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Dwarf Puffer Fish

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Offline jesnon

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Dwarf Puffer Fish
« on: March 21, 2016, 03:47:33 PM »
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So I've always thought these fish are awesome and we saw some yesterday and my partner liked them and I noticed a few of you seem to have them! I always thought they were hard fish to look after but a few sites I've seen say they are easy!? I've also read they are happier in smaller tanks.

So what size tank do they need and does anyone have any care tips? I might see if I can convince my partner we need a bigger tank  :rotfl:

Offline Fiona

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 03:54:11 PM »
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They can get quite territorial and you need to make sure the line of sight is broken I read somewhere about 40l per puffer but I don't think they need that much, a small tank wouldn't be a good idea though, we had 6 in a 55l and it was far too small. They're much happier in the 145l tank, since we moved them there has been no squabbling.

They need to be fed fresh or frozen food. Daphnae apparently help keep their teeth down and its hilarious watching them hunt them. They love snails, they bite the head off and discard the rest so you need to clean up afterwards.

A great little fish.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 04:06:39 PM »
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Dwarf puffers are some of the cutest little bundles of adorableness.  :)
I've read a couple of articles saying a minimum of 10L per fish, but as Fiona says, lots of space & planting to break up the line of sight to avoid territorial disputes. Mine are in a 125L tank and I mainly feed them on bloodworms (live & frozen) and pest snails that I pick out of my other tanks. The guy at LFS who keeps South American Puffers suggested giving them a prawn to nibble on. I tried, they weren't interested. I might try them again, and on some other seafood. They are messy eaters and need a bit of cleaning after meals, but it is completely worth it.


Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 04:41:36 PM »
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They sound like great little fish  ;D Looks like I need a bigger tank  :-[ I'm positive we have more than enough room for another tank but my partner remains unconvinced! But he does like these fish so...!

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2016, 05:28:00 PM »
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Do you still have the Edge, and are there fish in it at the moment? That is just about suitable for 1 dwarf puffer. But obviously with a bigger tank you could have more.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2016, 06:08:27 PM »
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Oh wow really!? I thought it would be too small, now you're tempting me!!

I still have the Edge, unfortunately I don't seem to be having any luck with the clown killifish as I'm back down to 1 again at the minute but I also have some Amanos too - I imagine they aren't advisable with a puffer? I was planning on bringing my killis back up to numbers when the MA gets them in stock again but hmm..

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 06:40:14 PM »
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Or another Edge? Maybe the bigger one? They have the same footprint as the smaller one  ;D

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2016, 06:56:34 PM »
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That would be great! Hmm let's see if I can convince my partner!!  :))

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 07:19:13 PM »
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You can read up on dwarf puffers here

Offline fcmf

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 07:32:39 PM »
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They are indeed gorgeous, Jesnon - they remind me of little boiled sweets with their fins like where the boiled sweet wrapping would be twisted.

I did notice on our own profiles http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/dwarf-pufferfish.html that they require medium / hard / very hard water (which ruled me out of being able to keep them), so that's a key factor to bear in mind, as well as their diet (frozen and live foods and small snails rather than dried foods). In terms of tank size, as well as the link which Sue posted and this one, I noticed that they are listed among ten examples of fish which are suitable for tanks 45x30cm (18x12") in a fishkeeping magazine back copy which I have. That particular article also mentions that they "often view shrimp as food" so I think your amanos will need to be housed elsewhere.

For Fiona O'M and Littlefish, you may be interested re the sexing of these fish. Apparently, males have lines behind the eyes plus a line running the entire way along the stomach.

Good luck with convincing your partner!

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 10:58:09 PM »
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Thanks for the links  :D It's handy they like hard water as the water here is super hard! I currently do a 50:50 RO tap water mix in order to reduce my water hardness as it has normally restricted the kind of fish I can keep! I wonder whether my Amanos are still a risk - they're massive shrimp I can't imagine a little puffer eating one but I guess if they harassed them enough it would cause problems for the shrimp. My Amanos were called 'XL Amanos' by the MA - I made sure to check they didn't have any claws so they aren't a risk to my fish as they're much bigger than my killi and so far so good!

My partner seemed happy with the idea of one in our edge but has outright said no more tanks when I said about a bigger tank! Humph! We're planning on buying a house in the not too distant future so I might be able to persuade him then about a tank but until then I'll do some reading and see if I can suitably house one in my edge. My remaining killi seems happy enough at the minute so I guess it'll be quite a while until I'll be able to get one though, makes it tricky knowing whether to buy more or not now as it seems a bit mean to leave him on his own!

