Pea Puffer Pufferfish
Puppy dog faces, cuteness overload but don't be fooled by these little guys... what they lack in size they gain courage and attitude. Puffers never stop begging for food even when there's plenty sat on the floor of the tank! When keeping Pea Puffer Pufferfish you will need to be mindful on food waste to prevent a build-up of ammonia and nitrite, and make an effort to keep the tanks immaculate with frequent water changes (30-50% water). Pea puffers enjoy a variety of foods, but fresh frozen or live bloodworm is often given as a staple. Do not attempt to feed dry food such as granules or fish flake, as most Pea Puffer Pufferfish will reject them.
Pea Puffer Pufferfish like to explore their environment, so an aquarium with plenty of hiding places, nooks and crannies will keep them occupied. Pea Puffers thrive in heavily planted tanks that offer the fish plenty of areas to hide, with lots of visual barriers to break up large and open spaces. Pea Puffers are prey animals and they do not enjoy feeling too exposed. A landscape that offers hiding spaces will help Pea Puffer feel safe and secure, which will encourage them to be more active throughout the aquarium. Aquarium soils and plant substrates can be used, but it must ideally be capped with at least 1.5cm of fine sand. Pea Puffer Pufferfish prefer a sandy base.
Are Pea Puffers territorial fish?
Pea puffers like to dig and can be somewhat territorial. So the more plants and hiding spaces you have in the aquarium, the better. Male Pea Puffer Fish can be quite territorial and aggressive towards each, which can be negated by keeping a lone male, or with several females. Most aquarists choose to keep their Pea Puffers in species-only aquariums to avoid the risk.
Are Pea Puffers hard to keep in an aquarium?
An experienced aquarist will know that Pea Puffers need a little bit more attention than the average tropical fish. The aquarium water quality must be optimum, and care must be taken to ensure they are feeding. Hand-feeding bloodworm using tweezers is advised, to ensure they are feeding and get them used to regular feeding times. Clearing any uneaten food is essential to avoid ammonia spikes. It is not uncommon for fish keepers to encounter some difficulty keeping Pea Puffer fish.
What other names are Pea Puffer Pufferfish known as?
Pea Puffers species, Carinotetraodon travancoricus, are also commonly known as Dwarf Indian puffers, Pygmy puffer fish, Malabar puffer and Kerala Puffers.
Yes, Pea Puffers eat snails, and will do so readily and frequently. Many aquarists will harvest pest snails to keep their pet pufferfish fed, they believe that the shells are good for keeping the beak sharp, but often the shells are discarded. It is not recommended to house pea puffer's with ornamental snails or shrimp.
Maximum size: 1.5" / 4cm
Origin: Kerala and southern Karnataka in Southwest India
Binomial name: Carinotetraodon travancoricus
Temperament: Semi-aggressive with predatory tendencies, beaked nippers
Lighting requirement: Moderate - bright lights suddenly coming on can startle and cause stress. You can help reduce this by heavily planting the tank.
Ideal number kept together: 1 (male) or 3+ (with more females)
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 25°C
Ideal pH: 7.0 - 8.0
Water flow: low, gentle
Ideal temperature: 22-27°C
Ease of care
Moderate to difficult. A well-maintained species-only tank of at least 45 litres volume with optimum water conditions is ideal. Care must be taken to ensure proper feeding.
Almost any small, meaty frozen food will be accepted. Bloodworms, glass worms, black mosquito larvae and krill all make good staples, also chopped seafood such as squid and mussel. Fish flake and dry foods will likely be ignored.
Egg layers. Hard to sex as the male and female look very similar, so separating a pair for the breeding process is not simple. The best way to get a pair of this fish is by buying a group of Freshwater Blue Neon goby and letting them pair up on their own. The male fish has a slightly darker shade of blue colour in its body than females.
Pea Puffer Pufferfish can live 3-2 years in perfect conditions.
Photo credit(s): Getty Images (1,2) Jasleen K (3) from Fife.
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