Losing a Puffer

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gdsentropy
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Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:00 pm

Well, last night I lost a good friend I've had since about 2010; my Dogface Puffer.

It always feels like I've failed when I lose a Puffer, no matter how many years I've had them, as I judge success by percent of maximum lifespan they experience.

This is the second puffer I have lost since I began keeping them.
I suspect the cause of death was due to complications from endemic nematodes, robbing half of the maximum lifespan.

I suppose this post does not serve any purpose other than venting sadness at the loss of a friend.
It doesn't really need reply. It guess it is just something in the vein of a eulogy or memorial.

People who do not have puffers just do not understand the level of interaction they are capable of, just how much of a true pet they can be in the same sense as a dog or cat may be considered.

If even Zebrafish are suspected to be sentient, is then the puffer nearly certainly so?

https://phys.org/news/2015-11-fish-emotional-fever.html

Ian

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Pufferpunk
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:25 pm

So sorry for your loss... :rip:
I just lost my 19 year old fahaka puffer. :cry:
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!"

gdsentropy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:31 pm

I am so sorry. I know the feeling, you wake up and your friend isn't there. It isn't nice. My condolences. :'-(

I imagine that after 19 years the bond has grown a lot. I feel your pain.

Over time, two entirely alien lifeforms find ways to communicate common ideas, and even convey mood.

This is a testament to the intellect of our friends, that such is even possible. Sometimes the value they add to our lives is not apparent until they are no longer there. This applies to our fellow humans as well.

Ian

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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Zapperses » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:55 am

My condolences to both of you. I lost my porcupine pine puffer in October. I only had him for three years and am so sad he is gone. It is great to hear I am not the only puffer fanatic.

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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Bleedingheartmommy » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:03 am

gdsentropy wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:31 pm
I am so sorry. I know the feeling, you wake up and your friend isn't there. It isn't nice. My condolences. :'-(

I imagine that after 19 years the bond has grown a lot. I feel your pain.

Over time, two entirely alien lifeforms find ways to communicate common ideas, and even convey mood.

This is a testament to the intellect of our friends, that such is even possible. Sometimes the value they add to our lives is not apparent until they are no longer there. This applies to our fellow humans as well.

Ian
What a perfectly eloquent way to explain puffers and their bonds with their humans.

I too have a bad habit of basing my abilities on my fish living their full life span or longer- all though I know it's silly to believe that I, nor anyone in this world, has that much power or control... but it's easier to blame ourselfs.

I hope you remember that you hurt because of your genuine love, and bc you care you will make sure you give the best life to the next- as I'm sure you did for your dog faced puffer. I hope your heart heals soon from this loss :hug:
"Genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger."-Brené Brown

gdsentropy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Zapperses wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:55 am
My condolences to both of you. I lost my porcupine pine puffer in October. I only had him for three years and am so sad he is gone. It is great to hear I am not the only puffer fanatic.
And my condolences to you as well. I love my Diodon Holocanthus [wife named it Floofie.. :lol: ]; it has the most outgoing personality of any puffer I have ever had, and I can't imagine losing it/him.
Bleedingheartmommy wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:03 am
What a perfectly eloquent way to explain puffers and their bonds with their humans.
Thank you.
Bleedingheartmommy wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:03 am
I too have a bad habit of basing my abilities on my fish living their full life span or longer- all though I know it's silly to believe that I, nor anyone in this world, has that much power or control... but it's easier to blame ourselfs.
I wouldn't say it is a bad habit, rather in fact, a good if not entirely realistic one.
After all, shouldn't our goal be to give our friends lives as long and happy as it is possible to enable?
Bleedingheartmommy wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:03 am
I hope you remember that you hurt because of your genuine love, and bc you care you will make sure you give the best life to the next- as I'm sure you did for your dog faced puffer. I hope your heart heals soon from this loss :hug:
Thank you. I honestly was not expecting to find others who felt so strongly for their charges, but it pleases me to have been surprised.

