Brackish Water IV
By Eric Crouch, Aqualand's Fish Consultant

 
Amphibians
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Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
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Clawed
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Misc Frogs II
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Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

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Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9


Snakes
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Kids at Pet Expo 1

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Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
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Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
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Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
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Races
Snapping

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
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Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
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Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
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Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
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Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
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Sword Plants III

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Lace
Java Lance Fern
Java Moss
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Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

LA
Called a figure-8 puffer for some reason

Puffers are an oft-sought addition to the brackish aquarium.   They are comical and often quite attractive.  Unfortunately, even though they are slow, they can often be nasty, sidling up to an unsuspecting victim and then suddenly ripping away a chunk of fin or flesh.  They have the equipment for this, too.

Archerofthmoon, June 4, 2006
I am a moderator of The Puffer Forum (www.thepufferforum.com) and on your site there are some very horendous photos (all of the photos) of puffers that are not kept in the right conditions. You have a few species under the wrong name as well as listed in conditions that are not correct for the species. In addition what you are feeding the puffs is not nutritional yet healthy. Feeder fish carry disease aswell are mainly fat and water, this is not good practice. As a moderator of a public forum I ask that you either close that section down and edit out some of the photos and info and or just remove that off your site completly. Thank you.

A:  I'll add your input to my site.  If you used your actual name, I'd give your comments more credence.  LA

LA
Green spotted puffers a little over 1.5 inches.  Note the ragged tails.

LA
They grow to about three inches and bite any fish they get close to.

Kate Churchill, November 17, 2008
I am writing to ask you to please correct your Brackish Water IV 
page which describes the Green Spotted Puffer (GSP) fish. The page 
says that the GSP only grows to 3 inches but it is common knowledge 
that this fish actually grow to around 6 inches. That is a HUGE 
difference! I would be more than happy to provide multiple sources 
showing the actual size of the GSP if necessary. Thank you,

A:  I'll trust your multiple sources.  You do not even need to notarize them.  I should have said:  I haven't seen any of these little guys grow larger than three inches.  Thanks for the added info.  I'll add it to the page right now.  You should be able to see it this afternoon.  LA

LA
Figure-8s and spotteds get along fine together.  Make sure they're about the same size.

LA
When they start eating a fish, they all join in.  Not a community fish.

LA
Different goldfish.  Different puffers.

LA
Puffers will eat from your fingers and will eat your fingers if you submerge them.

LA
A half dozen puffers will easily clean up one goldfish.

LA
And they're not above chewing on their relatives either.

Great Dentures:  Puffers have very strong biting and crushing teeth, so as to handle the shells of their favorite food:  snails.  If you insist upon adding them to a brackish community, make it a large tank with plenty of cover for the other residents to seek.

 

LA
Very few puffers ever actually "puff up."

LA
Here's one that puffed up in 2007.

LA
Another one.  Note the tiny spikes.

LA
Ditto.

LA
But they sure "fill up" on certain foods.  This one stuffed himself on krill.

LA
Not many puffers will do this. 

LA
Fahaka puffer.

LA
Two Indian dwarf puffers compared to the green spotted puffer in a two-inch bowl.

LA
Herd of spotted puffers.  Don't try this at home.

LA
Leopard puffer.  Another species or not?

LA
Three-inch tokay puffer -- one of the bigger brackish water puffers.

Anon, June 6, 2010
Hi, When I was surfing on your website I noticed this puffer:
And if I'm not mistaken this is not a brackish water puffer but a fresh water puffer named; Montrete turgidus.
You can't put this fish in brackish water!
Monotrete turgidus

Owner: PufferPedia Admin

Common Name: Brown Puffer

Family: Tetraodontidae

Distribution: Mekong Basin, Thailand, Laos

Water Parameters: Temp: 23 - 26C (74 - 80F); pH:6.0 - 7.8

Personality/Temperament: Agressive.

