TPF Author: Amy J, AKA Myaj

About the Author

I first kept goldfish as a child, not many survived, but at least my parents figured out a bowl just wasn't going to cut it and got me a 10 gallon. My goldie "Freddy" grew to a huge size with gorgeous, flowing fins, he was breathtaking. Upon Freddy's untimely death when I was 13, I retired the tank to a corner in the basement.

In high school, my boyfriend talked me into visiting a local fish store and out came that 10 gallon tank. I tried every "typical" first time tank mix, fancy guppies and a betta, bumble bee gobies and green spotted puffers (with a little "aquarium salt" of course, ugh!), mollies and platies and goldfish... nothing ever survived except for three tough-as-nails Black Skirt Tetras.

Over the years I kept just those three tetras, any other fish I put in the tank would die within hours it seemed like. Basically I would feed the fish and that was it. Ocassionally I'd dump out the tank, clean all the gravel and refill it.

I also have horses, and was a member of a horse forum. As time went on, I began to browse some of their sister forums, one of which was a fish site. As I read and learned, I realized why my fish had never survived and how horribly I was treating my three tetras. Begin water changes!

Pretty soon I had picked up a 29 gallon tank on a dual stand, which of course led to a second 29 gallon tank for the bottom of the stand. Then a 33xl, then a 60 cube, then a 75, then a few more 10's, then a 20 long, then a great deal on 2 20 highs, then... well, you get the idea!

From the start I've loved puffers. As the fish forum I visited was completely revamped, many of the good, knowledgeable members moved on and started their own forum, which is where I met Pufferpunk. As the years went on, the draw of puffers was too much to resist. I always found myself back here reading posts, learning about the different species and how to take care of them. When one day I stumbled across South American Puffers at a store, I was thrilled! I immediatly bought the puffers, moved my fish in one of the 29's to the 33xl and came running to The Puffer Forum for support and advice. Its all been uphill from there!

From the start of my "educated" fishkeeping days, my tanks have been strictly planted tanks. Even my one attempt at a reef tank has macro algaes, although its not very pretty at the moment. The fish I keep have mainly been rainbowfish, goldfish and puffers, with some shell dwellers, loaches and assorted catfish thrown in.

In addition to my fish, I have two horses, Buddy and Mahli, and an adopted black lab named Sophie, who is the sweetest dog in the world and I'm very lucky to have her.

I hope to continue to help make The Puffer Forum a great place where everyone, including myself, can learn and share their experiences with these great fish!

II. Moving and Transporting your Livestock and Tanks

So, you’ve found that perfect house or apartment, or are heading back to college or home… but how do you move your fish?

It’s actually not that difficult to move fish and tanks, if you plan ahead. Larger tanks and longer distances are more difficult, but should not be too challenging. There are quite a few options out there, and you can choose the best ones for your situation. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

III. Internal Parasites: Prevention and Treatment

Internal parasites are something we usually don’t think much about, but thinking about them can save your fish, increase their growth rate and improve their overall health.

Generally, most fish carry a small load of parasites. However, when the fish is ill or under stress, the parasites can and will reproduce to levels that actually harm their host, causing the fish to lose weight, become more susceptible to illness and eventually stop eating and die. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

V. Sexing Carinotetraodon travancoricus, the Dwarf Puffer

Pufferfish are one of the most fascinating groups of aquatic creatures out there. Between their puffing abilities, unique swimming methods and intriguing personalities, they have quite a following. As more fish keepers strive to successfully keep and spawn puffers, they discover one of the largest challenges… accurately sexing the fish and convincing a group to live together in harmony (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

VI. Quarantine Tanks

We’ve all heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and there is no statement more true in fish-keeping. A quarantine tank is one of the most important tools any aquarist will use. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

VIII. Euthanasia Options

Euthanasia Options

*Author’s Note*
Some of these choices outlined in this article will contain methods which may offend some readers. They may seem excessively violent or gruesome, something you would never consider using on your fish… but imagine coming home one day and finding one of your beloved pets was sucked into a motor after a guard fell off, or attacked by a tank mate, and left mangled and helpless, with no hope of survival… yet still alive and suffering. In a situation such as this you may not have time to run to the drug store for some clove oil, or mail order some MS-222, and even if you do have the time, your fish will be suffering and probably dying while it waits. For some people, that is enough incentive to utilize one of the more “harsh” methods outlined below, for others, it is not. This decision is one that each fishkeeper will have to make on their own, no one can make it for them or tell them what choice is best. I highly encourage all readers to have some MS-222 or Clove Oil on hand in case such a situation should occur, and thus be able to avoid making that difficult decision. And of course, lets hope none of us has a need to use this article anytime soon. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)