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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I recently set up a 5.5 gallon, high light high tech tank.(injected co2, EI dosing)
I did not properly adjust my co2 before going to work for a 48 hour shift, and came home to lots of GDA on everything. :( the only occupant in the tank is a Dwarf Puffer. Would adding a Nerite snail to the tank be a disaster? or are they big enough for the puffer to leave alone? What about an oto, or a couple amanos?

Thanks.
 

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= dead nerite

= dead amanos

however, the ottos should be fine... in fact, it is the only other fish I have ever heard being successfully kept with dwarf puffers... not saying it is for sure, just the only other one I have personally heard of, and I have heard of several people keeping them with dwarf puffers.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply rich_one.
Unfortunately, i missed your reply before the forum went down for maintenance, and learned the hard way Amanos are indeed a food source for dwarf puffers. :( On the bright side, my puffer is fat and happy.
I didn't try a nerite, and i couldn't find a oto anywhere.

I ended up trying a Ancistrus Claro. (Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco) They have worked out well in my other planted tank, being much easier on plants than most plecos, and they stay small (2.5" full grown). He has been in there for a couple days now, no nipped fins, no signs of stress, and he's eating algae.

I'll post an update in a couple weeks for long-term compatibility... here's hoping. :D
 

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please do update... I would be curious to see if the pleco surives, because I would think he is dead meat... but I could be very wrong! Good luck!
 

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my puffers nipped the heck out of my rainbows.

Only got one left (couldn't catch it) and he seems to be behaving himself.
 

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I have had dwarf puffers for about four years now and I think have never had a problem with them nipping my pleco's. The one thing that makes my situation different is that I have big tanks 50g and 80g for fish like dwarf puffers. I actually have five in my community 80g the fish that are the most bothered by the puffers are my rosy barbs and my 6" eclipse catfish who sits in one place all day unless one of the puffers comes down into his hiding place and nips his tale a few times then he gets real upset and goes tearing out and all around the tank for a while then settles back down into his place again. I think that even though the puffers are small if you want to have them share tank space with smaller or slower fish you need more space. Oh last thing they have never even looked at my ottos.
 

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well...my tank's a 72 and the rainbows never stopped moving for a minute. Maybe there just weren't enough snails to keep 4 puffers happy, but there are for one. Plus I am feeding FD bloodworms daily which seems to be the only food he likes (besides snails & fins).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
please do update... I would be curious to see if the pleco surives, because I would think he is dead meat... but I could be very wrong! Good luck!
Unfortunately, rich_one was right. I went away for the weekend, upon returning found no sign of the pleco anywhere... would there be a body to find, or could the puffer have eaten it? it was approximately the same size as the puffer.

I gave in, and went with a couple oto's, which are co-existing well so far. We'll see, I'm starting to suspect my puffer has homicidal tendencies when I'm not around.
 

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puffers are homicidal anyway... you live and learn. sometimes you find a body, sometimes it decays pretty quickly. I have my tanks a long time, and sometimes a fish just disappears... lol.

good luck with the otos... again, keep us posted!
 

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Ok so I just added some rainbows(4 boesemani and 4 irian) to my tank and I will be watching to see if the 4 dwarf puffers give them any trouble. I have always fed small live crickets to my glass cats, the puffers seem to be very happy with sharing and have never tried to nip them.
 

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Ok so I just added some rainbows(4 boesemani and 4 irian) to my tank and I will be watching to see if the 4 dwarf puffers give them any trouble. I have always fed small live crickets to my glass cats, the puffers seem to be very happy with sharing and have never tried to nip them.
good luck with that... in my humble opinion, you are tempting fate! lol... I'd be interested in hearing what develops.
 

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DPs seem to pick on some fish and not others - they also seem to be hit-and-miss, like bettas, with some being more aggressive than others.

I currently have 5 or 6 in my community tank (120-P). They are with a ton of other fish and shrimp and create no problems, aside from sometimes fighting amongst themselves. They did kill a whole population of Lampeye Killies on me a couple of years ago, but they seem to get along fine with Tetras, CPD, Pencilfish, Glass Catfish, Plecos, Loaches, Otos, Cories, Darios, etc. They will nip at angels, bettas, guppies, rainbows, and killies for sure.

They require a lot of personal space and lots of visual barriers/plants to create territories. I would not even attempt them in anything less than 10gallons though - in fact, 10g per fish seems to be about the minimum.

This is one of my favorite fish and CAN be model citizens in a community tank when done right.
 

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I have had 5 dwarf puffers in a 75Gal with ottos and phantom tetras. No fish were bothered, the puffers harassed my 4" fan shrimp once, but the big shrimp flicked them with his tail and batted them with his antenna. After 30 seconds of that the puffers give the shrimp plenty of space.

I agree with everyone else though, it depends on the individual and it really is tempting fate. My puffers did tear an applesnail to shreds, and it was bigger than the shrimp! Little bite by little bite.

I will be sad if the puffers turn on the other tankmates after all of this "peaceful" time, but it still is possible that they will. I am keeping a pack of wolves in my tank and hoping they still behave!
 

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Ok so today I watched for the third time my Boesemani rainbows chasing after a dwarf puffer. It was great, the puffer would swim away and then stop and turn and the rainbow would swim right up and turn sideways keeping an eye on the puffer. They have been doing this off and on all morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My puffer and otos seem to be coexisting peacefully. I'm curious to know why these species do so well together, while the ancistrus became chum. The otos are far more active, but the behavior was pretty much the same with both fish, i.e. sit on the glass and wiggle around every so often. I was reading somewhere that otos are poisonous, could that have something to do with the truce in my tank? My puffer literally attacks anything introduced into his tank, with these 2 exceptions.
 

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it was not that they are poisonous, but they have barbs that can kill a fish when swallowed. Perhaps your puffer knows this.
 

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I know this is an older post but I wanted to put in my 2 cents. I have 4 dwarf puffers in a 25 gallon with amano shrimp and otos and everybody is living peacefully together. I think some of the problem is people get mature puffers that have been fed live food and so are used to eating shrimp or snails. All of my puffers were purchased as juvies and have been fed live black worms since the beginning and the amanos and otos were purchased a couple weeks later so they have all been raised together. I have never seen one nip anything other than each other, but they do love snails. Any fish can be temperamental, but mine have been awesome. It is cool to have a fish that is literally excited to see you when you walk in the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know this is an older post but I wanted to put in my 2 cents. I have 4 dwarf puffers in a 25 gallon with amano shrimp and otos and everybody is living peacefully together. I think some of the problem is people get mature puffers that have been fed live food and so are used to eating shrimp or snails. All of my puffers were purchased as juvies and have been fed live black worms since the beginning and the amanos and otos were purchased a couple weeks later so they have all been raised together. I have never seen one nip anything other than each other, but they do love snails. Any fish can be temperamental, but mine have been awesome. It is cool to have a fish that is literally excited to see you when you walk in the room.
Very interesting point Ravenous. Mine was indeed an adult when I got him.
Someday I might to try another one, mine went back to the fish store, and I replaced him with Amano shrimp and nerites. I will try to get a juvenile when/if I do. And I agree about them being cool fish, my wife still has hers, and he is a riot to watch! He gets so excited when she comes over to his tank, he forgets to look up, to where she is holding his food. :D
 

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I know this is an older post but I wanted to put in my 2 cents. I have 4 dwarf puffers in a 25 gallon with amano shrimp and otos and everybody is living peacefully together. I think some of the problem is people get mature puffers that have been fed live food and so are used to eating shrimp or snails. All of my puffers were purchased as juvies and have been fed live black worms since the beginning and the amanos and otos were purchased a couple weeks later so they have all been raised together. I have never seen one nip anything other than each other, but they do love snails. Any fish can be temperamental, but mine have been awesome. It is cool to have a fish that is literally excited to see you when you walk in the room.
very interesting and informative post. thanks for sharing your experience with this. just goes to show that, at the end of the day, many aspects of this hobby have examples of the exception to the rule, and to not necessarily follow everything you read as gospel.
 
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