Puffer fish food and problems with filter changes

smokeypea

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Hi, could anyone tel me what sort of snails a freshwater green black spotted puffer fish can eat? i feed him on frozen blood worms which he loves, and also occasionaly a cooked scrimp. Petsmart say they cant get any snails for a while, dont know why. Also, i have Penguin power filter with bio wheel, i know you dont do anything to the bio wheel as regards cleaning, but what about the filter? it gets really gunky and i have , at water changes, swished it around the old tank water in a bucket, but its still gross, so is it ok to change it? after i rinse the new cartidge in old tank water? will this mess uop the good bacteria? or wont it matter cos of the good bacteria on the bio wheel i am a little confused about that, thats so much for any advice.
 

Butterfly

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If you can't swish the gunk out of your filter pad anymore you can slip the new one in behind the old one for a couple of days if there is room. If no room, put the new pad in and put a piece of the old one behind it for a couple of days to seed it.
carol
 
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smokeypea

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Thanks for quick reply, i am not sure if another filter will fit, but will try it. Does the good bacteria stay on the filter as well as the Bio wheel? If so and i change the filter at least there will be some of the good stuff still in the tank.
 

Butterfly

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yep and if you can slide a new one in behind or put a piece of the old filter in, bacteria will grow fairly fast.
Carol
 

Boxermom

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Does your fish look like this? If so, its not a freshwater puffer, its requires high-end brackish to full marine conditions as it grows up. Keeping it in fresh water will cause health problems and lead to premature death.

As far as the food goes, you shouldn't feed it cooked shrimp. Puffers should only eat raw foods and with shrimp, it should be shrimp with the shell on. Any snails are good except MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) as their shells are too hard and will break their teeth.
 
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smokeypea

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oh no, i was told that my puffer would be ok in the tank and to put in aquarium salt, i read up things about puffers but didnt know that they needed raw food as you said, now i am worried, he is such a cute little guy and very healthy, will get some raw scrimp and also crab, do u get the crab from the lfs? the small little ones that live in a tank? Also i am worried cos i cant get any snails, they have stopped selling them at the moment, thanks for the help.
 

Boxermom

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If its a GSP like the one in the link I posted, it needs to be brought through brackish into full marine by the time it gets full size. They start off in freshwater but as they grow, they move through the estuaries into the ocean. Most LFSes don't have a clue about puffers. And you MUST use marine salt, not aquarium salt, as they require the trace elements in marine salt.

If you can't get any snails locally, you can try to buy some online and breed them yourself, although shipping can be a little pricey. As long as you can give it other things with hard shells, it should be okay. Here's a great article on stuff you can feed them, most of which can be purchased at the regular grocery store in the seafood or frozen food section (just make sure you check the ingredients that there's no preservatives or other stuff in it):

And here's an excellent article on keeping GSPs, with lots of great information, including at what size to move them into brackish and then into full saltwater.
 
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smokeypea

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Thanks for advice, the petstore gave me all wrong advice, cos they never told me puffer had to be in marine salt, i dont want to lose the little guy cos he is just so cute . Will check up on those web sites, thanks again.
 

Boxermom

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No problem. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to PM me. Puffers are a passion of mine. Picking up two more tomorrow, a couple of Auriglobus modestus, aka golden puffers. I also have a GSP and a couple of dwarf puffers (not in the same tanks, of course).
 

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You could check out your local pet stores that sell live plants and look for the pond snails that usually piggy back on live plants. They will probably give you all you want.
 

Boxermom

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Unfortunately, none of the stores around us will do that anymore, and fewer stores in general will give them away. Seems they are all starting to carry puffers so they just put them in the tanks with their snails. Good for the puffers, bad for us.

Of course, being braindead when I posted that last reply, I had forgotten about Wilma. She's highly recommended. I'm currently awaiting delivery of my first shipment from her. Her prices are very reasonable and her shipping is dirt cheap compared to other places on line. And she has a wide variety of snails, as well as other items like fish and plants.
 
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