Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about True Puffers 1

Related Articles: Puffers in General, Puffer Care and Information, A Saltwater Puffer Primer: Big Pufferfish! by Mike Maddox, Pufferfish Dentistry By Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: True Puffers 2, True Puffers 3, Tetraodont Identification, Tetraodont Behavior, Tetraodont Compatibility, Tetraodont Selection, Tetraodont Systems, Tetraodont Feeding, Tetraodont Disease, Tetraodont Reproduction, Puffers in General, Puffer Identification, Puffer Identification, Puffer Behavior, Puffer Compatibility, Puffer Selection, Puffer Systems, Puffer Feeding, Puffer Disease, Puffer Dentistry, Puffer Reproduction, Freshwater Puffers, Green Spotted Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes,

An Arothron diadematus in the Red Sea.

Striped Puffer Hi, <<Hello>> I have a 3 in. striped puffer, Arothron . I looked up info on your site and it only said gets to 6 in. in aquariums. Have you ever kept this puffer? <<I have not, I have kept other puffers, but not this one.>> Do you know what I should feed him? I am feeding him krill, Mysis, brine, formula 1 and 2, is this good? <<Yes, that is all good.>> Also, can you gives me specific tips that you know on this puff? <<Sure, those krill should be whole krill - is good for puffers.>> Thanks! <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Dogface puffer problems! Hi Anthony, I am sorry to keep bothering you about this puffer but I really don't know what to do.  <no worries> He had ich which I treated by using CopperSafe, Maracyn 2 and fresh water baths daily (6 days) for 7 minutes each.  <excellent on the FW dips> On the fifth day of treatment, he appeared to be fine, not a sign of ich on his body! The next day I noticed what appeared to be little pimples on his sides. The next day he developed ich again with 3 dots: one on his belly fin, one on his gill, and one on his eye. I immediately did a fresh water bath when I noticed these last night. I did another FW bath this afternoon, and now at about 8pm, it seems he is starting to develop more pinhead white dots. Now there are about 8 scattered throughout his body, but the one on his eye disappeared.  <indeed some are virulent. Lets add a product like Quick Cure (Aquarium Products brand) to FW dip at double dose (this is a malachite & formalin med)> He is eating like a pig and his eyes are clear.  <excellent and helpful> I don't know what to do? I purchased an Amiracle PL 2000 wet/dry system last night with a UV sterilizer and the wet/dry,  <do research the FAQs about making the most of your UV and know that it IS NOT likely to cure such Ich infections> after setup, started to leak. I will be getting the new one at the end of this week. What do you recommend I treat my tank with to get rid of this annoying problem?  <I apologize that I cannot remember the specifics of the tank, but if there is gravel in this tank that is large part of the problem (festering cysts/larvae) and the reason why we so strongly advocate bare bottomed QT tanks (reduces the rate of infection and re-infection)> Can I use OODINEX? <hmmm... do wait, this is a rather hostile med for a scaleless fish> Please HELP!!!!!!!!! thanks for everything, Jason<nest regards, Anthony >

Blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) Good evening, I have two questions about this fish: 1). Can he live happily on a diet that consists of uncooked prawns/shrimps+nori, both soaked in Zo?and Zoecon overnight? He does not accept ANYTHING else.... <I would either look about, try other foods... or learn to "stuff" the prawns with other meaty foods... Not good for any animal to have such a restricted diet> 2) Is it at all possible that the Blackspotted might be sexually harassing my spiny puffer (Diodon holocanthus)?  <Not likely sexual, but harassment just the same, yes> They are the same size... I know it sounds weird, but the Blackspotted gets on top of the Spiny when the lights go out, and they swim up and down the tank as if they were mating. Sometimes during this adventure Spiny gets inflated into a ball (sign of threat that he tries to protect himself from, I guess). Any advice will be appreciated. <Enjoy them! Really, nothing too strange going on here... the group of fishes that includes the Puffers (the Tetraodontiformes, encompassing the Triggerfishes...) are "smart", social animals in many ways... These two are just friends. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick dogface puffer? Anthony, Yesterday morning I woke up and noticed that there was one little white dot on his dorsal fin. I thought to just watch it and see what happens. <yes... wise to see if air bubble(s) or not> Throughout the day he started to develop them scattered throughout his body, including one gill and one eye. He is eating well and his eyes are clear. The Huma trigger also started to get white dots on his dorsal fin as well.  <common Ich (crypt)... do review archives on treatments and especially freshwater dips. Just know that the puffer cannot take copper well or organic dyes... hence, FW dips are best... but do bag and release under water for fear of him gulping air> I called the fish store and they told me to raise my temp to 82 degrees and drop my salinity to 1.018,  <both must be done VERY slowly! temp 2F daily... salinity .oo2 daily> and treat the tank with CopperSafe and Maracyn-Two.  <that is not the best advice you could have been given... the puffer is scaleless and copper sensitive. CopperSafe is also weakly effective and must be dosed and tested for 1-2 times daily (did they sell you a test kit at least?!?!) and the Maracyn 2 is a synthetic tetracycline... and antiquated and arguably useless drug IMO> so I did last night. this morning, he had a few more white dots scattered and tonight when I came home he now has clusters or patches of white dots mainly on his rear end region on the side with a few more on his fins near his gills. The Huma looks clean. I did a freshwater dip for 5 minutes with the puffer tonight hoping this will help him. HELP!!!!! <you are doing fine... FW dips daily of 5-10 minutes each for 5-7 times in next week may effect cure without any meds. A bare-bottomed QT tank would be best though> Jason <best regards, Anthony>

Re: sick dogface puffer? Anthony, the puffer is getting better, the dots are really only concentrated to the cluster patches, all the scattered dots are almost gone.  <ahhh, very good to hear!> Can all fish get fresh water dips?  <almost every marine fish in our hobby can be FW dipped with rare exceptions. FW dips can be used more safely than any other therapeutic treatment including and especially copper. Some known sensitive fishes include Firefish, jacknives, hi-hats, drumfish, cowfish. Also, wrasses try to jump a lot when FW dipped but rest assured that they can tolerate it well> should I dip the Huma as well? <yes, please... and triggers are VERY tolerant of FW dips!> thanks, Jay <best regards, Anthony>

Help! Too late, he is gone. I brought him and a water sample to the local salt water aquarium shop and they tested the water and all seemed good, even the phosphates were back to normal. The guy said that he had symptoms of a bacterial infection and that I just waited too long to get him medicated. I purchased a new piece of poly filter just in case the one I already have is too old and have put it in there. I don't have a skimmer but will go and get one this weekend. This tank has been fine for over a year with these fish in there, this being my first problem with it, and just going on vacation sent it plummeting. I miss him already. Do I have to leave the tank empty (with the exception of the eel) for a while? <Sorry to read of your loss... and yes, best to wait a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine puffer sick? Is it normal for a porcupine puffer to lay on the bottom of the tank? <for brief periods of time, but not for long> I have a 55 gal. tank and he's only been in there for about 3 days. <this fish is stressed, sick or both> The first day he was swimming around enjoying himself and now he just lays in the corner and barely moves. I was wondering if you had any ideas as to why he's been doing this. <they are known for being susceptible to parasites... please review the FAQs on this species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diodontidfaqs.htm and especially the disease sections:http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm I also suspect that you did not quarantine this ich prone species first. Please also review quarantine procedure in the archives:http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm> Thanks, Jaci <best regards, Anthony>

Re: sick dogface puffer? Anthony, My filtration system consists of: *Emperor 400 with two bio wheels with carbon cartridges as well as carbon filters and *vortex DIATOM Model "D-1" Filter. *undergravel filter with two powerheads <in a short time, you will realize that neither the bio-wheel filters nor the undergravel filter are well suited for handling the gross particulate matter from the puffer (waste and sloppy feeding habits). Quite frankly, in less than a year you will likely have serious problems with biological stability (ammonia spikes and the like) from these filters. Although the undergravel is seriously outdated and quite difficult to use successfully with cnidarians (coal/anemone inverts)... it could actually work fine for a small to mid sized community fish tank assuming you did not overfeed or overstock and conducted regular partial water changes. In this cases, I would strongly advise that you look at buying or building a wet/dry trickle filter (check out DIY plans at www.orzreef.org) in the near future> Today, the dogface is back to himself, flying around the tank and eating like a pig! <excellent... a fascinating fish indeed> I called the fish store where I purchased him and they said the same thing about mucus being on his body. They said that stress causes him to secrete it and it can go on his body. <yes... common> Thanks for all your help, it is greatly appreciated! Jay <my pleasure, Anthony Calfo>

Re: sick dogface puffer? Anthony, Thank you for such a fast reply!  <my pleasure!> This morning @ 6AM and noticed that the white string was now what looked to be fluffy cotton and appears to be coming out of his mouth. He also had some on his back. I came home tonight @ 8PM and looked at him and now he appears fine! No white fluffy crap what so ever and no white spots on his body?  <likely mucus, or at least no pathogenic. such creatures do not wax or wane so quickly> I fed him and he ate very well and is swimming around the tank like the first day I got him. I am feeding him frozen krill. Can this be what I am seeing coming out of his mouth?  <not likely... but you do feed other foods, yes? Any fish would die of attrition/dietary deficiency on any one food after some months. Do offer a variety of fresh/frozen meats of marine origin. Also love crayfish of appropriate size on occasion> Can this also be a fungal infection? Can my two other fish contract it? <very unlikely on both counts with good water quality> Does my filtration system seem to be sufficient or am I going to need to upgrade to a wet/dry with a UV sanitizer?  <my apologies... I need a refresher on you filtration setup. We get a lot of mail, my friend. Nonetheless... wet dry is possible, UV unlikely with proper quarantine protocol for all new entries> If so, which wet/dry system do you recommend?<quite frankly... I like DIY systems best... can be made more efficient and always less expensive for those so inclined. Do reference DIY plans on www.ozreef.org and beyond on the 'Net> Thanks, Jay <kindly, Anthony>

