Need Advise for a 5 Gallon Tank for Dwarf Puffer - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-19-2011, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Need Advise for a 5 Gallon Tank for Dwarf Puffer

I got my tank started up about a week ago and am trying to cycle my tank without fishes.

I had 3 Cherry Red Shrimps (kindly donated by a colleague of mine) and so far one died. The tank is placed at my office as it's really therapeautic to have a little green and nature within my drab looking cubicle.

So far 1 has died and there are signs of algea growing in my tank. I planted some micro sword (still looking pretty sparse) and am intending to get'em Java ferns and Java moss to improve the look of the tank. I have also read that having more plants will help with the cycling process and stabilizing the tank environment.

So am hoping to ensure the environment is stable enough before I introduce any fish into the tank.

My concern is that since algea is beginning to grow in my 1 week old tank, so what should I do?

1) Get more plants: I read it helps to reduce algea growth when u have more plants and stabilize the water conditions before introducing fishes.
2) Get an Otto: To clean up the algea and help in the cycling the tank conditions. But my personal concern is with limited plant growth in my tank at the moment, will the Otto run out of algea to eat and die of starvation?

Am totally new to forums and all the lingo used, therefore I hope y'all can bear with me to help me out here.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-19-2011, 03:09 PM
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Algae comes in many varieties and most fish that may eat algae usually only eat one or possibly two types. Otos will only eat common green and the brown (diatoms). And they should be in a group of at least 3, so I would not load the tank with unnecessary fish.

Light and nutrients determine algae growth. Plants use both and algae is left without. But if light is beyond what the plants can use in combo with the available nutrients, algae takes advantage. One the tank is planted, and if light is not excessive [= beyond what the plants need] algae should not be a problem. Snails and shrimp will handle some algae. And the Puffer will readily eat snails, so that's a good food source if you can keep providing them.

Algae is very comon in new tanks because the water is not stable. Once it is, what we call "established" by the processes of plants, bacteria and fish, algae is not so prevalent, or shouldn't be.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-20-2011, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Algae comes in many varieties and most fish that may eat algae usually only eat one or possibly two types. Otos will only eat common green and the brown (diatoms). And they should be in a group of at least 3, so I would not load the tank with unnecessary fish.

Light and nutrients determine algae growth. Plants use both and algae is left without. But if light is beyond what the plants can use in combo with the available nutrients, algae takes advantage. One the tank is planted, and if light is not excessive [= beyond what the plants need] algae should not be a problem. Snails and shrimp will handle some algae. And the Puffer will readily eat snails, so that's a good food source if you can keep providing them.

Algae is very comon in new tanks because the water is not stable. Once it is, what we call "established" by the processes of plants, bacteria and fish, algae is not so prevalent, or shouldn't be.
Hi Byron, thanks for the advice!

Since my tank is pretty small I don't really wanna overload it with too many fishes. As I intend to have at least 3 dwarf puffers and shrimps.

I'll put in more plants since I read Puffers would appreciate more nooks and crannies to swim round in. Am just pretty worried cause I went back office and another Shrimp died again. Not sure when it'll be safe to put in the little puffers.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-20-2011, 04:36 AM
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Hi Byron, thanks for the advice!

Since my tank is pretty small I don't really wanna overload it with too many fishes. As I intend to have at least 3 dwarf puffers and shrimps.

I'll put in more plants since I read Puffers would appreciate more nooks and crannies to swim round in. Am just pretty worried cause I went back office and another Shrimp died again. Not sure when it'll be safe to put in the little puffers.
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I hate to come with negative information, but 3 dwarf puffers cannot live together in a 5 gallon tank. For multiple reasons... the first being that puffers are aggressive and very few tolerate any other tankmates, they can get along with one another if enough space is provided. These guys are small, but generally they need about 5 gallons for just one of the little guys. Everyone has their own version of a rule of thumb for housing multiple DPs (Dwarf Puffers) with each other in tank sizes. Some say 5 gallons for the first DP, and 3 gallons for each there after. I have heard 5 gallons per DP. And I have heard some argue that you can do 2.5 gallons per DP IF there is PLENTY of plants and rocks.

DPs are messy eaters and can easily dirty tank water in just a couple of feedings, and in such a small tank it can be hard to maintain stable water parameters, especially when you have more than one messy little eater in the tank. I have also heard that DPs dont do too well with shrimp as tankmates. Dwarf Puffers : Home is really good with info on these little guys.

But if it was me, and I have a 5g tank sitting in my closet waiting to be set up for a DP, I wouldnt put more than one in a 5g...two is pushing it (and thats with NO other tankmates and tons of plants and decor to break their line of sight).

I hope this helps and isnt too much of a downer. Good Luck either way!! And welcome to TFK!!

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-20-2011, 12:24 PM
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I agree withg Amanda. One DP in a 5g, or in a 10g 3. Two is not so good because of the aggression, with 3 it is spread out and less likely to result in death of one of them.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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