Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Beautiful, complex and discussed here. The marine fish and reef section.
User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank updates - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:58 pm

Well, it's been a little while since my last update...
I was perusing the local forums as usual and saw an ad offering up a GSP for adoption (owner just got a dog). He had it in a nice setup but didn't think he had time to care for it as much anymore. I thought it must be fate, so 2 weeks after losing Julia, I brought Nan home (named her after Nancy Kerrigan). I did the 24-hour acclimation to full salt. She was very unafraid and immediately latched onto Diddy, following him around like a little dog. He kept looking over his shoulder like, are you following me? just stop it! She actually spooked him out and he kept trying to lose her. At night he charged her a couple of times to chase her off, but she kept coming back and lurked nearby. Weird huh?
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You can see she was a bit thin. I gave her some Prazi-soaked food just in case. Unfortunately, the next day at feeding, she and Diddy went for the same morsel & he bit her accidentally. Though not injured, she dashed off and hid. The next day, one of her eyes was cloudy & googling told me it was pop-eye, likely from the stress. She was very pale, almost white. So I put her in a hospital tank & treated with Furan 2, which was incredibly effective. The first night she got stuck onto the little pump, got a red abrasion and looked terrible. She was hardly swimming & I thought ahead to euthanizing her. The next morning, although still very pale, she was swimming around and eating! At the end of the 4-day treatment, her eye was totally fine. She remembered the incident however and had a totally different personality. She'd shoot away if she saw Diddy approaching and was very shy. I had to target feed her. Strangely enough, she still slept near him at night, often sharing the same cave if he allowed it. I slowly coaxed her back to eating with the gang and now after 2 months, she is finally more like her old self. She's gained weight but, like Julia, seems to be less round than Diddy in shape. He likes her more now and they often swim together.
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I still miss Julia though. She had an outstanding personality for sure, always coming up to me at the glass even when it wasn't dinner time. Here's one more shot of her and Diddy for old time's sake...
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User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30453
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: Tank updates - puffers & tankmates

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:14 am

Great story, thanks for sharing! My GSPs killed my 2 ocellarus, the 1st night they were together.
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!"

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank updates - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:16 pm

Aw man that's terrible, sorry to hear that.

My 2 ocellaris are now the meanest in the tank. Although it's just occasional chasing away from a spot they like (which changes all the time and is never an anemone, stupid clowns). No biting in the tank, knock on wood. They are all focused on feeding time, which is after my dinner. Around 5:00ish they will already all start actively swimming around the central area of the tank. After feeding they drift off and start poking around the rocks.

Diddy isn't afraid of the clowns. He just couldn't be bothered with them. If they do the little charge to chase him from a spot, he'll swim off (rolling his eyes lol).
Strangely enough, no one ever pays any mind to the blenny or mandarin. It's like they're invisible. I guess because they don't participate in the feeding ritual.

User avatar
hadla
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 1605
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:33 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP, Ceylon, Porky
Location (country): US
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Tank updates - puffers & tankmates

Post by hadla » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:37 am

That is too funny! They’re cute :)
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

A new home to start off the new year!

Post by Maggiec » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:11 am

Very exciting! The new year seemed like a great time to move everyone into their new home :-D

I've been working on the plumbing, sump, acquiring equipment (got an awesome deal on a Vertex 180 skimmer on Black Friday) and was able to get saltwater into the new tank on Jan 2. I then moved a couple of rocks & sand over, let it run for a while, then added a Springeri damsel (which is supposed to be a nice damsel) to be the canary. Neil has since turned out to be a great addition - amazing colour & very active.

Finally last Sunday I transferred everything over. Thankfully, despite some frustrating moments with rockscaping (darn rocks never fit exactly right no matter how much planning you do), everything got done in one day. It wasn't too bad as the tanks were only about 3 feet apart. Everyone is accounted for (including 2 ring cowries I haven't seen for a year haha) and happy. I had bought a fromia at the LFS Boxing Day sale and was a bit worried as they're finicky, but he seems fine, fingers crossed. He is pretty awesome so I hope he sticks around for a while.

I recreated the caves & swim throughs that the puffers love, but now that the rocks are more spread out, they really seem to enjoy all the swimming space as well. They only seemed confused that first night - by morning they couldn't look more pleased with themselves. I'm happy to report that Diddy & Nan are pretty tight, swimming together, sleeping in the same cave.

