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stop7alkin 05-14-2008 06:41 PM

10gallon Tank and no idea what to put in...
I have a 10 gallon tank that i want to put some pretty/exotic freshwater fish into. I plan on putting live plants in it also, i already have the filter set up and everything.

I would like it to be a community tank with about 5 neon tetras and maybe 1 or 2 bigger fish that would be the mainstay(s) of the tank. I originally wanted a puffer, until i did more research and found out that most are brackish water.

I would be willing to have a tank with just 1 or 2 different bigger fish in it that are pretty, but i dont know. I really have no idea. I was thinking maybe 2 red eyed puffers? Puffers seem pretty cool.

Please help!

iamntbatman 05-14-2008 07:09 PM

The only freshwater puffer you could put in a 10g is a dwarf puffer. They're really neat fish but are known to be very aggressive. I absolutely wouldn't put them with slow moving fish with any sort of substantial finnage, as the puffers would chew the heck out of them. It's probably safer to mix them with something more aggressive and fast moving, but I'd recommend watching them closely to make sure everything's going well. My dwarf puffers are mixed with tiger barbs and everyone gets along great.

stop7alkin 05-14-2008 07:23 PM

Thanks for the reply.

So a school of neon tetras and a dwarf puffer wouldnt work? I have heard about the teeth on puffer fish and how they must be fed snails and hard things. Do dwarf puffers still need to be fed snails or will there not be a problem if i feed them dried krill, fish food, etc?

I was also thinking about a Dwarf gourami but they are sort of ugly, while somewhat cool looking.

Any other suggesstions of what i could put in?

iamntbatman 05-14-2008 07:36 PM

A dwarf gourami is fine in a 10g, but only get one as they're usually all males at fish stores and are pretty aggressive toward one another.

I wouldn't recommend neons with the puffer. I've never tried it myself, but neons are pretty passive and might get nipped by the puffers.

I wouldn't mix the gourami and the puffers either, as gouramis are generally pretty slow moving.

It's actually a myth that dwarf puffers need to wear down their "teeth" like many of the larger puffer species do. You don't need to worry about that. I feed mine frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, live blackworms and live pond snails. That's also the order in which they like the foods, from least to greatest. I've never seen them look twice at a flake or pellet, so don't expect to use prepared foods at all. You will *not* be able to put pond snails in the puffer tank and expect the snails to breed. No matter how fast they reproduce in most tanks, the puffers will eat them before they can lay any eggs. For a while, I'd just go to the LFS and get around 30 pond snails (free) and dump them in the puffer tank. They'd be gone after a few days and I'd do this once a week. Now I have the snails breeding in my betta tank so I have a steady supply of puffer food. I've never tried feeding them krill, but I've read that they will eat it.

It'sJames 05-14-2008 10:56 PM

I have a 5.5 gallon with a DP and two African dwarf frogs - pretty neat tank. The puffers are really cool, but I've always like slightly bigger fish. If you decide on DPs for the tank, you could probably do 3-4. I wouldn't put them with neon tetras either.

Sparkling gouramis are neat. I do not like dwarf gouramis either, but the sparkling gouramis have a very different look. They are a little smaller than what you were thinking - about 1.5". A couple of them with a small school of neons would be pretty. They like planted tanks.

Coral platys aren't exoctic, but very pretty. Smaller than other kinds of platys. You could keep a couple with a school of tetras. But you would want to make sure they were all males, so you don't overload the tank with fry.

Some people have success keeping 3-4 female bettas together. Can be really nice looking, but not all females will get along together. Some will, some just won't - depends on the fish. If you were to try it, just be prepared to remove/return the fish that may not get along. Lots of hiding places would be the key to making this work.

stop7alkin 05-14-2008 11:55 PM

Thanks for the replies.

The puffer doesnt bother the dwarf frogs? I would have thought they would since the frogs are pretty slow moving and all, they seem like fair game.

Im not even sure if fish shops around me have dwarf puffers but im going to check them out. I am really intrigued by them and i think i will just have two or three and a couple of otos.

iamntbatman 05-15-2008 12:57 AM

Beware with those Otos! In a completely cycled, months-old aquarium with reasonable algae growth and perfect water parameters, I was unable to keep a series of four Otos alive in my puffer tank. All were drip acclimated over long periods of time to get them used to the water. None of the fish ever showed signs of disease or physical damage from any of the other fish. One died after about 24 hours, another lasted three days, another about a week and a half, and the last one for about six weeks. I still have no clue as to what killed these fish, especially with the other fish in the tank being so healthy. A lot of what I've read says that these fish are just very, very difficult to keep alive. While they were alive, they did a phenomenal job of getting rid of algae.

Since you can't have snails in the tank, it might be possible to stick a smaller species of pleco in there for algae control. I have a clown pleco with my dwarfs in a 20g and he is never bothered. He spends almost all of his time latched to my driftwood (a must if you get a clown) but he must hustle and bustle all over the tank at night because any algae that grows during the day is gone by morning. They do get fairly large for a 10g and produce a lot of waste, but it's usually a good idea to overdo the filtration on a puffer tank anyway so it might not be a problem in the end.

stop7alkin 05-15-2008 01:07 AM

I am going to try to supply the puffer with snails but i am sure that there will be times where i would rather just feed them prepared food.

It'sJames 05-15-2008 10:41 AM

Amano shrimp might be a better idea for algea control. All pleco species I can think of would get too large for a 10 gallon. Overfiltration won't necessarily make up for that. Not all puffers will live happily with shrimp, but a lot of times they'll just ignore them. Especially since the amanos are so large.

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