Bored pea puffer?

fieldsofhayley

How do you keep pea puffers from getting bored?

I have had one female (I think) pea puffer for 9 months. She is healthy, always ready to eat, very attentive to movement in the room around her. however, whenever she does see us moving around the room, she flies to the front of her tank and surfs the glass.

Every water change, I move everything in her tank around, swap out hardscape, etc. To give her new visuals. She likes this for maybe one day and then is back to normal. I then thought she was just very hungry and I was under feeding her. She has a full belly when done eating, though. I have increased her food slightly over the last month to see if it made a difference. It doesn’t seem to.

Every other month she gets live black worms. She likes those, and enjoys grabbing at them, but it doesn’t help her from being bored. She eats them then is done. I’m afraid to leave any in the tank because I don’t want an infestation, and I don’t want my puffer to gorge herself and die.

I don’t want to get another puffer; she is in a 10 gallon alone. It is heavily planted with fake and real, but I’d rather not risk any fighting. I am considering getting another female if I’m able to, though. I’d be able to separate them if need be.

Would getting another puffer help keep her from being bored? I was also considering putting some baby cherry shrimp in there. She gets a snail once in a while. She used to love them but is now not as obsessed. I added 4 baby shrimp and they have all disappeared, so I assume she hunted them down - which is good.

Nothing seems to be keeping her attention in her tank. I see videos of pea puffers online, and I see some in my LFS, and they are always looking around the tank, being curious, even when a person is right up to the glass.

Any ideas? - also lol is she a female?

photo with anubias is from yesterday, other two are from December 2020
 

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Turnips

Hello! I have been having the same thing happen with my pea puffer! I switch up the decorations as well and he enjoys it for a while but then is very much interested in what goes on outside rather than inside his space. I am interested to see what other people say has worked for them. I can say that yours looks like a female or a young male, males have a black stripe along their bellies from head to tail :)
 
Upvote 0

jmaldo

Puffer in your title caught my eye.
Nice "Puffer", what type is it?
About 7 weeks into my Planted 20 Long Puffer build. No "Puffer" yet, still researching. This is the first I am reading about them being bored. So not much help.
Let's see if Zach72202 or aquachris has some info or advice?

Oh, by the way, "Welcome to the Forum"

Will be "Watching" - Good Luck.
 
Upvote 0

Blacksheep1

What about an otocinclus as a tank mate?
 
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fieldsofhayley

What about an otocinclus as a tank mate?
I’ve had otos in my 29 with my chili rasboras. Honestly, I can never seem to keep them alive. They’re always stressed out for some reason. I do love them though! If you have any advise I’d take it


Puffer in your title caught my eye.
Nice "Puffer", what type is it?
About 7 weeks into my Planted 20 Long Puffer build. No "Puffer" yet, still researching. This is the first I am reading about them being bored. So not much help.
Let's see if Zach72202 or aquachris has some info or advice?

Oh, by the way, "Welcome to the Forum"

Will be "Watching" - Good Luck.
She is a pea puffer! They’re also called Indian Pygmy puffers, I believe. Very lovely fish. Aside from being cute and small, they remind me of betas, which remind me of dogs. They interact with you :) definitely recommend!


Hello! I have been having the same thing happen with my pea puffer! I switch up the decorations as well and he enjoys it for a while but then is very much interested in what goes on outside rather than inside his space. I am interested to see what other people say has worked for them. I can say that yours looks like a female or a young male, males have a black stripe along their bellies from head to tail :)
Let’s hope for some good ideas! Yes, it seems like they just want to be in the room with us :D I’m not sure what age the males develop the stripe - that’s why I’m really not sure. She doesn’t have any eye wrinkles, so probably not male. But she’s not as vibrant as other females, so probably male. I’m just not sure! Either way, she will be continued to be called by “why hello there pretty girl” when I go to her tank haha
 
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Mandarabe

Have you tried feeding live daphnia or fairy shrimp? By feeding small live foods that can get away, they spend a good amount of the day “hunting” instead of looking for something to do.
I’ve managed to get a hold of eggs for both, so once a week I sprinkle a tiny amount into the tank, and for the next week or more there are baby daphnia/fairy shrimp hatching for them to hunt!