Sick fish/Puffer Blotchiness Yes, using Cupramine and testing twice a day. Holding it at 0.4, salinity at 1.015 just to make it easier.  <heavy on the copper IMO> I haven't continued the dips, but will look at seeing if I can do another one.  <that are FAR more effective than copper against a much wider scope of parasites... please dip more> Was hoping to determine what the pathogen is/was and then continue.  <I wish I could help, but sight unseen is difficult to diagnose> I haven't seen that Amyloodinium or Brooklynella was visible, but have heard that flukes are. But flukes are supposedly long and thin when they fall out of the gills and don't really affect the fins.  <you have much better vision that I do... most people could not easily spot a gill fluke (understatement)> So yes, I am a bit stumped as I plainly saw white little spots coming off of him. Literally just appearing out of nowhere and hanging off of his fins and skin until he moved a bit and shook them off. They were floating in and on top of the water in a quantity of 100-150. He did have a few spots on one of his eyes, and those fell off as well. Perhaps a crypto infection restricted to the gills - so not as visible ? But my understanding is that crypto doesn't really hit the gills until the last stages. . <Not always the case> May try another 5-10 minute dip.  <5 minutes minimum> He doesn't lazily swim around, but kind of turns his face a stressed out blue, and lies on the bottom and doesn't move.  <still doesn't sound bad to me... as a wholesaler, I have FW dipped many thousands of fishes in a decade> But yes, I know spitting out of the water is a very bad sign. <indeed> Jim <kind regards, Anthony>

Thank you Anthony (Golden Puffer) Hi Anthony! <cheers, friend> I wanted to give you my success story for helping me out with my Golden puffer. I know you get a lot of emails so I don't expect you to remember but I'm sure its nice to get to hear some of the success your fans have in the great advice you offer. <absolutely... thank you!> I had a puffer with I believe marine velvet. I put him in a hospital tank with Maracyn and freshwater dipped him five times for fifteen minutes, like you said.  <excellent... a durable fish that can benefit by these longer dips> Amazing, someone else told me to dip him for only one minute and thirty seconds and put copper in my tank.  <wow... it would have been hard to find less accurate advice short of "scrape the parasites off with a spoon!" Heehee...> I even saw some worms in the bucket after I dipped him. He is clean as a whistle now. He looks fantastic, not a speck on him. He ate a whole shrimp last night soaked in Selcon and garlic. He loved it!  <all well and good, he's on his way!> One thing. I'm not sure but he might have a slight air bubble. He spends a lot of time at the top of the tank when he rests. He is able to swim to the bottom and play around but he eventually floats to the top. It is not a noticeable bubble. I had this happen with a puffer once before that was noticeable and it rolled around but eventually resolved itself. <yes... exactly. Common and usually works itself out... but sometimes needs help> I assume even though I was careful this might have happened when dipping.  <yup> Poor puffer. He is very happy now though. But is there anything I can do about the bubble?  <yup... if you feel like it is not going to be purged easily, net the puffer (with a soft nylon cloth net... not course green mesh) and gently grip him through the net (watch your fingers!)... all done under water. Then orient the little bugger mouth upwards while it squirms. Often this will help a puffer to burp the air out. Else, you could let it out of water a bit to gulp a little more air to collect the small bubble for a bigger burp later <G>. Last ditch effort is a hypodermic needle. Do consult us further on this if all else fails. Likely not a big deal.> I cant tell you how much I appreciate your help, you saved his life, and we have bonded through this ordeal. He likes me to pet him now. My only resort to calming him while dipping. I'm letting my main tank stay at 84degrees and salinity at 1.016 and also the puffer in the hospital tank. Is this necessary and for how long? <Hmmm... after two weeks of disease free symptoms I would keep him another two weeks but I would definitely bring the temperature down very slowly to a more comfortable 78-80F. More oxygen, etc> Thanks again Anthony, You've helped me more than you know. <my pleasure! Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Puffer blotchiness I have also noticed that he does close one gill occasionally when swimming around and uses just one gill. It's not very often, every once in awhile when I notice. usually coming out of his sleeping/resting place. He appears normal, and is still nipping/chewing on the live rock all over the place, and I don't see any external pathogens present as of yet. . . Hmm, will have to watch the one gill thing, but it does happen often enough. <yes... very conspicuous sign of gill flukes. Not much else it can be. Larger fish invariably survive just fine with a few most of the time... smaller fish may suffer and all will suffer if a stress hits the tank and flares the pathogen count (water change with cooler water, power outage, new fish/aggression, etc). Do watch carefully and research in preparedness for treatment> Jim <best regards, Anthony>

Puffer blotchiness I saw your response to someone else about puffer blotchiness and formalin dips. I have a black-spotted puffer (meleagris), and he frequently 'rests' during the day under a rock ledge and gets very splotchy. Sort of a night/fright mode that other fish have, but he does this periodically during the day.  <actually quite normal for many dogface puffers...agreed. And not a problem if not accompanied by the other symptoms mentioned in the previous post (closing one gill while pumping the other... and a splotchiness that really is mucous or turbid... not just a color change)> Is this something that should not happen ? It goes away once he swims out from under his ledge though, so I don't think its parasitic. I always thought it was a normal skin discoloration reaction when they were 'resting'. I've had him for 2.5 months now and he's always done this. <indeed... if you are only seeing a color change when the fish rests... it is quite normal. Do read through the disease FAQs and articles if you like to consider other parasite symptoms... but again, likely not a problem in your case.> Thanks Jim <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Puffer blotchiness Not a problem, will do. However, if there are a few, shouldn't some sort of formalin dip be administered ?  <I do like short and long baths with formalin especially for scaleless fishes... it is a necessary evil> Aren't gill flukes highly contagious or something ?  <yes... contagious and hard/slow to cure> I have had gill flukes in the past (not I personally, but fish I have had :-), and usually you will see some scratching against the rocks if I remember correctly. I'll keep an eye out for sure. <heehee... yes, an eye open and your gills closed tightly> Another question though. I have an angel in quarantine right now. It's been fine for the last week or so. I have noticed that there was a white spot on its fin and attributed it to Lymphocystis. Anyway, in the last few days I've noticed the fins have become a bit more blotchy. Is this the first sign of crypto ?  <usually not... crypt is pretty conspicuously clear uniform sized grains of salt. Skin turbidity/mucus is a rather deeper burrowing parasite like Oodinium, Brooklynella, etc> I haven't seen any white spots on the body, but every time I usually have a crypto outbreak, I seem to remember some cloudy fins on the fish a week or so beforehand. Is this correct and I should start treatment sooner rather than later ? <not my experience... rather you'll notice closing one gill, pumping the other, scratching, and the like> Jim <best regards, Anthony>

Puffer problems Hello, gentlemen.  <Cheers, dear... Anthony Calfo in your service> Alas, I have to call on you yet again for advice. <our pleasure to try to help> I've had my dogface puffer for several weeks now, but he's just not quite acting right. He has a voracious appetite  <lots of hard shelled foods, right? Shell on shrimp, crabs, crayfish... all a must for nutrition and tooth wear> and loves to pick at my live rock, but occasionally he gets all splotchy and 'curls up' and rests under one of the powerheads or the return. He also occasionally closes one of his gills for a few minutes at a time.  <yes... easily could be evidence of a parasitic attack> At one point, before he ate all the Caulerpa, he would approach a 'root' of Caulerpa and deliberately lodge it in his gill and then just sit there for a few minutes. <hmmmm?> Obviously, something is bothering him, but he has no spots and has been acting like this for quite a while.  <no spots needed if gill fluke or tiny protozoans...> I feed him Garlic Elixir on a daily basis <hmmm... a lot of people standing in line behind me to tell you that garlic is weakly effective or entirely useless for fishes...> and have given him several freshwater dips for 10-15 minutes at a time,  <now that was an excellent idea!> but he has not improved -- not gotten any worse, though, either. I really don't want to copper him, and I've read conflicting info on using copper and metallic dyes on scaleless fish.  <no contest... can't and should not use on this puffer> Is there anything else I can try without resorting to medicating him in a quarantine tank?  <it is my advice alas since the long FW dips have not helped... this parasite is deep in the flesh> Perhaps an extended freshwater dip or a medicated dip?  <you may try medicating more baths (5-7 in 7 days) with Formalin... double strength as per manufacturers recommendation for a tank dose> Thanks in advance for your help. By the way, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are all at 0, pH is 8.2, temp is 78, sg is 1.023. My three other fish in the tank are doing great. <all reasonably good. You may wish to lower the salinity slightly (increased O2 if nothing else) and raise the pH slightly 8.3+> Karen <best regards, Anthony>

