5 Gallon Dwarf Puffer Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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5 Gallon Dwarf Puffer Tank

So, I saw some dwarf puffers in the local pet shop the other day - and I had to have them. So I set up my 5 gallon tank with a nice piece of driftwood, 6 corkscrews, two puffers, and some shrimp. I was originally planning on running this as a non electric setup, but I don't think I can keep up with the water changes in a filterless setup. Unless its just the wood keeping it cloudy, even though I boiled it.

I just went and grabbed a bunch of the pet shop's snail infestation today because I thought they weren't eating. Until I walked in and saw a puffer mangling a shrimp's head.

Oh well. Now I have 20 snails and not much to do with them.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 05:43 PM
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yeah....snails and Puffers aren't going to mix.

5 gallons seems really small for 2 puffers, I thought they needed larger?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 05:46 PM
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I recommend keeping the snails in a separate snail breeding vase. dp love ramshorn or pond snails and i would throw some in for them. they will unfortunately also eat shrimp. mine like blackworms most.

good luck


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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yeah....snails and Puffers aren't going to mix.

5 gallons seems really small for 2 puffers, I thought they needed larger?
They max out at 3/4 inch in length - they're dwarf puffers

I got the snails for them to eat - I just intended on them surviving long enough to breed.

I figured that my cichlid tank would produce enough snails, but I saw a cichlid attacking a snail today pretty violently.

What do I need for a breeding vase?

I have a stalk of bamboo growing out of a mason jar - will that work? Haha

BTW I found a tank for my cichlids. They're still small enough to live in the 10 gallon, but I'm getting a 30 gallon. I'll be setting it up brackish.

Last edited by AnthonyW8822; 02-18-2014 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Specifying puffer type
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 07:01 PM
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Wood will release tannis which can make the tank have a tea color to it. Tannis is not harmful.. but not appealing for a display tank. If you did not thoroughly rinse your substrate before putting it in that can also be the cause (you can never over clean gravel/sand/etc) usually filters carbon bags (or real good pads) will catch any particles and help clear the water up.

Any invert will not live long with dwarf puffers, they will find a way to get the tasty bits out of that hard outer shell/exoskeleton.

For space most people advice a minimum of 3 gallons per a dwarf puffer, but this is for well planted and filtered systems, I'd imagine a new setup with no electric filtration that it would be overstocked (in the aspect of bio load). I don't think (do not know for sure) that puffers are durable enough fish to be in a filter-less set up .. unless DENSELY planted with lots of fast growing plants to absorb ammonia etc to keep the water non toxic.

By corkscrews do you mean corkscrew val the plant? I'd add more plants (or other decor to break line of sight) to get it a bit denser in there so they puffers can have their own territory and not have to see each other when they're not in the mood. I wouldn't try adding any other fauna to the tank (except their meals) as it will be eaten, pecked at, or simply over do the bio load.

For food you can easily establish a snail colony in a jar/bowl/cube and just very periodically throw in a piece of veggie for them to eat, then harvest snails as needed to feed the puffers. I have a large bin to soak driftwood in that I currently have 50-100 pond snails in (black bin so can't see them all) they're durable and don't need a heated or cycled tank to multiply (I only change water once every 4-8 weeks). I plan to get dwarf puffers in the spring for my husband so these guys will be the main food source, I may also try a worm culture (can't remember if they like to eat micro worms or white worms).

Throw up some photos so we can see the little fellas and their new home when you get a chance ^^

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Wood will release tannis which can make the tank have a tea color to it. Tannis is not harmful.. but not appealing for a display tank. If you did not thoroughly rinse your substrate before putting it in that can also be the cause (you can never over clean gravel/sand/etc) usually filters carbon bags (or real good pads) will catch any particles and help clear the water up.

Any invert will not live long with dwarf puffers, they will find a way to get the tasty bits out of that hard outer shell/exoskeleton.

For space most people advice a minimum of 3 gallons per a dwarf puffer, but this is for well planted and filtered systems, I'd imagine a new setup with no electric filtration that it would be overstocked (in the aspect of bio load). I don't think (do not know for sure) that puffers are durable enough fish to be in a filter-less set up .. unless DENSELY planted with lots of fast growing plants to absorb ammonia etc to keep the water non toxic.

