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Mbu puffer tank size question...


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#1 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:33 PM

When i first heard of mbu puffers i heard that they needed a tank of 1000gallons....Well, why? i found a site that says they only need a tank of 180gals and it makes alot more sense as mbu's from what i have gathered only grow to about 2ft long and aern't the most active of fish around, but then i found a site that says they only need a tank of 50gals...The first site also says they are brackish but in the second one you can clearly see the puffer in a tank full of neons in the pic and thus freshwater;

http://www.aquariace...&view_records=1

http://badmanstropic.../profile68.html

There is alot of difference between a 1000, 180 and 50gal, bracksih and freshwater- what info/site is correct??

#2 andywg

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:09 PM

Mbu are purely freshwater, not brackish at all.

In theory you could stuff one into a 180 (do you mean 6x2x2) but it isn't really big enough for the fish. Remember the 2 foot growth excludes the failry impressively sized caudal fin, so the fish would spend a lot of its time curled around and become mis-shapen.

It is also a matter of water quality. The fish needs excellent quality that you probably wouldn't be able to get from such a restrictive tank.

1000 is a little excessive. I would say around 300 uk gallons should work out alright (8 feet long, 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall) as a minimum size for an adult.

50 gallons is so wrong it's not funny.

#3 The-Wolf

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:10 PM

fishbase is the corect one for size and where they are found
http://www.fishbase....ry.cfm?id=10103

Sir M would be the best to answer the tank size question

#4 SirMinion

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:16 PM

Mbu puffers are from the African rift valley lakes and therefore require the exact same conditions as rift lake cichlids.

The officialy recorded maximum size of the Mbu puffer is 26 inches, that's a little over two feet and obviously far too big for a 50 gallon tank.

1000 gallons is certainly overkill for a two foot fish but probably arose from the fact that Mbu puffers are one of the few species that can be kept in groups even as adults.

#5 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for the info, so both of the sites i found are wrong about their facts? I never thought mbu's could be kept together because i heard they were very agressive, these fish seem to often end up in the wrong tanks with the wrong tank mates- what would be a good tank size for a group of 4 and what are good other tankmates for them? Im sure if more good info on these fish was available on the inet, less would end up in the wrong tank setups.

#6 SirMinion

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:22 PM

The personality of the Mbu is hugely variable from out and out aggressive killers that have to be kept alone, to docile puppydogs that can be kept with other species without incident.

One of the members of this forum (Clare Big Fish) has an adult Mbu called Hamish who shares his 12 foot tank with several big Gars and a large Peruno catfish.

#7 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:44 PM

If you were keeping one on its own with no other tank mates would a 200gal be fine?

#8 SirMinion

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 04:10 PM

not really because for a two foot fish (plus tail) the dimentions are very important.

The tank has to be a MINIMUM of 3 feet from front to back which means that to have a six foot tank the capacity would certainly be considerably more than 200g

6x3x3 would be 404 US gallons and I'd consider that as a MINIMUM for an adult Mbu.

Clare's tank is 12x3x3, that's 808 US gallons and weighs more than three metric tonnes!

#9 CFC

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 04:54 PM

1000 gallons is certainly overkill for a two foot fish but probably arose from the fact that Mbu puffers are one of the few species that can be kept in groups even as adults.


There was a member on another site a couple years ago who had a very large indoor pond type set up which contained several large koi and a 2 foot MBU, he was offered a 2nd large MBU which needed rehoming which he took and added to his pond. The next morning both MBU's were dead without a mark on them which leaves only chemical reaction as a culprit (the koi were all fine) so there is a possibilty that MBU puffers may be able to release a toxin into the water to push other MBU's out of their territory.

#10 SirMinion

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:15 PM

so there is a possibilty that MBU puffers may be able to release a toxin into the water to push other MBU's out of their territory.

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I've heard that before, but I've also heard of these fish kept succesfully in groups.
Maybe it's a problem only if adult fish are newly introduced, but not an issue in a group that's matured together.
It's strange that the Koi were unharmed.

Someone needs to do some research on freshwater puffers, there's so little known about them.

#11 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:06 PM

If you lived in a hot part of the world like thailand or various parts of america or japan etc, would mbu puffers make good pond fish? Its just its much cheaper to get a 800gal pond than a 800gal aquarium tank and im sure if they were marketed more as pond fish they would end up more suitably sized setups. They are tons of people with 800gal ponds but not half as many with 800gal tanks- just a thought.
It would be great if mbu were not sold on such a large basis but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon so other solutions must be thought of to help ensure as many as posible of them end up in the right homes. Finding out more about the community aspects of mbu puffer keeping would help encourage more experienced people to keep them as i think the main turn off about mbu's apart from their space requirements is their stocking issues.

#12 pica_nuttalli

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:19 PM

the community aspects of mbu aren't going to be any simpler than those of the SAP... which is a relatively small fish that no one can decide on whether or not its compatible with anything.




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