Thursday, 28 October 2010

Worst than kids

I have come to the conclusion that wet pets are worst than kids, because at least to some extent you can force your kids to get on with something such as..eat!
Nooki continues to sulk though has given into the odd bite of mussel or worm when neither of us are looking. He also unusually has taken to burying himself. It is a common trait amongst fahakas but up until this point he had never attempted to do so. Hopefully this is a moody teenager sulk that wont last too long as we do miss his podgy face begging or even swimming around! I go and have a sit with him each evening for one of our "talks".

Next trouble is little Ushmew, he continues to be active and interested in everything. I havent managed to wean him yet, though have been given more tips and articles to keep trying, he is currently not being fed for a certain period of time to get him interested, fingers crossed it will work!

Calcifer is hating the winter months and half puffs most mornings until we turn all the lights on. Fitzgig has a hunger that can not be fed! He strikes the feeding tongs with such force, it is good he has a good appetite.

We can not forget my fur babies as well being 1 year old Shilo and Pixie (sister kittens). We have them as house cats and they are very naughty. You would think fish and cats would be a terrible combination? Our cats only want to get into the tanks to get water (even though they have plenty around the house), it just doesnt taste the same unless some fish have swum in it.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Little Ushmew likes to swim

He really loves to swim about I would say 80% of the time and bury the rest. Unsure whether this is because he is next to the sofa where we always are or if it is a juvi state but it is a pleasant surprise from what we had been reading. I havent manage to train him onto dead foods in his first week, plan to get some silversides to try round two. Here are some pics of him having a good swim about after eating a small colony of shrimp!!



Nooki continues to sulk and hasn't eaten since the earthworm. I specially got him live river shrimp but he is refusing these currently too. He had a flid out when one attached to his eyeball and back, such a silly chappy. Here is his sulky face:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Victory!

Well a small victory today, Nooki has eaten a giant worm so this is good news. He would usually eat more and beg but we wont push it. Ushmew the congo seems to be hungry but not enough for garlic ladened mussel or wriggling worms, I feel his plight will last much longer and require a lot of patience. He swims about most the time and must get pictures of it, the congo body shape is fascinating especially when in swim mode.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Step One Puffer Training!

Well after a further hour of bobbing some more mussel this time on thread, Ushmew finally and almost accidentally took a bite. Not a big one mind and he spat a fair bit out but some he ate! He refused anything further, but quite an achievement of after the hours of nothingness. Step Two...to get him to like it!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Nook's is in a sulk

Well after all those introduction, Nooki my fahaka is in a mega sulk and cant decide if I added new plants, did a change over of the decorations last week or just some unknown cause. This is day two of his hunger strike which is unusual as he will beg and even once ate a companion when refused him food. We have had talks and he still likes my company but turning down even worms has me concerned on my little lad. Tonight we tried various foods soaked in garlic but to no avail. I know that puffers can go on proper sulks from time to time and he does appear to be going through his teenage phase at the moment. I have since rearranged the tank back incase moving his favourite root might have triggered this at least intially. If the hunger strike continues to the weekend then we plan to tempt him with live shrimp (the ultimate weapon) if not a crab!

Also spent a good 45 minutes tonight trying to convince the mini Ushmew to take some cockle or mussel (also garlic soaked) since I have now run out of shrimp and earthworms.
He showed a lot of interest and chased but would not bite so we shall try again tomorrow. This may be a patient process as weaning lurker puffers off of live foods can be a time consuming process. The little tyke has been swimming around a fair bit and likes to see what me and my partner are doing on the sofa. I think a big stock on lots of good foods over the weekend is in order!

Least touch wood Fitzgig and Calcifer are behaving (though watch this space).

I try to feed my puffers as much variety as possible including: mussel, cockle, shelled cockle, shelled mussel, prawn, river shrimp (gut loaded), earthworms, bloodworm, oyster, crabs. Where I can I try to dose the food with vitamins to help keep them in tip top shape.

So aims this week:
1. Get Nooki eating again (eating anything, anything!)
2. Try to wean Ushmew onto something other than live river shrimp (working progress)

Ushmew the Congo Puffer - Tetraodon miurus

My newest addition Ushmew the Potato Puffer. A mere 1 inch big and arrived over the weekend. I am still learning his behaviour but already pleased by his activity. I was not expecting such a small puff but glad he managed the river shrimp that were his size!

He pulls such funny faces! I have more but they are not happy to load currently. Hope to have more developments soon.

