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Single pea puffer in a 5g?


Kirsten
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Hi everyone!

Thanks to the pandemic I am falling hard into the hobby. Got my first tank since childhood a few months ago, a 10g hydroponic set-up from amazon and boy howdy was it a crash education, but things seem to be going well with my betta and nerites and I'm already thinking about my next tank.

I'd love to have a desktop aquarium to keep me company in my now indefinite work-from-home office and Cory's review and mods for the Marineland Portrait 5g totally sold me. He mentioned that it could be a good home for a single dwarf puffer, and has otherwise talked about keeping a single one in a 5g tank being a good option. So I'm planning on planting heavily with a sand substrate, cycling that and establishing some malaysian trumpet snails for food, cleanup and aeration (and because I think snails are just really cool in general, and while MTS aren't the most visually appealing, it sounds like they're the only ones that can breed to keep up with a murderous puffer).

But of course after having bought most of my stuff, I'm reading some sources online that they're shoaling and it's cruel and terrible to keep them in groups of less than 6 in a giant, species-only aquarium and I'm feeling a little heartbroken. What do you think? Should I just get another betta + nerites instead?

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On 11/24/2020 at 1:04 PM, Ken Dyer said:

Having kept a single pea puffer in a 5 before I must warn you... They are attention hounds and will be at the glass distracting you constantly and making it hard to get any work done. So brace yourself for the cuteness! 

Mine was the opposite. Tank all to himself? Shy. Possibly dead or missing. Emerging rarely and hatefully. 
 

Community tank full of live breeders? Zooms everywhere happy as can be. Turns out he needed some dithers. So YMMV depending on the fish! 

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I know there are some people that keep them in small groups like that.  My son has 2 in a 14 gallon, and I have 6 in a 20 gallon.  The 6 are so much more active and busy and just seem happy.. the 2 on their own just seem depressed.  I've read they shoal in the wild, and watching the behavior in the 20 gallon, I believe its true.  

So while a single might be okay in a 5 gallon, I'm not sure its the best life compared to the other ways.  

I know Cory's articles state 1 is fine in a 5 gallon, and I'm not contradicting it, just stating my experience.

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