Pea puffer with tetras

Pea puffer with tetras DEFAULT

Pea puffers are one of the coolest oddball species you can keep in a smaller-sized aquarium. They’re known for their helicopter-like maneuverability, independently moving eyes, and of course, ability to inflate like a tiny water balloon. In this practical care guide, we answer your most frequently asked questions about these amazing, little creatures.

What Is a Pea Puffer?

Carinotetraodon travancoricus – also known as the pea puffer, Indian dwarf puffer, Malabar puffer, and pygmy puffer – is the smallest pufferfish in the world and comes from fully freshwater environments in the southwestern tip of India. Growing only to one inch long, they’re sold for anywhere from $3 to $15 at your local fish store (usually not available at pet store chains). When choosing your pet puffer, make sure to pick a healthy fish with a nicely rounded belly. It also helps to ask the fish store employees what they feed the puffers since they can be picky eaters.

Nowadays most pea puffers are captive bred, but if they’re wild caught, they may need additional deworming medication. We’ve used our quarantine medication trio as a preventative treatment on thousands of pea puffers with no harmful effects.

Aquarium Co-Op quarantine medication trio

Even though puffers are considered “scaleless” fish, these three medications are proven to be safe for them. Make sure to use the full recommended dosages on them, or else pathogens may survive the treatment.

Do Pea Puffers Puff Up?

Yes. It is rare, but you may catch your pufferfish in act of puffing up as a defensive mechanism or just for practice. Pufferfish puff up by sucking in water to increase their size and discourage would-be predators. If let alone, it will shrink back down to its normal shape in due time.

Please do not deliberately stress out your pet to “make” it inflate. Instead, you can find plenty of pictures and videos online to see what it looks like. Also, if you need to move or transport your pea puffer, it’s best to use a cup or small container (instead of a net) so that the fish remains submerged in water at all times and won’t accidentally suck in air.

How Many Pea Puffers Can You Have in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Given how territorial pea puffers can be, many people have a lot of success keeping just one pea puffer in a five-gallon aquarium by itself. If you want to keep more than one, the general rule of thumb is to provide five gallons of water for the first puffer and three gallons of water for each additional puffer. In other words, it is possible to keep three puffers in a 10-gallon tank and six to seven puffers in a 20-gallon tank, but your rate of success depends on how well you set up their environment. If the tank is mostly bare without a lot of cover, expect to see a pufferfish battle zone. If you have a lush, densely planted aquarium, you might be able to handle three puffers in a 10-gallon space.

Of course, the larger the aquarium, the better. More water volume provides more dilution of waste (since poor water quality can harm your puffer’s health), as well as more space for the puffers to avoid each other. Plus, having a ratio of one male for every two to three females tends to decrease aggression, but most pea puffers are sold as juveniles, which are hard to sex. If you find yourself in a situation where you purchased three young puffers and ended up with one female and two males, you may need to rehome at least one male to minimize the fighting.

group of pea puffers

Up to six or seven pea puffers can be kept in a 20-gallon aquarium (with no other tank mates) if you provide lots of cover in the form of aquarium plants or decorations.

How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Pea Puffer?

It can be a little tricky, but males tend to have deeper coloration with a stripe or dot on their belly. Their bodies are on the slenderer side, and they exhibit more aggressive behavior in general. Females, on the other hand, have a yellow belly and tend to be plumper in shape.

Do Pea Puffers Need a Heater?

They do well in stable, tropical temperatures from 74 to 82°F, so if your room temperature is below this range or tends to fluctuate a lot, you need an aquarium heater. For more information on what size heater is right for you, read our full article here.

In terms of other tank parameters, people have kept them at pH levels of 6.5 to 8.4. A pH range between 7.2 to 7.5 is ideal, but it’s more important to keep the pH levels stable rather than aim for a specific number. Because they’re not the fastest swimmers, you should also use a gentle filter with a slower flow rate.

What Do Pea Puffers Eat?

These hardcore carnivores are best fed on a diet of frozen foods (like frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp) and live foods (like little pest snails or blackworms). They typically will not take dry foods, but we’ve had good luck with Hikari Vibra Bites because they look and even move like bloodworms as they’re sinking.

Most larger pufferfish must be fed hard, crunchy foods to grind down their ever-growing teeth, but thankfully pea puffers don’t have this problem. Therefore, if you can’t get a hold of live snails, it’s not a dealbreaker. Just make sure to feed a wide variety of frozen foods so that they get all the essential nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life.

pea puffer in a planted tank

Frozen bloodworms are a favorite food for pea puffers, but offer them a diverse assortment of foods to ensure they have a well-rounded diet.

Can Pea Puffers Live With Other Fish?

This is one of the most common questions we get about pea puffers, and it’s not an easy one to answer. Some puffers can be a little timid, but most are pretty aggressive and territorial. Think of it like owning a dog that’s prone to fighting. In most cases, any other dog or pet you bring home will probably get attacked. If they don’t, that’s great, but it might not be worth the hassle of finding your dog a roommate when you know the odds of friendship are not likely.

Therefore, if you want to keep pea puffers, buy them with the expectation of keeping them in a species-only aquarium with no other tank mates. This means that you won’t be able to add any algae eaters or clean-up crew, so you’ll have to do more tank maintenance yourself. Pea puffers can be a little messy, especially if they don’t catch every bit of food that falls in the water, so it would be beneficial to use live aquarium plants to help consume the toxic waste compounds. Ideally, a well-balanced, densely planted tank has very little algae growth, and it provides a beautiful underwater jungle for your little helicopter fish to navigate.

Are Pea Puffers Good Pets?

This oddball species is more of an intermediate level fish, so we generally don’t recommend them to first-time fish keepers. They have special dietary requirements and don’t get along with other community fish. That being said, pea puffers are very inquisitive, have unique looks and behaviors, and can even learn to recognize you as their owner. If you’re looking for an amazing water pet that can live on your desk or kitchen counter, try a pea puffer and you won’t regret it!

pea puffer looking at a bloodworm

Pea puffers are very curious fish with excellent eyesight, so you’ll often see them carefully examining everything in their aquarium.

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Dwarf Pea Puffer 101: Care, Tank Mates, Size, And Diet

The pea puffer (aka dwarf pufferfish) could be one of the cutest freshwater species on the planet. We absolutely love how these little creatures look!

And we’re not alone.

More and more aquarists are starting to consider getting a pea puffer. Their popularity has really skyrocketed in recent years!

But their cute appearance isn’t the only reason to consider getting these fish. Caring for them is straightforward once you know what to do, and their active behavior makes them fun to observe.

