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Old 08-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #1
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Question Dwarf Pea Puffer/Spotted Puffer

Okay...
I will be picking up a 30g Hex tank from my uncle this weekend, and start the cycling process. When all is well with my tank; I want to keep some Dwarf Pea Puffers or some Spotted Puffers.
I know the Dwarf Pea Puffers are Freshwater, and the Spotted Puffers are brackish.
Which ones are easier to keep, and could anyone offer some advice before I jump into this Puffer business.
I've only kept Livebearers and some tetras.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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personally... i would go with dwarf puffers. breakish will require more spending and more work mixing the salt up.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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I recommend the dwarf puffers because they do require less work and also the brackish variety tend to be grumpier. Dwarf puffers can get testy with their own kind when kept in large numbers and particularly as they get older. Brackish puffers tend to bicker amongst themselves even as juveniles. Both are very amusing and curious tankmates. They prefer more space than their sizes suggest. Dwarf puffers prefer 2-3 gallons even though they only grow to 1 in. Keeping that in mind as you stock them. If you give them less space they will be very grumpy and pick on each other and other fish in the tank trying to establish territory.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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yeah... I plan on keeping about 8 of them; I figured that would be plenty of space for them.
Are there any fish that are good tankmates for them. A few people have told me that they do best in a Species Tank.
Any advice on Diet and keeping their teeth from overgrowing?
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Ah yes the diet....to be honest...they are VERY picky eaters. They really don't like flake or pellet food at all. And I have never known anyone else who can get them to eat it either. They love blackworms and can be coaxed to eat frozen blood worms or brine shrimp. Beware though their diet is probably the most difficult part to keeping them.

In general, I have found that they are good community tank mates if you don't keep them in a tank with slow moving long finned fish. They seem to pester them alot by nipping even though they don't do much damage, being so tiny and not so fast themselves. They do well with some types of gobies: dragon gobies or bumble bee gobies, Brachygobius xanthozona, as they are brackish but tolerate fresh water better than the other gobie varieties. Beware though, bumble bee gobies are really grumpy and territorial, so you don't want too many of them and you don't want other fish other than puffers if you keep them as tank mates. They will eventually hunt down other fish and rip their fins off. It's a nasty thing to witness. Because of their nature and general hatred for not eating their tank mate you want to provide these guys with lots of hiding holes and caves. They are fun to watch and in general leave the puffers alone, just not a good community fish .
Both of those gobies like a similar diet to the puffers, so they would be very compatible together.

Having said all of this, dwarf puffers have been known to get along well in other community tank when they have ample snails to eat, which keeps their teeth from overgrowing and something else to stalk besides flowing fins. Also because they are carnivores, supplementing their diet with snails is a good idea anyways. You can get ramshorn or malaysian trumpet snails from you LFS for free even. Just ask them if they could give you some to put in your tank. With puffers, you won't have to worry about them overpopulating. You will also need to feed the community blackworms. Puffers have a better disposition when they are young, and I have known them to be great community tank mates during that time. As they get older and territorial they can start to nip and people, including myself have seen the personality switch. If you do decide to keep them in a comminuty set up just watch them for the "angry little old man" phase and be prepared to give them their own home. If you will be keeping 8 together I suggest they have their own home anyways lol. Be sure to have lots of hiding hole plants and caves for the ones that will invariably be tortured by others. Guppy grass is good for that. Plant your tank heavy and make some caves.

I am getting some new dwarf puffers this week . I miss my old pair that I gave to a friend before I moved to the midwest. Can't wait to have them back in my waters again. Hope this info helps.

Finally, I personally would not have so many puffers together and definitely not in a 30gal hex. I would at most keep 3-4 in that size/shape of a tank. Hex tend to be taller than wide and puffers need more roaming space rather than height. A longer tank would be preferable. If you find that they start to bicker, and they will, you may need to seperate them in different tanks to give them more space.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiofcanada View Post
Ah yes the diet....to be honest...they are VERY picky eaters. They really don't like flake or pellet food at all. And I have never known anyone else who can get them to eat it either. They love blackworms and can be coaxed to eat frozen blood worms or brine shrimp. Beware though their diet is probably the most difficult part to keeping them.

In general, I have found that they are good community tank mates if you don't keep them in a tank with slow moving long finned fish. They seem to pester them alot by nipping even though they don't do much damage, being so tiny and not so fast themselves. They do well with some types of gobies: dragon gobies or bumble bee gobies, Brachygobius xanthozona, as they are brackish but tolerate fresh water better than the other gobie varieties. Beware though, bumble bee gobies are really grumpy and territorial, so you don't want too many of them and you don't want other fish other than puffers if you keep them as tank mates. They will eventually hunt down other fish and rip their fins off. It's a nasty thing to witness. Because of their nature and general hatred for not eating their tank mate you want to provide these guys with lots of hiding holes and caves. They are fun to watch and in general leave the puffers alone, just not a good community fish .
Both of those gobies like a similar diet to the puffers, so they would be very compatible together.

