New Pea Puffer Nano Advice Needed - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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New Pea Puffer Nano Advice Needed

Hi there!

I am looking for some advice on what kind of tank I should get for my fiancee because she is looking to keep pea puffers. From what I have read, I can keep one male and two females without issues. If this is wrong, please correct me.

I am also reading that people also keep amano shrimp and ottos with them without issues usually.

So since I have also read that each puffer needs 3 gallon per fish, I am thinking about an 8 gallon tank and up. Will 8 gallons be enough for 3 if it was heavily planted?

This will be her first aquarium, so she needs a tank where she doesn't have to mess with it too much outside of water changes. Mods are fine as I am handy and can help her initially set the tank up. She likes the looks of tanks with squarish footprints. She loves bio cubes, but understands that they are too large for our apartment.

As I said before, maintenance needs to be kept to a minimum. So I would also appreciate some ideas for plants. I think she would be fine dosing excel and maybe one other fertilizer, but that would be about it. So recommendations on a light would also be really helpful.

Sorry there are so many questions on one post, but this type of tank is completely foreign to me.

Thank you so much for any help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:25 AM
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I would start with a 10 gallon, 1M + 2F and no other livestock. Perhaps an Oto, they can hide pretty well. They may eat shrimp.
Plenty of places to explore- plants, driftwood, rocks... They are not much for open cruising, but are very curious and always poking into things. The more places you give them to check out the more active they are.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:34 AM
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Puffers are great fish, but I would try to give them more space than you think they need. I think Diana's suggestion is pretty good. If you can go even bigger than 10 gallons that will be even better too.

Edit- Given a 15 gallon or 20 gallon tank you could even try breeding them!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 12:09 PM
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I have one pea puffer in an ADA mini L tank with cherry red shrimp, and 10 Boraras brigittae " Chili Rasbora". All get along good, the pea puffer solved the snail problem real quick....
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:52 PM
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I would try for at least 10+ gallon tank. Cover filter intakes and also make sure the water flow is slow.

Puffers can also be finicky, messy eaters. They are not exactly low maintenance because they need a variety of foods (e.g., blood worms, snails, etc.) and also frequent water changes because the tank will have lots of excess food!

Good luck!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:00 PM
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Yeah, SunkShip brings up a good point. It can be hard to feed Pea Puffers. It would be best to culture your own foods. Either live worms (white worms or grindal worms will probably work) or you could culture your own snails (you could just throw a bunch of snails in a bucket and feed them and you might have enough to satiate the puffer's voracious appetite for snails).

Speaking's a funny and great video showing these guys eating snails!

And here they are eating worms. I love the music
Blackworms will also work, you usually buy them at the LFS. My LFS feeds their pea puffers glassworms and they sell glassworms as well. Glassworms are more like mosquito larvae than other worms mentioned in this thread.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:14 PM
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Kept/bred dwarf puffers for years in a 10g...They are curious little fish, though when they mature they can be somewhat reclusive. I'd recommend some type of moss in the tank. They enjoyed searching for food in the moss & would breed in it as well.

I fed various foods, but their staple was blackworms. A culture stays fine in the fridge (tupperware) for months, just make sure and rinse it out every day or two.

There is an excellent dwarfpuffer forum ( if you haven't stumbled across yet, you should check out.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your help. I understand that they take more work than your typical freshwater fish. I am hoping to feed our puffers frozen blood worms and brine shrimp. As well as tossing in some snails from my existing tanks.

I guess in my perfect little ridiculous world, I was hoping someone would come on here and say "you should buy such and such nano setup because the flow is great for puffers, the light is good for medium light plants, and there are no reliability issues" haha.

I have read that pea puffers typically do not go after large snails. Is that really the case?

Last edited by loach guy; 04-28-2015 at 08:56 PM. Reason: stupid autocorrect
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 09:08 PM
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They prefer smaller snails. Last I saw, I did have some larger snails alive in my puffer tank. Don't know how successful you're going to be with frozen food. My puffers only get live bloodworms and a variety of snails.

I'd also recommend no smaller than 10 gallons for 3 puffers. Nitrates are crazy in my puffer tank even though it's stuffed full of plants right now. All my other tanks are <5 ppm nitrates except the puffer tank. It's driving me a little crazy.
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