bottom feeder for dwarf puffer tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by featherblue, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    29g tank
    6 dwarf puffers
    7? Ghost shrimp
    Lots of plants

    I want to add a small school of bottom feeders to benefit from my messy puffers. They only like their worms floating.....I stir up the sinkers, but there's still wasted food. I have one ghost left for sure, brave ninjas, who comes out after food time, but he doesn't eat much. The others are dead and eaten I think, none of the missed worms are gone the next day and I'm usingvthe turkey baster a lot. Cant find them when I strip clean the tank either.

    I would like to add a small group of kuhli loaches, 5-6. My big concern is the lava rock cave. I put it in as an abrasive surface for puffers to keep beak healthy (read they needed something even if they don't have issue of overgrown beak other puffers can this accurate?). They do use the cave a lot so I don't really want to remove it.
    is this lava rock a danger to my possible kuhlis?
    what would be another option?
  2. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Khulis are fascinating, very energetic and great to watch. I am not sure if they eat scraps, but someone.else.will.know. What is the concern about the rock?
  3. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Id be careful putting anything with DPs for the obvious reason that they can be aggressive and tend to take chunks out of tankmates. I don't think DPs suffer from overgrown beaks as readily as other species do but i could be wrong. Honestly, i would say some mass producing snails. MTS, Ramshorn and Ponds. Get a big breeding batch and put them in at night(put them on the substrate and rocks by hand to increase their chances.)
  4. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah snails wont work......the puffers favorite food is snail....they only gets a 10-20 2 times a week. Those puppies are gone in hours. I tried 2 dime sized ones to see if they'd leave the bigger ones be, found shells in the morning.

    Saw kuhli loaches like to dig and burrow, lava rock iscrather abrasive. Worried about cuts from wiggling around the rock
  5. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    Not a good idea. Puffers are extremely curious and often peck at things they are investigating. Often they end up killing their tankmates through curiosity rather than aggression.
  6. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Thats the point of getting rapid breeders. MTS hide during the day for the most part anyways. Dropping 20 or so in there would give them a good chance.
  7. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    @soltarianknight I did try a Sim idea, but they literally cleaned out their stock of snail in a night. If they think theyres a snail they don't stop hunting. If they wee me touch the snail tank they watch the waterline, waiting. Total snail junkies. 20 would be gone before they could burrow, even after lights out. More and they would just overeaten to bulgy.

    Ive got 10-15 adult ramshirnsbreeding in a 10g to feed the puffers

    I was thinking kuhlis because id seen other members success with the combo.
  8. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    I have seen kuhli?DP combos too, unfortunately none of the ones i saw were fairytale endings, more like something out of Grimm tales.
  9. plecodragonWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know if one of those worm feeders that float on top of the water or are connected to the side (can't remember and I don't have one) would work. The worms would be contained at the top of the water and the puffers could pick at them. Less waste. The worms might have to be live?
  10. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    I'm actually trying to locate blackworm culture at this point to try that I idea. Not the most common worm to find tho.......any other live worms ok to try? I saw waxworms and mealworm, as wellnas earthworms avail livevat pet store.
  11. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I have heard of otos being kept with dps safely but I don't own any so i can't really say :/

    Oh and the wetspot emailed me back they said they fed their imbellis blackworms... maybe they sell cultures for them?
  12. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    I presume microworms are too.small for these guys? (i know nothing of, puffers)
  13. JRC3Well Known MemberMember

    Get all the Ramshorns that you can out of the tank and let the others be eaten. DPs will eat as much of a ramshorn flesh they can reach and what they cannot get to inside the shell will rot and cause water problems. If you want to keep snails in the tank, get 2-3 nerite snails. Nerites have a very small foot that they cover with their shell, so puffers can't nip at it. I even keep them with my figure 8 puffs. Don't try anything like a large mystery or apple snail as DPs can't kill them but they will pick at them. I've also had excellent luck with ghost shrimp. I know the few that are in there have been there for nearly a year...Maybe even longer because I moved some tanks and I can't remember if the ghosts got moved around or added wherever.

    I have kuhlis in my DP tank and have done so for more than 2 years without any problems. I do have sand substrate and plenty of hiding places. I have 3 broken flower pots but they mostly burrow under a fake driftwood ornament that is hollow inside. If you choose flower pots the broken sdges need to be softened.

    As far as the lava rock IDK. I would probably choose something else because the puffs don't need at all for their teeth. In fact they need absolutely nothing for their teeth and this is a myth. This probably started because DPs are puffers and puffere need to maintain their beaks, right? (sarcasm) No they do not.

