Dwarf Puffers

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by lily bee, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. lily beeNew MemberMember

    Hello! I am relatively new to keeping aquariums but I definitely do my research before jumping into anything and consider myself a diligent fish keeper. I would like to start a dwarf puffer tank, however as I am moving soon I think I'd like it to be a small one. I've read this is NOT the consensus for DPs so I'm curious; if I plant my tank well enough and give it enough to interact with, can I keep just one DP in a 5 gal tank? I've read a lot about dwarf puffers but can't seem to find much info on keeping/ setting up a tank for just one. If I were to do this, what would be a recommended filter for this small tank with one messy fish? I plan on using a turkey baster to feed and avoid further waste. Also, do I need a heater? If so, what would you guys recommend for a tank of this size? Thanks so much for any input!
  2. Little Tank of HappinessWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to Fish Lore! Yay a puffer fan has arrived! Woot!

    Okay so to answer your questions
    1. Yes it is recommended to only keep 1 puffer in a 5. And of course by themselves because they have teeth and can be aggressive
    2. Sorry, I don't know about filters. However I've read that *some* puffers don't mind current that much and actually enjoy it. As juvis they can be timid of it but when adults they swim through it. So, buy a filter with as much current as the DP can handle. ;)
    3. Feeding: Do anything that is good for their teeth when they are juvenile. Snails are a good one. Some puffer keepers breed snails.
    4. Yes a heater is needed. Some say they like Eheim but I don't use those... that will require more research :)

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  3. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    They like slow moving waters so maybe you can do a sponge filter so there's not much flow in the tank. They also like hiding places so a planted tank is preferred or DW if plants aren't available. Btw I kept two dwarf puffers in a 10g before and I thought that was too small for them. There's a lot of different information online and I think people suggest keeping them in bigger tanks since they're aggressive. Just keep your puffer preoccupied and since it will be alone then I think you can get away with a 5g. What I would do is setup the 5g (cycling and all) then put MTS or ramshorn snails or both. Let them populate the tank then add your puffer. Puffers are very inquisitive fish and the dwarf ones aren't any different. They like to swim around, explore and observe inside and outside the tank.
  4. Little Tank of HappinessWell Known MemberMember

    I am not trying to go against anything you said, but just curious about the snails and then adding the puffer... wouldn't the puffer eat all the snails right away and then become bloated? Pretty sure I read that they will eat any snail they have access to and are pigs, so they won't stop eating.

    Just my thoughts though I may have misunderstood what you meant! ;)
  5. badradWell Known MemberMember

    It has been a number of years since I had my dwarf puffer, and did keep him for a couple years before he passed.
    I recall he was a bit of work to maintain as I had to watch the water parameters carefully, frequent water changes and vacuuming to keep the tank as clean as possible. He was a picky eater, preferred live food - snails were good, which I had plenty of from a planted tank that I kept specifically to breed food for him. Also he loved bloodworms, so I had kept frozen bloodworms for him and break down tiny bits at a time. He was fussy eater, in that if he did not eat any bloodworms that would drop all the way down to the bottom which was gravel-less to make it easier to clean. He liked the snails since they moved and he loved tracking them and finally killing and eating them. I would provide a snail or two every few days or so, and the bloodworms in between. I had tried other foods, but he would try and spit them back out, so he was quite a picky eater.
    I kept him in a 12 G Edge, which was quite large given his size, although he primarily stuck to middle and bottom of the tank. I set the filter to the lowest intake level to reduce the turbulence, and he seemed okay with that. I had many soft ornamental plants for him to hide amongst, but as he grew older he definitely was not a shy critter, and would often swim to the front of the tank when I approached.
    You will have lots of fun with these little guys, lots of personality!

    To recall - here is my setup - 12G Edge, fluval filter (20G), no gravel or substrate, lots of silk plants for it to hide and play, 100W heater. I remember deciding on the 12 G instead of using a smaller 5G Spec or 6G Edge was to allow for longer times between water changes. I vacuum the tank frequently of any uneaten food and poop to keep it as clean as possible, he was a very messy little critter!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  6. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    From what I've observed with my puffers they only eat til full. But it can vary from fish to fish.
  7. badradWell Known MemberMember

    That is so true. I recall my puffer's tummy limit was typically only one or two, but in the beginning before I knew better I put in a dozen snails only to come back a short time later to find a dozen empty shells, and a lot of dead snails all over the bottom. He seemed to like just killing them, not necessarily eat them. He did not like to eat dead food afterwards, so I always needed to suck out uneaten food as he will never forage those later on.
  8. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    But OP the reason why bigger tanks are preferred specially for sensitive fish is because water parameters are less likely to fluctuate if there's a bigger volume of water.

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