But if you’re thinking about getting one you’ll need to educate yourself first. Pea puffer care requires you to have a strong understanding of the species if you want them to thrive in your tank.

Fortunately, this guide covers everything you need to know about the dwarf pea puffer. You’ll learn basic care, recommended tank mates, the food they eat, and much more!

Species Summary

The dwarf pea puffer (Carinotetraodon travancoricus) is a freshwater fish that’s native to the Western Ghats of Southwest India. Some of its other common names are the dwarf pufferfish, pea pufferfish, and pygmy pufferfish.

You can find these fish in a series of main rivers and lakes in this region, such as the Chalakudy River and Lake Vembanad. This species is endemic to this region and is seeing a population decline due to overfishing, making it harder and harder to see them in their natural habitat.

While it’s not too late to turn this trend around, it’s definitely worrisome. While we’re not advocating that you hold off purchasing one for yourself, we recommend doing some research into the place you’re buying them from as well.

Author Note: Due to their classification as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List it’s good to be 100% sure you’re ready to care for one before making a purchase. While you should do this with any fish you get, buying a pea puffer you’re not ready for directly impacts the population decline of this species.


The average pea puffer lifespan is 4-5 years. As is the case with any fish, their lifespan relies on a mix of genetics and quality of care.

If you don’t provide them with the quality of care they need, then the chance of them hitting 5 years of age is slim to none. However, if you follow our care recommendations in this guide they will live a long and happy life.


While we’re tempted to describe the look of this fish as “adorable” and leave it at that, we’ll go into details for the sake of being thorough.

The pea puffer has a very unique look that led to the origin of their name. These tiny little fish that look like chunky swimming pea!

A dwarf pufferfish swimming from above

Their bodies are rather thick and dense looking. The front starts off a slightly pointed at the mouth and gets thickest near the middle of their bodies.

Things start to taper down significantly once you reach their dorsal fin. Their body thins out to about half of their max-width and stays about the same size through the entirety of their caudal peduncle.

Dwarf pea puffers have very small and unassuming fins. This is further exaggerated by the fact that they’re mostly translucent.

This creates a cute effect that makes it look like these stocky little bodies are being moved around by almost nonexistent fins! It’s like something out of a cartoon.

Their dorsal fins are about two-thirds of the way back on their bodies and their pectoral fins are pretty much right in the middle of their main area of mass. All of these fins are basically the same size.

Pea puffers also have an interesting looking caudal fin. Since it’s quite clear and modest in size, it can be hard to notice when you’re observing these fish.

This creates a funny look at first glance. 

Because the fin is hard to see and these fish have that long and thin caudal peduncle, it looks like they’re swimming with nothing back there. When they’re moving around dwarf pea puffers can look like a little green droplet! 

As far as their color goes, this body of this species is a yellowish-green that extends all over their body. On top of this you’ll find dark evenly sized spots that are spaced out quite consistently. These spots aren’t present on the underbelly. 

Pea puffers also have that classic pufferfish face with large eyes and an open rectangular-shaped mouth.


The average pea puffer size is around 1 and a half inches in length when fully grown. That’s obviously not very large, which is partially how these fish earned their name!

It’s basically unheard of for these fish to exceed this size no matter how good their care or genetics are. There are anomalies of course, but for the most part they’re pretty consistent. 

Pea Puffer Care

Pea puffer care isn’t that difficult once you have a solid understanding of the species. The biggest challenge you’ll face with this fish is making sure their water and tank requirements are up to par.

Tank Size

The minimum pea puffer tank size is 10 gallons. These are active fish that like to have room to swim and hide. 

If you can manage it and want to give them the best habitat possible, we recommend something closer to 20 or 30 gallons. Going the extra mile and providing them with some extra space will make a big difference in their health and quality of life over the years.

If you plan on keeping more than one pea puffer in your tank, add an additional 5 gallons for each.

Water Parameters

Dwarf pea puffers can be very sensitive to a change in any of the levels in your tank. This means you’re not only going to need to monitor the status of the aquarium but be ready to act if something shifts.

  • Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • pH levels: 7 to 8
  • Water hardness: 5-15 KH

Author Note: Because maintaining consistent levels is so important, we recommend getting a reliable testing kit. This accuracy will give you peace of mind and ensure that your fish are living in a healthy environment.

What To Put In Their Tank

Since these are small fish, you’ll want to make sure that their tank has plenty of places to hide. We recommend having this in mind when planning your tank size and how many fish you want to keep.

Driftwood and rocks can be helpful for giving these fish a spot to get away, but plants are the name of the game. Pea pufferfish come from waters with heavy vegetation and are used to relying on it for safety.

Dwarf pea puffer swimming

If you don’t include enough plants in your tank there’s a strong chance that these fish will experience elevated stress levels (which can impact their health). The reason for this is they’ll always feel exposed and in potential danger.

Plants like hornwort, Java moss, or even some floating aquarium plants that have dangling roots can all help these fish feel safe. Think of plants as the highest priority item when setting up their tank for the first time!

Making sure their substrate is suitable is the other piece of the puzzle. Small gravel or coarse sand are two common recommendations because they’re very plant-friendly. This kind of substrate is conducive to the rooting process and will help your plants grow tall (which your pea puffers will appreciate).

Common Possible Diseases

The dwarf pea puffer doesn’t have a species-specific disease you’ll have to worry about. Instead, you’ll want to follow the recommended guidelines for preventing and looking out for common freshwater illnesses.

The most common disease to be aware of is Ich. If you’ve been in the aquarium scene for long enough then chances are you’ve at least heard of it.

While we’re not going to get into the specifics of the disease itself, it’s not something you want to deal with. It shows as white spots on your fish and can kill them if not treated properly.

Fortunately, you can drastically reduce the chance of Ich (and many other diseases) if you take care of the water quality in your tank. A well-maintained habitat with perfect water is what you should aim for regardless, but this is yet another reason to strive for it.

Author Note: Due to the pea puffer’s sensitivity to shifts in water parameters, it’s reasonable to assume that they might not handle subpar water quality as well as other fish. If you’re planning on getting this species make sure you’re committed to maintaining their habitat!

Food & Diet

Dwarf pea pufferfish are carnivorous and despite their cute appearance, they have quite a fierce appetite! In the wild, these fish mostly ear small insects, larvae, and algae.

In captivity, you’ll need to give them protein-rich food with a good mix of variety. These aren’t fish that you can get away with feeding pellets and flakes.

