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Can You Keep A Pea Puffer In A 5 Gallon Aquarium?

With their cute tiny size and unique color patterns, the popularity of keeping pet pea puffer fish is sky rocketing right now due to a number of videos going viral on social media showing just how cute the fish can actually be.

As more and more people try to add a pea puffer to their aquariums, the number of questions that we see relating to keeping pea puffer steadily increases too and we are seeing a wide range of different questions about caring for a pea puffer right now.

One of the most commonly asked questions about keeping pea puffers by far is if you can keep a pea puffer in a 5 gallon aquarium or not.

Although this is a little controversial within the fish keeping community, we wanted to publish our own article going over keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank as outside of keeping pea puffers in a larger communital tank, a cheap, decent 5 gallon tank is the most common option for keeping pea puffers and provided you set it up correctly, the fish can thrive in there.

As with most things in fish keeping, there are a number of very common mistakes that we see people make time and time again when it comes to keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank.

We hope that our article will be able to help our readers avoid making these mistakes and set up the perfect tank for their pea puffer so it will live a long and happy life and this is definitely possible in a 5 gallon aquarium provided you go about it correctly.

Can You Keep A Pea Puffer In A 5 Gallon Aquarium?

Pea puffers can be kept in 5 gallon tanks with many people within the fish keeping community keeping their pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank without issue and their fish living long and happy lives.

There is no need to specifically go for a long 5 gallon tank with a pea puffer either as they do just as well in a tall 5 gallon tank opening up the options available for fish keepers.

Thankfully, the prices of a decent 5 gallon tank has drastically declined over the last decade or so too making it much more affordable for people to get involved in the fish keeping community.

In addition to that, with the popularity of pea puffers skyrocketing right now, the number of people breeding the fish is also increasing too making it much easier to purchase a cheap, healthy pea puffer online rather than paying over the odds for a pea puffer from your local pet store.

Although a 5 gallon tank is small, there are a couple of things that you are able to do that we will cover in our next section to make sure that you are able to keep your pea puffer happy in their tank.

On top of this, you have to realize just how small a pea puffer is with 1.5 inches usually being their maximum length as a fully grown, adult pea puffer fish.

This falls in with what the majority of the fish keeping community would recommend as a solo occupant for a 5 gallon tank making the pea puffer the perfect fish for the 5 gallon tank size.

“Pea Puffer” by s_jacoby is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

How Can You Keep Your Pea Puffer Happy In A 5 Gallon Tank?

You can easily keep your pea puffer happy in a 5 gallon tank with the main problem for pea puffers being a lack of mental stimulation rather than the size of the tank.

Pea puffers are very inquisitive fish that love to explore so you definitely need a range of tank decorations in your tank for your pea puffer to interact with throughout the day to keep it happy.

The best option by far is to add some moss covered fish hides to your 5 gallon tank for your pea puffer.

These have to be our number one recommendation to anyone wanting to keep a pea puffer as they are essentially two decorations in one helping to save you space. Not only is there the tunnel element of the hide for your pea puffer to interact with but it can also lay in the moss on the fish hide too.

If you have the time available then you are able to create an even better version of this yourself by going with regular stacked fish hides and then growing a little java moss on top of them.

Another great way to help keep your pea puffer interested in a 5 gallon tank is to add some fake plants to the tank. Standard fish tank decorations are always a great addition too as they can also offer some excellent mental stimulation too.

Should You Add Tank Mates For Your Pea Puffer In A 5 Gallon Tank?

If you are keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank then there is usually no need or space available to have any other fish based tank mates in the tank.

Many people will keep either nerite or mystery snails in the tank to help reduce algae build up but other than that, you really should be allocating the full 5 gallons of the tank to your pea puffer.

If you do have larger tanks available then pea puffers can be excellent fish to keep in communal tanks with many people doing it but the majority of the people who we see reaching out about keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank are either brand new to the hobby or are on a tight budget.

This often rules out the larger communal tanks as they need experience and money to run correctly and although a 5 gallon tank is ideal for a single pea puffer and potentially a couple of snails, we would not recommend that you keep any other fish in the tank.

One thing that is becoming popular within the fish keeping community amongst people who do keep pea puffers in 5 gallon tanks is to keep rare snails in the tank with the fish.

The blue, black, and purple mystery snails are very popular right now and are still pretty rare so this allows you to add unique things to your 5 gallon aquarium for your pea puffer without you having to add other fish.


That brings our article going over keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon aquarium to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand that it is perfectly fine to keep a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank and although there are a small number of vocal people on social media saying it shouldn’t be done, plenty of people all over the world are doing it without issue with their pea puffer being very happy in its tank provided you add the mental stimulation that we covered earlier in the article.