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Thread: Pygmy/dwarf puffer fish

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    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    I'm planning on getting a Dwarf Puffer Fish.I believe they only get to be like 1 inch long,so they're pretty small.I would like to put it in a 3 gallon tank.How many would I be able to fit in there comfortably?How do they get along with each other?What do they like to eat?What temp do they like?I've looked on the net and got some info but I would like to hear from people that actually have some or had some.Most of the sites say that they're freshwater fish,but my friend said that they like brackish water,so which is right?ANY info would be great!Thanks [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] *Niki*
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    The species you are talking about is totally FW.
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

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    Your inquiring about Carinotetraodon travancoricus, and CINDY is a expert on these fish, I will see if she can come here and help you out some more, as I am interested in maybe starting a tank w/ them as well.

    What I do know, they get up to one inch, are endimic to Asia, they like soft to lightly hard water (if you haven't kept fish before, this does not mean to use softened water, soft means low PH, in this case, probably something in the mid to low 7s.

    They like to heat live and frozen food, so flake and other stuff probably won't work, your going to want to (if they are in any way similar to salt water puffers) feed them snails and small mussles as they have a beak, and it must wear against something hard like a snail shell. If they don't get this, then their beak will over grow and they will eventually starve to death. In salt water puffers some keepers will do surgery on the beak to avoid this, but I think this puffer is far to small for that.

    As for keeping it in a 3 gallon aquarium, I don't see a problem w/ this as long as:

    A) It is the only fish
    B) you are religious w/ your water changes
    C) you use some fairly advanced filter media such as a chemi-pure pad, and Tri-Base Carbon.

    Remember that fish that like meaty foods tend to be messy eaters and messy waste producers. Live plants would probably be a great addition to the tank to assist w/ absorbing chemicals (amonia and nitrate) out of the water.

    Cindy will know far more and may disagree w/ me, so I will ask her to post here.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the info.I have a question tho,when you said it's ok to keep it in a 3g tank as long as it's the only fish,does that mean I can only have ONE Puffer or just that one species,but I would be able to keep 2.I would really like it if Cindy could come here and post,that would help me a great deal.Also where can I get snail small enough to feed them to wear their beaks down?I've only seen bigger snails here like Apple snails and others that size that eat the algae.I do have a fresh water tank with goldfish so I know about PH.Thanks again [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] *Niki*
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    Niki, you know how there is that '20 gallons of water per goldfish, 1 inch of tropical fish per gallon of water' 'rule' (well, maybe you dont, it's a pretty loose standard) anyhow,

    When you get into tanks like 3 gallons (salt water people call 20 gallons or smaller a nano tank, and 5 gallons or smaller a pico tank) your in the range where chemistry can fluctuate wildly.

    Things you have to consider:

    Can you remove noxious chemicals like amonia and nitrate fast enough to not effect the health of the fish? (carbon, plants, chemi-pure pads, Purigen, Plants, so on)

    Can you inject oxygen into the tank fast enough (w/ out overly disrupting the water (i.e. body slamming your fish against the glass w/ to much current)?

    Think about this, when you do a water change on a 3 gallon tank you are 1) trying to remove waste, 2) trying not to disrupt the chemical and biological balance of the tank to much, but you are also confronted w/ the possibility that this tank may simply be to small to house enough surface area for proper biological filtration, in that case, you will need to change more water than normal, yor probably looking at 30 to 50% water changes a week... add a second fish to the mix, and your making it twice as hard IMHO.

    So, no, just the one fish. Besides, to be far easier in the answer, puffers for the most part are territorial, I am not sure about this species but I suspect in a 3 gallon tank, any puffer would be territorial, much like housing bettas together. I wouldn't do it.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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    Ok so is keeping this Puffer going to be really hard?How do you remove amonia and nitrate fast enough so it won't effect the fish??How do you inject oxygen fast enough??I don't have a problem doing 30-50% water changes a week as long as it's not gonna freak out my Puffer.*Niki*
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    I am not sure keeping the puffer will be hard per say Niki, or that you even have to be doing water changes like that.

    Water changes shouldn't hurt or freak out your fish as long as the makeup water is balanced to the water in the tank (same temp, same PH).

    Again, Cindy may come in with totally contrary information, but I doubt I am to far off is all that I am spouting is good aquarium husbandry practices, regardless of the fish.

    Will it be hard, what is hard for me may be easy for you, or vice versa, I really don't think keeping an aquarium is that hard, people talk about advanced aquarists, and seem to think that label takes time to get, but consider this, person in the hobby after 10 years finally gets it through their thick skull they should do bi-weekly water changes (on a standard sized tank) and things click into place and they start having phenomenal success. Person in the hobby for 1 month reads a lot of books and studies stuff on the internet, and does it right from the get go... phenominal success. I consider both people to be advanced, yet one tool longer to get there. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Point is, you may have no problem what so ever in a 3 gallon tank, then again, maybe it will make the puffer feel cramped and he simply won't like it, that is a cindy question.

    As far as getting oxygen in, you can go several routes. Air stone is the old way of doing it, Bio-Wheels are the new way of doing it, or, you can go the elegant way and plant your little tank and let the plants produce oxygen for the fish. (my favorite way.) (note: don't use a bio-wheel, air stone, or spray bar on a planted tank, it will strip out CO2 and reduce plant respiration.)

    to get out waste, you can run carbon, purigen, or any number of products on the market right now (like chemi-pure pads), or you can again, take the elegant route, and get some live plants.

    Oh, you asked about snails. You may need to breed them on your own. if you set up another tank with apple snails or any type of pond snail, you could easily produce food for your puffer. I don't know if there is a commercial source for frozen snails that would be small enough for your puffer, or again, if the puffer even needs it, I am not sure how different these guys are from saltwater fish.

    Oh, btw thanks... I was looking at dwarf puffers on the net and I think I am going to have to set up a tank for a pair of figure 8s... or at the very least (if I go for the easy FW, some red eyes.)
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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    I would use the 3 gallon tank for breeding snails (BTW if you buy plants from Petsmart they're bound to have a ton of snail eggs on them). Get your puffer a real home, like a 29-gallon tank...then you could consider putting two puffers together. Frankly, I consider the 3-gallon tank for your single puffer cruelty, no matter what your experience level in raising fish is.

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