Frozen and live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, tubifex, and mosquito larvae are perfect. These will give them the nutrients and protein they need, and serve as a great source of enrichment as well.

It’s important to make sure you’re not overfeeding them for the sake of their health. Due to their appetite, it’s quite easy to give these fish too much food. Aim for a two a day feeding schedule.

Another reason why it’s bad to overfeed your pea puffer is the effect the extra food can have on water quality. Uneaten food will settle in the tank and begin to break down. This process will slowly compromise the water in your tank and cause a rise in nitrate and other substances.

Behavior & Temperament

This is one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of pea puffer care. A lot of potential owners think that these fish are likely harmless due to their size and adorable appearance.


Pea puffers are very feisty and aggressive fish who have no issue fighting with other species (or each other). This is why it’s so important to give them enough space to feel comfortable and stay away from other fish.

Cramming them in too close to each other is a recipe for disaster due to their territorial nature. However, when given sufficient room and hiding places this species will regularly be found shoaling.

Pea puffers are also rather active. These fish are quite curious by nature and can’t resist checking out different parts of their tank.

A pea puffer swimming quickly past plants in the tank

You’ll likely see them investigating the substrate, plants, other fish, and even you! This makes them a lot of fun to watch as an owner. There’s never a dull moment!

Pea Puffer Tank Mates

Finding the right pea puffer tank mates is something that many owners struggle with. Their territorial and aggressive nature means you can’t simply pair them with any similarly-sized fish.

The safest bet is to get one dwarf pea pufferfish and keep them alone. This will ensure that there isn’t any fighting and allow you to get away with a smaller tank.

But that’s not very fun, and the fact that these fish like to shoal means they probably appreciate some company.

If you’re going to keep them in a species only tank it’s important to remember two things. The first is that you’ll need to give each fish enough room (an extra 5 gallons per fish). The second is to include plenty of plants in the aquarium so there’s room to hide.

Doing this will help keep these fish from getting on each others nerves and starting to fight. Despite their size, they can do a lot of damage to each other if left unchecked.

If you want to house them with other species then here’s what you need to look for:

Fish should be similar in size and able to get away when needed. Pea puffers are fin nippers and will pester slow fish. Obviously, large fish should be avoided too since they can hurt or eat your dwarf pufferfish.

Here are some pea puffer tank mates that are worth considering:

Author Note: The individual temperament of your puffer will play a role in how reasonable it is to pair them with other species. You’ll learn to understand your fish over time, but if you’re uncertain it’s never a good idea to risk it!


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

For the most part, you’ll be sticking to a lot of the tank guidelines we listed earlier. The main difference here is that you might be keeping these fish in closer proximity to each other, and warming up the water.

Bumping up the water to the higher end of the recommended range is a good place to start (aim for 79°F to 80°F). This will replicate the water temperature in the wild during the breeding season.

Some owners recommend using a breeding tank for the best results, but others feel this is unnecessary. If you want to use a dedicated breeding tank it’s best to get one that’s almost half the size of a normal two-fish tank.

When the two pea puffers are ready to breed, the male will follow the female into a planted area of the aquarium where he will fertilize the eggs. Form this point you’ll simply have to leave the eggs alone for a few days.

Once the fry have hatched and the yolk is gone, you’ll need to start feeding them. Brine shrimp are a great source of food that will help these little fish grow.

Wrapping Up

Dwarf pea puffer care is a very rewarding and enjoyable process. These fish are a pleasure to keep, and we’ve heard from numerous owners who say getting this species was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.

From their cute appearance to active temperament, it’s a boatload of fun watching these fish. They’re a unique and different freshwater species in the best possible way.

Anyone who takes the time to understand the key elements of pea puffer care will be able to raise these fish and give them a great life. Due to their decreasing numbers, we owe it to them to get this right!

Millie Sheppard

Millie is a passionate aquarist who caught the fishkeeping bug in high school and has been addicted ever since.

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Dwarf Puffer Fish – The Care, Feeding and Breeding of Dwarf Puffer Fish

dwarf puffer fishDwarf Puffer Stats

Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Care Level: Moderately Difficult
Water Conditions: PH 6.8-7.5 and Soft to Fairly Hard
Temperature: 72-79 F (22-26C)
Maximum Size: 1 inch (2.5cm)

The dwarf puffer, also known as the pea puffer (Carinotetraodon travancoricus), is the smallest of the pufferfish available in the aquarium trade and is native to the rivers of southwest India. Unlike the larger puffers commonly available in the hobby, the dwarf puffer is a freshwater fish and should never be placed in brackish water.

The dwarf puffer stays quite small, and is usually sold at close to its maximum size. The adults usually grow to a maximum length of 1 inch (2.5cm), with some staying significantly smaller. Upon reaching maturity, the males become more brightly colored than the females and have banded stripes behind the eyes. They will also sometimes develop a dark stripe in the center of their belly.

This fish is relatively new to the aquarium hobby and depending on where you live, can be difficult to find. But with its striking colors and fascinating behavior, it’s a fantastic little fish to own and you should definitely make the attempt to pick up some of these fish.

In fact, the dwarf puffer is one of the few fish that keenly watch the world outside their tank, and they quickly come to recognize their owner. They are incredibly interactive, and will often remind people of more intelligent cichlid behavior. As soon as you walk in the room, they will begin to frantically move up and down the glass at the front of the aquarium, trying to get your attention. This may be just begging for food, but it’s still nice to get some interaction and attention from your fish.


It’s important to realize that because the dwarf puffers are such a new fish, much of the information about them on the internet is inaccurate at best. No matter what you may read, dwarf puffers only thrive in freshwater, and under no circumstances should they be kept in brackish or salt water tank. Any attempt to keep a dwarf puffer in a brackish aquarium, will result in a severely shortened lifespan.

They should also be kept in a species only tank, and if you make the mistake of keeping them in a community fish tank, their tankmates will “mysteriously” start losing miniature bite shaped pieces out of their tails and fins. Even in a species only tank, dwarf puffers should be lightly stocked, and a good rule of thumb is to provide each fish with 3 gallons of water.

If you find that you are having a problem with aggression in a dwarf puffer tank, you can add more live plants to the tank (fake plants will also work). When an aquarium is heavily planted, fish can’t maintain a line of sight on other fish, and they tend to chase them less. But don’t overdo the plants in an aquarium – too many plants will crowd the fish together and actually cause more aggression.