Puffer problems Thanks so much, Anthony! How long should I leave my puffer in the Formalin dip?  <simply for the duration of your normal FW dip... 10-15 minutes is long but recommended in this case (I agree with your decision)> Also, can you tell me why Bob's book recommends copper for puffers? <indeed... as aquarists we all have different perspectives and often a recommendation must be made at times on a case by case basis. I would agree that puffers are VERY hardy among scaleless fishes and for a common white spot infection (Crypt) copper may be short and sweet and tolerable. However, since you have not mentioned clear white spots and have informed us that you are seeing blotches and resistance to long FW baths... that tells me that the possible parasite is deep enough in the flesh (to resist FW alone) that to get enough copper in the system to kill the fish might very well kill the puffer first.> Karen <Ultimately, my best advice dear is to put the puffer in a bare bottomed QT tank for 4 weeks with more FW dips and short and long Formalin baths. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick as a Dog(face puffer) Hi Bob! I've sent two emails then noticed to try this address if I haven't gotten a response.  <you've made it through! Anthony Calfo in your service> I hope you can help me. I have an Arothron Meleagris Golden puffer that I believe has come down with marine velvet due to a recent power outage.  <yes... temperature drops commonly flare such parasitic infection> I have a 55 gallon live rock and sand tank with two cleaner shrimp plus the puffer.  <wow. the cleaner shrimp really are risky with most any puffer. May work for months.. but not years. Fish behave differently in strange captive environments. Such shrimp would never wag their tails in a puffers face 24hrs daily in the wild. Confines and time will tell. I'd recommend sparing the shrimp to another tank. Much better tankmates to be had> this is my only fish. After the power outage I changed my water immediately.  <very wise!> My puffer was stressed. Now I have a battery backup. Over the course of a few days my puffer acted peculiarly. He floated in front of my power head with his fins clamped to his sides. The next day he was covered in a cottony film including his eyes. Over a period of three days I lowered the specific gravity to 1.016 and raised the temp to 82-84. He didn't appear to get better so I proceeded to freshwater dip him for two-three minutes.  <all good moves except the dip was not long enough. FW dips less than 3 minutes have been demonstrated to be useless on even the weakest parasites (Crypt) and Velvet is so deep in the flesh (Oodinium). 5 minutes minimum... 7-15 minutes as the fish allows would be better. Calm in dip bucket or laying down on the bottom would be fine... ride it out. Spitting water at the surface is undue stress and remove anytime after 5 minutes if so> I've done this three times. The cotton has diminished but he still has a thin layer from his neck up and on his eyes and fins. My question is how often do I dip him and how long do I leave my tank at its current conditions?  <yes...as above to be effective and 5 times in 7 days would be nice. Make sure water is aerated, temperature and pH adjusted properly> My puffer was eating until three days ago. He seems uninterested now or maybe cannot see it.  <ahh... no worries. Typical for sick puffers. They can go weeks. Offer live ghost shrimp or small live crayfish in a week if necessary> Could he have a secondary infection and will the dipping help without medication or antibiotics?  <yes... the dipping will help tremendously> His skin appears to be a little reddened and drawn in a few areas and I would hate to irritate it further. He mostly lays on the bottom of the tank and periodically will squint his eyes tightly shut as if in pain. This is my prize fish and I hate to see him like this. Is there anything else I can do?  >yep... this fish needs to be in a bare bottomed QT as well with a broad spectrum antibiotic as well. 4 weeks while the display runs fallow. Else the fish keeps getting reinfested by parasites festering in the gravel/sand> He has been like this for a week now. Bob I have called a lot of pet stores and aquarium suppliers to ask questions since I cant get a hold of you and you wouldn't believe the things they tell me to do.  <if they suggested copper or an organic dye (green/blue meds) fire them> I will wait to hear from you since you have helped me tremendously in the past. And I love your website. I've been on it every night since my puffers been sick. It may have saved his life so far, but I still need to know I cant do anything else. Help Help! Thank you <I have faith in this fishes hardiness and your empathetic care. Do follow-up with a success story in a couple of weeks! Kindly Anthony>

Re: sick puffer I believe my tank is infested because my clown trigger died from parasites and so did my tang both within two months, my puffer has also had them before.  <I still cannot help you much my friend without a description of the symptoms to verify the nature of the parasite infection> I don't know if he is not eating now because he has parasites I'm just figuring. if treated him with Maracyn 2 (for internal bacterial infections). <Maracyn is a synthetic tetracycline and marginally useful (an outdated med) for bacterial infections and really not much help with parasites> he hasn't eaten in 17 days. any recommendations? <I'm honestly thinking that another factor is at work here... too high or too low salinity, stray pH or other aspect of water chemistry, etc> also should I get a new fish? <if you have a separate quarantine tank you could buy a new fish. I of course would not recommend adding any fish to a tank that is suspected of being "infected"> can I put the new fish new water or do I have to use my display tank water for the QT? <a little of both would be a good idea. Raw seawater is a bit rough at first> thanks BRYAN <best regards, Anthony>

Sick puffer I had a question before and you seemed to help....once again I need some help. I have a orange tail puffer, he hasn't eaten in 15 days (3 days in main tank, 12 days in hospital tank) I've treated twice with marcyn2 and Piperazine (anti parasite/ dewormer) still not eating I've tried all kinds of food, he swims by it but wont eat it what can I do, will he die????? <have you tried small live shrimps? Even live brine temporarily to jump start the stomach?> I'm getting hopeless, I only have one other fish, a clown and today he has a whitish film in a circle on his lower jaw (should I worry) <hmm... possibly and ectoparasite/protozoan... why the range of sickness over so many weeks? Are there temperature fluctuations of more than a couple of degrees between night and day... do check for such swings (not just the temp at the same time every day)> My two other fish in the tank died, so should I get new fish this soon? they all seem to get parasites. I don't know about the puffer or the clown? <hmmm... do invest in a 10 or 20 gallon hospital tank (read about quarantine tanks in the WWM archives on this site). It is really critical that all new and sick fish be quarantined to avoid problems such as this> 55 gal fish only Fluval 304 ph 8.3 sal. 1.019 dual flour. strip please any help on what to do? Bryan <any medication necessary can/should be done in QT. Do check to see if the recent meds have not wreaked havoc on your biological filter (test for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) Best regards, Anthony>

Puffers (tetraodont report) My daughter is doing a project on salt water animals. She particularly liked the dog-faced puffer. We are having a hard time finding info. that she can understand. She wanted to know how they have babies, how they eat, and anything else interesting about them. Her project is due Friday morning. You help would be greatly appreciated. Even if you could give us a good website to go to . <Please read over here with your daughter: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm on to the Family that includes this species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tetraodontpuffers.htm then the associated FAQs file (linked at the top of the page). Bob Fenner> Thanks, Twana and Erica

Dog faced puffer, using WWM Aloha, Robert Hi my name is Noah, and I was wondering if you could send me some information on the dog faced puffer? feel free to post this pic of on your website if you wish. Mahalo, Noah Akin <What I have is mainly posted on WetWebMedia.com You might want to try the Google search feature posted there. Bob Fenner>

Arothron stellatus, operant conditioning To Bob, I have just got an Arothron stellatus puffer and he is not as tame as I would like. I was just wondering what the best way of taming him is. Regards, Daniel Holbrooke <A whip and a chair? Actually, only time, conditioning in captivity will prove whether this individual will "calm down" or no... if it takes to eating, beating up other livestock, remove and quarantine it in a much smaller system for a few to several days... this often "knocks them down a peg or two". Bob Fenner>

Puffer Bubbles Hmm. I've tightened things a bit and replaced some parts of the filter...bubbles have been reduced but of course skimmer still pours them in puffer is still doing great as well as the other inhabitants for the most part. <Maybe the bubbles are not such an issue here then> however the puffer, and the puffer only still seems to have some air bubbles on him. if there was still an issue I'd expect him to have passed by now or show signs of weakness? at first sight of weakness I was going to quarantine him but this hasn't happened. <Can't say... I wouldn't do much extraordinary here... may be that the bubbles are "natural"... incurable> on a side note... my lion seemed to spit up some of his grass or ghost shrimp he had ate I believe the day prior. it was very weird. almost like he was vomiting. and he seemed to be chewing some of it back in his mouth. am I crazy? <Not here at least. This "gag" reflex does happen> have you heard of such a thing... only other explanation is if he snacked on some shrimp that I didn't notice. although I don't think this is the case because the shrimp was pink like it had been dead for awhile. thanks for all your help Mr. Fenner! :) <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Puffer Search hello bob, <Cheers, Dawn. Good friend Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob spends the weekend searching for his inner child> I have just bought a 55 gallon tank. I am really wanting to get a dogface puffer but am having some trouble finding a really good article on them. my sister had one at one time and I fell in love with it. he had such a personality and was sooo cute. the pet store that I work at does not deal in saltwater so I would like to find an article that I can print out. thanks, dawn < begin with the following WWM link and follow up if you need more information... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm - Best regards, Anthony>

