Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quarantine Tank, AM:
1/2 cube bloodworms, bit of Rod's Reef Food

Quarantine Tank, PM:
Ammonia 0
Nitrates 20
Specific Gravity 1.010
PM: Fortified Brine Shrimp

Monday, May 28, 2007

5/28/07 Monday

Quarantine Tank, PM:
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrates 20 ppm
SG 1.010
Feeding: Frozen fresh water mysis

Sunday, May 27, 2007

5/27/07 Sunday

Quarantine Tank, 11:00 AM:
Temperature 78 degF
SG 1.010
Feeding 1/2 frozen mysis cube with Garlic Guard
Added plastic plant to tank for interest.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

5/26/07 Saturday

Quarantine Tank, AM:
SG 1.010
Feeding: Fortified brine shrimp

Mid-day feeding: Reconstituted freeze dried krill.
Bertie eats about 4, others eat her "crumbs", not whole ones.

Quarantine Tank, PM:
SG 1.011 (added 4 cups FW)
Ammonia 0
Nitrates 15 ppm

The new quarantine tank had sides and back painted black. My guess is that this was creating more reflections than the fish had been used to in the previous tank; the female clown seemed quite agitated and kept attacking the front glass. Bertie no longer reacted with me (I'm not sure she could see through the tank any longer, and she quite often seemed interested in looking at things outside her tank), and she ultimately stared at the glass of the tank in the front left corner and, quickly enough that I first thought I'd imagined it, she puffed and unpuffed. After a bit of thought, we decided that the painted tank was causing the reflective problems and, rather than try and scrape the tank with the fish in it, I cleaned and prepped a second 15 gallon tank to transfer the fish to. (This tank also had to be scraped, but only on the rear side.)

As I was getting ready to siphon water into the new tank, I noticed Bertie puff at her reflection once again (I guess this puts paid to the idea that she might be willing to share her tank with another Toby...). We then siphoned 10 gallons into a bucket, placed the new tank on the stand and poured fish and water in, then added the remaining water back in. The transfer was unremarkable and the fish seemed to calm down quite rapidly in the new tank. Panda is no longer preoccupied with the reflection in the glass and Bertie seems once more interested in motion outside her tank. I have not noticed her puff since.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quarantine Tank, AM:
SG 1.010
Feed: 1/2 cube frozen enriched brine shrimp

Quarantine Tank, PM:
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 20 ppm
SG 1.011 (added 4 cups FW)
Feed: 1/2 cube frozen mysis shrimp plus pellets

Moved QT denizens to 15 gallon quarantine tank:
SG 1.010 (2/3 new salt water, 1/3 from old tank)
Temperature in both tanks 77 degrees Farenheit

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Quarantine Tank, AM:
SG 1.011; added 4 cups FW
AM feeding: live Mysis shrimp (did not survive hyposalinic tank conditions)

Quarantine Tank, PM:
SG 1.012
NH3 0 ppm
NO2 not tested
NO3 ~30 ppm
50% water change using SG 1.010 water
PM feeding: Mami's frozen mix

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quarantine Tank, AM:
SG 1.013; added 4 cups fresh water.

Quarantine Tank, PM:
SG 1.013
NH3 0 ppm
NO2 0.25 ppm
NO3 ~30 ppm
50% water change using 1.010 SG water.
PM Feeding: 1/2 Marine Cuisine cube.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

5/22/07 Tuesday

7:45 AM
SG 1.011
Bertie plastered (velcroed?) on tube, sleeping.

8:30 PM
SG 1.012
Ammonia 0 ppm
PM Feeding: Mami's Frozen batch.

Monday, May 21, 2007

5/21 PM - QT

Note: Hyposalinity officially begins today. Dosing Mg and Iodine on Mondays.
SG: 1.013; added 8 cups fresh.
AM feeding: Enriched brine shrimp.
PM feeding: Ray's Mix and Pellets.
Bertie measures 6 cm

Notes: Misc. Val

From Puffer Forum:

  • Bonnie's Val sleeps wedged into veggie clip every night -- likened to looking like a shark with opened mouth, coloring wise..
  • JPSmith's sleeps wedged between rocks and fades to blend.
  • Bertie just sleeps on the floor and fades -- wasn't too extreme with the rocks about, but she becomes quite "washed out" looking by morning with the mirrored bottom. Normal color returns pretty quickly once she's "up and about".