When choosing a filter for dwarf puffers, it is important to over filter if at all possible. Dwarf puffers are notoriously messy eaters, and water quality can quickly suffer if you don’t have sufficient filtration.  When choosing the type of filter, a hang on back (HOB) filter or a sponge filter are good choices, but a canister filter is the best choice if you can afford the hefty price tag that comes with it.

If choosing an HOB filter, I would strongly recommend choosing an Aquaclear Power Filter for a dwarf puffer tank. This filter combines excellent filtration with a durable design, and it will keep your tank sparkling clear for years to come. You can also read the Aquarium Tidings Aquaclear Filter Review here.


The proper feeding of a dwarf puffer is the most difficult aspect of owning them. No matter what someone tells you in a fish store, they will not readily accept flake food or pellets. In the wild, they primarily feed on molluscs (snails), small invertebrate and insects. In the aquarium, this diet needs to be reproduced, or the dwarf puffer will slowly starve to death.

The best way to reproduce this diet in the home aquarium is to feed both small snails and frozen food to the dwarf puffer. When choosing frozen food, without question their favorite food is bloodworms, though some pufferfish will also accept daphnia and brine shrimp.

If you are having trouble getting a puffer to eat, then you can start with live foods mixed in with frozen foods. Nothing triggers the hunting response quicker than fast moving or wriggling live food. In the summer, mosquito larvae or daphnia can easily be provided, and in the cooler months, you can purchase live blackworms.

As for snails, these can be cultured separately in a small aquarium, or they can be removed from any existing aquarium to feed to the dwarf puffer. They tend to ignore the larger snails, but will aggressively hunt any smaller snails in their tank. Even the heavily armored Malaysian trumpet snails aren’t safe from dwarf puffer, and they will be relentlessly hunted until the fish finally figures out how to pull them out of their shell.

pea pufferBreeding

Breeding dwarf puffers isn’t difficult, and if they are well feed and kept at their ideal temperature for an extended period, they will breed on their own. This usually involves the male chasing the female until she finally accepts his advances, and then moving towards a spot under the cover of plants with him.

In my experience, they tend to choose an area of dense plant cover, such as java moss or particularly overgrown cabomba or hygrophilia. Once under this cover, the two fish will move together for up to a minute, while the eggs and sperm are released.

The eggs are scattered over the plant, and the parents and any other fish should be removed at this point. The eggs will hatch in 24-48 hours, and can be feed a combination of infusoria and baby brine shrimp until they become large enough to accept frozen foods, or hunt the smaller snails.

Filed Under: Tropical FishTagged With: dwarf puffer, pea puffer


12 Best Tank Mates for Pea Puffers (Compatibility Guide 2021)

pea pufferfish

Pea Puffers are adorable little fish with big personalities. Many people feel like they are best kept in species only tanks, but Pea Puffers can be kept in community tanks with the right environment and tank mates. It’s important to carefully choose tank mates for your Pea Puffers to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. Here are the best options for tank mates to your Pea Puffers.

Table of contents

12 Best Tank Mates for Pea Puffers in 2021

1. Kuhli Loach

Size:4 – 5 inches (10 – 13 cm)                                                  
Minimum tank size:20 gallon (75 liters)
Care Level:Medium

Kuhli Loaches are bottom-dwelling fish that scavenge and function as an effective cleanup crew. They do not like to be kept alone and do best when kept in groups of at least 3-6. They are nocturnal and are very shy when kept alone, so keeping a group of them will make you more likely to see them. Their peaceful and secretive nature makes them great tank mates for Pea Puffers. They do have small defensive spikes on their bodies and while they rarely use them, it does provide them a defense against an overly aggressive Pea Puffer.

2. Chili Rasbora – Best for Small Tanks

Size:0.7 – 1 inch (1.8 – 2.5 cm)                                                      
Minimum tank size:5 gallon (19 liters)
Care Level:Medium

Chili Rasboras are tiny, adorable fish that can be great tank mates to Pea Puffers when they are full grown. They stay extremely small and when young, they may become prey to larger Pea Puffers. These fish are shoaling fish, so plan to get 6-10 of them, at minimum. In shoals, they are active, colorful additions to any tank. If they are kept alone or in very small groups, they may be shy and uncomfortable, spending most of their time hiding.

3. Ember Tetra

Size:0.8 – 1 inch (2 – 2.5 cm)                                              
Minimum tank size:5 gallon (19 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, shy

Ember Tetras are another tiny tank mate for Pea Puffers that are peaceful and make great tank mates when they are grown. Ember Tetra fry may be eaten by Pea Puffers, though. These fish are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of 6-10 or more. Their behaviors are similar to Chili Rasboras. They are active fish when kept in large enough groups, but in poorly planted tanks or small groups, they are typically very shy and will spend their time hiding.

4. Otocinclus

otocinclus catfish
Size:1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm)                                                   
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, social

Otocinclus catfish are tiny algae eaters who work hard to keep your tank clean. They are social fish that are best kept in groups of 6 – 10, but 10 – 20 is recommended. They are nice additions to Pea Puffer tanks because they love to eat soft, green algae, helping to keep the tank clean and algae-free. If kept alone or in small groups, they are shy and may not be seen very often. Otocinclus catfish are peaceful and are usually too large to be eaten by Pea Puffers.

5. Neon Tetra

Size:1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm)                                                  
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, shy

Neon Tetras require similar care to Ember Tetras, but they get larger. They are typically too large to be eaten by Pea Puffers and are peaceful community fish. Their omnivorous nature makes them easy to feed and they are not usually picky. If not kept in shoals and well-planted tanks, they are extremely timid and easily stressed. Keep them in shoals of at least 6-10 fish and they’ll be a brightly colored addition to your Pea Puffer tank.

6. Zebra/Leopard Danio

Size:1.5 – 2.5 inches (0.6 – 0.63 cm)                                              
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, curious

Zebra Danios are slightly smaller than Leopard Danios, with Zebra Danios usually staying under 2 inches. Both are shoaling fish that will shoal with each other if kept together. Danios are active fish that are fun to watch. They are peaceful and social fish, but they are hardy and tough enough to defend themselves if needed, making them great for Pea Puffer tanks.

7. Clown Killifish

Size:1 – 2 inches (2.5 -5 cm)                                            
Minimum tank size:5 gallons (19 liters)
Care Level:Medium
Temperament:Peaceful, predatory

Clown Killifish are a unique addition to a Pea Puffer tank that can defend themselves if needed. They are predatory carnivores, but they tend to be peaceful, especially with fish close to their size or larger. They are best kept in pairs or harems. Male Clown Killifish may be aggressive toward other males or other fish that look similar to Clown Killifish.

