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Dwarf Puffers

This is a discussion on Dwarf Puffers within the Ancient Fish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> You sex them by the males having wrinkles under/around their eyes when mature and the females being larger and rounder. The males may have ...

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Old 01-10-2008, 04:40 PM   #11
 
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You sex them by the males having wrinkles under/around their eyes when mature and the females being larger and rounder. The males may have the line on their underbelly that you were talking about but not always.

I would go for live plants of any variety. Just choose ones that are suitable for your size of tank.

plants do well in either gravel or sand, but some will vouch that they do betterwith gravel. The puffers won't care either way.

hiding places can be made of anything as long as they break the line of sight, so the puffers can determine their own territories.

I wouldn't add ghost shrmp. They puffers wont be able to eat them whole and nipping them to death could take a while. Seems a bit cruel to me, even if they are only a few pence each.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:52 PM   #12
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falina
You sex them by the males having wrinkles under/around their eyes when mature and the females being larger and rounder. The males may have the line on their underbelly that you were talking about but not always.

I would go for live plants of any variety. Just choose ones that are suitable for your size of tank.

plants do well in either gravel or sand, but some will vouch that they do betterwith gravel. The puffers won't care either way.

hiding places can be made of anything as long as they break the line of sight, so the puffers can determine their own territories.

I wouldn't add ghost shrmp. They puffers wont be able to eat them whole and nipping them to death could take a while. Seems a bit cruel to me, even if they are only a few pence each.
Mkay. So I needed to know that Live Plants could do well in gravel, and I guess they do. Should I add like a layer of sand on top, or is that not needed?

I will probably take out the current plastic plants I have in there right now, and push my rock formation w/ fake plants sticking out of it to the back. I will try to add a piece of driftwood that my dad has (I need to boil it), and any other things that will work well with a planted tank.

I should be able to add an Otto, right?
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:40 PM   #13
 
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Sand on top isnt't needed at all.

You could add an oto but make sure you have plenty of algae growth. a strong filter will be needed adding all 3 fish, espcially because DPs are messy eaters.

The driftwood will be good for them, that added with plants should break up the lines of sight a bit. Driftwood usually needs soaking for a few weeks - a month if you want to make sure it dosn't leach any tannins. The tannins aren't dangerous, they just dn't look nice.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:48 PM   #14
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falina
Sand on top isnt't needed at all.

You could add an oto but make sure you have plenty of algae growth. a strong filter will be needed adding all 3 fish, espcially because DPs are messy eaters.

The driftwood will be good for them, that added with plants should break up the lines of sight a bit. Driftwood usually needs soaking for a few weeks - a month if you want to make sure it dosn't leach any tannins. The tannins aren't dangerous, they just dn't look nice.
Ok. I think my dad has some sort of small rock shelter that he used a few years ago in our old 29, so if I find that, I may throw it in.

Im not very smart when it comes to boiling rocks and driftwood, so could I have some instructions on what I should do and what I should look for?
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:21 AM   #15
 
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When it comes to rocks, I just look for harder granites, gneiss, slate or shale. These aren't toxic to your fish. I generally just give them a good rinse, scrub them down with a stiff brush to get rid of any dirt, then pour boiling water over them to kill any germs. As long as you've got fairly flat rocks, you should be able to stack them up to make some nice caves and hiding spots for your puffers. You shouldn't need to worry about using aquarium sealant on the rocks, since it's doubtful that a tiny DP is going to knock over big rock formations.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:33 AM   #16
 
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Don't boil the rocks, follow batmans instructions and you'll be fine.

As for driftwood, I boled it for about an hour then soaked it for a fortnight I think, and changed the water daily. It still leached some tannins but not much.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:37 PM   #17
 
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Let me start by saying that otos grow to about 4 inches, just that they do it slowly... it takes years, but they have big appetites. 1 oto in a 6 gallons with 2 DP's is sort of risky.
I have a 5 gallon with 3 young DP's right now, and have been caring for DP's for years. The easiest way to do this in a 6 gallon is to work with the 2 DP's only, and good filtration, lots of hiding places like was already suggested... but also to get a few ram's horn snails to put in with them. If you can get a few, at least one will have a chance to lay eggs before the puffers eat them all, which always guarantees a good natural food supply in the tank at all times, and also your algae eaters are right there, too.
Puffers feed on inverts... snails, shirimps, worms, etc. They need meaty foods full of protien. These can be offered and these animals can do maintenance in the tank until they are eaten. This helps to keep waste levels down, and assures the fish are never going hungry.
They will need a heater in the tank, as DP's are tropical and should be kept at about 78 degrees.
As for substrate, sand is a bad idea. Sand wreaks havoc on filters, especially in small tanks, it's very difficult to clean, which means lots of water quality issues long term, and most plants can't grow well in it. Sand is too dense for plant roots to penetrate to find nutrients. Overall, sand in a 6 gallon tank is not something I'd suggest even to an expert! Any animal that would have to have sand would require a much larger/deeper tank, and that would alleviate at least some of the potential issues.
Good plants for puffers... the best way to determine this is to figure out what plants your tank will best sustain. Remember that when plants die in an aquarium they break down quickly, polluting the water, which can make for sick fish or worse. In a 6 gallon with standard fluorescent lighting you could try java moss, java fern, crypt wendtii, anubias, teardrop rotala, hygro, wisteria, and hornwort.
Be careful with hornwort if it grows well, as it will quickly shade out other plants. Hornwort is one of the best plants for these guys because it is dense, doesn't need to be planted (draws nutrients right from the water column without a root system) and provides wonderful hiding places and territories for DP's.
As for sexing the DP's, there are distinct color and marking diffences in the 2 sexes once they mature, and I wouldn't rely on wrinkles around the eyes to determine anything. Any fish can develop wrinkles around the eyes if the conditions allow it.
Once set up, weekly water changes of 30% should be enough to keep everything healthy and in good shape, and every other water change should have gravel vac done during this time. I have never had waste issues with my DP's because of messy feeding habits because I monitor and regulate their feedings so that they eat what I give them within a few minutes and keep the live snails always in their tank.
I hope this helps!
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #18
 
Helps a lot. :)

I am not worried about the Water Changes; I do 30% each week w/ vac every 1 or 2 weeks, depending on how much food is left over.

So the best would be 2 DP's with Ramshorns snails. Got it.

The thing is, at my LFS, they see very small DP's, so I take it they are pretty young because you can't sex them at all. Would I be able to snag 3 of these, or is 2 the most I should get? I really like these.

Heater is already taken care of.

Would it be best to add Driftwood, a rock formation, or both if I can fit them in?
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:23 AM   #19
 
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Yes, you are right to assume that if they are really small they are young. If you study them in the tank at the LFS for a little while before anyone reaches in or disturbs them, there is a distinct color difference between male and female even at that age. I would have to look it up again, but I think the males are darker in color, and look for differences in markings (stripes vs spots). If you can choose 2 that are distinctively different, you are likely to go home with a pair. I would not suggest trying to fit 3 of them into your tank. They may fit in there now, but in 6 months you'll end up with all sorts of problems, and possibly dead fish.
The more decoration you can fit into the tank the happier and healthier the fish will be. They really won't care much what the decorations are, just the function they perform, such as providing hiding places and determining territories.
It sounds like you're all set, have a good grasp of what you are about to do... if you need more help, please don't hesitate to ask!
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:49 PM   #20
 
Ok, I will get two. I have also heard that a way to tell males apart from females is their spots - Males have very big spots with no "speckles" on their body, while the females have smaller spots with the speckles all around.

Would the best combo be two females, or one male and one female?
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