What Kind To Get?

Sheldon13
Member
I am house shopping right now. When I find a place, I will make one of the rooms my fish room. I currently have a figure 8 puffer and love him! I’m wanting to know what people’s opinions are on the best saltwater puffer? By the best, I mean what species do you think has the most personality? Size doesn’t matter. I will get a tank to fit the appropriate species.
 
NC122606
Member
Fisker
 
Jesterrace
Member
Dogface and Porcupine Puffers are considered to be among the most personable of the salty puffers, but the cost and setup of a tank to house one long term is significant (150-180 gallons minimum). The Toby Puffers (ie Valentini, Blue Spot) still have a fair bit of personality and only need tanks in the 30-50 gallon range. IMHO in terms of bang for buck I would go with them. You could also stay with a brackish setup and go with a Green Spotted Puffer and have a tank in the 50-55 gallon range and they are easily one of the most personable puffers out there.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Jesterrace said:
Dogface and Porcupine Puffers are considered to be among the most personable of the salty puffers, but the cost and setup of a tank to house one long term is significant (150-180 gallons minimum). The Toby Puffers (ie Valentini, Blue Spot) still have a fair bit of personality and only need tanks in the 30-50 gallon range. IMHO in terms of bang for buck I would go with them. You could also stay with a brackish setup and go with a Green Spotted Puffer and have a tank in the 50-55 gallon range and they are easily one of the most personable puffers out there.
Thanks for the input! I really don’t mind getting a large setup for one of the big boys, and I’ve always loved porcupine puffers so I may go that route. However, I also really love the GSP too. I currently have a figure 8 and he is a lovely little water puppy. He only gets to 3 inches though and I was wanting something a little more substantial. With GSPs can in-house more than 1 in the same tank? If there will be any aggression at all I don’t want to do that as it stresses me out to watch.

I also really like the yellow belly dogface.
 
Fisker
Member
Well, I currently own a ValentinI puffer. In the past, I've owned dwarf puffers, figure 8's, and GSPs - and a Ceylon puffer for a very, very short time (I was fish-sitting!). When it comes to saltwater puffers, I've only kept two - the ValentinI and the GSP.

The ValentinI puffer (and similar toby puffers) will stay relatively small. The ValentinI reaches 3-4" in most cases, while the largest of the toby puffers rarely reach 6-8" in aquariums. If you're looking for a larger species of puffer, this family isn't for you. That said, they're easily the most colorful and the most pleasing to the eye of all puffers (IMO), are easy to care for, do well in smaller tanks, and have all the personality of any other puffer you can get. They're cheap, too.

The GSP is going to get a bit bigger, and much meaner. While these puffers do have a lot of personality, they don't do well with a lot of other fish - I've found them to be best kept by themselves, or, if you must have tankmates, with fish like maroon clownfish and tangs - fish mean enough to put them in their place. All that said, they're beautiful fish, are fun to watch as they journey from low-brackish/fresh to full saltwater, and are generally a bit more fun to feed than the Toby puffers due to their larger mouths.

Here are a few pics of my ValentinI sleeping on various macroalgae and coral throughout my tank.


Sleepy Puffer.jpg



Puffer 27.jpg



Puffer 28.jpg


He's pretty awesome.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Fisker said:
Well, I currently own a ValentinI puffer. In the past, I've owned dwarf puffers, figure 8's, and GSPs - and a Ceylon puffer for a very, very short time (I was fish-sitting!). When it comes to saltwater puffers, I've only kept two - the ValentinI and the GSP.

The ValentinI puffer (and similar toby puffers) will stay relatively small. The ValentinI reaches 3-4" in most cases, while the largest of the toby puffers rarely reach 6-8" in aquariums. If you're looking for a larger species of puffer, this family isn't for you. That said, they're easily the most colorful and the most pleasing to the eye of all puffers (IMO), are easy to care for, do well in smaller tanks, and have all the personality of any other puffer you can get. They're cheap, too.

The GSP is going to get a bit bigger, and much meaner. While these puffers do have a lot of personality, they don't do well with a lot of other fish - I've found them to be best kept by themselves, or, if you must have tankmates, with fish like maroon clownfish and tangs - fish mean enough to put them in their place. All that said, they're beautiful fish, are fun to watch as they journey from low-brackish/fresh to full saltwater, and are generally a bit more fun to feed than the Toby puffers due to their larger mouths.

Here are a few pics of my ValentinI sleeping on various macroalgae and coral throughout my tank.


Sleepy Puffer.jpg



Puffer 27.jpg



Puffer 28.jpg


He's pretty awesome.
Wow you’re making me have second thoughts about getting one that gets over 12 inches. I’ve heard nothing but good things about ValentinI and looking back on this forum points to the same.
 
Fisker
Member
They're pretty awesome fish! Hardy, too. This guy inhaled air when an ill-informed pet store employee netted him out of his tank - he spat the air out though, and never had problems.