Pouty Puffer <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a starry puffer which I bought three days ago. He has lost his color and has slime on his body and gills. <not a specific symptom, although does indicate irritation of the skin by water quality or parasite most likely. In the future, please use a quarantine tank for all new livestock. It saves money and fishes lives. Chances are that you could be looking at an impending parasite infection but it can't be determined without more information. Please do not knee-jerk and (over) medicate on an educated guess. Look for tiny spots or dots on the skin, scratching or glancing, or any other unusually behavior or symptoms to share.> He has stopped eating and is very sluggish in his movements. <no worries just yet. Did it eat at all in your tank and if so what?> I have taken a sample of the water to a marine shop and it tested fine. <Please report the exact water quality readings that you got. "Fine" is a relative description of water quality... partly dependant on the competency of a LFS store employee that may have sold you the fish (if you get what I mean)> I have a porcupine puffer in the same tank and he is OK. <means little... different fishes have different tolerances for toxins and disease> Can you offer any advice please. Regards, Dan <aside from the above requests... please read a good book or two like the Conscientious Marine Aquarist to become better informed about selecting fish, quarantine and many other aspects of good aquarium husbandry. Anthony>

Re: stars and stripes puffer problem Bob, From the information provided it sounds as if the puffer is stressed or something is picking on him when no one is looking as evident by the "flip-flop" when something touches him. Another possibility would be the start of either a parasitic or bacterial infection. With a tank this crowded with no protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, there is such a potential for disease secondary to stress, increased bacterial and parasitic load, decreased oxygen available, the list goes on................. <Yes> It is so hard to say what the exact problem is when trying to base it on the information provided. I would first get the puffer out of the crowded tank and into a quieter tank where he will not be as stressed and can eat without a crowd. Then observe for any signs of infection or parasites and then proceed as necessary. Puffers can be like humans and pout or go on hunger strikes when they are not happy or something is wrong and if there is an observed change in behavior - something IS wrong. Hope this helps. Kelly aka Puffer Queen <Yes, thank you for your help Kel. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Puffer problem Dear Bob, I emailed you yesterday about my stars and stripes puffer. He seems to be worse off today then yesterday. He seems to be suffocating and very lethargic. I don't see any white or black infestation, in fact I see nothing other than his strange behavior. The other fish are fine, but he is definitely dying. He was floating and staying near the water reservoir and was having his skin sucked in slightly. Now he sits on the sand, seeming to cough horribly. What should I do to help him? <Move this fish to other quarters, "stat" as the saying goes. NOW> Is it bad to leave him in the tank? <Yes... bad for this specimen, bad for the other livestock... bad for you> I remember having these shrimp-like creatures in the back of the tank in a water receptacle for the BioFiltration system, but I don't see them anymore, could they have caused this? <No... Please see the response below from yesterday. I am sending this one on our "Puffer Queen" as well. Bob Fenner> Regards, Filipe S. P.S - Thanks much for the help! <Did you read this response from Kelly?>

Re: Puffer problem Thanks, but alas, my poor puffer died... And now I guess I may be a bit paranoid because I see small clusters of white on my porcupine puffer. No other fish have any strange symptoms. So I presume I need to buy a protein skimmer A.S.A.P. What else can I do to fix this, and what type of infection do you think this is?  <Improve water quality... the "infection" is very secondary in cause, problems here> The porcupine is not acting strangely, rather it is going up and down the corner of the tank as always. I definitely see white spots on his fins, and I do not remember seeing them on him before. Is this an ich? Thanks Bob and the Puffer Queen, Regards, Filipe S. <Please read through the marine puffer materials archived on WetWebMedia.com and the various sections on troubleshooting, water quality. Bob Fenner> Re: Puffer problem I agree water quality should be at the top of the list for further prevention of problems. But as for the porcupine puffer, he needs to be put in a quarantine tank and treated for the "white clusters". He may not show symptoms at the present but the "clusters" are causing the puffer stress and this will weaken his immune system so he may not be able to fight off the parasites or any opportunistic bacteria. Also if there is a weak or sick fish in the tank, the stronger ones may pick on it - "Survival of the fittest" and cause further stress and disease. Good Luck. Hope this helps. Kelly - "Puffer Queen" <Thank you again Kelly. Will post for others benefit. Bob Fenner>

Pufferfish follow-up The puffers and scooter blenny have been together in the tank for approximately 9 months . Neither species bother with each other (for now). <I'm glad... but it is an unnecessary risk> The narrow lined puffer did get bit by the dog face, first time in a year. <no worries... happens once in a while, but they are tough!> While examining the narrow lined puffer I noticed a yellow tint (like the color of your water when the charcoal filter stops working) to the otherwise lighter grayish colored areas of his body. Is this normal? <could be...very high degree of color variation among "dogface" puffer species> I also noticed that the narrow lined anal and dorsal fin were edged in black, with no fraying. Is he sick?  <not a symptom of a specific pathogen... but admittedly odd if it is not a color change. At times I've seen something similar on harassed fish. Is this one the low man on the totem pole?> I attempted to get pictures with digital camera, not very good clarity. <please call again. Anthony>

Xenia and Puffers Hi Bob, I had a couple of unrelated questions for you. First off, I have a 40g tank with a few juvenile fish in it. A Picasso Trigger (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), a Reticulated Puffer (Arothron reticularis) and a Mappa Puffer (A. mappa). I am wanting to add a Stellatus (A. stellatus) to the mix. The Reticulated and the Mappa get along well, although the Reticulated is FAR more aggressive of a fish than the Mappa. Do you think the 3 puffs would be OK together? <In a four hundred gallon system maybe... not a forty... this is way too small for what you have already> Second, I also have a 3 year old reef tank that is pretty densely stocked with fish and soft corals. I had an amazing Xenia colony that spread like wildfire and covered several rocks, eventually migrating to the highest peak in the tank and directly in front of the return outlet. The colony was doing marvelously and I was fragging it monthly to take into my LFS, but one day, out of the blue, several of the larger stalks became discolored and withered away... almost as if they had been stung by another coral or anemone. There are no other corals or anemones within range of the Xenia, however. At the same time I also lost two large and beautiful Capnella sp. which showed the same withering process and then just decayed. After that, the colony crashed and left me with 2 large stalks. The whole colony used to pulse quite dramatically as well, which has essentially stopped. So, after much research and deliberation, I began supplementing iodine (Lugol's solution). Tests prior to this (Salifert's) showed iodine/iodate levels of around 0.1-0.2ppm. I raised the level slowly to 0.6ppm in accordance to seawater average iodine levels, and noticed the Xenia began pulsating a bit more. After a few days they stopped again, and this has been going on for several months now. The colony has not grown appreciably, and I am stumped as to why. The chemistry in the tank is VERY stable, with the exception of PO4 levels of 0.5ppm which I am constantly battling due to the foods I feed the corals and fish (loads of HUFAs). I am sure the problems the Xenia is facing has to do with some imbalance, whether it be PO4 or some other trace element problem. <Yes, I agree... but what? Either something exhausted, rate-limiting... and/or (though I strongly suspect "or") a chemical interaction... maybe resultant from the other soft coral incident> Everything else in the tank is growing like weeds... I am TOTALLY stumped, and was wondering if you had any insight as to what I might search for or try in order to re-establish this stuff. Thanks a ton! Christopher Burns Curator seahorse.org <In such cases... we (lamely) move some substantial part of the colony to another separate system... in the hope/trust that "whatever" is the cause, the new circumstances will be more propitious... Otherwise, large water changes, bolstering with iodide (potassium is my fave) and activated carbon use usually resolve such problems over time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Xenia and Puffers Thanks for the quick reply! The fish in the 40 are at most 3" and it has a LOT of filtration. Appreciate the input, but I didn't want to give you the impression I was mistreating them! :> <I understand... and know you must be aware that the puffers grow to lengths about the length of this tank in the wild> In the reef, I am thinking about quitting the iodine supplementation, and have been running carbon full time for many months... I have just recently removed it, thinking that perhaps there was a food source being pulled out by the charcoal. <Mmm, let's not mislead browsers... activated carbon is not synonymous with charcoal> I have read that there is NO scientific evidence that even Xenia NEEDS iodine, however, there does seem to be an enormous amount of anecdotal evidence to support the need. What do you think? Also, what is your opinion on carbon use in a reef (always, never or off and on)? <Yes to both iodide and activated carbon use... on a punctuated basis... the iodide once a week in general, the carbon monthly> Thanks for your time! Chris <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Xenia and Puffers Cheers, Bob! Thanks for the info, as always. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Spotted puffer Hi I have another question about Pufferfish. I noticed my puffer was not eating to well , been feeding him just regular fish food flakes <These will not sustain Puffer species> so today I bought him some snails and some frozen prawn shrimp . He loved the prawn , tore it up like he was starving. Are those good things to feed him on a regular basis? <Yes> Should I feed him that on a daily basis? <No, need to vary diet with other meaty, fresh, frozen, prepared foods> If so how often? Also after eating his belly got swollen , how long will it stay like that and should I wait till his swelling goes down before I feed him again? <Wait. Bob Fenner>

Help with Midnight or Black Puffer I recently saw a neat looking fish. I know that it was a dogface but I thought it was strange because it was totally black in color. I asked around and many have told me it was a color morph of a regular puffer, either Arothron Meleagris or Arothron Nigropunctatus because no one has ever seen a whole separate species in which this fish could possibly be. Many have also told me that it is rare and worth the $75 price tag for a 6 incher or so as some have told me that they have been seen at that size for $100-$200. I was wondering if you have any information at all about what species of fish this is, compatibility with other fish, size, behavior and really anything that you can tell me. <Yes... likely a color morph/variation of Arothron meleagris, but could be A. nigropunctatus... these happen in the wild throughout this species range. Here's our principal sites coverage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm> Thanks a lot for any reply at all, I know people respect your views and opinions and I hope you can help me. <Glad to be of assistance. If you'd like to see some other pix of these tetraodonts let me know... Maybe I'll finally get off my duff and write a bit about the phenomenon of xanthistic varieties of fishes... Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Casey 

