Figure-8 tank set-up and questions!
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
Hey Michelle -
First ditto on the gratitude for this great site - I'm really enjoying this forum.
Just wanted to post and say we'll soon be in the same boat - I'm 2 weeks into cycling a 15g brackish tank for an F8 (will move to a larger aquarium later as necessary) - I've ordered the fish and will probably add next week.
Everyone I've talked to has suggest F8's do best in 1.005-1.008 - I'll be aiming for 1.008 because I want to keep a few bumblebee gobies as well (for some reason these apparently do especially well with F8s - though I've another brackish tank to move them to if they don't get along)
I'll be interested to hear the answer to the snail question as well.
first of all alot of people say that ramhorn sheels are to hard for puffers and the shell can sometimes snap their beak. but if your puffers seem to be fine then its upto you.
i personally just throw all the snails i can get from my LFS in at once. the little ones get picked off straight away and the bigger ones can with stand the beating usually. the bigger ones then produce smaller ones and i dont need to add them as often.
you can also feed them other meet like muscles etc and there are reports of some F8's even eating blanched lettuce.
i just change 30% water once a week like in my other tanks. but in with my F8's i also have a few shrimps who act as a clean up grew when the puffers have finished eating.
the slinity can vary a bit. in the wild it can go from virtually fresh water to full salt water in a matter of hours due to the tide. so it doesnt really matter if its a bit out from week to week. remember F8's can also survive in freshwater.
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