Pea Puffers have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and with good reason.


  • English: Pea Pufferfish or Dwarf Puffer Fish, Malabar pufferfish or pygmy pufferfish
  • Latin: Carinotetraodon travancoricus

Range and habitat

South-West India

They are beautiful fish and don’t require a huge aquarium like other puffer species. Oh, and they are freshwater fish too! In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to successfully keep Pea puffers!

Tank requirements for Pea Puffers

The General rule of thumbs is to keep one Dwarf Puffer in a 5 gallon (19L) with an extra 3 gallon (11L) for every extra pufferfish. Remember, more is always better.

Dwarf pufferfish are not picky when it comes to the temperature of the water. Everything between 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 to 27 degrees Celcius should be enough for these little guys as long as the temperature is stable.

They are not picky about the PH en hardness levels either. Hobbiysts kept Dwarfpuffer fish in aquariums with a PH level between 6.8 and 8.3 and a Hardness level between 5.0 an 25. Once again, keeping these levels stable is the most important part.

  • Tank size: 5+ Gallon
  • PH: 6.8-8.3
  • GH: 5.0-25
  • Temperature: 77-79 °F (25-26 °C)

When setting up your puffer tank, it’s important to create a lot of hiding places, plants en things to explore. Dwarf Puffer fish are quite intelligent and get bored very easily. Make sure your decoration breaks the the tank up in different ereas, Dwarf Puffers are territorial fish and known to defend their territories heavily.

filtration for Pea puffer fish

Just like any other tank, it is important to have good filtration. The kind of filter suited for your Dwarf Puffer tank depends on the size of the tank and the amount of pufferfish you are going to keep.

My rule of thumb is to use a filter that can handle twice the volume of your tank. So a 20-gallon tank should have a filter that is capable to filter an aquarium that is 40 gallons.

Fill your filter with as much biological filter media as possible. This is to make that the bacteria that live in your filter will have enough living space to handle all the bioload.

I don’t really care as much about mechanical filter media. Filtercotton should be enough to filter out all the dirt in the water if you replace them on a regular basis.

In combination with a good filter system, I recommend weekly water changes. I recommend changing about 20% of your water every week.

Some hobbyists have had great success changing their water once every two weeks or change 40% every week. So feel free to test out what works for you!

Looking for a good filter?

Read my review about the Oase Filtrosmart here!

Oase Filtrosmart

Read my review about the Oase Filtrosmart 100 thermo

Tank Mates

I do not recommend to keep Dwarf Puffers in a community tank, they are verse hunters and they will attack their tankmates.

Some hobbyists have had success keeping Cherry Shrimp with their Puffer Fish. They are a size too big to eat. But this is at your own risk!


Dwarf Pufferfish are diehard carnivores. They like a varied diet. This include:

  • frozen or live Blood worms
  • Snails
  • Frozen Brine-shrimp
  • Frozen or live Black Worms

I usually go for frozen food, it’s just a lot easier, it is important to mix your diet, otherwise, they will develop malfunctions during their lifespan. You should feet your dwarf puffers every day. Be carefull to not overfeed your fish.

Unlike other puffer fish, you don’t have to worry about the growth of their teeth. Their teeth grow extremely slow and won’t cause any problem during their lifespan.