30cm Cube riparium

goldscapes

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21 Aug 2018
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137
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Surrey
So, I have been slowly accumulating the necessary kit for a 30cm cube with hang-on back planted filter for emersed growth.
It seems that there are very few fish that would be happy in such a small tank and I am down to a shortlist of a pair of Dwarf Puffers or Asian Stone Catfish (Hara Jedoni). According to Seriously Fish both could be happy in a 30x20x20 12.5L tank.
There are suggestions online that the Dwarf Puffer is under threat due to overfishing so I would be ideally looking for captive breds. Also the Asian Stone Catfish rarely moves so I’m not sure if that’s really why I want!
If anyone has any experience of fishkeeping happy fish in a tank this size of any breed do let me know.

Assuming that I can get get a suitable pair of puffers then I would like to choose plants from the same geographic area (Pamba River).

I have a single small rock and twisty piece of wood for the hardscape so I now need to choose the plants.

Based on the inspirational work of @hydrophyte, amongst others, I am planning on cannibalising a hang-on back breeder box to use as a planted filter with a central emergent bonsai grown tree with a low emergent plant either side ideally flowering.
I have found a decent flora reference online here and think that E. Tuberculatus (Warty Marble Tree) might be a contender for the central tree.

Does anyone here have any thoughts or suggestions on this, one of the trees on the list above is also known as the “fish poison tree” so I am approaching this with a respectful caution :)

Any input gratefully received!
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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7,473
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Both fish are lovely, but have their challanges, likely what you find in the trade is wild caught as well as the Spotted and the Malabar dwarf puffer and the Hara jerdoni. The puffers only accept meat and wont accept dry food. The Hara maybe after slowly conditioning them, but might not accept it initialy and will perish if not properly fed. Prefable life food..

Froozen life food might be accepted but this is a rather dirty way of feeding, because it is dead proteine. All that is not readily eaten will faul away very shortly and develop a heavy bioload on such a small volume. Froozen food, also contains a large amount of planaria eggs. Feeding thsi a lot, at least how i always experienced it, will result in planaria infestation that needs to be controlled. Puffers also like to eat snails, they have a special developed beak for that. Some say the need to crack snail shells to control the beak growth. Others say dwarf puffers don't. Anyway, feeding them snails is a different story, puffers are exeptionaly dirt bags, they rather kill snails than eat them completely. Give a single puffer 10 snails a day it likely will kill all 10 that same day. Leaving half eaten snail spoils behind. Again a huge bioload for such a small water volume.

There for in general regarding puffers a 60 litre minimum volume per puffer is adviced. Not only because they are pigs, also because their personality is equaly big. They are stricktly territorial in captivity and sustain rather a large foorprint as their possetion. Depends a bit on the personality it develops. Some can be timid and subdominant, others can develop intoo psychopatic monsters attacking everthing that moves. I once had 1 dwarf puffer dominating a 110 litre tank. Attacking and chasing all around driving all tanks mates mad. After killing it's choosen victim he picked another.

Chances ar 70 to 30 you are going to regret putting a puffer in such a small tank.. Points enough to reconsider. :thumbup:

I kept a few learned to love them and changed my personal opinion. I love them so much i find, they shouldn't be kept captive at all.. Leave them where they belong in nature.

Ficus is a nice suitable aqauponic tree spieces, also Dracaena.. :)
 

goldscapes

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21 Aug 2018
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137
Location
Surrey
Thank you Zozo, I appreciate your experienced thoughts on this matter and will reconsider my approach to livestock.
 

zozo

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Joined
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Messages
7,473
Location
Netherlands
Thank you too.. :) And realy with dwarf puffer you never know what you get. It's a role with the dice.. But they are gorgious little blighters, highly inteligent with a big personality. As baby fish all are equaly cuddly and kissable..SLowly maturing they can develop into your friend beggin for food or develop anti social tendencies and consider you a intruder. They can get depressed and frustrated. Mine showen above matured into such an anti social little monster, he first starded picking specificaly on the T. pumila's, picked one specifik victim, chased it around and hunted it to exhaustion, causing stress, fatigue and death for the pumila. I took all pumilas out the tank, 2 weeks later he got bored again and decided to hunt the O. cuasuatis picked 1 and relentlesly chased it around. Same story the fish died of stress.. Master puffy was a real serial killer. That was 1 pea puffer in a 110 litre tank.

I decided to move him to his own tank.. First catching him was a batle on its own. Once he knew he was the target everytime i came near the tank he freaked out and they can be lighing fast swimmers. Finaly caught him and transfered him to another little 25 litre tank. He never recoverd, the whole ordeal cause to much stress for him. He got depressed in his new home only was in hidding and still when i aproached the tank he freaked out. One day he comited suicide, maybe the cat approaching the tank and he jumped. a 25 litre tank is way to small for a freaked out puffer. They are so fast swims 40 cm in 0.1 second bumping into a glass panel and out of the tank. :(

As small as they are they absolutely need an aquarium size as big as their personality.. Master puffy developed a personality to big for 110 litre. :) At least 110 litre with tank mates. If i kept him in this tank and moved all other out, he might still be living today.

Started out with 3 pea puffers in that tank and they strarted fighting over terirtory.. One puffer didn't survive this fight. Than the 2 left decided not only fight among eachother but also fight everything else coming close. I transfered the subdominand puffer first to a new tank, same story he got frustrated and commited suicide by jump. Then i had to move the 3th and last i ever had.

You read a lot of misleading succes stories about pea puffers on the net, making it look easy. I guess the horror stories such i experienced with them are commonly rather hushed. Most people don't like to share failures and mistakes. Sharing a succes doesnt recieve critics only compliments, than you make friends. Sharing a loss you might recieve critics in all flavors, no compliments and likely less friends.

Anyway, the pea puffer is to big for this hobby.. With all respect to the ones who did it right from the start and or maybe got lucky. :thumbup:
 
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