Questions about Dwarf Puffers

Catahoola

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I am looking into getting a Dwarf Puffer as I feel in love with Green Spotted Puffers at my local store, but I was rather turned off by reading about how they need hard shelled food (which I'm guessing is expensive and not too easy to find? or is this just snails?) and how one site was saying you had to sedate them with clove oil and clip off their teeth a couple times a year?!? So I am thinking that a Dwarf Puffer is probably a better fit for me. Some sites were saying 5 gallons are a minimum, some sites were saying 10 gallons, is 10 gallons going to be much better for them or are they happy in 5? For feeding, blackworms and bloodworms, and snails a couple times a week right? Do the blackworms and bloodworms have to be live or can they be dried? Have live worms in my fridge would make me a little paranoid about getting them in my food haha. Thanks!
 

Dom90

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I think the minimum should be ten gallons and by hard food, they mean snails. You can easily grow a colony of pond or bladder snails I think.


 

junebug

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DPs are easy once you get them healthy. Like all puffers, they'll need to be dewormed in a barebottom QT before you add them to your display tank. They're extremely prone to intestinal worms and protozoans. Levamisole dosed in their water would be a good idea.

You could potentially have one in a 5 gallon, but they're horrendously messy eaters with a high bioload per size, so water quality tends to become an issue. Like most fish with high bioloads, they really, really are intolerant of bad water parameters. They're also picky about water flow. Gentle flow is required, as well as overfiltering (you can see why this would be an issue).

Overall, a single puffer is best off in an 8-10 gallon, heavily planted tank with a healthy bladder snail colony growing in it. Give lots of moss for the snails to hide and your puffer will have as much food as it wants.

Most puffers will only accept live food, but sometimes they can be tricked into eating frozen foods instead. Blackworms would be a better choice than bloodworms, bloodworms being high in fat and low in nutrients, blackworms being the exact opposite and an excellent source of protein.

It would also be a good idea to start an amphipod colony as a supplemental food. If you add them to an established tank before you put fish in it, the grand majority of them would colonize the substrate and when they came out, would make a great, healthy snack for the puffer.
 

thinkpink94

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I have a single dwarf puffer in a 5 gallon tank and she is thriving

That being said, I am completely OCD about tank upkeep. Usually, after she's done eating I use a turkey Baster to get rid of any leftover food, along with weekly 50-60% water changes.

My puffer currently eats frozen brine shrimp (they are her absolute favorite!). I try other foods with her, but I always have the brine shrimp to fall back on when she doesn't like other foods.

This might just be me and my own experience, but I really don't think dwarf puffers are a difficult fish to take care of. I love my fish and get great enjoyment from her


 

MJDuti

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You're perfectly fine keeping one in a 5G by itself. Of course more room always gives you more options and the fish will like it more. I just have a simple sponge filter in mine and keep on top of my WCs. Only thing I'll add that wasn't mentioned is over decorate, whether it's with plants, wood, stone, etc.

FYI, black worms come in water and are usually in a covered container. So don't worry about them escaping. It is a fantastic food for nano fish. IMO one of, if not, the best. While it's great to not have to worry about DPs teeth, they can be finicky so just have a couple options ready. And by hard foods, it's not just snails. They're are numerous other foods, live & frozen, that work.

Welcome to the puffer world. Your dwarf puffer will be your gateway drug into others, just give it some time
 

waterlilykari

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For the record, we keep our bloodworms (food for our betta as we do not have a puffer...yet ) in a small, closed Tupperware type container in a little water. We change out the water every few days and leave a little room in the container for air inside it too and have yet to have any issues - escapes or otherwise. This stays in the fridge and only gets moved or opened for feedings, then we ensure it's closed before it goes back in after feeding times. While I can understand your worries, I was skeptical too and initially had it inside another container within a larger third container, then the whole thing in a drawer in the bottom that was empty of everything else "just in case." It never ended up being an issue though and in fact, all my precautions were more cumbersome to deal with each time the container had to be taken out and put back again just for the 2-3 small feedings per day that I did away with all but the container that is designated their home. Good luck and I'd love to hear back on which you decide to get and how it goes!
 
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