Originally Posted by volco
Oh okay thank you that's is what I figured. I would love to have cichlids but I have heard they need at least 20 gallons I believe. I looked up the water for my area and it said the pH level is 7.8 and the hardness level is 295 PPM. I don't really know what that means. If it's good or bad any ideas??
Sounds to me like you got moderately hard water. My water system site shows my hardness at 36ppm and when I test it out of the tap its at 2dh. I have very soft water. My ph from the water site tests at 8.11, and out of the tab its 7.8. Find a fish that likes hard water and smaller tank sizes. I believe livebearers like hard water, such as a platy.
Dwarf puffers don't mind water anywhere from soft to fairly hard. And 1 dwarf puffer will actually be fine in a 10 gallon. Dwarf puffers (as all puffers) are scaless so their skin can tear very easily. You will want to keep a soft substrate and no pointy or sharp decorations as they can easily damage their skin on it. This also makes them more susceptible to disease. They prefer live plants and this can help with your water quality as well. You will want to already have your tank cycled before you even think of adding this fish.
Another thing to think about with any puffer fish is their beaks. They need crunch food to make up the majority of their diet. I have saps (which are the worst for their beaks growing so fast) and feed them a diet of 95% live ramshorn and pond snails that I grow for them. They absolutely should not be fed any kind of flake or pellet food. They need only live or frozen foods. For treats my lil guys get frozen bloodworms occassionally, and I have just added shell on shrimp to their diet. They very much enjoy that as well.
Puffers are not hard to take care of but they are intelligent fish and need to have a tank that interests them. Keeping up water parameters is important but that is with absolutely any fish. And their diet needs are a lil more work. Puffers enjoy hunting for snails when you drop them in their tanks though. With harold and mikey I drop a couple in a day. If i did more than that, they would hunt them and eat them until they couldn't swim because they would be so full.