Ushmew has a lot of growing to do and training on eating foods that arent live feeders. Miurus get to about 6 inches in size and lurkers/ambushers.

Fitzgig the Hairy Puffer - Monotrete Baileyi

Next up is my hairy puffer, Fitzgig. I did originally buy two as a pair, but not much was known at the time whether they would be a true pair or guessed as a female and male. By general consensus males are meant to have more "cirri" (hair) but this isnt proven. Here was Fitzgig on his arrival:

Here was the supposed female on her arrival, I named her Gizmo at the time. Fitzgig seemed the more dominant one in the store but that soon changed drastically.

At first things seem to go well but into the second week, Gizmo was puffing at least four times a day and charging Fitzgig. There was a possibility this was just both adjusting and showing who was boss but I drew the line as Fitzgig never fought back and Gizmo ended up lifting him out the water into the lid. Here is a video of the aggression:
video
Gizmo ended going back to the store and Fitzgig became a different puff. Much more outgoing and loves attention. I was advised I may have problems feeding him variety but he has surprised me taking to mussel and cockle (even off the shell). His absolute favourites are earthworms though and he goes crazy. He has his active periods and likes to beg when he sees me. He is pretty much full grown at 6 inches and currently the biggest puffer I own until Nooki outgrows him. Considering he is full adult, he has settled in extremely well.

Hairies are quite hard puffers to come across and also are pretty seasonal. The more "cirri" they have the more highly prized. They grow to about 5 inches maximum and their activity levels vary from puffer to puffer.

Calcifer the Abei - Monotrete Abei

Second to the puffer collection was Calcifer, he came from the same place as the fahaka and is a fiesty puffer. He settled in straight away and was very hyper and active.

Roughly about 3" he eats most meaty foods though has this annoying habit that if it drops pass his level he will not go after it. His funny habit is to create mini tidal waves at the top of the tank during feeding time.

Another funny habit that he has is he croaks! It took us a while to figure out it came from him and generally he does it on waking each morning before he begins to consider moving about and also when impatient for food.

We have his tank situated near the computer and sofa so he gets a lot of company. Another habit of his is to puff up into a perfect round ball if he believes he is not getting enough attention. This normally happens when my partner sits at the computer and does not say hello. We havent managed to catch it on camera yet as he deflates as soon as you look at him.

These guys get to about 4 inches maximum and a nice smaller freshwater species, they are full of character and ours certainly keeps us on our toes!

Nooki the Fahaka - Tetraodon lineatus

So introducing my first puffer, Nooki. He is probably the longest of my puffers that I have out of the current collection. Here is a picture when he first came to me and he was a mere 1.5" and as you can see super stressed!

But after settling in and copious amounts of food and attention he gained weight and colour and soon became my adorable puppy.

I have now had him a good 5 months and he is growing steadily. I managed to get him to hold still the other day and he was 5" exact. He eats pretty much any food that is meaty given to him and his absolute favourites are gut loaded river shrimp and earthworms. He is a pretty docile fahaka in his juvenile state and I currently have him with Odessa Barbs and a small shoal of Neon Tetras. Except for an episode where he ate one of the Odessas when I refused to feed him (which the Odessa disagreed with him afterwards) he hasn't touched anyone since.

Actually his absolute favourite are freshwater crabs, here is a video of him feeding:
video
I recently moved the tank about and here he is loving the pipe even though it has been there since day one.

Just a little on fahakas, they are pretty aggressive and it is up to the owner and the fahaka if tankmates will be tolerated. They are one of the Giant Puffer Species and averagely can get up to 18 inches. As they grow they develop these gorgeous stripes, some have more maroon ones than others.
video

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Introduction

I have been fishkeeping for almost two years now, it is a hobby that I never thought I would get into, but I am hooked completely and at one point had MTS (multiple tank syndrome) with many male bettas which was my "fix" at the time. My first fish and tank was a 15 US Gallon, which contained 4 tiny adorable dwarf puffers. Withing a couple of months I had a couple of tanks running and havent looked back since. It has taken me a while to learn the hobby and find the water pets for me. I currently have four freshwater tanks running with the following species:
1. Miurus Congo Puffer
2. Lineatus Fahaka Puffer
3. Abei Puffer
4. Baileyi Hairy Puffer
I will over the next couple of posts I will introduce each of them individually with their profiles and their progress as they grow. Hope it will be interesting for others with my experiences to share.

I would like to add if you are considering puffers as a pet or in need of information, please go to the following website which is the fountain of knowledge:
http://www.thepufferforum.com