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Figure 8 puffers in a 55 gallon

Freddy Robins

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Hey all, so I recently set up my 55 gallon and wanted to put some other fish in as well. I would like to put three figure 8 puffers in, and was wondering if there any other fish that could work with them? I have heard of some mollies and gobies working, but I kind of wanted something a little more unique. Any and all suggestions are mucb appreciated. Thanks!
 

NICKOLAS

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I used to have 1 in his own 80L tank. I tried bumblee gobies that seemed to do fine. Once i started adding other species such as mollies i found that my puffer started getting stressed and a bit aggressive. Due to figure 8 puffers water conditions not many fish are able to be suitable tank mates for them. Also puffers can get aggressive i got over mine after a while so i would probably recommend another species. If not gobies and mollies are best fit.
 

Colin_T

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Puffer fish are best kept in their own tank for two main reasons.
1) They can release toxins into the water when stressed and kill everything in the tank. Stress can be from poor water quality to someone tapping on the glass or other fish picking on the puffers.

All aquariums containing puffer fish should have Activate Carbon in their filter, which gets replaced regularly. The carbon is a safety net just in case the puffers do release toxins into the water.


2) Puffer fish eat anything and will eat other fish in the tank. If you have small fish, slow moving fish, or fish with long fins in the tank, the puffers will try to eat them. They will also eat shrimp and snails. Snails are good for puffers because they help to wear down the front teeth and stop them becoming over grown.
 

PheonixKingZ

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And, you can’t have any snails in the tank with a puffer. Maybe a Nerite, because they are a bit bigger tank “normal” snails, but if you have BRH snails or MTS, or pond snails, the puffer will make a quick snack out of them. :)
 

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Haven't thought about those guys in a long time. Yes, they are death on snails and yes, they will take a bite out of other fish. But they are cool. Guess a species only tank is in order here. The way they swim and the weird thing they do with their eyes is fun to watch. Didn't know about that toxin thing. Aren't fish awesome?
 
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Freddy Robins

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Puffer fish are best kept in their own tank for two main reasons.
1) They can release toxins into the water when stressed and kill everything in the tank. Stress can be from poor water quality to someone tapping on the glass or other fish picking on the puffers.

All aquariums containing puffer fish should have Activate Carbon in their filter, which gets replaced regularly. The carbon is a safety net just in case the puffers do release toxins into the water.


2) Puffer fish eat anything and will eat other fish in the tank. If you have small fish, slow moving fish, or fish with long fins in the tank, the puffers will try to eat them. They will also eat shrimp and snails. Snails are good for puffers because they help to wear down the front teeth and stop them becoming over grown.
Any Idea as to how many I can put in the tank if I am soing a species only? I know they can get territorial, but the more the better Cant wait to get them!
 

NICKOLAS

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Alot of people recommended just 1 because they can kill eachother but it also depends on the size of the tank i guess. I would honestly recommend 1 per 10 gallons or like 40 Litres. For your 55 gallon tank i reckon you can get away with maybe around 4. Also would be good to even out the male and female ratio to decrease aggression.
 

iliveinazoo

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Just to chime in here: Figure 8 puffers definitely do not release toxins into the water. Also there some absolutely categorical statements on here about them killing other fish, whilst there are some puffers out there that are highly aggressive and all puffers should come with a health warning my Figure 8's were docile and were often the tormented rather than the tormentor. They shared a tank with many species over the years including Bumblebee Gobies, Mollies, Wrestling Halfbeak and a Waspfish. They were bullied by the Halfbeak and the Mollies.
Out of the species I listed as tankmates I could only recommend Bumblebee Gobies as suitable although I would try Knight Gobies in the future.

In terms of keeping Figure 8's together the recommendation is 15(US)G for the first and 10(US)G for each additional one added. I had 2 together successfully for 6 years - one lived to 6 and the other lived to 11 but whether the 6 year old died prematurely from stress I don't know, it's a possibility that there was aggression that I didn't see but it was more likely because I used to have to trim its beak every now and again - the first would bite shells and the other would eat the flesh so did not wear its beak down. I would guess that if you housed multiples together then you could have the same problem that I did - one wearing its beak naturally and the others requiring trimming.
 

Colin_T

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it's a possibility that there was aggression that I didn't see but it was more likely because I used to have to trim its beak every now and again - the first would bite shells and the other would eat the flesh so did not wear its beak down.
How did you trim its beak?
 

iliveinazoo

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I would chase him around the tank for ages with a net and then hold him in the net and use small but sharp cuticle clippers. People used to recommend dosing with a little clove oil to put them to sleep but I read lots of reports about how continued usage might have been linked to premature death so I did it without any medication - it's really tricky to do, especially under water!
 

iliveinazoo

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Nope they don’t bleed, I suppose they’re a bit like our nails because they continue to grow, in nature they get worn down naturally from eating crustaceans but if they only eat soft food in the tank then they will grow so much that they can’t feed properly anymore and that’s why they need trimmed.
The beak is a lot tougher than nails though so that’s why you need some strong and sharp clippers!
 
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