Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer (Carinotetraodon Irrubesco) Tank Mates

The Carinotetraodon Irrubesco or Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer is a moderately aggressive species of fish, but most of that aggression is towards its own kind. I have had great success keeping a single Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer with fast swimming tank mates such as Danios, Rasboras, and Guppies.

Pufferfish are fast becoming one of the most popular fish in the freshwater hobby. Whether you want a small, friendly puffer for your community aquarium, like the Dwarf Puffer, or a larger, more impressive specimen like the Mbu Puffer, there is a pufferfish to suit every aquarium.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

I have been keeping freshwater pufferfish for over 10 years, and I have written countless articles over the years. They are a firm favorite in my fish room and I wouldn’t want to be without a pufferfish in my life.

I have written a Complete Guide to Carinotetraodon Irrubesco for those who want to know more about the species.



Suggested Tank Mates For Carinotetraodon Irrubesco

From my own experience, I would suggest choosing tank mates that firstly are quick, nimble swimmers and secondly won’t try to compete with the Carinotetraodon Irrubesco for food.

I have had good success with Celestial Pearl Danios, Guppies, Zebra Danios and Neon Tetras. Cardinal Tetras and Gold Tetras also work really well as would Harlequin Rasboras. All of these fish fit the brief, and there are certainly dozens of others that would too.



Others Say Carinotetraodon Irrubesco Is Aggressive

Unfortunately, the internet is made up of thousands of websites where people just repeat the same rubbish they read on other websites. Very few people write from their own research and experience.

The vast majority of people who write on the internet, especially in forums, don’t actually know what they are talking about. Often they have never kept the species in question, and if they have, usually they have failed, and then blamed the fish for their failure.

After keeping about 12 different species of pufferfish over the last 10 or more years, I like to think every article I write is drawn from personal experience. I try to carry out my own research before every article I write. It takes more effort than churn out the same wrong information as other websites, but the effort is worth it.

As someone who has kept Carinotetraodon Irrubesco for a number of years, I can confirm firsthand that they ARE very aggressive towards their own kind, but don’t tend to be aggressive to other tanks mates. The secret is selecting the right tank mates.

How To Set Up An Aquarium For Carinotetraodon Irrubesco With Tank Mates?

To give yourself the best chance of success keeping Carinotetraodon Irrubesco with tank mates, set the aquarium up primarily for the puffer, then build a community around it. Don’t try to set up a community aquarium, then expect to be able to plonk a Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer in and have success.

A Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer wants an aquarium with a sandy substrate. Decorations can be largely made up of rock and pieces of aquarium-safe wood. Live plants are a must and floating plants will help create the sense of cover the puffer is looking for.

A layer of catappa leaves over the substrate will add to the natural feel and hopefully release some tannins into the water as the Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer does like a darker aquarium.

In Conclusion

It is possible to keep tank mates with Carinotetraodon Irrubesco, you just have to choose the tank mates correctly. Choose tank mates that are fast enough to get away from the Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer so there is no chance they become lunch and don’t choose tank mates which will compete with the puffer for food.

DO NOT keep two Carinotetraodon Irrubesco together, otherwise, it will end in a bloodbath!


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
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