Pea Puffer Fish – Care, Habitat, Tank Mates & Details!

Pea Puffers are freshwater puffer fish and one of the cutest fishes to keep. Pea Puffers are loved by aquarists due to their compact size. These freshwater puffer fish are known as Carinotetraodon travancoricus and got their fame recently. Therefore, not everyone knows the rules for their maintenance.

These amazing fish can coexist perfectly even in tiny aquariums. In addition, the little puffers are very interesting to watch – they are curious and carefully monitor what is happening on the other side of the glass.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Carinotetraodon travancoricus
Care Level: Intermediate
Temperament: Territorial and aggressive
Color Form: Sex-dependent but predominantly yellow
Lifespan: 4 Years
Size: 1.4″
Diet: Mainly carnivorous
Family: Tetraodontiformes
Minimum Tank Size: 5 Gallons
Pond Set-Up: Heavily planted
Compatible: Tropical freshwater


Pea Puffers are the smallest of all, they do not grow more than three centimeters. The body has an oblong shape, on the pointed muzzle, there are large convex eyes that can move in different directions, and do it independently of each other.

This helps the little ones to see well, and the fish, even in a stationary state, can completely control what is happening around it.

The coloring of these fish is very interesting. Mostly they have yellow scales, which can vary depending on mood and lighting. This puffer fish can acquire brown shades, green and bronze but the characteristic spots with which the whole body of the aquatic inhabitant is covered remain black.

On the body of small yellow puffer fish, there are transparent fins that can cast a reddish or greenish color. It is almost impossible to determine their gender, but mostly a female is slightly larger than a male, both in body length and in fullness.

It is believed that this species has intellectual abilities, as after a while it begins to recognize its owner. 

As soon as the owner approaches the aquarium, This small fish swims to the glass and attracts his attention to him with active welcoming movements.

Pea Puffer Fish Care

Many aquarists argue that these freshwater puffer fish are unpretentious, although you still have to create some conditions. Before you buy pea puffer, you need to take some special care in the aquarium. These freshwater puffer fish need less water and their preferred capacity is 10−20 liters of water per fish.

Required parameters of keeping these freshwater Pea Puffer fish are:

  • temperature – 24−27 degrees;
  • PH – 6.5-7.5;
  • stiffness – 5−24;
  • carbonate – 7−16.

The Aquarium water should be fairly balanced. Pea puffer fish are very sensitive to the content of nitrates and ammonia, so this level will have to be constantly monitored. You can not add salt, because these aquatic inhabitants in their natural environment live exclusively in freshwater.

Aquarium Maintenance

Pea puffers require some specific kind of maintenance for their tanks.

A layer of sand or small pebbles should be filled up at the bottom of the tank, although a mixture of both components can be made as well.

It is necessary to plant aquatic plants in the aquarium. It is better to choose thick and high-grade plants for this so that Pea Puffers can hide in them in case of danger.

You should not keep them in a poor or low light aquarium – this fades their color. If the room is too dark, it is advised to install an additional lamp or light, which will highlight the aquarium.

To provide a puffer fish with good condition, it is necessary to equip the tank with a powerful filtration system and carry out daily water changes by about 25% of the volume. The fact is that pea puffers are rather messy residents and, as a rule, a lot of garbage remains after each feeding.

Of course, you can get snails in the aquarium that would act as a “cleaner”, but they are a favorite treat of this fish, so they can’t live long. Your “cleaners” will always go missing from the tank.

To saturate the body of water with oxygen, you need to install a compressor. For a small tank, one device is enough.

In addition, you must regularly clean the aquarium. Such an event should be held at least once a week: dirty water, food debris, or any favorable environment for the development of all sorts of parasites that can harm aquatic inhabitants.

Feeding Pea Puffers

The hardest part of raising Pea Puffers is the feeding procedure. This is due to the fact that these dwarf puffers do not accept purchased feed and simply refuse to eat granules and cereal.

In their natural environment, they feed exclusively on insects, snails, and other invertebrates. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with such food so that small fish do not die of hunger.

Pea Puffers will not refuse to eat:

  • frozen squid;
  • various snails;
  • bloodworm;
  • daphnia;
  • artemia.

Snails must be given daily. The fact is that their carapace performs an important mission – it grinds the teeth of these nimble fish. It should be noted right away that puffer fish will not eat large snails.

Feeding should be carried out twice a day and in small doses. This is due to the poor habit of this species to overeat often, which leads to obesity and the inability to swim quickly. All this becomes the cause of a number of diseases.

Pea Puffers Tank Mates

As for the compatibility of the Pea Puffers, it cannot be called a good neighbor categorically. This species is quite inactive with other aquatic inhabitants, so it will constantly violate their quiet life. If possible, it is better to keep these puffers in a separate container, especially since they need a little space.

These fish are quite territorial and can aggressively defend their space. They often stubbornly fight for their place, and sometimes such skirmishes lead to the death of their opponent, even if it is much larger.

If your aquarium is big enough then you can keep Pea Puffers with Kuhli Loach, Otocinclus Catfish, Neon Tetra, Ember tetra, Zebrafish, Siamese Algae Eater and cherry shrimps.


During the mating season, the appearance of the male individual changes noticeably, the scales become darker, and the fins, with the abdominal and dorsal ones, are repainted in a beautiful yellowish color.

In order to create optimal conditions for spawning, it is necessary to select two large females that have reached puberty, and settle them together with the male in a separate container.

This option allows you to increase both the chances and the number of fry. On average, a female can bring about ten eggs.

It is strictly forbidden to place two males on the spawning grounds. This is due to the fact that between them there will certainly be a conflict that will lead to the death of one of them.

You need to prepare the spawning ground in advance:  plant vegetation in it, since it is the female that spawns eggs on it, and fill the bottom with gravel. In addition, it is necessary to maintain the same water temperature, avoiding even minimal drops.

It should be exactly 25 degrees. As well as before and during spawning, Pea Puffers need enhanced nutrition, they need to be fed snails or other live food.

After spawning, it is necessary to remove the fish from the spawning grounds, otherwise, they will simply eat their offspring. As a rule, fry hatch after three days.

In the early days, they feed exclusively on yolk sacs, and already on the third day, you can start feeding. It is better if they are microworms or other small organisms.

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