8. Molly

Size:3-4 inches (7.6-10.2 cm)                                                     
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy

Mollies are cute livebearers that reproduce readily and are easy to care for. They are large enough that Pea Puffers will leave them alone, although their newborn fry are at risk. They are peaceful and curious fish that tend to stay active. They are happiest when kept in groups, but they are best kept in harems. Male Mollies are aggressive when it comes to breeding and they will attack other males. 

9. Cherry Barb

Size:1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm)                                              
Minimum tank size:25 gallons (95 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, bold

Cherry Barbs are pretty fish that are peaceful, but they are bold enough to defend themselves if needed. They are social and outgoing fish that bring a lot of life and energy to a tank. They should be kept in shoals of 6-10 or more, and they prefer larger tanks with many other fish of their size. With enough space and a shoal, Cherry Barbs will get along well with your Pea Puffers.  

10. Platy

Size:2 inches                                                                  
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, laid-back

Platies are livebearers that are considered to be one of the best community tank fish for freshwater tanks. Adults are large enough to be safe from Pea Puffers, but newborn fry are at risk of being eaten. These laid-back fish are easily pushed around due to their overly peaceful nature, so it’s important to keep an eye on things to make sure they are staying safe and happy in the tank.

11. Dwarf Rainbowfish

Size:2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm)                                              
Minimum tank size:20 gallons (75 liters)
Care Level:Medium
Temperament:Peaceful, predatory

Dwarf Rainbowfish are colorful fish that make good tank mates to Pea Puffers. They are large enough to not be eaten by Pea Puffers, and they are generally peaceful fish. It is best to keep only one male Dwarf Rainbowfish because the males are prone to aggression toward each other. They do require larger tanks than most fish of their size and prefer long, narrow tanks that allow a long stretch of swimming space.

12. Corydora

Three stripe Cory (Corydoras trilineatus)
Size:1-2.5 inches (2.5-6.3 cm)                                       
Minimum tank size:10 gallons (37 liters)
Care Level:Easy
Temperament:Peaceful, timid

Corydora catfish are peaceful but timid fish that are considered to be a type of armored catfish. Their hard, plated scales help protect them, which provides them a defense against overly curious Pea Puffers. They are peaceful but they can also be quite timid, especially when wild-caught. Corydoras are typically nocturnal, so it’s not unusual for them to become more active at night.

What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Pea Puffers?

Pea Puffers are punchy fish that are happy to eat small fish and invertebrates. If kept in a tank that is too small or overstocked, Pea Puffers may become overtly aggressive toward tank mates. Choosing tank mates that will either stay out of the way of your Pea Puffers or won’t put up with bullying from Pea Puffers are your best bet. Peaceful, community fish are typically the best option for Pea Puffer tank mates because there is some power in their numbers. Fish that spend their time in the upper water column, like Tetras, and lower water column, like bottom feeders, often make good tank mates for the Pea Puffer.

Where Do Pea Puffers Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?

Pea Puffers are active fish that can be found in any part of the aquarium. However, they tend to spend most of their time in the middle of the water column. They will explore the tank looking for food or shelter, but almost always are found in this area. Their preference for the middle of the water column means that fish that prefer the upper and lower parts of the water column tend to make the best tank mates.

Water Parameters

Pea Puffers are native to the warm waters of central India, which means they need a tropical freshwater tank setup. They prefer warmer temperatures than some other tropical fish and are happiest in a tank that is kept between 78 – 80˚F (25.5 – 26.7˚C). They can live in temperatures between 74 – 82˚F (23.3 – 27.8˚C). They need soft water with a pH ranging from 6.5 – 7.5. Some people have successfully kept them with a pH ranging from 6.5 – 8.5. They do best with a stable pH, regardless of the level.


These fish stay relatively small, typically only reaching 1.5 inches (0.6 cm) at the most. Their small size does not mean they can be kept in a nano tank, though. Pea Puffers require a large amount of space to feel secure and to decrease aggression. Keeping them in small or overstocked tanks will increase aggression and the risk of tank mates being attacked.

Aggressive Behaviors

Pea Puffers are moderately aggressive fish that will eat fish and invertebrates that are smaller than themselves. With enough space, they will usually leave their tank mates alone, especially if those tank mates spend their time in a different part of the water column. Pea Puffers are known to bully tank mates of any size or shape, so avoid putting them with other aggressive fish.

Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Pea Puffers in Your Aquarium

1. Beauty and Interest

Tankmates added to Pea Puffer tanks can create a lot of interest and activity in your tank. Pea Puffers are cute but not particularly flashy fish. Adding in eye-catching tank mates, like Mollies, Tetras, and Rasboras, can draw attention to your tank and make it appear livelier.

2. Clean Up Crew

Since Pea Puffers spend most of their time in the middle of the water column, they may not pick up food that is in the upper or lower water column. They also will not eat algae. The addition of tank mates that help keep the tank clean, like Otocinclus and Corydora catfishes, will help maintain the quality of the water in your Pea Puffer tank.

3. Population Control

Pea Puffers are great for population control of all kinds of fish and invertebrates. This means that adding tank mates to your Pea Puffer tank can make for a nice community tank without populations that get out of control. Some people get Pea Puffers to help control the population of snails in their tank, especially rapidly reproducing “pest” snails. They can also help control the population of livebearers, like Mollies and Guppies.


Pea Puffers are fun fish that you don’t see every day, so keeping a Pea Puffer tank can be an interesting experience. However, these fish are not for beginning fish keepers due to their tank setup needs and behaviors. A heavily planted tank is ideal because it helps break up their field of vision and help them feel more secure and less aggressive and territorial. Their behaviors make choosing the right tank mates for them extremely important.

If you pair your Pea Puffers with other aggressive fish, you may end up with a blood bath in your tank. If you pair them with peaceful fish that spend their time in the middle of the water column, you may see bullying occurring. Choose your tank mates carefully and make sure that you get the appropriate number of the tank mate you choose. Shoaling fish should only be kept in shoals and will often become stressed if kept in small groups or as individuals. Other fish may require pairs or harems to prevent aggression.

Featured Image Credit: Toxotes Hun-Gabor Horvath, Shutterstock

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Tetras pea puffer with

Pea Puffer Tank Mates | 6 Great Tank Mates

Table of Contents

In this guide we explore ideal pea puffer tank mates that can further compliment the look of your tanks and also provide great company to for them. The Pea Puffer,  also known as dwarf pufferfish, is a remarkably cute freshwater species. It is a very popular fish with aquarist due to its beauty and relatively low maintenance.

