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Old 01-28-2011, 03:28 AM   #1
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Info about puffers please

Heya!

My fiancť has fallen in love with puffers and desperately wants to get one.
He's trying to do as much research as possible online, but isn't getting very far, because everything is so contradictory. I thought I'd help him by posting here and hopefully getting all the answers in one place.
I basically need as much information on puffer fish as possible. Please assume I don't know anything about them

I need to know things such as:

The largest tank we could have is a 10 gallon. Could we have puffers in that? If so, what types, how many etc...
What substrate do they prefer,
Plants? Rocks? Hidey holes?
Do they need freshwater or brackish?
If brackish, how much salt for a 10gallon tank?
What pH and temperature?
What strength of water flow?
What to feed them on?
And one thing that he cannot find an answer to is how do you get them home? Surely they can't come in the standard fish bag? What if they puff up?!

Thanks for your help!
Sasha
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:45 AM   #2
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I do not know too much about puffers myself but I'm almost certain that 10g is not going to be big enough.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:03 AM   #3
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Ok. I thought that might be the case. What's the smallest size tank we could comfortably keep a puffer in?
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #4
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You could keep a dwarf puffer in a 10g, but that's about it. Dwarves are freshwater, but many puffers are brackish fish. Puffers do best in a species tank because they have bad attitudes and will fillet most fish.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:26 AM   #5
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You could actually keep 1, maybe 2 dwarf puffers in a 10 gallon. I say maybe 2 because they are territorial. Dwarf puffers are freshwater, not brackish. I think they're the only freshwater puffers..
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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I don't know a lot about puffers But what I do know is that they need to be kept with their own kind. Most are Brackish, but dwarf puffers are freshwater. The green spotted puffer and figure 8 puffer are examples of brackish water puffers. They love live foods sub as: black worms, blood worms, brine shrimp. They also need snails in their diet. Their teeth never stop growing so they need to file them down by eating snails(dwarf puffers don't need the snails). They are transported like regular fish. Don't worry about them puffing up. A ten gallon is too small for a brackish water puffer but could house 2-3 dwarf puffers. I don't know how much salt you'd add per each gallon. But I do know that as they get older, more salt needs to be added into the water. Eventually becoming full saltwater sg- 1.021.
I recommend this website
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/brackish/brackish.html
Hope this helps!

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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Dwarf puffers don't require salt. They are fully freshwater. You could certainly house 2-3 in a 10g. Just make sure you have alot of plants, fake or real, to lessen the aggression. I'm debating on setting up a 20g long for a handful of these guys. Sometimes it's hard to get them to eat and alot of them will only eat frozen foods so make sure you guys are committed to that.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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Their teeth never stop growing so they need to file them down by eating snails(dwarf puffers don't need the snails).
Just wanted to clear this up. Dwarf Puffers do indeed eat snails, (at least most do), but Dwarf Puffers don't get overgrown teeth like other puffers, so in that way it's not necessary.

Dwarf Puffers are notoriously picky about what they eat. Bloodworms, snails, and shrimp (brine/mysis) will keep most dwarf puffers fed and happy. If they're really picky (wild caught DPs usually are) you might have to use live food.

Dwarf Puffers like lots of hiding places, so if possible, add caves and tunnels to your tank.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #9
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Dwarf Puffers, although territorial, seem to enjoy the company of another puffer when the tank is large enough. At max, a 10gal could house a male and two females, which is better than a pair as the aggression will be mitigated. Be sure to introduce them all at the same time so that they can establish the puffer "hierarchy" amongst themselves.

As for the tank, they don't have scales which means sand or another soft substrate is great for them. They really don't like flow in the tank because they're not the strongest of swimmers. Definitely keep the tank interesting, they not only need hiding places, but they like to explore and hunt. Snails will all be eaten right away, so there isn't much hope of trying to breed them within the puffer aquarium. I feed mine bloodworms, but occasionally toss them a snail as a treat.

Here's a great resource on DPs - Dwarf Puffers : Home
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
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I just wanted to clarify, our tank is 10UK gallons (48litres), which is about 12 and a half US gallons. I don't know if that affects how many puffers we can have, but just realised that I hadn't made it clear
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fishies86 View Post
Heya!

