Bringing Freshwater Dwarf Pea Puffers To The Australian Aquarium Industry
The diet of dwarf pufferfish in the wild mainly consists of small animals such as Cladocera, Rotifers, Copepods and insects. In captivity the dwarf puffer will usually eat small snails such as ramshorn snails, bladder snails, and Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS) as well as some frozen foods like bloodworms, and brine shrimp, although they do prefer live foods likes white worms, mosquito larvae and live blackworms. Baby pea puffers can be fed a diet of infusoria, daphnia, micro worms and vinegar eels. Puffers like to have a varied diet and it is important to feed different foods when keeping dwarf puffer fish in captivity.
Where live worms are fed, the use of perforated cone feeders, or feeding dishes are strongly recommended. Pea puffers seem to feel it necessary to carefully examine each morsel for suitability. If blackworms are dropped into the tank as group, many to most will escape into the gravel and be uneaten. The cone allows them to work their way out only relatively slowly, giving the fish time to decide that this is food and that it should be taken. The feed dish allows the worms to be contained so they cannot bury into the substrate.
Feed once or twice a day, no more than can be consumed in a few minutes. Puffers, as with many captive fish, have little or no built-in restrictions on quantity of food consumed. In the wild they must seek and search for prey. In captivity food is provided, and usually it is provided in excess. Puffers, with their peculiar structure, make it simple to see how much food they have consumed as their gut is not surround by ribs and bands of swimming muscles as in most fish. The appearance of a lightly rounded belly is plenty of food. A fat belly is too much. Overfeeding most captive fish not only increases tank upkeep, over time it shortens the fish's life by liver and or kidney problems and other issues from obesity.
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