Bad iphone pics coming up...

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User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30453
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: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Pufferpunk » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:49 pm

Beautiful, beautiful job! Hard to believe your puffers leave everything alone!
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!"

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:38 pm

Yes, I count myself lucky that my puffers are model citizens. I read about tang behavior and it sounds way worse!
My theory for their mild manner:
- never been fed live food so hunting instincts are not as strong (although anything I drop in they think it's food, so I introduce new livestock away from them right to the bottom of the tank :D )
- well fed with good food (all fish LOVE my home-made mix)
- luck of the draw

Having said that, from watching their behavior, I would never keep shrimp (aside from pistols who have protection of burrows) or clams. Although I just added a purple-spot acro crab to live in my birdsnest colony - he always stays well inside the branches. They still do follow the conch around occasionally. One funny thing is, the wagging finger and sudden duck of my head (seen as aggression by them?) really works :lol: They actually do the curled tail, sorry look, and swim away. The hawkfish couldn't give two shakes if I did this.

Some pics of them enjoying their new home...

Side view:
Image

What starfish?
Image

We like to hang out together
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User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30453
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: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:48 am

It is amazing that your puffers leave all those corals alone!
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!"

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:38 pm

They have zero interest in any corals. The things they are curious about are hermits and the conch, which they follow around sometimes but don’t even nip.

I was playing with the idea of a valentini. What do you think? They sound more nippy than GSPs. I wonder if I would really be pushing my luck :? Everything is so in harmony right now...

User avatar
hadla
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 1605
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:33 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP, Ceylon, Porky
Location (country): US
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by hadla » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:09 pm

Yeah, my gsps don’t seem to care about anything that’s too big to eat in a few bites lol
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:22 pm

So I have access to a better camera, a Canon EOS M3. Haven't learned to use it yet, but still getting better pics than from my iphone. :razz:

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Diddy:
Image

Nan: (she's almost the same size as Diddy, the little piggy :-D)
Image
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Carol:
Image

Fred, or Ginger? Can never tell...
Image

Ron:
Image

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 30453
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: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:26 am

Absolutely gorgeous! I just don't see this ending well, as your GSP turns into a 6" eating machine. Especially for that nice snail.
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!"

User avatar
Maggiec
Dwarf Puffer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: GSP: Puff Diddy
GSP: Julia *RIP*
GSP: Nan
2 ocellaris clowns (Fred & Ginger), Yellow Watchman goby (Snape) & fine-striped pistol shrimp (Blondie), lawnmower blenny (Lennie *RIP*), mandarin (Po), tailspot blenny (Basil), longnose hawkfish (Fergus), flame hawkfish (Carol), fromia (Peach), Springeri damsel (Neil)

CUC: tuxedo urchin (Spike), electric blue hermit (Hagrid), 3 turbo snails, turban snail, orange lip conch (Ron), 5 scarlet leg hermits, purple acro crab (Spot)*RIP*.
Location (country): Canada (Vancouver)

Re: Tank Journal - puffers & tankmates

Post by Maggiec » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:01 pm

Well, there has been one casualty. The acro crab decided to leave the safety of the birdsnest & Diddy swam around with an incredibly round belly. Poor Spot. So definitely nothing without a big shell. I see zero aggression towards other fish - they are only interested in crustaceans. No interest in the urchin or starfish. For a while, I had tons of vermetid worms, a problem many reefers have. The puffers seemed indifferent, and I thought I’d have to live with these annoying critters all over the rock. Now I suddenly notice vermetids are all gone. Who knows what happened. Having said that, I’ve had the same 4 snails, 2 cowries, hermits that have been in the tank since the beginning. That’s a pic of an orange lipped conch btw. I worry more about him starving tbh.

At 2 years, would you say the puffers are “adult”? I wonder if their personalities/behavior are more or less set, assuming their environment is stable. (IE, lack of food would obviously make them desperate to eat anything)

I guess I am on “proceed with caution” mode, as I do respect their natural instincts.

I tend to prefer erring on the side of caution actually. I almost added a hippo tang (the only tang I like) & went as far as setting up a QT, buying copper meds, and putting a hold on a fish. After a lot of debate, I finally decided against it after looking at this for a day:
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