First, let me tell you how much I have been enjoying reading your forum and how appreciative I am of the information herein! Thanks for a great place for "newbies" to gain knowledge!
I have kept aquariums for years - always freshwater and usually with just guppies and platys and other livebearers and a pl*co and otto cats.
A friend of mine wanted to downsize the number of tanks at her house, and offered me her two Figure 8 Puffers who are about 2 years old.
They are now at my house in a thirty gallon tank. We used crushed coral for the substrate, and added seven large artificial plants, several shells, and a little plastic hollow log that they love to hide in! The thermometer is set at 78 degrees F, and I have been giving them about 10 hours of light each day. My guppy tank is over-run with ramshorn snails, and I always used to give them to my friend to feed the puffers...so I have a great food supply here (the snails are fed a variety of vegetables, so they are really well "gut-loaded!"). I also added to my guppy tank, from my friend's tank, what I *think* are common pond snails. I only took four, so I am letting them multiply for a while before I feed them to the F8s, but my friend told me they love to eat those, too! My friend gave me a large bag of frozen krill to feed them, too.
This is my first brackish water tank, and my first pair of puffers. As I said, I have been reading a lot here, so I am learning, but I still have a few questions.
1. They seem to LOVE the ramshorn snails. My question about that is HOW MANY TO FEED EACH F8 EVERY DAY. I don't want to overdo and "kill them with kindness," but I also don't want the guys to be hungry! The last couple days - and that is only as long as I have had them - I have been putting in about 8-10 snails about the size of a F8's eye or a little larger each day. Is that enough - 4 or 5 snails per F8 a day? Their little F8 bellies sure seem to be round!
2. With two F8s in a 30 gallon tank, how often do I want to do a water change, and at what percentage?
3. Ah - the salinity question! I have read and been told by different people at the LFStores that the hydrometer should read anywhere from 1.004 to 1.015, and that I should add from as little as 1/4 teaspoon of marine salt per gallon to as much as 4 teaspoons a gallon! That is *quite* a difference! The water in my friend's tank was at 1.008, and my tank is currently at 1.006. I am adding a little salt to the water (dissolved IN water!) in the tank every day trying to get it up to at least the 1.008 to which they are accustomed. Again, I know this is a subject of great debate, but I would appreciate hearing directly from F8 and other puffer species guardians what you think and what you do.
I am sure I will have more questions as time goes on, but in the meantime, again, thank you for an awesome site!
:o:) Michelle in Massachusetts