WTB Amazon Puffer

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RTR
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by RTR »

I don't believe any experienced hobbyist would confuse these two species.

I do hope that no one on this forum actually imagines that a 30 gallon tank holds anything like 30 gallons of water. That is ancient mythology.

Then there is the all-too-common myth that feeding and filtration can compensate for water volume. IME stocking 6 SAPs in a 30 will likely result in six fish which grow little if at all beyond their purchase size. And yes, I have stunted SAPs before I knew any better. I have done the same to GSPs and even F-8s - but that was all ~40 years ago before I learned any better. I have never seen any SAP even close to 15 cm, and was not aware that was possible (if it is, or was). But if your SAPs do not approach 4" (<12 cm), they are stunted. For me that was easiest with singletons, but possible with upper midsized or large tanks.
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by nmonks »

RTR wrote:I don't believe any experienced hobbyist would confuse these two species.
Nowadays, perhaps not; but does seem to have been pretty common in the past. Look at Sterba for example, or earlier editions of Baensch. Hence my point. As someone who did his PhD in taxonomy and naming species, I can assure you that confusion between species even in the scientific literature is very common indeed.

Show me a photo of a 12-cm Colomesus asellus with a ruler next to it, and I'll gladly accept I'm wrong about the size of this species. But I have seen many, many specimens of this species, and kept a few over the years, and never seen them get above 6 or 7 cm in home aquaria, and only once seen a specimen bigger than that, at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (living alongside stingrays, cichlids and all sorts of other species, but that's a whole other discussion!).
RTR wrote:I do hope that no one on this forum actually imagines that a 30 gallon tank holds anything like 30 gallons of water. That is ancient mythology.
I can't speak for the US, but in the UK, if a tank is sold as a 110-litre system, it must hold 110 litres. That's the Trades Description Act, among other bits of legislation. That said, you are quite right that adding a bed of sand and a few rocks will knock 10-15% of that, and you probably won't fill the tank to the very top, either.
RTR wrote:Then there is the all-too-common myth that feeding and filtration can compensate for water volume.
Actually, it's not a myth. What causes ill-health in fish isn't the size of the tank but the quality of the water. It doesn't magically know the size of the tank, but merely reacts to dissolved metabolites in the water. Change the water often enough and the concentration stays low. TFH replicated some lab work on this using Oscars in a 20-gallon tank. Daily (or more?) water changes of 90% were done, and the growth rates of the Oscars in this tank were precisely the same as those maintained in a "sensible" bigger aquarium. You may well remember the piece. Did David B write it? I wish I had to hand. In any event, fish farmers routinely heavily stock tanks, and though they can have problems with parasites and such given the close proximity of the fish, growth rate can be extremely good.

You know perfectly well that I'm not advocating people keep fish badly or overcrowd their tanks for no good reason. I'm at least as good a fishkeeper as you are. If you visit the Fish Channel site, you can see before and after photos of a nearly-dead SAP that I nursed back into health. So shall we dial back the hostility a bit please? Gosh, as much as I respect this forum and its aims, the lack of civility and friendliness is the thing that keeps me from coming back more often. I said earlier people may have stronger opinions on how to keep SAPs, and I'm perfectly willing to accept your point of view is different to mine. You may be right that keeping them in 30 gallons doesn't leave much margin for error. But you also know I'm not in the business of suggesting things that are unworkable or inhumane! If you read the rest of my detailed post to the original poster, you'll see I also highlighted issues with availability, compatibility, etc.
RTR wrote:IME stocking 6 SAPs in a 30 will likely result in six fish which grow little if at all beyond their purchase size.
Perhaps. But they may not necessarily be unhealthy -- can we please be clear on this (you're focusing on just one arbitrary metric of health, and one that isn't necessarily biological significant) -- and so long as the fish are happy, interacting with one another, and live a reasonable lifespan for the species, their final adult size isn't something I'd worry about overmuch. We don't lose sleep over the fact few pond goldfish reach 40 cm even though they're perfectly able, or that few Common Plecs reach the full 60 cm they're able to. Fish grow their entire lives, yes, but don't grow at a uniform rate. It may well be that by the time they arrive in aquarium shops their fastest growth phase has passed, and they're never likely to reach the biggest possible size.

Cheers, Neale

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by J-P »

I am kind of in between both RTR and Neale. Of the 3 that I had, There was pappa bear, mamma bear and little bear.

The largest was just about double the size of the runt. The runt was shy, while pappa bear was a pig. This doesn't just apply to overall girth, but to length as well. Pecking order and aggression certainly will have its effect on the overall size of the fish regardless of the size of the tank and the water quality. Sometime it just comes to a point where that fish won't grow any more.

