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|What would live in peace with my Puffers?|
I recently aquired two VERY cute figure 8 puffers and I absolutely adore them! BUT, I can't seem to get them to not eat other fish they are with...but I have heard of so many people keeping puffers with other fish in comunity tanks in peace? Please help!
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 10:10|
Lord of the Beasts
Puffer compatibility depends entirely on the personality of the individual. A puffer committed to its predatory lifestyle will allow no foodsource to go unexploited, even if that includes fins of bigger fish that you'd think might turn around and beat the hell out of them. The construction of the beak means they can bite through pretty much anything, and any fish with decent sensory equipment will know that they are highly toxic and wont want to bite them.
Consequently puffers tend to break compatibility rules with consummate ease. Most will happily include bodyparts of fish,shellfish, and shrimp on the menu of almost any size. They are basically the ultimate fin-nipper.In fact even species that are specialist fin and scale predators can show less commitment to the cause than a puffer.
You can still try breaking up tankspace with visual barriers ,or indeed keep them only in larger tanks to give other fish more chance. Sometimes their nipping is started by territoriality, but if its straight out predation, and I have a feeling your puffers are already kind of in the "committed predator" bracket here, there may be nothing for it but to keep them segregated in a species aquarium.
There are fish like SAE 's and bumblebee gobies that seem less e to puffer attacks, but even then, theyre never truly off the luncheon list. Id be lying if I said putting puffers in community isnt a game of chance that the puffers usually win.
In terms of a pschological suitability for community, freshwater puffers are right up there with snakeheads, piranha, and peacock bass. Its just that most petshops neglect to mention that.
I guess you could say that maybe 1 in 10 puffers are psychologically suited to community, and that too can suddenly change overnight.
Seriously, I too used to think that puffers could be made to fit into communities,but a few years and a few species later Ive been proven wrong.I am now convinced they are not suitable for community, and any one who keeps them in a community is just another chancer. Its the fish who cop for the damage, and we should be protecting them and not allowing it to happen.The freshwater situation just doesnt mirror the marine one, there pretty much isnt any species you can choose from like lionfish or scorpionfish that have a superior deterrent against puffers.
The bottom line is that puffers are true predators. Predators with attitude and courage, and not much in a confined space stands a chance against them. Unlike most fish, there doesnt really need to be a fight for a puffer to win. It just swims and bites, and fins are lost and bites can be inflicted that simply kill due to the depth and the blood loss. No armour is a defence. Bigger puffers have bitten through filter outflows iand intakes, there is no defence against that bite.If youve ever seen a puffer crunching up frozen cockles that you couldnt break by stamping on them, youd see what I mean.
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 14:07|
Ultimate Fish Guru
Most any article you read will suggest a species only tank. Puffers do not get along well with other fish. They almost always kill a tankmate eventually. Occasionally someone manages to keep a puffer with other fish for a few years but there's always that chance that one day you will find every other fish in the tank dead. It happens so frequently I'd bet money on it. Plus trying to find brackish fish to go with puffers is sometimes difficult. Fish like plecos or other algae eaters will sometimes go unnoticed for extended periods of time but most bottom dwellers will not withstand even low levels of salt and definitely not the minimum amount suggested for figure 8 puffers. About the only thing you can keep with puffers is puffers especially brackish water puffers.
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 20:01|
Thank you so much! Now I know why my three inch purple-spotted goby didn't attack back when I first had them all in a community tank!
What are the rules when mixing puffers with other species of puffer like putting a green spotted puffer in with my figure 8's?
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 20:04|
Ultimate Fish Guru
There are alot of puffers that can be kept together but I don't think anything can be kept with figure 8s due to differences in salinity. Both the other common species of brackish puffers prefer a sg of at least 1.015 turning to full saltwater(min 1.020) as they age. Figure 8s prefer an sg between about 1.005 and 1.010. Too high for freshwater puffer species and too low for the other brackish to saltwater species. If you had to you could probably keep them all in a salinity of around 1.012-1.013 but I would not suggest purposely doing it since neither species will live out it's full lifespan and will succumb to illnesses easier.
The only potential tankmate I can think of is the bumble bee goby and personally I think they are a little small to stand up against puffers. They are agressive little fin nippers that survive in the same salinity but they are both an inch shorter in size with less body mass than a puffer. Possible with lots of hiding places but risky to the gobies.
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 21:00|
The figure 8's seem to be happy in their own tank and I don't want to risk the life of any other fish by throwing them in with my extremely territorial puffers! Oh well, they will just had to be with their own!
|Posted 05-Mar-2007 23:03|
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