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Old 11-07-2003, 12:46 PM   #1
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I want a puffer now!

Since my tank was decimated unknown forces, i have taken your advice and decided to start my tank anew. however, after reading more I think I'm want to venture in to the world of Puffers. Evryone who has them seem to really love them.


I have a 30 Gal tank with a typical FW setup. Over the back whisper filter, undergravel filter, etc.

I;m thinking of putting in a sand substrate, take out the undergravel and getting a Puffer. The problem is. . .I'm not sure which one would be best. i don't mind going brackish, but i know that would limit the tank mates i could choose from.

What would you guys suggest as for the species of puffer and good tankmates?

I know this will be a while in the futue as I haven't even returned the one fish I have remaining. i will still need to disinfect my tank and cycle the tank to get it ready. Is 30 Gal big enough to support more than one puffer, or is that even a good idea, since i know they can be a bit agressive?
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:02 PM   #2
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Most puffers don't have a lot of choices for tank mates. They are cute but nasty and will generllay nip at all comers.

There are plenty of smaller puffers that would give you a chance to have 2 or more in the tank. The freshwater dwarf puffer is only 1 inch long and you might be able to get 6 or so in that tank with suitable plants to block line of sight.

Also bare in mind that puffers require lots of live food, especially snails, so they can be time consuming fish.
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Old 11-08-2003, 10:54 AM   #3
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Take a look at the Brazillian Freshwater puffer, here is a discription, http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/...s/coloasel.htm

I have one in my 30 gal community tank with a mix of fishes and he is very at home, and never tried to nip anyones fins. I have a lot of snails in my tank so he always has some to munch on. They have a really unique personality and bond with their owners.

One thing I will warn you about is that these puffers tend have an overgrown tooth problem meaning you will (even with lots of snails) need to trim his tooth whigh is not as bad as it sounds.

Here is a piece from pufferpunk on clipping their teeth:

I agree that these puffers are the mildest of all the puffers I have kept. I think they could probably live in a community tank w/fast swimming fish that don't have long fins. The biggest difference I have found with SA puffers compared with my other puffers is their teeth. They seem to grow much faster than the other puffers. I have had to trim their teeth twice now. I actually found an easy way to do it. I filled 2 Coolwhip containors w/tankwater. Put 3 drops of clove oil (next time I'll try 1 drop) in 1 containor. Added the fish. Within 1 minute the fish was laying on it's back. It looked dead. I took the fish out & clipped it's teeth with cuticle nippers & placed it in the containor of fresh tankwater. I could see it breathing. After 1 minute it had righted itself, 2 minutes it was swimming around, 3 minutes it was back in the tank swimming like nothing had happened. Repeated with other puffer & all is fine with them today.
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Old 11-08-2003, 12:24 PM   #4
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If you have a 30gal and don't mind venturing into brackish, 1 30g is big enough for 1 green spotted puffer or 2 figure eight puffers. I found out of all the puffers I own my GSP is the most tame and personable out of all of them. IMO a SA puffer is bad for a first time puffer because of what puffergirl said, you need to trim their beaks manually and at least twice a year. GSPs can fed a wide variety of shellfish and have little to no trouble breaking them and grind their beak down easily. So if you think you can handle brackish, and evenually SW (it's the beginning of a journey into SW aquariums). The GSP will eventually need SW as it becomes 3-4" in size (max size 6").
You're doing the right thing researching puffers before purchasing, they're aren't the easiest fish to keep and are extremely sensitive (rivalling discus sometimes). Make sure your tank is cycled before you purchase anything though, and if you do decide to go brackish, use insant ocean and when you buy the puffer have the water as FW and slowly raise it (to not disturb the bio filter) to BW and then to marine over a course of a year or two.
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Old 11-08-2003, 12:27 PM   #5
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cdawson couldn't be more right about using salts like instant ocean, etc... do not be fooled into using aquarium salt which is supposedly helpful for medical reasons... not environmental reasons.
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