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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I decided to swap out my 5 gallon hex for a 5.5 gallon AGA. I'm using a base of mature eco-complete topped with inert fine gravel for substrate. I'm using a 27W full-spectrum desk lamp, dosing EI, CO2, and daily excel (small doses of course:smile: ) I'm still not positive what direction I'm going with this, but I'm leaning towards a dwarf puffer. I've already got about 100 snails left over from the hex, so he'll have plenty to eat. I'm not positive about the DP though. Can anyone recommend any "nano fish" from their own experiences? Input, suggestions and comments are MUCH appreciated. Thanks for looking!

-Mike



 

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Discussion Starter #2
Soooooooo....... Nothing? Can anyone recommend any "nano fish" from their own experiences?
 

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I think it depends what you're after. There's a Nano-fish list somewhere on here.

For my next tank I'm going to be looking at Pea-puffers. But i haven't had one yet. In all my nanos previously, I've just kept some ghost shrimp and pygmy cories. I'm looking at Micro-rasboras or Scarlet Badis (Dario Dario) for my current 5.5 though.
 

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I have some nano fish that I could recommend, but I stopped the instant I saw that you'll have a puffer in the tank. I have no idea what fish can or cannot go with a puffer.

My favorite nano fish are my microrasporas. I have Boraras maculatus which have proven to be very hardy and a beautiful rich color. I've also heard good things about Boraras brigittae. I'm also very happy with my dwarf/chain loaches, but they'd be too big for your tank even as a dwarf.

I also have pygmy cories and I like them, but they are actually so small, I can only see them if they're shaking their little bodies while foraging. I've also had a few die out for no reason so they seem to not be as hardy.

Still, I have no idea if any of these will do okay with a puffer or not.
 

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I found peppered cory catfish to be pretty hardy in a nano. I had one survive 9 years in a filtered fish bowl with 50% weekly water changes. The tank was at work and there were times that water changes were missed but it never effected him.

Endler's live bearers, amano shrimp, and whitecloud minnows are good candidates for nanos, and IME pretty hardy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses all! Vicki I'm not keeping them with the puffer. Its puffer or nanofish. I'm unsure about the nano fish and wanted to hear peoples' experiences with them, not just what people have read but actual experiences (much like what you provided :) ) Does anyone know anywhere to obtain the boraras maculatus? I've looked at franks but the S+H is $35. I'd prefer not to spend that if possible. Any chance someone would have them on the swap n' shop? Would 6 maculatus plus a pygmy cory be too much for the 5.5? Also, how hardy are the micros?
 

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mikeb: DPs are pretty darn cool if you're still considering one. They have lots of personality and learn when you are anywhere remotely near the tank they can beg for food. You'll want to have a tank with a renewable snail source for feeding if possible. I didn't see anything about a heater... They like it a little on the warm side.
Looks like a great start though. Dunno how I missed this one the first time.
 

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Go for the single puffer. Schooling fish need more space than a 5.5g can provide. Ember tetras would not be happy in a 5g tank. Peppered cories for sure wouldn't be.

Dwarf cories would be happier in a larger tank IME.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm really leaning in the direction of the puffer. I have around 100 snails in this 5.5 gal. How long will they last? I only have one other tank and there are only a few in there for now. Does my tank look to be planted enough for a dp? I've read that they need a well planted tank to break up their line of sight. MrJG - I have a heater in the tank, behind the piece of wood. I've got it set around 79 for now. That should be warm enough right? Thanks for all the responses!

- Mike
 

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What kind of snails you got? MTS might not be a good choice of food, since DP's can't get to the bigger ones (tough shell).
 

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mikeb: as long as you keep a snail population going in another tank its no big deal. Just take out 5-6 every few days as they get bigger and feed them to the puffer. I feed mine 100% pond snails (or at least thats what I think there are in there who knows). I tend to feed the CRS tank well because I'm trying to get them to breed and the snails eat any excess food left from a feeding which keeps the population going fairly strong. Move as many as you can to your other tank if you don't mind them in there. It wouldn't take long for a DP to run through 100. Another thing too... as far as being able to break the snail shells. They would have to be uber-small for a DP to actually eat the shells. Mine usually stalks, grabs them by the foot, and eats the insides out of the shells. Shell removal becomes part of the maintenance schedule, which I've only recently found is super easy by using a small piece of airline tubing as a siphon.

79-80 is plenty warm for a DP. And don't worry too much about line of sight, thats mainly to curb aggression when you have multiple males in a tank. If you stick with only 1 you'll be fine.. I think 1 per 5 gallons is recommended however mine seems to be cool alone in a 2.5 You do want to have lots of interesting spots for the puffer to hunt in. If they get bored they pace the glass which is a sign that they need more visually interesting surroundings. It should always be lurking about with its eyes swiveling around looking for the next meal.
 

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i actually have 2 dwarf puffers in my 5 gallon eclipse mildly planted. Had them for abotu a year now with no problems. They are funny evil critters tow atch when they hunt/play with the snails.

i feed them blood worms as well as fish out snails from my rcs/crs tank.
 

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For me, microrasborra for entertainment, a DP. They're fascinating, I almost bought some while in London but had no way of getting them home.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update:

So I've grown the tank out a little bit. I'm still considering something different on the right-rear of the tank. I want to keep it planted heavily but I want something cleaner and less "weedy" looking, if that makes sense. I added two white clouds and after about two weeks I moved them to my other tank and added a DP. He's been in there for a day now so I hope he does well. They are very entertaining and I'm already happy with my choice. Can anyone recommend some plant choices for the right-rear side? I'd like to tear all of the myrio out. Also, I'm getting some GDA or GSA (hard to remove) on the glass on the left-front of the tank. What can I do to get rid of it? Thanks for looking!

-Mike


 

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It might be too late now to suggest this, but... given the size/color of the DP, another fish that is similar in size (under an inch) but might allow you to keep a number of them (and possibly other fish) might be bumblebee gobies.

I've never kept them and don't have any experience with them. I also know there are certain species that require brackish water and others that do well in FW. Franks usually has the FW ones:
http://www.franksaquarium.com/nanofish.htm

Their size is certainly scaled for a nano! Just passing this along FWIW...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the comments all! I think I'm going to stick to one DP. I'm just trying to figure out which plants I want. The Myriophyllum just doesn't grow well for me. It starts out ok but it gets pretty "leggy" and scraggly looking and little feeder roots shoot all over. I'm just not sure what to replace it with and I'm hoping for some feedback on that.
 

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In a 5.5, I'd say you could do up to 3 DPs, but they have to be 1 male to 2 females, or 1 male to 1 female. Males have a stripe down their belly, females don't.

I currently have clown killifish, ember tetras, dario darios, and DPs.

DPs are the most intelligent, but can be moody. They are also the pickiest eaters, I have only gotten mine to eat frozen bloodworms, live brine shrimp, and snails. Be wary of free "pest" snails from pet stores, they can carry parasites (so I hear).

Dario darios are the coolest little fish, but they hide 90% of the time.
They hang around the back and bottom of the tank, and hover under branches. Sometimes it looks like they just hang there without any effort of swimming.

Clown killifish spend most of the time on surface looking for goodies. Mine are not skiddish at all, I could reach in and pick one up if I wanted. I have two and they always seemed to fight so I had to separated them.

Ember tetras are schoolers.... some tend to freak out really easily by loud noises or sudden movements. Sometimes they play chase. I found that they school more with other fish present. These guys eat tubifex out of my fingers.
 
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