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Old 01-02-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
iamntbatman
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Dwarf Puffer Tankmates

I recently bought an aquarium for my girlfriend. She's been interested in keeping dwarf puffers for a while now and decided to commit to their demanding food needs. I wanted to get the cycling going by adding a group of small fish and I plan on adding both the puffers and a couple of Otos in a few weeks. I've read all over the place that the puffers will leave the Otos alone, but I needed cycling fish. The girlfriend wanted something that would be hardy enough to survive cycling, fast swimming around upper levels of the tank to add some life to a tank otherwise occupied by tiny, usually slow-moving puffers and fast/aggressive enough to survive the puffers, and I told her I'd never heard of anything that fits this description.

She wanted to get the tank going, though, so I went ahead and bought her 5 Tiger Barbs. I've never kept these fish since they have such a bad reputation for fin-nipping. I've heard they're quite hardy and I know they're fast swimmers. Will their aggression keep the puffers at bay, or will I have to move these barbs once the tank is cycled to prevent puffer carnage?
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:06 AM   #2
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Eh my tiger barbs are like a little gang and usually nip at everyone, so I'm not sure they'd do good alone with puffers.

The first that popped into my head with your description are my Danios (most common are Zebra Danios) I have 7 of them, they are very fast and hardly ever leave the surface of the tank, and I've never had one die. They are schooling so they do need a larger number.

How big is the tank also?
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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It's a 20g tank. I always heard zebra danios were one of the best fish for cycling (I have a small herd of them myself) but they're pretty passive fish so I was afraid the puffers might bother them. The tiger barbs might just be fiesty enough that the puffers and barbs might leave each other alone. I guess time will tell!
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:40 AM   #4
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20g is too small for barbs so I think you will have to move the barbs for that reason alone.

The only fish i have heard of working with DPs are otos and bumblebee gobies. I'm not so sure that the gobies would be Ok with the otos thoguh as they both occupy the lower levels of the tank and the gobies can be quite territorial.

I don't think the barbs will work with DPs. not talking from experience, only that barbs are notorious fin nippers, especially in smaller groups so they will almost definitely nip at the puffers, and thus making the puffers more likely to turn on the barbs, not that they weren't likely enough to do so anyway. Sorry not to ive you the answer you were hoping for.

Why not reutrn he barbs and do a fishless cycle? It's kinder and can often be quicker if done properly.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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My first 3 Danios were my cycle fish along with a couple feeder guppies, they did just fine. My Danios get along with my nippy Barbs because they are super fast so the Barbs just lose interest. And I have 5 Tigers and a DP in my 55 gallon, thankfully its planted and big enough that I doubt they ever really nip at each other. I've had both species together in there a good amount of time now.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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DPs will murder almost everything and are faster and more aggressive than they seem ...ottos ive never had any luck with but thats NOT been down to the puffers they seem to get on very well with the slightly larger red-eye puffers too
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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Well thats not true about all DP, my DP has never shown any aggression in the past year I've had it. It tends to stay to itself anyways.

Anyone know how to tell male/female for a DP? And which is more aggressive? I would google it but I'd rather not right now ha. I'd like to know what mine is.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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I've read that, as usual with many species, females are a little more plump than the males. Also, apparently males have a dark line going down their belly, and sometimes have visible "wrinkles" just behind their eyes. Females lack these traits.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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theres an article i wrote in the member submitted section that covers sexing these fish im my experence both sexes will attack other fish but mine have grown up together in a single species enviroment introducing a single one or two into a populated tank may yeild diffent results in a large tank
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:43 PM   #10
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I think its a female then, she's plump and has no lines/wrinkles.
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