Carsonsgjs’ Pea Puffer Tank

carsonsgjs

Well I managed to grind the better half down to the point where I was allowed to keep my 7.5g (was being used as a temporary grow out for my neolamprologus brevis fry who have now moved out, emphasis on the word temporary). I agreed to her (unreasonable) terms that quickly that I had no idea what I would do with it, I was just happy that I was able to keep it going somehow.

Lots of research and lots of threads studied on fishlore later I decided on a species that I had never kept before: pea puffers. Only problem was finding them - I’ve never seen them locally so I’ve been keeping tabs on a few places online. Today was the day when I decided to go for it and an 80 mile round-trip later I now have 3 juvenile pea puffers!

I can’t believe how small these guys are - they are tiny. Even smaller than the fry that I just moved out. Long-term I may end up with a single specimen but they are so small and with the plans I have for the tank I hope I end up with a male and 2 females to make it work with no aggression issues. Who knows.

Quick shot of the hastily arranged tank for now, as I have a ton of spiderwood soaking still to go in. Thinking lots of java fern and java moss, as well as round river rocks and pebbles to go in later. Maybe some more plants later on depending on how things look. Current filter is a fluval u2 which is fully cycled but will be replaced by a dialled-back tidal 35 I have going spare so there is more room in the tank.

Already loving watching these guys float around the tank!
 

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carsonsgjs

Spent most of the day attaching java fern and java moss to various rocks and pieces of wood. Gone slightly cross-eyed from knotting cotton….

Will decide on the final layout once the internal filter has been moved out next week - I’ve done enough for today and the little guys don’t seem to mind it.

Here’s a few shots of the tank as things stand and the puffers.
 

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Rose of Sharon

They are so cute!!!!!! Love it!!!
 

carsonsgjs

Got the internal filter out and the tidal prepped and ready to go. Decided to block the intakes with some coarse foam just in case the peas decided to get too close - about 30 seconds after fitting the filter my decision was justified when they all had a good poke around the filter. They are so inquisitive it’s unreal!

Had a play around with the layout but I’m still not completely sold on it yet. Scaping a smaller tank is a lot harder than I first thought. Might look better once the ferns and moss grow a bit. For now, everything looks a bit too placed but I’m done with it today, just enjoying watching them inspect every little pebble!
 

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MyFishAddiction

Following! Your puffs are so cute.
 

jmaldo


Clap.jpg

Nice Job!


watching.jpg

Good Luck!
 

kallililly1973

Great looking tank for them. We had a single one in an 8 gallon for a couple years their a blast to watch and so personable. Just wanted to give a little tip on attaching plants instead of tying thread you can get those tiny hair elastics and just wrapt them around the plant and your DW and once they take hold just trim them off and you’ll never have to see em. Our puffer “Chubby” loved ramshorn and frozen not freeze dried bloodworms. Hilarious watching them with a BW it looked like a big piece of licorice hanging out of his mouth. Good luck with your trio!!
 

carsonsgjs

Great looking tank for them. We had a single one in an 8 gallon for a couple years their a blast to watch and so personable. Just wanted to give a little tip on attaching plants instead of tying thread you can get those tiny hair elastics and just wrapt them around the plant and your DW and once they take hold just trim them off and you’ll never have to see em. Our puffer “Chubby” loved ramshorn and frozen not freeze dried bloodworms. Hilarious watching them with a BW it looked like a big piece of licorice hanging out of his mouth. Good luck with your trio!!
Thanks kallililly1973. I’ve used the little clear elastic bands for the plants, but I ran out so had to use cotton for the moss. It does blend in a bit better but it’s so fiddly! Once the moss really gets going I’ll be snipping the cotton and removing it.

All eating well at the moment. Only tried them with bloodworm once so far but have also had them on mysis, daphnia, brine shrimp and black mosquito.

Funny little fish though. Very little work getting done as I spend most of the time facing away from my desk watching them bob around!
 

carsonsgjs

Added the first batch of bladder snails today - 5 small ones from the 33g which will now also serve as a snail farm.

One was pounced on right away so I’m thinking showtime, time to get the phone out….puffer basically gave it a kiss then swam the other way. Ah. Disappointing.

One of the puffers doesn’t seem too good though. Last 48 hours have been spent in one spot amongst some rocks and hasn’t really moved. No signs of bullying by the others, so must be an illness. Keeping a close eye for now and keeping up with water changes.
 