Activity: Hunter. Nocturnal and twilight activity mostly.

Max. Size: 6 inches (15 cm)

Estimated Lifespan: Not known

Sexual Dimorphism: None shown

Diet: Feeding and Diet article

Care: Pufferfish are extremly sensitive to nitrites and ammonia and should only be introduced into a fully cycled aquarium. Due to their messy eating habits, overfiltration is recommended.

Breeding: Awaiting information

Minimum Tank Size: 20 US gallons (75 liters)

A:  Thanks for the info.  I'll add it below the picture.  LA

LA
Not near as common because of their price.

LA
Tokays grow to a nice size.  Their red eyes are an attractive attribute.

LA
Another tokay puffer.

LA Pic
Ceylon puffer.

LA
Fugu puffer.

LA 
Avocado puffers -- a tinge of green.

LA
Inch-long figure-eight  and red-eye puffers.  Cute little devils.

LA
Three-inch red-eye puffer just out of the bag.

LA
Same guy next day.

LA
Sort of cute.

LA
Avocado puffer (he's still alive) truncated by a fugu puffer.

LA
1.25-inch Brazilian banded puffer

LA
Ditto.

LA
Two of the little rascals.

Puffer Foods:  Keep your puffers well-fed to reduce their appetite for chunks of their tank mates.  These fish prefer meaty foods such as snails, brine shrimp, California blackworms, etc.  If you insist upon feeding flake food to these critters, don’t be surprised if they refuse to eat it.  Most love feeder goldfish.

Sam Musilli, Mansfield, OH, February 15, 2009
You may or may not know, but in my experience my green spotted puffers have done great on Omega One marine flakes. They are now about three inches each and very healthy.  I have raised them on this from the one-inch size.

A:  Good to know.  I'll add your report to my puffer page.  LA

Sarah Gaston, Sarah Gaston, April 9, 2011
Thank you very much! All your answers were helpful and the site that you directed me to also helps a lot.
I was looking through your site again and I noticed your puffer page. I have two figure 8 puffers and two Leopard puffers (green spotted puffers sold to me as leopard puffers pretty sure they are the same considering your images). I wanted to clear some stuff up that some people posted on your page. Fresh water puffers DO NOT get bigger than three inches. All of my guys are just barely hitting the inch and a half mark and I've had them for a year now. Saltwater puffers do get bigger and if that's what you got than good for you! I noticed in the first few images you have LA that the puffers have shredded tails. When I first got mine they had that too and I am guessing it was from the stress of moving from the pet store to my tank. Their tails are all full and better now. I've never tried feeding them other fish and haven't really (in my research) seen any one suggest you should. Though they do take chunks out of other fish. I do feed them live ghost shrimp, the packaged krill, and snails, lots and lots of snails. All of these they love! These are voracious little guys so if you want to add fish in after them I would suggest tiger bards that are nearly the same size as them. They are fast enough to get away from the puffers if the puffers try to go after them. My puffers are slow and don't really bug them or the other fish in my tank (convinced I have the nice puffers). I absolutely love puffer fish. They are very cute and are fun to watch when they eat.
I don't claim to be an expert in puffer fish but I have done my research which included talking to specialists BEFORE i got them. I don't just get fish to get them, I do research on all my fish which I suggest that everyone do. If you aren't sure don't get!
P.S. Puffers aren't for beginners either. Its good to know what fish are easy to take care of and what fish you're going to have trouble with.

A:  Good info.  We have customers all the time that want to add puffers to their goldfish tank "because they're so cute."  I just drop a recently deceased feeder goldfish in our puffer tank and let the customers make their own decision -- much better than personal opinion.  They're still cute (the puffers, that is).  LA
PS
 I'm adding your info to my puffer page.

LA
See why some people call them stonefish?

LA
Not the prettiest fish in the tank.

LA
Getting along (?) with a Senegal bichir.

