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Old 01-23-2004, 01:29 PM   #1
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Spotted Puffers vs. Dwarf Puffers

I usually go to 2 different LFS and I came across dwarf puffers in one of them a few weeks ago. I did a bunch of research and am considering starting a new 29 gal tank for them. Just this past week, I went to the other LFS and came across something they had labeled as spotted puffers. Ive been having trouble finding info about them online, but the looked VERY similar to the dwarf puffers Ive seen in the store and read about on line. The only difference is that the ones labeled as spotted puffers seem to have more iridescent yellow and purple look to their body. Can anyone tell me if these are indeed the same fish, or similar? I actually like the ones being referred to as spotted puffers a little better, but I dont want to buy them if I dont know anything about them.
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:12 PM   #2
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BMG, as you'll no doubt find out if you look around a little more on internet, nomenclature is a *huge* issue when it comes to dwarf puffers. I have seen them labelled as "fresh water puffers" (and they are FW), "dwarf puffers," "dwarf malabar puffers," "Indian dwarf puffers," "green pea puffers," and "spotted puffers." These names all generally refer to the species Tetraodon (or Carinotetraodon) travancorius.

"Ahah," you say... "settled it is!" Not so fast... Becuase there are 2 more confounding issues at hand.

Firstly, there is another, more popular, type of puffer called the "Green Spotted Puffer," Tetraodon nigroviridis or fluviatilis (this may well have been the second species you saw, as the babies look relatively similar to the adult dwarf puffers and are about the same size). This grows considerably larger than the dwarf--to about 6 inches--and prefers brackish water to fresh. http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fishindx/puf-nigr.htm

Secondly, no convention has been reached on the two different color/marking morphs of the dwarf puffer. Some distinguish genus "Carinotetraodon" and "Tetraodon" but leave the species name "travancorius" the same. But... others call one "Tetraodon imitator" and "real." Here's a page which shows the two color morphs: http://www.rr.iij4u.or.jp/~kohda/en/en-dwarfpuffer.htm

I have been singularly frustrated by this taxonomic impasse, so when I bought my puffers (see my gallery, if you're interested) after much, much research, I just called them "Dwarf puffers" with the bnomial species name "Tetraodon travancorius."

My opinion is that you prob. first saw real dwarf puffers, and then saw the yellower morph *or* green spotted puffers a little later. Both species are extremely aggressive, and I'd recommend the dwarf puffers for a 29, as the GSPs will get very aggressive toward each other when older, esp. when in a relatively small tank. Also, brackish water (for the GSPs) is difficult, and precludes the usage of all algae-eating fish commonly on the market... IMO, you should go with the dwarf puffers! They are adorable and hardy.

HTH and isn't too rambling/specific!
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:21 PM   #3
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Look under the topic "dwarf puffer not eating" and I put some information there about my experience and some websites that helped me. Hopefully they help you out also.

Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:31 PM   #4
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Wow! Thanks madasafish! I have plenty more reading to do now, but I think based on what you are saying Ill probably end up getting the dwarf puffers!
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:32 PM   #5
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Thanks to you too, maro1107...even more reading material!
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:38 PM   #6
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Rockin' good choice.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:42 AM   #7
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God idea, sticking w/dwarfs, since GSPs grow to 6", will usually kill off most tankmates & require SW as adults.

Check my beauties out!
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