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Carinotetraodon travancoricus
Dwarf (Malabar) Pufferfish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Dwarf (Malabar) Pufferfish - Carinotetraodon travancoricus

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Carinotetraodon_travancoricus_4.jpg (20kb)
Carinotetraodon travancoricus male
Photo Credit: Silver Vixen

These Puffers are really cute. I love how mine (spotted Congos) really look at you. But remember that all Puffers contain the deadly poison - Tetrodotoxin. This chemical is 10,000 times more lethal than cyanide. So if you get your Puffer stressed then it will do what comes naturally and leak this poision in the water and all your animals will be dead. So be gentle with the fish net or with your hand when in the tank. One last tip - never expose them to the air. If they puff up in the air (say when you use a fish net) then they can't deflate.

Contributed by Stuart Halliday

When I saw these little guys, they looked so cute and harmless. I have a 40 L tank. When I added them to the tank I fed them daily with frozen brine shrimp. Sadly, they started eating my other fish, so I decided to return them. I wanted to keep them, but I didnt want to watch my fish suffer. They are very cute though, I will give them that. I wish I could find a nice combo of fish to work with mini puffers, but since I gave them back I got new fish and don't want any mishaps with them.

Contributed by Jacob

I have a peaceful dwarf puffer in a 200 L well-planted tank with 2 Angel fish and hundreds of (welcome) Malaysian snails. I bought the fish at the same time (over 4 months ago), and they do not bother each other. I was feeding flake food and never saw the puffer eat. She must have been eating only snails and doing okay. Yesterday I put frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms into the tank, and she was happily eating the bloodworms. My angels have perfect fins - no nipping. The fish interact with some distance. They seem to just be curious because they do not dart at each other. My snails used to be more active during the day until she arrived. I've had the snails for 5 years because they benefit my set-up and are wonderful to watch. I do sometimes have problems with the baby snails hanging out in my filters though. I have had other puffers but found identification difficult and so keeping them was hit or miss. I'm glad to know exactly what I've got now. She has been the friendliest puffer. I would not have more than one at a time because of my angels.

Contributed by Elvera Ll

I bought 3 dwarf puffers and put them in my community tank with 10 neons and 2 breeding Kribs. I had a small problem at the begining with them nipping at the neons but they seemed to have stopped when I bumped up the amount that I was feeding them. My Kribs bred and became very aggressive dominating the tank so I had to move them out but I noticed that as long as the puffers weren't the most dominant in the tank they were quiet and non aggressive. I have 3 males living quite happily together in a 2 foot tank with 10 neons and they are all mature. I may be a little premature on the celebrations but I am hoping it will stay this way. Also if you are having trouble with skinny puffers feed them on brine shrimp for about a week or two and they should regain their weight, we lost 3 when we first brought them and then had two more do the same thing. We fed them up on brine shrimp and managed to save them. Good luck and enjoy, they are great little fish with the biggest personalities.

Contributed by Jo McLean

I was chatting up the hottie manager at the nearest LFS when my eye was drawn to what had to be the cutest fish I had ever seen. There was a male dwarf puffer hovering at the glass looking right at me! I asked the gal if the puffer would be ok in my community tank. She assured me that the dwarf would be totally docile so long as he was the smallest fish. She also assured me that he would eat flake food. Of course she could have told me that it would crow like a rooster at 5'clock every morning and I would've believed her. I totally fell for the upsell too, and left with two puffers because they get lonely if there's only one. So anyway, I get these babies into my tank and they are awesome for the first two weeks. They hovered about like tiny helicopters with their little eyes roving back and forth. My puffers eventually realized that when I opened the lid of the aquarium it meant dinner time. One day, I was watching the larger female puffer watching me approach the aquarium. When I opened the lid she got so excited that she nipped off the tip of my emerald cory's tailfin, and then like lightning took off a piece of a head & taillight tetra's tailfin! Right there in front of me! I checked every fish in the tank, but those were the only two victims. I immediately pulled both puffers out anyway, and put them in a smaller tank. Sadly, they both died shortly after. The puffers are very messy eaters, and a great deal of uneaten brine shrimp collected in the gravel and rotted. The resulting pollution killed them extremely quickly. I will be getting three more of these cuties for a 12G species tank as they are easily my favorite fish. They are funny, charming and smart, but if you want some, be prepared to clean up after them...a lot!

Contributed by Steve Rizor

Dwarf Puffers are a strange, cute, and interesting fish to keep, even though they can sometimes lead to a headache. Only reaching a max size of 4 cm, they seem like a perfect community fish, wrong. Trust me, these fish do better in a species only tank. I put two of these in a 40 L tank with two female guppies, what a mistake. The next day they were the only two things left in the tank. The guppies were dead, floating stumps. Yet, I think that if the fish were bigger, a lot bigger and non-predatory, you might get them in with these guys. But don't do it unless you have to. Flakes won't do for these, either. Bloodworms are the most common staple food used to feed these puffers. Brine shrimp and plankton are too big for their small mouths. Feed them shelled foods once a week to help wear down their beaks, I use small snails. About 12 L per puffer is a minimum! The tank should be heavily planted. That's all there is to it! Enjoy your odd little buddies!

Contributed by Grayson Evans

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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