TPF Author: Ian Jefferies, AKA Rocker

About the Author

I started out with my first fish tank quite by accident. I always used to pay interest in my mates tank when I went to his house. Well, one day he called me up saying he was splitting from his wife and the 2 foot tank had to go. That's how I started. Tank was in a mess so I gave it a thorough clean and replaced the fish and before I knew it the fish had died! Not knowing what had gone wrong I decided to try again but got help. Gradually I became hooked both on the aquarium hobby itself and the quest for knowledge surrounding the hobby. With that came an upgrade to a 5 foot tank. I ripped out the fireplace, plastered up the walls and made space for the tank. I learned about cycling and began to set up my community tank. A year or so later after the 5 foot was set up I purchased my first puffers. Two Colomesus asellus. They at the time seemed to do ok but before long they died. Again I needed answers so I started to trawl the Internet. That is when I found The Puffer Forum. I then decided to get some more puffers and make a Colomesus asellus species only tank. They lived well and it was seeing them thrive in their own tank that I was bitten by the puffer bug. I suppose the addiction really started when I saw my first tiny Tetraodon lineatus staring and following me around his tank. He was about an inch and a half long and was soon in his own tank at my home. I had problems for about a week with him not feeding so that's when I decided to actually join and post at The Puffer Forum. I got the help I needed so I decided to repay my gratitude by staying on. I am still here now in Admin status and my T. lineatus is a healthy 14" beast! Since then I have bought and been given many puffers. I have a very good friend in the aquarium trade which is always good to have. His shop has provided a few of my custom made tanks along with some of the equipment and decor. Over the years I have massed a fair collection of fresh water puffers. At the time of writing I have in my collection. Tetraodon lineatus x 1 Tetraodon baileyi x 1 Tetraodon abei x 1 Tetraodon cochinchinensis x 1 Tetraodon suvattii x 2 Tetraodon miurus x 2 Tetraodon palembangensis x 4 Carinotetraodon travancoricus x 14 Carintetraodon irrubesco x 2 Colomesus asellus x 2 I also have my 5 foot community tank and a snail breeding tank. I have 9 puffer display tanks. Over the years I have bred Angel fish for my friends shop and written a few articles for The Puffer Forum. I work full time and when I get the chance I work part time as a Rock Journalist reviewing CDs and gigs and a few interviews along the way. I love Rock music so if you want to chat to me about that then I will always welcome you.

I. Feeding Your Puffers

When it comes to feeding puffers there is no excuse to feed them a poor diet. For many puffers their meal can and does consists primarily of shellfish, crustaceans and hard shelled foods such as snails. This is the basic requirement in feeding puffers as their teeth need to be constantly worn down to prevent overgrowth. If you provide a source of ’shell on food’ then the need to intervene with dentistry is greatly reduced. Some puffers more than others rely more on ‘hard’ foods for teeth wear than others. In my experience it seems to be the ‘hunters’ that benefit from this diet more so than the ‘lurkers’, although with puffers there is always at least one exception. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

II. Problems feeding your puffer?

Not sure how often to feed?

While problems with “picky puffers” often arise from the fish’s reluctance to eat dead foods, a lack of patience on the part of the aquarist may also be at fault.

Most puffers will readily accept live food whether it is bloodworms, an earthworm, snails or shrimp. The movement of the live food is too much of a temptation for the puffer to ignore. This movement is the key to adapting puffers to readily accept dead foods in their diet. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

III. Fishless Cycling

How to prepare a tank for fish without using livestock

Fishless cycling, as the name suggests, is the method of cycling a tank without using fish. Since we are not using fish, it is the most humane way to cycle a tank. Toxic ammonia and nitrite go unmetabolized during the start of any cycle, causing damage to livestock. The ammonia burns the fish’s gills, eyes, fins, skin, etc, while nitrites decrease oxygen levels in the fish’s blood, causing the fish to suffocate. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

IV. Basic Snail Breeding

This is just a short description of what works for me when it comes to breeding snails. At the moment I breed common pond and more so Ramshorn snails. The Ramshorn is on the left.

Two snails

I have two tanks that breed them. One is set up much the same way as RTR describes in his article Snail Breeding, while the other is set up in a very basic way, as described below. I find it’s enough to provide for 28 puffers with plenty to spare! (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

VIIII. Breeding and Raising the Tetraodon suvattii

Tetraodon suvattii, or the arrowhead puffer, is one of those fish you either take an instant like or dislike to. Their fry however are another story. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)

X. Three Suvatti and a Palembang

A Good Relationship?

suvatti01.jpgIt’s been seven months now for my three T. suvattii and one T. palembangensis who share the same tank. They have all attained a similar size of approximately 5″. They are all fed the same diet twice a week, which consists mainly of mussel, cockle, prawns, shell on king prawns, krill and snails. Each one is fed as individually as I can manage to ensure they all get their fair share, which is important as they are only fed twice a week. (» Click here to read the rest of this article…)