I think that if you feel nothing significant at the passing of a pet, perhaps some thought should be given as to ones decision to take on the responsibility in the first place.

Animals are not ornaments; quite a wide selection of them are intelligent, and as we are discovering, sentient beings capable of complex emotion, a narrative/monologue manner of thinking with the ability to make inferences as to the contents of other creatures minds.

This is especially evident in the puffer fish.

They can be taught to recognize their names for goodness sake, in whatever manner they perceive our voices. I can with all 3 remaining fish, stand on one side of the tank, call the name of a particular puffer, and receive eye contact prior to that specific fish floating right on over. The GSP [Spot] can take a few more tries though. They do not respond 100% of the time, more like 60%...but when they do, only the fish I have asked for will approach.

In the case of my late Arothron Mappa [named Mappa, RIP], it acted as arbiter of conflict. It would actually interrupt any conflict and make the participants go elsewhere. Not only that, but during feeding Mappa would eat some cubes and then back off to let its smaller tank mates eat. I have even seen them exhibit something like jealousy/envy; I repeatedly had Mappa give me a good squirt in the back of the head when I would feed my Oscar before, as usually I fed the puffers first. The Diodon becomes upset in a similar manner, as typically I feed it the bloodworm cubes first, and everyone elses pellets last....but if I invert the order it gets bent out of shape and thrashes about biting at me.

I have had them get my attention when water parameters were off or when one of their fellows was sick for example.

Even more, the Diodon especially can count. My wife feeds 4 bloodworm cubes, and I feed 6. As either of us drop them in one at a time, he will wait until exactly the number each of us feeds has been added before eating any of them. Sometimes we switch it up, and when she gets to 4 he will dash off and begin eating, becoming surprised when two more get added...and when I stop at 4 then walk off, he will darken up and thrash about while biting at the glass: "HEY! HUMAN! Ya messed up! HEY! HEY! Where are the REST?!"

When my Arothron Mappa passed a number of years ago, my Dogface [named Puppy, RIP] took on a very peculiar pattern and shade, clearly moped about, and kept this up for a number of weeks. They used to lay beside each other in a cave. Now that I have lost him as well, his "friend" the Arothron Hispidus [Star] is acting exactly the same way, and they too used to spend a lot of time together, one laying on or beside the other.

If you spend any significant amount of time interacting with your puffers, displaying consistent activities and responses to their actions, quite quickly you will find that your puffer learns this and will begin to do stuff to convey limited amounts information to you and do things which result in the responses they wish.

Those are not the activities of an unthinking creature.

It is for this reason I have mixed feelings about keeping them in captivity, and the more time I spend with them, the less I feel comfortable with the idea, though I think that if you spend enough time with them, and if they have enough to do [mine like TV, though I don't] they may not be troubled so much. Speaking of TV and puffers...I have found that Star likes Stargate SG1, and Puppy liked Farscape. They each would come out and get front and center, head and eyes aimed right at the TV, for as long as "their show" was on, immediately losing interest during commercials or upon the program ending. I am absolutely 100% serious.

I think there are probably Nobel prizes to be won, when finally some group of cognitive/behavioral scientists spends enough concerted effort on puffer fish. Phys.org has a LOT of recent work relating to much less intelligent species of fish, which they found in all cases to be shockingly more intelligent than ever suspected.

I find it hard to imagine that anyone who takes the time to really interact with their puffers could feel nothing at the loss of a friend like that.

Thank you all, talking about them and seeing that others feel similarly has made me feel a bit better.

Ian

Bleedingheartmommy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Bleedingheartmommy » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:25 pm

After opening the link you posted from phys.org I spent quite some time on the site reading about the research done with fish, I was hoping to find some research involving puffers- but none yet.

