Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

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Cmarion
Puffer Fry
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Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Cmarion » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:02 pm

Hi puffer forum,

I'm a new dog face puffer owner and have some questions on what is "normal" behavior and what I should be worried about. I ask because I'm brand new to keeping an aquarium and still in the learning phase. The dog face puffer was given to me as a gift so I've been trying to learn as much as I can.. Here are the tank details:
29 gal saltwater cycled for 5 weeks using FritxZyme nitrifying bacteria.
Currently:
Ammonia between 0-0.25ppm (employee at aquarium told me its closer to 0 and should be good. This reading hasn't changed since before the fish went in.)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm (this reading seems to have risen slightly in the last week. before it was around 5-10ppm.)
Ph: 8.0
Temp: 78 degrees

So the puffer went in the tank and was a little shy for the first day, but became really friendly and active shortly after. He kept up pretty active behavior for the first week and a half and had no problem eating. I noticed he became spotted while sleeping and I assumed this is normal.

After being in the tank for 1.5 weeks, I preformed a 25% water change using RO salt water mix from the aquarium store. I noticed I had lost a lot of water due to evaporation so I topped off with about 1.5 gallons of tap water treated with Nova Aqua water conditioner.

Following the water change, the puffer seemed really happy to have clean water and was super active for the next day. But since then (in the past 3 days) he's become very dormant and hiding behind rocks mostly. He's also been displaying some strange behavior like darting across the tank at an extreme speed and pecking at the glass. I thought maybe he was confused by his reflection in the glass, but now I'm becoming a little concerned that he keeps hiding and his spots are present.

I've been feeding him every other day- frozen krill and clams on the half shell. Currently no trouble eating.

Any guidance is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Pufferpunk
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Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Pufferpunk » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:29 pm

Have you tested the water today? (You really need your own test kits.) What is the specific gravity? How big is the puffer?
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!"

Cmarion
Puffer Fry
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 pm
Location (country): Colorado, USA

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Cmarion » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:28 am

Yes I tested the water today. The numbers in the original post are current. I however don't have a way (yet) to test specific gravity.
The guys at the aquarium store told me the puffer is probably 2 yrs old. Maybe 2.5-3 inches.

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30031
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:27 pm

Seems you got ahead of yourself, getting this fish before you were prepared to keep it a healthy environment. You need test kits, a refractometer & calibration solution for it. What is your tank set up? Filtration: how much live rock, protein skimmer? How was the tank cycled? Are you aware you will need at least a 120g for this fish in a year? I doubt it could live in the tank you have for more than 6 months.
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!"

Cmarion
Puffer Fry
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 pm
Location (country): Colorado, USA

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Cmarion » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:44 pm

I have a test kit for ammonia, hi level ph, nitrites, and nitrates. I didn't know the refractometer was necessary since I'm getting my water premixed from the aquarium store, but I'll follow your advice. I am aware that I'll be needing a larger tank sooner than later.

Filter is what came with the aquarium kit- Aqueon "Quiet Flow 20". No protein skimmer. About 20lbs of live rock.
As mentioned in my original post, the tank was cycled for 5 weeks using FritzZyme nitrifying bacteria.

As a beginner here, I appreciate the tips on tools and supplies to have on hand, but what would be most useful is any guidance on whether or not I should be concerned with the behavior I described in the original post. As a new puffer owner, I just don't know if the hiding is common for these fish or an indication that something is off.

Thanks for any help

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30031
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:50 pm

OK, sorry about that, I thought the LFS was testing your water for you. I definitely would not trust the LFS to always have the correct SG for you, although your puffer can handle a wide range of salinity. How exactly did you cycle the tank with Fritzime? I'm not exactly sure there is even any live bacteria in that product. Where did your live rock come from? Can you post a full tank shot, so I can see how your tank is decorated for him?
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!"

Cmarion
Puffer Fry
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 pm
Location (country): Colorado, USA

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Cmarion » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:34 pm

Yeah there is live bacteria in the product. I used 16oz (intended for 40 gallons) of Fritzzyme on the first day I started the tank, and another 32oz of Fritzzyme 2.5 weeks in. Live rock came from established saltwater tanks from the LFS.

Since I posted originally, the puffer seems to be doing a lot better. I noticed that he is somewhat sensitive to the LED lights because when I turn them off, he'll swim right up to the glass and seems to spend more time hiding when the are turned on. I typically leave the lights on for about 14 hrs a day, but have cut that back to about 10hrs and he seems to do better. I've also noticed that his complexion changes significantly based on exposure to light. He becomes much darker when the lights are off. I haven't heard anything about light sensitivity, is this normal?

Here are a few pics of the tank set up.

Thanks for any tips and advice!
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User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30031
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Pufferpunk » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:50 am

Yes, LEDs are quite bright! Considering for proper filtration we need 1 1/2-2lbs LR/gal, I suggest a lot more added to this system. Lots of swim-thrus & hidey holes to hang out in will make your puffer feel safer in it's environment. I'd also ditch that coral substrate, it's going to trap a TON of pieces of food & detritus. 1" of sand is what you want. Best seeded with sand from an established SW system. Once you get enough LR in there, you can get rid of that HOB filter & add a protein skimmer. Then you won't need to do as many $$$ WC. What are your plans for upgrading tank size?
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!"

Cmarion
Puffer Fry
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 pm
Location (country): Colorado, USA

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Cmarion » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:31 am

Awesome! Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely look into adding more rock to give the puffer more places to hide and swim through. I'm hoping to upgrade to a tank that he won't ever grow out of. You suggest 120 gal?

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30031
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Dog Faced Behavior Questions & Concerns

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:47 pm

120 would be great!
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!"

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