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Interest In Amazon Puffers, Have A Laundry List Of Questions


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Hi everyone!


New to the Aquarium Coop forum, but I just watched the latest video on YouTube about centerpiece fish, and Zenzo recommended Amazon puffers as a centerpiece fish for a 55-75 gallon tank. Just had a few questions I could only find partial answers online for.


  • Are they truly a puffer that can go full fresh water without any problems? Or will it cut their lifespan in half going full fresh?
  • I could only find generic descriptions of good tank mates. No long fins, fast, etc. I assumed rummynose tetras would be great, but aqadvisor (admittedly not a great source) says rummynose tetras aren't a good tank mate for them. I was thinking rummynose tetras, silvertip tetras, Corey mentioned blue eyed rasboras in a life stream I wanna check out too (did he mean emerald eyed rasboras?) And as a wild card some german blue rams. I'd need to find something that can control the algae as well without the puffers harassing them too much. I was thinking cories are fun but I'm not sure they'd do well if I had puffers.
  • Pufferfishenthusiastsworldwide had a care sheet that claimed if you feed your puffer high quality pellets in addition to snails, you shouldn't ever have to manually trim any beaks (is this true?). The pellets they recommend are in Europe. What are some high quality pellets I can get in the US without importing that would help sand down their beaks?
  • I'd like to have 6 of them or so (125 gallon, medium planted tank), but I have no idea how I can mass produce enough snails to keep up with that many. Anyone know of some good tips on how to make way too many snails? Only snails Ive got are the snails that come on aquarium coop plants.
  • I've read they require low nitrates, but in my experience, Corey is spot on with the nitrates don't matter until they get insanely high idea. Would I really need to change 50% of my water weekly, or is that just internet noise?
  • Assuming I'm satisfied with the answers to all of the above, what would the best order be to add the puffers in? First, last, or somewhere between groups of fish? Ill plan on quarantining them in a smaller tank for 6-12 weeks and getting rid of parasites, so it'll take a bit of planning on the timing.
  • How sensitive are amazon puffers? Am I able to leave on vacation for 2 weeks without feeding and come back with 0 casualties, or is this a fish I would need to baby?

Tl;dr: I've got a 125 gallon tank, thinking of throwing 6 Amazon puffers in, and am trying to make an informed decision on whether I should do it or not.

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Hey there,

Welcome to the forum.

There are some helpful puffer keepers in the forum but they have written very long paragraphs before for many similar topics and have some journals of theirs, so I don't wanna tag them again. I would encourage some searching from the bar, you will surely find lots of great info and pics. You may just go with the word "puffer" and will have plenty of results! Even deworming, tankmates, breeding. Yo ucan find all of those

Hope you can find anything helpful

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I had gone through everything matching "Amazon puffer" all the way back to March 2021 on the forum and then had to jump back to work, but I'll keep going back once I'm home. Thanks for the welcome and suggestion!

Edited by Rezeki
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I have kept a few Amazon Puffers and currently have one in a community tank. Amazon puffers are one of my favorite fish of all time.  I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability/experience.

Amazon Puffers are true freshwater, mine is at roughly 6.8-7.0 pH and around 200 tds

I always kept mine in a community tanks with a variety of fish.  My current Amazon puffer is in a 75 with Neons, Angels, Plecos, Cory’s, guppies, and Nannacara Anomala(peaceful dwarf cichlid.  I never observed my Amazons bothering any other fish. 

For feeding all my Amazons had different personalities.  Vibra bites were the staple for mine.  I also had them bite into algae wafers and a variety of different pellets.  I believe that keeping them with other fish helps with them taking prepared foods, monkey see, monkey do.  I had one in the past that was tong trained with freeze dried krill.  I also tong trained that one with meal worms.  I learned the hard way with the meal worms.  Meal worms bite.  That particular puffer got bit in the chin by a meal worm and passed from an infection.  Cut the heads off the meal worms before feeding.  

6 in a 125 should be fine. I had a group of 5 in a 65g with no issues. For snails a 10g tank or even a 5g bucket with a sponge filter and heavy feeding will produce plenty of snails.  Most “pest snail” explosions are from over feeding. When feeding snails to puffers don’t add too may,  I think they kill snails for fun and that could add bio load to the tank. A scud culture is worthwhile with Amazons especially young ones.

As far as water changes go that will depend on the rest of your stocking and filtration.  Every tank processes nitrates a little differently.  I probably do 50% per month on my 75g.

I don’t think stocking order will matter all that much.  Although all my Amazons I had in the past were added to established tanks but new fish were added after the puffers. Definitely QT the puffers.  They always come in rough. Look for fish that have “full” bellies.  Get them eating good before hitting them with meds.

2 weeks may be OK in an established tank with plants.  The puffers should be fine with snails, the other fish depending on what you choose maybe not.  I frequently travel for work and my fish are fine.  I feed them a little heavy 1-2 days before I leave and again when I get back.  I am only gone Mon-Fri.  

I hope this helps.


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I’ve had red eye red tails and pea puffers and my wife and I have nearly pulled the trigger on Amazons a few times. 
My last plan to have them was actually for a 90-125, festivums, angels, Colombian tetras and 6 amanzon puffers with a big pack of Cory’s. wife rightly got cold feet and well I’m happy with my 45 g and 60 g. Anyway….

Puffers especially the toothed ones do indeed need foods that can wear down their teeth. Agree with @Dan_Cthat Vibrabites are great - I mixed mine with bloodworms and then fed them alone after 2 x. I’ve also mixed crushed oyster shell in Repashy and that’s worked for some - Dan’s Fish has a video on this. I’d set up 2 tanks for snails. If there’s a local club in your area someone has a snail tank and you can get a head start. I’d start a couple months ahead of getting them - as stated a 5-10 g with good filtration some plants and lots of over feeding will get you snails. They’ll eat krill as well as meal worms. Variety is important because I’ve run into situations where some puffers will get in a rut and only eat 1-2 foods. Usually it’s been my fault been busy and gone to the well too many times. 

Have fun they are great fish!


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