Offline Fiona

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2016, 09:37:48 AM »
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Puffers are very curious fish and chances are they will peck at the amanos. I'd advise you have a plan B ready for the shrimp just in case. They love live brine shrimp so.....

Although they can be territorial they are also quite social fish so I wouldnt advise keeping just one tbh.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2016, 03:23:43 AM »
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Puffers are very curious fish and chances are they will peck at the amanos. I'd advise you have a plan B ready for the shrimp just in case. They love live brine shrimp so.....

Although they can be territorial they are also quite social fish so I wouldnt advise keeping just one tbh.

Hmm sounds like my best option is to get another tank then... I'm thinking that maybe when we do buy a house I can convince my partner to let me get a new bigger tank to make it 'easier to move', then I'll have to sneak the old small tank somewhere  :rotfl: I had previously planned to attempt a marine tank once we were in our own proper house but the costs and complexity have been putting me off  :o Hmm, now I'm more conflicted as I would quite like to attempt a nice community tank, but these puffer fish are so darn cute and sound like they need their own special tank! Guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board and have a ponder about what I want!

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2016, 09:16:16 AM »
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What you do, Jesnon, is to get the bigger tank and use the small one as a quarantine tank. Then put some fish in the QT and say they look so much better in there than they would in the big tank that you'll just leave the fish in there permanently  ;D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2016, 10:01:38 AM »
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Oh Sue, those are some smooth moves  8)  8)  8)
Liking your style.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2016, 10:04:21 AM »
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How do you think I ended up with 3 tanks  ;D

It should have been just 2 tanks till I put a betta in quarantine then 'decided' he'd be safer there than in the main tank. Of course I then had to buy a new quarantine tank.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2016, 10:15:41 AM »
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I live on my own, so apart from one of my friends who is coming over today to help move a tank, and has been saying that he's worried I've gone a bit overboard with the fish, I don't have anyone else to consider. As a general rule the girls think it is fine and between the pets and the garden I'm fairly occupied.
However, if my circumstances ever change, I am making a note of that particular move and absolutely plan to use it.  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:

Offline fcmf

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2016, 01:21:44 PM »
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The key issue, though, which may require practice, is to behave naturally and not shiftily. I made the mistake of the latter (couldn't help myself), and, unfortunately, any time I'm caught looking at any particular location in the living-room or spare room for more than 3 seconds, my husband knows exactly what I'm planning ie where I'm thinking a second tank might be able to be installed.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2016, 01:55:09 PM »
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I have tanks in spare rooms, but it's not that good an idea. If you have to go into a room specifically to look at your fish, there's an inclination not to do so that often. As a result, I find that I don't get nearly as much out of those tanks as the ones in the living room, where I spend most time. Unfortunately, lack of space and electrical sockets means that I don't have much choice. In retrospect, I would now go for fewer larger tanks in a couple of rooms rather than more smaller ones spread throughout the house.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2016, 02:02:46 PM »
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I have tanks in spare rooms, but it's not that good an idea. If you have to go into a room specifically to look at your fish, there's an inclination not to do so that often.
In my case, if I had spare rooms dedicated to fish, I'd have trouble staying out of them! :) I probably didn't choose a good term to describe the room - it's a city-centre flat, so limited space, and the second bedroom/multi-functional room (which I spend quite a lot of time in) tends to get described as the "spare room". Useful advice re fewer, larger tanks over more, smaller ones - thanks.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2016, 02:25:17 PM »
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I have three tanks in a large spare room which has become more of a store room than anything else. There's so much stuff in there that there isn't even room at present for a chair and so the only way I can see the fish properly is to stand and bend down, not very comfortable! It's also unheated so I don't feel like hanging around long in the winter .....................
The point about longer tanks is that they are also bigger in other directions e.g. I have two 60 cm tanks side by side which together hold only 120 litres. But a single 120 cm tank would hold 200+ litres, possibly up to 300 or more, hence more room for more fish within the same length.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2016, 06:36:04 PM »
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My multi-purpose room isn't far off what you describe in terms of how much is in it. You make a very good illustration of the benefits of larger tank size - thanks for that.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2016, 09:40:10 PM »
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My 'main' tanks are in the front room, son's bedroom, my bedroom and a temporary 50l quarantine in the kitchen which I will be stripping down as soon as the shrimp tank in my room is cycled and I can restock my front room tank.