My fiancť has fallen in love with puffers and desperately wants to get one.
He's trying to do as much research as possible online, but isn't getting very far, because everything is so contradictory. I thought I'd help him by posting here and hopefully getting all the answers in one place.
I basically need as much information on puffer fish as possible. Please assume I don't know anything about them

I need to know things such as:

The largest tank we could have is a 10 gallon. Could we have puffers in that? If so, what types, how many etc...
What substrate do they prefer,
Plants? Rocks? Hidey holes?
Do they need freshwater or brackish?
If brackish, how much salt for a 10gallon tank?
What pH and temperature?
What strength of water flow?
What to feed them on?
And one thing that he cannot find an answer to is how do you get them home? Surely they can't come in the standard fish bag? What if they puff up?!

Thanks for your help!
Sasha
Maybe a single dwarf puffer, but I have never kept one.

My Green Spotted Puffer (which required a large tank all to himself) spends a lot of time laid on the sand, so I believe sand would be best.

My GSP likes to hide. Something many people do not understand however is that Puffers are hunters, mine usually is out in the open but uses objects to sneak up on his food (ghost shrimp).

Freshwater or brackish depends on the puffer involved. My GSP is in brackish now but will be in marine when older.

One flat TEAspoon (not heaped) per US gallon usually gives you about 1.005 salinity. If you then do a 25% water change, you need 2.5 TEAspoons of salt to replace the salt you just took out of your 10 gallon. But again, the salinity depends on what puffer you get.

pH and temp depends on the puffer you get.

My puffer tank has strong flow, this helps to break up the frozen foods the puffer sometimes gets. He doesn't seem to like the high flow areas.

Mine eats frozen (human food) shrimp, brine shrimp, bloodworms, live ghost shrimp, beef heart, beef (human food) steak, malaysian trumpet snails and ramshorn snails.

In is unlikely you'll get a puffer to puff. This is not a good thing for a puffer to do. In order to do it you're going to have to scare it or really piss it off and neither of those things is good. If that's what you want then really you shouldn't have one in my opinion. I know you didnt say thats what you want it for, but some people do.

Hope that helps,

Tim.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:39 PM   #12
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No, I know enough to know that making them puff can be dangerous for them. It's the last thing we want to do :/ I was just worried that if they got stressed being carried home in a bag, that they'd puff :/ thank you for your advice
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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No, I know enough to know that making them puff can be dangerous for them. It's the last thing we want to do :/ I was just worried that if they got stressed being carried home in a bag, that they'd puff :/ thank you for your advice
I've got four figure of 8 puffers
Their the funniest fish I've ever had more like little dogs than fish lol
Ud need a air stone as mine love to play I'n the bubbles
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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I have to agree with everyone that suggested the dwarf puffers, for a 12gal tank it is pretty much your only option if you want to keep puffers.

I would say 2 at most, 1 male and 2 females might work but juvenile DPs are hard to sex, the link that was provided earlier tells how to sex them but it is still very hard IMO. I keep 3 DPs in a 20gal tank. Be aware that they are pretty small fish and your tank will look "empty". Good tank mates for DPs are otos (not sure whether you can keep them a 12gal) and sometimes ghost shrimp (this is hit or miss, mine are fine with ghost shrimp, red cherry shrimp and amano shrimp)

Mine will eat live and frozen bloodworms, forzen mysis shrimp but they don't even glance at the flake food. They have cool personalities and its fun to watch them establish their hierarchy and territories.

As for water parameters, make sure your tank is cycled before introducing the puffers, I keep mine in very hard water pH 7.4 and temp 78F without any problems. The DP home site will have more info on that just figured I would mention what has worked for me.

Hope this helps =)

Edit: I feed mine live blackworms and frozen bloodworms.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:37 AM   #15
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That's fantastic XimeD! Thanks what kin of snails do dwarf puffers like? Any in particular? I'd like to get some in my main tank so they can start breeding for when we get puffers
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:03 AM   #16
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Dwarf Puffers are notoriously picky about what they eat. Bloodworms, snails, and shrimp (brine/mysis) will keep most dwarf puffers fed and happy. If they're really picky (wild caught DPs usually are) you might have to use live food.
I've been doing quite a bit of research lately and have discovered that blackworms are a good dwarf puffer food. They can be farmed similar to snails. (bloodworms are larvae and can't be easily farmed)

Can you get live blackworms in your neck of the woods? They come from California originally so I don't know about availability in UK.

