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    Malabar Dwarf Puffer - Carinotetraodon travancoricus

    That Fish Place

    Item # 213657 / Manufacturer Part # F90 0022 0552

    Was $3.99
    Now $3.99
     
    The Malabar Dwarf Puffer is, as its name suggests, one of the smallest of puffer species. They are a freshwater species, but will tolerate very dilute brackish water. Like their larger relatives, these dwarf puffers are territorial fish, and will often nip the fins even of their larger tankmates. For this reason, they should only be kept with tankmates if they are larger and peaceful, and are hardy enough to withstand some fin-nipping. Males are particularly aggressive toward each other when mature, so it is best to keep these fish in pairs or one to a tank.

    The Malabar Dwarf Puffer (Carinotetraodon travancoricus) is characterized by a brownish to green dorsal side with dark irregular spots and some yellow tint. The belly is whitish or yellowish. The fins are rounded, and are tinged with yellow toward the base, becoming clear at the ends. There is some evidence that mature male dwarf puffers can be identified by a horizontal stripe located from behind the pectoral fins to the tail, which darkens during mating. Male puffers are generally slimmer and less rounded in appearance.


    Puffers are incredibly popular for aquariums. Many puffers are curious and outgoing and they may even seem to “know” when their keeper is near, swimming quickly to the aquarium glass or water's surface when someone approaches the tank. While endearing, puffers may not be the right choice for some aquariums.

    Puffers are not too demanding in terms of care, but they need plenty of space and ample filtration to keep the water quality pristine. They're messy eaters, and the diet required for these fish can leave a lot of waste. Puffers have strong, ever-growing front teeth (beak) that they will need to wear down. They may chew on rockwork in the tank to aid in the process. Feeding hard-shelled items, such as whole clams or shellfish, can also help to keep the teeth worn. Their diet should consist of a variety of meaty items like crab, shrimp, scallops, squid, krill and similar items.

    It is important to never provoke a puffer to see it inflate. Puffing is a stress or defense reaction, and it can cause health problems or even death for a puffer. The fish can swallow air or over-inflate with water, leading to even more stress as the fish attempted to recover and even death due to stress-related complications or internal injuries. If a puffer inflates, remove the source of the stress, lower the lighting on the tank and allow the fish to recover on its own. Avoid using a net or removing the puffer from the water and exposing it to air. Instead, transfer with rigid containers, which will minimize stress that can cause them to puff.

    Some puffers are found in freshwater while others are from brackish environments and should not be kept in freshwater tanks. Brackish water is between freshwater and saltwater and has a Specific Gravity of around 1.005 to 1.015; most brackish water fish need increasing salinity as they grow and mature. They may live in brackish water as juveniles but need full saltwater as adult. Puffers are not community fish; they may prey on smaller fish or nip at the fins of passive fish their own size or larger. Even the tiny 1-inch-long Dwarf Puffers have been known to bully much larger tankmates!

    Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists on Pufferfish and other aquarium-related topics!
    Common NameMalabar Dwarf Puffer
    Scientific NameCarinotetraodon travancoricus
    OriginAsia
    Max Size (in inches)1.25
    Community SafeNo
    pH Range7.5-8.3
    DietCarnivore
    Min Tank Size (in gallons)15
    Temperature Range72-80
    DifficultyModerate
    View Acclimation Procedures View Guarantee Policy View all Shipping Information


    Most Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q: Is your livestock covered by any guarantee?
  • Most of our live items are covered by our 5-day Arrive Alive Guarantee. Restricted Items are not covered by this policy for any reason. View the full Livestock Guarantee Policy and Restricted Species list for full details. Any losses must be reported to us within the 5-day guarantee period and we do require verification for any losses.
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  • Q: When will my Livestock order ship?
  • Live orders (fish, invertebrates) are shipped FedEx Standard Overnight or FedEx Priority Overnight Monday through Thursday for delivery Tuesday through Friday.
  • Live plants and live rock orders are shipped via FedEx 2-day express Monday through Wednesday for delivery Wednesday through Friday. Shipping upgrades to overnight shipping are available for an additional fee.
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  • Q: How much does it cost to have live plants and animals shipped to me?
  • Live Fish/Invert Charges:
  • *Standard Overnight: $34.99
  • Priority Overnight: $44.99
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  • Please contact a livestock representative for upgraded shipping quotes at 1-877-367-4377.

  • *Standard Overnight where available only, priority rate may apply. Shipping charges are not covered by our livestock guarantee policy and are non-refundable.


  • Q: How do you ship live plants and animals?
  • Livestock orders are packed and shipped in a separate facility from dry goods and cannot be shipped with dry goods.
  • We make every effort to make transit comfortable and safe for livestock. We review the temperature and destination for every order, and pack the livestock accordingly. Fish and invertebrates are triple-bagged and packed with heat packs or ice packs (as needed) in insulated styrofoam containers and cardboard shipping boxes. Plants are carefully wrapped in wet paper and plastic then shipped in standard FedEx shipping boxes (with heat packs or ice packs as needed).
  • *Heat packs are usually taped to the lid or side of the box. These packets should be discarded after delivery; do not add these packets or their contents to your aquarium.
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  • View our complete list of aquatic plant shipping restrictions.
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  • Q: Can I specify size, color or sex?
  • Sizes of livestock items offered can vary by supplier, collection area, and time of year. We do not assign specific measurements to live items, but rather general sizes (small, medium, large, XL). If the actual size of a fish or invertebrate you are considering is a concern, please speak directly to a livestock representative to discuss the items you're considering. We do not sell any fish by sex other than those specifically listed as "male" or "female". We cannot guarantee that the fish can be successfully sexed or that the ratio of male/female you request will be available.
  • Please be aware that coloration within species may be quite variable. The specimen you recieve may not look exactly like the representative photo on the site do to these natural variations in color or markings. If you have a request for a specific color in any of our assorted items, you contact the Livestock Mailorder department at 877-367-4377 or livefish@thatpetplace.com. We try to fill special requests when possible, but cannot guarantee the preference.
  • Average Rating

    Great 11/8/2013

    Reviewer: Jax

    My tiny puffer arrived on time in a huge beautifully packed and insulated container. She was in great shape and is a delight to watch.

    Cute! 4/10/2013

    Reviewer: Neil

    I like these!

    Great Fish! 3/22/2013

    Reviewer: George

    I just received these dwarf puffers yesterday, and they are already a charm to have! I've had many different tanks before, and wanted something to really grab my interest and get me more involved in the tank maintence. Great shipping methods, they came healthy and lively!

    Awesome little guys 10/3/2012

    Reviewer: Isaac

    These guys are pretty tiny, but they make up for their small size with their great personality. They always beg for food and always want more. Just don't give into them every time :D. They will eat freeze dried blood worms... eventually, but their real appetite is for escargot. Don't expect any snail to live once these guys are around. Although they are friendly to humans they are not quite as nice towards fish. Tank mates include their own kind and perhaps some ghost shrimp and some Chinese algae eaters. Dont be fooled by throwing another agressive fish in and think that they will be alright, the existing beta in the tank had its tail and fins ripped off to attest to this situation. All in all 5 stars!!!!

    Smartest and cutest fish ever 4/21/2012

    Reviewer: Kelly b.

    I have 2 of these guys they are pretty territorial but very smart, they beg for food all the time. how can I not feed them with their tiny faces being all cute? They follow the food container around the tank and their bellies grow when they are fed. As tank mates I keep them with shrimp and some algae eaters no problem :)

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