Best live feeders for GSP?

The forum for puffers that either live or start in brackish biotopes: GSPs, F8s, Ceylons & more.
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TwistOfF8
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Best live feeders for GSP?

Post by TwistOfF8 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:46 pm

I'm searching for snails or live inverts to keep and breed as feeders for my 2 inch GSP. He's currently in his own cycled 30 gal tank, transitioning to brackish (now at .004, increasing slightly with each water change). Right now he mainly eats bottom feeder shrimp pellets, which he chews up while they're still hard. I give him one or two pellets every second day.

I have two other tanks, one is a 30 gal tropical community tank. It contains mollies, so it's also at .004. I don't plan to increase the salinity in this tank because I have a school of cory cats which don't tolerate salt well. I also have a 5 gal tank which is cycled and pure freshwater. It has a sponge filter. I used it at first for the GSP while I was getting his big tank cycled. it's running empty now.

My tap water pH is over 8 which is pretty high. I use a large piece of driftwood in the community tank to bring the pH down a bit. I have cuttlebones which I could use to provide calcium for anything with a shell.

I've been looking at the following options:
-setting up the 5 gal as a neocaridina shrimp tank
-getting some species of snail and breeding them (so far I haven't been able to find any that can tolerate salt besides nerite snails). I would probably have to put them in the 5 gal, except snails tend to produce a lot of dirt in general and I'd probably be only to keep one or two in there.
- getting and breeding a dwarf crayfish species, keeping it in the 5 gal or possibly the community tank. Dwarf crayfish tend to be mainly peaceful plant eaters unlike their larger cousins.

All of the above options are available locally.
Concerns:
- I'm wondering if shrimp would be too small or their shells too thin to wear down the puffer's teeth? Would they die as soon as I dropped them into his brackish tank?
- I read that nerite snail shells are very hard, and that they keep their foot and tentacles tucked in to protect themselves. Would this make them unsuitable as food for a 2 inch GSP? (maybe they could eat the juvenile snails instead)
- Has anyone tried feeding dwarf crayfish to a GSP or F8? As an example, here's the info on one common species:
Common Name: Brazos Dwarf Crayfish
Scientific name: Cambarellus Texanus
Origin: North America
Maximum Size: 3-4cm

If there's another feeder species that would be easy to find, can tolerate some salt in the water, and is easy to breed, I'd appreciate any suggestions! I read that Malaysian Trumpet snails can tolerate salt as well, but so far I've had no luck finding any around here.

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hadla
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Re: Best live feeders for GSP?

Post by hadla » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:05 am

Just curious, why live? There’s lots of other options 🙂
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

TwistOfF8
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Re: Best live feeders for GSP?

Post by TwistOfF8 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:56 am

hadla wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:05 am
Just curious, why live? There’s lots of other options 🙂
Pretty much everything I've read about GSP's and most puffers states that they must have live invertebrates with shells so they can grind their teeth down. Apparently that's their natural food.

I've already tried giving him thawed brine shrimp and bloodworms, he ignores them, and they don't have hard shells. I've heard of giving them bits of frozen/thawed shrimp or clam meat, but neither of those have hard shells.

I've even researched alternatives that a puffer might chew on to grind their teeth down, like cuttlebone, empty shells, rock, or substrates. His substrate is fine sand which I read they grind their teeth with (not sure if this is true, but when he picks food off of the substrate he gets some in his mouth which he spits out).

I'd rather not feed live if I can avoid it, so if you have other options I'd appreciate hearing about them! :D

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hadla
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Re: Best live feeders for GSP?

Post by hadla » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:02 am

I’ve had olive my gsp for about 4 years and haven’t seen her beak grow very much... if you can get them to crunch snails, it should be enough :) olive does pick at live rock though so that helps
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

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Re: Best live feeders for GSP?

Post by Pufferpunk » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:32 pm

Feeding clams, mussels, oysters, etc on the half-shell will cause them to grind their teeth on the shell, to get the meat out.
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