My Porcupine Puffer won't eat!
Help! I bought a small (about 3 inches long) porcupine puffer on January 31. He seemed really happy for about 2 or 3 days except he wasn't eating anything we put in the tank. We tried silversides, live marine ghost shrimp, and a variety pack of frozen foods like brine shrimp, all to no avail. Now he mostly hides under the live rock and comes out to swim around only occasionally and doesn't go far before he's back under the rock again. When we tried to entice him with a piece of silverside on a prong he looked interested but then turned around and swam away (like he was scared?). He looks like he doesn't feel good but he doesn't have any obvious signs of distress that we can see. Please help...I don't want him to die. I've read everything I can get my hands on about porcupines but nothing is working and I don't know what to do for him anymore. Would it help to isolate him in a hospital tank to better monitor him? Current parameters:
Re: My Porcupine Puffer won't eat!
It sounds as if you're dealing with a stress issue, which could be lack of enough rock and decoration, water quality, and the stress of having recently been moved. How often are you doing water changes and how much at a time? I'm also wondering what test kits you're using, because any tank with living animals in it is going to have either ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, or a combination of these. Its near impossible to have a tank with 0 for all params and still have waste in it, especially with messy foods such as silversides being offered, so maybe having the water retested will help give us some answers. Can you please also post the calcium level? It should be between 400 - 500. Very important not to test water for at least 24 hrs after a water change, always better to test before a water change.
What other fish are in the tank? Porkys can be really intimidated by even the smallest of fish when they are new to an environment.
Porkys can be quite difficult to feed, which is part of what makes them hard to keep. He's been a long time without food, which by now, has to be affecting his immune system.
Once I know the answers to these questions I will be able to help you sort this out and hopefully suggest some better foods to try or course of action with the tank itself to help fix the problem.
Sorry I didn't reply right away. We've gotten "Spike", our puffer, to nibble at some silversides while we can't get "Flare", our lion, to stop eating! They are nowhere near each other during feeding times, though. I don't have a test kit for calcium yet but we are using the saltwater test kit from API. The tank was setup about 1 month ago and we haven't appeared to get a good cycle yet. We haven't done a water change because the water tests haven't indicated we needed one. Phosphates were negative but silicates were around 20, which is high and we thought was the explaination for the sudden growth of brown diatoms we got (not to mention we don't have the right lights but we're working on that).
150g FOWLR Perfecto drilled glass aquarium 30 tall x 48 long x 24 deep, 200g Berlin Wet/Dry Trickle Filter, 9.5 Mag Drive sump pump, ASM G-2 Protein Skimmer, Turbo-Twist 6X 18w UV Sterilizer, 2 Hydor Koralia 1 circulating pumps, Fluval 405 canister filter, 120# Ocean Direct Live Sand, 117# Eva Islands Live Rock, 3 Green Chromis, 3 Emerald Crabs, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, 2 Horseshoe Crabs, 1 Red Serpent Star, 1 Porcupine Puffer, 1 Peacock Lionfish, 8 Zebra Turbo Snails, 4 Mexican Turbo Snails
(I realize most of these fish/inverts are not compatibile but we're moving the more passive ones into a seperate tank.)
Keep trying, and get the calcium tested asap. Calcium levels that are off will make a mess of your animals, they need a specific level of it to survive. Too low or too high and they will start to show problems.
You do realize that "moving the passive ones" is not going to prevent the puffer from eating all of those inverts.. shrimp, crabs, snails... that is a natural food source for the puffer. Are you sure he hasn't eaten any snails or such yet? Once he's settled in, those will go quick.
You might also want to take a water sample to your LFS for testing on ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and calcium to see how it matches up with your test results. It is possible to get a bad test kit now and again.
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