6 in a 30 gal? I can't see it working out. 3 is pushing it. My 3 were in a 55 and still had 1 (pappa) dominate the entire tank. Having a similar situation in a 30gal with 6 fish would certainly cause undue stress on the others. Then try to catch them for the trimming... it would be a nightmare. Attempting to catch 1 will freak out the others. That stress can last for a couple days or more before the next attempt.

Although, it would be cute to see all 6 of those little faces at the glass when you walk in ;)

Neale is correct about them being highly seasonal. Usually the spring floods are when they are collected and sent off for transport. Expect them to hit the market anytime soon. They are high energy fish and a real joy, but not for the beginner nor the self-conscious ;) **They tend to stare** :shock:
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by captmicha »

full flow-though systems
[/quote]

Tell me about this please!!

I just got marbled crayfish the other day. When I get my amazons, I'm going to have all the crunchy food they could ever need. I don't think I'll be able to breed enough snails so I'll probably have to locate a source. I've seen canned snails at the pet stores but they're deshelled, which sucks.

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by bertie 83 »

Flow through systems are like constant waterchanges = very pricy to set up and keep going. Set up a snail breeder tank, with some care and lots of food you will have masses of snails
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by J-P »

it is a full pass through system where ware is changed constantly. For every gallon of water taken out, a gallon of new water is put in. Commercial aquariums use this. It can be done, but it is not easy nor is it cheap.

I was on well water so it was no problem. If you are on city water.. forget it. It can be done but you're looking at 100's of dollars of equipment not to mention the bills.
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by captmicha »

I do have a snail breeder tank. I'm not getting masses of snails like I had hoped. When I harden the water, I get bigger snails and not many babies. When I don't harden the water, I get smaller snails but lots of babies.

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by RTR »

Sorry, I have no SAPs stocked any more, nor will I again. I no longer buy fish which are too likely to outlive me and would be too difficult to rehome after I am gone. Currently I work primarily with breeding systems for captives which are not readily available commercially available in high quality. They will go to a long-term friend who has the knowledge and skills to take them over when necessary. He has taken them over already during periods when I was hospitalized last winter and could attend them then or for some weeks after I was released. They suffered no ill effects from my absence.

I do not consider flow-though systems suited for anyone who does not have a really good well of their own and the capital reserves to expend on them along with the technologic understanding to operate them themselves or for whom hiring educated staff to do so is no issue. That is a tiny percentage of the population. Hobbyists generally are unable to maintain such systems as the costs and time requirements are too great. Only commercial firms or educational institutions have the staffs and/or funding for such systems. I have only known one individual well who ran such systems, and she had an engineer on her staff to operate them. I am aware of a few others who toyed with such, but who were similarly well able to have staff to handle them. They just are not for ordinary hobbyists. They are too time and money-demanding for practicality.

Om this site and other where I have participated, it is more than we can accomplish to urge folks to do 50% partials weekly with associated filter upkeep. Daily 100% or larger changes are just not realistic for hobbyists. To imply that they are practical is IMHO absurd.

The situation of "Poppa bear, Momma bear, and Baby bear' (and in a 55, not a 30) is pretty much what I have seen often in my ow tanks. Some of that can be avoided with SAPs through careful planting and current fine-tuning, but not all. It is still over-stocking or inappropriate stocking to me. One hyper-dominate fish should be removed in any case, just as it should be for with mixed mbuna tanks where hyper-dominance is not rare from some species. It is not rare in SAPs either, but not as common as with mbuna. But again, most hobbyists cannot or will not remove and re-home such fish. Then you will be stuck with stair-step fish indefinitely. INHO that is not a healthy tank. I had trouble with multiple SAPs commonly when I tried to keep them 12" or 13+" tank front-to-back. I went to 18" front-to-back to give more room for careful landscaping and current control. Tanks which were 24" front-to-back was better still. But how many hobbyists will give a 120, 150, or 180 to a species tank "school" of SAPs? Other than in my own home, I have never seen such.