I am with you on the feelings about captivity, and these intelligent fish. They are almost never captive bred, and it's hard to imagine a tank large enough or intricate enough to satisfy the homesickness for the ocean that a puffer must feel...Although most seem to feel a genuine connection with their owner.
"Genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger."-Brené Brown

PuffTheMagicDragon17
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by PuffTheMagicDragon17 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:37 pm

You made me smile when you mentioned your puffers watching tv, sounds like some really smart puffers you had. Rip puffers.

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hadla
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by hadla » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:30 am

Loved your stories! God I want a porky! Maybe someday... a lot of people think fish don't have emotions and feel pain, but look at what you said about the puffs grieving! It hurts me to know that people (coughwalmartcough)still sell gsps as freshwater and/or community fish!! One lfs near me sells them for like $6 and I see idiots buying multiples. :/ I did get olive(my gsp) from them 2 years ago only because she was already in salt.
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

Bleedingheartmommy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Bleedingheartmommy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:04 pm

hadla wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:30 am
Loved your stories! God I want a porky! Maybe someday... a lot of people think fish don't have emotions and feel pain, but look at what you said about the puffs grieving! It hurts me to know that people (coughwalmartcough)still sell gsps as freshwater and/or community fish!! One lfs near me sells them for like $6 and I see idiots buying multiples. :/ I did get olive(my gsp) from them 2 years ago only because she was already in salt.
I bet she's on this forum too, but there's a woman who runs a rescue for Walmart gsp's bc of how their treated, she also does heavy leg work to get the fish departments to stop carrying them. Once she rescues the gsp's, she finds them good homes that will keep them properly. Truly an incredible cause!
"Genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger."-Brené Brown

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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:36 pm

Unfortunately I lost all of my fish but my immortal 7-8yo GSP.

My very good lfs was unable to determine why, and even following a $400 75% water change, it didn't help.

I am not getting anymore puffs until I have a 120g tank setup next to my 225 (300g total volume) as a refugium packed with dusters, sponges, macro and such as sinks for any weird compounds my SRO6000ext, o3 reactor, purigen and carbon cannot catch. That is the only thing I can think of that could have caused a wipe with no testable chemical being evident.

Without a mass spec or gas chromo there was no way for me to substantiate my conjecture.

Basically I lost them, one after the other. The eyes sunk in and a day later they would die, one by one, and there was nothing I could do. This happened in the few days following my initial post, but I didn't want to talk about it at that time.

I am very unhappy right now.

Ian

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Pufferpunk
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:01 pm

So sorry for the loss of all those wet friends! Since moving here to SC, I've had more losses then my entire 40 years of fish keeping. I've spent a ton on meds, too & I never had to medicate my tanks back in Chicago.
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!"

gdsentropy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:24 pm

I am in NC, a little north of Charlotte. Welcome to the area!

Yes, their loss was and is terrible. They are buried beside each other. :(

I am almost tempted to price out mass spec analysis of my water, whatever the problem is must still be there at some level.

I don't know what it was.

I have always considered that FO tanks should be handled like a reef tank in terms of filtration, and while I do have a LR and mud section in my sump, I don't think it is sufficient to really provide nutrient recycling/binding and export of things the o3 and skimmer + carbon/purigen eliminate.

I keep over a pound of purigen and the same measure by volume of carbon as the last stage prior to water return to the tank, but I must now establish a truly massive refugium.

This will have the added benefit of being beautiful and will allow a diversity of life forms one would otherwise not be able to have with puffs.

Ever since the mid 90s, when I was on the Thiel mailing list, Shimek, Goemanns, Thiel, myself and others have always asserted that ecosystem replication is critical to the correct creation of environmental nutrient handling.

While I am glad to see this having expanded vastly in adoption in the reef domain, I feel it should as well be utilized with FO tanks. All of the same logic applies to both systems.

Ian

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Pufferpunk
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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
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:11 pm

Albert has cancer now, did you know?
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!"

gdsentropy
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Re: Losing a Puffer

Post by gdsentropy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:09 pm

Oh my gosh! No, I had been chatting with him every couple of years via LinkedIn but he never mentioned that. That is awful!

Ian

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