breeding food in your F8s home tank

The forum for puffers that either live or start in brackish biotopes: GSPs, F8s, Ceylons & more.
Yael
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breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

I've been doing some reading on what inverts will breed in brackish conditions and so far the only thing I've come up with are nerite snails. These will breed in brackish water but not in fresh water (so far, so good) but also need sufficient calcium in the water to grow their shells. For that reason, some people switch the eggs to full marine to hatch. However, any hard water will contain calcium and magnesium so there's really no need for the full marine salinity.

So two questions - how do F8s do with brackish water on the harder side - ie with crushed shell substrate or added limestone? I'd think that if those are good conditions for one, their own source of baby snails would be a nice treat for them.

My next question is, are there any other inverts or food sources that could live (as adults) in a puffer tank? The only tank mates I have so far in what will be my tank devoted to a F8 is 5 BB gobies and 3 nerite snails. I'm hoping that the puffer will ignore the gobies - they eat live tubiflex or other live food so they'll also appreciate any live breeding I can provide. Will brine shrimp eggs hatch in brackish water or do they require a higher salinity?
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Pufferpunk »

No food can live in the same tank as the consumer. Breed snails/shrimp in FW & then toss them in for your puffers to eat. Nerite's shells are too hard for puffers to crunch.

Aragonite sand is the recommended substrate for BW. It will keep the parameters stable with a higher pH of around 8.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

I also have wood in the tank as decoration so that tends to buffer the pH down - I use baking soda in addition to crushed shell sand but the extra calcium doesn't really alter pH or buffer it at higher pH like baking soda does. As long as puffers don't mind calcium in the water the nerites should breed just fine. I'm assuming that the puffer can eat the little guys just fine, just not the adults. I'm just wondering if any of the brackish water adult shrimp will withstand the attentions of a small puffer.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Pufferpunk »

Baking soda is a temporary solution, causing pH swings. Please discontinue. The CC/aragonite will be enough. STABLE pH is better than low pH. Wood is not usually recommended for BW tanks.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by G S P Freak »

Yeah, I agree with PP, I have a crushed shell substrate with 1.004 S.G. and my ph is stable at 8.0. Stable is always more important that a certain ph level though, change in ph is what kills bacteria/fish, not always just a low/high ph. I've heard stories about brackish water basically melting wood over time. I'd say replace it with fake wood, or replace it with something else, why would you want it to buffer down your ph and release all kinds of other nasty things into your water? As for shrimp, HAH. My f8 is juvenile and every month I feed him 6 or so ghost shrimp, which do well in brackish... 2 are dead before they hit the bottom, the other 4 are completely gone within 2 days. Shrimp wont work, sorry... I have had no problems with my BBGs and nerites yet though, but remember puffers can decide anytime they want whether they like the other fish in their tank or not =P.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by bertie 83 »

Food should not be bred in the display tank, it's counter productive. Why not just set up a small 5-10 gallon snail breeder for pond or ramshorns snails? It's easier and better long term
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by J-P »

It can be done, but it is not for the faint of heart or the new. 90% of the tank should be considered breeding territory for the species in question 10% for the puffer. Thus, if you have a puffer that requires 30 gallons, you are looking at a tank that is about 300 gals. That may sound daunting, but keeping 1 tank with breeders is easier than keeping 15 separate tanks. It also depends on the species of puffer. Some are more aggressive than others some like to roam more than others. +1 to the comments above but it can be done.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Pufftastic »

I had a 10 gallon ramshorn breeding tank when I kept an F8. The snail population in it was perfect to provide snails for a single F8 to consume on an almost-daily basis (occasional days off for variety/other foods). If I had tried to breed the snails in her tank, I think the puffer would have wiped out the entire breeding population within a couple days, tops.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

Are you all saying that an F8 puffer can eat adult nerite snails? Those shells look awfully tough.


btw, baking soda isn't 'temporary' - it's simply a buffer like crushed shells, just more soluable. My tap water is too soft and shells (although I have them in both of my tanks) aren't enough to keep the water above neutral. It's easy enough to pH the water for water changes to keep things consistent.

As for wood in a tank - nothing wrong with it, you just have to understand what it does to water chemistry to get the right balance. On the plus side it's a big help for growing plants and green algae and those help to keep nitrate levels low. It also gives your fish some variety and interest.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by RTR »

No small puffer can crush a nerite shell. F-8 can handle common pond and/or ramshorn snails.

LOL @ J-P's comments above. Those are exactly why I never try to co-culture prey and predator. I have however used refugia/sump/linked tanks for culturing prey items in a linked tank system. For things as simple as snail-breeding (not nerites), it is easier to use stand-alone breeding tanks IMHO & IME.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

So nerite snail adults will be safe and any babies they produce will be food - thanks, that's what I was going for. I was mainly wondering if there were any other inverts that would work out similarly but it sounds like most adults of anything else that lives in brackish conditions would be food.

New F8 is doing well and didn't eat the bumblebees over night even though they've been mating under his nose. He's busy hunting the tubeflex worms I put in this morning. I also bought him some freeze dried krill but sheesh, that stuff stinks!
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by bertie 83 »

I would still set up a separate breeder, your tank is maxed out already. We cannot advise adding any new inhabitants.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

bertie 83 wrote:I would still set up a separate breeder, your tank is maxed out already. We cannot advise adding any new inhabitants.
Maxed out in terms of biomass? How do you figure? I'm not sure how you know this since my tank biochemistry and filtration along with water changes is very much in the healthy zone. I also have plants that are growing well. I know that the puffer prefers to be an only puffer but I can't see where that means that he has to live in a simple environment. Generally speaking, the more one can bring in diverse elements to occupy all the niches of a natural environment the more stable the health of the environment.
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by bertie 83 »

15g is the minimum volume for a single f8, without the bbg's, adding anything else may be asking for trouble.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly
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Re: breeding food in your F8s home tank

Post by Yael »

bertie 83 wrote:15g is the minimum volume for a single f8, without the bbg's, adding anything else may be asking for trouble.

Well, I'll go by my water chemistry, but thanks. As it's set up now I've got lots of nice niches for the puffer and bbs to occupy.
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