11 Varieties of Freshwater Puffer Fish (With Footage)

pygmy pufferfish Freshwater Puffer Fish

Elevating freshwater pufferfish is a good problem for any skilled aquarium keeper. You’re going to want a big tank and the flexibility to filter the water rapidly and totally, however we’re assuming all that and are right here to check a bunch of types to see which one you want finest.

We’ve been capable of spherical up 11 completely different breeds of freshwater pufferfish to look over with you so you possibly can see if there are any that catch your eye. We’ll present you what they appear like in addition to provide you with some info that may be related to every breed. Be a part of us whereas we discuss dimension, filtration, colour, aquarium size, and extra that can assist you make an informed buy.


Listed below are the 11 forms of freshwater pufferfish we’re going to look over with you.

The 11 Varieties of Puffer Fish

1. Congo Puffer

Because the identify implies, Congo pufferfish come from the rivers of Africa. They develop to about 6 inches lengthy and can spend most of their time buried within the sand on the backside of your aquarium hiding from potential predators. Many colours can be found, together with black, sand, and purple, and the Congo may even adapt their colour to their environment aside from blue. They require a big tank and are extraordinarily delicate to nitrates, so the water must be closely filtered, as is the case for many pufferfish.

2. Dwarf Puffer

dwarf pufferfish
Picture Credit score: Toxotes Hun-Gabor Horvath, Shutterstock

The Dwarf pufferfish is also referred to as the Pea pufferfish and the Pygmy pufferfish. It’s one of many smallest pufferfish on this planet and barely will get bigger than an inch and a half. The Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature at the moment lists the Dwarf Puffer as susceptible because of overharvesting habitat loss. This breed may be very common in aquariums because of its brilliant colours and small dimension. It’s a lot simpler to accumulate the proper dimension aquarium and filtration wanted for a Dwarf than lots of the different breeds.

3. Fahaka Puffer

The Fahaka Puffer is likely one of the bigger breeds of pufferfish obtainable, and it could possibly attain a size of 16 inches when absolutely grown. These Fish are extraordinarily aggressive, and solely skilled keepers ought to attempt to personal one in every of these breeds. You’ll need a tank a minimum of 60-inches lengthy with sturdy filtering capabilities, and additionally, you will have to plant dense vegetation. These fish are additionally identified to go in your fingers whereas feeding and might ship a painful chew.

4. Golden Puffer

The Golden Puffer is available in a light-weight in a darkish model. Within the gentle model, the pufferfish has a white physique coated with yellow dots. At nighttime model, a black physique has yellow dots. They’ve very rounded our bodies with small fins set far again. There are small toothlike projections on their pores and skin that resembles a kind of sandpaper. After they puff up, these projections are extra pronounced. There are very massive fish I can attain virtually 20 inches in size when absolutely grown.

5. Imitator Puffer

Imitator Puffer Freshwater Puffer Fish
Picture: Needpix

The Imitator puffer is also referred to as the Dwarf Malabar Puffer, and it’s one other sort of tiny pufferfish. This fish has a brilliant yellow colour. The males have brighter coloring than the females, whereas the females have darkish spots throughout their our bodies. Although it’s a smaller fish, they’ll nonetheless require an aquarium with a minimum of 30 gallons of water.

6. MBU Puffer

MBU Pufferfish are a really massive breed of pufferfish that may attain a size of 26 inches. These fish are troublesome to deal with in an aquarium as a result of it’s troublesome to provide sufficient house and filtration to maintain your pet wholesome. Due to this fact, we advocate this breed solely to skilled pufferfish keepers. MBU pufferfish have a novel sample on their our bodies that may change as they age.

7. Ocellated Puffer

The Ocellated pufferfish is likely one of the rarer breeds obtainable. This breed is a captivity bred fish that now occupies rivers and streams of South Asia. The fish on this breed have particular person personalities, and the males will guard any eggs fiercely. They’re extra peaceable than many other forms and wish to be stored in pairs. You too can home them in a smaller aquarium than many others and usually solely require about 20 gallons. Nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless want a powerful filtration system.

8. Crimson-Eyed Puffer

The Crimson Eyed Puffer is a set of 4 breeds of pufferfish that every one have the red-eye in widespread. This breed of pufferfish is thought to be extra aggressive than lots of the others and can also be somewhat harder to take care of. As a result of these fish are typically extra aggressive, it’s finest to maintain them in an aquarium by themselves with no different pufferfish. Although they not often attain 2 inches, they want a big tank as a result of they produce a whole lot of waste. We advocate an aquarium a minimum of 32 inches lengthy. Loads of reside, tall vegetation may even be required.

9. Crimson-Tailed Dwarf Puffer

Crimson-Tailed Dwarf pufferfish is a small-sized breed that solely grows to about two inches on the largest. They like barely acidic water and aquariums with loads of reside vegetation. The males on this breed are noticeably bigger than the females, and so they have darkish brown coloured our bodies with gentle cream-colored stripes on its decrease sides. The smaller females have a mottled brown look with irregular shapes and markings. The women and men have purple eyes and purple tail fins.

10. South American Puffer

The South American Puffer is likely one of the solely pufferfish to reside in teams within the wild. Nevertheless, within the aquarium, it’s one of many harder fish to take care of. We advocate solely expert lovers buy this breed, and even then, we solely advocate getting one when you’ve got a really massive tank appropriate for multiple. Correctly maintained, they’ve brilliant golden and black stripes which can be very engaging towards background vegetation.

The South American Puffer would require a rectangle tank a minimum of 47 inches lengthy. The water will should be closely filtered, and dense vegetation will want planting. Additionally, you will want to provide them with laborious meals as a result of their enamel are likely to overgrow, and you should still have to clip them manually.

11. Goal Puffer

Goal Pufferfish develop to about 6 inches lengthy and require a tank a minimum of 35 inches lengthy to reside comfortably. Fixed sturdy filtration is required, and the extra the water strikes within the aquarium, the higher. Goal pufferfish are nocturnal predators and grow to be very energetic at night time. A moonlight might help you watch your Goal puffer hunt.



Pufferfish might be very rewarding when you’re capable of preserve the correct atmosphere for them to develop. Many puffers can grow to be fairly massive, and even the small ones have personalities completely different from many different forms of fish. It’s difficult to get a big sufficient tank and to filter it appropriately, so it’s a dedication it’s worthwhile to make beforehand as many of those fish final greater than 5 years. We advocate one of many smaller breeds, just like the Dwarf Puffer, when you’re new to a pufferfish, whereas a correctly raised MBU Puffer will make you the speak of the aquarium neighborhood.

We hope you might have loved studying this information on freshwater puffer fish and have discovered a few puffers you want to increase. In case you have discovered this information useful and discovered one thing new, please share these 11 forms of freshwater pufferfish on Fb and Twitter.

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Featured Picture: Pygmy Pufferfish, Shutterstock

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