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FAQs about Tobies, Sharpnose Puffers Selection

Related Articles: Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Puffers in General, Puffer Care and Information, Pufferfish Dentistry By Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, BoxfishesPuffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: Tobies 1, Tobies 2, Toby Identification, Toby Behavior, Toby Compatibility, Toby Systems, Toby Feeding, Toby Disease, Toby Reproduction, Puffers in General, Puffer Identification, Puffer Compatibility, Puffer Selection, Puffer Behavior, Puffer Systems, Puffer Feeding, Puffer Disease, Puffer Dentistry, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Boxfishes

  There are fishes that will even bother, eat Tobies

"Ideal" size for specimens to be shipped   12/31/11
Hi Bob and Crew,
I'm ordering fish from Liveaquaria. Are medium specimens better able to handle the stresses of shipping (more hardy) than small specimens or is it about the same? For instance, their small Picasso Triggers are 1" to 2" while their medium Picassos are 2" to 3". Their small Papuan Toby Puffers are 1.5" to 2" while their medium size is 2" to 3". Also, is there a difference in hardiness of specimens from Sumatra or Indonesia?
<Good questions... There IS a definite difference in incidental mortality per species, per size range... in the case of Rhinecanthus triggers, the second range you mention is best... and Canthigaster spp. the first range is better... Larger sizes of both (and most all organisms) being worse...
Mmm, and your last query... Sumatra is part of Indonesia.
Bob Fenner>
Re: "Ideal" size for specimens to be shipped   12/31/11
Haha, I must've missed the day they covered Indonesia....or most geography, actually. Thanks for your quick reply.
<Welcome! Wish we were diving off the island right now! BobF>

Dogface.. many rather a Toby, sel. For a new tank -- 05/28/08 Hello, <Hi Dawn.> I have a 55 gallon aquarium. I have been researching fish before I set up. My problem is I have fallen for a fish that I cant have because my tank is not big enough. My forbidden love is a dogface puffer. My question is could you give me some alternatives that are not so big. What I love about this fish of course is the personality and the cuteness. <A Toby e.g. a Canthigaster valentini. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm . They are puffers, too and share the traits you list.> I would also like some pretty, colorful tankmates. <Many possibilities, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm . A small number of small to medium sized fish (no surgeons/tangs) should work with proper filtration. Just avoid too passive fish like small cardinals and too aggressive fish like some damsels and maroon clowns.> This will be a fish only tank. I do have some fish keeping experience. this tank has been a fresh water community and brackish in the past. I would now like to try my hand at saltwater. <Be sure to prepare well with the help of literature and the internet. Maybe also contact a local club.> My son wants an eel ugh, my boyfriend wants a stingray. <Both are no choices I would combine with a puffer in a tank of 55 gallons.> So what advice do you have for me and my men. <Among eels there are many possibilities, morays are very robust and come in many sizes, but I'd recommend them only for a separate tank, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm (scroll down to marine eels). A fish similar to an eel is the Convict Blenny (it's no real blenny), which might work with a Toby in your setup, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pholodichthyidae.htm . Stingrays and skates all need very large quarters and are definitely not recommended for beginners with saltwater maintenance, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm . If you like Tobies and your son likes the Convict Blenny two of you can be happy, but I fear your husband should not have a ray in this tank.> Thank you Dawn <Hope that helps. Marco.>

Puffers Hi Guys! Hope you are all keeping well. You have helped me with various queries in the past. I have just seen the cutest little pygmy puffer fishes in my LFS. I would dearly love to give a few of them a home but know nothing about them. You may recall that we currently have a small tropical tank and a large reef tank, so we are not new to fish, just to puffers. Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about pygmy puffers in any of our books although I am guessing that the care for them is similar to that of their larger cousins. I want to make sure I can make them happy before bringing them home. I do understand it will require a species only set up. Any advice you can give regarding these mega cute little fishes would be much appreciated. Many thanks! Lesley <Not sure if you are talking about freshwater, saltwater, or brackish, but these links will give you a start http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpuffers.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm and then follow onto the linked FAQ files. -Steven Pro>

Re: Puffers on FAQ Hi, <Hello Laura> I was just doing my daily (well, since I started reworking our tank) reading of the FAQ and came across the question on puffers.  These little guys are my favorite fish, and I have kept both species of green spotted, figure eights, freshwater dwarfs, Canthigaster valentini, C. jactator, and C. solandri (have avoided the larger dog-faced and spiny marine puffs due to tank size).  I was hoping you could forward this message on to Tyler Re: what species of puffer to keep in a 20 tall and ordering puffers online. For a 20H, you could keep 1-2 figure eights (sg 1.005), 1 green spotted (sg 1.010-1.015), or 1-2 male and 3-5 female dwarf puffers (freshwater).  Dwarfs are notorious for coming in starving or with severe internal parasites (breeding them would be a noble goal considering how many are lost in the import process). <Agreed> I've seen three batches from three different sources (two different LFSs and another group ordered online for a total of 18 fish) drop like flies even with heavy feeding of vitamin-soaked, meaty frozen and live foods (these guys just won't eat dried foods, not even krill like the larger species).  They also really need lots of live plants to hide from each other when things get sticky.  Sexing can be accomplished as cited in other sources: males are not as round and have a dark brown dorsal stripe and yellow bellies.  For a first time puffer owner, I would really not recommend them because they tend to be very delicate. <Yes... need to be quarantined for weeks, fed foods laced with anti-protozoals, anthelminthics... like Metronidazole/Flagyl, Piperazine, Praziquantel... to eliminate internal parasites.>   As far as ordering puffers online, I wouldn't worry about fig eights and green spotteds if your source is keeping them in brackish but I absolutely would not order dwarfs online. These are fish you really need to see in person before you buy, and even then buying them is a fairly big gamble.  I finally got some successful ones that had been started by someone else for a few months; your best bet is probably to find another hobbyist who has been keeping them long-term. Anyways, I'm sure you guys already know all of this and just don't have time to make such an in-depth reply to every single person who e-mails you, so I hope me typing it all out will help :). <Thank you for the excellent input. You will have aided many, and saved many fishes thereby. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Laura

