Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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robind 02-16-2009 07:36 PM

New Fish Owner Needs Help Choosing Filter
I hope I am posting in the correct spot. Here's the deal. My daughter's boyfriend bought her for Valentines Day two Spotted Puffer Fish. He also got her a one gallon starter set. We went to Petland today because I didn't think that a one gallon tank would be big enough for these guys. The salesmen recommended a 10 gallon tank. So I started shopping around for a 10 gallon. I found on that comes with accessories and the filter is a Marineland Penguin Bio Wheel Mini. I also saw one at Petsmart that is by TopFin that is a 10 gallon starter kit also with a heater. I am trying to decide which would be the better filter. It is my understanding that the better the filter the better tank. I could really use some input on which way to go. If anyone has had any experiences with either of these filters I would love to know your opinion. Also if anyone has Puffer fish any tips would be great. Thanks

Pasfur 02-16-2009 09:10 PM

The Penguin BioWheel is without question the better biological filter.

I think your setup if more of a brackish tank that a true saltwater, so this filter should work fine. Please realize, if you ever go with true marine fish, a biological filter is not how you achieve success.

robind 02-16-2009 09:15 PM

This is probably a stupid question but what is the difference. I know that brackish is just a little salty. How much salt does it take to make it truely salt water? And also, I have read a couple of threads that say that spotted puffers go completely saltwater as they get older. If this is so then how and when do I go about doing this? Thanks for all your help

Pasfur 02-16-2009 09:23 PM

The difference is the fish.

Freshwater fish and most brackish fish release ammonia directly into the water thru their gills. Saltwater fish release organic acids. This distinction is important and fortunate, because saltwater fish are Nitrate sensitive. Fortunately organic acids can be removed from the water with protein skimming, eliminating the need for ammonia to be broken down into Nitrite, and then into Nitrate.

In freshwater you do not have the option of removing the organic acids, because the fish release waste directly as ammonia. This requires the ammonia to be broken down by a biological filter, or in some rare environments with low pH levels, requires heavy use of ammonia absorbing media.

Pasfur 02-16-2009 09:25 PM

To answer the question, Brackish Pufferfish are extremly sturdy fish and are generally require care similar to freshwater species.

robind 02-17-2009 12:20 PM

Do you think a 10 gallon will be bigh enough for them?I have read some things that say they need 55-60 gallons and then I have read others that say 10 gallon is fine for 2 spotted puffers.

Pasfur 02-17-2009 06:19 PM

I believe you are running in to difficulty with the common name of this fish. There are several pufferfish in the trade sold as spotted puffers. You need to identify which species you own and begin your research using the correct scientific name of the species you own.

I suggest consulting an atlas of fish from your local library. The Baench Atlas is a good starting place.

FordMan 02-17-2009 10:25 PM

not only that brackish water fish are extremely adaptable i mean look at sword tails and sailfin mollies people keep those in a fw community tank like crazy ... crazy maaaan

aspects 02-18-2009 01:21 AM

while the penguin is the better choice of the two above mentoned filters (assuming the penguin works properly), i would suggest an aquaclear30. you could probably go with an aquaclear20 for about $5-$8 cheaper, but the 30 will be better.

Pasfur 02-18-2009 05:50 AM

The aquaclear filters are certainly very popular in the hobby. I personally use the Penguin and Emperor filters exclusively for my freshwater and brachish setups. I find them easier to clean and find the biological filtration capacity to be higher than that of the aquaclear filters.

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