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FAQs about Figure Eight Puffers, Reproduction

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Related FAQs: FAQs, FAQs 2, & FAQs on: Figure-Eight Puffer Identification, Figure-Eight Puffer Behavior, Figure-Eight Puffer Compatibility, Figure-Eight Puffer Selection, Figure-Eight Puffer Systems, Figure-Eight Puffer Feeding, Figure-Eight Puffer Disease, & BR Puffers 1, BR Puffers 2, BR Puffers 3, BR Puffer Identification, BR Puffer Compatibility, BR Puffer Selection, BR Puffer Systems, BR Puffer Feeding, BR Puffer Disease, BR Puffer Reproduction,


F8 Puffer/BB Gobies possible Eggs?   2/21/12
Good Evening.
I have 2 Figure 8 Puffers and 3 Bumblebee Gobies in a 35 gallon planted tank (Java Fern, Java Moss) that has been established for approximately 4 months.  I was taking a glance at the back of my tank this evening and found 12 yellow vesicles placed in the sand of the back corner.  They are a yolk-like color and approximately 2-3mm in diameter.  I have done some research on Bumblebee Goby reproduction, and the egg sac description is nothing like what I have found in my tank.
In addition, there isn't any behavior that would make me think that it was a spawning-related issue -- at least in regards to the Bumblebee Goby (egg placement on wall/ceiling of cave/hideaway, protective nature over eggs, etc).
<Yes; usually the eggs are laid on the roof of a cave; see the cover of my Brackish Water Fishes book for an example.>
Could it be possible that these are Figure 8 eggs?...granted, nobody really knows the reproductive habits of the Figure 8 puffer.
<Quite so.>
There are no large snails in the tank, just feeders (I have seen many feeder snail egg sacs…nothing like this...)  I've been looking online and cannot find anything that matches this scenario.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.
<Well, there seems to be few reports of spawning behaviour, though some aquarists (e.g., Frank Schaefer) have reported seeing eggs in their T. biocellatus aquaria. Some Tetraodon species extend brood care, e.g., T. fluviatilis, with the male guarding the eggs until they hatch. But others have been reported to be simple egg scatterers, as with T. schoutedeni. In all cases the fry small, so a major problem is rearing the fry, with foods like infusoria or Cyclops required initially rather than brine shrimp Artemia.>
My most recent chemistry as of 1730 on 2/20/12:
pH: 7.4
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate 10
SG: 1.003
<All sounds good for this/these species.>
Thank you for your help!
PS. Sorry to email twice so soon, but I'm noticing some things about my one Figure 8 Puffer that is really making me think that it's her eggs that were the objects I mentioned earlier.  I know it seems very VERY hopeful, but '2' is swimming vigorously, and searching around the patch of sand where the aforementioned vesicles were lying.
<Could be foraging for food…>
I say 'were' because I saw a BBG begin to eat them, so I took a 60cc syringe and was able to save 5 of them.  They are currently in the syringe on a small patch of gravel that was sucked up under them when I drew them up, and the syringe is sitting in my tank...it was sterile out of the packaging.
<Hmm… would put these in a breeding trap near a good water current. Well worth seeing what hatches!>
Anyways, '2' also keeps chasing away anything that comes close to that patch of sand…including shrimp (but doesn't try to eat them at all, just nips once and turns away).  I know that puffers hunt pretty much 24/7, but this wasn't the hunting behavior I see for feedings/snail hunting.  So, now I'm kind of wondering what I should do with the...well, hoping, eggs.  Keep them in the syringe and in the tank?  Make a 1 gal with cycled water from the original tank?
<Would keep the eggs in the aquarium you have for now, perhaps using a breeding trap, and do read up on rearing Tetraodon fry generally. Many reports on T. suvattii for example, and a few on T. fluviatilis.>
Any ideas would be great. Thanks.
<Very exciting! Good luck, Neale.>

