Puffer Toys

Sheldon13
Member
Any good ideas? My little guy is doing some glass surfing. I rearranged the tank and that helped, but I was hoping to get a few good ideas for toys or activities for him.
 
Fisker
Member
What kind of puffer is he? Tank size? Any tank mates? If you can give us a good idea of the set-up, we can give you better ideas on how to make your puffer happier.

In general, I don't think puffers will play with toys a ton - there are some that will chase around ping pong balls, or spit water at targets (mine does this at food). But I think an interesting scape is what will keep a fish entertained. Puffers have amazing vision, and they love to basically swim around and look for stuff - little crustaceans on the live rock, bits of edible algae, and basically anything of interest. They'll check out EVERY square inch of the tank. Mine loves to swim around macroalgae that are blowing in the flow, both because there are quite a few pods in the tank, and also because the movement attracts them. He also closely watches his tank mates, not because he's particularly aggressive, but I think they end up gravitating towards food - food that he might be interested in.

It's also worth noting that some fish will just glass-surf on occasion. If my puffer sees me around the tank and is hungry, he'll swim back and forth against the glass until I walk away or feed him.
 
Minxxy
Member
Put like 2 dozen shrimp in...he can hunt when he likes and it will catch his attention
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Specs:
20gallon
1.06 SG currently
Lava rock
Clay pots
Blue micro gravel
Floating lotus (fake)
A bit of floating hornwort
7 bumblebee gobies that he likes to bully
He’s a figure 8 about 1.5 in right now

After I move to the house I’m buying I will have a fish room. At that point they will all be going into a 60 gallon that I already have.
 
Fisker
Member
Here's what I'd do:

1) Up your SG to 1.008. The 0.002 difference isn't super important or anything, but I personally found that my F8 was always a bit more active and had better coloration at 1.008-1.010, although some will say that's a bit high for them. That wasn't my experience at all, but that's your decision. BBG's won't like anything much over 1.008, I think, so I wouldn't push it farther than that.

2) Add some Java Moss to your tank, and let it start to grow over your Lava Rock. Assuming you have decent flow in the tank, it'll sway in the current, and will catch your puffer's attention and keep him occupied on occasion. I found that mine grew pretty well at 1.008, but died back pretty quickly at 1.010, so YMMV.

3) Be careful with smaller pieces of gravel as your puffer gets older. If you're feeding snails/sinking foods, and your puffer gets some gravel in a bite, it can break his beak. I experienced this once with Top Fin white gravel - the puffer survived, but it definitely wasn't good.

4) As mentioned above, add a bunch of shrimp for him to hunt. Feeder ghost shrimp are pretty cheap, and provided you acclimate them over a few days to brackish, the absolute majority of them will survive in brackish indefinitely. Try and pick out smaller specimens, and your puffer will have a FIELD DAY. Or a field week.

5) Rescape on occasion. Puffers like to explore, and a new scape is kind of like a new tank to them.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I am actually working on increasing the salinity gradually as we speak. I wanted some Java moss, so I’ll get on top of that. The small gravel is sand sized, but it’s not technically sand but fine gravel. When I move them to the 60 I’m going to switch to Aragonite.

The shrimps I can do ASAP.
 
Fisker
Member
Make sure to acclimate the Java moss just like a fish - you can either drip it, or just increase salinity by 0.002-0.004 a day. I had a massive amount of die-off before it eventually came back when I first added mine - some people have had it never survive much above 1.004.

Gotcha on the substrate. That should be fine, then.
 
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Sheldon13
Member
So I acclimated them and I put them in last night, maybe 12-15. Didn’t count. I’ve been sick for a few days so I just got out of bed to go check on everyone. This is what I see:

7988e1fa995530e878a8dec97c000c98.jpg

He looks even fatter in person. I only found one shrimp hiding in the lava rock. Clearly I can only put in one at a time. Here I thought they would last a while. My Ocho has gorged himself. I feel like a terrible puffer mom. I don’t even know where he put all those shrimp. Did I do this wrong? Was it supposed to be one at a time?
 
Thedudeiam94
Member
Sheldon13 said:
Specs:
20gallon
1.06 SG currently
Lava rock
Clay pots
Blue micro gravel
Floating lotus (fake)
A bit of floating hornwort
7 bumblebee gobies that he likes to bully
He’s a figure 8 about 1.5 in right now

After I move to the house I’m buying I will have a fish room. At that point they will all be going into a 60 gallon that I already have.
What is the filtration you are using on you 20 gallon puffer tank? Also is it a 20 long?
 
Minxxy
Member

I still have shrimp I put 3 dozen in, do you have places for the shrimp to hide?

He also doesn't look that bad, just like he just ate
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Minxxy said:
He also doesn't look that bad, just like he just ate
That’s good. There are a lot of holes in the lava rock for them to hide, as well as some hornwort.

Thedudeiam94 said:
What is the filtration you are using on you 20 gallon puffer tank? Also is it a 20 long?
It’s a 20 tall. I think I mentioned above somewhere that they will be moving to a 60 gal corner tank as soon as I move into the house I’m buying.

The filtration is a penguin 100 on one end and a penn plax 300 on the other end.
 
ystrout
Member
I've noticed my pea puffers prefer human interaction over any other 'stimulation'. My spotted congo puffer enjoys looking at me, but she's content entertaining herself by exploring the tank (heavily planted and decorated) and hunting shrimp/snails.

My pea puffers love when I sit at the glass and we watch each other. They could do this for hours. They also enjoy chasing and following my finger around the tank. The spotted congo puffer LOVES hunting. She spends hours every day doing it. So like everyone else said, putting some shrimp in there is a good idea.

Another thing I'm trying to figure out whether these water puppies watch TV. The pea puffers sit at the glass facing the TV whenever it's on. I know they don't do this when the TV isn't on. So I'm wondering if they can feel the noise vibrations? Or if they just see us sitting on the couch and am waiting for me to come over? I don't know, it's pretty funny though.
 
Minxxy
Member
Some puffers can see up to 30 feet outside the glass so its possible
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Well, I disturbed the lava rocks and turns out they were all hiding. So I guess he just ate one or two. I still took all but a couple of them out. I don’t trust him lol

I mean, would you trust this face?

7e5fd1de711f83ecc507c544c9ba3b8b.jpg
 
Minxxy
Member
I upgraded the boys today and found 19 that I counted shrimp in the tank lol
 

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