pea puffer tank mates

Pea Puffer Tank Mates | 6 Great Tank Mates

In this guide we explore ideal pea puffer tank mates that can further compliment the look of your tanks and also provide great company to for them. The Pea Puffer,  also known as dwarf pufferfish, is a remarkably cute freshwater species. It is a very popular fish with aquarist due to its beauty and relatively low maintenance.

In recent times, the popularity of this species has really spiked up giving it a heads up option for most fish tank lovers. All for obvious reasons; they are undeniably adorable. As if that isn’t enough, this fish species is easy to take care of and their active behavior is fascinating to watch.

If you really want your fish to thrive well in your tank, all you need to do now is educate yourself adequately. In this article, we take a look at some of the best tank mates, diet, lifespan and basic care of this fish.

pea puffer tank mates

Pea Puffer Tank Mates

This is perhaps the headache bit of many pea puffer owners. One thing to note is that this fish is highly aggressive and territorial in nature therefore you cannot just pair it with any fish of similar size (You don’t want your fish injured or even killed!)

The safest decision an aquarist can make is purchase only one pea puffer fish and let it live alone in its tank. This will allow you to get away with even a smaller tank while keeping your fish safe.

But what’s the fun in keeping only one single fish? Also, this fish love shoaling. Therefore, they will really appreciate company. With the right techniques, you can either add another pea puffer or another species of fish to your tank. Here is what to do.

If you are adding another pea puffer, ensure you have done these two vital things. First, allow an extra 5 gallons of water per fish to provide them with enough space to avoid getting in each other’s space. Second, include a number of plants or artificial decorations to provide hiding room for them to feel safe.

If you are considering adding another species, here is what to do: ensure that the fish are of similar size and fast enough to get away from danger when need arises. Pea puffers are fin nippers and will devour on slow fish. Also avoid larger species of fish as they can hurt your dwarf pufferfish.

Some of the best pea puffer tank mates worth considering are:

  • Danios
  • Kuhli loach
  • Otocinclus
  • Ember tetras
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Neon tetras (both normal and green)



An average size of this fish is about an inch and a half when fully grown. Relatively small right? I guess it’s why they were named dwarf puffer fish.

It is mostly unheard of this fish ever exceeding this size no matter how good you take care of it or its genetics. If yours does, then you are a special person.



A pea puffer will lighten up your tank for an average of 4 to 5 years. Of course this figure can be longer or shorter depending on the fish’s genetics and the quality of care you provide. 

If you follow the care guidelines including diet factors we have offered in this article, then hitting the age of 5 will be so easy for them. Speaking of diet, let’s check out the detail.


Pea Puffer Care

pea puffer fish care

This fish is quite easy to take care of. Just give him enough space to dominate and keep the water parameters stable and you are good to go!

Ideal Tank Size

A 10 gallon-sized tank should be the minimum for your fish. However, since this fish love to swim and hide, we recommend going for 20 to 40 gallon-sized tanks. They wouldn’t mind an even bigger tank. If you want to keep more than one pea puffer, add an extra 5 gallons for every additional fish.

Water Parameters

Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F

pH levels: 7 to 8

Water hardness: 5-15 KH



This fish is carnivorous in nature. In the wild, it mainly feeds on larvae, small insects and algae. I’ve got to say this fish has quite an appetite. Do not be fooled by their timid looks. 

That said, you will have to provide them with protein-rich foods with a good touch of variety. Pellets and flakes are not just enough for this fish. 

You will need to go an extra mile and provide them with mosquito larvae, tubifex, frozen and live foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. This is a remarkable source of nutrients.

Due to their vicious appetite, it is easy to find yourself overfeeding them. Be careful not to. Overfeeding them can compromise their health. Create a nice schedule that can work to provide them with the right amount of food over a correct time period.

Also, overfeeding them can negatively affect your water quality. The leftovers will settle at the bottom of the tank and begin breaking down causing a spike in nitrate and nitrite levels in your water. 



Unlike other species of fish, with the right knowledge and resources, this fish is relatively straightforward to breed. Just ensure the guidelines above and water parameters are perfect for this fish.

The only difference here is that the fish should be kept in close proximity and the water warmed. Heating the water to a preferable range of 79°F to 80°F will replicate the water temperature of the wild during the fish’s breeding season. 

For better results, some aquarists recommend a breeding tank while others shove this as completely unnecessary. If you consider acquiring a separate breeding tank, getting one that is half the size of the normal tank could be the best shot.

When the two are ready to breed, the male will follow the female to a planted area of the tank to fertilize her eggs. From here, do nothing but enjoy the view for a few days until they hatch. You can now begin feeding them with quality food.


To Wrap it all Up

Keeping a dwarf puffer could just be the one thing missing to complete your whole world! They are fun to keep and it is a rewarding and enjoyable process taking care of them.

Take a good amount of time to try and figure out your pea puffer’s temperament levels. This will enable you to figure out how reasonable it is for you to get him a tank mate. Remember basing from your findings, whether you get him a mate or not, it will all be for the good of him.