This nano-sized, fully freshwater pufferfish is full of personality and is a fascinating fish for small and medium aquariums!
The Indian Dwarf Pea Puffer (Carinotetraodon imitator) is a very popular nano/planted tank fish. It has a very distinctive and interactive personality that has endeared it to many aquarists. Though it is sometimes fairly aggressive and territorial, under the right conditions it can be a great addition to many community aquariums of small fish, plants, and some invertebrates.
One major key to successfully keeping the Indian Dwarf Pea Puffer in a community setting is ample space and décor. Males of this species are particularly territorial and will often claim and defend an area, so more plants, rocks, and driftwood will help to break lines of sight and create more distinct spaces. Like all puffers, this is a relatively slow-moving fish and will not be able to regularly keep up with faster-moving tetras, rasboras, barbs, danios, and rainbowfish. It will relentlessly attack the fins of slow-moving, long-finned fish, so fish such as bettas are not good tankmates.
Dry foods are often ignored by the Indian Dwarf Puffer, although sometimes groups of this fish will learn about new food sources by watching one another try them out. In our experience, it is not a good idea to rely on dry foods as a staple for this fish. It will, however, eat frozen bloodworms and other meaty frozen foods. Its wild diet mostly consists of crustaceans and snails, so it should not be kept with dwarf shrimp. On a more positive note, it will happily clear any aquarium of any small snails, including the “nuisance” bladder snails that inhabit most planted tanks. While the Indian Dwarf Puffer does not seem to need its “beak” clipped like most larger puffers, there is certainly no downside to an abundance of small snails in its diet.
If you’re looking for a small, unique, oddball for your planted aquarium, look no further!
What We Like About This Fish:
- Highly intelligent with a lively and endearing personality
- Compatible with many other small fish
- Safe with any plants
- Excellent option for ridding your aquarium of nuisance snails
- Fully freshwater species
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 72° - 82° F (22° - 28° C)
pH: 6.0 - 7.0
KH: 5 - 15 dKH
Minimum tank size: 10 gallons (single specimen), 30+ gallons (small group)
Diet: Carnivorous. Often will not eat dry foods, but frozen foods such as bloodworms will be accepted. Weaning to dry food is more likely with groups of this fish.