Pea puffers

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af2018

Aquarium Advice Activist
Joined
Apr 12, 2024
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102
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Grand Rapids
Ok guys I am currently cycling a 10 gallon and I’ve decided on pea puffers. From what Google is saying I can keep 2-3 in a well planted 10 gallon. So I’d like to get 3 but if 2 is better somehow I’d like to know that too!
The other thing I’m reading is they aren’t great swimmers and to use a sponge filter or something, idk why, but sponge filters imo don’t seem like they’d do that great of a job… I really don’t want one at all. What are my filter options? Would I even need to switch? I’ve currently have a basic hang over the edge tetra 5-10 gal filter in it 🤞 the kind that takes the cartridge with charcoal.
It’ll be a few weeks before I’m ready to make this leap but I really need as much advice and guidance as possible. I do plan to heavily plant the tank, what’s the best substrate? Plants they prefer? I basically have a blank slate here please help!
 
I'll address the sponge filter portion of your post first: Sponge filters will do an excellent job of providing a place for your biological filter bed, provide additional food for smaller fish, remove detritus from the water and never suck up a fish into them. ( The last HOB that did all that straight out of the box that was an air driven HOB back in the 60s called a Bubble UP filter by Metaframe (?). ) Your aversion to them should be rethought (imo). Are they the prettiest? I'm not gonna lie, NO, they aren't. But pretty doesn't always get the job done and that is the whole purpose of a filter: to GET THE JOB DONE. How much water is flowing is all based on how many of what size bubbles are being used in the filter tube. They are so good in fact that I've used them in every hatchery I've owned or worked in. I still use some of the old ones from 30 years ago.
With all that said, in my recent travels, I went to a number of pet stores and saw pea puffers from the size of 1/2 of an immature Pea to ones that can definitely crack a snail's shell. I would strongly suggest you get a lot more information on keeping these fish as well as multiple types of foods you are going to need to have available if you get tiny ones or a tank full of snails if you get larger ones.
The rest can be discussed if after all your research you still want them. :whistle:
 
I still want them! I did do some research on their diet. It’ll be significantly more expensive to feed these than all my other fish combined probably lol
 
Yes, very different.
Plants: The best plants are mosses ( i.e. Java Moss, weeping moss, etc. ) with pieces of wood and rock in the tank to resemble their natural habitat.
Substrate doesn't matter as the mosses don't need a particular substrate, just something to hang on to.
If you get tiny puffers as I saw in one store, you'll need to start hatching out brine shrimp for them or hatch daphnia for the tiny ones. ( Ones I saw would be overfed with just 1 live blackworm. :oops: As they get larger you can add live blackworms, bloodworms and larger brine shrimp to the diet. When they get larger yet, add small live snails to their diet to help them keep their beaks sharp and trimmed. Best is to ask where you get your puffers from what they are feeding them. ( Here's a hint: If they say pellets or flake foods, I'd not buy them as those are not typical parts of a Pea Puffer's diet so the odds are they are really just starving in the stock tank. ) They will do better with live foods than anything else but if that's not an option for you, frozen is your best bet adding liquid vitamins to the food as well.
Best filter is still going to be a sponge filter. Modifying a HOB for small ones of these will probably damage the filter fairly quickly.
 
Thank you Andy. So I’m reading a lot about them needing sand for substrate… I’m a little nervous about doing sand bc I’ve never done it before and I don’t have the technique with the siphon mastered and from what I’ve read I’ll suck the sand out if I can’t figure out what I’m doing 😂 plus pricing out the sand today like $30 for a 10 lb bag… that’s insane to me. Not that I don’t have the $30 for it but that really seems steep. I was reading about how much they like moss so I definitely was planning on adding that to it. I also read somewhere that I could possibly use lava rocks… what are your thoughts?? I really like the lava rock idea and then maybe a bunch of moss and thick greenery… would that be an ideal habitat for these? You also said to hatch my own brine shrimp. Can you give me some hints and tips as to how to do this and what supplies I’d need for that? Lastly for this 10 gallon would any old sponge filter rated for the size work? Do you have any recommendations for me?
 
Also this is a 1 gallon I got really cheap and couldn’t say no to. Could I potentially use this to hatch the brine shrimp and how?
 

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Also does anyone know a good source for ordering these guys online? I’ve called everyone locally, I’m not even ready for them but I’m not gonna set up for them if I can’t find them 🤦‍♀️ no one has them and they can’t get them easily bc they’re endangered. One lady said they get them occasionally but don’t have any right now and didn’t know when they’d have them again. But she definitely told me to buy wild caught if I do get them.
 
