Blue Spotted Puffer- Info Help???

KaitKat
Member
HI guys,
I went to my LFS and got a Blue Spotted Puffer for my 20 gallon (it's a baby, only about 2 inches long right now and the plan is to already have a bigger tank by the time it outgrows the 20g). The problem is, after roughly 5 straight hours of googling about them, the only thing I've worked on pretty much all day, I still can find only the bare minimum of information. My LFS has a great reputation and the guys were so awesome about helping me decide which fish to set up my tank for and research based on what I can provide and my near future plans *on my previous trip* (trying to emphasize yes I researched for HOURS before it was brought home and still nothing), so I'm going 100% off what they said. It also happened to line up with what little information I found online (they gave more info than the internet but when they said something about a topic I found info on it was the same).
What they told me was -
  • LRS Fish Frenzy is what its been on, when it gets bigger switch to LRS Chunky.
  • Feed it live snails. The shells help keep its beak short.
  • You can actually see when it's being overfed because they get "fat" bellies after feeding. Skinny is bad, a little chubby is perfect, and bloated is too much. This will help me guage and get used to feeding the right amount.
  • Consider adding live rock for it to rub its beak on to keep it short. (I had asked about the beak situation and they gave options to reduce/eliminate how often I'd need to trI'm it but didn't try to sell me on something I didn't need, which is also part of why I trust their info so much)
  • Sand substrate. Puffers generally like to dig/play with the sand.
  • Have hiding spots but also an open area for digging/playing.
  • They like attention. A lot. This is basically a water puppy.
  • Not super fast growers (internet said puffers, in general, grow about 3/4-1 inch a year) so the 20 gallon will be perfect for possibly up to 4 years, but always judge based on growth. When it's getting close to 4.5-5 inches it'll start to get bored aka get a bigger tank.
  • It will get up to 6 inches
  • They're messy and I'll have to clean up after it eats like it's my baby. (Let's be real here though, it IS my baby)
  • They're pretty much impossible to tell the difference between the sexes. "Just pick one and go with it. The fish won't care, it won't even know." lol.. Since I can "pick" I'll find a name I like and go from there... unless someone here knows the difference
That's all I can think of right now. If I happen to remember something else I left out I'll edit it in

So in a nutshell my questions are
(1) Is this info right/what else do I need to know?
(2) Based on how big it is can anyone tell how old it is?
(3) Are these fish new/rare to the aquarium world or am I completely missing something?

IMG_6788.JPG

Sorry for the long post. Enjoy this terrible quality picture of me trying not to disturb it with my flashlight while it's sleeping on its hut. This is the first time I've seen a fish use something as a "bed" to sleep and I'm in love with it already.
 
Lorekeeper
Member
Puffers are awesome! I can't wait to have space for one. I'm no expert on them, but I can answer a few of your questions, since puffer information is pretty standard across most species.

Live snails will help keep it's beak short, but be careful where you get those snails from. They could be diseased. I'd recommend getting a bunch of freshwater ramshorns and malaysian trumpets and setting up a breeding tank (the tank can be anything from a full blown aquarium to a bucket with an airstone), and that'll allow you a steady supply of snails.

Good info on the stomach. There should be a slight bulge right after feeding, but your fish should never look swollen or "fat". Slightly rounded is perfect.

Since this is a saltwater puffer, I'd recommend setting the tank up like a FOWLR tank. It's going to be a natural environment for the puffer, and allows a lot of live rock for filtration. You may even be able to keep certain macroalgaes with him, if you're interested with that.

Most puffers will sort through the sand to look for food. Even if there really isn't anything in the sand, I think it's good to let them "hunt". Sand is a good idea here. Aragonite is what I'd go with.

If it were me, I'd do 10-15 lbs of live rock, and make some natural-looking formations with it, but leave the front area of the tank pretty open for swimming. Leave as much room as possible.

Puffers are some of the messiest fish you can get in the hobby. I would honestly say that you're going to run into water quality issues way before you run into size issues in a 20 gallon. Preferably, you're going to want nitrate below 20 PPM, so I'd set my Water change schedule around that. 5-8 gallons weekly is a good place to start.

These puffers aren't new, or even exactly rare, they just aren't quite as popular as other puffers for some reason. I personally really enjoy them, and have ogled a few at my LFS before.

Your tank is cycled, correct? I think we need some more info on the tank itself. Is this your first saltwater tank? What are your water parameters? Your Specific Gravity? Equipment? Etc...
 
puffer boi
Member
looks like they will need a 50 gallon in the futrure...
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
Puffers are awesome! I can't wait to have space for one. I'm no expert on them, but I can answer a few of your questions, since puffer information is pretty standard across most species.

