Max Size: 3.5cm

Dwarf Pufferfish (Carinotetraodon Travancoricus)

The Dwarf Pufferfish is one of the cutest freshwater species and the smallest Pufferfish in the aquarium hobby, and more hobbyists are starting to consider getting them.

Caring for these fish is easy once you know what you are doing, and their dynamic behaviour makes them interesting to observe.

But don't let the cuteness deceive you, Pea puffers are very feisty and sometimes aggressive, they have no issue in fighting with other species or each other. It's essential to give them enough space to feel comfortable and stay away from other fish.

Their bodies are relatively thick and dense looking. The front is slightly pointed at the mouth and gets most abundant near the middle of their bodies. When you reach their dorsal fin, their body gets thinner and stays about the same size through the whole of their caudal peduncle.

Dwarf pea puffers have tiny and modest translucent fins, creating an adorable effect that makes it look like these fat little bodies are being moved around by nonexistent fins.

Their dorsal fins are two-thirds down on their bodies, and their pectoral fins are pretty much right in the middle of their primary area of the mass. All of these fins are the same size.

They also have an impressive-looking caudal fin and caudal peduncle, and because it's quite clear and moderate in size, it can be hard to notice when you are watching these fish, making you think that they are swimming around with nothing.

Dwarf Pufferfish have a greeny-yellow body that extends all over, and they display dark spots that are spaced out consistently; however, they do not have these spots on their underbelly.

This species also has that classic pufferfish face with large eyes and an open rectangular-shaped mouth.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameCarinotetraodon Travancoricus
Other NamesThe Pea Puffer, Pea Puffer Fish, Pygmy Pufferfish, Dwarf Pea Puffer, Malabar Pufferfish, Indi
Order Tetraodontiformes
Aquarium LevelMiddle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan4 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 25
KH4 - 10
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Dwarf Pufferfish

Dwarf Pufferfish
Pea Pufferfish
Pea Pufferfish
Dwarf Pufferfish
Pea Puffer
Pea Puffer
Pea Puffer

Natural Habitat

The Dwarf Pufferfish is endemic to Southern Karnataka and Kerala in the Western Ghats of Peninsular India, as well as Lake Vembanad and Chalakudy River.

They inhabit slow-flowing areas of still lakes and rivers where there is plenty of plant life to shelter them from the flow of the water as well as predation. It is in these heavily planted areas where these intelligent little hunters do the majority of their feeding as well as their breeding.

What to feed the Dwarf Pufferfish

Dwarf Pufferfish will need protein-rich food with a good variety. You won't get away with just feeding them flakes and pellets.

Live and frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworm, mosquito larvae and tubifex are perfect as this will provide them with protein and nutrients they need, they serve as a great source of enrichment as well.

How to sex the Dwarf Pufferfish

It can be slightly tricky to differentiate a male from a female.

Males tend to have a darker colouration with a dot or stripe on their belly, their bodies are more slender, and they display more aggressive behaviour in general.

In contrast, females are much plumper, slightly larger and have a yellow stomach.

How to breed the Dwarf Pufferfish

The breeding process for dwarf pea puffers is something anyone can do as long as you have the appropriate means and knowledge.

Dwarf Pufferfish can be bred in a community tank but for the best results, having a separate breeding tank would be better.

Their tank will need to be heavily planted, and the temperature needs to be increased by a few degrees compared to their average temperature.

Dwarf Pufferfish are often plant-spawners, laying eggs in plants, so when they are ready to breed, the male will follow the female into a planted area of the aquarium where he will fertilize the eggs.

After spawning, you will need to remove the parents to avoid them eating their eggs. The fry will hatch out of their eggs around 2-5 days later, once the fry has completely absorbed their egg yolk 2-3 days after that they will then become free-swimming.

Other Pufferfish of interest

Green Spotted Pufferfish(Tetraodon Nigroviridis)
Mbu Pufferfish(Tetraodon mbu)
Date Added: 26/08/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 16:54:22