Help my Puffer Please! Dear Bob, I am so sad that my poor little Puffy is sick. He has been with me for about 6 months and he was doing great till about 2 weeks ago. He all of a sudden cannot eat. He tries and tries but only comes to the food and then retreats as soon as the food goes near his mouth. I have a guy who takes care of my fish tank and he thinks it may be a calcium deficiency from only eating krill. I have tried crushing it into smaller pieces but he cannot seem to get it in his mouth. Otherwise he is acting fine, he responds well when he sees me and has no unusual spots. I hate seeing him suffer and I love him like "normal" people would love their puppies. Please help me figure this out. I will try anything at this point!!! I have started adding liquid calcium to the tank. Its 92 gallons and all my other fish are doing great. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Karin <This is not an unusual situation, as you will find by reading the FAQs about puffers on out site starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pufferFAQs.htm Please have your service person contact me if you don't feel up to force feeding your puffer... and possibly Dremel-tooling its teeth down... likely they are overgrown and at least contributing to the present trouble. You'll need to secure a plastic baster, cannula, what have you, tube with a bulb on the end for the force feeding... a meaty mash laced with a liquid vitamin preparation (baby vitamins or ones designated for pet-fish), and a bit of mashed up garlic (fresh is best)... do this every three days for three times... Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Is my tank too small? (tetraodont puffer) Hi Rob, I purchased my first marine set-up recently. A 27 gallon tank with internal and external filtering. Also I purchased a 4inch stars and stripes puffer. <Yikes... you likely know this Puffer species gets bigger than this tank in the wild!> The owners of the aquarium said my tank would be fine for this type of fish, but after browsing through your excellent website I am getting the feeling my tank is too small for this type of fish. Can you advise me on this as I don't want to be cruel to George the puffer. All the best Jason O'Connell <Mmm, well, George might do well for months to a few years with careful (scant) feeding if it/he's small know (let's say ten cm. or so). Do keep an eye on water quality as this tends to easily slip with such messy, meaty eaters. Puffers are quite adaptable, intelligent animals en toto... Bob Fenner> Jason O'Connell

Dogface Puffer Sick Hi there Bob, I am so sad that I did not find your site before. <But happier now!> I have had my dogface puffer for about 3 years. About 6 months ago I bought a 100 gallon tank to accommodate her and my stars and stripes, porcupine and wrasse. The puffer was getting brown blotches all over her body regularly even though I had treated the tank and I presumed that it was stress related. <Likely> (they say 10 gallons to every 1 inch of a puffer).  <A good approximation> When I took them out to do the transfer, the 100 gallon leaked so I had to leave them in buckets over night. Like the moron I am, I did not heat the buckets and the only 2 survivors were the dogface (by the skin of her teeth) and the stars and stripes. <Yikes> She was very distant for a long time, hid when I came near the tank. She eventually stopped eating and now she is in a very bad way. Her eye is filling with blood and she is shriveling away to nothing. Is there anything I can do to make her better.  <Perhaps... I would try force-feeding this specimen... with a mash of meaty food items (via a blender) and vitamin preparation (liquid) and a PLASTIC turkey baster (not your fingers)... Collecting the fish, holding it in a wet, detergent free towel underwater... Inserting the baster beyond the teeth, into the pinched area behind the buccal cavity (throat)... do this daily until the specimen starts accepting foods on its own> She still has the brown circle like blotches on her skin and looking very small. I am very disturbed over this bc/ it was my stupidity that put her in the state she is in now.  <Yet only your caring, actions that can save her> I really like this fish and don't want her to die. Please let me know if there is something I can do or is it too late?  <"It" is never too late my friend as long as there is life> I almost think it is bc/ her mouth is shriveled completely....Thank you, Jess <Do try the force-feeding, today. Bob Fenner>

Quick ich question Hi Bob, the hairstylist again. <Do need to get up and see you... my "do" needs a re-do... badly!> I have a quick question regarding my quarantine tank. I have a few fish in there, 20g tank and slowly since my new tank was about to be ready a few weeks ago prepared their move, then ich hit them as I had to move the tank out of my office. So I treated them with copper (Cupramine) for a week,  <Oh, oh... should've run it for two weeks... I'm almost afraid to read below> and they looked great so I turned everything back on and put carbon back in the filter, but I know it was a bit soon, so it came back. I added copper again this time for 2 weeks, in the meanwhile I took some fish out and transferred them, after about 11 and 13 days and they are loving the new big tank. today was the 15th day off copper use and I wanted to transfer my last 2 puffers (dogface and stellate) but when I came home from work they both had a few specks of ich again. I am running out of ideas here, I don't want to keep them in copper too long either. <Best not to, of course> I lowered the spg a bit(1.015) and raised the temp (84F). 0.3 ppm copper, buffered the water and did everything I read on this web site. I want to transfer my puffies because it is harder to keep up water quality in that little tank especially with the use of copper. By the way, they take more freshwater dips then me................................. <Ha! I do agree with the direction you hint at here... I would pH-adjusted freshwater dip/bathe and move these puffers to their new home. Bob Fenner> thank you again SASCHA

Re: quick ich question Thanks for your response, are you saying to move them now or still wait a bit until the white spots are gone . <Now... these "white spots" may never be gone... Worth the risk in my estimation to dip, move these fishes now> they eat like pigs and are real fun, not sick at all, I just don't want to infest the new tank because of the 150# of live rock in there, otherwise they'd be in there already. <More a matter of "balance" than absolute infestation yes/no... Likely there are residual spores in the new system now... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm Bob Fenner> take care Sascha

Sick dogface puffer Dr. Fenner, (I hope!) <Hmm, just Bob> I am writing about a dog face puffer that has been in our tank for almost 6 years. I work in a restaurant that has a 118 gallon tank which is professional serviced on a weekly basis. I have been reading through the letters on your web site, and hope our puffer is just on a hunger strike, but afraid it may be more than that. "Puff Daddy" has survived at least 2 major illnesses in our tank, where we lost many other fish, but after not eating for extended periods of time, he bounced back. During this past year, he stopped filing his own teeth on the coral, and stopped eating again. We began having his teeth dremmeled, and he again returned to normal health. However, during the last dental visit, he puffed up & took in some air.  <Yikes, not good> It appears as if the little black "flapper?" in his mouth has been ruptured, because it is protruding outwardly, and the area around his mouth looks slightly bloody. He hasn't eaten in almost 3 weeks, and has lost a great deal of weight. In addition, he has always shown a lot of affection towards the owner of the restaurant, acting very excited when he is around, letting him put his hand in the tank to pet him, and hold him while he gets his teeth dremmeled. <Wow, quite an attachment... these are intelligent fishes (the smooth puffers)> However, now he acts afraid of him, and puffs up every time he tries to lift him out of the tank. The little black flap, not only protrudes but flaps around when the puffer breathes in & out of his mouth. Is there anything that can be done to invert the protruding flap, or any other suggestions to help this situation. We are all very attached, customers included, to our little puffer guy. Thank you for any information you may have for us! Amy <I appreciate your concern... It might be worth trying to "push" the flap back inward... with a blunt implement... otherwise, really the best thing to do is wait and hope. Good luck my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick dogface puffer Just Bob! Thanks for your quick reply. We'll keep our fingers crossed! <Ah, good. I wish you life my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mappa puffer Hey Bob, Rob from PA here, Do you have some advice on how to file a Mappa Puffers choppers down? Can be held gingerly in a very wet towel, mainly underwater, moving a flat file in and out flat over the beak-like teeth> Also my buddy with the puffer asks do you know how to de-worm the puffer?  <A few ways... the best is just to sneak some garlic pieces into its favorite foods> I didn't know fish could get worms. Last question for me this time, do you have any knowledge about the use of solar energy to help with the sky high electric bills my tank is making, especially because I just ordered a new 200 gallon, to expand my reef into ... hahahahahaha what a hobby !!!!!! Thanks again Rob Huss <All forms of energy are inter-transmissible... that is, they (heat, light, motion...) can be converted to other formats... like electron flow (electricity)... Look on the net and contact your utility company about present technology, subsidies for solar. Bob Fenner>

Mappa puffer Hey bob my friend Mike from Atlantis fish store in Pittsburgh has a question he wants me to ask you so here it is. He has a mappa puffer at his store and it has an air bubble in it, or I should say it inflated with air not water. Anyhow he was hoping to get some advice as to how to remove the air and save the fish. They have tried to squeeze it out and it helped some but wanders if there is something better to do ? <If this has gone on for more than a day or two... I would try narcotizing the specimen... (with MS-222, tricaine, possibly "hypno" if you can find the old Jungle Brands product...) and shaking it semi-vigorously head-up to see if this will dislodge the gas... otherwise, possibly add three teaspoons of magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) to a separate tank (NOT the main tank) and enough of the water to keep the poor fish covered, aerate it greatly and leave it here for one hour> Thanks for any insight as always Rob Huss if you have any info please be long winded with it so I may help him as much as possible. <I understand. Please read this message over a few times... and get back to me if any of it is unclear. Bob Fenner>