Figure Eight Puffer Fry Hello again Mr. Fenner, I hope you are doing well. I am writing to seek some advice about one of my quarantine inhabitants. I want you to know I have done all of the research I could get my hands on, and have exhausted all of my theories. I am getting somewhat desperate here. <Let's jar your memory, give you a bit more to cogitate furiously with> On October 24th I received a call from my LFS about a nasty torn finned Figure Eight Puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus) they needed help with. I have little experience with fresh to brackish water fish, but was happy to see what was the matter. I went down there that day to see the puffer. The staff expressed to me that they felt the puffer was pregnant. How they came to that conclusion I do not know. :) I had no reason to doubt their concern, so I told them I would take her home and see what happens. She was about 2 1/2 -3" in length and beyond the norm for puffer chubbiness. It's fins were torn quite badly (I am convinced it was shipped and bagged with others of it's species)  <Common, and common result> but she ate well and adapted to my QT tank without incident On November 2ed almost over night, her belly darkened and had 2 distinct lumps. One below it's mouth and 1/4" below that, a much larger darker swell. I did all of the research (asked on WWF and Ananda was quite helpful) <As I've seen> I could, and honestly became convinced it could not be a pregnancy. Bloat? Naww.. she swam around like she owned the tank and ate like a mad fiend. Five days ago I awoke to go start my morning tank chores to find one very FAT mama puffer and 5 little babies hiding behind a banana leaf plant. I put the puff fry in my nursery tank and proceeded to freak out at how large mama was. Calmed down some and guessed she ate the rest of the family. :) <...! Are you sure these are puffer babies? All tetraodontiform fishes are oviparous... not livebearers... Takes two to tango, with developmental period...> I have tried everything under the sun to get these little fry to eat. I am down to 3 fry now. They are about 1/2 the size of an eraser on a # 2 pencil. So cute they will drive a person crazy. I have tried newly hatch brine, and Mysis, slurry of all sorts of ingredients, baby snails and SMALL pods from my refugium are all that seem to sustain them. Now they seem to have lost interest in that and are rather lifeless. I think another puff fry is going to be lost today because it is bottom dwelling and looking rather sad. I add a low dose of vitamin supplements to their water as well. Water quality for the fry and mama are all good. Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate 0, temp a balmy 80*, soft water flow. 2 of the three do look somewhat active, but how to stimulate their appetite is at this point unknown to me. Any suggestions are beyond welcome! <Live baby brine shrimp... which you can hatch out... but for now which you can have your LFS strain out (with a fine mesh, usually white in color, net under their larger net...) Now about mama. She is looking to have signs of bloat now. She will not eat, hardly moves. I thought I would give a Epsom salt treatment a try, but I have a nagging suspicion that it was birth her fry. any trauma related to it that is causing this reaction. Is it at all possible for infection to accrue, as I have seen with marine fish, after birth?  <Yes> I always hesitate to give any kind of chemical treatment without a firm belief in the cause of the illness. I am not sure about the presumptions I am making. She was fine the day of and the day after her birth. It sounds like an infection setting in to me. <Which hopefully can, will solve itself with time, good general care> Again, if you have some thoughts as to what might be at play here for both I am all ears. I hope I gave all of the information needed. I have the fry and mamma's plight well documented so if you need additional information I would be glad to supply it. Forgive me for the long post. Hope to hear back from you soon. I wish I could repay you for your time and effort. Happy Holidays Lenore <No worries re notions of remuneration. My "pay" is manifold in your, others involvement in life, concerns even just here, let alone the obvious good exercised else... Don't consider that there is much more to do than you have mentioned... if/when the young are a bit larger do try a glass dish on the bottom with some Tubifex/tubificid worms... Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Figure Eight Puffer Fry Mr. Fenner, Okay, I thought I was freaking out before, now I think it can be called going crazy. Not puffer babies?? ::insert hysterical laugh:: What the heck could be going on that I could misinterpret this. I am 99.9% sure that the puffer in my QT is in fact a figure eight. The babies are small, but I swear to you on all that is holy that they look to be a miniature of the puffer. <Amazing... strange> Good grief, not live bearers. That's great. ;) Okay, now that I am thinking that my .1% might be a big factor here. Could you suggest a possible other fish (similar in appearance to the figure eight?) that I would mistake as a puffer? <More likely... that whatever young they are were transferred in the bag, introduced into the system in some other way... these do look like very small versions of the "parent" I trust> I will try the baby brine once again and cross my fingers that they will take to it. Thank you for your obviously much needed help. :) Lenore <A pleasure, yet mystery for sure. Bob Fenner>

Sexing figure 8 Puffers  8/24/05 Hello! <Hi, Puffferpunk here> A week ago we bought a figure of eight puffer and I was wondering how do you tell what the sex of the fish is? <Only the puffers know for sure, as there is no external differences between the 2 sexes.> We were thinking of breeding them but we didn't know the answer to this vital question!! <I wish you luck, as these puffers have not been not bred in captivity.> Any help would be greatly appreciated! <Here's a good article on them: http://www.thepufferforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=64  ~PP>

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