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Old 02-24-2004, 06:30 PM   #1
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"Lazy" spines on Puffer?

I have a small porcupine puffer that has something odd looking on its back. It's a small white thing that sticks straight up (not very long), which at first I thought was some kind of parasite. However, I have done a couple freshwater dips (for ich), and it has not fallen off. Looking at pictures from when I first got him, it appears that it was there from the beginning. It doesn't look like his other spines, as it's completely white in color. However, he has a few by his face that look and "float" in a similar fashion. Is it just a bad spine?

Has anyone seen this on a puffer before?

You can sort of see it in the attached photo.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
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I don't know what it is, can't really see it well in the pic, but I'll give you a
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the bump. In the pic, it's that tiny white thing sticking up from his back, about halfway down his back. You can see the similar "spines" under his eyes.

The one on his back is a bit unsightly, but I'm more concerned about it being something bad. If it's normal and not a big deal, then I'm not worried about it.
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Old 02-25-2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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It is hard to tell from the angle of the pic but the ones under his eyes appear normal in the pic. a pic from the side or back of the one on the back would help.

Looks ok to me. Maybe he just has a cow lick or something

Does he eat and act ok?
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Old 02-25-2004, 01:20 PM   #5
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I'll try to get a better picture of his back.

For the most part he acts okay, he's a bit up and down, sometimes he seems a bit listless, but other times he's very active and very interested in anyone that walks by the tank. His eating is the same, he's almost always interested in food, but sometimes he'll gulp it down while other times he just chews it and seems to spit most of it out.
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Old 02-25-2004, 06:39 PM   #6
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As far as I can tell, this is common for porcupine puffers. I have one with the same "soft spines" if you will, and have seen them on all the ones I have viewed in person (including at the Pittsburgh Aquarium). I wish I had a fancy scientific name for them, but I have never read into it that far.

As far as feeding, try and vary the food as much as possible. IME, they get bored if fed the same thing every day. Mine has almost completely boycotted scallops! Also, try to observe the periods of the day when the fish is "listless". D. holacanthus tend to "relax" during the day (unless they think they are going to be fed) and are much more active at night.
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopsGuru

As far as feeding, try and vary the food as much as possible. IME, they get bored if fed the same thing every day.
I cannot get my porcupine to eat anything other than krill? I've even went a day or 2 without feeding him to get him good and hungry and he spits out silversides and wont' even touch clams or squid. Maybe I'll try scallops or something else? BTW, I've tried adding garlic to it all and he still won't take it?
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Old 02-25-2004, 08:31 PM   #8
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Cool, thanks, that makes me feel more at ease.

So far mine has been eating frozen krill, I tried feeding him frozen brine once, but he didn't seem interested. I've been thinking of getting him clams, but I'm not sure where to get frozen ones that are small enough for him.

He does seem more listless during the day...usually he'll be laying there until I approach the tank, at which point he will usually swim up to the front.
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Old 02-26-2004, 03:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jamal-188
I cannot get my porcupine to eat anything other than krill? I've even went a day or 2 without feeding him to get him good and hungry and he spits out silversides and wont' even touch clams or squid. Maybe I'll try scallops or something else? BTW, I've tried adding garlic to it all and he still won't take it?
I started mine on frozen mysis shrimp because he was so small, they are available at the frozen section at That Fish Place. As he grew, I moved him onto fresh shrimp (brought frozen and uncooked at the supermarket) which I thawed, removed the shell, and cut into smaller pieces. This went really well, I would recommend it as to this day it is still a favorite. I also have really good breeding snails (strombus, from www.ipsf.com ) in other tanks that I add as rough snacks for his teeth. Occasionally, I will also leave the tail or shell on the shrimp and let him work at it a bit. Currently, he is on a rotation of squid, shrimp, krill, and occasional clams and scallops (tires of these very quickly) all soaked in Selcon. He won't even look at silversides really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natterjak
He does seem more listless during the day...usually he'll be laying there until I approach the tank, at which point he will usually swim up to the front.
Yep, sounds like their natural behavior. They lounge around until early evening and then come out to hunt. Mine really loved the LED moonlight until I tried to take the unit apart and broke it , it is on my list as a necessary replacement.
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Old 02-27-2004, 12:16 AM   #10
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Back when I had my dog puffer, he would eat pellets. I used to have trouble finding a big pellet for him but he never skipped a beat. I used to treat with frozen and freeze dried krill.

I had him for almost 6 years and no ailments! I feel lucky
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