A typical freshwater puffer tank should contain many sight barriers and caves for territorial puffers to hide. In a freshwater tank, this can be accomplished through stones or roots. Every kind of stone is usable. Also very calcareous stones are not harmful; they are rather desired, since puffers favour hard water.
Very approved is slate, because puffers use most of its flat edges for biting. This helps, next to regularly snail feeding, to keep the teeth short.
Attention: Feeding snails cannot be abdicated! It is just a complement. So, it is recommended to use slate as a part of the tank‚€˜s stone equipment.
Wood, beside stones, is a fitting tank equipment. It is advantageous to place the roots so that they build territory borders and caves (with other roots or stones).
The root‚€˜s submission of dyestuffs into the water is no problem for the common freshwater puffer breeds. A few types of roots need to be watered a few weeks before they are put into the tank (a usual method).
Next to roots, it is also possible to hang thin branches into a tank. This can look very beautiful and animate some puffers to bite into them.
In our Tetraodon Miurus tank, the branches had to be changed every few months, because they crunched them with their teeth. This can also help to keep fishes` teeth short.
The planting of a freshwater puffer tank is a bit problematic. Many puffers tend to crunch plants with their teeth. One puffer rarely destroys plants; others cannot be kept together with plants without demolishing them after some time. Biting into plants does not seem to be an ingestion of food, but rather the urge of biting things. Next to this, some puffers seem to structure their territory in this way.
It attracted my attention that our Tetraodon palembangensis does not accept any plants at specific places near its caves, but tolerated them in the rest of its tank.
Due to this urge, it is advisable to choose plants, which do attract puffers less. It seems that plants with small or no stems do not animate puffers to bite into them.
We have made good experiences with Java-moss, Java-brake, and Congo-brake (these three plants are growing very well on decorations like wood or stones). Thereby they grow higher and do not attract puffers, which stay in the lower part of the tank. Different Vallisnerien varieties are also possible.
Swimming plants seem to be uninteresting for puffers and they are useful for puffers that destroy all other plants.
Some puffer genera (especially carnivore puffers) bury themselves. They need sand as aquarium substrate. Here the plants should be put onto the decorations to avoid a perpetual digging up.