Dwarf Puffer Stocking Question

  1. dandelion Member Member


    I am new to the forum, but not to fish! Thankfully:;hi2

    I recently moved and was lucky enough to find a fish store that is not a chain pet store. They carry dwarf puffers! I currently have a 12 gallon tank which is cycling and plan on adding the dwarf puffers. However I was wondering what tank mates might do well with them. In a larger tank I was considering the dwarfs with cories, but have heard the lil puffers can be aggressive. They are intelligent fish and I want to keep them entertained, ideally not by the other fish in the tank. I already have two cherry barbs, would a puffer or two be fine with them since they are a fast fish? I ask about the cories as well due to my love for them.

  2. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    I have always heard that dwarf puffers are best suited to a species only tank. With you tank being 12 gallons, I would hesitate to put more fish with them. I would put two puffers in there.
  3. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Agreed, they can be quite territorial and aggressive towards other species, especially in such a small tank.

    You could try adding shrimp with them? Start off with ghost shrimp - they're larger and cheap!
  4. dandelion Member Member

    Hmm I wonder if I provided enough coverage and swimming loops/caves they would be alright. The cherry barbs are feisty but seem to mind their own business. Anyone know if anyone on here owns a dwarf puffer?
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I used to have some. Got rid of them when I broke the tank down to replace it with a larger one, but I had them for a few months.

    I still wouldn't add cherry barbs. Mine even killed an oto, and supposedly that's one of the best species they can be put with.
    @MJDuti can give you more info. He has a list of species that might work.
  6. dandelion Member Member

    Hmm alright. I may have to either invest in another tank or a different fish. I want something with a lot of personality, but limited apartment space has forced me to start with a 12 gallon until I know how our furniture is going to fit everywhere.
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    DPs do have a lot of personality. They're great fish, just not great tankmates.
  8. dandelion Member Member

    Haha I feel like that is almost with every fish that has a big personality. But if I was the better fish I guess I wouldn't be too friendly to everyone else. I would happily buy another 12 g nano tank to match and just keep them seperate, but finding one used is hard and I was lucky to get one for only $50.:(
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    You can buy a 10 gal for $10 at Petco or Petsmart. Sponge filter or small HOB and heater from Amazon, glass for the lid from Lowe's, and whatever light you want - all of that can be bough for around $50-$60.
  10. dandelion Member Member

    Yes but I would prefer to have the symmetry. Ha I guess I will just see.
  11. MJDuti Well Known Member Member

    Nice, somebody else joining the puffer ranks! First off, I'm a he, not a she. But anyways, puffers are amazing fish...all species of them. I've only had pea puffers the past 4 years, but these are my quick summations from my experiences:

    *their aggression is waaaaaay overplayed. Any puffer can be a killing machine. I've had one. But the pea puffers IME are more peaceful than not. I've also had my first male the past couple months. They are supposedly more aggressive but mine is fine, just a little more feisty when it comes to feeding. He is fully mature now btw.

    *IMO, I would Not mix barbs with puffers. Barbs are quicker and may pick on the puffer more than the puffer on them, which could equate to feeding issues. However, some nano species (lots out there) can go with them. I fully agree with Domer's opinion above about getting a ghost shrimp or two and testing your puffers' aggression that way. If you lose them you know not to mix and you gave them a grand feast. For some reason many people, myself included have had success with red cherry shrimp...even breeding. The puffer may pick off a baby here or there but that's fine. Small horned nerite snails are my choice for a clean up crew (outside of you). They barely stick out of their shells and do a great job cleaning even the smallest of spaces.

    *OVER decorate. You can do this with whatever you want, but live plants are ideal because they look better IMO, and also help keep the water cleaner. Over filtration is best with any puffer.

    *have many food options available, frozen and live ONLY. Feeding them is the hardest part because they can be fussy. There are a ton of options, but if you need help, just ask

    In a 12G you could even do a breeding pair or 2 females and 1 male. Up to you though. I would just personally love to try and breed them. You will enjoy these thoroughly.
  12. dandelion Member Member

    Thank you so much for the reply! I am already in the process of over decorating. What frozen food do you feed them? I am excited to get these guys. If I did try to do a breeding set of 3 would I need a separate tank to move everyone if they happened to be successful? Thank you again for all the info!
  13. MJDuti Well Known Member Member

    You can try frozen bloodworms, frozen mysis shrimp (larger than brine), frozen krill. Live food is always good - mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, black worms (or any worm small enough), red cherry shrimp babies, pond/bladder snails, baby ramshorn snails

    I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of options but stuff to keep an eye out for. For the frozen food, I'd recommend getting Vita-chem and Garlic Guard to soak them in. Not needed, but they'll supposedly help.

    I would also look into treating for potential internal parasites too. I don't want to scare you, but it's common. Luckily it's fairly easy to tell and easy to treat (usually).

    I have no experience breeding. I would look over on The Puffer Forum for breeding info as I know a couple members have bred them. They are puffer fanatics.
  14. dandelion Member Member

    Okay great! I will keep a lookout at places around where I live for prices and just variety. I will try to research some about internal parasites with them. Thank you for the heads up! I can't wait to get them.:D