Having said all of this, dwarf puffers have been known to get along well in other community tank when they have ample snails to eat, which keeps their teeth from overgrowing and something else to stalk besides flowing fins. Also because they are carnivores, supplementing their diet with snails is a good idea anyways. You can get ramshorn or malaysian trumpet snails from you LFS for free even. Just ask them if they could give you some to put in your tank. With puffers, you won't have to worry about them overpopulating. You will also need to feed the community blackworms. Puffers have a better disposition when they are young, and I have known them to be great community tank mates during that time. As they get older and territorial they can start to nip and people, including myself have seen the personality switch. If you do decide to keep them in a comminuty set up just watch them for the "angry little old man" phase and be prepared to give them their own home. If you will be keeping 8 together I suggest they have their own home anyways lol. Be sure to have lots of hiding hole plants and caves for the ones that will invariably be tortured by others. Guppy grass is good for that. Plant your tank heavy and make some caves.

I am getting some new dwarf puffers this week . I miss my old pair that I gave to a friend before I moved to the midwest. Can't wait to have them back in my waters again. Hope this info helps.

Finally, I personally would not have so many puffers together and definitely not in a 30gal hex. I would at most keep 3-4 in that size/shape of a tank. Hex tend to be taller than wide and puffers need more roaming space rather than height. A longer tank would be preferable. If you find that they start to bicker, and they will, you may need to seperate them in different tanks to give them more space.
Plant Heavily?
I have never had a planted tank. I'm just a bit intimidated of having a planted tank. Don't I need special lighting, for a planted tank.
Any advantage to having a Planted Tank, rather than fake plants?
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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Not a fan of the Hex Tank...
But it's free!
Can't beat that!!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Assuming you have some sort of fluorescent lighting you can grow most of the low lights, but it won't be as effective, as hex tanks are generally taller. If you have screw-in bulbs, there are screw in compact fluorescent bulbs. If you don't want to deal with real plants, you could try fake plants, or a rockscape.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #9
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Planted tanks do not have to be intimidating. You should start off with a low light tank.
I have been making a list of what is appropriate for this kind of tank. Here is a list of the common and species names.

Wisteria-Hygrophila difformis
Purple Cabomba-Cabomba pulcherrima sp. Red
Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus
Windelov Java Fern, Windelov Fern - Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov'
Narrow Leaf Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus v. 'narrow leaf'
Java Moss - Vesicularia dubyana
Green Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma
Sunset Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Ceylon Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma 'Ceylon'
Rotala Rotundifolia - Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala Rotundifolia sp. Green - Rotala rotundifolia sp. 'Green'
Rotala Indica - Rotala indica
Hornwort - Ceratophylum demersum
Moneywort, Water Hyssop - Bocapa monnieri
Brazilian Pennywort, Pennywort - Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Crypt Wendtii - Cryptocoryne wendtii
Crypt Balansae - Cryptocoryne Balansae
Pygmy Crypt - Cryptocoryne pygmaea
Guppy Grass - Najas guadalupensis
Anubias barteri - Anubias barteri v. barteri
Anubias barteri 'marble' - Anubias barteri 'marble'
Anubias barteri v. 'glabra' - Anubias barteri v. 'glabra'
Anubias nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana'
Coffee leaf anubias - Anubias barteri v. 'coffeefolia'
Crypt retrospiralis - Cryptocoryne retrospiralis
Crypt spiralis - Cryptocoryne spiralis
Golden nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana golden'
Narrow leaf nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana narrow leaf'
Petite nana - Anubias barteri v. nana 'petite'
Philippine Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus 'Philippine'
Red Java fern - Microsorum pteropus "red"
Crypt Becketii - Cryptcoryne becketii
Pelia - Monosolenium tenerum
Waterwheel Plant - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Bacopa - Bacopa caroliniana
African Water Fern - Bolbitis heudelotii
Hornwort - Ceratophyllum submersum
Crypt Aponogetifolia - Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia
Micro Crypt - Cryptocoryne petchii
Tropica Sword - Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica'
Downoi - Pogostemon helferi
Red Tiger Lotus-Nymphaea zenkeri
Four Leaf Clover-Marsilea quadrifolia

This is not a complete list of course. But these are plants that I have experience keeping and feel do well in low light. You can find the plant care sheets and other info on this site.
PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide
or this one
AquariumPlants.com Largest online sales / service site for the live aquarium plants & aquarium products community.

The advantage to a live planted tank is that live plants use nitrates and oxygenate your water further. They also add another dimension to your tank that fake plants just can't. It is really up to you though. You can also uyse fake plants, just get alot of them. For me, I would much rather spend money on real plants taht can grown and fill in space than fake ones. Just a preference though.

Also, this is just a thought. Puffers require a high protein diet and eat live or frozen fresh diet,...without other community fish to eat the remains of what you put in, the owness will be on you to clean out what they don't eat and keep the ammonia and nitrates under control with the excess food. Be diligent on water changes and getting out the excess food.

Grats on the free tank. It isn't the best choice for keeping puffers. Perhaps you will eventually get a longer tank and can use the hex for fish who prefer height.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #10
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Also fake plants usually cost more than reals (who woulda thunk it.)
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