Dwarf Tetraodon - Diet, Reproduction and Conservation Status

Dwarf Tetraodon: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Dwarf Tetraodon is also known as the Tetraodon...

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The Dwarf Tetraodon is also known as Tetraodon nigroviridis, Green Puffer, Malabar Dwarf Tetraodon or Spotted Puffer. It is a very interesting fish from the point of view of the aquarist, since it is an elegant fish in its movements and a very good devourer of live food. Of course, compatibility with other fish will have to be taken into account in order to avoid inconvenience.

In this PlanetAnimal breed sheet, we will learn to know in depth the Dwarf Tetraodon, its characteristics, its care and its diet.


  • Asia
  • India

Characteristics of the Dwarf Tetraodon

The Dwarf Tetraodon is, as its name suggests, small in size. It measures between 13 and 17 centimeters, ( although in exceptional occasions they reach up to 12 cm). As long as you don't make it live with other fish, because cohabitation can be complicated, you can keep one in a not too big aquarium (about 60 liters)

Its basic color is yellow and marbled with black or bluish spots, although it should be added that the young are of a more intense yellow than in adulthood. The belly, however, is white, smooth and unblemished. His eyes are beautiful: large, bulging and they can move independently of each other.

Of course, in honor of their name, they can turn into puffer fish by ingesting large amounts of water and air. This is their defense system and we must not provoke them to observe this phenomenon because we cause them harmful stress.

Caring for the Dwarf Tetraodon

The essential care that we must always take into account for all our fish is the type of aquarium, the water and the temperature, as well as the food that they can eat. Let's see together what the dwarf Tetraodon needs:

  • The aquarium: if he is going to be alone in his aquarium, we recommend a 60 liter aquarium. Although it could fit perfectly in a 30 liter aquarium, its need for space to hide, shelter and feel safe could be affected in such a small space.
  • Water Types: The Dwarf Tetraodon can live in both freshwater and s altwater environments (a mixture of freshwater and s altwater), but the second option is preferable. That is why it is very important that the expert explains to you the environment in which he has lived so far so that a sudden change does not cause him to die.
  • Temperature: being a tropical fish, it will need a temperature between 22ºC and 28ºC and a pH between 6.5 and 8.3. It is very important to maintain an appropriate temperature and pH. Changes in both lead to very unpleasant and negative consequences for our finned friends, the filter and the thermometer will help you to check that everything is working correctly.

Dwarf tetraodon diet

The dwarf tetraodon is a very carnivorous and very voracious animal. By all accounts, they love sea snails.

For their food, we will provide them with live crustaceans and molluscs. You can also give them mosquito and worm larvae, and if you have nothing alive, you can give them pieces of mussels. Of course, we will never give them food with scales, because they don't digest them well.

Differences between male and female dwarf tetraodon

Even for experts, it is quite difficult to distinguish the sex of these tropical water fish. However, some differences are mentioned:

  • Although the belly of these exotics is normally white and smooth, in the case of males there may be a brownish line. This is something we can never appreciate in females.
  • Females tend to be rounder and bulkier than males.

The reproduction of these fish is oviparous and the eggs are deposited between the plants until they hatch. Their life expectancy can reach 8 years in captivity.

Fish compatible with the dwarf tetraodon

As we have already explained before, they are very aggressive fish. Although one might think that this behavior is due to territoriality to feed, they have a habit of attacking the fins of their conspecifics.

We recommend mixing them with:

  • Beaufortia leveretii (also known as Leverette's Loach): The Leverette's Loach is a very calm fish that adapts well to life with other fish and more particularly with the dwarf tetraodon.
  • Dwarf tetraodon: the most recommended option is to join it with others of the same species.

Remember that the most important thing to avoid this aggressive behavior with other fish is to use a very large and spacious aquarium.

Pictures of Dwarf Tetraodon

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