Freshwater Puffer Fish: 8 Beautiful Types


Freshwater Puffer Fish are usually the tiny fishes that are home aquarium friendly. These creatures are found in multiple colors and varieties which look adorable. The mere sight of these freshwater pufferfish can make your day if you keep them at home!

However, not all freshwater pufferfish are easy to keep or friendly. If you are fond of cute freshwater pufferfish, this article will give you an insight into these fishes.

1. Congo Puffer

Congo puffer originates from the rivers of Africa. This fish buries itself in the sand to hide from predators. This fish can be 6-7 inches long.

Congo puffer has a variety of colors. It adapts the color according to the environment. The most common colors found among congo are; black, red, and sand. The PH level of the water tank should be around 6.5-7.5 and the water should also be filtered.

Congo fish should be kept in a separate water tank because they are always in the search of prey. They might eat your small fishes or rip their wings off.

2. Fahaka Puffer

The Fahaka puffer fish is a gigantic fish that can reach the size of 17 inches. This fish dwells in the rivers of Africa.

Since the Fahaka puffer is very aggressive and wild, the catering of this pufferfish requires massive care and expertise. Your tank should be vast, heavily filtered, and planted with vegetation in order to keep this fish. The PH level of the water should be 7-8.

If you are new to fishkeeping, better leave the idea of keeping these fish because they are said to bite your fingers while feeding. So, that’s not the right fish for you!

3. Dwarf Puffer

These fishes are also known as; Pea puffer, Malabar puffer, or Pygmy puffer. Dwarf puffers are the smallest among all the freshwater species of fish. They are easy to keep as they are tiny (2.5cm) and need no extra care.

They can be kept in a planted aquarium. Since their teeth are immature, they don’t bite. Dwarf puffer is a sensitive fish that needs filtered water regularly.

The size of the aquarium can be small - easy to keep anywhere. They come in fancy and bright colors. This is why it's the best choice for beginners and for decorating purposes.

4. Target Puffer

Target pufferfish is a medium size fish that grows around 6 inches. This fish is sensitive to the environment and needs constant filtration. As these fishes are not very active, the tank can be of medium size as well.

An interesting thing about this fish is that it is active during the night. In the moonlight, these nocturnal fishes hunt their prey. In case there is no moonlight, you can install a blue light surrounding the aquarium and you will see these lazy fishes active!

They are carnivore means that they eat everything from snails, insects, and mussels to plant-based food.

5. South American Puffer/Amazon Puffer

If you want to keep Amazon fish then be ready for the extra care you need to provide them. These fishes are not easy to keep especially if you are a beginner. This breed of puffer is in smaller size about 5.5 inches.

As their name suggests, they live in South American countries. Thus they prefer acidic water. The body of this fish is in golden color with black stripes that look very beautiful. It loves to swim which means you need a large tank and the water needs to be changed regularly.

Another challenge you have to face is that you need to clip their teeth off because these fishes end up with overgrown teeth. Give them hard food like large snails, mussels, and crabs.

6. Ocellated Puffer

The Ocellated Puffer is the rarest and uncommon breed of the pufferfish, small - only the length of 6 inches. This is found in the streams of fresh water in South Asia.

The male usually guards the eggs. This is a very gentle and docile breed. It doesn’t need to be kept alone rather, it prefers to live in pairs. Another amazing thing is they don’t require a large aquarium. An aquarium of 20 gallons will be enough for this breed.

It's an amazing idea to house these fish because they are adorable and require less care as compared to the other breeds of puffers. However, strong water filtration is necessary.

7. MBU Puffer

MBU Puffer is rather the largest breed of puffers that carries a length of 26 inches. They live in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They are not friendly to keep in the house because it's difficult to arrange enough space for them. They have unique patterns on their bodies that tend to change with their age.

The idea of keeping this fish at home is not worth it for you, because nobody can arrange a huge aquarium and constant changing of massive gallons of water. Therefore, this breed is recommended to expert fish keepers only.

8. Red-Eyed Puffer

The red-eyed puffer is a messy fish. They hardly reach the size of 2 inches. They are small yet aggressive of all. There are many species of this breed but they fall under the same category of red-eye puffer.

It is best to put this specie in a separate tank because of their aggressiveness, they can’t live with other breeds. These fishes are active in the dark.

Although their size is tiny, they need a huge tank because they produce a lot of water. To divert their attention, you need to entertain them by adding plants into the tank. Snails and shrimps are the favorite diets of this breed.

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