I have little or no information on tank sizes outside the USA. Here tank are nominally sized by the tanks approximate volume of space. This an ~24"W x ~12"D x ~12"H tank is an approximate 2 cubic feet of space. As one cubic foot is 7 1/2 US gallons, the tank is nominally a15 gallon tank. Can you put 15 gallons into it? Absolutely not. The actual volume is well less. Substrate also displaces water, as do rocks, decor, pumps and internal filters. External filter add true working volume. A common rule of thumb in this country is that simple landscaping (substrate, rocks, plants, and other decor will displace about 30% of the nominal volume. Very plain-jane setups will displace less. Puffer-level of decor frequently will displace more. Serious rockwork such as many mbuna tanks will displace more still. For most puffer tanks I do actual measure of the working volume when I do the initial set-up. That is the only time I ever carry buckets. If it is an ordinary nominal 15 gallon tank set-up, expect it to hold ~10.5 gallons. With the useual puffer rockwork, it would be worse still. A US 30-long (I use a number of those) with an ordinary set-up will hold about 21 gallons, with a puffer-level set-up again holding well less than that due to the rock-work, for me about 15-18 gallons..

I have to say that to me the idea of 16-21 US gallons of water for 6 SAPs is absurd and animal cruelty. I am aware that Imperial gallons are larger, and if their tanks are more realistically size labeled, more water per fish would be provided. But even with those caveats, a 30 Imperial gallon tank landscaped for puffer is not going to hold anything like the nominal volume. Plus, this is a US site. If not otherwise specified, gallon is a US gallon.

HTH
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by captmicha »

I'm not really sure I understood the first part of what you wrote. Are you saying that it's ok to keep a single SAP? Or that they shouldn't be kept at all unless you have a big tank to devote to them?

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by bertie 83 »

They are better off in groups.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by Puffer King »

Even when fed regularly on snails it is inevitable that dentistry will have to be performed at some point, be it a year or 18 months . As for aquarium size , I.d say minimum of a 4ft tank and at least 200 litres to 3 saps at the absolute minimum . These are very active puffers and swim round the clock . A great looking fish , although not very interactive as far as puffers go .
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by RTR »

+1 to bertie's comment.

If you were asking me about my comments, most singletoms are not very "comfotable" for lack of a better word. But as I mentioned, hyper-dominance is possible and ths fish will make life miserable for other SAPs, almost regardless of tank size. The behavior of the group makes such obvious. The stair-step sizing within the group is the end result. If such individuals are removed promptly, the group stands a better chance of interacting normally and being fairly close together in size. I suspect that singletons are insecure, as would be singletons of the "real" schoolers (close schoolers such as many Rasboras and Barbs). "Loose schoolers" will disperse in species tanks where they can see conspecifics, where close schoolers will still swim in groups in such tanks. This is purely my terminology for captives - in the wild such fish tend to massive schools (impossible in most hobby-scale tanks) and mostly stay as close schoolers. SAPs are main-channel fish in the wild other than in the flood periods, when they disperse into the flood plains for breeding. Whether that is done in schools of smaller groups or pair I do not know.

The whole point I was trying to make was that these fish need roomy tanks with plenty of water volume per specimen, just as most puffers do. Crowding them stunts them. Personally I give most if not quite all puffers substantially more water volume than our "minimum" tank size suggestion. Water quality control is far easier with roomy tanks. If I am going to keep fish at all, I want them to be full size, active, healthy, long lived, and relatively easy to keep. I have no interest in "minimum" tanks. I want to be as close as I can get to "optimum" tanks. Perhaps not sot surprisingly, those also tend to be the easiest to keep and quite long-lasting as set-ups.

If you want a singleton puffer, SAPs may not the best choice. If you want "minimum" set-ups and SAPs, get two or three "minimum" tanks and set them end-to-end with one fish per tank. Circulate the water through all of them. In that way they can see and sense conspecific(s), but interact only visually and by pheromones. They will not be able to school, but also will not be physically dominated by any conspecific. "Stair step" sizing in highly unlikely there, dominance unlikely, and long lives are highly likely with standard care.

HTH
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by J-P »

RTR wrote: If you want a singleton puffer, SAPs may not the best choice. If you want "minimum" set-ups and SAPs, get two or three "minimum" tanks and set them end-to-end with one fish per tank. Circulate the water through all of them. In that way they can see and sense conspecific(s), but interact only visually and by pheromones. They will not be able to school, but also will not be physically dominated by any conspecific. "Stair step" sizing in highly unlikely there, dominance unlikely, and long lives are highly likely with standard care.
And make sure they don't jump tanks up stream. They tend to do that. ;)
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bertie 83
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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by bertie 83 »

Yes I hear they are puffer highjumpers lol.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: WTB Amazon Puffer

Post by J-P »

it is the flow that attracts them. They want to go upstream at times. How to position the set up and the filter outlets will determine if they will jump or not. Mine swam within 2" of the water line upstream. 3" ~ 4" was too high for then to go. I don't expect the OP to duplicate this situation, but if need be he can always ask questions.
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