In recent times, the popularity of this species has really spiked up giving it a heads up option for most fish tank lovers. All for obvious reasons; they are undeniably adorable. As if that isn’t enough, this fish species is easy to take care of and their active behavior is fascinating to watch.

If you really want your fish to thrive well in your tank, all you need to do now is educate yourself adequately. In this article, we take a look at some of the best tank mates, diet, lifespan and basic care of this fish.

pea puffer tank mates

Pea Puffer Tank Mates

This is perhaps the headache bit of many pea puffer owners. One thing to note is that this fish is highly aggressive and territorial in nature therefore you cannot just pair it with any fish of similar size (You don’t want your fish injured or even killed!)

The safest decision an aquarist can make is purchase only one pea puffer fish and let it live alone in its tank. This will allow you to get away with even a smaller tank while keeping your fish safe.

But what’s the fun in keeping only one single fish? Also, this fish love shoaling. Therefore, they will really appreciate company. With the right techniques, you can either add another pea puffer or another species of fish to your tank. Here is what to do.

If you are adding another pea puffer, ensure you have done these two vital things. First, allow an extra 5 gallons of water per fish to provide them with enough space to avoid getting in each other’s space. Second, include a number of plants or artificial decorations to provide hiding room for them to feel safe.

If you are considering adding another species, here is what to do: ensure that the fish are of similar size and fast enough to get away from danger when need arises. Pea puffers are fin nippers and will devour on slow fish. Also avoid larger species of fish as they can hurt your dwarf pufferfish.

Some of the best pea puffer tank mates worth considering are:

  • Danios
  • Kuhli loach
  • Otocinclus
  • Ember tetras
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Neon tetras (both normal and green)



An average size of this fish is about an inch and a half when fully grown. Relatively small right? I guess it’s why they were named dwarf puffer fish.

It is mostly unheard of this fish ever exceeding this size no matter how good you take care of it or its genetics. If yours does, then you are a special person.



A pea puffer will lighten up your tank for an average of 4 to 5 years. Of course this figure can be longer or shorter depending on the fish’s genetics and the quality of care you provide. 

If you follow the care guidelines including diet factors we have offered in this article, then hitting the age of 5 will be so easy for them. Speaking of diet, let’s check out the detail.


Pea Puffer Care

pea puffer fish care

This fish is quite easy to take care of. Just give him enough space to dominate and keep the water parameters stable and you are good to go!

Ideal Tank Size

A 10 gallon-sized tank should be the minimum for your fish. However, since this fish love to swim and hide, we recommend going for 20 to 40 gallon-sized tanks. They wouldn’t mind an even bigger tank. If you want to keep more than one pea puffer, add an extra 5 gallons for every additional fish.

Water Parameters

Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F

pH levels: 7 to 8

Water hardness: 5-15 KH



This fish is carnivorous in nature. In the wild, it mainly feeds on larvae, small insects and algae. I’ve got to say this fish has quite an appetite. Do not be fooled by their timid looks. 

That said, you will have to provide them with protein-rich foods with a good touch of variety. Pellets and flakes are not just enough for this fish. 

You will need to go an extra mile and provide them with mosquito larvae, tubifex, frozen and live foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. This is a remarkable source of nutrients.

Due to their vicious appetite, it is easy to find yourself overfeeding them. Be careful not to. Overfeeding them can compromise their health. Create a nice schedule that can work to provide them with the right amount of food over a correct time period.

Also, overfeeding them can negatively affect your water quality. The leftovers will settle at the bottom of the tank and begin breaking down causing a spike in nitrate and nitrite levels in your water. 



Unlike other species of fish, with the right knowledge and resources, this fish is relatively straightforward to breed. Just ensure the guidelines above and water parameters are perfect for this fish.

The only difference here is that the fish should be kept in close proximity and the water warmed. Heating the water to a preferable range of 79°F to 80°F will replicate the water temperature of the wild during the fish’s breeding season. 

For better results, some aquarists recommend a breeding tank while others shove this as completely unnecessary. If you consider acquiring a separate breeding tank, getting one that is half the size of the normal tank could be the best shot.

When the two are ready to breed, the male will follow the female to a planted area of the tank to fertilize her eggs. From here, do nothing but enjoy the view for a few days until they hatch. You can now begin feeding them with quality food.


To Wrap it all Up

Keeping a dwarf puffer could just be the one thing missing to complete your whole world! They are fun to keep and it is a rewarding and enjoyable process taking care of them.

Take a good amount of time to try and figure out your pea puffer’s temperament levels. This will enable you to figure out how reasonable it is for you to get him a tank mate. Remember basing from your findings, whether you get him a mate or not, it will all be for the good of him.

Pea Puffer Tank Gets New Fish and Plants

There are many breeds of puffer fish out there and they all look like they could cute pets! However, these fish are quite aggressive and territorial, so they usually do better without any kind of tank mates. But, that does not mean that it’s impossible for some species to coexist with other fish.

If the tank mate works with two or more of the 5 puffer breeds, there will be a table at the top with an X under the names of the puffer they could live with. Below is an example:

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

1. Kuhli Loach

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

These small, thin fish work best for the territorial Pea Puffer. Since these fish swim low to the floor and stay out of the way of the puffer, they would make good tank mates. These fish also mostly hunt at night so they won’t accidentally steal the puffer’s food during the day. Even though they work best in a tank with a Pea Puffer, the South American Puffer is the most gentle of the freshwater puffer breeds, so Kuhli Loach could work in a tank with the South American Puffer as well.

2. Fancy Guppies

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

MBU Puffers are rather aggressive and, while it is suggested that they should be kept alone if you can, Fancy Guppies could work as tank mates. When it comes to puffers, generally a good rule to follow is to not have any tank mates with long, flowy fins because the puffers will nip at them and hurt the other fish. However, MBUs are aggressive when it comes to food, so even though the Fancy Guppies have such a fanned-out tail, they will mostly leave them alone.

Even though it should work, watch your tank and keep note of the well-being of all the fish. If you see that the Fancy Guppies are hurt at all or your MBU seems to dislike the environment, it might be safer for them all to remove the guppies for a while.

3. Otocinclus Catfish

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

The Otocinclus is another bottom-dwelling creature that makes fine roommates with Pea Puffers, MBU Puffers, and South American Puffers. Since they stay so low and feed off of the algae in the tank, they are not as much of a threat to the territorial puffers. They stay away from the food and the higher parts of the tank, so they are excellent tank mates for puffers. These suckerfish are also quick and can dodge all the bites that may come their way. They’re calm and are content to just clean the tank and mind their own business.

