Dwarf Pea Puffer

Dwarf Pea Puffer

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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.

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.

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

Pea pufferfish come from waters with heavy vegetation and are used to relying on it for safety.

 

warf 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.