Welcome to The Puffer Library - a collection of articles written by our community members and a range of puffer experts.

With information on everything from caring for your new puffer, to understanding the finer points of filtration, the library is designed to be a valuable resource for both beginner and exerienced puffer keepers alike.

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VII. Water Change Math, OTS

Robert T. Ricketts

Water Change Math, OTS

And Other Mismatches Between Tank and Source Water

This note assumes that you have read the note on what OTS is itself as well as the article on general Water Change Math, if you have not yet read those, you may want to scan them for background which may not be reviewed here.

Old Tank Syndrome, OTS {Click}

Water Change Math {Click}

When the water we want and plan to use does not match at all well with the existing tank conditions, if we do substantial changes we will subject the fish to sudden differences in the osmotic pressure of the water around them. This stress may be so severe that the fish suffer shock and may even die. They are adapted, hopefully and usually slowly, to the water that they are living in now. Too much change too fast is a system overload. This situation on the boards is commonly called “pH shock”, but it is not that, even though the pH may well be quite different. It is osmotic shock from the sudden change in TDS (total dissolved solids).  TDS includes GH, KH, nitrate ion (NO3–), sodium chloride (Na+, Cl-), carbonates and bicarbonate, and all the other dissolved materials that we do not measure (potassium, sodium, sulfates, phosphates, organics, etc.).
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VI. Water Change Math

Robert T. Ricketts

Water Change Math - General

In other articles I push using nitrate (NO3) as an indicator of general pollution, and I still do that, but obviously that cannot be used in a planted tank, or even in tanks with functional microporous biomedia – which can denitrify, or in tanks with plenums – which do denitrify, coil denitrators – also for denitrification, or with added chemicals or exchange materials which complex nitrate. So what do we use? We have nothing that we can measure directly by hobby level test kits. Instead we use a hand-held calculator, or the comparable program in our computers, or even by pencil and paper. We calculate what our water changes are doing and what they are leaving behind, and then we decide what sort of schedule we can live with and/or live up to, and then that is what we do.
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VIIII. Annabelle’s Diary: From Tapeworms to Camallanus Worms

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Annabelle’s Diary: From Tapeworms to Camallanus worms
Oct. 29, 2008
My fahaka puffer came in the mail. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to put her in her new tank. This is the puffer I waited so long for. I did all my research, my tank was ready, her food was purchased and I had IP medications on hand. I put her in her new tank. She ate the very first day. She had a great appetite. No problem getting her to eat.
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