I don't want to put these two together, just to clear that up. I was wondering what fish are compatible with those species, especially the puffers since there's already a topic on betas. I'd like to get a tank with maybe a bottom-feeder and then a regular fish that can't normally be kept in a community, yet tolerates some species.
Dwarf puffers (and any other puffers) are best kept in a species tank. They can nip other fish's fins. Try feeding the puffers with bloodworms and snails. Make sure the snails are small for them to eat.
For bettas, it's best to keep them in a tank where there are no fin nippers.
That's not entirely true. Otocinclus (aka Otos) can successfully be kept with a dwarf puffer. If the tank is heavily planted/decorated then plecos will do ok, and sometimes even ghost shrimp. Alot of the possibilities depend on the personality of the fish.
Otos can be kept with puffers but the possibility of them being nipped by puffers is still quite high. As long as you provide several plants, the otos won't be harmed too easily.
Besides the tank is still starting so no otos should be kept until the tank is established for 3 months or more.
And again, the smaller the tank, otos should never be kept with puffers. Best to keep them together in a larger tank(preferably 30 gallons).
*Brie, I'm talking about the 10 gallons tank GuppyGirl is starting. As far as I am concern, I wouldn't mix otos with puffers in that size of tank.
OK, now I know this is weird, but I have a dwarf puffer that lives with our other fish--rams, loaches, cat, rasboras, otos, in a 29 gallon tank. No fin nipping at all so far. He gets two regular meals a day of brine shrimp so he is well fed. This seems to be unusual.
So a single dwarf puffer and a trio of ottos in a heavily planted 10 gallon would be a bad idea? I do have a bail out solution for the ottos if things go sour. I've got the tank cycling with feeder guppies at the moment, and I am holding off on the bulk of the planting waiting for the java moss to grow up through the cross stitch grids I have it under for a lawn.
I figure, once the moss lawn is looking good under 1.5 wpg the guppies will have been in there three months and it'll be time to plant some other foliage - A couple of crypts, some Brazilian pennywort, maybe some bacopa or cabomba. I was going to take out most of the guppies, leaving two big females and replace them with 5 ottos (since I haven't always had the best luck in keeping them alive).
If the ottos are still all there 3 months later, 2 go to the bail out tank with the rest of my ottos, the guppies go back in the guppy tank, and I add one dwarf puffer.