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Member Spotlight on PinkFloydPuffer

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - PinkFloydPuffer

About Me

First here's a bit about me. I'm a 19 year old Utahn going to college for a business degree. My dream is to have my own fish store, but if that doesn't work out, making prom dresses is my next choice. I love the arts, especially visual and musical. I play piano, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar, and draw, paint, and sketch in my free time (especially animals).

Bird Sketch Clownfish sketch



Introduction
I started liking fish when I was little, mainly because I liked the word "fish". My brother and I would run around all the time saying "cheeeeeeese, fish!" in weird voices. No idea why. So the word "fish" grew on me until I came to love fish. But the decision to keep them came by inspiration of my little sister. We went to Disneyland one year, and she won this stuffed porcupine pufferfish, which was both adorable and ridiculously hilarious-looking. I began to research puffers, and discovered much to my surprise that you could actually keep real pufferfish! I was so excited I could barely contain my joy! But of course I had neither the means nor room to get a 100+ Saltwater tank up and running for a porcupine puffer. In my course of research I ran into a little puffer known as the Green Spotted Puffer. They were even cuter than porcupine puffers, had just as much personality, only needed brackish water, and were smaller and cheaper! It was love at first sight. I was dedicated to getting one of those puffers, so I immersed myself in weeks of research, where I learned about the Nitrogen cycle, water changes, substrate procedures, etc.

My first big learning experience was with Floyd, the betta I'd had for over a year in a half-gallon fish bowl. When he got popeye, I decided to research, and discovered much to my amazement that bettas don't like those little bowls! I soon got him a proper tank.

The experience that affected me the most is when I got the sweetest, most beautiful betta named Rodya. I had only had him for a few days when he started acting sick, and within hours he'd developed dropsy and died the next day. For some reason he touched me deeply, and it was very hard to lose him. After I lost yet another betta, Dmitri, to similar causes, I decided to stop buying betas that are mass-bred and kept in poor conditions. I took my business to a local fish store that takes good care of their fish, and decided to focus on puffers.

Aquarium(s)

The first tank I set up was my 20 gallon brackish tank. It has been set up since June 2, 2008. It came with a 15W fluorescent hood. I use an AquaClear 30 powerfilter, a 150W AquaClear submersible heater, and an alligator bubbler that adds more oxygen to the water. I don't use carbon in any of my tanks, but keep some handy in case it's needed to remove meds. My nitrates are always below 10, as I am blessed with tap water with about 2 ppm nitrates. This is the same with all of my tanks. I use aragonite substrate to keep a stable higher ph. The water is currently at 1.008 SG, and I am very slowly raising the salinity.

My next tank is a 10 gallon freshwater tank. It has been set up since August 2008. I bought it as a 10 gallon goldfish kit from Petco. It has a Tetra Whisper HOB filter. I also got a 50W TopFin heater. I keep it at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I replaced the incandescent bulbs with two 10W compact fluorescent bulbs. It's divided in half.

My third tank is a 5 gallon Minibow. I added a 50W TopFin heater to keep the tank at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I replaced the incandescent bulb with a 10W compact fluorescent.

Fish, Plants, Invertebrates, Corals

Plants - Hornwort, java fern, and java moss. I've found these very easy to keep.

Inverts - Just a handful of pond snails I threw into my betta tanks to breed for my puffers.

Fish - Green Spotted Puffers (Garth and Pistachio): they are both just under 2" each. I've had them since early July 2008. I feed them 6 times a week at most, with a meal consisting of a snail, live/frozen/freeze-dried brine shrimp, frozen plankton, or frozen/freeze-dried bloodworms. There are also many other kinds of food I've been considering getting for them. They'll eat anything as long as it's not vegetarian food. They start out rather docile, but get aggressive rather quickly, and I've found species-only setups are best for them.

Betta splendens (Winter, Donovan, and Emerson)- Two crowntails and one halfmoon dragon. I feed them on average once or twice a day. Their staple is Hikari Bio-Gold betta pellets. I also use Tetra color crisps, frozen/freeze-dried bloodworms, and occasionally frozen brine shrimp. I also give them a few bits of pea once a week. I've had them since August/September 2008. They all have very different personalities, and are a great joy to watch.

Cories (Baba O'Riley, Julia Dream, and Corporal Clegg)- They are C. trilineatus. I got them in mid-October 2008. I feed them with sinking shrimp pellets and algae wafers usually once a day, plus the food that falls to the bottom when feeding my betta. They are hilarious little fish.

Rubbernose pleco (Danno)- He's my algae crew. He does a good job keeping down the brown algae in my tank. I give him an algae wafer or a slice of zucchini or cucumber once or twice a week to supplement his diet. I've had him since August 2008. The only problem I've had with him was when he climbed up into the filter one night. Luckily his flipping woke me up so I could save him and he hasn't tried it since.

Pictures

5 Gallon Minibow Dimitri the Betta Donovan the Betta Emerson the Betta Floyd the Betta Rodya the Betta Winter Betta Brackish Tank corydoras Divided Tank Pleco Green Spotted Puffer Green Spotted Puffer 2 Green Spotted Puffer 3

Future Plans
Short-term plans:
  • 5+ gallon freshwater dwarf puffer tank. (Tetraodon travancoricus) Might also see if they are compatible with cories.
  • 20-30 gallon light brackish Figure 8 puffer tank. (Tetraodon biocellatus)
  • 55+ gallon highend brackish to saltwater Green spotted puffer tank. (Tetraodon nigroviridis)
  • 100+ gallon saltwater tank for a porcupine puffer, plus refugium/sump. (Diodon holacanthus)
Long-term plans: I doubt these will all happen, but I'll keep hoping.
  • 20 gallon freshwater Amazon puffer tank. (Colomesus asellus)
  • 50 gallon saltwater Blue Dot Toby tank. (Canthigaster epilamprus)
  • 30 gallon brackish Ceylon puffer tank. (Tetraodon fluviatilis)
  • 30 gallon brackish Target puffer tank. (Tetraodon leiurus)
  • 30 gallon saltwater Saddle Valentini Puffer tank.(Canthigaster valentine)
  • 30 gallon brackish Topaz puffer tank. (Chelonodon sp.)
  • 70 gallon saltwater Spiny Box Puffer tank. (Chilomycterus schoepfi)
  • 100+ gallon freshwater Fahaka puffer tank. (Tetraodon lineatus)
  • Non-puffers: Moray eels, freshwater eels, and ropefish.

Acknowledgements

First I'd like to thank my family. They let me get my puffer tank, and they've tolerated my obsession with fish while keeping my tanks to a reasonable number (although soon it won't be so reasonable, if I have anything to say about it). A big thank you to my friends also for listening to me and pretending to care as deeply about my fish as I do. Thanks to Bird World and Pet Village, the best local fish store I've ever been to, with the most diverse, well-taken-care-of selection of fish, corals, and invertebrates, where I have bought many great fish. They also have the most kinds of puffers than any LFS I've been to. And thanks to all of the people on FishLore who have helped me along the way. Special mention goes to Lucy, Tom, and COBettaCouple. And finally, thanks to my fish for letting me take care of them, and giving me much joy, entertainment, and love.


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