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Old 11-01-2007, 04:33 PM   #1
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No one ever believes me!

I've been a firm believer that most puffers get a pretty bad wrap. Every species has it's bad apples but most puffers I've experienced are actually quite passive, and today I witnessed some proof!

I have a 6" Spiny Box Puffer and 6" Dogface Puffer. I have a 24" Snowflake Eel. Typically when I feed, my eel will grab pieces of food then bring them back into a cave and eat them. Today while I was pouring in a homemade mix of fresh seafood, my eel got really excited and grabbed the tail of my spiny box (thinking it was food) and pulled him around the tank by it, shaking him violently. The poor guy didn't even puff up, just let the eel do it. Once the eel realized it wasn't food, he let go and the puffer just swam off without even turning around to nip! He just swam up to the top to eat, didn't even seem to care what just happened to him. Thankfully he was not injured but I'm always amazed by how aggressive puffers are usually considered but I've never seen fish that take more than a puffer does.

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Old 11-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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That was a good story pinkie..the same thing happens to lionfish too. Bad rap mostly to humans doing stupid things.

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Old 11-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #3
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I agree that many animals retain a negative reputation based on human misunderstanding/intervention; however, there is always cause and effect at play. IME, what you witnessed was two predators both excited by the presence of food, thus both mindsets turned towards "feeding mode." Most of the time fish react one way or another, either offensively or defensively during feeding. Seemingly, the apparent danger from the eel did not dissuade the puffer from its set objective: feed. This can be seen in many lfs' as well where porcupine puffers (Diodon holocanthus) often share the same quarters with a variety of eels and during feedings their body's are horribly lacerated (sometimes with insides hanging outside), yet the puffers act no differently other than the need for food. Their ability to "inflate" is a defensive (not offensive) deterrent, but also a major stress factor on their body.

Not trying to downplay your experience and good to see your pufferfish was unharmed, but rather offering personal insight as to why
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:22 PM   #4
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My point was how mellow he was during the whole situation - he really had no reaction at all. I understand the purpose of the puffing and don't even see how it could be used offensively, hehe. While there was food present and I agree that is probably a large factor - yet he reacts the exact same way when he gets chased by my large angels. Also my dog face puffer has had his face bitten several times from the spiny box trying to "share" dinner yet he doesn't react either. Some of the bites were so rough he still has crescent shaped marks around his mouth from where the spiny box got a hold of him.

However, every time my emperor angel is confronted, he retaliates. But when my puffers are confronted, they just avoid the situation.
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