Mature males have contrasting markings and can erect dorsal and ventral ridges. Females fuller bodied and less boldly patterned.
Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions. pH: 6.5-7.5, dH: up to 18 degrees.
23-28 deg C (73-82 deg F)
Caution advised when housing with other fish!
No special requirements
Topping out at just 2cm, this miniature species from the freshwaters of South West India is the ideal species for smaller aquaria. You can expect Pygmy Puffers to form loose shoals when first introduced to their new surroundings, but after a couple of days of getting to know their new environment, the males may start defending territory. They are not highly territorial, but chasing will occur frequently, albeit without any significant damage being inflicted on each other. Pygmy Puffers are a delight to watch as they zoom mischievously about their aquarium, but it should be mentioned that they are not to be trusted with other fish species. Pygmy Puffers are not fussy with regards to water chemistry, providing that good conditions are maintained at all times. Unlike many Asian puffers, these are not brackish fish and the addition of salt is not required. They will appreciate a good amount of plant cover within the tank, giving these inquisitive fish a network of hiding places to swim in and out of and a chance to avoid rivals. May also be seen on sale as the Dwarf, or Pea Puffer.
Small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, chopped cockle and mussel meat. Will eat small snails, and the crunching of the shells will help to keep the beak worn down,as will the shell component of shrimpy frozen foods.
Pygmy Puffers have been bred in aquaria, but details are few and far between. The male is said to pursue the female, nudging her sides, and if she accepts him (and when ready to spawn) they will swim down together into a clump of Java moss. The female is said to deposit up to 200 eggs amongst the vegetation over a period of some time, as not all eggs seem ready to be released at once. The male immediately passes over them and releases his milt. The biggest problem with the breeding of Pygmy Puffers is that the eggs are very prone to fungussing. Excellent water quality must be maintained at all times. Once the eggs hatch and the young have absorbed their yolk sacs, they can be offered microworms.