Freshwater Lionfish.  One of the ugliest oddballs to appear in the home aquarium is the freshwater lionfish, Hatophryne trispinosus.  Actually a brackish water stonefish, the freshwater lion requires at least a full tablespoon of salt per gallon, or it becomes susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.  This fish is so ugly that its own mother wouldn’t love it.  For oddball collectors, that’s what is so intriguing.  The freshwater lion has a large mouth, and is mostly piscivorous, so expect to feed one a lot of goldfish.  Also, be careful in handling this fish;  the freshwater lion has poisonous fin spines that can inflict a painful wound.

 

LA
Dragon goby

The dragon fish is a goby-type fish that does quite well in a brackish tank.  Long and eel-like with a large mouth and tiny eyes, it is a dully-colored, gray fish at first.  They develop blue and green highlights as they mature.  They are truly bizarre, however, and the perfect fish for the collector of oddballs.  They grow to over 12 inches, and are absolutely peaceful to any fish over guppy-size.  Dragons won’t eat flakes at first.  They do well on brine shrimp when small, graduating to small guppies as they grow larger.  They are not shy, so it is not unusual to see them slithering up and down the front of the aquarium.

LA
Jade goby about three inches long.

Other Gobies.  Not all gobies grow big buggy eyes.  Most do, however, bounce about the bottom rather than swim.  Everyone loves the little bumblebee gobies, but not necessarily the mogurnda mogurnda mogurnda. 

LA
Bumblebees usually ignore flake foods.

Bumblebee gobies are small, rarely exceeding 1 ½ inches in length.  They are slow and peaceful, so keep them with small fish such as Celebes rainbows, small scats, livebearers, etc.  This is one of the few good tank mates for glassfish.

When feeding, make sure that your ‘bees get their share.  In a community, it isn’t uncommon for bumblebee gobies to starve, not because they are shy, but because they are such slow bottom-dwelling fish that the other fish eat all the food before it reaches the bottom or before the gobies rise off the bottom to get their share.  ‘Bees prefer live or frozen foods, but will do okay on some flakes.  Otherwise, they are good, attractive community fish.  

LA
Iridescent goby?

LA
Cling-on Goby -- impossible to photograph in the water.

LA
Blue-spotted goby?

Jon T. Zych, Rochester, MN, April 2, 2008
I noticed a picture on your Brackish IV page labeled as a blue-spotted goby. Now I don't claim to be an expert, but I must say it looks far more like a Purple spotted Gudgeon.

A:  Don't be so modest.  Nearly everybody I know from Minnesota does claim to be an expert.  However, in this case I believe you are correct, sir (as Ed McMahon used to say).  I'm going to blame my mistake on the fact that Crayola changed the names of some of their crayons.  I've added your correction to my page.  Thanks.  LA
PS 
I've added your name to my list of Minnesotan experts.

LA
Spotted goby above.  Knight goby (with top spine) below.

Other gobies that are good brackish aquarium inhabitants include the blue-spotted goby and the knight goby; others are occasionally available.  Be sure that the goby you buy is really a brackish water fish.  Though most gobies are brackish water fishes, a few, such as the neon goby (an inhabitant of swift mountain steams) are not.  A good reference book may be helpful.

 
LA
Butterfly goby.  Picky eater.  Do not touch these at home.  They sting.

The “butterfly goby” (called the bullrout in its native Australia), Noteshes robusta, is no goby at all, but a member of the scorpionfish family, Scorpaenidae.  As such, this critter’s dorsal spines are poisonous, so avoid getting stuck and having a painful experience.  I have never seen one over two inches, but in the wild they get well over a foot in length.  Whether this means that they just don’t do well in aquaria or whether I just haven’t seen one of any size, I don’t know.  This species prefers frozen and live foods.

LA
Called freshwater flounders, these guys do best in brackish water.

Need more flounder info?  Go to Flounder page.

Go to Brackish Water V

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