Setting Up A Dwarf Puffer Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Mrtonytyl, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Mrtonytyl

    MrtonytylNew MemberMember

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    So soon I’ll be buying a dwarf puffer. And raising it in Hyggar Horizon 8 gallon which I just bought today and will arrive in 2 days. Preparing for my new buddy, I need some knowledge on raising a dwarf puffer, I wanted to know the most important things about having one. When buying supplies for the dwarf puffer the salesman said it would be a good idea to also buy trumpet snails, which are fast breeding I guess.
    I have a 45 gallon community tank which I could collectively breed the snails in with no problem.
    If I have enough hiding places and foliage can I keep 2 in the same tank?
    Is brackish or freshwater better for the Pea Puffer specially.
    What type of snails are best to feed them?
    Is keeping the snails in a breeding tank the best way to produce more?
    Do I need an air stone?
    The tank has a waterfall with adjustable water flow, will I need a strong current for the fish?
    I’m so excited to own a puffer so any bit of information is more than welcome!
     
  2. CaptainAquatics

    CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

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    Hi! First I want to clarify that you are cycling the tank first right? Anyway in with your questions:

    1. I find the best kind of snail to feed are pond snails, however take it from me they will eat 2-3 a day so you will be constantly re-supplying
    2. Puffers don’t really like stroking flow, keep it as low as you can
    3. Pea puffers are true freshwater and will suffer (if not die) in brackish
    4. Air stone is your choice, I don’t think it’s required but I helps get air in the tank, for mine (who has sadly since passed away from what I belive to be age) I put an air stone in the filter
    5. You can set up a breeding tank, or you can just put them in you community tank, personally I set up a breeding tank
    6. Never keep just two puffers, if you provide lots of foliage and caves you might be able to do three in a 8 gallon. The typical rule is: 1 in a 5 gallon, or three in a 10
    6. These puffers are lots of fun to own, make sure to keep there water super clean as they are sensitive

    Thanks :)
     
  3. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

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    I have 2 pea puffers and a spotted congo puffer (in separate tanks), so I have a good amount of experience with puffers. I mostly agree with @CaptainAquatics and only disagree about the number of puffers you can have.

    Pond or ramshorn snails are the best, but whatever you can breed quickly works. Pea puffers don't crunch the shell, they just eat the meat. So the ramshorn/pond snails work easier because there's a bigger opening to get the meat out of. That said, my pea puffers primarily eat bloodworms and Mysis shrimp. I give them snails, but not that often. My spotted congo puffer gets snails almost every day. Pea puffer's teeth don't grow so you don't have to feed them shelled foods like you do other puffers. That said, they still love snails and should definitely still get some.

    Low flow is best for puffers. They're not the best swimmers so you don't want them getting pushed into décor. In areas of strong flow, only use plants as décor so if they get pushed into it, they won't get hurt.

    I actually keep two pea puffers in a 14 gallon tank, male and female. They are best friends and are inseparable. They are within an inch of each other 95% of the day. There's never any aggression, except during feeding time. Even then, they're not aggressive towards each other. But sometimes they strike so hard at food they'll accidently bite the other. Because of this, it's good to keep SeaChem Stress Guard on hand and pour the dose right on top of them whenever this happens. It's happened to mine twice in 1 year. It's always a minor wound and they heal up in a day. Never get more males than females though! This will cause issues.

    Keep good water quality! And give them lots of attention. They are social with humans and will love the interaction.

    I used to just breed snails in my main tank (75 gallon) but since getting a spotted congo puffer that lives that tank, I had to setup a breeder tank. I promise you'll always be low on snails with puffers. There's no getting around it. The good news with pea puffers is their teeth don't grow, so don't worry about feeding them worms and shrimp for a couple weeks while your snail population catches up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  4. OP
    OP
    Mrtonytyl

    MrtonytylNew MemberMember

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    @CaptainAquatics @ystrout Thank you!

    I have yet to acquire the fish or the tank yet. I just had the tank ordered and I have the DP set aside at the pet store for me.

    I think buying the snails and placing them in the community tank may be best. But I guess i will try both and see where that gets me sense they will be ate frequently.

    Depending on if the puffer already has tank mates in the store I may add the other puffers.

    Keeping the water clear of ammonia, nitrates and nitrite seems tricky. Is it easier to keep these areas level with a smaller tank than it is with one at 45?
    Will I need to do Weekly water changes versus the monthly water change and substrate vacuuming more than usual?
    Thank you to all the answers!
     
  5. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

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    Keeping it free of ammonia and nitrite is easy after the tank is cycled. You actually don't have to do anything! The bacteria that grows in the filter does everything for you. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? If not, there's tons of info about it on this forum.

    Keeping large or small tanks with no ammonia/nitrite is the same amount of effort. It is just "harder" to cycle a large tank because it requires more water changes.

    Also, it's normally recommended to do weekly water partial water changes on all tanks instead of monthly. You should vacuum the gravel each time you do a water change. The starting point is 25% weekly, but you can increase or decrease that depending on the nitrate level. Try to keep your nitrate under 15 ppm.
     
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