Re: Puffers on FAQ Ah yes, an afterthought: if, in your travels, you ever come across any Canthigaster pygmaeus, I would love it if you would drop me a line (pun most definitely intended) :). <Have only seen this fish a few times (in its range in the Red Sea). My pic here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm> Take care, and happy holidays! <You as well! Bob Fenner> Laura

Help Pick a Puffer Hello Ananda, once again, thank you for responding back to my email, <Hi! That's what I'm here for... > these were some of the choices I have considered, <okay> Blue Dot Puffer (Canthigaster epilampra) 5" Saddle Puffer (Canthigaster sp.) 5" Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentini) 5" SW Spotted Puffer (Canthigaster sp.) 5" <Hmmm. Sounds like the Canthigaster choices available at http://www.liveaquaria.com, one of the WetWebMedia sponsors. ;-) Cool. Between these species, I suspect it's more a matter of personal preference for color, etc. than anything else.> The SW spotted puffer the one above, my LFS sells just the SW spotted puffer it doesn't say what type but the said it will get 5" max, would you by any chance happen to know which puffer that would be? <Well, going from the LiveAquaria site, it has this fish being from Hawai'i. So I went to http://www.fishbase.org and typed in Canthigaster for a genus search. That gets me to their list of all the species in the genus. One of them has "Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby" as a common name. Checking that one out, the photos on the two sites appear to be a match...until you look at the color of the fins and tail. Looking at the "spotted Sharpnose", the body of the fish is again similar -- but this one has an orangey tail. Fishbase lists 28 species of Canthigaster...> And is there any problems with the puffers I have listed with considering tank size and other fish in the tank? <It's possible they could all get along...er, any one of those puffs would get along with your other fish, that is! I think your stocking list (zebra moray, copperband butterfly, yellow tang, right?) is okay, and the 75 is big enough for the Canthigaster...though the butterfly and tang would probably prefer larger quarters.> Last question you said the sea clone 100 would be inadequate for a tank that size with  the puffers, what protein skimmers should I look into and would there be any point in adding another sea clone 100 to the tank to go along with the other one? <I'd avoid another SeaClone...keep the current one for your quarantine tank. For assorted opinions on skimmers for this tank, hit the Daily FAQ page, scroll to the bottom, and type the following in the search box, including the quotes: "protein skimmer" "100 gallons" "skimmer selection" and that will give you a list of pages... then do a "find in page" for 100 and you should find relevant posts.> And when getting a protein skimmer does it need to be right now before I get the puffer or can it wait for down the road? <I'd get the skimmer first... so you can use the SeaClone on the quarantine tank while you have the new skimmer on the display tank. Your puffer will definitely appreciate having a skimmer on his QT!> Ahhhhh....I'm so sorry for asking sooo many questions, I know I said 1 more question, I lied sorry, there is just too many things that I am confused about, <We love to get questions when people are in the planning stages! It's so much less stressful on you and your fish when you can plan stuff out and iron out the wrinkles ahead of time. :-) And don't feel bad -- we have all gone through the confused stage, often more than once!> Thanks sooooo much! Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Jerry <You're quite welcome! Do check out the WetWeb chat forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk too! --Ananda>

Puffer species. If a peacock puffer is too risky then what is an alternative for a 30 gallon tank. are there any other small puffers for a true 1.023 marine aquarium, <You could possibly convert some of the figure 8 puffers to true saltwater if you did it very slowly.  They don't achieve a huge size. or I was thinking possibly some of the smaller species that aren't quite the true puffers like Valentini Puffers and some of the different Toby species.  They are very similar in the look and actions, what they eat and yet they don't get to the same sizes are some of the puffers. Good luck, MacL> Puffer addendum if a peacock puffer is too risky then what is an alternative for a 30 gallon tank. are there any other small puffers for a true 1.023 marine aquarium <Karl, just wanted to suggest you look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm, for a semi complete listing and some pictures of the Tobies. Good luck, MacL>

Toby in a tiny tank Hi! I finally figured out how to ask you guys a question...!!! Alright I have a 25 gallon hexagon tank that I was going to start up as a saltwater tank. I did a lot of research on saltwater aquarium so I think I am ready.  The main reason I want a saltwater tank is because of the Valentini Toby. I found half the answers I was looking for on your site but I still had some questions. I read that Tobies are not good in reef tank because they are coral chompers but I also read that they get a long with Tangs and clowns, aren't these fish reef fish...? <Mmm, well, most tangs and Clownfishes are "feisty" and smart enough to avoid nasty Toby bits... but, your system is too small for tangs> How could I mix them if the puffer doesn't go well in the reef setup? <One item... place the puffer, more aggressive livestock last> Do you know any way I could make it so that they could all go together like maybe have a smaller reef to accommodate the reef fish. If I could do that how small can the reef go so the fish will still be comfortable?! Also do you know any other tankmates?!?!!? Sorry for all the questions I just couldn't find the info anywhere. ahh <Keep reading then... till you feel comfortable... The allusion to size... you're greatly handicapping yourself with such a small system... IF you want the Toby... I would stick with just this as your only fish... and keep other non-fish livestock with it in such a small tank. Bob Fenner> Thanks,

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