Blue Spotted Toby Puffer with any Corals?

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by billswin99, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. billswin99

    billswin99 Member

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    Got this guy around 3 inches in a 75 gallon. He has not touched my snails, hermits or anything.

    I added a small coral not sure what it was it was good for a week then I came home and found my puffer eating it. He ate half of it before I could remove it.

    I would love to keep him but don’t want to keep buying coral for food. Anything that he won’t mess with? Ideas?

    I feed him brine shrimp once a day if that helps.

    I have read these guys are hit or miss some have them with coral no issues

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  2. Forsaken77

    Forsaken77 Well-Known Member

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    I have one also and found my Xenia eaten down to the stump. Thankfully it regrew. I don't know if it was the puffer or the foxfaces though.

    What I changed, that kept the fish from eating the xenia, was feeding them earlier in the day. If they were already full, they wouldn't eat the coral.

    Puffers also sometimes will shred apart a coral or macro algae looking for food hiding in it. Feed him as soon, or shortly after, the lights come on instead of later. As long as he's been fed enough he shouldn't eat the coral.
     
  3. billswin99

    billswin99 Member

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    I will try that. What do you feed your puffer, he seems to be searching the tank all day.
     
  4. Roy 9121

    Roy 9121 Well-Known Member SCMAS Member

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    Good luck, I've found that once a fish starts eating coral, they usually don't stop. Puffers are really not reef safe.
     
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  5. paphater

    paphater Well-Known Member

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    My valentini was perfectly fine with all of the established sps in the tank. Anything new though he would continually pick at. Never bothered any of my lps though.
     
  6. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Well-Known Member

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    I have a Figure 8 puffer in my 13g brackish tank for almost 4 years now. He is a pig! One of the biggest things to know about a puffer is they are like a rodent with their teeth or a bird with their beak. They need to shave it down. Maybe that is what is doing and it has nothing to do with them feeding. If you really want to pull his focus off everything. Go to the supermarket or fish market. Buy a steamer clam, muscle, or little neck. If it is a steamer. Just run it under hot water till it passes in less than a minute. Open it up and take off the skin that covers the neck. Muscle or little neck, boil water then drop it in and it will pop open. Your puffer will be very happy. They will have something to shave their beak down. Maybe this will help him look away from corals and crustaceans. Plus it is a blast to watch them attack it like a pit bull on a tire.
     
  7. Forsaken77

    Forsaken77 Well-Known Member

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    Being that was a soft coral, I don't think he was trying to trim his beak. Mine usually nibbles on the rocks for that.

    But I feed my fish frozen mysis, and the puffer does best with that because it's small enough to fit in his little mouth. I also feed 3 different types of pellets (PE Mysis pellets, New Life Spectrum 1mm, and New Life Spectrum Grow .5mm.). Then 3 times a week, in addition to whatever I feed them that day, I take an algae sheet and rip it up like flake food. I primarily do the algae for the Foxfaces, but the puffer loves it also. I rip it up so it's the size of large flakes and throw it in right after the regular daily food. It keeps the fish from competing with each other because it's not just a sheet in 1 location, it keeps the tank cleaner because there's not torn off bits floating around, and it adds diversity for the other fish, like the puffer. I think he actually prefers food that floats, because he will go for the floating algae, even though it's hard for him to eat floating food, over the mysis. That's why I add the frozen mysis or pellets first, they eat it, then I add the supplementary algae afterwards so I know he got enough food.

    He will actually eat it out of my hand if I dip a piece of algae in, he'll come and grab it. He's a slow mover, so he has to compete for food, while the bigger, faster fish try to gobble everything up.

    I turn off all the pumps (return and powerheads) when feeding, then when everything is in and looks like its been eaten, I turn on the powerheads to kick everything up that landed on the floor so they don't leave much behind. But with the pellets, the puffer will search the bottom of the tank to find any leftovers. Plus the New Life Spectrum 1mm pellets are hard, so it helps with his teeth also. The Grow pellets are smaller, easier for him to eat, and have a high amount of protein.

    Just make sure he gets enough food and isn't out competed by other fish. Since I started feeding earlier, I haven't had one problem.

    You could also make the flow around that coral higher and the puffer will avoid the fast water. He'll get blown right away from the coral, lol.

    Hope that helps
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  8. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Well-Known Member

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    I understand that about it being a soft coral. I have a xenia as well in my saltwater tank. When a puffer is "trying" to break into a clam. They don't think this is great for my beak. They want the meat inside. The shaving down is the natural occurrence during the process of getting in.
    To me the Xenia looks like it wasn't eaten. Just ripped at and kind of played with. So give him a different chew toy with a meal in the middle. He will be satisfied with food inside and tired from the battle they did with the clam to get it open.
    My Puffy loves bloodworms, live brine or frozen brine with spirulina, mysis, and live black worms.

    IMG_20170302_084242.jpg
     
  9. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    My understanding is that tobies will eat corals and are generally not thought to be reef safe. I wish that it were otherwise, in which case I'd have that exact fish in my tank!
     
  10. billswin99

    billswin99 Member

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    I will try the clam. So just go to the grocery store and buy a clam?

    That pic of the coral was before he destroyed it he was biting off complete arms one at a time.

    I am going to try those pellets also.

    Want to keep him if at all possible.

    Was thinking maybe just xenia is a bad choice other coral might work
     
  11. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Just make sure the clam is still alive before you buy it. My grocery seafood section knows when I walk up. They say,"1 clam and 1 scallop!" It is dirt cheap.
     
  12. billswin99

    billswin99 Member

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    Will do. So just throw it in alive or do a process to kill it.
     
  13. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Well-Known Member

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    I used to put it in alive. Then I decide cook them to kill off bacteria. Then close the two shells if you want him to shave his beak down or rip one shell side off and let him enjoy the food.
     
  14. mort

    mort Well-Known Member

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    It's good your expanding the diet as brine shrimp is very nutritionally poor and krill, mysis, clam, mussel, prawn and squid make a much better diet.

    I'd also say that tobie are safer when added to a tank already containing corals. If you add anything new to a tank they explore it and tobies explore with their mouths like puppies do. Your "coral" is anthelia not xenia and this can sometimes be a really temperamental species that may not just be loving your tank (don't take it personally though as it can sometimes die off or become something you wish you never added).
     
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  15. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    I've had some tobies be fine with coral and some nip, it really varies specimen to specimen.

    As said above, they seem to be better behaved with corals already in the tank.
     
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