Dwarf Pea Puffer: complete care guide



Pea Puffers get to about an inch, they are relatively small. They are pretty territorial but also super awesome. 

PRICE: you can get them from somewhere between $3-$15, depending on where you are.

Luckily most of the time they are captive-raised, which is super cool. But you can still get the wild-caught when you do get one caught in the wild you will have to do a little bit more deworming and be a little more careful.

Number of Pea Puffer per gallon 

The general rule of wisdom is 1 Pea Puffer can live in a 5-gallon aquarium and 1 Pea Puffer every 3-gallon afterward. So, in a 10-gallon you might be able to shoehorn in a group of 3, and in 20-gallon you can use maybe 6 or seven. But it all really comes down to how you set-up that environment.

Tank Setup

A bare tank with just some gravel, one fake plastic plant, and 3 Pea Puffer is gonna be a battle zone; There are not enough territories and hiding spaces. So, if you have a really lush jungle aquarium ith tons of plants than it makes a lot more sense to keep 3 or 6 Pea Puffers.

Grouping males and females

Getting males and females in a group is very important. When you buy them they tend to be assorted i.e. they will be to you to differentiate, you won't know which one is male and female. You buy a group and then they mature out, the males will get deeper coloration, they will be having stripes or dots on their belly, whereas females typically just have yellow. The males are also more slender and females tend to be plumper.

You can also start seeing who is really aggressive, typically the males are really aggressive, if they do not have 2 or 3 girls for every boy, that tends to be a problem. So, if getting your 5-gallon tank with 1 Pea Puffer, well there would not be any competition. But if you get a 10-gallon tank with 3 Pea Pufferdon't be shocked when it comes 8 months down the road and your tank becomes very aggressive. You will definitely home at least one of the boys out and if the boy and girl workout it would be great, if it doesn't maybe you want to hunt to find a third female.

Water Parameters


When it comes to water parameters, they can live in a pretty wide variety. They are even seen living at 6.4, and that is really the bottom edge for them. If you drop lower than that then you can start getting too acidic water and skin issues. They can also live in as high as 8.4 and that is a huge range.

If you can keep it stable usually they are happy. So, the perfect would be to keep them at 7.0 with crushed corals. Maybe 7.2 they seem to thrive in that. So, the recommended pH for them is 7.2-7.5 area.


When it comes to temperature, anything above 74 and below 82. Somewhere in the range, just keep it stable. You might want to keep them at 84 but there you are gonna start causing some stress. So, the general tropical temperature is 74 to 82 somewhere in that range.


When it comes to diet, they are hardcore carnivores. They love to eat things like frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimps. They would also love to eat little snails. 

One question that most of the people have is, "Do you have to trim their teeth? and Do you need to feed them snails all the time?" Luckily with the Pea Puffers either

  1. Their teeth stop growing
  2. Or they may grow so slow that it never becomes an issue.

So, they can live on a diet of frozen food their entire life and do well. The trick that you want to fall for is; you don't want to only feed them bloodworms or only feed them brine shrimp because over time they'll get deficiencies and that will be a problem, but their teeth themselves would not be a problem. 

So, a wide variety of frozen, you can do live Blackworms, Bloodworms, snails you can do all those things but really the majority of people are going to go with frozen foods. 


Choosing tankmates for these fishes might be confusing and unfortunately, there is no easy answer there. Some of them do great with other like real timid and peaceful. And most of them are kind of terror. So, they are really territorial and they like to guard their homes. Each one is going to be different.

If you already know that it is an aggressive species; nine times out of ten it will be aggressive. So, it's better to keep them in a species tank i.e you want to set up a tank for them, you only keep them and you deal with them accordingly. 

It is good to keep them in a well balanced planted tank for these guys, it keeps them active and consumes the extra bioload from all those extra frozen protein in the food you are feeding. Another thing is if you keep the tank balanced, you will be growing plants instead of algae.

Bigger is better

Bigger is better for them, it is true you can keep them in a smaller one. But the bigger tank you dedicate for them the easier it is going to be for you and the more they will appreciate it.

Pea Puffers are not recommended for your first aquarium or your only aquarium. Maybe you have got 2 or 3 other aquariums, maybe you have got your community tank, you have got your African Cichlids and now it is your Puffer tank.

Long term commitment fish

If you have just one 20-gallon tank and it is got five Pea Puffers in it, a lot of time people get bore in the second, third, and fourth year. They will live almost 10 years depending upon the temperature, so they are a long-term commitment fish.

Great little water pet

They have got some special needs but they do have wicked good vision and they swim differently than other fish, they are very inquisitive, they take look at the stuff they recognize you as their owner. So, they are great little water pets. 

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