Various ("cleaning aids"):

  • Decoy shells (empty) help with longevity of snails / hermit crabs.
  • Micro brittle stars may be too small to find among the live rock.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

5/20/07 - QT

Salinity: 1.013 (added 4 cups fresh water).
Evening feeding: Pellets for clowns plus 1/2 cup Marine Cuisine. Also fed anemone in other tank.
Lights out at approximately 11:0o PM.

5/20/07 - QT

Salinity: 1.012 (added 4 cups FW)

5/20/07 - QT

Salinity 1.017
Ammonia less than 25 ppm
Nitrates 20 ppm
50% water change with 1.010 salinity water to decrease tank salinity. Hyposalinity treatment officially begins today.

5/20/07 - QT

Lights on
Salinity 1.017 (added 4 cups fresh water)
AM feeding: 1/2 cube brine shrimp mixed with 1/2 cube mysis. Use less next time; fair amount left over.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

5/19/07 -- QT Stats

Evening feeding: Pellets for clowns, 1/2 cube mysis, 1/2 cube mixture.
Added 8 cups fresh water.
Changed filter for larger filter (rated to 50g) from rock tank. We believe that we may have lost much of the bacteria from the original filter when we cleared out in preparation for the hyposalinity treatment; hopefully the bacteria in the new filter will survive through the treatment and keep a better handle on the water levels. Still to watch levels carefully...

5/19 AM - QT

SG = 1.020; Added 8 cups fresh water (aiming to bring salinity to 1.018 and then later to 1.016)
Fed 1/2 cube Marine Cuisine.

Friday, May 18, 2007

5/18 PM - QT

SG 1.021
5 gallon water change (with 4 cups FW): SG 1.019
AM feeding: Green Brine
PM feeding: Rod's Reef Food

5/18 QT Notes

  • Clowns "sleeping" in PVC caves.
  • Bertie sleeping on bare floor; coloring even more washed out/grayish looking thatn I am accustomed to in mornings (due to mirrored floor?). Color came back once she "got up" and began moving around as usual. Breathing unremarkable.
  • PJ in back, hovering as normal
  • Bertie now has a brownish patch / strip along her stomach / chest that seems attached, not falling off. (From sleeping in poo?)
  • Ber

Thursday, May 17, 2007

5/17/07 QT

KH -- 14 drops
Ammonia 0
pH 8.3-8.4
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 30-40
Performed 50% water change.

5/17/07 QT

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 25 ppm
Nitrate 30 ppm
Salinity 1.025
AM feeding (CS): pellets and mysis cube.
2/3 water change (plus tank cleaning).
Removed rocks, anemone, coral to rock tank in preparataion for hyposalinity treatment.
Decreased salinity by adding fresh water to 1.020
Placed pvc piping to offer replacment "caves"

Fish appeared fairly unperturbed by whole experience.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

5/15/07 - QT

Salinity 1.025 (added 2 cups fresh water)
Evening feeding: Fortified brine shrimp.

5/15/07 QT

Salinity 1.026 (added 2 cups fresh water)
pH 8.2-8.4
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 25 ppm
Nitrate 15 ppm

Notes: Valentini Feeding Specifics

  • Live short neck clams (either clam on half shell or crack it open a bit to help them out; left over clams can be frozen for later use)
  • Krill
  • Marine Cuisine
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Nori (to give puffer something to pick at in place of your live rock)
  • Raw mussels / frozen mussel cubes (crack mussels first?)
  • SF Bay Emerald Entree
  • Shrimp (can get raw, frozen shrimp and break off tail section to offer to puffer; rest of shrimp can be reserved for more standard cuisine uses)
  • Squid

In general, brine shrimp and bloodworms don't offer the needed nutritional value; treat them as snacks or rare treats instead of meals.

