Keeping GSP's entertained safely

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Puffer Fry
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:46 pm
Location (country): United Kingdom

Keeping GSP's entertained safely

Post by AZL »

Hi, sorry to keep posting, brand new to keeping puffers and wanting to do the best for them! My little guys seem happy in their environment of live rock and macro algae but I'm seeing just how intelligent and playful they are and want to provide them with more stimulation. I can't find much in the way of 'fish toys' so looking at items for birds, rodents, and kittens. As they are only 1.5" most things are too big for them to engage with but I have a few ideas and when they grow a bit there is a lot of choice. The question I have is what materials are safe to put in a tank without concern for leaching chemicals into the water or the puffers biting off and swallowing bits? I'm looking at those tiny hedgehog balls made from nylon at the moment as well as some of the really small bird toys and replacing metal fixings with plastic ones. To be honest if I can work out which materials are safe I can make them toys, a friend has a 3-D printer so I can design pretty much anything provided I know what materials are safe in saltwater and can't be nibbled to create a choking hazard or blockage.

I'm realising I need to put as much thought into their tank as I do with the cats around the house, the naughtiness is on the same level. I caught one little guy sitting on top of a filter so he was just about under water and nibbling at the electric cord. I'm hoping they're too small now to get through that and shock themselves but I clearly need to work out some safety features as they grow. A HOB filter for when their tank is upgraded and a cage around the heater and its wire, etc. - probably a mesh barrier in the filter opening as well so they don't swim up into it! Lol they're little buggers, really impressed with their naughtiness and problem solving ability :)

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Green Spotted Puffer
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Re: Keeping GSP's entertained safely

Post by pufferjw »

Mesh should work well as a cover. Fish can't really use toys, if you want them to have stimulus I would recommend adding a lot of really small invertebrates like shrimp or crabs that can hide easily so the puffers can stalk them without eating a ton at once.
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Puffer Fry
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Re: Keeping GSP's entertained safely

Post by eustoma »

I had the same thought for my dwarf puffer. It's so inquisitive and always looking around the tank and the tank isn't some neverending river so I felt really bad... once I did put in a clear dish with some bloodworms at the bottom for it to kind of figure out how to eat it. The thing is you can't really tell it what to do like you can with dogs but they are pretty observant... somtimes... haha sometimes if I stare at something long enough it will follow my gaze and go to it or if I point at something it will go to it as well, but it does take a little effort.

Right now my goal is to be able to play with it with my hand. I saw a video of someone doing this with their red eye red tail puffer and although my dwarf is smaller, I hope it can kind of bond with me in that way. I might try feeding it with my hand some day.

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