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sappho
11/04/2016, 10:58 PM
My puffer appears to like to tuck herself under rocks and ornaments but shes gotten too big to fit in any of her favorite places anymore. I'd like to provide a cave or ornament of some sort but I'm having difficulty finding anything. There seems to be some cichlid hideaways but I was unsure if the coarse surfaces would harm my dogface. I have some wine bottles with the tops cut off but she doesn't seem to like them much. Does anyone have a puffer with a suitable hideout? Would PVC pipe work?

Flaring Afro
11/05/2016, 07:01 AM
PVC pipe would work and is one of the cheapest solutions. You also could stack rock to make a cave. Adding rock to a tank that's running can be mildly complicated though.

Walla2GSP
11/05/2016, 10:21 AM
For Tank, I took a couple of 6 inch clay pots from the gardening center and cut them in half and placed them in the tank. I also just got done building a DIY aragocrete slab, and I placed that over three large live rock structures and he has been hiding in there since. I'm building another one on the other side. Remember also that Dogface need at least one or two structures that they can barely fit in, then inflate to make themselves feel safe, so you need to upgrade your "caves" every 6 months as they grow to supply them with new caves the right size. PVC works, but you will need to be careful with placement to give them the best flow.

sappho
11/05/2016, 01:44 PM
Walla2GSP, I was told that ceramic and clay pots were a bad idea as they are so absorbent and could leach toxins into my tank. is there a specific brand that is safe?
The wine bottles are two different sizes and she fits in them but not often. They are closed, is the lack of through flow the issue?
With the PVC, is there anything I ought to look for or avoid such as brands that use plastics that wouldn't fair well in saltwater?

Walla2GSP
11/05/2016, 03:03 PM
Walla2GSP, I was told that ceramic and clay pots were a bad idea as they are so absorbent and could leach toxins into my tank...

I've heard this, never found the statement to have much value on small scale. THey are absorbent, but no more than normal dry rock, so you run the same risk of "leaching" with any rock you put in the tank. With 100% red clay pots you get a small pH buffer as red clay is a slightly acidic soil, but in the 150 gallon tank needed to keep Dogface successfully that is a pH drop of less than 0.1. I would never recommend using broken pottery to replace your live rock, but for a quick and dirty fish cave I found them to be a good option. You do need to be careful in a reef system as some pots have a harder core that sometimes contains aluminum which can be harmful to corals. But since you have a dogface, I'm assuming corals are not a part of your tank plan.