Live snails will help keep it's beak short, but be careful where you get those snails from. They could be diseased. I'd recommend getting a bunch of freshwater ramshorns and malaysian trumpets and setting up a breeding tank (the tank can be anything from a full blown aquarium to a bucket with an airstone), and that'll allow you a steady supply of snails.

Good info on the stomach. There should be a slight bulge right after feeding, but your fish should never look swollen or "fat". Slightly rounded is perfect.

Since this is a saltwater puffer, I'd recommend setting the tank up like a FOWLR tank. It's going to be a natural environment for the puffer, and allows a lot of live rock for filtration. You may even be able to keep certain macroalgaes with him, if you're interested with that.

Most puffers will sort through the sand to look for food. Even if there really isn't anything in the sand, I think it's good to let them "hunt". Sand is a good idea here. Aragonite is what I'd go with.

If it were me, I'd do 10-15 lbs of live rock, and make some natural-looking formations with it, but leave the front area of the tank pretty open for swimming. Leave as much room as possible.

Puffers are some of the messiest fish you can get in the hobby. I would honestly say that you're going to run into water quality issues way before you run into size issues in a 20 gallon. Preferably, you're going to want nitrate below 20 PPM, so I'd set my Water change schedule around that. 5-8 gallons weekly is a good place to start.

These puffers aren't new, or even exactly rare, they just aren't quite as popular as other puffers for some reason. I personally really enjoy them, and have ogled a few at my LFS before.

Your tank is cycled, correct? I think we need some more info on the tank itself. Is this your first saltwater tank? What are your water parameters? Your Specific Gravity? Equipment? Etc...
I'm used to Mollies and ended up with a mom and 30 babies in the 20 gallon with nowhere else to put them, so 5-8 gallon weekly water changes are nbd compared to what I had to do for them lol! Live rock can definitely be in the works.. but would it be okay to just add a chunk to the current setup and set the bigger tank up as FOWLR? I really like the HawaiI decor but I also want what's best for the fish which is the more important part.
The tank is cycled - Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite are all at 0 and specific gravity is 1.022. As far as equipment I have a TopFin Silentstream 20 gallon filter (came with tank), a heater, the API Saltwater Master Kit (not sure if that's important to list or not) and a hydrometer. And yes, this is my first saltwater tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
puffer boi said:
looks like they will need a 50 gallon in the futrure...
The plan is to already have that by the time it needs it
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
This is the current tank. Please excuse my dog's nose print smudges on the glass.. The volcano and wheel thing make a decent bit of a current/water movement type thing (they can also be turned up but I personally thought it was good how I have it)
IMG_6154.JPG

I'm considering getting either a plant with bigger leaves or a betta leaf so it can lay on that instead of the roof if it wants.. let me know if that's a good or bad idea
 
puffer boi
Member
KaitKat said:
This is the current tank. Please excuse my dog's nose print smudges on the glass.. The volcano and wheel thing make a decent bit of a current/water movement type thing (they can also be turned up but I personally thought it was good how I have it)
IMG_6154.JPG

I'm considering getting either a plant with bigger leaves or a betta leaf so it can lay on that instead of the roof if it wants.. let me know if that's a good or bad idea
I would get more fake plants. btw he looks super cute!!
what are you feeding him?
 
Lorekeeper
Member
Okay, so honestly I do think that live rock will be very important to this tank. Saltwater cycles are a bit different than freshwater cycles, and bacteria in live rock tend to be a bit more stable than bacteria living in filter media. If you'd like to keep your decor, you definitely can. I'd build up some rock around the volcano and the hut in a shape that you're happy with, and that'll help keep your tank happy and healthy. I'd ditch the fake plants, personally, especially if they're plastic or sharp. Puffers have pretty sensitive skin, and could get scratched on those plants pretty easily.

I'd buy base rock (dead live rock), and give it the vinegar treatment in a bucket. Take some white vinegar, and soak the rock in a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. That'll get rid of any dead material in the rock, and you can safely add the rock to your tank without risking any sort of mini-cycle.

Since this is your first saltwater tank, I'd do some reading about FOWLR setups in general. This is a great opportunity to learn about the difference between salt and fresh tanks, and would be a great start to eventually getting into more saltwater fish. FOWLR isn't necessarily difficult, but there's some info you'll want to know and can find pretty easily online.

