Mbu Puffer Journal - Started 12/21/2020

Zach72202

Today marks day three of me owning this Mbu Puffer. (Four days if you want to be technical because its 25 min after midnight)

Here I plan to give updates about how he is doing and what his growth and tank situation is. If anybody owns one of these and has insight for me about advanced care and tips for these guys, all information is appreciated.

I will preface by saying I own several other species of puffers, so I am very well versed in general care of puffer fish. Fun fact: One of my Spotted Congo Puffers bit my finger today! It didn't hurt, but I was more shocked by it and it spooked me! I think I scared him too!

I am aware that these need a large tank and grow very large. I was actually going to get a Mbu several months ago, but decided against due to this reason, but as fate has it, this fellow stub

I have another very detailed post about the day I brought him home, which I will summarize part of it here.

Day 0: The Message
Somebody in the Facebook aquarium page posted a Mbu Puffer and some other fish needed to be rehomed. I saw this about an hour after this post, and said why not, I will message and see what happens. Doesn't hurt to get a feel for the situation. So I talk to this fellow and I decided that yeah I will make this commitment, as I am somebody who will not give up animals and I will always do everything I can for them. Seriously, I feel bad giving guppies back to the Local Fish Store. I am pretty much determined to do everything I can for him.
Fun Fact: I was actually going to get a Mbu several months ago, but decided against due to the long-term cost and space required. Welp. Here we are. This is gonna be fun. Good thing I breed fish for profit!

Day 1: The Pickup
Long story short, I drive 2 hours one way to this guy and check out this fish. The puffer is about 7" total length, kinda skinny, but not deathly, seems like he has a good chance. He is in a 90 gallon (48x18x25) tank with two adult oscars, a 10" Alligator Gar, and a Red-Tailed Catfish. Thats what I saw in there from the short time I was looking at it. Tank was very clean though, which makes me happy. Not exactly the ideal tankmates or tank size, but he's still alive I suppose. We get him into the 5 gallon pale and I make the two hour drive home. Keep in mind, I worked an 8 hour shift that day, and I got home about 11pm, when the previous day I hadn't cleared any tankspace for him yet because I started messaging him about 1 am. Basically I booted a few fish from a 29g tank just to get him into something. Less than ideal, but he can move freely, so it is okay for a bit until I get something better moved around. (At the moment, looks like he is going into a 75g for QT tomorrow) He seems personable and active, but still very stressed.

Day 2: First Feeding!
Business as usual day: Wakeup last minute, get ready in about 5 1/2 minutes, turn on all fish tank lights, drive 90mph to work (not really, but you get the idea). My main plan was to get live nightcrawlers for this guy because I know all he has been fed until now is feeder goldfish- yikes. I know nightcrawlers aren't exactly the best, but at this stage any food is a victory. Got the crawlers home, washed two of them off, and he chows them down. It was such a relief. I even fed him a few snails! He took them right off of the tongs too! I was impressed. Things seem to be looking really good! Only bad thing is that I saw some of his poo and it did show signs of Internal Parasites, so all the more reason to QT with meds.

Day 3: Waterchange and Odd...
Day 3 comes, its time to do some waterchanges, his tank included. About an hour before waterchange I decide to feed him a crawler so when I change water waste will be taken out- wrong. He doesn't take it. Odd... Okay whatever. Do the waterchange as it is needed and throw some small mystery snails and large ramshorn snails in. I check back in later and he still hasn't eaten. He has a stress pattern and is pacing the glass, not touching anything. Very strange. I am simply guessing that in his previous tank he did not eat much, and due to the change in environment and what he is used to he is choosing not to eat? Not sure. Not much I can really do, but there is food in there for him and I turned the lights off. Let him settle in. Other guess is that due to the small tank he is stressed. Also added an air stone to the tank just in case he was not getting enough oxygen. At this point I am a tad worried about him as he isn't showing signs of looking at things or being interactive, just mindlessly panning over the glass panes.

Plans for the following days:
As I have a few days off, I will be doing some 'fish musical chairs', as most of my tanks are full, but I do have some wiggle room. Currently one of my 75g tanks is brackish for F8 puffers, so they will be moving to the 40B temporarily. They need the waterchange and there is snails in there, so they will have a field day. Problem is, I have my Multis in the 40B. Well they can move to the 20H. There is only 4 of them, so I am not worried about population yet. There is fry, but the smaller tank will honestly help with food for them. Problem with the 20H is that the one I want to use is currently a snail breeding-ground, so I have to move those into the other snail tank. Oh brother. Its just a chain of events here and going to take me probably 4-6 hours to do it all properly. Then comes the idea of planting the tank for him....

Thank you for reading! Any questions, thoughts, concerns, just comment!

To be continued. . .
The day I brought him home: His name is Felix

FelixDay1.jpg
 

Fishnpups

That is a lot of dedication. More power to you. Excited to see the outcome of this little dude.
 
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aquachris

Looks like he's still a little dude! Keep us up to date, I am excited to hear how things go. I am a bit jealous of you getting one I love these guys.
 
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Zach72202

Morning of Day 4:
Things don't look exactly great currently. He seems to be breathing very fast and somewhat labored. Last night, I added an air stone, de-wormer, and erythromycin to the tank. I did this because due to stress he could have some parasites or infection internally that flared up. By morning he looks a tad better, like he has calmed down and is now resting, but still stress and disorientation. Getting somewhat concerned at this point, but will update if something changes. Hopefully he will eat something today. I am just trying to find out what has changed since the day he ate and yesterday.
 
