Caring For Freshwater Puffers?

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Jordan-botha

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Hello all!!
So I've been looking around for fish to fill my spare 40 gal. And I've come across the cuteness that is the puffer fish!! :) so I wanted to know if some puffers would thrive in a tank that size? I was thinking maybe a group of 4? (I don't know how big of a tank they need so that is just a number that popped into my head) I only know of two puffers; the 8 spot(I think lol) and the green spot. I prefer the 8 spot's. Also what tankmates can they go with? lastly would white sand & rocks with some plants do fine?
Thanks in advance!
Jordan.
 

Paradise3

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Jordan-botha said:
Hello all!!
So I've been looking around for fish to fill my spare 40 gal. And I've come across the cuteness that is the puffer fish!!
smile.png
so I wanted to know if some puffers would thrive in a tank that size? I was thinking maybe a group of 4? (I don't know how big of a tank they need so that is just a number that popped into my head) I only know of two puffers; the 8 spot(I think lol) and the green spot. I prefer the 8 spot's. Also what tankmates can they go with? lastly would white sand & rocks with some plants do fine?
Thanks in advance!
Jordan.
Hi there, both Figure Eight(8 Spot) and Green Spotted Puffers are brackish fish not true freshwater.
They start out life in freshwater but need moving up to brackish when they are older with GSP's needing full marine most of the time when adult.
 
There are some true freshwater puffer species, though most are small such as Dwarf Puffers which barely reach an inch long.

You can get Fahaka Puffers but those are huge and need larger than a 40 gallon tank - Closer to 100 gallons being adequate.
 
Red Eyed Red Tailed Puffers(Carinotetraodon irrubesco) are truly freshwater but once again are pretty small at a maximum of only 2 inches.
Then you have the similar Red Eye Puffer(Carinotetraodon lorteti) but once again they are tiny, maximum size of 2.5 inches.
 
Basically it would be a good idea to do a lot of research on which species are actually truly freshwater and that usually means small(except for some) so you'll probably rarely see them lol.
 

RRaquariums

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I had two pea dwarf puffers that I kept in my 29 gallon heavily planted tank along with neon tetras, kuli loaches and about 1000 snails which they ate like crazy.
They are a true freshwater puffer they have tons of personality and are super cute but even in the 29 gallon they would hide and blend in so perfect I rarely saw them.
They stay small mine where about an inch and a half.
Most puffers whether fresh, brackish or full on saltwater are extremely aggressive so usually it's not recommended to have more then one of the larger species per tank.
In a 40 gallon if it's well planted and there is plenty to eat you could probably get away with 4 of the dwarf puffers.
The key I found was providing tons of plant cover and hiding places to break up the tank scape so they couldn't see each other.
But mine turned out to be very none aggressive and would stick together like best buddies not saying that will always happen so best to be safe.
I agree with Paradise3 whatever you decide to go with be sure to do your research and a lot of it before getting any type of puffer they are an extremly awesome fish with a ton of personality but if you aren't prepared for there needs and know a lot about them things can go bad very fast.
Best of luck with whatever you choose :)
 

Paradise3

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RRaquariums said:
I had two pea dwarf puffers that I kept in my 29 gallon heavily planted tank along with neon tetras, kuli loaches and about 1000 snails which they ate like crazy.
They are a true freshwater puffer they have tons of personality and are super cute but even in the 29 gallon they would hide and blend in so perfect I rarely saw them.
They stay small mine where about an inch and a half.
Most puffers whether fresh, brackish or full on saltwater are extremely aggressive so usually it's not recommended to have more then one of the larger species per tank.
In a 40 gallon if it's well planted and there is plenty to eat you could probably get away with 4 of the dwarf puffers.
The key I found was providing tons of plant cover and hiding places to break up the tank scape so they couldn't see each other.
But mine turned out to be very none aggressive and would stick together like best buddies not saying that will always happen so best to be safe.
I agree with Paradise3 whatever you decide to go with be sure to do your research and a lot of it before getting any type of puffer they are an extremly awesome fish with a ton of personality but if you aren't prepared for there needs and know a lot about them things can go bad very fast.
Best of luck with whatever you choose
smile.png
Even in such a large tank I'm surprised your Puffers got on with the other fish. I had two dwarf puffers, and one killed the other. This was after moving them to a 2ft planted tank as well.
 

RRaquariums

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Well I attribute my success to several things. It was insanely heavily planted. It had a school of what I used as dither fish which where the neons so they kinda had them to watch idk how much that mattered but it's worth mentioning. And the biggest factor I think was having so much natural food available I had tons of snails which they where always hunting and I even saw them hunting as a team.
Now again I know this is the rare and based on other peoples experiences I've head I was extremely lucky so again play it safe and do your research then make your own decisions based on that.

This was the tank :)
image.jpg
 

Paradise3

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I don't have a photo of my tank but it was pretty closely planted(reason for no pictures is that it wasn't set up long since one was dead within a week) and covered with snails. I usually treat new plants to eradicate snails but I knew puffers ate them and even needed them to grind down their beaks so I kept them.
 
As you say, it is a rare occurrence and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone really.
 

sawickib

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Heres some good info on pea puffers, >>>> http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/carinotetraodon-travancoricus/
 
The other puffers i know of that are full freshwater are fahaka puffers, and the mbu puffer, both grow very large and fahakas are very aggressive, minimum tank size for these fellows i would say is 500+ gallons for the mbu and 150 for the fahaka.
 
All puffers are really messy and need a meaty diets, so they wont eat any pellets or flakes. Generally their main diet should be invertebrates, like snails to trim their teeth and keep them healthy. 
 
White sand and rocks should do fine, you want a lot of stuff for them to interact with, but you will need A LOT of snails, so the best plan if you are going to have puffers is to do a separate tank for breeding snails, like pond and ramshorn snails.
 
Some extra info on the other two giants if your interested in dedicating your hobby to them lol
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/tetraodon-mbu/
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/tetraodon-lineatus/
 

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