Hello everyone! I often write about odd freshwater fish. This blog I wanted to write about another personal favorite, the Dwarf Malabar Puffer, also called the Pea or Pygmy Puffer.
Dwarf Malabar Puffers, Carinotetraodon travancoricus, are cute little bundles of energy that come from the inland waters of Southern India, where they can be found in slow moving rivers amongst dense vegetation. These pea-sized puffers are a dwarf species that only grow to about 1.25 inches in length. They are colorful little fish with a body that is a deep golden hue. They are splotched with dark blue, black, or green spots. Males will often develop a dark stripe along their belly, especially when they want to show off or court a female.
While many species of puffers demand that they be kept alone, the Dwarf Malabar Puffer is somewhat of an exception. Even though these little guys can be somewhat nippy, an aquarium filled with plants and wood will provide ample cover to allow the hobbyist to keep more than one of these fascinating little fish. In a 20 gallon aquarium, it is absolutely possible to keep 4 or 5 individuals together. When keeping them in a species tank, it is always recommended that you keep one male per 2 or 3 females. This will help to keep territorial aggression to a relative minimum.
Feeding your dwarf puffers can be a bit of a challenge. Many will not accept dry foods such as pellets flakes. Dwarf Puffers will, however, readily devour thawed frozen foods like brine shrimp, plankton, blood worms, and mysis shrimp. Live blackworms also provide a wonderful treat for these fish. As with most puffers, these have teeth never really stop growing. You should provide the occasional small freshwater snail so that the puffers can keep their teeth worn by biting into the shell of the snail. Once you get on a regular feeding schedule, these cute little puffers will race to the front of the aquarium to beg for food.
With their curious nature and engaging personalities the Dwarf Malabar Puffer has become one of the most popular freshwater fish in the hobby today. People who keep this species are fanatical in their love for them, and when you see them in person, you can certainly understand what all the excitement is about! Their diminutive size and puppy dog-like behaviors certainly make the Dwarf Malabar Puffer a wonderful fish to keep and observe.