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  • Source: Neale Monks

  • Source: Neale Monks

Carinotetraodon irrubesco (Red-tailed Red-eye Dwarf Puffer)

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A small pufferfish with red eyes, cream coloured belly, and a mottled brown body. Unlike other dwarf puffers this fish has a distinctive red tail. Females have a more complex, speckled body (see photograph) while the patterns on males are simpler, with large bands of solid colour.

Often confused with Carinotetraodon lorteti, even by retailers and wholesalers. Males can be most readily distinguished by the colour of their tail fins: on Carinotetraodon irrubesco the tail fin is red, whereas on Carinotetraodon lorteti the tail fin is blue. In addition the pale markings on the upper surface of Carinotetraodon irrubesco tend to be more creamy in colour than the greenish-yellow markings on Carinotetraodon lorteti. Females of the two species are very similar, but female Carinotetraodon irrubesco generally have a ventral surface profusely marked with brown squiggles, whereas the underside of female Carinotetraodon lorteti is more or less entirely plain.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A shy, territorial species well suited to the home aquarium and generally well behaved in community tanks. This pufferfish has rarely been reported as a fin-nipping species, though tankmates should be chosen with care. Best kept alone in a reasonably large, well planted aquarium. Easy to maintain and relatively hardy, water chemistry is not critical though soft to moderately hard, slightly acidic to neutral conditions would most closely replicate its natural living conditions. Feeds readily on snails, brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms and other small animals.

Pairs will coexist happily enough in tanks 60 cm long or bigger. Breeding under aquarium conditions has not been frequently reported, but is assumed to be similar to Carinotetraodon lorteti, and likely some breeding reports of the latter species actually refer to Carinotetraodon irrubesco.

Family Group: Miscellaneous
Distribution Borneo and Sumatra
Temperature 24-28C
Size 5 cm
Water Parameters Adaptable, though soft and acidic conditions preferred
Water PH 6.0-7.5
Water Chemistry Adaptable
Sociability Aggressive
Care Level Difficult
Schooling Fish No
Diet Special Needs

Useful sources of information:

The best summary to these and other puffers can be found in the Klaus Ebert's pufferfish book from Aqualog. To buy a copy of this book click here.