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Old 12-26-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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New Dwarf Puffer Tank

Hey guys I have a couple of questions

I just bought a new 28 gallon bow-front aquarium today and i plan on getting 3 or 4 dwarf puffers for it. I bought a Marineland Penguin 200 because i heard it was good to get a bigger filter because of the puffers nasty eating habits. Do you think that is to strong? I dont want the little guys to get stuck onto the fiter.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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You can never get a too strong of filter, but if you did want to get one with adjustable flow power (which will also cut down the sucking power) I suggest those, they are nice. There really isn't anyway they will get stuck up into that filter though. So no worries about that.

Also if you plan on having it just dwarf puffers, I suggest making the water brackish so they are happiest. Add around 2 tablespoons of salt for every gallon of water, or when your hydrometer is readin 1.020-1.025. You'll prob. want to get a hydrometer, they are very cheap plastic things.

Also, you should get some bubble bee gobys with them aswell. They are very small brackish water fish that have cute little bull dog faces. They are cheap and kind of like bottom feeders, they will take care of any of your left overs from your messy puffers.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:44 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

I don't think it'll be that bad. IIRC that filter has a method to turn it down as well if you did have issues.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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lol ok thanks...yeah it does have that little adjustable thing on the filter intake so that should be good. I heard something about putting sponges on the filters and that totally threw me off...

I heard dwarf puffers were completely freshwater unlike figure 8s and green spotted puffers?

oh and one other question is i got a 150 watt heater is that to much watts for a 28 gallon?
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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100W would probably have been plenty, but 150 will be fine too.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #6
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Yes, Dwarf Puffers are truly a freshwater fish. pitt420due on here had some dwarf puffers in a 10g a while back. I'm not sure where he went off to... haven't seen him around in quite some time.

I've always wanted to get a couple pairs but I don't have the time to feed those guys... I hear they are picky eaters.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:48 AM   #7
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Yes, dwarf puffers are completely freshwater and NOT brackish. Puffers in general are not strong swimmers and too much current will send them reeling into decor, so make sure there is some type of flow control valve. The other filter concern is the intake and puffers being the investigative fish they are, can get caught. I'd use some type of sponge or mesh around the intake unless you plan to make it completely unaccessible with driftwood as a shroud. I personally prefer Hagen Aquaclear filters best. For a heater, buy two 50w. I'd purchase at least 6 and quarantine because they can be a bit more challenging than most fish.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:13 AM   #8
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Yes, dwarf puffers are completely freshwater and NOT brackish. Puffers in general are not strong swimmers and too much current will send them reeling into decor, so make sure there is some type of flow control valve. The other filter concern is the intake and puffers being the investigative fish they are, can get caught. I'd use some type of sponge or mesh around the intake unless you plan to make it completely unaccessible with driftwood as a shroud. I personally prefer Hagen Aquaclear filters best. For a heater, buy two 50w. I'd purchase at least 6 and quarantine because they can be a bit more challenging than most fish.
Thank you Innovator for providing this very correct information on the dwarf puffers being completely freshwater. I have two dwarf puffers myself. They are each in their own 10g tank. I got them from a lady up north who had to find new homes for them. I absolutely love these little fish. They are so full of personality! You do need to absolutely have a build up of snails for them though. I had a good amount, but am in need of more and have posted on here to trade plants for pond snails. They will also eat frozen bloodworms (Hikari is best IMO). I have 20g filters on my 10 g tanks. You have to be diligent with WEEKLY water changes and you need to make sure your tanks are completely cycled before putting them in, as they have almost zero tolerance for poor water quality. Also, one more thing....they love (what we consider) an overcrowded planted tank. If you think it looks too planted, then it is perfect for them. They love to have the hiding spots and it also is great for their hunting skills. I will try to get pictures of my dwarf puffer tanks this weekend and post on here. As I said earlier, these fish are great. I have one that is rather a plump gal and has tons of personality and the other is smaller and a bit more shy, but is "coming out of her shell" slowly, as they do get to recognize their owners. They were a bit confused by me at first and it took them a while to warm up. Now they are very happy and swim up to the glass to greet me when I feed them. Also....never, ever give these guys flake food. They cannot live on it and they will die if that is their diet. They have to have snails, bloodworms, and they have slowly picked off my cherry shrimp population as well. Okay, nuf said for now, I suppose! Great Fish!! :p
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by The_Wolfman View Post
Hey guys I have a couple of questions

