What Do Pea Puffers Eat? Best Foods For Pet Pea Puffer

Last Updated on September 17, 2021 by cmoarz

Pea Puffer, Also known as the dwarf puffer is a really neat miniature pufferfish that can fit in smaller aquariums. Because of their uniqueness, they are becoming more and more popular in amateur and professional fish-keeping hobbies.

If you are interested in keeping pea puffers, it’s important to ask “what do pea puffers eat anyway”?

The truth is, these fish are not as easy to take care of as everyone thinks they are, But luckily their diet is fairly easy to get a handle on. Let’s get started learning what pea puffers eat and what you should feed your dwarf puffer pet to make him as healthy as possible!

What Do Pea Puffers Eat?

Other fish we talk about on this website are omnivorous, however, the pea puffer is a straight-up carnivore! You won’t see him making an algae salad anytime soon.

Because the pea puffer is only about an inch long in most cases, they are pretty much limited to eating things that are really small. While baby puffers will eat brine shrimp, when they get older it’s usually recommended that people start feeding them larger foods like blood worms or krill.

When it comes to processed commercial foods, The pufferfish is rather picky eaters and will likely put their nose up to anything that doesn’t look “natural”.

Note: Young puffers eat the same as adult puffers, only in smaller pieces and quantities. Brine shrimp are definitely recommended at this stage of life, however, live and frozen foods are tolerated as long as they are small enough to be able to actually eat them.

Frozen Foods:

  • Bloodworms
  • brine shrimp
  • tubifex worms
  • mosquito larvae
  • Krill
  • Scuds

Live Foods:

  • Bloodworms
  • brine shrimp
  • tubifex worms
  • mosquito larvae
  • Krill
  • Small snails (ramshorn snails, Malaysian trumpet snails, bladder snails, and other pest snails and live snails).
  • Scuds

Due to their size, any other small live or frozen larvae will also do well. It’s always better to fed your pea puffer live foods over frozen foods.

The reason for this is live foods will not only activate their hunting instincts and get them moving around the tank more which is healthy exercise, But always feeding dead or frozen foods will encourage them to stay in one spot.

The problem with this is if you have more than 1 pea puffer in the tank, it encourages them to feed on top of one another, which can and will cause aggressiveness.

Another positive aspect to live foods is you won’t have to spend countless hours removing uneaten food from the tank.

It’s also important to remember not to overfeed your pea puffer.

Pea pufferfish appetites are intense, and if given the opportunity, they will just keep eating and eating. So feed in moderation for their own health.

You should get them a varied diet of live and frozen proteins. Proteins are important as a carnivore, that’s basically all pea puffers eat and will need a large portion of it.

At the end of the day, that’s all there really is to feeding dwarf pea puffers. They eat small snails, Insects, Little fish, tropical fish, fish eggs, and frozen food is occasionally given.

All in all, make sure you are feeding them a varied diet of live foods, frozen foods, and any other food you want to give them.

Dwarf Puffer FAQ

How big do pea puffers get

When fully developed, the average pea puffer length is 1.5 inches long. Males and females tend to be the same size. Their small stature is one of the reasons they’re the most popular pufferfish, as well as how they got their name “The pea puffer” Or “The dwarf puffer”.

To maintain optimal growth, water quality should be a top priority as well as having a filter (such as a sponge filter) in the tank setup.

Can a male and female dwarf puffer live together?

Yes! Pea dwarf puffers can live together safely in the same aquarium provided there’s space for every one pea puffer to themself. Males and females have been known to share the same tank for life.

As noted above, it’s important that they have space to get away from each other as they can tend to be slightly aggressive to one another. It’s recommended 2 peas per 10 gallons, and to feed them away from each other so they aren’t on top of each other to get the frozen foods.

If you find your dwarf pufferfish are being aggressive more than you are comfortable with, consider adding some live foods and other small fish for the puffers to chase around instead. This will usually break out any aggressive behavior for a while.

While not as aggressive as other fish, For example, betta fish, They are somewhat of a predatory species and like other fish of that nature, Can be somewhat aggressive at times.

How much do pea puffers cost?

On average, you’ll be looking at spending anywhere from $20 all the way up to $40 for a dwarf puffer. Of course, this price can vary widely depending on where you live and the color of your pet.

The aquarium itself only needs to be a 10 or 20 gallon for a pea puffer to be happy so the initial setup itself isn’t very expensive either. So other than initial food, a pea puffer aquarium isn’t too bad.

How long do pufferfish live?

The suggested lifespan is around 3 years or longer, but it varies on how healthy and happy they are. Some have been known to live as long as 5 years, but the rounded average is 3-5 years.

Where do pea puffers live

The pea pufferfish (pygmy pufferfish) is a tiny freshwater pufferfish that can be found in Kerala and southern Karnataka in India’s southwestern region. Overfishing in the aquarium trade, as well as habitat loss, are both detrimental to its survival. Luckily, at least somewhat, It does well in captivity and there is a healthy captive population. So if we finally end up destroying their natural habitat, A healthy supply will still exist. As unfortunate as that would be.

Can I put my pea puffer pet into brackish water?

Absolutely not! Dwarf puffer fish is a true freshwater species and can not tolerate any salinity. So, unfortunately, You will not be able to place your pea puffer into a brackish water tank.


Owner of AquariumGravel.com and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!