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aquachris

Might help reduce since stress by blacking out most of the tank of you aren't now. I like to do this with my qt tanks and send to help with really stressed fish.

Really hoping things turn soon for you.
 
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Zach72202

Might help reduce since stress by blacking out most of the tank of you aren't now. I like to do this with my qt tanks and send to help with really stressed fish.

Really hoping things turn soon for you.
I could black out the tank, but due to puffers' heavy reliance on eyesight and the fact that they are diurnal makes it that if I do that he probably won't eat but just sleep. I took the cardboard sheath that comes with new tanks and I put that around the front and sides so light still gets in, but he has something to back up to and cannot see out, but I can see in.
 
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aquachris

Gotcha, thats probably enough I would imagine.. Well hoping for improvement news! I really am jealous and excited for you HAHA.
 
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Zach72202

Day 5 Update:
So far he is doing better! I had the light off pretty much all day and his breathing calmed down a bit so he looks to be doing better. All the ramshorn snails in the tank are now gone and when I fed him one he ate it! I left the light on for a few hours and when I cam back he ate part of the worm that is in the tank, but his breathing has gone back to heavy, so the light says off. I am hopeful this is a turn for the better!
 
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Zach72202

I am going to go ahead and update this after a bit here.

I have gotten the little guy into a 75 gallon tank. Still small, but its a step in the correct direction. I have made an attempt to plant it up as you can probably see. I am currently saving up some money to get a fluval 3.0 to I can actually do what I would like for him. The current light you see is a junky kit light, but where I placed the plants there is a spotlight that I have used on other tanks I am using to just get some in there going. Right now it is just Salvinia Minima, Jungle Vals, and some Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus. The light is on a timer for 4 hours on, 4 off, 4 on again.

He has been exceptional when it comes to behavior, eating extremely well and always greets us. He has even made friends with the guppy in there! His diet is currently home bred mystery snails and raw shrimp. I want to get some more variety in there, but for now it's better than nothing. He will probably stay in there until he is about a foot, or mid-summertime when I can get his next tank. Hopefully things go as planned and all will be well! At least currently it is!

Hoping to be adding more tankmates to him here soon. I told my girlfriend to pick out some fish to put with him and she picked out Bolivian Rams of all things- Hopefully a pair, I tried my best to select them, but they have to go through QT first. In the meantime, I will probably have guppies, black neons, and cardinal tetras with him. I don't have many, but I will let the ones I have live the rest of their days with him. I will be adding a Bristlenose pleco and some catfish- either aspidoras spilotus or pygmy corys.

In addition to the plants I currently have, I would like to add some crypts, maybe wendtii red, and guppy grass to the tank. I thought all my guppy grass was gone, but I just found a sprig of it in one of my tanks!


Image of the tank in it's current state. You can see Felix in the bottom right.

20210110_000836.jpg
 
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AggressiveAquatics

I am going to go ahead and update this after a bit here.

I have gotten the little guy into a 75 gallon tank. Still small, but its a step in the correct direction. I have made an attempt to plant it up as you can probably see. I am currently saving up some money to get a fluval 3.0 to I can actually do what I would like for him. The current light you see is a junky kit light, but where I placed the plants there is a spotlight that I have used on other tanks I am using to just get some in there going. Right now it is just Salvinia Minima, Jungle Vals, and some Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus. The light is on a timer for 4 hours on, 4 off, 4 on again.

He has been exceptional when it comes to behavior, eating extremely well and always greets us. He has even made friends with the guppy in there! His diet is currently home bred mystery snails and raw shrimp. I want to get some more variety in there, but for now it's better than nothing. He will probably stay in there until he is about a foot, or mid-summertime when I can get his next tank. Hopefully things go as planned and all will be well! At least currently it is!

Hoping to be adding more tankmates to him here soon. I told my girlfriend to pick out some fish to put with him and she picked out Bolivian Rams of all things- Hopefully a pair, I tried my best to select them, but they have to go through QT first. In the meantime, I will probably have guppies, black neons, and cardinal tetras with him. I don't have many, but I will let the ones I have live the rest of their days with him. I will be adding a Bristlenose pleco and some catfish- either aspidoras spilotus or pygmy corys.

In addition to the plants I currently have, I would like to add some crypts, maybe wendtii red, and guppy grass to the tank. I thought all my guppy grass was gone, but I just found a sprig of it in one of my tanks!


Image of the tank in it's current state. You can see Felix in the bottom right.
Looks like he’s throwing a little fit sitting in the corner
 
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Zach72202

Looks like he’s throwing a little fit sitting in the corner
Nah the lights are all off and its currently 12:40 am, so he just ate about an hour ago and is sleeping currently. He is normally either sleeping out front or blowing the sand around looking for snails. Sometimes I put MTS in the tank at night so by day they are all in the soil and he can hunt them.
 
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AggressiveAquatics

Nah the lights are all off and its currently 12:40 am, so he just ate about an hour ago and is sleeping currently. He is normally either sleeping out front or blowing the sand around looking for snails. Sometimes I put MTS in the tank at night so by day they are all in the soil and he can hunt them.
Oh lol. He looks like my flowerhorn when he realizes he’s not getting dessert today
 
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