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

The Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer only reaches between 1.5” and 2” (35mm and 50mm) and as such only requires a small aquarium. I currently keep my Red Tailed Red Eye Puffer in a 10-gallon aquarium with a small school of Neon Tetras. A 10 or 20-gallon aquarium will be perfectly large enough for a Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

In recent years there has been a real boost in the popularity of freshwater pufferfish. There are now around 10 to 15 different species seen on the market on a regular basis, and one or two more which occasionally crop up. From the 1” (2.5cm) Dwarf Puffer to the 30” (75cm) Mbu Puffer, there is a puffer to suit every aquarium and every budget.

I have been keeping freshwater pufferfish for over 10 years. I have a number of different species in my fish room, and the Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer is certainly one of my favorites. These tiny puffers are full of character and mine never fails to entertain me with his swimming antics.

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

Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer Tank Setup

The ideal aquarium setup will include lots of cover, especially in the form of live plants.

I keep my Red Tailed Red Eye Puffer in a 10-gallon aquarium which has a sand substrate, a few rocks, and lots of live plants. I also have floating plants to help create a feeling of safety. Over the sand, I have a layer of decaying catappa leaves.

These catappa leaves have a dual purpose. Firstly, as the leaves decay, they release tannins into the water which turns it a light brown color. This ‘murky’ water adds to the puffer’s sense of security. Secondly, the catappa leaves provide a place where uneaten snails and shrimps can hide and even reproduce, providing a free source of food for my Red Tailed Red Eye Puffer.



Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer Tank Filtration

I don’t like too much flow in my Red Tailed Red Eye Puffer tank, so I use a small hang-on-back filter. The Fluval C2 works really well. I recently wrote an article about Are Fluval Filters Good? which looked at the ‘C’ Series filters.

A small canister filter would work fine if you were keeping your Red Tailed Red Eye Puffer in a larger tank. Maybe for a 40 gallon (180 Litre) or larger.



Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer Tank Mates

I have written an article all about the best tank mates for Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffers. Essentially, choose small, fast-swimming fish that won’t try to compete with the Red-Tailed Red Eye Puffer for food. I have had success with Neon Tetras, Guppies, and Zebra Danios.

Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffers are aggressive towards their own kind, so do not try to keep more than one Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer in the same aquarium.

In Conclusion

Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffers do not need a large aquarium. A 10-gallon or 20 gallons (37 liters or 75 liters) aquarium will be perfect for a single specimen. Set the aquarium up with plenty of cover in the form of live plants, and your Red-Tailed Red-Eye Puffer will be very happy.


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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