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Mimic saddle puffer

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Cowan View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 06 2016 at 9:13pm
Hey Everyone,

I just got this little guy from a LFS, he has been doing great in the tank as far as getting along with the tankmates but I can't get him interested in anything I offer to eat. So far he hasn't gone for Reef Frenzy, dried pellets, nori, krill or ROE fish eggs.
He is also doing this to the coral after the lights go out. When I watch it doesn't look as if he is nibbling on them, just kind of hanging on. He has done it to a few other coral as well. 
Thanks in advance for any help


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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 9:15am
It appears to be a Filefish. Typically not a coral eater, but many fish will start to eat coral when they are not finding their preferred food. They may eat flatworms so offering bloodworms could be a good substitute.

Maybe it's hanging on to a solid place to keep from being blown with the current while it sleeps. It has a small mouth so it needs small points to bite on to.

I would provide it a variety of other coral, especially some branching coral, maybe Gorgonia to hang on to. How about some rock with Macroalgae? It might eat the algae and/or the organisms growing on the algae. Smile

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Mark  Hug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 10:48am
I think Mark is right in that it is a filefish, but I think you knew that by calling it a "mimic" saddle puffer and not just a saddle puffer. (attached description)

http://www.qualitymarine.com/News/Species-Spotlight/Copy-Cat---Saddle-Puffers-and-their-Filefish-Mimic-(07/09/15)

(The summary is that it's hard to tell the filefish and the puffer apart but the filefish has buggy eyes and a large dorsal fin)

So, that's good as far as the eating department as the filefish has a larger diet that the puffer. In the article, it has the diet of things they eat. Hopefully that will spark some ideas of things to try.

No idea why it's grabbing the coral. When it lets go, is the coral damaged? For how long does it grab it? Is it grabbing around the edges like it the picture (could it be trying to eat the coraline algae?)

Edited by Hogie - July 07 2016 at 1:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 12:02pm
bad link
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 1:01pm
I fixed the link!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 8:28pm
Still not going for anything I offer. Tried bloodworms and he swam away, the tankmates went crazy, lol. It may be eating flat worms and bugs during the day when I'm not watching.
I'm not sure what else to try as far as food goes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 08 2016 at 8:53am
Thanks, that link is good info.
I agree. It may be eating something when no one is looking. I'd give it more time. A new fish can be very hesitant, especially when it came in from the wild. There are many fish that seem to hang on for weeks before they start eating supplemental foods. As the Filefish sees its tank mates gobbling up a food, eventually it should follow.

In the meantime, I'd try to find information and pics of the environment where it was born and raised. Then I would mimic Wink some of that environment as much as possible to help it feel more comfortable. 

Not too many fish originate in a macroalgae environment but I have found that a good stand of Macroalgae helps comfort most fish, very possibly because as juveniles they may have lived in the algae. I brought some rubble LR with macroalgae to the meeting last night but the intended hobbyist was not there so I brought it back home. Feel free to call 808-345-1049 and come by to got some rubble or larger LR with Macroalgae growing on it.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - July 08 2016 at 10:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 08 2016 at 9:53am
Okay so I'm doing some looking just for fun and because I have nothing much else to do here at work. Embarrassed
Googled "Paraluteres prionurus in the wild". This fish is also called the Mimic Leatherjacket and the Blacksaddle Filefish. 

Distribution:
The Blacksaddle Filefish occurs throughout tropical Indo-Pacific waters. In Australian waters it is found from Ashmore reef off north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north, to the Great Barrier Reef and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

That is an extensive range but we need to know at what depth they are found. Since they hang with Tobys, we know for sure that they live in the Surf Zone. Fortunately, our aquariums have a lot of characteristics of the Surf Zone, such as: bright light, plentiful nutrients, turf algae and macroalgae growth.

The Puffer that it mimics is also called the Blacksaddle Toby. The family of Tobys is a particular kind of puffer, but I'm pretty sure it rarely, if ever puffs up. When I looked at this pic of a Toby that I took in Hawaii, I was pleasantly surprised to find another Puffer in the background.



This is a shallow rocky environment on the west coast of the island of Hawaii where grazing herbivorous fish are quite common. Whether Filefish live in this particular environment I don't know, but I believe this points to the idea that a stand of macroalgae would provide a piece of the comfort puzzle. 

Okay, I've said enough. Embarrassed

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - July 08 2016 at 10:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 08 2016 at 11:44am
Thanks for all the help and advice Mark, 
I will be close to your area later today, I will give you a call and come look at the rubble :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2016 at 9:25am
Update- the poor little guy is still not eating, looks really thin and isn't moving as much. I have no idea what to do for this little guy. Any ideas?
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Give him away. It's worth a try.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2016 at 7:31am

Sadly, this was his last hurrah....little guy didn't make it through the night :( :(

I was planning on taking him back to the LFS to see if they would have had better luck.

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