Dwarf Puffers In New Tank Problem

  1. Jill Neale Initiate Member


    I've just setup a new aquarium. It's a 15 us gallen tank and the PH is 7.0. nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels are all 0.

    I've been adding bacteria as instructed for 5 days now and stressful at.

    A couple of days ago I added 4 dwarf puffers all juveniles. All but one just sits on the floor and none are eating. I was advised to give them freeze dried shrimp and bloodworm as this was what they were fed at the shop where I got them.

    As my water is fine, I'm wondering if it is the food or perhaps they are just getting used to the new tank.

    Thanks for any advice in advance Jill
  2. kayla.s Well Known Member Member

    Nitrates should be present in your tank, but kept under 40 ppm. I don't know if this could be what is causing the problem though...
  3. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    Thanks very much for your reply. I thought they should be zero so I will need to investigate the water further. Thanks Jill
  4. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    4 puffers in a 15 gallon is too much. I'd only do 2 or 3.
  5. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    One has just died feel really sad about it, I think I might loose yet another. But 2 of them are now moving and more alert. I think I will have to get live food tomorrow. The small one seem to try and swim but kinda finding it hard! Feel helpless!
  6. kayla.s Well Known Member Member

    Your tank is probably not cycled yet. Puffers are quite sensitive to water quality and I agree with the above, only 2 or 3. A food that they like is snails
  7. MyNameIsFish Initiate Member

    From all the research I've done, that's not true. What I've been told is the rule for dwarf puffers is 1 for every 3 gallons (with 5 gallons being the minimum to keep 1 puffer in). Seeing as they are messy it is important to keep an eye on the water quality either way, but the only problem with keeping more than one of these is usually aggression (which can be solved with plants and hiding spaces). ----- I am in no way an expert so feel free to correct me. I am just going off the research I have done.

    Also to the original post- maybe try live snails for food? Or they maybe sick. Sometimes new fish will come with illnesses. Maybe ask your LFS for some medication.
  8. MyNameIsFish Initiate Member

    Maybe see if the flow from your filter is too strong which could be making it difficult for them to swim?
  9. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    We have had a marine tank before many years ago and had a lovely Puffer and lived a good few years with tangs and clowns, but not sure what's happening. Maybe I have put the fish in to soon or something. We was told at the shop because water was good it would be fine but something isn't right!

    Thank you I did think of that I adjusted the flow but they still stay at bottom, though 2 of them have started to swim around a little and looks like they were looking for food. Shall get live food tomorrow to see if it makes a difference.
  10. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    I have not kept dwarf puffers and have absolutely no desire to, but I've always heard that it's one puffer per 5 gallons leaving you with 3 in a 15, no matter how many hiding spots there are.
  11. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    Dwarf puffers are known to be shy in new enviroments, they may just have to take time to warm up to the tank before they're more active and feed.
  12. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    Thank you. I read the same but the man at shop seem to say I could have 4 which I have now only 3 but feel I will loose another over night. Thank you though for your reply. I really think it's right to only have 2/3 and no more than that.
  13. kayla.s Well Known Member Member

    The problem comes in when you've bought too many males, and with puffers it's hard to tell when they're young. If you're going to keep three, you should aim for 2 females for 1 male, as only one female could end up being harassed to death
  14. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    I tried to identify but they are so small...
  15. toolman Well Known Member Member

    Your tank is still cycling, read up on the nitrogen cycle. 5 days is just barely a start, most tanks take 3-4 weeks even with bottled bacteria.
  16. vin Well Known Member Member

    My 2 cents - because the tank is not cycled yet and dwarf puffers are sensitive to water parameters they are under a ton of stress. In addition they're highly territorial and can be very aggressive. Ideally only one should be kept and the tank should be at least 30g giving them wide berth to establish their territory.

    In order to get them through the cycle you will have to nurse them through it by dosing with Prime and Stability daily and performing regular water changes.
  17. Jill Neale Initiate Member

    Thank you - today did a water change and put in Prime and Stability. They have started to swim out a little more today which I'm pleased to see. I have given them small snails but have not seen any of them eat them... They swim around for a very short time then go back to where they have been hiding - there space! Thank you for helping.