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Old 10-31-2003, 11:30 PM   #1
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Puffer=good or bad? Elephant nose= good or bad?

I asked this question in a post of mine in unhealthy fish, but I will ask it here as well. Does anyone have any experience with a freshwater puffer fish? At least Im pretty sure that's what it was. I went to a nearby fish store tonight and saw them. I personally think they would make a nice addition to my tank, but the girl there said they are super-aggressive. What do you think?

Also, any information on an elephant nose? They are kinda cool looking as well.

Thanks a lot!! :P
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:42 PM   #2
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Super super aggressive in most cases. Most famous for this amongst the FW puffers are the Green Spotted Puffers (high pH or brackish water), and the Dwarf Puffers (also known as Malabar or Dwarf Indian Puffers). Some species are less aggressive, such as the South American Puffer (aka Peruvian, Brazilian Puffer) and the Figure 8 puffer, but count on establishing a species-only tank for puffers, or a puffers-and-large-cichlids tank. If you're seriously considering puffers, which are fantastic fish, make sure to read up on male-female ratios (males are quite territorial) and on compatibility with other species. Check out this site for some info: http://www.pufferfish.co.uk Some other members may suggest good sites, too.

Elephant Noses are fantastic and unique fish. They're part of the family momyridae, the momyrids, fish which perceive food through a small electrical organ usually located in the caudal peduncle (base of tail). Black Ghost Knife fish, and I believe Baby Whales, are two other examples of Momyrids.

Though the E-Nose is beautiful, it's also finnicky. It's quite sensitive to tank conditions, and must be fed live foods (brine shrimp, live blood worms). In a tank with fast, enterprising fish it will starve to death. Again, I'd recommend a species-only tank. Also, these fishes' electrical fields may misallign if you have more than 1 in a small tank, so it's often recommended that you keep only 1! This is why most ppl don't own Elephant-noses.

I've left out important info (e.g. Tetradotoxin, an extremely potent toxin that exists in puffer flesh) because I can't possibly say everything. Read up online, and I'm sure some others here will supplement what I've started.
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info on the puffers. Maybe if I get a bigger place someday where I am able to set up a second tank I will think about having a species specific tank for these cool lookin fish.

I'm seriously thinking about getting an elephant nose to add to my tank. I think it would be a nice addition. Are there certain tank mates? I understand the conditions.

Thanks again for all your help madasafish.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:31 AM   #4
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Y'all ready for this???

1) Get driftwood or bevelled/pockmarked rocks. ENs love to forage, and if you've dropped many brineshrimp into the tank, they will try to hide in crevices. When they do, the elephant nose will come in and suck the brine shrimp/bloodworms out.
This is essential, as you can tell by the fish's morphology (body shape) that it is designed to forage in the places other fish don't/can't reach.

2) Let's see. I know that some ppl have combined elephant noses with other species successfully. My recommendation would be to combine this fish with algae eaters and bottom dwellers.

a. Algae Eaters: 1-3 dwarf plecos (e.g. bushy nose (see my gallery), king tiger, queen arabesque (see my gallery), hairy tiger, candy stripe, mega clown peckoltia) for algae cleaning. These fish will not bother the sensitive EN, and will keep water quality better. Number will depend on tank size.

b. 4-6 small loaches for bottom scavenging. Recommendations include: Kuhli Loaches, Yoyo Loaches, Angelicus Loaches, Tiger Loaches. Not clown loaches, since they'll get too big These species are all quite peaceful and will not bother the EN.

3. I'm worried about too many free-swimming fish, as they'll eat the EN's live food in the water column. These fish will be faster and more adept than the EN. And the EN will need a fair amount of live brineshrimp etc. to survive. If you know SW fish, think of these guys as the Seahorses and pipefish of the FW world. They eat slowly and methodically, and can't be put in a position in which they're outcompeted. Like pipefish and seahorses, they really need to be pampered!

OK, now the interrogation!
So what size tank are you thinking of? I'd recommend a 30 Gallon or larger. They'll grow to about 6 inches, so they'll need at least that amount of space to move around. How many are you planning on buying? Have you thought about getting a brineshrimp hatchery (simple to use, cheap to operate--don't worry) so that you don't have to rely on the expensive packages of brineshrimp LFSs sell? Here's one example: http://www.bigalsonline.com/ Go to "USA" first. Then, at the main page, do a search for "Brine Shrimp." Select "HATCH N' FEEDER BRINE SHRIMP CORRAL." There are some other external hatcheries, also. Check out the options. This is you're cheapest bet for the hatchery--Bigals is very inexpensive. I buy all of my equipment there. Take advantage of this great site!

Enough for now. Keep on asking questions. It's good to flush out important issues and problems so you have a good experience with these fantastic fish.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:35 AM   #5
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Also, don't get overwhelmed with this info. I should write shorter posts. Sorry. Read and reread. Synthesize, then act. You're really lucky if you get this/these fish. You will be the envy of this community and of all your friends!
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:22 AM   #6
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Thank you very much for the info. I will give a more detailed answer later after I process the info LOL
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:43 AM   #7
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Well, as you may have read in some of my other posts, I had a 20 gal. long just sitting around, so I decided to go ahead and set that up. Im hoping that I will get a 46 gal bow front from santa, so I will be able to move the EN to that once I get it. Do you think a 20 gal will suffice for now? I will start small I promise...

I found a hatchery at a lfs for $9.99, it's the exact same one you told me about at bigal's. But I have to cycle the tank first, so I think I will start with some dano's since I've heard that they are pretty good "starter" fish. I will then move the Dano's to my other community tank.

I keep changing my mind from day to day, so who knows what I will want to put in the tank tomorrow...those puffers are still lookin good...LOL
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:13 AM   #8
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Danios are great for cycling (BioSpira is another option).