Quote:
I'd like to get some [snails] in my main tank so they can start breeding for when we get puffers
Puffers are messy eaters. What this means is they will often kill a snail, take two bites and stop eating because they're full. When the puffer sees another snail he will often hunt and kill it, take a bite, and leave it to rot. I've heard of puffers being added to tanks full of snails, and within days all the snails are dead.

Your best bet for growing snails is to set up a second aquarium or snail farm.

My current idea is to set up a bucket or plastic tote, line the bottom with coarse gravel good for blackworms, add a few plants, light, heater, airstone. Then make sure the water parameters stay good, (just like any other aquarium), and grow blackworms and snails.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #17
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I've been doing quite a bit of research lately and have discovered that blackworms are a good dwarf puffer food. They can be farmed similar to snails. (bloodworms are larvae and can't be easily farmed)

My current idea is to set up a bucket or plastic tote, line the bottom with coarse gravel good for blackworms, add a few plants, light, heater, airstone. Then make sure the water parameters stay good, (just like any other aquarium), and grow blackworms and snails.
I'd love to hear how that goes deepseven! Are you going to start a thread on that?

I would love to see what works for you then try it out. Right now I buy my blackworms and keep for a few days in the fridge.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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They reccomend at least 15-20 gallons for a f8 puffer. Dimension-wise, a 20 gal isn't too much more space-occupying than a ten and you could house one figure 8 in there (I am cycling my ten for dwarfs too at the moment, but am wanting to get a 20 so I can get a f8 as well)

I have a one gallon jar with a couple pond snails and a couple ramshorns in it - it has a heater and an airstone although i am going to put a small sponge filter in there shortly. They are laying eggs like crazy, you just have to change the water every couple days because they foul it up fast.

Puffers will also eat whole frozen shrimp from the grocery store and live mussels from the seafood counter - although that's a bit overkill for dwarfs. I have heard that dwarfs prefer a slightly more acidic pH than the brackish puffers - but I don't know how much truth there is to this. The others need a higher mineral content for the development of their teeth, I'm assuming.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:42 PM   #19
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I've been doing quite a bit of research lately and have discovered that blackworms are a good dwarf puffer food. They can be farmed similar to snails. (bloodworms are larvae and can't be easily farmed)

My current idea is to set up a bucket or plastic tote, line the bottom with coarse gravel good for blackworms, add a few plants, light, heater, airstone. Then make sure the water parameters stay good, (just like any other aquarium), and grow blackworms and snails.
If you're going to breed and grow snails get rid of the plants, the light, the heater, the airstone, and only keep the coarse gravel if you're going to breed the blackworms too. Snails like water, muck, and a little lettuce for food so everything that you were going to put in there DON'T because you'll be wasting money that could be saved.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:18 AM   #20
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Your fiancee has good taste! I completely love my dwarf puffers. They have tons of personality and they are always up to no good.

From my experience, I would put 2 dps in a 10 gallon tank. They engage in a rather confusing mix of territorial chasing and peaceful gathering in a small group. I have 3 in a 29 gallon and they definitely utilize ALL the space in the tank. Based on the amount of time they spend together, I would guess that a solo puffer would be understimulated.

This may have been said before but you should also provide plenty of hiding places and ways to block line of sight. This way one puffer can remove itself from the action when it needs a break.

I pull snails from my community tank and place them in the puffer tank...they are all gone within about a week. I also feed live bloodworms. I choose to feed live because if the puffers don't eat them, they will partially bury themselves in the sand substrate and stay alive for a few days. The puffers then travel down to the bottom and have a little worm snack whenever the mood strikes them. They tend to ignore dead food that falls to the bottom of the tank.

They are really neat little animals with distinct personalities. I was worried that a single species tank would be dull, but these little guys are possibly the most entertaining fish I've ever seen.
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