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Maximum size : 3.5 cm

Dwarf Pufferfish - Carinotetraodon Travancoricus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Dwarf Pufferfish, (Carinotetraodon Travancoricus) is one of the cutest freshwater species and the smallest Pufferfish in the aquarium hobby, and more hobbyists are starting to consider getting them. \r\nCaring for these fish is easy once you know what you are doing, and their dynamic behaviour makes them interesting to observe. However, don 't let the cuteness deceive you, Pea puffers are very feisty and sometimes aggressive. When Dwarf Pufferfish are first introduced to their new environment, they tend to form loose shoals as they explore their surroundings. However, after a few days of acclimatising, the males may become more territorial and start defending their space. Although not excessively territorial, they will engage in frequent chasing, but thankfully, it 's rare for them to inflict serious damage on each other. Watching these Pufferfish zoom mischievously about their aquarium is a pure delight, but it 's important to note that they are not suitable tankmates for other fish species. Pygmy Puffers have a reputation for being aggressive and may view other fish as potential prey or territorial rivals. Dwarf Pufferfish are a fascinating addition to any aquarium due to their adaptability and low-maintenance requirements. Unlike many Asian puffers, they do not require brackish water and are not picky when it comes to water chemistry. However, maintaining optimal water conditions is still necessary for their health and well-being. Creating a lush, planted environment for these fish can not only enhance the aesthetic of the aquarium but also provide an ample amount of hiding spots for these inquisitive fish to explore. This will also help them to avoid potential territorial conflicts and establish a sense of security in their new surroundings. Furthermore, the presence of plants can be beneficial in maintaining water quality and balance, contributing to a healthier environment for both the Dwarf Puffers and any other species that may be housed with them. The physical appearance of Dwarf Pufferfish is unique and fascinating, with their thick and dense bodies tapering towards a slightly pointed mouth. The dorsal fin is positioned two-thirds down their body, while the pectoral fins are located in the middle of their primary mass, with all fins being of equal size. Their modest, translucent fins give the impression of these chubby little fish moving without any visible means of propulsion. Dwarf Pufferfish have an impressive-looking caudal fin and peduncle, which is moderate in size and can be easily missed when observing them. The fish 's body is characterized by a greeny-yellow hue that extends throughout, accompanied by evenly spaced dark spots, except for the underbelly. They possess the quintessential pufferfish features of large eyes and a rectangular-shaped mouth. Overall, these captivating little fish make for an enjoyable and low-maintenance addition to any aquarium, and with the right conditions, they can thrive and provide endless entertainment for their owners.

Dwarf Pufferfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sex of a Dwarf Pufferfish can prove to be a challenge, as the differences between males and females are subtle. Males typically exhibit a darker coloration, with a distinguishing dot or stripe adorning their belly. In addition, males possess a more streamlined body shape and demonstrate heightened aggression levels. On the other hand, females boast a more rotund body, are slightly larger in size, and display a yellow hue on their stomach. Careful observation and discernment of these characteristics can assist in accurately identifying the sex of this species.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCarinotetraodon Travancoricus
Year Described1941
Other NamesThe Pea Puffer, Pea Puffer Fish, Pygmy Pufferfish, Dwarf Pea Puffer, Malabar Pufferfish, Indi
Max Size3.5 cm
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

Natural habitat

Dwarf Pufferfish are endemic to Southern Karnataka and Kerala in the Western Ghats of Peninsular India, as well as Lake Vembanad and Chalakudy River. In their natural environment, Dwarf Pufferfish prefer the slow-flowing areas of still lakes and rivers where plant life offers shelter from the water 's flow and predators. It is within these heavily planted areas where these intelligent little hunters spend the majority of their time feeding and breeding. Watching these clever little creatures hunt and breed in their natural habitat is a truly rewarding experience. Recreating the perfect environment for Dwarf Pufferfish in your home aquarium requires a bit of effort, but the results are well worth it. With their playful personalities and stunning colours, Dwarf Pufferfish are an excellent addition to any aquatic community. So why not join us on a journey to India 's Western Ghats and discover the wonders of Dwarf Pufferfish for yourself?

How to breed the Dwarf Pufferfish

Breeding Dwarf Pufferfish is a relatively straightforward process, as long as appropriate measures are taken, and knowledge is applied. While it is possible to breed Dwarf Pufferfish in a community tank, a separate breeding tank will provide optimal results. The breeding tank must be densely planted, and the water temperature should be increased by several degrees from the average temperature. As plant-spawners, the Dwarf Pufferfish will lay eggs on the plants, and when ready to breed, the male will follow the female into a planted area where he will fertilize the eggs. After spawning, it is crucial to remove the parents to prevent them from consuming the eggs. The fry will hatch from their eggs within 2-5 days and will be free-swimming within 2-3 days after absorbing their egg yolk.

Diet & feeding

To maintain the health of your Dwarf Pufferfish, it is essential to provide them with a protein-rich and varied diet. Flakes and pellets alone are insufficient to meet their nutritional requirements. A balanced diet for these pufferfish should include live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworm, mosquito larvae, and tubifex. These foods are excellent sources of protein and essential nutrients, and they also offer opportunities for enrichment, which is crucial for the well-being of these active and intelligent fish.

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