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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

January 17, 2011

Puffers

By David Lass

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Puffers are one of the various interesting fish that are becoming very popular in the hobby. The spotted green puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis) is probably the most common one available to local fish stores, and it is being bred in commercial quantities both in Florida and the Far East.

There are, in fact, quite a few puffers that are often sold and called spotted green puffers. Fortunately, they all require pretty much the same conditions; they need hard alkaline water and salt. They can be adapted to straight marine conditions, but do not do well in straight freshwater. Depending on what species you actually have, they can range in size anywhere from 2 to 6 inches, some significantly larger.
 
A second group of puffers that are also becoming very popular are the dwarf puffers, of which Carinotraodon travancoricus is the most common species. Dwarf puffers do best in relatively soft water and they do not really require salt at all.

Puffers do not do well in community tanks as they will consider the fins of any other fish as food; but they are ideal for smaller species tanks. Feeding is easy, as besides their natural food of snails and small crustaceans, they will take any kind of frozen or freeze-dried foods, such as krill or shrimps. The dwarf puffers do especially well in planted tanks, and they can be kept in small schools if the tank is large enough and planted heavily.
 
Puffers are fish that have very definite followings, and devoting one or two tanks in your store to them is probably a good investment. Make sure not to confuse the ones that require hard brackish water with the ones that like their conditions soft and straight freshwater. They are not a fish for everyone, but they are ideal for any of the small nano-tanks. Try them-- you’ll like them.

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