Pufferfish a good beginners fish?

tiana715

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Hi guys,

Are pufferfish (particularly porcupine puffers) a good fish as a beginner to keep? What are the pro's & con's?

Eventually I would love to breed puffers (all species) as I think they are absolutely adorable. However, are they a good investment fish? I've heard Porcupine puffers are difficult to sex..

Thank you :)
 

Rocky998

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Well porcupine puffers are saltwater fish,which is basically an instant no for it being a beginner fish... Most people start with freshwater and then move into salt water. One because freshwater systems are WAYYYY cheaper than saltwater and second because its way easier to keep than saltwater. I'm not saying it can't be done by a beginner but I am just saying to do your research and a lot of it... Then make sure you habe the funds for the size of tank you would need and all the other stuff a saltwater tank needs. Because there is a start up cost and a continual cost.
 

Colin_T

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All pufferfish and boxfish (including cowfish) can be difficult to feed because they don't normally take dry food or food from the surface. They tend to be nippy and eat anything smaller than them, and regularly bite the tails and fins of other fish. They can release toxins into the water that poison everything, including themselves. Most are highly territorial and very few are kept or bred in captivity. The smaller species of freshwater pufferfish (pea puffers) are probably the most commonly kept in captivity.

I wouldn't consider them a beginners fish or a fish worth keeping and breeding for profit (they are not good for investment). If you want to try them that is fine, but don't expect to make any money from them.

People that keep pufferfish do it because they like the fish.
 
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tiana715

tiana715

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Well porcupine puffers are saltwater fish,which is basically an instant no for it being a beginner fish... Most people start with freshwater and then move into salt water. One because freshwater systems are WAYYYY cheaper than saltwater and second because its way easier to keep than saltwater. I'm not saying it can't be done by a beginner but I am just saying to do your research and a lot of it... Then make sure you habe the funds for the size of tank you would need and all the other stuff a saltwater tank needs. Because there is a start up cost and a continual cost.
Thank you for the feedback. I'll start with the Freshwater Pea Puffer
 

Lynnzer

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They are hooligans. If they don't have a constant supply of snails they'll eat bits off any other tank inhabitant. They are antisocial and it's sort of like watching paint dry trying to see much movement. They are slow except for the time they sneak up on a prey fish or snail then they make a sudden grab at it. But that's not too interesting and you'll soon get bored waiting for action.
I'd rather go for interesting shrimp species if you have a small tank, especially since you can make a bit of money from them.
I had the pea puffers and took them back to the shop.
 
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tiana715

tiana715

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All pufferfish and boxfish (including cowfish) can be difficult to feed because they don't normally take dry food or food from the surface. They tend to be nippy and eat anything smaller than them, and regularly bite the tails and fins of other fish. They can release toxins into the water that poison everything, including themselves. Most are highly territorial and very few are kept or bred in captivity. The smaller species of freshwater pufferfish (pea puffers) are probably the most commonly kept in captivity.

I wouldn't consider them a beginners fish or a fish worth keeping and breeding for profit (they are not good for investment). If you want to try them that is fine, but don't expect to make any money from them.

People that keep pufferfish do it because they like the fish.
Thanks for the feedback. When I'm more experienced and have the money, I'll breed them as a hobby :)
 
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tiana715

tiana715

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They are hooligans. If they don't have a constant supply of snails they'll eat bits off any other tank inhabitant. They are antisocial and it's sort of like watching paint dry trying to see much movement. They are slow except for the time they sneak up on a prey fish or snail then they make a sudden grab at it. But that's not too interesting and you'll soon get bored waiting for action.
I'd rather go for interesting shrimp species if you have a small tank, especially since you can make a bit of money from them.
I had the pea puffers and took them back to the shop.
Thanks for the feedback. Good to have information on the puffers. Also I haven't thought about shrimp before! Sounds interesting
 

Sgooosh

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They are hooligans. If they don't have a constant supply of snails they'll eat bits off any other tank inhabitant. They are antisocial and it's sort of like watching paint dry trying to see much movement. They are slow except for the time they sneak up on a prey fish or snail then they make a sudden grab at it. But that's not too interesting and you'll soon get bored waiting for action.
I'd rather go for interesting shrimp species if you have a small tank, especially since you can make a bit of money from them.
I had the pea puffers and took them back to the shop.
i reccomend any fish or shrimp you keep, at first keep it in a species-only tank
 

Wills

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Thats interesting - never thought to look on Medium for fish stuff :)

In regards how to keep puffers it is a pretty broad spectrum, the main difference is the diet requirements that they have to other fish as they need snails to wear their beaks down.

For freshwater there are a few groups to consider. Giants like the Mbu and Fahaka which are going to need huge pools/ponds and only the Mbu can be kept with other fish. Ambush predators, which are reasonably sized but again kept alone and very specific diet but things like the Hairy Puffer, Abei Puffers, Palambangs, Targets. Then there are a few mid sized social puffers like South American Puffers and Spotted Congo or Schoudenti Puffers, you also get Figure 8s but they are brackish. And then you get the dwarf species, in here you get the Pea Puffers and then the Red Eye Red Tail group, I have a trio of Irrubusco Puffers which I really enjoy. Not the most active of fish but when they learn you mean food they are really good to watch. Pea Puffers are now thought of as shoaling fish rather than a few years ago people thought they were solitary. The Red Eye group are not shoaling (though I do wonder sometimes) and are best kept as a harem with 1 male to 2 or more females, they are not territorial like cichlids and move around the tank.

