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Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:05 pm
by mjb
Hello! My name is Matt, I'm 25 and I'm working on planning my new puffer setup after not having a tank for 10 or so years. Everything started with a little goldfish pond out back of the parent's house to when the addiction hit me and I was left with two 55g tanks in my bedroom! Landlord just approved tanks and now that I have a little place I call home, it's tank time!

I've been reading and researching for almost half a year but I'm still stuck on what to get as I will attempt to keep only ONE tank. Puffers are one of my favorite and my girlfriend fell in love with a very personable Dragon Puffer at the local fish store so puffer it is!

Good thing you can't add fish right away. I'll be taking my time with this decision. Trying to stay near 20g long or 40g breeder but my puffer needs to be happy, so that can change!


Option 1: Community tank with Spotted Congo (Tetraodon Schoutedeni) and hold out until finding one. A few ottos, maybe a couple of other fish, and test out some shimp possibly (depending on tank size)

Option 2: Species only tank: We want a "water puppy" if it's the only fish. She liked the Dragon puffer but I thought they were one of the least active so I'm open to most small/medium puffers. Just looking for the best personality. We may just go without one until we "click" with one at the store.

I hope to learn a lot from everyone, see some cool tanks, and to have fun! Thanks!

(One of my old tanks: Started at 10g and upgraded to 55g)

Re: Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:31 am
by Pufferpunk
Your 20g tank is certainly large enough for any of the redeye lurker species. I'd go at least 30g for the ambush predators, when full-grown.

I'd rather see the schoutedeni in groups, so I wouldn't keep 3 of them in <40g. Wesley Wong usually has them (you can find him on Facebook).

Re: Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:06 am
by mjb
Thanks for the input! I'll keep observing and reading the forum while I test my tap water (hoping it's good so I don't have to buy water :roll: ) and start to order some equipment.

Honestly, I didn't even think of keeping a small group of Schoutedeni because of their price but that sounds like a dream. I'll have to do some Facebook stalking I think. No tank is purchased yet so maybe a bigger tank with those guys is the way for us. Was thinking a 20g long and here I am ready for a 75 gallon...the addiction is real

Re: Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:48 pm
by TwistOfF8
Are you only interested in freshwater species? I have a 40 gal high brackish tank with Pudgy the green spotted puffer. He's fully grown, around 6 inches long and his belly is the size of a plum. I've had him for nearly 2 years. He follows me around the tank and will only eat from my hand. Once he's had enough he lets me know by racing along the water surface splashing with his tail, then he darts to the bottom. He changes colour according to his mood, you can watch him change. Unlike the baby puffers sold in stores, Pudgy has a "headlight" or patch of bright yellow on top of his head which disappears if he's feeling stressed. He has no tankmates, since GSP's are aggressive when fully grown.

For equipment I use a hang on back protein skimmer and a 100 gal canister filter along with live marine sand. Puffers require extra filtration because of their meaty diet and they're messy feeders. I started with the HOB power filter the tank came with, poor Pudgy spent most of his time pure black and sulking on the bottom. Once the canister was installed within hours he was bobbing all over the tank with white belly and green spotted back. He now likes to "surf" in the flow from the filter spray bar.

I also have the fish tank bug. To satisfy my community tank craving I have another 40 gal with an assortment of freshwater fish. I also have a 15 gal Fluval Flex tank with 5 dwarf puffers and a 3 gallon betta tank.

Re: Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:41 pm
by mjb
I've been researching freshwater and as tempting as you make it sound, I will most likely stay with fresh as I'm most familiar. I knew this before but I'm finding it to be more common, a lot of the time it's simply the fish's personality. The dragon puffer we saw at the store followed us all around and while some have similar experiences, others say they have something closer to "pet rocks." Care and conditions play a large role in differences but I plan to run 2 canisters for this purpose and as a failsafe.

I've been surveying the local fish shops to see what's around and to see if any little puffs can sway my decision on dragon species only or community with spotted congo(s). When I commit to something I like to do my research and plan it out so I get the results I want. Trying to be cautious but I think I'm ready for some something a little more fun soon. Been plugging away but no final decisions. Sneak peek...


Re: Back in the Game - So Many Choices

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:23 am
by Pufferpunk
I've had great success with cheap off-brand LED lights from eBay. Don't expect the ambush predators to be extremely personable. Even some of the lurkers I never see, like my turgidus.