4. Siamese Algae Eaters

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Another friend you’ll want to consider when thinking about keeping your MBU company should be Siamese Algae Eaters. These are quick, community-loving fish that do well with others in the tank. They are pretty docile so they won’t hurt the ego of the puffer by overstepping any boundaries.

These little guys also help keep your tank healthy. The writers at Aquarium Source stated, “Adding Siamese algae eaters to an aquarium helps to control types of algae growth and maintain good aquarium health that is essential for the well-being of each occupant living inside of the tank.” These fish practically pay for themselves when it comes to helping out around the tank.

5. Tetras

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Tetras are probably one of your safest bets when you’re thinking of puffer tank mates. Any kind of tetra will work for these breeds. They are small, fast, and stay out of the way of the puffer. The only puffer fish that might try to really harm them would be the Golden Puffer. The Golden Puffer is one of the faster freshwater breeds and can outswim the tetras well. These puffers love a chase and will hunt them down to get a bite of the poor, little tetra.

The tetra can outswim the other puffer breeds, though. You won’t have to worry too much when it comes to the other kinds of puffers. The tetras are often paired in the same tank as puffers.

6. Rasboras

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Rasboras are a good match for the MBUs and Red-tailed Dwarf Puffers. These easy-going fish are perfect companions to the hot-headed MBU and playful Red-tailed Dwarf. Make sure there is plenty of foliage and obstacles to protect your Rasboras and break up the dead space that the puffers have claimed as their territory. As long as there are spaces to hide, these fish will do fine together.

Also, be wary of the size difference between the MBU and the Rasboras. MBU Puffers can sometimes munch on smaller fish in the tank that are in their line of sight. However, the Rasboras are decently fast, so putting areas for them to quickly hide behind is necessary.

7. Danios

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Danios are another great tank mate for different puffer breeds. These fish are quite social and love being a part of larger groups of Danios. While they are wonderful companions for most freshwater breeds, they struggle with the MBU’s size. Since the MBU is so big, it can be dangerous for the bubbly Danios group. This puffer is large and needs a lot of room, so it does not do well with a lot of other fish taking up space in the tank.

8. Clown Pleco

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

This is another bottom-feeder friend for your MBU. The issue here that prevents it from being a good match for other puffers is the fins. It’s long fins are too tempting for the others to get along with; the other puffers will injure this fish if they are in the same tank.

Clown Pleco are simple, little fish that are not super interested in the fish around them. They are content to drift around snack on the algae in the tank. While they are typically mild-mannered, they can move fast when they need to. These can easily escape the MBU if it were to ever test out the waters and try to take a bite of a Clown Pleco.

9. Cherry shrimp

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Maybe don’t get too attached to keeping these shrimp in your tank. While you certainly can keep Cherry Shrimp in the same tank as any puffer, they are more of a source of food than a tank mate.

The thing about keeping Cherry Shrimp in your tank along with your puffer is that it helps distract the puffer from the other tank mates. It’s a little morbid, but they work well as a tasty diversion from the others. This practice works best with the smaller puffers, but has also worked for some with larger breeds. This is also done with fast-breeding snails.

What you can do before getting your puffer is to breed the Cherry Shrimp in your tank and introduce the predator after the population of shrimps grows a little. This way, the puffer fish can get used to eating the shrimp and will not notice the others in the tank as much. This also works better in larger tanks where there can be more of a breeding ground.

10. Corydora

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Corydoras are similar to the Clown Pleco fish, but have much shorter fins. They stay towards the bottom of the tank and are pretty content to stay there. Algae eaters like this fish are best for the 3 breeds of puffers listed above. They really contrast each other in temperament and tank territory, but opposites attract in this case.

In a 20 gallon tank, you can comfortably hold anywhere from 1 to 5 Corydoras at once. Depending on the size of tank for your pufferfish, that can change. You should usually err on the side of caution and have fewer Corydoras in the tank for the sake of your puffers and to see how they adapt to having a roommate in their space.

11. Other Puffers

Pea PufferMBU PufferRed-tailed Dwarf PufferGolden PufferSouth American Puffer

Not all puffers get along and you certainly cannot cram too many different kinds in one tank, but the Red-tailed Dwarf Puffer, Pea Puffer, Golden Puffer, and South American Puffer could all possibly work together. The best pairing would be a South American Puffer with a Pea Puffer.

The South American Puffers have a calmer temper (compared to the other puffer breeds) and the Pea Puffer will typically leave bigger fish alone. If you attempt to pair some puffers together in a tank, make sure to watch them closely for the first while to make sure that they are being nice to each other. If they appear to be hurting each other or do not seem to be thriving in the environment, make sure that you separate them at once.

Before pairing your puffer with any other kind of puffer (or tank mate in general) it is a good idea to ask your breeder or whomever you are purchasing your puffer from how they do with other fish in the tank. It is imperative to do what is best for your pet as their owner and if that means getting them their own tank and equipment, then that is what will need to happen.

Once you get to know your puffer, use your best judgment as to what they can handle in their tank. If you notice that they are a little aggressive or dramatic, then it might be good to leave them alone.

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Common Name(s)Pea Puffer, Dwarf Puffer, Indian Dwarf Puffer
Scientific NameCarinotetraodon Travancoricus
OriginWestern India
Temperature74-82°F (23-28°C)
Size1.5 inches
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Food & DietCarnivorous
Lifespan4 to 5 years
Water pH7.0-8.0
Tank MatesNeon Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, and Adult Cherry Shrimp
BreedingBreeding pair spawn in dense vegetation.
DiseaseMay be susceptible to ich.
pea puffer

Pea Puffer Facts

  • Pea Puffer fish are a very small species of Puffers that come from Western India.
  • Pea Puffer fish are ferociously aggressive and territorial for their size.
  • In the wild, Pea Puffer fish survive on a diet of insects, larvae, and algae.
  • Pea Puffer fish are very sensitive to changes in their water parameters, so you will want to make sure that you are monitoring them often.

Pea Puffer Care

Pea Puffers (Carinotetraodon travancoricus) are small fish that at full maturity grow up to 1.5 inches. They are a yellow green color, with black spots on their bodies. These spots are both large and small. The eyes of the Pea Puffer appear larger than their head. They have a body that is larger towards the head, and gets smaller as it goes towards the tail.

Pea Puffer Male vs Female

Male Pea Puffers have darker green patches, and more intensely colored yellow bellies. The males also have a more bold line running across their bodies, and a brilliant blue coloration to their eyes. The female Pea Puffers are rounder, and not as boldly colored.