This is sorta a rushed response, so sorry if I'm a bit confusing right now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
 
Lorekeeper
Member
Any updates on the little guy?
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
Any updates on the little guy?
I've been super busy the past couple days and just got home from work- will update in the next couple hours!
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
puffer boi said:
I would get more fake plants. btw he looks super cute!!
what are you feeding him?
I'm feeding him LRS Fish Frenzy. In my research (attempt) I found LRS Chunks but the guy at the LFS said he's too small for that right now and has been eating Fish Frenzy. If you could take a look at my latest question I'd really appreciate it!
How To Feed A Puffer?
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
Okay, so honestly I do think that live rock will be very important to this tank. Saltwater cycles are a bit different than freshwater cycles, and bacteria in live rock tend to be a bit more stable than bacteria living in filter media. If you'd like to keep your decor, you definitely can. I'd build up some rock around the volcano and the hut in a shape that you're happy with, and that'll help keep your tank happy and healthy. I'd ditch the fake plants, personally, especially if they're plastic or sharp. Puffers have pretty sensitive skin, and could get scratched on those plants pretty easily.

I'd buy base rock (dead live rock), and give it the vinegar treatment in a bucket. Take some white vinegar, and soak the rock in a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. That'll get rid of any dead material in the rock, and you can safely add the rock to your tank without risking any sort of mini-cycle.

Since this is your first saltwater tank, I'd do some reading about FOWLR setups in general. This is a great opportunity to learn about the difference between salt and fresh tanks, and would be a great start to eventually getting into more saltwater fish. FOWLR isn't necessarily difficult, but there's some info you'll want to know and can find pretty easily online.

This is sorta a rushed response, so sorry if I'm a bit confusing right now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Thank you for your advice! I never thought of the rock around the volcano idea but I honestly love it! I'll definitely work on making that happen. As for the plants, are there any easy, no to low maintenance plants you can suggest? I only have the lights that came with the tank (TopFin 20 gallon Starter Kit) so I think they'd need to be low light too. I don't know much about plants in general so I might be wrong about the low light thing. I usually stick to Bamboo, Cacti, and a window lol. I've skimmed some stuff about FOWLR when I was researching the Puffer but I'll definitely go back and actually read it through. Just making sure- I'd need to know that stuff no matter how much live rock is in the tank, right?
 
Lorekeeper
Member
Well there are no saltwater plants that we can keep in our aquariums. There are, however, things called macroalgae that resemble plants and are beneficial to your tank. They definitely aren't low-light, though.

And yeah, I'd definitely say to learn as much as you can about FOWLR tanks.
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
Well there are no saltwater plants that we can keep in our aquariums. There are, however, things called macroalgae that resemble plants and are beneficial to your tank. They definitely aren't low-light, though.

And yeah, I'd definitely say to learn as much as you can about FOWLR tanks.
Okay, I can look into some silk/not plastic fake plants then. I don't think that grass has sharp edges so I don't think it'd hurt him, but it is plastic so if that's enough to be a risk I'd rather not have it in there if I have another option.
Would you be able to tell what kind of light it is (low, medium, etc.) by the picture above? Or is that something I'd have to look for something on the label to be able to tell?
 
Lorekeeper
Member
Is it a fluorescent fixture or LEDs?
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
LEDs
 
Lorekeeper
Member
If they're the LED's that came in the kit with the tank, they likely can't support any sort of saltwater macroalgae.

If you want to get into macros, I'd be more than happy to provide you with some starter fixtures and such.
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
If they're the LED's that came in the kit with the tank, they likely can't support any sort of saltwater macroalgae.

If you want to get into macros, I'd be more than happy to provide you with some starter fixtures and such.
I'd appreciate that! At the very least it'll be a helpful starting point in the future
 
Lorekeeper
Member
For the 20 gallon, I think a good place to start would be with a standard fluorescent fixture. You wouldn't be able to keep many more light-intensive macros, but you'd be fine with a few of the easier ones.

This fixture on Amazon has pretty good reviews, and would grow some good starter macros and give you flexibility in bulb color in the future:

It comes with two daylight bulbs, that would be fine with growing macros. If you wanted a bit more blue, you can exchange one/both of the bulbs for a 10000K.
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
For the 20 gallon, I think a good place to start would be with a standard fluorescent fixture. You wouldn't be able to keep many more light-intensive macros, but you'd be fine with a few of the easier ones.

This fixture on Amazon has pretty good reviews, and would grow some good starter macros and give you flexibility in bulb color in the future:

It comes with two daylight bulbs, that would be fine with growing macros. If you wanted a bit more blue, you can exchange one/both of the bulbs for a 10000K.
Oh wow that's really not as expensive as I thought it'd be
You've been so helpful today (and Friday). I really appreciate being taught a different/better way and having it explained as opposed to just having someone act like I should know better and not having any productive conversation. Thank you so so much for all your help!
 
Lorekeeper
Member
No problem! I think most of us here mean the best when we respond to threads, we just don't always communicate in the best ways
 
  • Thread Starter
KaitKat
Member
Lorekeeper said:
No problem! I think most of us here mean the best when we respond to threads, we just don't always communicate in the best ways
Oh I definitely agree, it's just a matter of learning how to educate someone else online, which isn't necessarily the easiest.
 

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