Puffers best kept alone or a small group in a nano tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Puffers best kept alone or a small group in a nano tank.

I am going to be setting up a pea Puffer tank shortly and I have been doing lots of research.
At first I read that unless in a larger tank where you can keep 5-6 together (3gal./fish minimum) you should only have a single specimen in a tank. But I have been getting lots of mixed information on this. I have read where people are keeping 2-3 in a 5 gallon planted tank.
The tank I am doing is a 5 gallon nano planted setup with hardscape and sand. So I will have roughly 3 gallons of usable space for the fish. Am I correct in only one pea puffer for stocking in this tank or could I do 2-3?

Thank you for your time.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 10:55 PM
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Alone.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 10:56 PM
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I think a 5 gallon would be tight for more than one myself. Maybe two if you got lucky. I have 3 in a 10 gallon with some other fish and they get along fine. Actually they actively hang out with each other in the same area of the tank most of the time. A few chases now and then but nothing major. But I could see how that might change if they were forced together more though. Likely going to depend on individual fish, male/female, etc.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 11:02 PM
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Pea puffers hang together until maturity. After that, unless a pair, watch out.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the responses. I will continue as I originally had planned to just have the one puffer in the Nano tank. When I do the setup I'll be sure to post some pictures.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:55 AM
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Every tank is different.

We have 8 of the Carinotetraodon travancoricus (pea puffer) in a 74 tower.
They are mature, but we'll see how much more as for the aggression gets.
They chase, but no one has been hurt.
Zero nipped fins.

They do not bother the 2 twig catfish or farlowella cats either.
Assassin snails (8-10) are all over the black sand and plow the substrate well.
The pea puffers kicked the snot out of the pest snails from any plants or driftwood we had from other tanks.

Feed the puffs live black worms for great results.

1 puffer is great, 2 are trouble.
-one becomes dominant.

A group usually serves well.

Your tank is small.
I'd just do one for now.
As they age, male and females are easy to sex.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Pea puffers hang together until maturity. After that, unless a pair, watch out.

These are relatively mature. Had them for about a year. 1 male with 2 females. The smaller female is kind of a third wheel and goes off alone more but they don't really bother her other than a chase now and then. Actually think that they've chilled out a little from when they were first in there by themselves. Adding other fish seemed to give them some distraction from just each other all the time. But that's also kind of a dicey proposition. They absolutely hated Emperor and Pristella Tetras. Black Phantom Tetras they've never bothered at all. Amanos they've been OK with. Even though people say that they're OK and I never actually saw them actually go after some Otos, they were looking at them way too hard for me to feel comfortable leaving them in there. Nerite snail, no way. After it right away and had to pull it out which I pretty much expected.

The best answer with puffers always will be in a tank alone. Whatever you're thinking otherwise probably isn't going to work. Be surprised if it does.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike A. View Post
Amanos they've been OK with.
I had 2 amano, but removed them before the puffer project came.
- I wonder if i should try an adult amano in the dwarf puffer tank??

I never thought it would work and moved on.
hmmmm....

Thanks for the tip.
$3 amano lesson learned coming up.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Wish I could find them that cheap lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by theDCpump View Post
I had 2 amano, but removed them before the puffer project came.
- I wonder if i should try an adult amano in the dwarf puffer tank??

I never thought it would work and moved on.
hmmmm....

Thanks for the tip.
$3 amano lesson learned coming up.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 01:34 AM
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@theDCpump, wow, how do you get to the bottom of that thing?
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theDCpump View Post
I had 2 amano, but removed them before the puffer project came.
- I wonder if i should try an adult amano in the dwarf puffer tank??

I never thought it would work and moved on.
hmmmm....

Thanks for the tip.
$3 amano lesson learned coming up.

I would have bet on that being a loser too but mine have been OK. Looked at them a little when I put them in but don't really even pay any attention to them at all now. Tried some larger ghost shrimp first just to 'test the water' so-to-speak and figured if they ate them then it would be a good meal. Didn't bother them either. Smaller shrimp? Yeah, probably not a good idea. lol

Need something in there to help keep it clean. That's about the only thing that I've been able to do. Corys should go on the no list too. They got nipped.

Added an image... Not a great pic but if you look close you can see two of the puffers above and a couple of the Amanos down between the rocks. (Ignore the ugly algae on the back glass, that tank's always kind of a mess.)

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Last edited by Mike A.; 07-12-2018 at 02:41 AM. Reason: add pic
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well instead of making a new thread I'll ask some scaping questions here.

I am thinking either dragon stone or Malaysian driftwood as a hardscape.

So what's the opinion here in a 5 gallon.

I think the dragon stone looks beautiful in a larger tank but I'm not sure about a Nano.

Also I'm debating on a white sand or dark sand?

I'm going low tech and using plants like anubias petite, java fern. Any maybe an easier dwarf sword. Also considering microsword or DHG if the lighting is good enough.

Also the tank is taller than wide.


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 07:07 AM
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maybe dwarf sag for a carpet too. In low tech it does fairly well. I'd recommend doing dirt-capped or aquasoil if you want to ensure a good carpet.

For stone, consider Pagoda stone. Since you're doing a nano tank, a stone with finer details would be better for the scale.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 07:29 PM
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I have 2 females in my 10 gallon. When I got the second puffer I noticed the first one improved in color and became much more active. They frequently swim in a pair and generally are gentle toward one another, but occasionally they spar and it can get violent. If it weren't for frequent line of sight breaks I have in my tank I think they'd do damage to each other. They very distinctly spend time together, and then spent time on opposite sides of the tank. It's interesting to watch.

Maybe, and it's a big maybe, a male/female pair would work but I wouldn't trust 5 gallons to be enough room for one to flee the other.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I'm getting a different tank.
I got another 5 gallon like the one I had instead. They had it on sale for $20 off and it has a better light anyway.


I have to rethink my aquascaping ideas though lol.

I kind of like these two ideas. Not sure how well I could do the look in the tank though.


This is another type I looked at.


This was my original inspection when I thought about a small puffer tank.



What do you all think? Would any of these idea work well in this small a tank and no CO2?

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