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Beginners Guide

The Life Cycle of a Mini Puffer Fish.

by Catherine Tran 08 Aug 2023 0 Comments


The pea puffer is one of my favorites in the whole aquarium hobby.

Just look at how chubby they are and why I love them so much.

I have always been fascinated by the round of life and breeding fish is one of the best ways to explore this never-ending passion…


My long-term goal is to breed these pea puffers and our story begins with my small adult pea puffer in this group.

We have three males and six females. We bred them over a year ago and now they are all grown up, it's time for me to test their intelligence, here's the aquarium.


I added a sponge filter for obvious reasons, which will also contain microscopic organisms, the first food for our fry.

In the initial setup, I just needed a few small plants to cover the spawning, which would give the puffer a place to spawn.

They eat live food, that's why these black worms are perfect because they have enough nutrients to prepare to reproduce for the next generation.


I noticed that they are all flirting with the males but I don't stop. I check to see if they have started laying eggs but I can't find any eggs.

I'll have to wait a little longer, it's been over a week and I feed the fish every day. I'll be honest, I don't often check eggs but now I do.



I only found a few eggs but I was very happy based on the number of eggs the Pea puffers laid.

Over the couple weeks, I took some out to take a closer look and you can actually see the little cells inside the egg that will soon turn into a little puffer in the wild.

There's a chance these fish won't even know that these babies are theirs, they have to carry on letting the next generation thrive.


Just two days later our first babies started hatching and coming out of the reeds, some of them still not fully hatched with just a small tail sticking out of the egg while others had already started swimming for the first time.


I wouldn't feed the kids right away as they have small yolk sacs even though their mouths are too small to be able to eat anything else so they will eat the tiny creatures present in the sponge filter.

This is why I keep my fry in a perennial tank, however not all creatures are welcome in our puffer nursery.

Introducing the roe-eating small flatworm rhabdacola, they are a major threat to our unhatched puffer fish.

It's possible that the radical hitchhiked on the backs of the worms we fed, they seem to be on the side of the tank so they won't harm the eggs at the bottom so I'll leave it for a week


The puffer fish have hatched all my cubs have grown it's time for me to give them their first real meal of small fish

We need even smaller food.


Shrimps exhibit a jerky motion that excites the puffer fish and they will take a bite.

Quickly all their bellies were full…


And brine shrimp will be the mainstay of their diet for the next month.

One more week to go with peas and they will grow very fast.


I think they're starting to resemble their parents in their hunting habits.

So it won't be long before they'll be doing their first blackworm eating challenge and it looks like all the RAB de cola is gone, maybe a credit to our new puffins.

Predators have become prey…


Our pea puffers are now one month old and have officially graduated from Puffer Preschool.

They are almost ready to enter the real world and move to the tanks in my aquarium shop where they will travel to their permanent home with your master


They face one final test, it's time for us to see

Our new army of perched pufferfish is ready to join the battle against this black worm.


They will step up to the challenge, at first the peas mistaken for black worms are much larger than salt water cut. After a few minutes a brave pea takes a bite inspired by others around.

Many pea puffer fish have imitated very quickly


Everyone tried the taste of my new blackworms

This journey is so meaningful to see them go from egg to young is so rewarding


I think it can be said that the pea puffers are ready to go into the tank in my shop. Many customers love the puffer fish as much as you do.

I'm sure some of our babies will soon meet their new owners and maybe they will eventually become parents.

And the reproductive life cycle that leaves the offspring for the next generation continues…


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