Fish Tank Maintenance Tips: Try to change some of the water in the tank on a regular basis. Small frequent (weekly or every two weeks) water changes are better than infrequent large water changes. Small water changes will cause less stress and shouldn’t interfere with the biological cycle in the tank. If you have a larger tank, get a Python Vacuum or a Lee’s Premier Ultimate Gravel Vac. These vacuums make doing water changes a breeze. Gravel vac only half of the tank with each water change. Switch sides on the next water change.
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The figure 8 puffer or eyespot puffer, Tetraodon biocellatus, is a pufferfish found in freshwater in Southeast Asia.
Figure 8 puffers grow to about 3″ long. They are colourful fish, with greenish yellow patterns on their backs. These patterns vary greatly from fish to fish, but the markings either side of the caudal fin resemble the number eight, or eye-spots (earning the species another common name as ‘Eye-spot puffer’). Figure 8 puffers are relatively peaceful among tetraodontidae, and have been kept successfully with other fish such as bumblebee gobies and mollies, but as with all pufferfish there is a risk that tankmates will not be tolerated.
Like all members of the Tetraodon family, the figure 8 puffer is capable of inflating itself with water or air when stressed or otherwise frightened.
Pufferfish are classed as molluscivores and feed mainly on benthic organisms which may include mussels, cockles, oysters and krill. Their teeth, a beak formed from two plates, are capable of crushing shells in order to feed on prey. In captivity many fishkeepers feed snails as a substitute for hard-shelled food since this keeps the beak, otherwise susceptible to overgrowth, trim.
In captivity, figure 8 puffers require a 15 US gallon tank with temperatures between 24°C and 28°C. They are sensitive to nitrites and nitrates and must be introduced into a fully cycled aquarium. Over-filtration is recommended. Water pH will reflect the brackish environment to which these fish are best suited; the addition of marine salt will buffer the pH to a range between 7.8 and 8.3. A salinity of between 1.005 and 1.008 specific gravity (S.G.) has been found to increase the lifespan of this species to as long as 15 years.
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