If you can only get a hold of live ones instead of eggs, you can set up a simple small tank/plastic box with water in a warm area and try breeding your own! This gives you a selection of sizes instead of just easy to spot large ones, so the little ones take more effort to spot and catch.

My 2 spend so much time hunting amongst the plants and decorations that it takes me a good 10 minutes to spot both of them - I consider this “checking for signs of life!”
 
Upvote 0

fieldsofhayley

Have you tried feeding live daphnia or fairy shrimp? By feeding small live foods that can get away, they spend a good amount of the day “hunting” instead of looking for something to do.
I’ve managed to get a hold of eggs for both, so once a week I sprinkle a tiny amount into the tank, and for the next week or more there are baby daphnia/fairy shrimp hatching for them to hunt!

If you can only get a hold of live ones instead of eggs, you can set up a simple small tank/plastic box with water in a warm area and try breeding your own! This gives you a selection of sizes instead of just easy to spot large ones, so the little ones take more effort to spot and catch.

My 2 spend so much time hunting amongst the plants and decorations that it takes me a good 10 minutes to spot both of them - I consider this “checking for signs of life!”
No, I’ll get some live daphnia next time I’m at my LFS. And I can do the same with cherry shrimp babies I assume? I have so many, and my puffer either ate the ones in her tank or they died.

what I’m hearing is to basically teach her that food has to be hunted for, it doesn’t always come as worms on a tweezer?
 
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Ouse

I’ve had otos in my 29 with my chili rasboras. Honestly, I can never seem to keep them alive. They’re always stressed out for some reason. I do love them though! If you have any advise I’d take it
How long has that tank been set up for?

Only conspecifics would relieve boredom and loneliness in fish. Other species are mostly left ignored or aren’t seen as company to fish. Of course, adding more puffers to this tank is not the best idea and isn’t mandatory...

Overfeeding blackworms sounds like a bad idea too. If I’m correct, blackworms are rich in fat and protein and are a bad choice for a dietary staple.

I’m liking the idea of rather using live daphnia.

Puffers sometimes lounge about on the floor, it’s normal. Is glass surfing the only boredom-signalling behaviour you’re seeing?
 
Upvote 0

fieldsofhayley

How long has that tank been set up for?

Only conspecifics would relieve boredom and loneliness in fish. Other species are mostly left ignored or aren’t seen as company to fish. Of course, adding more puffers to this tank is not the best idea and isn’t mandatory...

Overfeeding blackworms sounds like a bad idea too. If I’m correct, blackworms are rich in fat and protein and are a bad choice for a dietary staple.

I’m liking the idea of rather using live daphnia.

Puffers sometimes lounge about on the floor, it’s normal. Is glass surfing the only boredom-signalling behaviour you’re seeing?
The tank with the otos and chilis - 5 months when I put the otos in. Pea puffer tank is 8 months or 9. I don’t want to put otos in with my pea puffer. I feel like that’s asking for them to be stressed. I don’t trust my puffer!

Yes, she only gets blackworms once in a while as a treat and to mix it up a little bit. She enjoys them fighting back!

I will try the live daphnia and hope she sees them and eats them. She seems to be a worm girl. Will be trying the baby cherry shrimp today

Glass surfing is the only thing I’m seeing.
 
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Ouse

After five months, there might not have been enough aufwuchs, or you just bought a bad batch of otos.

I want to rule everything out. Is the substrate in the puffer tank a bright colour?
 
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The2dCour

Just for reference I keep ottos with my puffers just fine but its 5 puffers in a 40.
 
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fieldsofhayley

After five months, there might not have been enough aufwuchs, or you just bought a bad batch of otos.

I want to rule everything out. Is the substrate in the puffer tank a bright colour?
Perhaps it was a bad batch. Not sure.

Puffer tank has black substrate. An HOB filter on low output with an intake sponge, small bubbler in other corner. 78.3 degrees (usually between 78.1 and 78.8 as the day gets warmer). I know my tank is cycled, nitrates always less than 20ppm, full spectrum led light, add some almond leaves each water change as well as about a half recommended dose of API stress zyme+. She does get indirect medium light throughout the day, but that doesn’t seem to do any harm other than algae growth

ALSO! I just gave her a baby cherry shrimp and she destroyed it. I was able to watch her catch it this time. I will try to put one in the tank everyday and see if she’s eating it regularly
 
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