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SamEvans

Lovely looking setup dude! Really like the river pebbles you’ve used! Good job
 

carsonsgjs

Lovely looking setup dude! Really like the river pebbles you’ve used! Good job
I’ll confess…I stole them…out of my front garden!
 

mattrtdennis

this tank is looking good!!! looking forward to updates!
 

Rose of Sharon

The puffers are so tiny!!!! They are just adorable!

I do hope that nothing is wrong with the one that is hiding....
 

PAcanis

I see Pea Puffers in my future :)

How is the Tidal 35 running in the nano tank? Does it seem too much?
 

carsonsgjs

The puffers are so tiny!!!! They are just adorable!

I do hope that nothing is wrong with the one that is hiding....
I know, working away for the next couple of days so hopefully all is well while I’m away.

PAcanis the tidal would be too much if it was on full power. I’ve got it at about 50% flow with coarse sponge prefilters, medium and fine sponge inside as well as a bag full of media. That all helps to slow it down. These guys aren’t particularly great swimmers so don’t appreciate a lot of flow.
 

Blacksheep1

They are just too cute ! I wonder if I can sneak another tank in somewhere ? Surely no one will notice , right ??
 

carsonsgjs

So the little guy didnt make it. I left at stupid o’clock on monday morning and he was alive, just, and by the time I had got back on friday evening he had gone full Yoda and vanished without a trace. Can’t remember the last time I had a new fish die as quickly as that.

Other two are very happy and healthy though, but seem to be completely ignoring the snails I added. At least they are taking care of the biofilm on the new driftwood for me!
 

Blacksheep1

Aww no. What a shame ! Sorry to hear this but glad the other two are doing well
 

carsonsgjs

Turns out snails are very much on the menu, meaning my driftwood is still fuzzy. Added some more bladders and they lasted about 4 seconds before they were viciously murdered. Fun to watch though!

Looks like I’ll be cleaning the driftwood myself this weekend, as well as removing a load of empty snail shells…
 

mimo91088

This species is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well. Once they get bigger and less frightened of you, my favorite thing to do is feed them bloodworms with tongs. Such interactive little fish.
 

carsonsgjs

This species is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well. Once they get bigger and less frightened of you, my favorite thing to do is feed them bloodworms with tongs. Such interactive little fish.
I have various species of cichlids so I’m used to fish with personalities but these guys are on a different level. Also, they haven’t tried to bite me either so that’s a real plus!

Will definitely give the hand feeding a try. One of the puffers still seems a bit shy but the other one already roams around like it owns the place.
 

jmaldo

You guys got me even more excited, mine are due next week.
Fingers-crossed
 

ChrissFishes01

Have you been checking their poop pretty often? It's pretty common for pretty much every species of puffer to come in with internal parasites of some sort. I got lucky with my current Dwarf Puffer, but he's the first one I haven't had to put through anti-parasitics. Yours look healthy, but sometimes it's hard to tell they're malnourished until they refuse to eat.

Tank looks awesome! I'm sure you're aware, since you made an effort to keep to the 1:2 M:F ratio, but you'll probably want to keep an eye on your current two pretty closely. Once they sexually mature, chances are you'll have some aggression - hopefully you get two females who get along well enough!
 

carsonsgjs

Have you been checking their poop pretty often? It's pretty common for pretty much every species of puffer to come in with internal parasites of some sort. I got lucky with my current Dwarf Puffer, but he's the first one I haven't had to put through anti-parasitics. Yours look healthy, but sometimes it's hard to tell they're malnourished until they refuse to eat.

Tank looks awesome! I'm sure you're aware, since you made an effort to keep to the 1:2 M:F ratio, but you'll probably want to keep an eye on your current two pretty closely. Once they sexually mature, chances are you'll have some aggression - hopefully you get two females who get along well enough!
Thanks! All good in the toilet department so far. Does make me wonder if that was wrong with the third that didn’t make it though.

Long term, I’m more than happy to keep just the one if aggression kicks in. Or…upgrade the tank size…I’ve not had that conversation just yet!
 

mimo91088

The aggression thing is a bit overstated in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it's possible under the right conditions. But when I was researching before buying, people made them sound like flowerhorn aggressive lol.

