Keeping Dwarf Puffers happy?

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Puffer Fry
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Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 10:40 am
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Keeping Dwarf Puffers happy?

Post by eustoma » Tue May 14, 2019 8:13 am

So I recently got a DP from my local pet shop about two days ago. The first day I got it it immediately started nipping and eating things around the tank (I am assuming tiny baby snails) and started taking bites out of the larger ramshorn and pond snails in the tank so I had to remove them.

The first two nights it paced around the tank walls at night and I felt bad for it... it seems to only really calm down and look around and slowly swim around the tank when it is hungry.

Anyway, I got home today and I am starting to get a bit sad... I feel as if it is unhappy and needs some sort of stimulation to be the healthiest. I have a 5 gallon tank, and even though the puffer is small enough to be hard to find a lot of times, I still feel like the 5 gallon is kind of small for it. I do have a lot of plants but perhaps it isn't planted with enough stem plants to give it lots of cover. I am planning on propagating the Cabomba whenever I get the chance.

It swims along the walls of the tank more than i would like it to, and it slowly swims around the tank looking for things to eat all the time. I feel like it has such a miserable existence. :(

I did put a feeding tray in the tank, which is basically just the dish my tissue cultured plants came in. I filled it with water and shook a frozen bloodworm cube a few times so some worms fell in, then placed that at the bottom of my tank.

It took a while, but he finally learned how to get in and see the food and eat it.

I think maybe introducing something new to the tank whenever I get a chance might be a good way to keep it stimulated and happy, and was wondering if anyone here did the same? If it was like other fish I have had in the past when I was younger, like a molly or guppies, which are always swimming around in their own little world, I wouldn't feel as bad, but this guy is so expressive and attentive. He looks at me if I'm looking at the tank and sometimes while I was observing came right up to the glass where I was and would swim as close to the glass as possible while looking straight at me. Sometimes he notices me watching him and I feel like he feels self conscious lol.

This is the first time I've had a fish like this and I have to admit I didn't expect it to be this way. I figured it would do its own thing most of the time but I can't help but feel like it is super bored... it rarely goes into the plants and around the driftwood, etc. It is just always out in the open or near the tank walls. :(

It does seem to calm down more each day and become more relaxed, and I'm hoping it will eventually seem happier.

Also, how do you guys keep your tanks clean? My first attempts at feeding it were just dropping worms into the tank but I don't think it found most of them.. .the tank is looking a bit dirty today and I guess it doesn't help that I have algae growing on some plants and the driftwood.

If I could I would get him a friend but I know they are territorial and that probably will not work.

I'd just like to hear stories of anyone who has owned these guys for a while. Also, how much and how often do I feed them? It is still a juvenile so I feel a feeding every day is necessary, but I don't want to overfeed them either. Is just a diet of bloodworms ok? I think it has killed the two snails that were remaining in the tank because I don't see them anymore...

Are Nerites okay with the puffer? I have one in my tank but it is pretty large and only comes out at night to eat algae then hides in the substrate during the day so I can't tell if the puffer harasses it or not.

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