I just bought a new 28 gallon bow-front aquarium today and i plan on getting 3 or 4 dwarf puffers for it. I bought a Marineland Penguin 200 because i heard it was good to get a bigger filter because of the puffers nasty eating habits. Do you think that is to strong? I dont want the little guys to get stuck onto the fiter.
As I said in my previous post....please, please, please make sure you cycle this tank before adding the puffers. They are not fish that can be used to cycle a tank. Do a fishless cycle on your tank beforehand to prevent any casualties of these fantastic little fish. Also, I would only put a maximum of 3 puffers in a 28 gallon tank. Also...I cover my filter intake tubes with sponge attachment so they don't get sucked in because it is possible. Better safe than sorry. I take the sponge off every few days to a week (when I do my water changes) and clean the sponges.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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Agreed dwarf puffers are entirely FW, do not add salt. New2betas is correct, dwarf puffers are not a hardy fish and will not do well with ammonia spikes. They are also not fond of a lot of current. I would also recommend some live plants to help with both nitrates and aggression. If not live then lots of silk would be good. I have 4 in a 25 gal and know from experience that more than that would be too hard. They fight quite a lot.

Also lots of snails. LOL they love their snails.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the information guys! I really appreciate it! Im still confused on these filter sponges you guys keep mentioning lol does anyone have a picture reference or something? Also the filter I have does have one of those adjustable mid-level intakes so that should help
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:56 PM   #12
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I think it was workingfortheman who had the great idea of using a big HOB as a snail breeding fuge for dwarf puffers. Then you could always have a little (huge?) breeding population alive and not have to set up another container. Just throwing it out there because it sounded like a great idea. Ideally this would be in a moderately high uptake planted tank where biomedia is unnecessary but the flow from the HOB can be beneficial. You'd probably be able to use it as a CO2 diffusor too and still keep pond snails and such alive in there.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #13
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I think it was workingfortheman who had the great idea of using a big HOB as a snail breeding fuge for dwarf puffers. Then you could always have a little (huge?) breeding population alive and not have to set up another container. Just throwing it out there because it sounded like a great idea. Ideally this would be in a moderately high uptake planted tank where biomedia is unnecessary but the flow from the HOB can be beneficial. You'd probably be able to use it as a CO2 diffusor too and still keep pond snails and such alive in there.
This sounds like a great idea...I am just not sure how to do this. Can you give some specifics on how to get this going. I know, for example, that when I clean my filters on my other tanks I do find small snails from time to time that I just turn around and drop in my puffer tanks. How can I create this for the specific purpose of breeding snails for my puffers? TIA!
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:35 PM   #14
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Not done it (yet? Dwarf puffers are so awesome...) I think the trickiest part will be keeping the snails out of the motor/intake assembly. But snails just want to live, too, and I would not even adapt anything. I would get an empty HOB, toss and float some Java moss in there or some Petsmart Bacopa or something super hardy if I didn't care about dosing and a few pond snails or the plant friendly ramshorns, then just let things happen.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:02 PM   #15
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I have enough snails in my other tanks LOL. I just keep fishing them out and feeding them to the puffers.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:15 PM   #16
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Correct, the motor assembly will eventually be blocked and using a fine enough mesh will restrict water flow too greatly. The main problem I see is that offspring will migrate into the main system regardless and especially when you have to manually work with the filter imo. Well, that and I prefer to keep any and all food culturing separate from main systems. As far as stocking, figure how many you want (say 3-4) and add 1 or 2 extra because you can bet at least one will not make it past quarantine. Yes, make sure you quarantine them! Other fish additions will also help break up their line of sight and curb their aggressiveness.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:59 PM   #17
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what do you mean quarantine? like put them in another tank before introducing them to my tank?
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #18
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Yes. All fish should undergo at least a 30 day quarantine and predators, such as puffers, especially. Considering in the wild they may feed on carrion, de-worming is a must.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:19 AM   #19
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What if you cant get a spare tank? You cant just quarantine them in the main tank? lol Sorry this is new to me
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:08 AM   #20
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Yes...if there is nothing in the tank you are going to put them in that can be their initial QT tank...but don't add anything else to the tank for at least 2 months to make sure they are healthy and free of disease. BTW...from what I have read and been told...puffers don't do well with most any other fish. They are sometimes okay with otos, but you have to have a great build up of algae to keep otos alive, and a new tank isn't going to have that. Dwarf puffers really should be a species only tank as they get very aggressive toward any other fish. Like I said though, that is just what I have read and been told. I don't have personal experience trying to keep them with other fish. Good luck and keep us updated. Have you read any of the threads on here regarding the fishless cycling? It will be a must with these puffers.
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