Need help planning my (hopefully) dwarf puffer tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Need help planning my (hopefully) dwarf puffer tank

Hey everyone, I am having a bit of an overwhelming time trying to "start" planning my tank which I would like to house only a few dwarf puffer fish. I guess my problem comes from the fact that I started with the want of having a planted tank, and started by looking up the different substrates. I have come to the conclusion that I wanted to use Azoo Plant Grower Bed due to the way it looks and its supposed ease of aquascaping. It is supposed to be the same as Aquasoil except for the fact that it doesn't get sprayed with ammonia; so it does buffer the pH of water, just not as much as aquasoil does. I don't want to run eco complete since I guess it is prone to scratching your tank and harder to aquascape.

From what I have read online, sites claim that the dwarf puffer needs a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 (fishlore), 7-7.8 (aquariadise), or 6.8-8.0 (seriouslyfish). A neutral or slightly alkali water seeming to be the agreed upon preferred pH. I know a combination of factors can affect the pH of a tank, but I am wondering if I am over estimating how much of a factor my choice of substrate will be.

Next thing I am having trouble with is choosing the plants. I like the look of Staurogyne repens or Eleocharis parvula when they are used as carpeting plants, but I am also interested in some type of floating plant that wont get too big, meaning root structures don't get crazy long (if I can safely trim these then that's not a very bid deal) and relatively small "diameters" while floating. I have determined that I am not interested in duckweed though. Dwarf puffers seem to require lots of hiding places since they are rather shy, and also territorial, so if you wouldn't mind and could give some recommendations for some plants that would be appropriate for a 17.1 gallon tank I would appreciate it. Drift wood looks nice when done properly but is supposed to decrease the pH of the water as well, and seeing as I already have a substrate which does that I am afraid to utilize it.

So far my current items that I actually own are a Sattelite plus pro 24" light, an aquaclear 20, and an aqeuon 20 gallon tank which is actually going to be switched out for a mr aqua 17.1. I also have an API master test kit and GH/KH test kit on the way. I originally wasn't interested in running CO2, but have since changed my mind on that after reading more about planted tanks. I do have an in process cart which you are welcome to look at and make recommendations for, you can find that here

Thanks for your help; I just want to be a responsible pet owner and plan accordingly.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 01:50 AM
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I have a red eyed red tailed dwarf puffer fish and love him he is an awesome fish I don't have any problem with him I don't check water very often and he is doing awesome loves to eat the guppie babies that the bigger ones have in the tank and dosent mess with the big ones

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 01:52 AM
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And I am also looking to get just some common dwarf puffers in a 10 gallon I will prolly get 4 or 5 but I Want a well planted tank

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 03:09 AM
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I've got a 20 long with two dwarf puffers. I run pressurized CO2 and it is moderately to heavily planted. Started with DIY, but the pressurized route it so much easier in my opinion. I've found the fish to be very hardy. I've had these for over a year and they're doing well. How many do you plan to get? It's a little strange to have a tank so lightly stocked, but two fish seem to work well. Not sure but I imagine that more than two could live happily together.

For floating plants, have you considered salvia minima? It has a very subdued red hue to it, it is fairly small, doesn't have long roots, and is less invasive than duckweed. Can't really speak about what plants are best, but here is what I am growing in the puffer tank:

-2 amazon sword cultivars, one is the 'flame' and the other I forget....stays petty compact and they both have spread nicely..
-A bunch of vallisneria, can't remember which....the one that stays small. It forms a nice faux carpet in part of the tank.
-marsilea minuta -- another low grower, probably make a decent carpet if I were a little better on scaping and upkeep.
- 2 types of crypts, one is 'pink flamingo' and i forget the other.
- 1 anubias nana
- salvia minima to cover some of the top

I will try some plants and if they don't work, look for something else that fits my care schedule and tank personality. Whatever you decide, these guys seem to enjoy more plants rather than fewer. Water pH is around 7.2 out of the tap. And the fish don't seem to mind. I use eco complete. I am rarely in the tank moving things around so it works for me. With tons of snails in other tanks, they are harvested regularly and given to the puffers. They really like hunting. In the summer I culture mosquito larvae for the fish to eat. Otherwise it's bloodworms.

Hope that helps!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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I was going to skip the DIY CO2 set up as it seems that most of the people that start with one end up going to pressurized anyways. Might as well skip the hassle of having to culture yeast and such and just do it right the first time.

Salvinia minima looks promising for a floater, thank you for the suggestion! I was actually considering anubias nana since it seems to be the smallest anubias and the anubias genus are supposed to be realtively hardy- probably a good thing to have for a beginner . That pink flamigo looks neat, I will have to look up other crypts to see if anything else looks cool.

As far as the number of fish I was planning on having, I think I am going to start with two and then working my way up to 4 at the most since sites seem to recommend a few gallons per fish, the most cautious I've seen being 5 gallons per puffer.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 12:18 PM
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Pressurized is great. Keep an eye on the sale page on the forum, you may be able to find a system for sale by a group member. Otherwise, you can buy parts separately and assemble the system yourself. Same with plants. You can find great deals on nice plants up for sale by the community.

Anubias plants are really nice. They grow very slowly, but they are easy for the most part. They also do well growing on rocks or driftwood. I have a couple of the 'Petite' variety growing on driftwood. After a year, they are really filling out and covering the wood.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Just a little update, along with another question.

I've ordered my regulator setup from CO2art, I had gotten the "Professional Aquarium CO2 Dual Stage Regulator and Solenoid Magnetic Valve" after reading Oldpunk78's review.
I'm also expecting a Mr Aqua 17.1 low iron on Tuesday.


I'm starting to get a plan going in my head as to which plants I would like to keep and so far I have:

Staurogyne repens
Anubias nana
Rotala rotundifolia
Cryptocoryne undulata
Limnobium laevigatum (frogbit)

and maybe
Hottonia palustris


Since I am going to be keeping dwarf puffers I am playing with the idea of introducing snails to the tank after cycling, or maybe while its starting(?), and let them get acclimated before I introduce the DPs. My hope would be that they would be a food source of course. Would 3 DPs be able to keep a snail population under control? Also since I am getting a rimless tank do I have to worry about the snails escaping or do they pretty much want to stay in the water? From what I have read MTS seem like they would be a good choice since they prefer decaying plant matter. But I am open to suggestions. Of course snails wouldn't be the only food source, I would feed blood worms as well.

The alternative that I am considering is just be super aggro about snail control from the beginning, and then just feed blood worms.

What are your thoughts?

Trent
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