as slow as possible to prevent any kind of shock or
sickness). What's going on?
<No idea. Puffers sometimes "practise" their puffing, and that can be alarming. They also tend towards becoming lethargic if overfed, sitting on the bottom looking dazed. But if neither of these things are possible, then I'd do the usual things and check water chemistry and water quality. Once you move a Green Spotted Puffer or Figure-8 Puffer to brackish water it should settle down and behave normally. Under freshwater conditions their health is variable, and you may simply be witnessing some type of abnormal behaviour caused by improper maintenance. Cheers, Neale.>

Projectile Puffer  4/11/07 Hello, <Hi Kat, Pufferpunk here> As a random background note, I work at PetSmart (yes, I know, but I mostly know my stuff). Today, I did exactly what I tell every customer I get not to do. I bought a fish without doing my research first. He/She/It was sold to me as a figure eight puffer, but I'm pretty sure he is in fact a green spotted sort. Here's my issue. I acclimated him and got him settled into my 125g tank and went on my way to work, and 5ish hours later, I get home and can find not a single sign that he ever existed in my tank! Do they have a habit of jumping out? (I forgot to put the top glass on my tank before I left) <Puffers are adept jumpers.  I'm pretty sure he's on the floor somewhere.> Could he have burrowed into the gravel? <Nope, GSPs are not burrowers.> There are some plants but I haven't acquired all of my decor yet. If he's in there, I'm kind of desperate to find him so I can relocate him ASAP (I have a spare 47 gallon corner tank that I can create as a BW environment for him if I need to but I don't want to waste the money if he's gone). I got parasite snails and ghost shrimp and shrimp pellets and frozen brine shrimp to see what he liked best to eat but not even food seems to be able to tempt him out of [possible] hiding. What do you think? <Look around, it may not be too late to save him.  If he's damp, try swishing him back & forth in the water to get oxygen over his gills. Go to www.thepufferforum.com for more info, especially in their Library.  ~PP> Thanks, Kat

Poisonous Pufferfish?  9/28/06 <Hi Sharon, Pufferpunk here> My son bought a fresh water fish.  One of his other fish took a bit out of him and is now turning black from his head to his back. The pet store told us the puffer was not poisonous. Do we need to worry about the other fish??  Why did he turn black? <I'm not sure if you're saying the puffer is turning black or the fish that bit him?  Yes, all puffers are poisonous, if eaten.  It would be very difficult for a puffer to get bitten by a normal fish, unless it had teeth like a piranha.  Their skin is very tough, thick & like leathery sandpaper--covered in spines.  I've dissected a few & it was very hard to cut through their skin, even with a sharp blade.  Puffers are best kept alone.  What kind of puffer & what kind of fish is it with?  For more info on puffers go to: www.thepufferforum.com.  ~PP> Sharon

Color Change in Puffers - 11/26/2005 I recently bought 2 figure 8's, and by their actions they seem to be doing fine; good appetite, and very active.  When they were introduced to their first tank (44 gal hex tank), one fish was less distinctive in its markings than the other, less contrast between the yellow and green/brown.  After a time I was required to move them to a 10 gal holding tank, as they took a liking to Colombian shark fins... . <This should have been researched/expected....> This is just a temporary change until larger accommodations can be set up....  But a strange thing happened, the pale fish became more distinct in its coloration and the other became more pale (for lack of a better term). Is this stress issue, a display of dominance, sleep coloration?  As I have stated they eat well and are active (the small tank is set up to have a current, and they seem to enjoy riding it, but rest in the plants (artificial) during the nights. Their bellies are white (no darker coloration) and the mid line of their bodies does not look like a gray line.  Also the coloration of the one that is less distinct seems to become more defined over night....  If they had both reacted the same way, or showed other signs of stress or illness, I would not be so  confused.... any thoughts?   <Brian, I'm going to assume here that nothing is really "wrong"....  But to be safe, I want to caution you to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and be sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.  Fish do change color with time, and puffers are very, very expressive with color.  You've mentioned all the "problem" or "warning" colors are not present (bellies are white, etc.), so chances are this is nothing at all to be worried over.  I would hazard a guess that this may be an indication of pecking order....  but which is dominant I couldn't tell yah.  I would expect this coloration to continue to change slightly over time; you are probably more observant than many folks just in having noticed what you have.  Puffers are wonderful and exciting fish, very intelligent and enjoyable - I hope you have a great time with them!> -Brian <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Color Change in Puffers - 11/26/2005 I recently bought 2 figure 8's, and by their actions they seem to be doing fine; good appetite, and very active.  When they were introduced to their first tank (44 gal hex tank), one fish was less distinctive in its markings than the other, less contrast between the yellow and green/brown.  After a time I was required to move them to a 10 gal holding tank, as they took a liking to Colombian shark fins... . <This should have been researched/expected....> This is just a temporary change until larger accommodations can be set up....  But a strange thing happened, the pale fish became more distinct in its coloration and the other became more pale (for lack of a better term). Is this stress issue, a display of dominance, sleep coloration?  As I have stated they eat well and are active (the small tank is set up to have a current, and they seem to enjoy riding it, but rest in the plants (artificial) during the nights. Their bellies are white (no darker coloration) and the mid line of their bodies does not look like a gray line.  Also the coloration of the one that is less distinct seems to become more defined over night....  If they had both reacted the same way, or showed other signs of stress or illness, I would not be so  confused.... any thoughts?   <Brian, I'm going to assume here that nothing is really "wrong"....  But to be safe, I want to caution you to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and be sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.  Fish do change color with time, and puffers are very, very expressive with color.  You've mentioned all the "problem" or "warning" colors are not present (bellies are white, etc.), so chances are this is nothing at all to be worried over.  I would hazard a guess that this may be an indication of pecking order....  but which is dominant I couldn't tell yah.  I would expect this coloration to continue to change slightly over time; you are probably more observant than many folks just in having noticed what you have.  Puffers are wonderful and exciting fish, very intelligent and enjoyable - I hope you have a great time with them!> -Brian <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Figure eight puffer fish question Hello, <How goes it? 70F outside today, bright and sunny...sometimes Texas does have it's moments...> I recently purchased a figure eight puffer, he seems quite happy in his tank and has eaten some water snails. Most of the time he seems happy swimming up and down but every now and then he lies flat in the water (he's tricked me into thinking he was dead once) and morning I found him in his tank with his tail bent round his side. Is this a sign of him being unhappy or ill? <Not usually, puffers often wrap their tail around themselves, especially when sleepy. Remember, puffers require brackish water (SG of ~1.012 or so is the SG I kept my puffer tanks> lots of variety in their diet (anything meaty works for them, snails are definitely the best staple) tankmates they won't kill, and frequent water changes because they're messy. Here's a link for some further reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/green_spotted_puppies.htm   Enjoy your puffer - they're cute and fun!> Thanks in advance for your reply, Sabine <You're welcome> <M. Maddox>



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