Maximum size : 5 cm

Striped Red Eye Pufferfish - Carinotetraodon salivator : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Striped Red Eye Pufferfish (Carinotetraodon salivator), regarded as the most elusive import among the Carinotetraodon puffers, showcases remarkable visual appeal, particularly when males exhibit their intricate and captivating displays. These highly sought-after puffers are occasionally obtainable through specialized aquarium establishments. Given their rarity and desirability, they often command a premium price.

While demonstrating comparatively less aggression than certain other puffer species, it is advisable to house Striped Red Eye Pufferfish alongside peaceful, schooling cyprinids that are of adequate size to avoid predation yet not overly large to pose compatibility concerns. Although these puffers exhibit loosely gregarious behaviour, especially males, territorial tendencies can be observed. Nevertheless, maintaining a harmonious group is possible by providing ample hiding places and sufficient space within the aquarium.

To ensure an ideal habitat for the Striped Red Eye Pufferfish, a well-ornamented aquarium is recommended, incorporating elements such as driftwood roots, branches, and an abundance of aquatic plants, including floating varieties that provide shaded areas. The addition of dried leaf litter further enhances the natural ambience. Adequate water movement is also appreciated by these puffers. However, it is crucial to maintain stable water conditions due to their sensitivity, necessitating regular small-scale water changes.

Males of the Striped Red Eye Pufferfish exhibit distinct characteristics, including a translucent dorsal fin adorned with a black spot. Their pectoral and anal fins also possess a translucent quality, while the caudal fin displays a reddish hue. Additionally, a barred colour pattern is observable on their throat, and lines adorn their body. In contrast, females feature a cream-coloured ventral surface adorned with continuous black stripes and 7 to 8 bars on their caudal fin.

Striped Red Eye Pufferfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Striped Red Eye Pufferfish is a relatively straightforward task. Males of this species exhibit more pronounced and vibrant colouration compared to their female counterparts. Furthermore, males tend to be larger in size. Notably, during threat displays and courtship behaviours, adult males elevate their dorsal and ventral keels, which are distinctive features on their bodies. In contrast, females typically display a lighter-coloured belly with a mottled appearance.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCarinotetraodon salivator
Year Described1995
Other NamesNone
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asLoners
Diet & FeedingCarnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.0 - 8.0
GH 5 - 12
TDS 18 - 215
Ideal Temperature
75 - 82
23 - 27

Natural Habitat

Striped Red Eye Pufferfish has been documented exclusively in select regions of Southeast Asia, specifically in Sarawak and Malaysia. Their distribution is limited to the Lupar, Sarawak, and Rajang River systems. Within these habitats, Striped Red Eye Pufferfish exhibit specific preferences. They are often found in large, fast-flowing streams adorned with submerged logs, silty and sandy bottoms, and an abundance of leaf litter. These elements contribute to their ideal habitat, providing essential shelter, natural substrate, and environmental conditions in line with their natural habitat requirements.


The successful captive breeding of Striped Red Eye Pufferfish remains undocumented; however, it is highly probable that their reproductive behaviour follows a pattern similar to that of their congeners. After several days of the male displaying to the female, the female prepares to spawn by scattering her eggs onto the substrate. Subsequently, the male assumes responsibility for the brood, while the female is compelled to vacate the spawning site. Approximately three days later, the eggs should hatch, and the fry will gain the ability to swim independently within a couple of days. At this stage, nourishing the fry with Infusoria as their primary food source is recommended, followed by the introduction of newly hatched brine shrimp as they continue to grow.

Diet & feeding

Striped Red Eye Pufferfish possess a unique adaptation in which their jawbones are modified into four fused toothlike structures instead of traditional teeth. These specialized structures exhibit continuous growth, necessitating regular consumption of shelled invertebrates to maintain appropriate length. Suitable food sources for this purpose include snails, crab legs, cockles, and mussels. In addition to shelled invertebrates, incorporating chopped shellfish, prawns, small earthworms, and live or frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms as supplemental foods is recommended. While dried products like pellets and wafers can be included in their diet, it is important to note that these should not constitute the primary food source for these fish.

Other Pufferfish of interest