Thank you Andy. So I’m reading a lot about them needing sand for substrate… I’m a little nervous about doing sand bc I’ve never done it before and I don’t have the technique with the siphon mastered and from what I’ve read I’ll suck the sand out if I can’t figure out what I’m doing 😂 plus pricing out the sand today like $30 for a 10 lb bag… that’s insane to me. Not that I don’t have the $30 for it but that really seems steep. I was reading about how much they like moss so I definitely was planning on adding that to it. I also read somewhere that I could possibly use lava rocks… what are your thoughts?? I really like the lava rock idea and then maybe a bunch of moss and thick greenery… would that be an ideal habitat for these? You also said to hatch my own brine shrimp. Can you give me some hints and tips as to how to do this and what supplies I’d need for that? Lastly for this 10 gallon would any old sponge filter rated for the size work? Do you have any recommendations for me?
I just use play sand from Lowes or Home Depot because it's cheap but I'm a good siphon sucker that doesn't suck sand when I siphon. ;) ;) Some people use pool filter sand but the bottom line is that the puffers will dig in the sand to hide so you want to make them as comfortable as possible. I suggest adding some rigid tubing or a strainer to the end of your siphon hose and cover that with some filter floss or filter padding to keep any sand you suck up from exiting the tank. That said, if you use a bucket when you do water changes and you suck up some sand, you can always just add the sand back to the tank. (y)
Lava rock is okay to use with Pea Puffers but some types of Lava Rock leech phosphates so you need to do some research and get the kinds that don't. ( It's been a long time since I used Lava rock that I forget which one does and which ones don't. Not all lava is the same. )
Sponge filters are rated for maximum flow under the best of conditions so you want a sponge filter that will handle a 15 gallon tank even tho you are only using a 10 gal. This way more water will go through the sponge without having to have more bubbles pulling the water.
Also this is a 1 gallon I got really cheap and couldn’t say no to. Could I potentially use this to hatch the brine shrimp and how?
You can use pretty much anything to hatch brine shrimp but the key is for the eggs to be in constant motion. I've used garbage cans, 5 gallon water bottles from water fountains, Pickle jars, Betta bowls , candy jars, ( the list is endless ) as long as you can keep the water and eggs flowing in a circular motion. This is what I used in my last hatchery: 1718674089171.jpegI had to position my air stones in a certain way in the square bottles to get a circular motion of the water. The round jar in the middle was a Pickle Jar while the other 2 were candy dishes. I got them all at a thrift store for 50 cents a piece so you don't need to buy expensive " brine shrimp hatcheries" to hatch out brine shrimp eggs. ;) Depending on which brand eggs you use, you may need a light on 24 hours to get the eggs to hatch or use a heater if your room temp is too cool for the eggs to hatch in a reasonable amount of time or may need to keep the hatchery in a cooler room. ( I had to use heaters in mine because I had the room air conditioned to 78 degrees so the eggs took too long to hatch. ) Just follow the directions from the brand you use. I use OSI brand or Brine Shrimp Direct brands of eggs. Use Kosher salt at a rate of 5 tablespoons per gallon of water. Water temp was 80-82 degrees and I got the eggs to hatch in 20-24 hours as long as there was lighting on the eggs. With the OSI eggs, by making the temperature a little higher, the eggs would hatch faster. With the Brine Shrimp Direct Eggs, a little higher than the 82 degrees yielded a much poorer hatch rate so you MUST follow the directions of the brand of eggs. ( FYI, San Francisco Bay brand eggs need cooler water so at 80-82 degrees, their eggs didn't hatch at all. )
Also does anyone know a good source for ordering these guys online? I’ve called everyone locally, I’m not even ready for them but I’m not gonna set up for them if I can’t find them 🤦‍♀️ no one has them and they can’t get them easily bc they’re endangered. One lady said they get them occasionally but don’t have any right now and didn’t know when they’d have them again. But she definitely told me to buy wild caught if I do get them.
With all due respect to the lady, if you can get tank bred puffers, you are much better off than getting wild ones. #1 is because they are endangered so getting wild ones will be a very hit or miss situation. ( I've been looking for a certain fish for over 3 years now because the country of origin closed again so no wild fish are coming out of there. I WANT the tank bred ones but they are so hard to find. ) #2 is tank bred fish will already be accustomed to eating foods you have available while wild fish may not eat what you have available. #3, Tank bred ones should not have the parasites most common to wild caught fish. So I would look for tank bred ones. I do not buy my fish online so I don't know who is good and who is not but The Wet Spot in Portland, OR gets a lot of fish, both wild caught and tank bred varieties so you may want to check them out.
 
Thank you so much Andy. For now I’m going in a different direction but this is something I definitely want to set up for in the near future.
 
Thank you so much Andy. For now I’m going in a different direction but this is something I definitely want to set up for in the near future.
They definitely do pose a new angle to the hobby but if you are not prepared to do what THEY need, your success rate goes way down.
Just an FYI, There's not much you can do with that 1 gallon tank so think Betta or maybe dwarf frogs or shrimps.
 
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