Dogface puffer problem Robert: I have a 35 gallon saltwater fish tank, fish only. Currently I only have one dogface puffer in the tank. The levels are all in range, but the puffer has stopped eating and become very lethargic. I know puffers go on hunger strikes, however, he is also not nearly as active as in the past. I have had this fish for approximately 6 months and this is the first time he has done this. He typically eats right out of my hand and allows me to touch him. Recently he feels slimier than usual. What can be causing this, if anything? Please advise. <Hmm, could be a (latent) parasite... expression of an internal infectious disease... perhaps this animal "swallowed something" (like a rock, a bug that fell in...)... perhaps the result of a cumulative nutritional deficiency... Most likely this is "nothing", however, if it were me/mine, I would do a series of substantial (20%) water changes, return the system's specific gravity (if it's not 1.025 or so)... do add a vitamin supplement to the water and the offered foods... and keep offering food daily, but remove it if not taken in a few minutes. Good luck. Bob Fenner> John

Link to my new website? Dear Robert, Thanks so much for your website. I also want to thank you for answering my email concerning the classification differences in the "spotted puffers", I actually quoted you and gave you credits --of course! I was wondering if you would consider including "Puffernet" in your links (wherever you feel it is applicable)? Any feedback on the site is welcome as well. Thanks so much! <Sure... what's the URL? Umm, see it below... sheesh. Will place tomorrow. Bob Fenner> Good water, Phred ps. you'll find a link to your site on my links page! --- Frederick L. Calalang <a href="http://puffernet.tripod.com/splash.html">Puffernet</a>

Puffer Teeth <Uhhh. I'd better let Bob answer that one when he gets back from Asia. Mid-June sometime! -Lorenzo> I have a little green spot puffer with "fangs!" I've heard that I could trim them myself but I'm not sure how to go about it. He's beginning to have trouble eating and I don't want to lose the little guy. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks! Tiffani <Some folks do Dremel tool to hand file some "bucky" puffer teeth... but in many cases these fishes will do this themselves... Provide yours with a "chalky" type of small shellfish (like a cockle) and you should see improvement over time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Yo Zo... Puffer behavior Actually, the puffer is happy-go-lucky but, if you are a fish who wants to stress-out in the open, he's gonna take a shot: "Are you dead or what?" Suppose that's par for the course for puffers. <Yes indeed... playful, intelligent animals. Bob Fenner> Cheers. J --

Fish compatibility I have 1 Kole Tang, 1 Common Clown, 1 small Hermit crab and 2 small Green spotted puffers. I just added the Puffers yesterday, bought them on a whim at a store I had not been to ( don't know if the people are just trying to sell, not educate). Any ways, should I take the puffers back? Maybe just 1 of them? Also, I want to get a protein skimmer or a UV sterilizer. Which do you recommend? Will one help more than the other with my reoccurring ick problem? <I'd take back one of the puffers. I'd get a skimmer before a UV sterilizer. I'd get a big healthy Lysmata cleaner shrimp, or two, to help with re-occurring ich - and I'd start quarantining/freshwater dipping all incoming fish. If you have ich that periodically cycles through your tank without addition of new fish, it's established, and you have to decide whether to experiment with a cleaner, (Gobiosoma goby would work too) or remove all the fish and lay the tank fallow for several weeks to starve off all the ich... -regards, Lorenzo>

Arothron sp. question Hi Bob! Finally had a viable reason to write you a note! I am the curator of seahorse.org, and have been involved with marine organisms and their propagation for around 10 years or so. Recently I found myself utterly enrapt with puffers, especially the more rare Arothrons like the Mappa and Stellatus. I just got a beautiful little baby today, and am having a heck of a time IDing him. There is a photo of this exact fish at http://chunkypuff.net/projectpuffer/a_reticularis.htm, however, all of the other photos of A. reticularis I see look nothing like this fish. So, is this NOT A. reticularis, or is A. reticularis quite different looking as a juvenile than it is as an adult? <Yes, quite so... and pretty variable... I have many pix of sub-adults to absolute bruisers... a two foot one bit off and swallowed a whole large arm of a Linckia laevigata star in front of me (I was suitably impressed) just this last week diving in Lombok, Indo... and a few juveniles (back at home)... have you looked on fishbase.org for images?> Thanks for the help on this, as well as all of your wonderful writings that I have enjoyed so much over the years. Cheers, Christopher Burns Curator seahorse.org <Outstanding, and will add your site/URL to our links when moving these queries about. Bob Fenner, in Singapore on way to KL...>

Re: Arothron sp. question Hi Lorenzo, Thanks for taking the time to respond! I appreciate it. Also appreciate the offer for the link. Would a banner be helpful? Once we get out links page up and running, I will definitely add a reciprocal link to WWM! Glad you liked the site. Cheers, Chris Re: Arothron sp. question Chris, Bob's on photo-safari and other business in Asia right now, I'm tending his mailbox due to the mountains of hobbyist emails he gets every day. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about puffers to be able to help you out! I just wanted to send you a note to let you know that you aren't being ignored! Bob gets back on June 12th, and in the meantime, he occasionally manages to finagle internet access while he's not underwater with a camera attached to his face. So maybe you'll hear from him before then, I dunno! Very nice site, by the way! I'll have to make sure we have a link on WWM! Best regards, Lorenzo Gonzalez

Subject: RE: Arothron sp. question Did I miss something here? <Oh, no Chris, it was just Bob, I'm sure, reminding me to add the link... he manages to get online briefly, occasionally, and fires emails off like wildfire when he has the chance, obviously that one went off in a couple of different directions! I'll get that link on the WWM site...<I put on the Links under "Seahorses" and on the Tube-Mouthed Fishes general article Zo. Bob Fenner> -Lorenzo

Blood Flukes of Tetraodonts Robert Fenner, I would like to draw on your extensive experience and ask if you are familiar with blood flukes (digenetic trematodes) in Arothron hispidus or other closely related fishes. <Yes... many digenetic parasites of fishes...> I am searching first, for parasite identification, and then any related information about the frequency or significance of infection. I am a veterinary pathology resident at The Ohio State University and examined one specimen of a 10cm A. hispidus which had massive numbers of flukes and fluke eggs with marked atrophy of the liver. I believe the flukes contributed to the death of the animal. <Directly or not... a very real possibility... Trematode loads of wild fishes are at times remarkable... and in necropsying even large sharks and rays (for public aquariums) a significant source of morbidity in captive marines... I am sure you're familiar with BIOSIS, particularly the Zoological Abstracts... and have the facilities for doing computer search bibliographic work... look for Yamaguti's references through this process. Bob Fenner>

Arothron hispidus blood flukes Thanks for your quick reply! I'll keep searching the databases, but all the puffer fish trematode articles I find are either monogenetic trematodes or intestinal digenetic trematodes. In what range of years would you suggest looking for Yamaguti's references? My abstract databases start in 1980. I see Yamaguti has looked at the development of puffer fishes off the coast of Brazil in several papers recently published. <Hmm, don't have a ready answer for you here... would have to make it down to a college library myself (can't afford a BIOSIS hook-up at home... hopefully someday soon such tools won't be so costly...). The Zoological Abstracts goes back... far enough... before last century... I would start your search there... on-line and on the old analog years...> Thanks again for your help--I don't want to be a pest and ask more questions than I should. <Never a bother my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Arothron hispidus blood flukes Robert Fenner, I found a nice review in 1997 Helminthological Abstracts, 66(7):255-294 and 66(8):329-344 which covers Sanguinicolidae and Spirorchidae blood flukes with comprehensive parasite-host and host-parasite lists for all known blood flukes of those families. The author was JW Smith. The flukes of Tetraodontidae are: Arothron hispidus: Paracardicola hawaiensis Cheilicthys annulatus: Psettarioides tropicum Sphoeroides borealis: Paradeontacylix odhneri Sphoeroides pardalis: Psettarium japonicum Sphoeroides rubripes: Psettarium japonicum A paper by WE Martin, 1960 J Parasitol 46:648-650 described Paracardicola hawaiensis in 10 of 10 Arothron hispidus captured near Hawaii, each having very high parasite egg burdens in the liver. This may cast some doubt as to the significance of the parasite in the death of my particular case, if all Arothron hispidus have similarly high burdens. <Perhaps... but the triggering disposition of "captive stress" should not be discounted here> While I realize that blood flukes are a certainly relatively small area of interest for you, if you are interested in the 1997 review article I can easily photocopy it and send it to an address you provide. <Thank you for your kind offer... can/will add your citation to my ever-growing list for using the fantastic resources of the SIO library in town (am visiting in Hawai'i currently) for my next visit.> Thanks for your willingness to help with this case. WRB <Very glad to be of assistance. Make it known if I may be able to aid your work... e.g. you are welcome to any/all image work I may provide you on Arothron. Bob Fenner>

Puffer tooth trimming with power tools  Will do. We trimmed a bucktoothed puffer with a Dremel today! Interesting... Talk to you later,  Bob <Know of such activities from a gorgeous nurse (Kelly.J) that I suspect we are familiar with in common. Bob Fenner>

