Introduction to the Freshwater Puffer

Freshwater aquariums are very easy to maintain and quite beautiful at the same time. If you have the right equipment and keep the parameters of the water balanced at all times, you don’t have to worry about anything else; any fish or plant you want will adapt perfectly in this tank.

Freshwater Puffer

Among the most interesting species of freshwater fish is the Puffer fish, a wonderful creature that looks great in any tank.

Here is everything you need to know about it:

The pufferfish (blowfish), or Tetraodon Nigroviridis, looks rounder than you would expect. Usually the fish is yellow with black dots, but there are variations of color in some individuals. The personality of the fish is what really makes it stand out in any tank—it is full of energy, playful, and very curious about everything. Place a new plant in the tank and the puffer will swim around it for hours trying to explore the new decoration. Although it is so beautiful, it is not recommended for beginners; the puffer has special requirements compared to other freshwater fish that require strict attention.

Though this fish is very curious and energetic, the puffer is not very friendly with other species, especially if the other fish are also territorial. The puffer can live in the same tank with other puffers and with calm species that will not attack him or run after him. To prevent problems, ensure there is enough space in the tank for everyone. The puffer needs plants, rocks, and various places to hide along with empty space to swim freely. A crowded tank will make this species very uncomfortable.  The puffer’s defense mechanism against other species or an overcrowded tank is to ingest large amounts of water to inflate its elastic stomach and extending the spines on its body to make them unpalatable.

In the first months of life, the puffer can survive in freshwater tanks, but you will need to move it when it matures to adulthood. The water needs to have strict parameters and any imbalance in the chemistry of the water can kill it.

Another interesting fact about this fish is it has four teeth in a beak-like form; in its natural habitat, the fish will sharpen his teeth on stones or shells so in captivity you have to provide these “tools”or its teeth might overgrow and the Puffer will not be able to eat. The best way to make sure his teeth are sized normally is to feed him regularly with hard-shelled live food.  In their natural habitat they are predators and enjoy a diet of algae and invertebrates like clams, mussels, and shellfish.

Puffer fish become attached to the person feeding them and they will become playful when you approach the tank to try to get some food. Also, some of them might spit water outside the tank to get your attention. For small puffers, a meal once per day is indicated, but adults only need to be fed twice per week.


When deciding on investing in a puffer,consider their lifespan of up to ten years. Additionally, they can grow up to two feet in length and some species even more. This means you will need a large tank and proper equipment to offer adequate living conditions.

Since they are sensitive to any chemical imbalance in the tank, it’s not recommended to cycle an aquarium with them. However, once settled, you will be able to enjoy their presence in your tank for a very long time. Make sure you check their teeth and you don’t feed them every time they “do a trick”for it.

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