Getting back to puffers though, they are intelligent fish that need social interaction with their own species and just because they're small doesnt mean they don't need their own space and an interesting environment. I wouldn't put 1 puffer in the tank I kept Frank my betta in.

They aren't pocket fish, they're border collies in a chihuahua body. Right Donna?

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2016, 02:01:28 AM »
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Loving the ideas for sneaking tanks in guys! All these non-fish partners just don't get that empty walls are meant for more tanks!! We also have a spare room that has become more of a storage room than anything - it was supposed to be a nice office but its main use is where I put all our laundry to dry  :o I'm sure there's space there too for a tank  ;) But until we're somewhere of our own I guess I don't want too many tanks to have the stress of moving!

Completely see where you're coming from about the puffers - I guess for the time being then I'll restock my clown killis when my MA gets some more of them. I was tempted to go for a betts again but now I've got the Amanos I'm best avoiding them!

Offline fcmf

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2016, 12:55:18 PM »
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We also have a spare room that has become more of a storage room than anything - it was supposed to be a nice office but its main use is where I put all our laundry to dry
For the very same reason, I'd actually spent a good part of yesterday evening researching "pulleymaids" and wondering whether a few of those would free up some space for an additional fishtank!

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2016, 03:05:09 AM »
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We also have a spare room that has become more of a storage room than anything - it was supposed to be a nice office but its main use is where I put all our laundry to dry
For the very same reason, I'd actually spent a good part of yesterday evening researching "pulleymaids" and wondering whether a few of those would free up some space for an additional fishtank!

They look great! Unfortunately we live in a rented flat so will have to stick to our corner full of clothes horses. Considering there's only the two of us I always seem to use all of the clothes horses when doing our washing!

Going back to my current tank I've noticed some really positive changes since I got my amanos! Oddly my remaining killi seems to be spending much more time exploring the tank and swimming in the bottom / middle, whereas before the killis were super skittish and only ever seemed to hang around right at the top which made my tank look so empty! Now I have the cute little shrimp zooming around and my killi swimming around showing off his beautiful colouring  :D Surely shrimp wouldn't bring on such a change in behaviour!? I can't wait to bring my tank back up to the correct numbers - I just wish that I could get 6 or so of them; I had that amount of endlers and the killis seem a similar size and to swim in a similar way so it's so tempting to buy more than I know I should!  :-[

I'm no further with pursuading my partner about a new tank - it's such a shame as he's all on board with the puffers and I thought getting fish that he wanted would tempt him but nope!! I know there's a perfect spot for a new tank too, humph!  :(

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2016, 07:45:41 AM »
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Shame about the other tank. Keep at it, you never know.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2016, 09:14:16 AM »
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I know little about killis, but could the shrimp be acting as "dither fish"? A lot of south American cichlids are skittish if they are the only fish in the tank, and adding a shoal of mid/upper fish makes them feel safe. If those fish are swimming around up there and nothing's eating them it is safe to come out. Or in the killi's case, nothing is eating those shrimps, it is safe for me.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2016, 01:42:33 PM »
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I know little about killis, but could the shrimp be acting as "dither fish"? A lot of south American cichlids are skittish if they are the only fish in the tank, and adding a shoal of mid/upper fish makes them feel safe. If those fish are swimming around up there and nothing's eating them it is safe to come out. Or in the killi's case, nothing is eating those shrimps, it is safe for me.

Ooh that would make sense! Hopefully then when I get him some girlfriends they'll all be even happier!

Offline jesnon

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2016, 02:08:19 PM »
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I've just been reading up on my killis again and just realised that whilst my tank meets the minimum size requirements it should actually have 6, perhaps even 8 killis in  :o No wonder the poor things were so nervous with just three of them! When they come back in stock I'll double check with the shop what they recommend as they may suggest the amount I had before but it sounds like they would be much happier as 'three pairs'. I'll also buy a few more plants and hopefully will have a happy tank again! 6 does seem to make sense but, well, I am very biased as I wanted that amount  :))

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Dwarf Puffer Fish
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2016, 02:15:17 PM »
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Consider the suggested number of fish a happy coincidence if it matches the number that you want.  ;D

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