Questions about beginner fish and transporting - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about beginner fish and transporting

Hello, I'm completely new to keeping an aquarium and I had a specific question. About 3 days ago I got a very small aquarium (almost 5 gallons) to take back to college with me because I've wanted some fish in my dorm room. I've set it up and let the heater/filter run, and today I bought a fiddler crab, two small snails, and one dwarf puffer. The tank stays at a constant 78 degrees and I was told this is ideal for the tropical freshwater fish.

I have two questions - I know that these fish and the crabs like brackish water but they've been kept in freshwater tanks. Is it ok for me to continue to keep them in freshwater?

And I'm also going back to college in about a week. I'm concerned about transporting them in the tank (I'm driving) its a 4 hours drive - can I put them in the transport container they came in for that time and then put them back inside the tank when I get to school? Or will they die in the container for the 4 hour drive??

Thank you so much in advance...I can't wait to learn. :) I'm an environmental science major and I've always loved aquariums....I hope I can be successful with my first one.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 01:16 PM
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Hey, I'm not sure what your transport container looks like, but I transported my fish for a five hour drive when I moved last and I just did it like this:

I put some substrate and tank water in a rubbermaid container, which wasn't too full.
I cut holes in the lid for air/ access.
I bought a power inverter for my vehicle and ran a heater for the water (it was -30 celcius out)
I set my heater low, so the fish move less
I had live plants so I didn't need a bubbler at all
I stopped feeding them about 2 days before the move, to reduce waste in the move water.
The rubbermaid container was not see through, so the fish "slept" so to speak.
This got all my fish and plants through the move just fine.
Just be sure to get your tank up and going quick when you get there.

Hope this helps, it worked for me.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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thank you so much!! i actually have a seat heater in my car and was thinking if i keep the heater on low and put a towel between the container and the seat, it'll keep it at a nice temp.

i just have to be sure to set up the tank first thing, i was going to pour half of the water out so it wouldnt slosh around in my vehicle during the drive. thankfully though it is 90% highway!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 01:54 PM
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They would benefit if you would switch them over to brackish, they would be healthier and live longer. That said, a 5 gallon tank is awfully small for all that! Also, puffers eat snails, and they need to to keep their teeth in check and stay healthy, you need to find small snails to feed your puffer, or else you are waiting for disaster!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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well, here is an update:
i got a new tank for the puffer. it is 5 gallons and is similar to the other - i'm waiting for the water to stabilize before i move him into the tank by himself. the people at the pet store told me they would be fine all in the same tank, but after doing more research i found fiddler crabs and puffer fish do not get along!!
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 01:38 AM
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puffer fish and a lot of things don't get along. I will never own one after my GFs experiance. It ate frogs, fish, snails, and im pretty sure some decor.

  • 55 Gal x2, 30 Gal, 20 Gal, 20 Long, 10 Gal x 3, 2.5 Gal, 1 Gal
  • 4 Beta's, 3 Pleco's, 4 Convicts, 4 Fire Belly Toads, 4 Serpe Tetras, 3 Angel Fish, 5 Tiger Barbs, 2 Rosey Barbs, 2 Cherry Barbs, 2 Odessa Barbs, 2 YoYo Loaches, 3 Ottos, 2 Yellow Labs, 2 Snails, 1 Black Tiger Barb, 1 Pictus Cat, 1 Balla Shark, 1 Rainbow Shark, 1 Ghost Shrimp, 1 Oscar, 2 Chinease Algea Eater,2 Tadpoles
  • 4 Ferrets,3 Gerbils, 2 Cats, 1 Dog
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-08-2011, 04:29 AM
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Puffer fish and a lot of things don't get along.

I laughed pretty hard.

I have two much larger aquariums that I successfully moved by putting plants and decor in a couple 5 gallon buckets that were part full. The drive wasn't as far as yours, but it worked out fine. For these guys, I'd be tempted to get a couple of large gladware containers and keep just enough water in the tanks to keep the gravel covered. It'll help keep any bacteria in the gravel alive. I've had no re-cycling troubles.

Good luck.

30g SE Asian Tank
15 Lambchop Rasbora
2 Gold White Cloud Minnows
3 Dwarf Chain Loaches
2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

55g Amazon Tank
2 Wild Type Angels
1 Marble Angel
1 Black Angel
1 Koi Angel
2 Bolivian Rams
14 Pristella Tetra
10 Dwarf Pencilfish
2-3 Twig Catfish (to come)
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-08-2011, 09:55 AM

Grats on the tank.. I did some research into getting a dwarf puffer.. and if you click on the shaded area, it will tell you more about them and their needs..

The first thing though that you need to know is that they are totally a freshwater species. There are other puffers that are brackish and some totally salt water, but the dwarf puffers are freshwater.

They are also very inquisitive and will be as interested in you as you are with them. They need alot of plantings and things in their tank to keep them entertained.. as well as snails (there are some substitutes that some puffers will accept).

Anyway, enjoy that puffer.. they are quite the characters!

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