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The self designed 43 breeder puffer breeding tank

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My custom built "43 breeder" puffer tank 1.0 is now installed after I picked it up from an excellent custom acrylic sump builder near denver Colorado. I'd say that is aquarium related and will not name the builder here based off forum rules.

I am sharing that more because that was surprisingly difficult to find a builder and I would have spent around 25% more buying materials and proper equipment to get my result below the level he did. 

This is what I sent him to start I subsequently shortened it to 12" tall because I did not need that extra volume or weight for my very specific use of this


Here is the empty tank as soon as I brought it to the fishroom. This is pretty much exactly what my brain dreamed up with improvements we decided on during the build. The dividers allow for a filter and cave in each section. With either a 9.31"x23"x12", 18.62"x23"x12", 27.93"x23"x12", or a 37.25"x23"x12" chamber based off of how I use or leave out the dividers 


Black acrylic sides. bottom, back, and top clear acrylic front

Top insertable dividers are reversible : holes up so flow between chambers can be limited, holes down to allow for flow the length of the bottom. 


Center divider reversed to show the holes blocked by the topsupport


I am using 4 sections of 1/4" double wall polycarbonate for the top and eventually the coop lights for the illumination. Currently I have a fluval aquasky on 15% power for the tank. The led shop lights initially used were a bit to bright for the puffers in this set up. 

The trial and error phase of puffer tank testers

I put a couple 1 year old palustris in to test out the tank. I quickly found thst the new and smooth black acrylic is not enjoyable to them due to the reflection in the bottom panel. I expect a bit of surface algae growth will mitigate that eventually. Those trails in the base are a puffer chin surfing it


Fast forward 15 minutes to a 1/8" layer of pool filter sand and colors revert to calm and exploring began


The current draft set up. Note the larger clay pot cave fits between the two dividers to allow me to breed bigger cave spawners like hairy puffers pao baileyi and seperate as needed. Two 100 watt coop heaters one back left and one back right .

My plan for the filtration is currently the sicce  since it has magnets to mount internal to each chamber and adjustible flow but the old school box filter with polyfil and crushed coral is tough to improve on 



Added two more F1 palustris to the group today bringing my total to 4. This pattern was too nice to not share here. It's not spawning pattern or normal coloration so it may just be a high alert display.  They are about as amazing a fish as I've ever had the pleasure to learn from. This photo and the one below it may be the same individual but demonstrate some of the variations in color and patter the palustris shows even when not spawning.




My options are 

1. To breed my 3 adult wild caught pao cf palustris in this tank longer term

2. To grow this batch of F1 palustris and divide them into pairs trios etc as needed with the dividers

3. To move my adult hairy puffers into here and try and get spawning in the center large cave

4. To work on spotted congos (if I get a pair) in one section and palustris in the other section

I'm not sure which I prefer to work on in this tank first and in which layout. I've giving myself a few options with this build and now I'm conflicted where to start.  Anyone have any suggestions of species in which layout to breed first? 




Edited by mountaintoppufferkeeper
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Very cool!  And so many choices!  Sleep on it and you’ll probably know your answer.  Let the hind brain percolate for a bit.

But those little chin trails!  Who knew that puffers would make tiny, cute chin trails?  Adorable but they do look happier with that dab of sand.

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