I guess I sorta am trying to talk you into the ValentinI puffer, but I will warn you - if you're looking for a predator-type fish, or something aggressive, you're not going to find it with this family. They will hunt and eat snails, shrimp, clams, etc., but aren't really predators in the way that a lot of larger puffers are. My ValentinI will basically allow a ghost shrimp slowly tire and dehydrate in the saltwater before he strikes, so the ghost shrimp isn't quite so fast. It's not quite the exhilarating even that watching a GSP hunt can be. They're also friendly - I've got one in with a pair of false percula clowns, and I've never seen the puffer and clowns interact aggressively. There's some occasional chasing during feeding-time, but it's not that the puffer is attacking the clowns - he's just trying to steal the food back. They're also arguably reef-safe, so if you'd like to try any basic corals, this might be a good tank for it.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Fisker said:
They're pretty awesome fish! Hardy, too. This guy inhaled air when an ill-informed pet store employee netted him out of his tank - he spat the air out though, and never had problems.

I guess I sorta am trying to talk you into the ValentinI puffer, but I will warn you - if you're looking for a predator-type fish, or something aggressive, you're not going to find it with this family. They will hunt and eat snails, shrimp, clams, etc., but aren't really predators in the way that a lot of larger puffers are. My ValentinI will basically allow a ghost shrimp slowly tire and dehydrate in the saltwater before he strikes, so the ghost shrimp isn't quite so fast. It's not quite the exhilarating even that watching a GSP hunt can be. They're also friendly - I've got one in with a pair of false percula clowns, and I've never seen the puffer and clowns interact aggressively. There's some occasional chasing during feeding-time, but it's not that the puffer is attacking the clowns - he's just trying to steal the food back. They're also arguably reef-safe, so if you'd like to try any basic corals, this might be a good tank for it.
Oh that’s cool that they are mostly reef safe! I had kind of resigned myself to not having a reef, but it’s cool it’s back on the table.

Can they be in pairs in a large enough tank?
 
Fisker
Member
I'd say no. In an absolutely massive tank (500-1000 gallons), maybe. The Canthigaster (AKA Toby) puffers don't usually tolerate each other very well, especially not their own species. In a 75, you might be able to keep two separate species from the Canthigaster family, like a ValentinI and a Blue Spotted puffer, but there's no guarantee that one won't decide it doesn't like the other. As with most puffers, IME and IMO, it's best to keep them one to a tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Ok...I mean...look at it!

2a6c27d7807aba5ffcc49be03af3fc51.jpg
 
Jesterrace
Member
Fisker said:
I'd say no. In an absolutely massive tank (500-1000 gallons), maybe. The Canthigaster (AKA Toby) puffers don't usually tolerate each other very well, especially not their own species. In a 75, you might be able to keep two separate species from the Canthigaster family, like a ValentinI and a Blue Spotted puffer, but there's no guarantee that one won't decide it doesn't like the other. As with most puffers, IME and IMO, it's best to keep them one to a tank.
Honestly that is true of 95% of saltwater fish. One per species in a given tank and even similar species may go after each other. Clownfish are one of the rare exceptions to that rule.
 
Jesterrace
Member
Sheldon13 said:
Ok...I mean...look at it!

2a6c27d7807aba5ffcc49be03af3fc51.jpg

It is a cute fish but you have to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend and keep up with to house it.

A 180 gallon tank drilled for sump (strongly recommended as it's really the only way to get good flow to a tank of that size) will set you back about $3-$4K new and about $1500-$2K used and you are committed to the FOWLR route there (definitely no corals). On the flipside a ValentinI Puffer can be placed in a setup that costs $500-$600 new and about $200-$300 used and you have the option to keep corals. Furthermore the time spent cleaning a large saltwater tank SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So you have to ask yourself is the porcupine puffer worth well into the 4 figures range for you and a significant time investment in cleaning the tank. Although maintenance on a smaller tank is more frequent it is less time consuming at any given time and when the Coralline algae starts growing in you are going to have to clean the glass at least once a week or you will have hard crusted algae cluttering up your display.

Not trying to say you are wrong for wanting a porcupine puffer, I am just saying at some point you have to ask yourself if it's worth it for that kind of expense and hassle just to keep one fish. As much as I love the hobby I have yet to see a fish that was worth that much money and effort on it's own.
 
Minxxy
Member
I love love love my orange saddleback puffers...they are adorable, they are another brackish option
20190627_213426.jpg

20190619_131810.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Minxxy said:
I love love love my orange saddleback puffers...they are adorable, they are another brackish option
20190627_213426.jpg

20190619_131810.jpg
Looks like you’ve got a couple of them together, too.
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Minxxy

Wait...is that Squirt and Runt? I thought they were fugu or something like that. They are plump now!
 
  • Thread Starter
Sheldon13
Member
Sheldon13 said:
Minxxy

Wait...is that Squirt and Runt? I thought they were fugu or something like that. They are plump now!
Minxxy I recognized the above.
 
Minxxy
Member
Sheldon13 said:
Minxxy I recognized the above.
Yup that's them chunky monkeys now
 

Latest threads

Top Bottom