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The dwarf pufferfish, also known as the Malabar pufferfish, pea pufferfish or pygmy pufferfish, Carinotetraodon travancoricus is a small, freshwater pufferfish endemic to the River Pamba in Kerala, Southwest India. Maximum size is 22 mm (less than one inch), making it one of the smallest pufferfish in the world. Although closely related to marine pufferfish, they are not found in brackish or salt water, and reports to the contrary are based on misidentification. Both sexes are primarily yellow with dark green to black iridescent patches on the flanks and dorsal surface, but as with other members of the genus, sexual dimorphism is apparent in mature fish, with males being more brightly coloured than females. Males can also have a dark stripe down the center of their pale belly and iridescent "eye wrinkle" patterns that females lack. The diet of dwarf pufferfish in the wild has not been reported, but other members of the genus feed on zooplankton and various benthic crustaceans and molluscs. Food items of specimens maintained in aquaria appears to be similar. In fact, the dwarf puffer is one of the few aquarium fish to regularly eat small live snails and can be useful in controlling snail populations (larger snails do not interest them). Dwarf pufferfish have become quite popular as aquarium fish thanks to their attractive colours, small size, and relative ease of maintenance. Like all pufferfish, they can be aggressive, especially towards creatures smaller than themselves, and it is commonly recommended to keep them in a dedicated "species only" tank. A female to male ratio of 2 to 1 is sometimes recommended to reduce aggression in captive fish. Despite what the fish stores may indicate, flake fish food is not a recommended diet for Dwarf Puffers, and many fish will refuse to take this food. If you are persistent, you may be able to feed them dried worms, and they will eat live (and frozen) bloodworms with relish. Puffers are notoriously messy eaters, it is therefore important not to overfeed, and to employ a good filtration system. They may also eat small shrimp, or can be kept with them, some individuals may or may not eat shrimp kept in the same tank. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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