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Old 05-08-2008, 05:21 PM   #1
fishluver06
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South American Puffer

does anybody have any experience with these fish? Are there other fish compatible with it?
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:21 PM   #2
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i heard they are VERY aggressive and can grow fairly large. They are also "nipers & biters" and can be a pain in the butt in a community aquarium, just consider them specialty fishes best kept in species tank :)
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:08 PM   #3
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from what i read though they are fairly peacefully and they occasionally nip fins they are also good in community tanks but that's only what I read
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:55 AM   #4
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Which species are you talking about? There are many a species with different tempers.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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like I said in the title I was thinking of a South American Puffer
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:08 PM   #6
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There was a recent (like within the last year) article on puffers for community tanks in TFH. They concluded that, if there were one, it would be the South American/Amazon/Bumblebee Puffer, Colomesus asellus. If that's the fish you are talking about, it can be kept in a community tank sometimes.

You'd need a big tank, because you'll need several puffers (I'd go with 5 or 6) and plenty of room for each to keep them from harassing the other fish. Remember, they can get up to 6" (though 4" is more likely), and you probably want 8 to 12 gallons per fish, so you're looking at at least a 55 at the outset, probably a 75. Further, the tankmates need to be robust enough to handle the occasional nipped fin (and long finned fish and long whiskered catfish are probably out of the question) but not too aggressive, because there will be some fin nipping in all likelihood, yet puffers are not particularly well able to escape harassment or defend themselves. And you'll need a bail-out solution for either the puffers or all the other fish in the tank in case it doesn't work (which it may not.)

If you want to try out puffers in a community, this is the one to try, but it might not work.

Google the scientific name and read a dozen or so sites.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:01 PM   #7
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do they have any special requirements such as food?
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishluver06
do they have any special requirements such as food?
Absolutely. Food is a requirement. They will starve if you don't feed them.

I don't keep puffers, but I have done some research preparatory to keeping them before going with something else in each case. While I do not know all the requirements, the following are pretty certain:

1) Utterly pristine and completely cycled water - they will quickly kick the bucket in even slightly dirty water and are very sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, as well as medications and metals (like other scale less fish). They are also horrifically messy eaters, so cleaning up after feeding is a must as are frequent water changes.

2) Hard Shelled meaty food. Puffers have four teeth which form a beak. They are adapted to eating molluscs and crustaceans, and these teeth grow constantly to be worn down by their food's shells. Snails the size of the puffers' eyes offered several times weekly is generally the prescription to prevent the teeth from growing so much that the mouth ceases to close properly and the puffer starves. The teeth can be trimmed by an exotic animal vet or with nail clippers if you know what you are doing. I don't. Also, it is unlikely you will ever get them to eat prepared foods, so it's live, frozen, or fresh all the way. I recommend setting up tanks to breed ghost shrimp and snails if you are serious about keeping puffers.

3) They must never be netted or held out of water. Alway capture them in a plastic or glass bag or jar. When frightened, they inhale and puff, but if they do this by inhaling air, they can kill themselves.

4) Research - Get a Book. Read it twice before you get the puffers. Then, read as much as you can lay eyes on on the net and in the library.

5) A varied environment - Puffers are among the most intelligent fish, and are susceptible to boredom if their environment isn't stimulating. Plant the tank well and aquascape to break up sight lines and provide hard and soft cover in various places. Visual and textural cues will be important to the fish.

6) Not too much current. Puffers are not strong swimmers. Mild current is OK, but you're going to need a ton of filtration to get the water quality you need, so be wise about how the water comes back into the tank so you're not bouncing the puffers around.

7) Soft substrate and smooth decor - They're scale less and hard to medicate. Try not to let them get nicked up.

OK, thats about it. I am not trying to scare you off of this, but consider well and long if you can provide what these fish need.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:13 AM   #9
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I had a snail problem in my tank (first time owner, only had goldfish before this) and the shop i went to recommended for me my south american puffer (mr wiggles) and 3 zebra loach. I also have in my tank baby mollies (my dalmatian mollie had babies on Christmas day) two cories and roughly 6 neon tetra. Mr Wiggles has had no issues with any of the other fish in the tank, eats regularly and between him and the zebra have gotten the snail population in my tank under control.
Personally i am very happy with Mr Wiggles and he is not that much of a hard keeper and he gets on really well with the other fish. Also he is a really good eater, not fussy at all.
Would recommend one to anyone who does their homework and wants something a bit different in their tanks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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+1 to most of the above. Of all the FW species SAPs teeth grow the quickest. Get familiar with dentistry and a diet of 90% of snail is recommended to keep their teeth in check.

Personally I'd group them in a species only tank in a group of 3~6. They like to hang out together but are not considered schooling fish. I had 3 and they were exactly like the 3 bears; 1 big, 1 med and 1 runt. Obviously the largest dominated the food supply while the runt got very little. You might have to stagger the feeding times accordingly.
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