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Dwarf Puffers


smwilliams

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i was at a lfs today and fell in love with these little guys. i've done a bit of research and i think i could handle it. my only concerns are softening my water a bit (are there chemicals that can do this?) and if i would have to do a fishless cycle on a new tank or would they be able to withstand a cycling tank as long as it was maintained properly?

if any of you have kept these cute little buggers, please let me know about your experiences!

thanks!

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Does the LFS soften the water for them? The water around here is fairly hard, but since that's what the puffers were raised in they seemed not to mind it, and it prevented having to do constant water tweaking. My personal experience has been with green spotted puffers, they are very cute and curious critters, but the most aggressive fish I've ever met. They're also the only fish that've ever bit me that hurt! It's also a good idea to have a small tank or rubbermaid with physids or planorbids (pest snails) for them to eat as they have a beak that'll grow long without snails. Unfortunately that's the extent of my own experience, good luck!

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i'm not sure about the store water, all i have read is that they prefer 100% freshwater but can tolerate a slight increase in salinity if need be for treatment. (The LFS has them labeled as Brackish) Strike Number One. I've read that they need live food, which i don't have experience with but I don't see being a huge problem, 80F water, 3 gallons per fish, and that they are agressive. I was thinking a 10 gal tank with two of them, hopefully i could sex them at the store. Our water ranges from "hard" to "very hard" but not rock hard like well water or anything. I don't remember my exact readings fom my old test kit that tested kh and gh and all that. From what i have read they prefer soft to medium hard water, and a pH of at least 7. in my goldie tank i have a steady ph of 7.8.

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oh, i also wanted to add that Strike Number Two against this store was that the "fish girl" asked me why I only had 3 fancy goldfish in a 29 gal tank. Then tried to direct me to some glofish I might be interested in. (they were pretty, but not suitable tankmates, i don't think) So i have never seen dwarf puffers anywhere before and really fell in love with the idea of a freshwater puffer. i don't think this store will be much help with briefing me on their proper care though.

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Oh these guys are the cutest, I almost got some once but the guy at the pet store warned me about their aggression. He also told me that they are absolutely brackish :blink: I didn't realize that's not the case. Very weird beause this guy usually knows his stuff.

Chrissy

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i guess common thought is that they are... they can survive in slightly brackish conditions. most people don't know tetras and the like can be brackish too. i also have found that there are a few different types of very small "freshwater" puffers, and some are more brackish than others. i guess it's kind of how salmon are saltwater, till it's time to mate. i don't know, but from what i gather so far, the "Dwarf Puffer" is 100% freshwater and not to even salt their tank as a general tonic. they are very agressive, but sexing is much easier in them than goldies, and i only want to in a ten gal anyway, so i am hoping to avoid that issue altogether. i'd keep them in a species tank anyway.

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Interesting info. I was also told at the time that mollies are brackish, I guess there's a lot of variation on opinions. I figured brackish fish likely come from tidal swamps/rivers where some salt water enters, or in salt ponds.

I hope you set up the puffer tank and send some pics, I think they are absolutely the cutest tropicals around..they even give goldies a run for the money! :o

Chrissy

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Most mollies do enjoy brackish conditions, though they can live just fine in freshwater. As for the puffers, be sure you know exactly which type you're getting because some of them are brackish, and some won't tolerate brackish.

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i will be very careful of that. I went to vvvv today and they had actual dwarf puffers but they were much younger than what i saw yesterday and i would be scared to have something that small! Also, they are known to be messy eaters... Do you think a filter for a 20-40 gal tank on a ten gal would be too much? (i have one that size already) would it create too much current? these little guys seems like much stronger swimmers than goldies, i just don't want to overdo it.

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I don't think you could 'overdo' the filtration for these little guys, they're like 100xs as messy as goldies! :o they'll rip up any decorations you may have so keep the setup basic. Ooooh, and don't put your finger in the water! My brother in law was keeping some a while back and he stuck his hand in to move stuff around and one of the little so-n-so's bit him on the finger and drew blood!! Crazy for something that small.. and yeah, they like to eat live food and ususally something crunchy like snails to keep their 'beak' worn down.

I've heard that they're pretty susceptible to toxin levels, so maybe consider doing a tankless cycle. before adding them.

Fun little guys tho'! You'll have to post pics when you get them.

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i will for sure! i am trying my best to be patient. i am so tempted to go buy and get a new tank and love em forever and ever and ever... *but* i am supposed to be getting a big(ger) tank for my goldies soon from a coworker, so i think i am just going to wait till that happens and then use my 29 gal i have now for some puffers. thanks for the info though!!! and i WILL def. post pics when i get the lil guys!

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well, i was bad and got a tank and two dwarfs anyway. i did put some established media in from my 29 gal (well more established than brand new, that tank is at the tail end of cycling itself) and i also stuffed some "ammonia remover" media made for aquaclears in. i don't know if that's new or not, i've never heard anything about whether or not it works. these guys are tiny tiny tiny though, and quick movers when they move. i will try to get some pics, but they'll need some time to adjust and come out of their shells first. plus, my lighting is really crappy on the tank, and hopefully i'll be able to get some fluorescent bulbs next paycheck. i am planning on getting some bio-spira too, if my husband will let me leave the house with my bank card anymore :D right now he's making fun of me for spending $70 on "invisible fish". they're so small and being shy right now, i just now saw both of them. they are moving more and more though. they seem to be interested in my filter intake, which scares me, but they seem to be able to swim away just fine. anyhoo, i'll keep y'all updated and post pics as soon as i can get em!

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Puffers are cool fish :)

A little advice: toss out that "ammonia remover" bag. It will hinder the beneficial bacteria and your nitrogen cycle will fail. Those are really only best for small tanks with a filter, but no biological filtration. I'd start setting up your snail tank as soon as you can. You can bet the store you got them from did not feed them snails and their beaks may be overgrown, depending on how long they were there.

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My little bro has them. They are totally freshwater and we got them at vvvv too. I know many of the puffer fish are brakish but these are freshwater. He hasn't had any problems and has had his 3 months. He says they eat anything but once a week he goes to the LPS and buy 50 little snails. They are really nice and sell them for .01 each. He doesn't add any salt and actually has them in a tank with angels, sharks and tetras. In time he may have problems but they stay so small and hang out around the bottom right now.

Rach

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i know i have read that... (about tet's) or at least... i think i have. the 'ol thinker's not as good as it used to be... but it seems like i remember reading that alot of livebearers are brackish... this was when i was first looking into a tank, so again, i may be completely wrong. in the words of Reading Rainbow: "Don't take my word for it!"

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I would agree with Kissy and say forgo the "ammonia remover" it caused nothing but problems for me, youre better off without it! Looking forward to pics of the puffers by the way. Cute things they are! :D

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i know i have read that... (about tet's) or at least... i think i have. the 'ol thinker's not as good as it used to be... but it seems like i remember reading that alot of livebearers are brackish... this was when i was first looking into a tank, so again, i may be completely wrong. in the words of Reading Rainbow: "Don't take my word for it!"

I think maybe you made a mistake and were confusing a tetra with another type of fish. I've never heard of any tetra or other member of the characin family being brackish, and most do not tolerate salt at all.

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