Stars and Stripes Puffer I have been through a lot of your "puffer" information and FAQ's. I Still haven't found, (but may be looking in the wrong place), a spot that will tell me if a 75 gallon tank would be sufficient for a large Stars and Stripes Puffer, (about 10 inches long and about 8 inches around), and a Huma Huma Trigger, (only about 6 inches in length.). <Yes, both... for a period of time... as you know they will both get larger... and this system is near-crowded as is...> I currently only have 2 calico crabs, (which by the way, I can't find any information on and probably shouldn't have bought because of that but I couldn't resist), snails, 10 pounds of live rock and 20 #'s each of live sand and crushed coral. <In with the Puffer and Trigger? Not indefinitely...> I would love to be able to keep both the S&S Puffer and the Huma Huma Trigger but would like to make sure I can. I am planning on upgrading to a 90 gallon tank next year. <It would be better if this were a 150 or larger...> The LFS currently has both the Huma Huma and the S&S Puffer in the same 30 gallon tank with a very LARGE Panther Grouper. Kind of cramped I thought. <Uhh, yes... shame on them> Any advice would be appreciated. Robin <Anytime my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stars and Stripes Puffer Thanks so much for responding. I know that you are a very busy person and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the time it takes for you to respond to the many e-mails that you must receive.  <A pleasure, and honor my friend.> Again, thanks and I will be thinking about the information you gave me. I think that I just might check into a tank more like 125 or 150. Thanks again. Robin <Ahh, you and your aquatic charges will appreciate it. Bob Fenner>

Starry Puffer I just recently picked up a Pufferfish, Arothron stellatus, from my LFS. They called it a "mappa" puffer, but looking at different websites (yours included), the markings seem to deem it a Starry puffer. It seems as if these puffers go through a "yellow phase" as listed on http://chunkypuff.net/projectpuffer/a_stellatus.htm.  <Hmm, some do "turn yellow", others more mottled... others just stay "normal colored" their whole lives> I was wondering what this phase was. Does it mean that my puffer will lose it's yellowish/orangish hue? I really like the current coloring, kind of leopard-printish on top with patches of tan and yellow/orange... picture included of my new acquisition happily swimming around in my QT. BTW, do these really get to be 4 feet in the wild?  <Maximum length, yes... I've seen them about three feet...> Mine is barely 3" and I can't imagine it growing even half that size!!! I've also included a picture of my Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish, Genicanthus melanospilos. I don't see any mention of this species on your website and was wondering if you could shed some light on this species for me.  <Care the same as the other Genicanthus listed...> She eats wonderfully and runs the tank. Simple looking, but beautiful at the same time. The Marine Center website has it listed (very inexpensive fish, BTW) but there is no picture of it on their site... and no info. <Hmm, sounds like a "road trip" for photo taking to me...> Any books or websites you can recommend to find very-detailed, lengthy information on a specific species of fish within the trigger, puffer, angel families? <Please see the "bibliography/further reading" sections at the end of each survey piece posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Thanks so much for all you do for us hobbyists... you're truly a priceless resource... and we are all indebted to you! <Wowzah, high praise indeed. Bob Fenner, at the Western Marine Conference Center for the last few days...>

Puffer (environmental) disease Help! Dear Mr. Fenner, I have been trying in vain to find an informed opinion about some sort of infectious infection affecting one of my saltwater tanks. About two weeks ago a relatively young (about 1yr.) porcupine puffer came down quite suddenly with a dark blotch on his side. At first I thought it was dropsy as the area was slightly swollen. I immediately treated the tank with Maracyn Two. Although the fish was eating well (kind of a pig) it unfortunately died. <The area was likely just a resultant mark from a physical trauma...> We removed the dead animal from the tank and did a partial change although the levels were all within spec. Tonight I noticed the same blotch on a very special dog face puffer; this time in the face area. It seems to spread rather quickly on the affected fish as it was fine this morning. The fish does uncharacteristically hang at the top of the tank by the water intake which appears to be giving it some relief. I have other fish and some relatively large hermit crabs in the tank that do not appear to be affected. <Yikes... this is starting to sound like a toxic situation from a stressed/dead/dissolving tetraodont...> It does not appear to be Septicemia as it is not streaky, nor does it appear to be parasitic in nature. It looks more like a grayish mass. This tank has been well established for almost two years. Since it is fish only (minus the two crabs) I keep the specific gravity at 1.020 which has worked well. Your book has provided a wealth of information for us and any ideas you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Terry Trippany <Thank you for your kind words. Your system sounds fine... except for the input of the one dying puffer which I believe is triggering the current blotch... If this were my system, I would immediately place a couple of "Units" of activated carbon in the filter flow path, and make up about as much synthetic salt mix as you can... and when you think this new water is ready for use, change out about half the water this week, and half next week... the Dog-Face should recover if you act quickly enough. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help! Thank you. The gray spot is spreading to the other side of the fish so I will do a quick partial as well as put the other fish in isolation. I always have 55 gals of salt pre-mixed in the back so this should be a relatively easy task. Terry <Ah, great. Good planning. Best of results. Bob Fenner>

Now Empty Tank  Bob, First, thanks for all the help and for the great site. To refresh your memory, I have a 120 Gallon Fish Only tank. I had a 14 inch Reticulated Puffer (for about 5 years) as the only inhabitant. He was just sitting on the bottom of the tank and not eating. You thought he was probably on a feeding strike. He had actually started to eat some when I used a prong feeder placing the food in front of his mouth. Well, last night he died. He showed no signs of illness other than sitting on the bottom. My question is since I have no idea what happened to him do you think I should drain the tank "bleach" it out and start over from scratch or would a major water change of 50-75% work best? I've had the tank setup of 3 years in it's current location. The tank currently has 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, ph 8.2 and nitrates of about 80 ppm (was up to 100 ppm now dropping due to some good advice from you and the site). I have approximately 100 lbs of Live rock in the tank and another 20 in the sump along with some macro algae. I'd hate to start over from scratch, but if you think it's best to do so, I will. Thanks, Bryan <So sorry to hear of the loss of your long time aquatic companion.  Did send the following cut/pasted response (to be found in tetraodont FAQ archives on www.wetwebmedia.com): If it were me, I would likely give this tank a "once over" infusion of live rock (a box or so...) to re-center, add biomass, diversity, and do your water changes consequent to it settling in for a month or so... The new look will help as well. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Fish Question - Please Help Hello, I received your name from someone who said you might be able to help with a problem I'm having with a sick fish. <I will try> I have a 120 gallon salt tank with only one fish a large dog face puffer who I've had for about 5 years. For about 2 months he's just been sitting on the bottom of the tank and not swimming unless I come near the tank, then he appears to struggle to swim. Almost like a balance problem. He barely gets any food and I'd like to try to save him. I have basically no readings for ammonia or nitrites in the tank, but do have nitrates. I have a Berlin skimmer and a UV sterilizer on the tank. When I do water changes I use RO water and Reef Crystals Salt. The temperature is kept at about 80 degrees and there is about 80 lbs of live rock in the tank. Do you have any ideas as to what may be causing the problem or know anyone who may be able to assist? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks, Bryan <Likely this is a "feeding strike" of anomalous cause... And in all likelihood your Puffer will resume feeding just as mysteriously as it ceased. Do give a read over the Puffer pieces and FAQs stored on my site: www.wetwebmedia.com for much more, others similar experiences. Re the nitrates (and probable other concurrent metabolite buildup), you would do well to place some live rock in your system along with a bit of hardy macro-algae (much more about this on the WWM site), to improve water quality. Other than this, I would keep offering your puffer meaty foods daily, monitor water quality, make those water changes (along with gravel vacuuming)... and all should resolve itself. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish Question - Please Help Bob, Thanks for the reply. I do have a question about your reply. You state I should add live rock to the tank along with some macro-algae. Are you saying I should add more live rock since I already have approximately 80-100lbs of live rock in the tank? <A bit more would help... if the rock there currently is more than a year or so old...> After I E-mailed you I read through much of the puffer documentation your site and found it very helpful.  <Glad to hear> Here's hoping it is only a feeding strike. Thanks again, Bryan <Peace to you my friend in fish. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish Question - Please Help Bob, Today I've been reading more on your website. It's incredible I've learned lots of things that I've been doing wrong that have caused my nitrate problem. Just want to make sure I have this right now. <Thanks> To refresh your memory in my 120 salt tank my nitrates are a little high about 30 ppm. I noticed an article where you said to take the bio balls out of the sump. I have them in the overflow chamber inside the tank that leads to the sump - probably about 250 balls (one of the guys at the fish store said to put them there to help with filtration - they've been there for about 3 years). Should I remove them? <I would> You also suggested adding additional live rock and macro algae to the tank. What about the sump? I have a 20 gallon reef I started about 2 months ago, which has about 50 lbs of Fiji live rock in it, as I add corals I'm taking the live rock out and adding it to a 10 gallon tank for about a week then moving it to the 120. If I should put some in the sump how much? I probably have 10 lbs. of rock in the 10 gallon tank waiting to go into the 120. There is a great store here in Raleigh where I can get additional live rock if you think I need it. <About one "layer" thick... likely ten to fifteen pounds... and always glad to hear good reports of/on the industry> I already do monthly maintenance on the skimmer where I take out the chamber and cup and clean them with fresh water. <Good idea... even to use a dedicated plastic "bottle brush" to give the contact chamber and collector cup parts a light scrub under the freshwater tap at the time> This weekend is maintenance weekend on the tank and I just want to make sure I get everything right. As always I appreciate the advice, Bryan <Glad to be of help. Bob Fenner>