Good luck! Let me know when you decide. My vote's for the EN. Very few ppl are willing to buy them, as they can be sensitive. Give it a well cycled tank and a brine shrimp hatchery, decorate the tank well, and you've got yourself a show-stoppingly cool fish!
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:44 PM   #9
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Well, no one locally has any bio-spira, so I went and bought some stress zyme (I've used it before and liked the results) and some dano's so I started to cycle the EN home. I went to a lfs today to see if they had any bio-spira, which of course they didn't and the dude was very rude to me. I told him that I was looking to get a EN and he told me flat out I didn't want one of those, they are so hard to keep alive. They don't even carry them anymore because they are so finiky. But that doesn't matter to me...I still want one. The only think I think I will ever buy from that dude is the brine shrimp hatchery.

So how long do you think it will take for my tank to cycle? I got a new book in the mail today, and it said that EN like a pH of 6.8. I'm not going to hurry this one as I don't want to get an EN only to turn around and have it die. I think this will be a very interesting fish for me to have, they are very cool looking. My mother has three cory's that she said she will give me for in the tank, and I saw some other cory's at another lfs that had some cool markings on them. I will keep you posted.

And thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:32 AM   #10
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No problem.

Tanks that size usually take about 2-3 weeks to cycle. Leave the danios in there until you get the EN. I'd recommend taking them out then to even out the bioload. If you introduce a new fish, the bioload will increase, and you'll get another "minicycle" in which more bacteria need to be created to deal with increasing nitrogenous waste... If you simply replace one larger fish for a few smaller ones, you should avoid this.

Don't hurry it, and certainly don't listen to the nay-sayers. LFS employees can be really really rude if they think they know the world about fish. The guy is right--ENs *are* hard to keep, but if you're really careful and read plenty, I think you'll do fine. Just so you know, if you do *not* succeed, you will be forgiven! You'll be amongst the ranks of the many thousands of owners with good intentions....... I've lost some fish recently, and feel horrible about it. But I know that I've kept the tanks clean for them and that I almost certainly could not have avoided their deaths.

Oh, and BioSpira is tough to come by. Don't expect to find it in your LFS. If you're interestes, try PMing "Bernie." He stocks it at his store in Tennessee. Can't remember his URL, maybe someone else can...

Cories, btw, sound like fine tankmates for the EN. Good choice. And lucky you for having a mother who cares about fish!!

Jonathan
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:45 AM   #11
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It's funny though, I was in Wal-Mart tonight getting the dano's and there was a guy waiting to get some fish after me. He was talking to his buddy and said he doesn't like the lfs (the one where the guy told me I didn't want to get the EN) because everytime he goes in there to get fish, the dude tells him that he doesn't want that fish cause of this, or cause of that...kinda like he did with me and the EN. Like I said, the only thing I will buy from this guy will be the shrimp hatchery cause it's cheaper there.

My mom loves fish. She's the one who had the 20 gal long, but made my dad get her the current 55 gal that she has. If you take a look at my photogallery, you will see her Iredecent (spelling) shark that she has had in her tank for about 3 years now. It was my fish, but when I moved and decided not to set my tank back up, I gave it to her. She's so funny, she's afraid that she will have too many ornaments in her tank so she won't be able to see the fish. But I plan on fixing that tomorrow when I "help" her clean out her tank. (By help I mean clean the entire thing for her.) She went out back and got some rocks from the garden, cleaned them up really good, let them soak in supper hot water, and we are gonna make a new environment for her fish tomorrow. She has quite a selection of fish. 2 tin-foil barbs, 3 scissor tail, 1 male betta, 1 adult Iredecent Shark, 1 juvinile iredecent shark, about 3-4 gouramis's, some tetras, and she might be purchasing some clown loaches as soon as we get her tank cleaned out. I had her talked into getting some german blue rams, but they don't get very big, so I don't think they will do well in her tank.

Anyway...that's enough about her tank. I will keep you updated, and let you know when I get my EN.
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:54 AM   #12
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Old 11-13-2003, 11:31 PM   #13
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Ok...I tested the water tonight...no ammonia no nitrItes...do you think I might be getting close to the end of my cycle. I did get a new tank to move all my other fish to and left some of the water from them in the bottom of the tank, all the poo and stuff. I am going to get a piece of driftwood soon (hopefully), I found one on ebay that I really liked, and bid on it, the auction ends in like 3 days. Can I add the driftwood after I get the EN, or should I do it before? I plan on getting the Cory's from my mom tomorrow and adding them to the tank. Which pleco would you recommend? Or shouldn't I get one since I am having the cory's? Do you think that 20 gal is too small? I know you said 30...but...Well let me know what you think. Thanks again!
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:07 AM   #14
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i've heard that EN's need very soft substrate as to not hurt their NOSES. is this correct? i have "standard" gravel and i wouldn't want his nose to get scuffed up, however i would love it to be my next fish as soon as i get a digital thermometer/digital pH too(?) & perhaps a brine shrimp hatchery! i want a EN or a Ghost Knife and i think the EN, even though more finnicky, will not EAT my tank like the KNIFE!...
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:27 AM   #15
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If you find a true Brazillian freshwater puffer, they look like little bumble bees, then they are not aggresive at all. I have one in my 30 gal community tank and he keeps to himself and does not bother anyone else ( He is even in with a Angel fish!). He has his fav. corner of the tank and hangs out there until its dinner time. They are quite cute, smaller than the green spotted and figure eights. One thing to mention about them is that you will need to trim their tooth as they have cronic overgrown tooth problem and can't keep it worn down fast enough no matter how many snails you feed them.
But other than that I would not trade him in for any other fish, he has the best little personality. I'll try to post a pic of him in my gallery so you can see what he looks like.
Good luck in your decision.
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