Tank Setup

Pea Puffers require a tank that is a minimum of 10 gallons. They would do better in a tank that is larger and gives them more room to roam since they are an active fish. The Pea Puffer requires a tank that is 74F to 82F, and a pH of 7.0 to 8.0. If you are planning on keeping additional Pea Puffers together you will want to add 5 gallons per every Pea Puffer you place in your aquarium. Pea Puffers are extremely sensitive to water changes, and you will want to make sure that you have a reliable testing kit as well as test the water regularly. It is important for the life of the Pea Puffer that you act as quickly as possible to fix water parameter issues as quickly as possible.

Pea Puffers come from a habitat in the wild where there are lots of plants for them to hide, destress, and keep them safe. When planning the perfect setup for your Pea Puffer fish, you will want to make sure to include lots of plants for them. They also require caves, rocks, and driftwood strategically placed, but without plants, you will see your Pea Puffer fish quickly become stressed and unhealthy. Plants are the most important thing you need to include in your aquarium for your Pea Puffer fish.

Best Substrate for Pea Puffer Tanks

Substrate for your Pea Puffer fish should be a substrate that is also helpful for plants to grow in. Plants are a very important part of the Pea Puffer setup. Choose a small light gravel, or a coarse sand for their substrate.

Aquarium Plants for Pea Puffer Tanks

Pea Puffers need lots of plants in their aquarium. It is crucial to their health that they have places to hide and destress. You will want to make sure that your aquarium has lots of plants for your Pea Puffers to hide in. Java Moss and Hornwort are good plants for Pea Puffer fish, as well as fast growing, floating plants.

Food & Diet

Pea Puffers are a carnivorous fish, and in captivity they should be fed a diet of frozen foods such as bloodworms, and brine shrimp. They should also be fed live foods such as snails, or blackworms. In the wild, Pea Puffer fish survive off of small insects, larvae, and algae. Pea Puffers have a rather large appetite, and they are a fish that is an overfeeding risk. You will want to make sure that you are feeding them twice and day as opposed to once a day.

Pea Puffer Size & Lifespan

Pea Puffer fish can grow up to 1.5 inches at full maturity.

In a suitable environment, Pea Puffers can live up to 4-5 years. In a properly setup aquarium and regular maintenance, they can live a long time.

Pea Puffer Tank Mates

Pea Puffers are small fish, but they are territorial and can become aggressive towards other fish. It is for this reason that you can not place them in an aquarium with other similarly sized fish. If you are planning on keeping more than one Pea Puffer together, you will want to make sure that you have an aquarium big enough so that each Pea Puffer can have its own territory.

If you are wanting to keep Pea Puffers with other species of fish you will want to keep in mind the Pea Puffers are fin nipping fish, and they will bother other fish that are slow moving. If your Pea Puffers are fin nipping, you will be able to see the torn or injured fins on the other fish. Pea Puffers should not be housed with other larger fish that will potentially harm or eat them.

Some tank mates to consider for your Pea Puffers would be Neon Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, some Danios, and adult Cherry Shrimp. These fish should be able to get out of the way of the Pea Puffer, and also not stress out or injure them. Remember, the more fish you add, the more plants you will want to add so that your Pea Puffer can hide and get comfortable.

Can Pea Puffers Be Added to a Community Tank?

Pea Puffer fish are not a good addition to a community tank that houses any fish that are larger than the tiny Pea Puffer so that they do not injure them. There are fish that you can place with the Pea Puffer if you have the appropriate aquarium setup to do so. The Pea Puffer requires lots of places to hide and destress, and that is important for the health and wellbeing of the Pea Puffer.

It is possible to keep them in a community tank, but they are not recommended to be kept that way. It is recommended for these tiny fish that they are kept in a species only tank.

Are Pea Puffers Aggressive?

Pea Puffers are small, but they are territorial. These small fish in the wild will seek out a territory to claim, and they will defend it. They are considered an aggressive fish, and they will pick at and nip at other fish in the aquarium. They are recommended to be housed with only their same species for this reason. If you are planning on placing other species of fish in with your Pea Puffer, you will want to make sure that you are monitoring their interaction so that there are no issues. Pea Puffers are fin nipping fish, and if they are nipping and damaging the fins of the other fish in the aquarium, then you should be able to see it.

How Many Pea Puffers Should Be Kept together?

Pea Puffers are territorial fish, and if you are wanting to keep more than one in the same aquarium, you will want to ensure that there is enough room. The minimum tank requirement for one Pea Puffer is 10 gallons if they are kept as a lone fish. If you add in more Pea Puffers, you will want to make sure that the tank is an additional 5 gallons larger for each Pea Puffer.

Pea Puffer and Shrimp – Are They Good Tank Mates?

Pea Puffers are territorial fish, and as a rule, they can not be housed with most species because they will fight or bother them. Keepers of Pea Puffer fish say that they can be safely housed with Cherry Shrimp as the Cherry Shrimp will try to stay out of their way, and not bother the Pea Puffer.

Pea Puffer and Snails – Are They Good Tank Mates?

Pea Puffers are carnivores, and snails are a part of their diet. Do not try to house them with small snails, but keepers of Pea Puffers report some success keeping them with Nerite snails.

Pea Puffer and Betta – Are They Good Tank Mates?

Pea Puffers and Betta fish are both very territorial and aggressive fish. They can not be housed together safely.

Can Pea Puffers Get Puffed Up?

Pea Puffer fish puff up, but it is not often that you will see them doing it. Pea Puffers puff up their bodies by intaking water, and increasing their size. They do this in an effort to deter and discourage predators, or rivals.

Pea Puffer Breeding

When kept in the right water parameters Pea Puffers will breed. The male will chase the female around until she accepts his advances, and they will move under cover of plants together to spawn. Once they are under the cover of the plants, Pea Puffer males and females will move together until both sperm and eggs are released.

Do Pea Puffers Lay Eggs?

Pea Puffers scatter their eggs over the plants that they shelter in to spawn. The female Pea Puffer will eat their eggs and fry, so they must be removed to ensure the survival of their fry.

Pea Puffer Disease

Pea Puffers do not have a disease that affects them specifically, but they are prone to common disease of freshwater fish such as ich.

Pea Puffer Price

Pea Puffers are a relatively inexpensive fish that you can purchase online or in a pet store. You can expect to pay anywhere from 3$ to 15$ for one Pea Puffer. You will want to make sure that you are purchasing your Pea Puffer fish from a reputable source.


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