Captive vs Wild Caught Puffers

PseudotropheusKenobi

Which one and why? I’m thinking wild as there’s a greater chance for the puffer to hit its max size, plus the allure of a wild-caught fish has always intrigued me.

For my situation specifically, I’m asking for Fahaka’s, Mbu’s are only available as wild caught fish.
 

PeterFishKeepin

i have no experience with purchasing wild caught fish but i have been out and caught my own plants, shrimp, mono angels (brackish water species, looks very similar to FW angelfish), and crawfish, loaches, snails and a bit more, you should qt them for atleast 1-2months as they can often have parsites and other nastys you wanna look out for, just also note temps, in wild its often much more cold then your tanks so take a good 1-2hrs to aclimate if their water is cold, also they may take a while to willing take store bought food, it might be best to use smaller live food/culture and smallish foods at the beginning till the puffer start taking your foods.
 

ChrissFishes01

Well, as I understand it, a fish's max size is more to do with the quality of the water and the amount of food the fish has during periods of quick growth than the fish being wild caught or not. It is true that wild fish tend to reach larger sizes, but to my knowledge, that's only true when they're kept in nature until they're mainly done growing. The vast majority of wild caught fish are caught and sold at a small size anyway.

As for Fahakas specifically, I'd go tank-bred. Wild puffers almost always come in with parasites, and most are at least moderately underweight by the time they're purchased at a store. IME, tank-raised fish have a better time adjusting to store life and the foods offered there, and seem to be in better shape most of the time.

The fish should grow the same max size it was always going to as long as adequate care is provided. Keep in mind that the "max size" listed on websites is a best case scenario in care and genetics, and most specimens won't quite max out that range. A lot of websites will say 3-4" is a full grown Figure 8 puffer, but mine usually get about 2 1/2" or so, if I had to guess. Definitely not 4". My green spotted puffers have maxed out between 4 and 5", despite most people saying 6" is the max size for that species. I've never personally seen a 6" GSP, although I'm sure there are a few out there.

Personally, as long as the fish looks healthy, behaves normally, is a good weight and isn't severely out of proportion, I try to ignore size. It's not a great indicator for health all the time, IME.
 

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