    If you do get kuhlis make sure you canopy fits very tight, especially in the corners. Check you filter intake, if the slits are wide enough for the kuhli to enter, they will enter. Cover with a prefilter or course medial bag if necessary. As for otos, they need to be introduced to an established tank with mature algae. I never had any luck with them. That is the only fish I've never had luck with for some reason. I think it's my water???.

    Feeding: I'm gessing you are feeding frozen not freeze dried bloodworms, right? Get the San Fransisco Bay brand because IME they are thicker and more consistance batch to batch over the Hikari brand.   I also breed ramshorns for other puffers and I will crush them with a pair of forcepts for my DPs. I've tried mysis shrimp and brine shrimp and they don't like them. Glassworms seemed tasty when they ate them but the worms are clear and too hard for the fish to see. I have heard many people having luck with blackworms(like you said) but I've never tried them.

    I empty a frozen cube of bloodworms in a container like this. Then I float it in the tank to let the cube thaw. I then feed a few bloodworms at a time with a pair of forcepts. After feeding I pop the lid on the container and toss it back in the freezer for the next feeding.
  14. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    No rams in the tank, they get devoured on sight. Breeding them in a second 10g. They only eat whole snails 1mm or smaller (they love the newly hatched ones). I only feed snails twice a week, 2mm or smaller (eye size and below), with a vacuum the next morning. No ammonia or nitrite spikes, or quick climb in nitrates. They go crazy for snail day, but I also only give them tiny ones.

    Ive been feeding mainly bloodworms (all my frozen food is currently hikari), 1/4-1/3 of a cube with a little something extra as I sample the other frozens I have for my frogs. They don't like tubiflex worms, but don't mind the mysis or spirlina shrimp, and tiny loves the glass worms. They float in the frogbit roots where she prefers to play.

    Well the lava rock is moving to a shrimp tank, they need another cave and don't care if its rough. Maalybe some more driftwood for the puffers, or another quartz cave.

    I do have a back up plan for the loaches if anyone gets picked on. They can start stocking the 36g ram tank if the puffers pick on them.

    Like the microworm idea.......any one tried it before?

    Kuhlis will do ok burrowing in small rounded gravel, right? I picked the tumbled, red base natural gravel for the tank. Not chips or shards, easy to run fingers thru
  15. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    My LFS owner has microworm cultures in those 4l square-ish ice-cream tubs. He reckons there is no trouble at all in keeping them alive, and he has great live food cultures.
  16. MsheresyValued MemberMember

    I have dwarf puffers.

    They do not need to have their teeth/beaks trimmed like other puffers. They are softer and grind down usually with no issue. Malaysian trumpet snails are NOT got for dwarf puffers. They have very hard shells and since dwarf puffers do not have super strong teeth, it can break them. Ramshorn and pond snails are fine. I feed mine almost exclusively blackworms. I will put in 1 worm per puffer and then I make sure I see them eat. Yes, this is time consuming but these guys can be sensitive to too much in the water, ie excess foods. They are so curious that the like to observe their food for a while before eating but mine eat off the substrate (sand) pretty much every time. Unless I accidentally drop a worm where it can get to a plant. I try to place them with my plant tweezers to almost the substrate. I know mine eat snails also because I see empty shells. You will likely not see crushed or broken shells. They tend to suck them out of the shell without disturbing it.

    I feed microworms to my scarlet badis exclusively. I have put some in the puffer tank but I haven't really taken the time to observe if they are eating them as well.
  17. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    My puffers love blackworms! K have to help the shy babies, Millie and tiny, and make sure they get some too! One worm each films their tummies quite nicely. They still eat bloodworms on occasion, and snails a few times a week, but the glass hover now. Hopeing those tongs are coming in the tank :)
    They only eat the foot of the snail, with a little slrup on snails bigger than their eye. Snails smaller are a gulp, shell and all. I just rearranged around a caviar fiend of a Betta in my snail breeder and I should have a more regular source of tiny snails now.
  18. jjhabeNew MemberMember

    I have puffers too, and the only thing I've been able to keep with them are otos. I thought about trying to add kuhlis but they don't have scales so it seemed like they'd be easier to hurt.
  19. waffleinatorNew MemberMember

    I have dwarf puffers. They ate the otos and the bushynose I put in their tank. The only thing that I have been able to keep with them are larger shrimp.
  20. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    The kuhlis have been in the tank now for almost 3 weeks. No one bothering them at all. I do have very young puffers tho, most aren't big enough to tell if they're boys or girls. They give the kuhlis dirty, eye following glares if they get bumped into, no chasing or hunting. Still have 6 I started with, been watching for bites or tears on the loaches, and they are everywhere. The took over a driftwood cave and patrol tge entire bottom of the tank now.

    I tried shrimp again, for less then 5 min. Immediate chase/hunting. Removed the poor shrimp before they caught it.