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Pea Puffer Fish Care Guide

Pea puffer Fishes are one of the most unusual species that may be kept in a tiny aquarium. They’re recognized for their chopper-like mobility, autonomously moving eyes, and, of course, the capacity to inflate like a miniature water balloon.

We answer your most often asked questions about these fascinating, small creatures in this practical care guide.

What Is a Pea Puffer Fish?

Carinotetraodon travancoricus, also known as the pea puffer, Indian dwarf puffer, Malabar puffer, and pygmy puffer, is the world’s tiniest pea puffer fish, native to entirely freshwater settings in India’s southwest.

Pea Puffer Fish Care Guide

They only grow to be one inch long and cost anything from $3 to $15 at your local fish store (usually not available at pet store chains). When picking a pet puffer, choose one that is healthy and has a pleasantly rounded belly. It’s also a good idea to inquire about what the fish store personnel feed the puffers, as they can be picky eaters.

Most pea puffer fishes are now captive-bred, however, wild-caught pea puffers may require supplementary deworming medicine. Thousands of pea puffers have been treated with our quarantine drug trio as prophylactic treatment with no negative side effects.

Do Pea Puffer Fishes Puff Up?

Yes. It’s a rare occurrence, but you can catch your pufferfish puffing up as a defensive mechanism or for practice. Pufferfish puff up by sucking up water in order to expand their bulk and deter predators. If left alone, it will eventually shrink back to its original size.

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Please do not purposefully stress your pet in order to “make” it inflate. Instead, you can look at photographs and videos on the internet to get a sense of what it looks like. Also, instead of using a net to transfer or transport your pea puffer fish, use a cup or small container to keep the fish submerged in water at all times and avoid accidentally sucking in the air.

In a 10-gallon tank, how many pea puffers can you have?

Because pea puffers are territorial, many people have had great luck keeping only one pea puffer in a five-gallon tank. If you want to keep more than one puffer, offer five gallons of water for the first one and three gallons of water for each additional puffer.

In other words, you can keep three puffers in a 10-gallon tank and six to seven puffers in a 20-gallon tank, but how effectively you set up their environment will determine how successful you are. Expect a pufferfish battle zone if the tank is mostly bare with little shelter. You might be able to fit three puffers in a 10-gallon aquarium if you have a lush, thickly planted tank.

Of course, a larger aquarium is preferable. More water volume allows for more waste dilution (because bad water quality can be harmful to your puffer’s health) and more space for puffers to avoid each other. Furthermore, having one male for every two to three females reduces hostility, yet most pea puffers are sold as adolescents, making sex difficult.

If you bought three juvenile puffers and ended up with one female and two males, you may need to rehome at least one male to avoid fighting.

What Is the Difference Between a Male and a Female Pea Puffer Fish?

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Males have darker coloring with a stripe or dot on their belly, which can be difficult to distinguish. Their bodies are slimmer, and they have a more aggressive demeanor in general. Females, on the other hand, have a golden belly and are generally more fat.

Do Pea Puffers Need a Heater?

If your room temperature is below this range or fluctuates a lot, you’ll need an Aquarium Heater. They thrive in stable, tropical temperatures between 74 and 82°F.

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Other tank parameters have been kept at pH values ranging from 6.5 to 8.4. A pH range of 7.2 to 7.5 is excellent, but rather than aiming for a specific figure, it’s more vital to keep the pH values steady. You should also use a mild filter with a slower flow rate because they aren’t the fastest swimmers.

What Do Pea Puffer Fish Eat?

Frozen foods (such as frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp) and live foods are best for these tough carnivores (like little pest snails or blackworms). They usually won’t eat dry meals, but we’ve had good results with Hikari Vibra Bites, which resemble bloodworms and even move as they sink.

Most larger pufferfish require hard, crunchy meals to grind down their constantly expanding teeth, but pea puffers do not.

As a result, it’s not a deal-breaker if you can’t get your hands on live snails. Simply feed a variety of frozen foods to ensure that they obtain all of the critical nutrients they require to live a long and healthy life.

Is it possible for Pea Puffers to live with other fish?

This is one of the most often asked questions regarding pea puffer fishes, and it’s a tough one to answer. Some puffers are shy, but the majority are aggressive and territorial.

Consider having a dog that is prone to fighting. Any other dog or pet you bring home will almost certainly be attacked. If they don’t, that’s fine, but it might not be worth the trouble of finding a roommate for your dog if you know the chances of friendship are slim.

If you wish to keep pea puffer fishes, make sure you buy them expecting to maintain them in a species-only aquarium with no other fish. You won’t be able to add any algae eaters or clean-up crews, which means you’ll have to conduct more tank care yourself.

Pea puffers can be untidy, especially if they don’t capture all of the food that falls into the water, therefore using real aquarium plants to assist absorb the hazardous waste components would be advantageous. A well-balanced, thickly planted tank, in its ideal state, has very minimal algae growth and provides a lovely underwater jungle for your little helicopter fish to explore.

Are Pea Puffers Safe to Have as Pets?

We normally don’t recommend this unusual species to first-time fish keepers because it is more of an intermediate-level fish. They have specific dietary needs and do not get along with the other fish in the population.

Pea puffer fish, on the other hand, are very curious, have distinct looks and habits, and can even learn to know you as their owner. Try a pea puffer fish if you’re searching for an awesome water pet that can live on your desk or kitchen table. You won’t be disappointed!

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