By corkscrews do you mean corkscrew val the plant? I'd add more plants (or other decor to break line of sight) to get it a bit denser in there so they puffers can have their own territory and not have to see each other when they're not in the mood. I wouldn't try adding any other fauna to the tank (except their meals) as it will be eaten, pecked at, or simply over do the bio load.

For food you can easily establish a snail colony in a jar/bowl/cube and just very periodically throw in a piece of veggie for them to eat, then harvest snails as needed to feed the puffers. I have a large bin to soak driftwood in that I currently have 50-100 pond snails in (black bin so can't see them all) they're durable and don't need a heated or cycled tank to multiply (I only change water once every 4-8 weeks). I plan to get dwarf puffers in the spring for my husband so these guys will be the main food source, I may also try a worm culture (can't remember if they like to eat micro worms or white worms).

Throw up some photos so we can see the little fellas and their new home when you get a chance ^^
The planting is fairly dense, but the pair get along extremely well. They almost school and I've seen them tag teaming on food. The driftwood has two holes in it and when they need space they either go to different holes or plants. I did add a filter. I'll post a picture when I get home. As for the type of plant - idk. They sold it to me as corkscrew.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 10:35 PM
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I think puffers are rather intelligent fish and so can vary widely on personality, kind of like Bettas. I had 2 in a 5.5 gallon once some years ago. I like them very much and have kept them other times as well. I have a feeling that ones that are bred in mass numbers are kind of forced to get along, where others that are bred by hobbyists and given more individual attention retain more of their wild territorial instincts.They were snail eating machines for sure. I put one in a 30 gallon and even after I took it out, I never saw a snail again.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:07 PM
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I would only feel comfortable putting 1 puffer in a 5 gallon tank, they are very inquisitive and curious fish who like to explore a lot and in a tank that small there might be aggression


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:41 PM
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Juvenile puffers hung together. An adult will try to get the whole tank and then some to himself. Side to side, top to bottom plants are pretty much a must if you want them to co-exist in a 5g. They are messy eaters: they will bite a snail's head off and leave the rest to rot. They are easily startled and are great jumpers.

Cute little buggers.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the tank.

And yeah - they mangled one of my shrimp's head and left the rest.

I added a filter and a heater.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
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Here's the tank.

And yeah - they mangled one of my shrimp's head and left the rest.

I added a filter and a heater.
Yep thats corkcrew val, and its not looking 100% (see some yellowing/dead spots on leaves). Put a root tab under them (1 per 3 inch square, put a new one in every 4-6 months), with root tabs and light they should bounce back and look very beautiful. Would defiantly invest in more plants.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yep thats corkcrew val, and its not looking 100% (see some yellowing/dead spots on leaves). Put a root tab under them (1 per 3 inch square, put a new one in every 4-6 months), with root tabs and light they should bounce back and look very beautiful. Would defiantly invest in more plants.
I've never heard of root tabs... What do they do and where can I get them?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 12:44 AM
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They provide food (nutrients) to plant's roots. Contact nilocg on this forum for Osmocote+ tabs.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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They provide food (nutrients) to plant's roots. Contact nilocg on this forum for Osmocote+ tabs.

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I found some API root tabs at my local petshop - will those work? Or are Osmocote+ better?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 01:05 AM
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To help with their messy eating only feed them snails the size of their eye. The puffers suck the entire small snails body out in one bite and causes less of a mess. With bigger snails, the puffer cannot get all the way into the shell and has to settle for just the head while the rest of the snail body fouls the water.

2 DPs can definitely be kept together but you need to keep an eye on them. I had 2 DPs until an internal parasite killed one. Right now I have the surviving DP in a tank with a South American puffer. I am keeping an eye the tank but so far I have not noticed any aggression by either puffer.

I also have 10 ghost shrimp in the tank cleaning up any left over food. I bought them as food for the South American puffer to trim its teeth on but neither puffer has showed any interest in the shrimp.


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