Common name: Pea puffer, dwarf puffer, Malabar puffer
Scientific name: Carinotetraodon travancoricus
Distribution: Pamba River in southern India
Habitat: Slow moving, weed-choked shallows
Temperature: 74 – 80°F
pH: 6.0 – 8.2
Adult size: 1 inch
Sexing: Adult males have a thinner body, a yellow belly with a dark longitudinal line, and shiny “wrinkle lines” around their eyes. Adult females have a rounder body and a pale white belly. Juveniles look very similar and are difficult to sex.
Diet: Frozen or live invertebrates such as bloodworms, blackworms, and brine shrimp. It is recommended to provide small snails for them to hunt such as pond snails or Malaysian trumpet snails.
Conspecifics: Males are territorial and should not be kept together except in large tanks. Should be kept singly in small (2 foot and below) tanks.
Tankmates: Peaceful with most unaggressive fish, might nip at the fins of slower-swimming individuals. Keep with small tankmates that will not outcompete them during feeding time.
Notes: There are varying reports on Carinotetraodon travancoricus’s fin-nipping tendencies, so it is advisable to have a backup plan when adding them to community tanks. The teeth of most puffers will slowly grow throughout their lives and must be worn down by cracking hard-shelled mollusks such as snails and clams. Carinotetraodon travancoricus seem to have less of this problem than their larger relatives, but it is still advisable to keep them in a tank containing small snails for extra nutrition and enrichment.
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