I tossed a platy fry in with my female to see if she'd eat it. It's now a juvenile that follows the puffer around at snail feeding time getting right up on her to eat the scraps. The most "aggression" I've seen the puffer show it is yanking a bloodworm out of the platys mouth when she decides she wants that one.
 

carsonsgjs

The aggression thing is a bit overstated in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it's possible under the right conditions. But when I was researching before buying, people made them sound like flowerhorn aggressive lol.

I tossed a platy fry in with my female to see if she'd eat it. It's now a juvenile that follows the puffer around at snail feeding time getting right up on her to eat the scraps. The most "aggression" I've seen the puffer show it is yanking a bloodworm out of the platys mouth when she decides she wants that one.
This was what I found interesting when researching this particular species - the amount of conflicting information out there as to what is possible when keeping them. One source will tell you one thing, another will tell you the total opposite. Plenty of opinions out there regarding their aggression but so far, I’ve not seen any.

Obviously very early days, and hopefully the tank decor is/will be dense enough to keep them occupied. I have trouble finding them in there as it is!
 

ChrissFishes01

This was what I found interesting when researching this particular species - the amount of conflicting information out there as to what is possible when keeping them. One source will tell you one thing, another will tell you the total opposite. Plenty of opinions out there regarding their aggression but so far, I’ve not seen any.

Obviously very early days, and hopefully the tank decor is/will be dense enough to keep them occupied. I have trouble finding them in there as it is!
In my experience, they really are that varied! I've had one male kill two females in a 10 gallon, and I've had one male live peacefully with two females in another very similar 10 gallon. The one I have now is really outgoing, but I've also had them be super shy. I can keep Otto's and ghost shrimp with my current one, but some of my previous wouldn't allow that.

Just like any other aggressive animal, it's going to depend on the individual.
 

carsonsgjs

Well it seems my new java ferns are all in the early stages of being affected by galls. Never experienced any sort of plant disease before and I’m not about to start battling this one.

Apparently there is no way to cure it either so I’ll be pulling the plants out, throwing them in the bin, setting fire to it then getting Bezos to blast the charred remains into space. That’s the last time I buy plants on a whim from anywhere else other than my usual place. Lesson learned!

I now have 3 regular java ferns and 3 windelovs on their way to me. Rescape coming soon again I think…poor puffers.
 

carsonsgjs

Rescape complete! Ok it’s the most lazy rescape ever as nothing actually moved position, I just switched the plants out. I think it looks a bit better than last time round though. I really like the windelovs and I even have one left over to go in another tank. Fingers crossed these plants do better than the last lot.

2 very happy puffers in there it seems, though only one of them likes to pose for the camera (see if you can spot it). It also sat there the entire time watching me scrape rockwool from java fern roots!
 

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ChrissFishes01

Looks great! I dig all the ferns - I have such a hard time keeping them looking pristine for more than 6-8 months. They live and grow, but start to discolor, even with ferts :(

Getting pics of these guys is so hard! You almost need a macro lens - I've only been able to get two decent pics of mine in the 5 years I've been keeping them. Such fast, small, brown little fish are hard to get!
 

carsonsgjs

Looks great! I dig all the ferns - I have such a hard time keeping them looking pristine for more than 6-8 months. They live and grow, but start to discolor, even with ferts :(

Getting pics of these guys is so hard! You almost need a macro lens - I've only been able to get two decent pics of mine in the 5 years I've been keeping them. Such fast, small, brown little fish are hard to get!
I decided on a bit of a java jungle for them - ferns do ok-ish for me. I’ve had some do well, and some die off for no apparent reason. I don’t use ferts on any of my plants though, I’m about as low-tech as it gets. They get a choice - like my tap water or not!

Your pictures look great to be fair. I just have a shaky hand and an old iphone!
 

ChrissFishes01

I decided on a bit of a java jungle for them - ferns do ok-ish for me. I’ve had some do well, and some die off for no apparent reason. I don’t use ferts on any of my plants though, I’m about as low-tech as it gets. They get a choice - like my tap water or not!

Your pictures look great to be fair. I just have a shaky hand and an old iphone!
I think that's the trick for a lot of the low-tech plants - let them be. I tend to love them to death! My mother has a Java Fern Windelov in her 29 that easily takes up 1/4 of the tank - stock light, no ferts, very few water changes. The things just love it.

I appreciate it! It's a nice hobby to tack onto my fish keeping, for sure.
 

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