Tuesday, May 15, 2007

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