My name is Marni and I'm new to this forum. I run a science room at my daughter's elementary school and recently someone offered to donate their pet Pufferfish to our room. I have some concerns about this as I know the puffers can be toxic. Since we don't plan to let anyone eat the fish , I am thinking it would make a fine classroom pet, but I don't seem to be able to find any answers online re: how dangerous it might be to just touch the fish's skin (I am thinking of accidental contact between the fish and the person who would need to periodically clean the tank).
I am also wondering if pet stores wouldn't keep fish that were raised in an environment free of the neurotoxin bacteria, thereby rendering them harmless.
The person who is donating the fish is a stranger to me, claims to have bought the fish at a local pet shop and is giving it up b/c he's moving to a smaller apt. and won't have room for it.
Any info anyone can give me would be most appreciated. Thank you.
The toxin inside puffers is tetrodotoxin, and is only found in their livers. As long as no one ingests the fish, you should be alright. Hope it helps.
What kind of puffer is it? If you don't know the exact species, could you provide a picture? We can help you care for it, and let you know what it needs to thrive.
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Be prepared for feeding this fish. They require a specialized diet including hard shelled invertebrates. I'm not sure of the age of the class and how well feeding other live animals to it will go down with them.
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As far as I know, there are no puffers common in the aquarium hobby that contain the toxins you are asking about.
I guess it depends if we are talking about FW puffers, or marine puffers as well as which exact FW or marine puffer.
I do not know about FW puffers, but I don't beleive they are toxic (just a guess on my part there). However, some of the marine ones that can be found in the hobby are very toxic. Withouth know which puffer we are talking about, it's hard to answere that question.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
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Originally Posted by marni
Am I inferring correctly that you have no little to no experience in keeping fish? If so, I would seriously suggest that you do not put your learning curve with puffers on display in front of a classroom of children. Losses happen and puffers can be sensitive fish wrt water parameters.
If you want to succeed in keeping fish take the time to research what's involved first and start with something hardy.
Do not accept the puffer and suggest that they return it to the store it came from or donate it to another store if that's not possible.
There are surely other live pets that would be easier to keep if the class must have a pet.
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