Dwarf Puffer Fish - Puffer Fish Information - Pufferfish, Boxfish, and Cowfish
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Dwarf Puffer Fish

I've decided to get a small (5 gallon) aquarium for my dorm room. I've got my heart set on the dwarf puffer fish, but want to make sure he'll be as happy in his home as I will be. I've been told 5 gallons is enough room for 1 and maybe 2 puffers (would have to be a male and female or 2 females correct?). I'd also like to get an oto to help keep the place clean :P

I've read around and found that live bloodworms makes a good diet. How long will these last in a fridge? I've also read that snails are fun to give them, but are they nutritious? I was thinking I might be able to breed the snails on my own. What type of snails would you recommend? Can you breed them in a non-filtered aquarium/contained (I'm thinking like 1 gallon of water or less here).

What types of plants do they like (live)? What pH? (I've heard slightly acidic). I've read 80 F is a good temperature for them...will my oto enjoy this as well?

How long should I allow the water to filter in the aquarium before adding the fish and live plants?

Finally, how do I know that I'm getting a healthy puffer? Is there a way to tell male from female if I was to get 2?

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 01:43 PM
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First off, I would wait on the oto until the tank has been set up for quite a while in order to attain some algae growth. They can be pretty delicate so a mature tank is a must, and algae is a major part of their diet. Ideally they should be kept in groups, but that wouldn't be possible in a tank that size.

The puffers can be difficult to sex. Females are larger and more plump, and males supposedly have wrinkles behind their eyes that the females lack. Also, there is supposed to be a difference in the spot pattern, but I can't remember exactly what the difference is.

I've actually never had live bloodworms, so I can't help you there. My puffers like live blackworms, which I've generally found to be easy to find. They usually run about $1-2 for an ounce (which is a lot of worms!). They can be kept in a plastic tub (with a lid with holes) in about a 1/4" of water in your fridge. They should keep for about three weeks, provided you change the water every other day. My puffers really love their snails, and these make up the majority of their diet. I breed mine in my betta tank. You should be able to breed them in an unheated 1 gallon tank, but a filter of some kind would definitely be beneficial. The easiest snails to breed are the common pond snails (often just called pest snails). Fish stores often have unwanted infestations of them and will gladly give you some for free.

The best way to be sure you're getting healthy fish is to see if there are any obvious signs of disease on the fish at the store (torn fins, white spots, lethargic behavior, etc). Also, look around the rest of the store and see if their other fish look healthy. There are no guarantees, though, so be prepared to buy medication if needed.

The puffers probably don't have a preference for any particular kind of plant, so your choices for plants should be limited by what sorts of plants you like and what sort of care you can provide. Different plants require different amounts of fertilization and lighting, so it might be helpful to determine how much you're willing to spend on things like that and then picking appropriate plants.

78-80 degrees is a good temperature. Unless your pH is extremely low (or high) you shouldn't really need to mess with it. Just be sure to properly acclimate the fish and you should be fine.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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I agree with Batman almost entirely, except I would urge you not to get the oto. Otos, on top of being very sensitive fish, are best kept in shoals. A single oto will be very shy and easily stressed.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemavis
I agree with Batman almost entirely, except I would urge you not to get the oto. Otos, on top of being very sensitive fish, are best kept in shoals. A single oto will be very shy and easily stressed.
and if you dont mind me adding as for the puffers i would strongly recomend on just getting one as to they really are messy secondly!!! make sure you use sand(as bedding) due to they have sensitive skin....(not live of course) umm lets see i would strongly recommend a good filter for them as well and a 50% weekly water change! also feed small pond snails, plankton(dead or alive i suggest canned), krill, and brine shrimp so you can provide a variety of foods to keep him happy(dont over feed)you could do what i do brine shrimp as a treat and krill as treat(i have spotted puffer btw so yeah)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to post a link to the aquarium set-up I ordered. Let me know if you think everything is etiquette. I also ordered a heater separate :)

https://www.fish.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=701002%20BLK
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchoolBoyDJ
I'm going to post a link to the aquarium set-up I ordered. Let me know if you think everything is etiquette. I also ordered a heater separate :)

https://www.fish.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=701002%20BLK
dude look at the price!!! you would do sooo much better with a ten gallon tank okay heres what you do get a ten gallon (with nothing but the tank itself and the hood and fluorescent lighting) also get a very good filter dont go for the poorly designed ones such as that now heres what you need: (river)sand(no gravel), live plants(make sure they arent sharp as in the corners and make sure they thrive well with him/her) now get a hidding decor just in case get the food:plankton, krill, brine shrimp(frozen),(40-50)pond snails and dont worry pond snails are everywere theyre considered pests just go to petsmart and anyother petstores and get them(set em in a one gallon tank with a bubbler and put a lot of food in there like put lettuce leafs chopped,goldfish flakes and such) and provide lighting and youll see lil egg sacks being laid just dont fully change the water just do a gradual 10%water change of the one gallon....okay thats for the snail breeder tank just make sure theyre pond snails (feed them the to the puffer the size of the eye) just make sure you leave some feed one snail a day, get a background thing umm lemme see with a ten gallon tank you could do the puffers and atleast 4-5ottos and the tank will be cleaner and youll only do a 30%weekly water change or so also get a dechlorinator get the one with stress coat :3 also get a whole big bottle of biospira(dump it in the water of course the liquid) and wait till the next day (with plants added) and voila the tank is cycled :3 also keep extra jugs of water(like 5-10) so when you do a weekly water change you get cycled water ;D
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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o_o But I get all that stuff with the set. I actually already have a 10 gallon aquarium at home, but I'm interested in something more compact for my dorm room :P
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 10:27 PM
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a fish tank takes about 3 weeks to cycle, i recommend researching a "fishless cycle" and doing it BEFORE buying a puffer. this will aid in its general overall health.

i have 3 pea puffers and i culture my own blackworms and pest snails. i dont think you'd want to culture worms in your dorm so id go with pest snails. they're very easy to get lots of and i would feed live blackworms and freeze dried bloodworms as well. just get a small container of blackworms from a fish store every week or 2. just remember to keep it in the fridge and gently poor most of the water out of the container the worms are in and re-fill it every day or every other day so they survive the longest and you get your moneys worth. clumped up worms are healthy and if they look white theyre most likely dead.

i as well would recommend avoiding an otto, just because the fact that they like buddies and in a 5 gallon you cannot provide that. why not get a ghost shrimp or 2? theres a chance your puffer will eat it but i successfully keep my puffers with shrimp.
as for plants, java moss, java fern, and anarchis are all pretty undemanding to name a few. i just recommend getting a bottle of liquid fertilizer from a pet store and dose according to bottles directions to keep
your plants healthy..
and as for doing 50% water changes a week, i personally wouldnt do that.. thats 2.5 gallons all at once if you think about it.. i think 10-15% water changes every 3-4 days would be a better aproach, but with a tank so small you pretty much have to be religious with water changes to keep toxins at a minimum... anyways good luck!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think I'll try the ghost shrimp. However, what do you do for a place for them to hide? The puffer is quite small itself and I can't think of a way to make a shrimp only area :P
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 09:40 AM
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Your puffer will eat your ghost shrimp, no doubt about it. But if you put a lot of plants and little hiding caves or something in there, then some may survive. But you should get more then a couple shrimp because they will be eaten.

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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