Sources: Various on-line references; this post in particular mainly culled from researching forum post recommendations of other Valentini Puffer owners at The Puffer Forum , specifically, thanks to posts from OraLacerta, Bonnie3188, and Faeth

Notes: Valentini Puffers

Tetraodontidae family, Canthigaster valentini

  • Also known as: Valentini's Sharpnose Puffer, Black Saddled Toby, Saddled Puffer
  • Marine fish, originates in reefs of Indian and Pacific Oceans.
  • Maximum length: Approximately 11 cm.
  • Lifespan: Believed to be 5-10 years.
  • Minimum tank size: 20 gallons.
  • Preferred pH: 7.9-8.4.
  • Preferred temperature: 74-80 degreesF.
  • Description: 4 black stripes on the back (saddles), blue-grey head, white body with blue-grey speckles, tail and fins tinted yellow, males have a rainbow streak of color behind eyes.
  • Needs to eat a source of shelled food in order to prevent teeth from overgrowing.
  • Often considered to be a "fin-nipper", can often co-house with blennies. May nibble at any crustacean in tank, regardless of size; if well fed, generally doesn't bother corals.
  • Poisonous to eat.

Sources: Info composite of various on-line sources but mainly culled from researching forum posts and library info at The Puffer Forum


Notes: Feeding Options

Puffers (in general) feed on:

  • Algae
  • Blackworms
  • Bloodworms (sparingly, treat as a snack food)
  • Brine Shrimp (sparingly, treat as snack food)
  • Cockles
  • Crabs
  • Crayfish (consider removing claws so they don't get the chance to hurt puffer)
  • Crickets (occasional)
  • Earthworms (use bait worms rather than "provenance unknown" worms)
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Krill
  • Bonnie feeds a marinara seafood mix with squid and clams in it.
  • Mealworms (occasional)
  • Mini Brittle Stars
  • Mussels
  • Plankton
  • Prawns
  • Shrimp
  • Silversides
  • Snails (fresh water / pond snails easier for puffer to break the shell of, less likely to damage their teeth)

Frozen Food: Good idea to defrost and strain. Can thaw or dehydrate using vitamin water. Freeze dried or sundried foods must be soaked for 20 minutes or so before feeding to puffers (to keep them from swallowing air with the food).

Shelled Foods: Offer once daily to 2-3 times per week (small mollusks, shrimp, krill with shells) to help keep teeth from overgrowing. Some do well with feedings one day and snails in the tank for the next day's feeding.

Feed puffer in one area of tank only -- aids with training and ease of cleaning, makes puffer more likely to accept dosed food if needed, decreases likelihood of puffer being aggressive to tankmates over food. Puffer should have a small potbelly (but not bulging) after feeding. Watch and remove "leftovers" after the meal.

BoxerMom suggests that fish under 3" be fed twice a day, over 3" be fed once a day.

Sources: Info composite of various on-line sources but mainly culled from researching forum posts and library info at The Puffer Forum


5/15 Bertie Pictures

Sunday, May 13, 2007

5/13 Stats Plus

Quarantine Tank:
pH 8.0
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Sallinity: 126 (added 2 cups fresh water)

Evening Feeding: Enriched frozen brine shrimp cube (gleefully accepted).

As of today, Bertie measures 5.5 cm (5 cm without tail -- should I be measuring total length or length less tail?)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

5/12 Bare Stats

QT Tank
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: less than 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm

PM Feeding: Pellets to clowns and frozen mysis (which Bertie is finally eating!)

