13 Types Of Freshwater Puffer Fish (With Pictures)

More than 120 species of pufferfish, according to Kristin Claricoates DVM of Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She said there are 40 species in brackish water (a mixture of fresh and saltwater), and 29 species can be found in freshwater. Have you heard that most pufferfish, when consumed, are poisonous to predators and humans?

According to Claricoates, the risk is still there; however, some countries like Korea, China, and Japan believe that pufferfish is to be a delicacy for food, and only chefs who have been explicitly trained can safely serve them.

But chefs who make Fugu or pufferfish fillets were not looking to fill a fish that did not contain toxin since the numbing effects of the poison once the fish is consumed is one of the reasons people love eating pufferfish, said Claricoates.

Although they use their fins to aid them in swimming (with tail fins serving as a Rudder), the pufferfish are notoriously slow to move. But they do possess other ways of preventing stopping predators trying to take their food, as stated by Claricoates, with excellent eyesight, which can help scout for food or identify predators before they appear.

They can summon a surge of energy to quickly swim towards prey (albeit in a poorly managed direction). If they’re not able to escape, they engage in the behavior they are famous for: they drink an excessive volume of liquid (or if they are not in the air, they drink it in) to become large and unattractive, she explained.

If a predator succeeds in devours, a pufferfish might die due to the toxin inside the fish’s body. Pufferfish don’t have scales but have spines, according to Claricoates. Since pufferfish do not have scales, they are susceptible to changes in the water’s pH and are more vulnerable to illness.

As a fish owner, you have to ensure that the water quality is excellent–specifically nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels in your tank. If the levels are high, this usually indicates an unclean tank which can cause health issues for the fish you keep, she explained. “They will either eat the other fish that are small enough, or they will bite at the other fish’s fins if they are too big to eat,” she explained.

If the pufferfish’s size is extremely tiny, they’ll probably suffer from starvation because they’re small enough to compete with the larger and faster fish inside the tank.



1. Congo Puffer

Congo Puffer
Congo Puffer

The Congo puffer, also known as a potato puffer, is freshwater species of Pufferfish located in the Congo River in Africa. They can be seen from sandy to black and bright red.

Their diet is primarily based on eating other fish, and Congo puffers can reach 6 inches in maturity. Congo Puffer’s natural habitat includes large rivers and streams high in inflow.



2. Dwarf Puffer

Dwarf Puffer
Dwarf Puffer

The dwarf Pufferfish is sometimes referred to as the Malabar pufferfish, also known as the Malabar, or the pygmy Pufferfish. They’re both round in the body but are thin toward the back of the dorsal as well as the anal fins.

The dwarf puffer eats tiny snails like bladder snails, ramshorn snails, and ramshorn. The little Pufferfish is native within Kerala and Southern Karnataka, located in Karnataka in the Western Ghats of Peninsular India.



3. Fahaka Puffer

Fahaka Puffer
Fahaka Puffer

Fahaka Puffers make up a species of carnivore fish known as Molluscivores. The Fahaka Puffer is a large, elongated fish with small prickles and bright red/orange eyes. They can be fed live fish food similarly.

Crabs, snails, shrimp, and crayfish are all the favorites from Fahaka Puffer. Fahaka pufferfish ranges from 43 centimeters (1.4 feet) long. In Africa, they can be found in the Nile, Chad basin, Niger, Volta, Gambia, Geba, and Senegal Rivers.



4. Golden Puffer

Golden Puffer
Golden Puffer

It is known as the Golden Puffer, or Avocado Puffer has a peculiar form for a puffer, having a more sleek body. They are very rounded, with tiny fins set from the surface.

This fish eats mainly tasty insects, seeds, and shrimps. The natives of this species are Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia and are commonly found in large and medium rivers.

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5. Imitator Puffer

Carinotetraodon imitator, more commonly referred to as the dwarf Malabar puffer, is a type of Pufferfish found in the rivers of the Western Ghats of India. Imitator puffer is a species of fish found in the Western Ghats region.

Imitator puffer can also be referred to as the dwarf Malabar puffer as it is a different kind of small Pufferfish. The fish is a bright yellow hue. Like the ramshorn snails, the puffer dwarf will consume tiny snails in captivity.



6. MBU Puffer

MBU Puffer
MBU Puffer

The Mbu pufferfish is a unique species that comes with individuality. They have olive green bodies on the top and then fade to a yellowish-green hue beneath. It is a fish that feeds on smaller ones such as mollusks, crustaceans, mollusks, and snails.

The standard Mbu puffer’s size ranges 22 to 22 inches long at the lower end. The Mbu pufferfish is an animal indigenous to Cameroon, Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.



7. Ocellated Puffer

The Ocellated puffer is a unique brackish puffer from Malaysia that can grow to six inches long and is gentle enough to be used to create a large aquarium with a brackish communal tank. Ocellated Pufferfish is a large head and back, which tapers abruptly towards the tail.

The diet of Pufferfish is mostly invertebrates as well as algae. They can grow to around 5.5″ in length. The breed is a captive breeder found in streams and rivers in South Asia.



8. Red-Eyed Puffer

It is the Red Eye Pufferfish is one of the rarest puffers. It is entirely freshwater with no salt required. They share a similar body shape as a classic puffer. You can use items like daphnia, bloodworms, or mosquito larvae.

Redeye Puffers originate from their home in the Lower Mekong Basin in Thailand and freshwater, such as slow-moving rivers and ponds.

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9. Red-Tailed Dwarf Puffer

Red-Eyed Puffer Red-Eyed Puffer is known for the slow-flowing river and the standing freshwater ecosystems. They are dark brown-colored bodies with lighter cream-colored stripes on their lower edges.

Its diet in the wild is mainly composed of snails and crustaceans, and carnivores enjoy a diet rich in tasty foods. Sometimes, it lives in loose groups and can grow to a size that is just 2 inches.



10. South American Puffer

Colomesus asellus, also known as the Amazon puffer, is also known as the asellus puffer. South American freshwater puffer, or Peruvian puffer, is one of the species of Pufferfish. They are green with white bellies and are patterned with black transverse stripes across the dorsal area.

They eat snails, shrimp, onwuchs, and any other wriggly thing. South American Pufferfish are found in many habitats, ranging from soft and acidic river systems like Rio Negro through to the estuary of the Amazon River.



11. Target Puffer

Target Puffer
Target Puffer

A freshwater pufferfish called the Target Puffer can be located in salty water in the wild. They are also found throughout Southeast Asia; the Target Puffers are simple to feed and can take live ghost shrimp, snails, frozen or dried krill, clams, crab legs, shrimp. They are available in white, yellow, green, or tan and reach as high as 5 inches.



12. Green Spotted Puffer

Green Spotted Puffer
Green Spotted Puffer

The green puffer with a spotted pattern is an aggressive fish that can take on and kill any other fish or another critter in the tank. The back of the fish is a vibrant green hue that stands out against its white belly.

You’ll need to feed them meaty and frozen food such as bloodworms, krill, and bloodworms. The green-spotted Pufferfish is found in freshwater and brackish habitats in the water.



13. Figure 8 Puffer

Figure 8 Puffer
Figure 8 Puffer

Dichotomyctere Ocellatus, also known as the “figure 8” puffer, also known as an eyespot puffer, is a type of Pufferfish located in the freshwater of Southeast Asia. They’re deep brown in hue on the upper part of the body, with white undersides.

They typically consume crustaceans and Mollusks. They can grow to about 4 inches; they’re tall. The puffer with the figure 8 Tetraodon biocellatus will find an ideal home in your freshwater aquarium.

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