If cash was no object I would get a 75-90 gallon tank and keep a group of the Schoudenti Puffers, they are a great size, look great, good personality and they beat SAPs for me as their beaks do not grow as fast, but like I say very specific requirements so make sure you understand all of this before you take the plunge. Tank mates are also possible with Schoudenti but its a very small list and not totally reliable. There is also a good chance of breeding Schoudenti but it takes a few years for them to become mature.

Wills
 

Lynnzer

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Thats interesting - never thought to look on Medium for fish stuff :)

There is also a good chance of breeding Schoudenti but it takes a few years for them to become mature.

Wills
And in the menatime the 4 shrimp you start with will be into the thousands......
Seriously. I keep Yellow Sakuri and started with 4. They were at it from day 1, and before too long my tank was filled with them. I sold a good number to my local fish store. Then I got up to around another 250 of them in my big tank but got a massive die back one night. Even then I managed to save 110. I kept the 10 and sold the remainder to my LFS again.
Another tank has Blue Velvet which also started at 4, about 7 months ago. Still very young at the time but today I've transferred 8 to another tank leaving about 20 behind.
I've also just looked at my Black Carbon Rili tank, and the 6 I started with 4 months ago are looking like 25ish.
One more tank has Cherry Shrimp, and say no more...... cherries are blooming. The other tanks have King Kong Black and Crystal Red but are new so aren't breeding yet, as far as I can see.
An amazing hobby.
 
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Naughts

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And in the menatime the 4 shrimp you start with will be into the thousands......
Seriously. I keep Yellow Sakuri and started with 4. They were at it from day 1, and before too long my tank was filled with them. I sold a good number to my local fish store. Then I got up to around another 250 of them in my big tank but got a massive die back one night. Even then I managed to save 110. I kept the 10 and sold the remainder to my LFS again.
Another tank has Blue Velvet which also started at 4, about 7 months ago. Still very young at the time but today I've transferred 8 to another tank leaving about 20 behind.
I've also just looked at my Black Carbon Rili tank, and the 6 I started with 4 months ago are looking like 25ish.
One more tank has Cherry Shrimp, and say no more...... cherries are blooming. The other tanks have King Kong Black and Crystal Red but are new so aren't breeding yet, as far as I can see.
An amazing hobby.
This would make an interesting thread, with photos of course!
 
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tiana715

tiana715

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Thats interesting - never thought to look on Medium for fish stuff :)

In regards how to keep puffers it is a pretty broad spectrum, the main difference is the diet requirements that they have to other fish as they need snails to wear their beaks down.

For freshwater there are a few groups to consider. Giants like the Mbu and Fahaka which are going to need huge pools/ponds and only the Mbu can be kept with other fish. Ambush predators, which are reasonably sized but again kept alone and very specific diet but things like the Hairy Puffer, Abei Puffers, Palambangs, Targets. Then there are a few mid sized social puffers like South American Puffers and Spotted Congo or Schoudenti Puffers, you also get Figure 8s but they are brackish. And then you get the dwarf species, in here you get the Pea Puffers and then the Red Eye Red Tail group, I have a trio of Irrubusco Puffers which I really enjoy. Not the most active of fish but when they learn you mean food they are really good to watch. Pea Puffers are now thought of as shoaling fish rather than a few years ago people thought they were solitary. The Red Eye group are not shoaling (though I do wonder sometimes) and are best kept as a harem with 1 male to 2 or more females, they are not territorial like cichlids and move around the tank.

If cash was no object I would get a 75-90 gallon tank and keep a group of the Schoudenti Puffers, they are a great size, look great, good personality and they beat SAPs for me as their beaks do not grow as fast, but like I say very specific requirements so make sure you understand all of this before you take the plunge. Tank mates are also possible with Schoudenti but its a very small list and not totally reliable. There is also a good chance of breeding Schoudenti but it takes a few years for them to become mature.

Wills
Thank you for the info on puffers!
 
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tiana715

tiana715

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And in the menatime the 4 shrimp you start with will be into the thousands......
Seriously. I keep Yellow Sakuri and started with 4. They were at it from day 1, and before too long my tank was filled with them. I sold a good number to my local fish store. Then I got up to around another 250 of them in my big tank but got a massive die back one night. Even then I managed to save 110. I kept the 10 and sold the remainder to my LFS again.
Another tank has Blue Velvet which also started at 4, about 7 months ago. Still very young at the time but today I've transferred 8 to another tank leaving about 20 behind.
I've also just looked at my Black Carbon Rili tank, and the 6 I started with 4 months ago are looking like 25ish.
One more tank has Cherry Shrimp, and say no more...... cherries are blooming. The other tanks have King Kong Black and Crystal Red but are new so aren't breeding yet, as far as I can see.
An amazing hobby.
I wanna go into the shrimp business now ha
 

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