Friday, May 11, 2007

5/11 Bare Stats

Quarantine Tank:
Temperature: 79 degreesF
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm

Evening Feeding: Frozen mysis cube (refused by all). Vacuumed tank and tried a chunk of frozen mysis from a different package (also basically refused).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

5/9 Beginning of the Updates

Warning: Much of this blogbook is going to be comprised of numbers and notes such as one would find in one's usual marine journal -- all the measurements I'll want to have handy will be noted here for the sake of convenience. Just a quick head's up -- so when you get to the "Why on earth am I reading all these numbers about a tank that isn't even mine?!!", remember that you've been warned, no whining! ;*)

Gritty Knitty:

  • Ammonia = less than 0.25
  • Nitrites = 0.25
  • Nitrates = 20
  • Temperature = 78 degF
  • Tank size = 10 gallon (isolation tank -- we are aware that this tank is too small for all of the inhabitants and will correct the situation as soon as it can happen)

Tank Inhabitants:

  • Mated pair of false percula clownfish, plus their bubble tip anemone (anemone is too small for both to nuzzle simultaneously -- it is noted that when the female is stressed, she chases the male away and will not "share"...), aka Panda (female) and Joney (male);
  • One Pyjama Cardinal, aka JudyPJ;
  • One Valentini Sharpnose Puffer, aka Bertie, measured tonight at approximately 6 cm long (it is *really* hard to get an accurate measurement -- she was right up against the glass when I took the number, but still... How do other folks manage?);
  • Either one or two snails, Astria but individually unnamed, that Bertie has let be so far;
  • One mini hermit crab that has thus far managed to escape Bertie (possibly the reason the extra "snail shell" had gone missing was that the sensible hermit crab was hiding);
  • One ghost shrimp that has also thus far proved faster and more agile than its flatmates.


  • Morning: 1/4 "chunk" frozen mysis shrimp combined with 1/4 "chunk" frozen brine shrimp, defrosted in tank water. I was at work for this feeding. I'm told that the brine shrimp were accepted by all the tanks' denizens quite happily but the mysis, when selected, were promptly spit back out.
  • Afternoon: "Some" live brine shrimp, which I'm told were gleefully accepted by all. An algae block was also left in the tank for several hours... Only the female clown seemed to pick at it at all and it was removed at the time of the evening feeding.
  • Evening: 1/4 frozen mysis shrimp and 1/4 frozen brine shrimp, again defrosted in tank water. And again, the brine shrimp were avidly hunted, but the mysis shrimp were refused and spit back out again.

Lights out followed the evening feeding, and a short "settle down" period before a 1/3 tank water change. Replacement water was measured at 73 degF and salinity of approximately 1.023. Only the female clownfish seemed concerned, picking on the male clown for a short period following the water change.

Monday, May 7, 2007

5/7 Stats AM and PM

Light still off, puffer sleeping under grate supporting corals; pyjama cardinal hiding, both clownfish sleeping next to anemone.

Just before leaving for work, puffer awoke, "cruised" the tank and returned to underneath the coral stand.

Did not feed in AM, no pictures taken.

CS's morning feeding: Mysis/brine shrimp combo (from frozen cubes).
CS's afternoon feeding: Brine shrimp from live solution.

Ammonia: Less than 0.25 ppm
Nitrites: Less than 0.25 ppm
Nitrates: 15 ppm

Evening feeding: 3 small ghost shrimp introduced to tank; pellets to clowns. I believe that Bertie at one of the shrimp, but difficult to say for certain.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

5/6 New Baby!

Purchased Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentini) at SeaWorld Pets, cost $25.00. (Also purchased Flicka's Pyjama Cardinal at the same time.)

Size: approximately 1 inch long
Active, alert to surroundings
Nameed: Bertie (though unsure of gender)

Acclimated to isolation tank via 1/4 cup added tank water to transport bags every 10 minutes over a 2-1/2 hour period.

Upon introduction to tank, Bertie remained alert and active, did not hide. Bertie did not seem either aggressive or passive.

Other tank inhabitants: Mated pair of orange clownfish (female tends to be a bit aggressive) and their anemone; several snails; pajama cardinal (introduced to tank at same time as puffer); rocks; several species of coral (also introduced concurrently).

After a brief settle-in period, fish were fed a course of brine shrimp in solution. Bertie was quite interested in food and ate with "gusto". Cardinal ate a bit, but mostly kept to itself for the evening. Clownfish ate well.

Once light was turned off for the evening, Bertie settled to the floor of the tank and appeared to sleep.