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Old 08-12-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Puffer Problem

Hi everyone. I am in serious need of some help and guidance. I have a 7.5 gallon, bow-front, wide, gravel, tank and intend to use it for either one or two dwarf puffers. I have some brown algae in there and want some other fish in there like an otto, shrimp, etc. But the problem i have got is that none of my local lfs' have any shrimp at all on sale and although they could order them it wouldn't exactly be cheap which makes it a big gamble for me as to whether the puffers would eat them meaning i spent a lot of money for puffer food! So this sort of rules them out of the equation. I understand that otto's need to be in groups and so am guessing i couldn't have a pair in my tank because of the size?

I really want some bottom feeders to clean up the tank whilst having something else to have in the tank rather than just the puffer.. So is there anything I can do? Any other tankmates that would be okay in my sized tank? Could i have a pair of ottos in there?

I would really appreciate any responses or suggestions! Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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I admit I don't know much about dwarf puffers but I think your tank is way too small for more than one:

Quote:
Even though they are small in size, dwarves need roughly 5 gallons per fish to have adequate space. They will become aggressive to one another if cramped too tightly together. They also become more aggressive as they age, particularly with sexual maturity. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing your tank size as well as stocking it.
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As for the shrimp there's probably a good chance the fish will try to eat those too, but maybe someone on here with dwarf puffer experience will chime in.

Also is the tank cycled? If not I'd highly recommend cycling it before you add your fish. Here's a guide that will help: The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The tank is fully cycled My tank is pretty heavily planted and I've read a lot about puffs and i think its generally the first puffer needs 5 gal followed by 3 gal after that for any additional puffers. To be honest I think I'l stick to one puffer, I'd just like something else in there.. Fingers crossed someone will have an idea
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Your tank needs to have really good filtration. Most small tank starter kits do not have good filtration, so you will have to do more than 50% water changes every week. That should be fairly easy considering you have 7.5gal. Regardless of you have tank cleaners or not, you will also have to manually take out any large visible waste you see in the tank.

7.5 is on the small side for 2 DP and ottos. 1 DP is good enough with some good decor. Get some live plant if possible. 1 DP will live for a very long time in an uncrowded situation. Trust me, one will not get lonely because puffers are solitaire fish. Having one will likely bring out more personality vs a group of fish.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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Your tank needs to have really good filtration. Most small tank starter kits do not have good filtration, so you will have to do more than 50% water changes every week. That should be fairly easy considering you have 7.5gal. Regardless of you have tank cleaners or not, you will also have to manually take out any large visible waste you see in the tank.

7.5 is on the small side for 2 DP and ottos. 1 DP is good enough with some good decor. Get some live plant if possible. 1 DP will live for a very long time in an uncrowded situation. Trust me, one will not get lonely because puffers are solitaire fish. Having one will likely bring out more personality vs a group of fish.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Terrance
Your tank needs to have really good filtration. Most small tank starter kits do not have good filtration, so you will have to do more than 50% water changes every week. That should be fairly easy considering you have 7.5gal. Regardless of you have tank cleaners or not, you will also have to manually take out any large visible waste you see in the tank.

7.5 is on the small side for 2 DP and ottos. 1 DP is good enough with some good decor. Get some live plant if possible. 1 DP will live for a very long time in an uncrowded situation. Trust me, one will not get lonely because puffers are solitaire fish. Having one will likely bring out more personality vs a group of fish.
Hi terrance. Im just going to get the one puffer. The tanks quite heavily planted with live plants once I'm finished readying it for the puffer. I also have a couple of pieces of driftwood in there too and a small moss ball. Do you think I can have 2 ottos too or should I gamble on the expensive shrimp?
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FishyFreddy View Post
Hi terrance. Im just going to get the one puffer. The tanks quite heavily planted with live plants once I'm finished readying it for the puffer. I also have a couple of pieces of driftwood in there too and a small moss ball. Do you think I can have 2 ottos too or should I gamble on the expensive shrimp?
I would just keep the lone puffer.

But if you really can't stand to not have a tankmate, then get the 2 ottos.

For ottos, you want a group of them because they "do better" as a group. It might stress them, but if you have a good clean tank and a good home for them.. then I would rather put 2 inexpensive ottos in there rather than spending money on shrimps that you might not see again.

If you really love the ottos, then don't get them. If you just want something to clean your tank, then live plants is all you need. Ottos won't clean that much for your small tank because you will be cleaning it yourself frequently.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for your help. I think I'l leave the ottos then as I don't want to stress them out or keep them unfairly. I will look around some lfs' further away and if I still have no luck then I'l just keep the puff on his own in the tank thanks for all your help mate!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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They aren't usually easy to find; but 4 habrosus, pygmaeus, or hastatus cories would do fine on the bottom given proper water. I wouldn't try an "algae eater" in that tank personally. The brown algae is likely just diatoms that will eventually subside anyway.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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They aren't usually easy to find; but 4 habrosus, pygmaeus, or hastatus cories would do fine on the bottom given proper water. I wouldn't try an "algae eater" in that tank personally. The brown algae is likely just diatoms that will eventually subside anyway.
Hi HN1, thanks for your response. Would they be okay with the puffer? What do you mean by proper water also? Im going to follow yours and terrance's advice about the algae eaters but am very interested in these cory idea!
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #11
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Yes, I doubt a puffer would bother them. They're about the same size max and faster. By proper water I mean cycled and stable.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:30 PM   #12
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Cool, thanks. I will have a look into those cories and do some research Cheers to everyone thats helped, much appreciated.
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