More on the puffer Robert, just thought I would let you know that my puffer situation is a lot less urgent now; after looking better for awhile, he got really listless and weak, then freaked out, darting wildly all over the tank and finally jumping out (convulsions?). He died shortly after being returned to the tank. <Yikes... very sorry to hear> I would still be interested in knowing what ailment he had, since my local fish store didn't seem to be able to help me much, but there is no hurry now. <Likely a developmental (yes, even genetic possibility... fishes "keep developing" as juveniles... though they may have profound "built-in" problems) error at work here, and/or internal parasite disorder... there are even manifestations of handling/shipping damage that could be responsible...> Thanks for all your help; although I forgot to mention it in my first e-mail, I have been devouring all the information on your site and have already learned a lot about our hobby from your writings. Scott <Outstanding... and exactly what keeps me going. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Puffer fish Bob, this is Les Vargas, the LAPD cop you met at Tideline and the one you talked to the other night about the angel fish.  I have a question:  In your opinion, would a dog face puffer fish (scientific name is Arothron nigropunctatus) be able to peacefully co-exist in my 240 gallon aquarium.  The fish I have in there now are a Sohal tang, blue tang, Naso Tang, French angel, masked butterfly, yellow tang, tomato clown, and Fiji damsel, and a banana wrasse. All of these have peacefully co-existed for the past three to four years.  Would the puffer fish be a fin nipper or attempt to eat the smaller fish?  Please let me know.  I'll be guided by your word. Thank you. Les Vargas <The Puffer should make a fine addition. They can be nippy, even big biters, but your other fish are not slow or dummies... And will stay out of its way. This is a great aquarium species... very intelligent. Bob Fenner>

Fish Selection Hello. I hope you can offer me some more advice. I have a 150 gallon tank with the following fish: Clown Trigger(6 inches) emperor angel (6-7 inches) fire clown purple tang Sohal tang (4 inches). Unfortunately, I recently lost my green bird wrasse to unknown causes. There was no sign of disease and all the other fish look fine. I was wondering if you could suggest a new tank mate for my fish. I was thinking possibly a dog-face puffer or an auriga butterfly. I think a butterfly fish may be a little too shy for my tank considering the other inhabitants. Please let me know what you think of these choices or if you have any other suggestions. Thank You, Heather Mann >> Many, MANY possibilities for your rough and tumble assemblage... But I think you've mentioned a real winner in the Dog Faced Puffer... Do get one of these... great personality fishes... and hardy. Bob Fenner

New puffer I have just gotten a dog-face puffer. he seems to be doing ok, but it seems to have a sore of some kind on one of his sides. What could it be and what do I do for it. >> Likely a wound from being caught, moved... a bump in the night.... And possibly secondarily infected by bacteria... but if it is showing signs (emargination) of curing I would leave the animal alone... Moving it, putting anti-microbials in the water, the food, is likely to do more harm than good.... If the animal is in good shape, the system optimized and stable, and the Puffer eating... leave it alone to self-cure. Bob Fenner

Puffer eye color change I have a small Porcupine fish (about 4 1/2") that has been doing well for 4 months. Now he looks like he has something around one eye. It looks like a growth, but it's not puffy. It's a major change in coloration, but it's localized around one eye. I never noticed this before. Please help! <From reading your missal here, I suspect this damage is due to a physical trauma... maybe the Puffer bumping into something in the night... and would not add to the animal's stress by handling, treating it per se... just keep it fed, happy in place and it should heal> Also, I have a 150 gallon FOWLR tank. I have a yellow tang, Tomato Clown, Niger Trigger, Grey Angel, Dog face puffer, porcupine puffer, Neon Goby, Lion fish, and a snow flake eel. Can you recommend any other fish to add to this assortment. I tried a Princess Parrot fish on Sunday, but he became dinner for the Eel, bit the head right off during the night. Any recommendations? >> Yes, read through the Fishwatcher's Guide and livestock survey pieces stored at www.wetwebmedia.com and come to an understanding of what your choices, preferences are... Bob Fenner

Puffer's and Invert. food/tankmates I have a 90 gallon tank that has been set up for about 4 months. I let it cycle with damsels for about two months everything was great( although I had 15 damsels when I started and ended with 4). I have since added 2 yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens), a clown fish ( Amphiprion ocellaris), and a Long-Spined Porcupine Puffer (Diodon holacanthus). I understand that the puffer is not good with invert's. I would like to start adding live rock and corals is this a good idea, if so how much rock should I add and how fast should it be added. >> Adding the live rock is a great idea on several counts... You won't regret it... better livestock health, easier maintenance, never ending fascination with what comes out of it. The Puffer will likely chew on bits of the live rock... and in all likelihood your corals, other invertebrates. Do start with a few hardy soft corals if you want to try your Puffer with the non-vertebrates. Maybe a leather, toadstool... Bob Fenner

Arothron Mappa Puffer puzzle Mr. Fenner Back in December I was in the market for a Puffer Fish and I was lucky enough to find a 11" Mappa Puffer at my LFS. He's been doing great except for one thing A few weeks ago I noticed that in his Left fin he had what appears to be a small white pimple this pimple appears to be in the bone structure part of the fin as oppose to the webbing between the bones. At first I thought that it was a sign of some sort of nutritional deficiency because he was at the LFS for around 8 weeks before I got him and IM not sure he was fed a varied diet. So to correct it I starting soaking his Freeze dried krill in a Multi Vitamin Called Multi Vit. A week or so ago I noticed that he has developed two more of these pimples on the same fin but none on his other fins. I observe him daily and he seems fine otherwise, he eats like a horse and uses his fin in a Normal fashion. Also I should probably mention that he is currently the only fish in the tank (125 Gal) and the rockwork is secured in a stable fashion and the heater is in the sump so I've ruled out rockwork injury, tankmate harassment and heater burn. IM STUMPED and I don't want to medicate him with anything until I find out if that's the best way to proceed. Any help you can offer or direct me too ( I live in Cleveland Ohio) would be appreciated. Also here is some info about his tank/ Diet that might be useful. Temp : 78.8 Degrees What I feed him pH : 8.1-8.2 Freeze dried Krill Ammonia : 0 Clams Nitrite 0 Shrimp Nitrate 40 PPM Oysters Scallops Mussels Crayfish (one a month as a treat) PS- I realize that you are a very busy person but If you would like any additional information Please feel free to call me Collect at 216-XXXX at your convenience. Thanks you. Sincerely, Ricardo Nims >> Thank you for writing. This is one of my favorite (to photograph and keep) puffers... and have seen the spots you describe in wild and captive specimens... I suspect that they are due either to physical traumas (running into something while energetically wafting its fins trying to get your attention) or some sort of internal protozoan complaint... At any length, I think what you have done/are doing is fine... varying the diet, using the multi-vitamin, and keeping the tank in order. In other words, I would not worry about this "problem" as I don't think it will persist, or cause the Mappa puffer any harm. Bob Fenner

Injured Fish Question I have a 110gal fish only. I purchased a 4-5 inch Spiny Box puffer from the LFS about three weeks ago. About a week ago I noticed he got ruffed up, probably by a 12 inch Banded Moray Eel. Of the three fins near his tail, one is down to flesh, and the other two are 80%gone. He also has a lot of trauma near his tail. He still eats like a pig. I soak his food of choice (raw shrimp) in Vita-Chem every day, and Iodine twice a week. Is this too much iodine? Is he gonna be OK? Is there anything else I can do? He's a cool fish and I don't want to lose him. And thanks for the great column! >> Hmm, do you have another tank to move the puffer to? Is anything still chewing on it? I would only add some iodine to the food once a week. If the areas where the fins are growing back (they will if not chewed all the way to their bases) look reddened... do contact me and I'll tell you how to make an antibiotic laced food. Eating heartily is a good sign... and I've seen puffers recover from much worse injuries. Keep your water quality high and stable, and s/he should get better.  Bob Fenner

Non-eating Dogface Bob, Although this is a bit off our usual topic, I hope I can still ask it. I've got a small dog faced puffer in my tank that seems to be going rapidly down hill. I can't find any signs of illness or problem, but he just curls up and sits there. He won't eat, at least when I feed the rest of the residents, he seems to be losing weight as well. Any suggestions, I'm feeding them freeze dried plankton, and DynaFlake Spirulina 25% golden flake 75%. Raleigh. >> There is no such thing as a "dumb fish question" as far as I'm concerned... I'm glad you've written... Sometimes the true puffers (family Tetraodontidae) as this do go on "hunger strikes" and sometimes these last for weeks... and reverse themselves just as suddenly as they started. However, I would try to tempt your puffer with a more meaty treat like a shellfish of some sort (cocktail shrimp, mussel, clam... opened) rather than the dry fare you've been offering. That and please try not to worry. Bob Fenner

Marine/Brackish/FW puffer with pinched tummy I have a fresh water puffer that has been acclimated to saltwater. It is a spotted puffer. The problem is the fish is about 2 inches and it belly looks pinched. I have tried Maracyn I&II, copper, Organi-cure. This fish as been acclimated for 1 year. >> Neat, this animal no doubt came from marine, brackish to sewage water in the wild, survived the move and being plunked into fresh, and now you've got it back into salt! Some tough customer! I wouldn't worry too much about the pinched appearance (many puffers look this way in the wild, until they get their occasional large meal!), nor treat it with any sort of chemical medication. If you want to see it really round, do try offering it a fabulous meal: a largish shrimp (even one for human consumption, or a large frozen/defrosted Krill, they really like these), or a whole-opened clam from the super market... You'll be surprised and no doubt pleased by your now-plump puffer. Bob Fenner

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: