View Full Version : Dwarf malabar puffers

01-18-2007, 05:09 PM
hi all

i have been looking into stocking my 25G tank with little fish. i am thinking about dwarf or malabar puffers as one variety. through doing some research i have found that they are listed as freshwater, while most others are brackish or salt.

are dwarf puffers really freshwater? and are they ok wih different species of fish? i know they get hostile towards other puffers, but what about other species?

i do not want to be cruel due to misinformation so if anyone has any expierience with these guys let me know.


01-18-2007, 08:51 PM
Looks like they are freshwater. I have never seen them available for purchase here. I have had puffers (brackish) and can say with all certainty that they are NOT ok with ANY fish, unless it's their lunch :) . They don't "nip" they take lovely semi-circle bites out of everything (including plants). The will investigate things by biting them. My Green spotted puffer had live food one time (and only one time) and he "snacked" on the minnows I gave him. He would take a bite, wait a while, then take another bite. Must have been awful for the minnows to be eaten like that.

01-19-2007, 05:01 AM
Yes, dwarf puffers are totally freshwater. Very interesting fishy friends also in my book.
As for tankmates....most have success with otos, some have had success with kuhli loaches, and others with dwarf african frogs. I have 1 oto, 2 frogs and 1m/2f dp's in my 10 gal. They did okay with danios too, but the problem with fish that are fast enough not to get nipped, they are also faster to the food and that can deprive your puff of what he needs. Platy's will be destroyed by a puffer.
Some have had success with shrimp....mine won't touch 'em, others have dp's that kill everything that enters their tank. Very much a fish that will decide if they want tankmates or not, and there is not anything you can do to change their minds.
Check out dwarfpuffers.com for alot of good info.

01-19-2007, 09:52 PM

awesome info. thanks for the help.

i am pretty sure that when i move the 20G inhabitants into the new 75, (about 1 week) i will start a dwarf puffer tank in the 20.

i think that 2-3 should be good in that size (with adquate hiding areas of sourse). Any thoughts from your expeirience? as you also mentioned, i will try with some amano shrimp, african dwarf frogs and see what happens.

again thanks for the advice, you have made my decision much easier.


01-20-2007, 04:00 AM
No problem....my dp's are my babies! Even my kids complain they get spoiled.
In a 20 gal you could probably house 4-5 comfortably, unless you would rather try more of the shrimp/frog combo. These are active little puffs, who although shy at first, once they get to know you they will be out and about watching you all of the time and surfing the current. If you can't get them old enough to sex I would suggest though that you start with the 2-3 you consider and try to find the opposing sex at a later date. Best ratio is 1m/2f. Males are hard to spot until you have seen one in person.....then you can tell 'em like a pro....pics just don't do them justice. Here is a fairly good pic of my male.
See the silver sliver looking lines behind his eye...those are the eye wrinkles.
Next is a shot of his belly line

But, don't let the belly line fool ya, my dominant female has a "goatee" that I thought might become the belly line:41:

Good luck with your dp's, I don't think you will be disappointed

blue fin
01-20-2007, 04:21 AM
Cool fish Kimmers

01-20-2007, 04:25 AM
Thanks blue fin. Those little goomers are the ones that made the 2007 calendar that I am anxiously awaiting.....it left middleburgh heights for destination Streetsboro tonight....hopefully it will come tomorrow

blue fin
01-20-2007, 04:28 AM
I'll cross my fingers for you..... ; )

01-20-2007, 07:27 PM
My wife had three dwarf puffers in a 10gal tank, so you should be able to have more in a 20gal. They are deffinetly freshwater, and not at all good with other fish. We lost ours due to water quality issues that have since been resolved (I hope, since I'm cycling two tanks right now and getting ready to restock). But they are great little fish, easy to find as well because pet smart carries them. Feeding can be tricky, they love snails, but if you're going to feed them snails you'll want to have a large population already going in another tank to use as a food supply, we also had success with frozen bloodworms.

The other problem we had was algae growth, because I couldn't find a fish that would eat the algae and that they wouldn't tear up. The Hillstream Loach (Butterfly Pleco in some shops) worked best because it didn't move much, and was very fast when it did, but they prefer cooler tanks, fast moving currents, lots of algae, and need a lot of oxygen, so get a bubble stone or something. The puffers like playing in the bubbles as well.

01-20-2007, 07:41 PM
i like your pics of the puffs kimmers!

01-21-2007, 02:01 PM
How long did you have the hillstream with the dp's denorios? As I said.....I have 1 oto, and he doesn't do squat for the algae in the tank. I started with a group of 6, he is the lone survivor, and since I am not real fond of the species from my experiences, I don't plan on increasing the numbers. He has an unlimited supply of all types of algae and should be a rollypolly oto since he has it all to himself, and he just isn't a big eater.

01-21-2007, 02:28 PM
How long did you have the hillstream with the dp's denorios? As I said.....I have 1 oto, and he doesn't do squat for the algae in the tank.

Probably a month or so. There were no problems with the dp's, until he died, then they chewed him up. If you're looking for one, most fish stores call them butterfly plecos.

I think the problem in that tank was that I didn't have enough oxygen for him, or enough to eat. Within a week there was almost no algae (and this thing was completely coated.) I added a buble stone later, which I think in the future will help give one enough oxygen when we rebuild the tank. Probably the same setup, 2 female dp's, 1 male, and one hillstream loach, and possibly an african dart frog, since I've heard people have had success with those and dp's.

01-21-2007, 08:34 PM
I am starting to think that dps, and other puffs for that matter, are not as aggressive as some think. I have seen alot of pics of larger puffs with other fish in their tanks, a friend of mine has a porc puffer with other fish and all is well. I know my dp nipped the heck out of platy's, but then again.....I don't know how much of that was simply because she ran out of snails and I didn't know she wasn't eating anything else. In the wild noone is there to separate puffs from the other fish, and I have no doubt when they get hungry they will eat a tankmate, but there probably could be more success as long as puffers are kept well fed. Not with all, but with a majority.