A friend of mine has some puffer fish in his brackish tank. He has said they need care for there beaks so they dont grow too long and has heard putting snails in the tank will give them something to nibble on to help do this.
Is this right and does anyone have any other ideas for wearing there beaks down?
Unfortunately this is a diet problem. Puffers beaks grow throughout their lifetime. If they do not get food that grinds these teeth down then their beak will grow too big and they will be unable to eat. Feed the puffer regular food but ensure that you include hard food like snails, shellfish still in its shell (for example cockle) and shrimp.
If your puffers beak has grown too big for these foods to make a difference you will need to get your local vet to file the beak down.
It has been suggested that if a lump of coral in the tank the puffer will use it to keep their teeth down. Whether this is true or not I don't know but it won't harm your tank and may introduce a nice decoration into your tank.
Fishy-Fishy wrote: Yes, tell your mate to get some snails. Apparently MTSs are no good cos their shells are too tough. You can breed snails in a small tank or vase, just put some plants in and they'll do the rest
Goodness too tough really, wouldnt be good to get over run with them then would it but guess you could sell them unlike the common snail
cockles are great for puffer teeth and yes MTS have been known to damage the teeth of puffers
as for the snail breeding idea its good but you'd need to be breeding a fair few and they'll just die when put in the brackish tank (maybe an hour to do so though) so cockles and frozen/freeze-dried river shrimp are the best options IMO
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Hi There, great that some people are thinking of keeping puffers! I have kept a few species now and can offer a little advice i hope. Firstly, yes, crunchy food is a MUST. Snails are great, but as DragonLord says they will not survive in a brackish tank so best bred elsewhere. Personally i like to feed with small cockles. I buy frozen and defrost them, but don't open them fully. The puffers will scrape excitedly at the shell for some time before fully opening them. Also a sandy substrate is a good idea, puffers can be regularly observed sucking up mouthfuls of sand and 'blowing' it out again - it is likely the abrasive nature of the sand will also keep the beaks short. Also check your species, not all are brackish, in fact very few truely are, most are either fw or marine. If you keep more than one make sure the tank has lots of space!! Some species, well, just don't bother with another puffer, keep them on their own. Most can be kept with tankmates if these are CHOSEN CAREFULLY. Puffers are by far the cutest fish around, and they are known for the highly individual personalities and intelligence (its all relative mind you, one of mine is still trying to eat the thermometer......)
Thanks for the advice on the ramshorns, I'll pick some up when I buy my puffer eventually. Just a quick question, I've read that puffers require two small feeds a day. What exactly is small? Two cockles, two cubes of bloodworm? Also, how often should they be fed snails on a weekly basis? When giving a puffer snails, should I only give food in the morning and substitute it's later meal for snails? Thanks for any help .