Feeding dwarf puffer in community tank

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kaysto
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Feeding dwarf puffer in community tank

Post by kaysto » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:26 pm

Hi all- I've been lurking for about a month but this is my first post. I have a female dwarf puffer in what is evolving into a semi-aggressive community tank. All residents--school of 15 barbs, a couple dwarf gourami, mollies, saes, and catfish-- are thriving and getting along, including said puffer. No aggression or nipping issues. However, I haven't been able to get her to hand feed, and my main issue right now is how to make sure she's getting enough protein with the barbs eating alongside her. I feed worms every other day, and I drop a few ramshorns and pond snails in from other tanks every few days. The other residents eat plenty of flake and wafers, and I'm adding brine shrimp to the menu tomorrow. However, if you've seen barbs eat you know they don't tend to leave protein untouched, and the mollies and catfish are pretty quick to gobble up whatever might escape them. I've made a point to drop a bloodworm or two as near to her as I can while distracting the others at the other side of the tank, but I fear she isn't getting enough to eat. Her belly is occasionally nice and plump but usually isn't. She's not thin, but she's not stout either. Thoughts? How did you get your dp to eat from your hands? Am I worrying unnecessarily?

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Pufferpunk
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Re: Feeding dwarf puffer in community tank

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:25 am

This is exactly why we suggest keeping puffers in a "species only" tank!
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

LadyHawk
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Re: Feeding dwarf puffer in community tank

Post by LadyHawk » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:33 am

I had a little lady DP in a community tank for 10/11 years and she recently passed. What worked for me was Target Feeding! I have a similar composition of fish - what I'd do is feed all the other fish way on one end of the tank (flakes and pellets). Then while they were distracted, I took a pipette/eye dropper and sucked up a few worms/shrimp etc and gently wiggled it on the other side of the tank for puff. I would either squirt the worms right into her face, or let the worms dangle at the end of the pipetter so she could pick them off. When she had enough food (and a fat, pudgy belly) I'd dump in the rest of the worms and it was a free for all. Eventually puff will learn to recognize the eye dropper as food and as soon as the other fish get their food, puff will head right over and wait for you. (I learned this technique with a derpy pleco - he's really old and can't see well at all so I sometimes have to help him find the food.) The key is to be consistent as possible! Puffs are smart! They'll learn quickly! Also puffers will eat and eat, so she shouldn't be super fat all the time. Has she been treated for IPs? Hope that helps!!

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