How to Look After Freshwater Puffer Fish

How to Look After Freshwater Puffer Fish

The animal kingdom includes thousands of species around the world, and many of them are unknown to most people - even the most passionate animal lovers. Among freshwater animal species we can find a small, colorful fish known as the figure 8 puffer fish, known scientifically as Tetraodon biocellatus. This small animal inhabits the waters of South and South-East Asia, and it's one of the few species of freshwater puffer fish.

Since it is a rare creature, it is not easy to find instructions to care for them. This OneHowTo article will tell you how to look after freshwater puffer fish.

Characteristics of freshwater puffer fish

The freshwater puffer fish, figure 8 puffer fish or Tetraodon biocellatus is a species found in Asia, particularly in Thailand and India, as well as the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is notable for its shape and color, which is often brown in adults. It can reach a maximum of 6 to 8 cm in length, and females are usually larger than males.

Proper care and attention can help increase the life expectancy of a freshwater puffer fish; they usually live until they are 3 or 4, but they can actually last until 5 or 6 years old. The jaw of a figure 8 puffer fish consists of two pairs of teeth, one at the top and one at the bottom; this species, as their name makes clear, is able to increase in size when it feels threatened.

What to feed a freshwater puffer fish

The diet of a figure 8 puffer fish mainly consists of snails and worms. This is a great way to prevent small mollusk infestations in aquariums! If the freshwater puffer fish is in an aquarium, it should be given snails to help it file down its teeth, which are constantly growing.

For this reason, it is advisable to give it frozen foods. On the other hand, the figure 8 puffer fish usually demonstrates a reluctance to ready-made food such as granules or dry food. Whilst it may appear to be always hungry, don't exceed the recommended amount.

How do freshwater puffer fish behave

Freshwater puffer fish usually have quite a strong character when they reach adulthood, although they are normally quite peaceful during their younger years. It is therefore advisable to avoid the coexistence of this fish in large groups, because they can often display aggression towards other members, often biting their fins.

A figure 8 puffer fish usually inhabits all areas of the tank, although it can be timid if the aquarium has a lack of plants.

How do freshwater puffer fish reproduce

Reproduction of freshwater puffer fish in captivity is yet to be achieved. In the wild, females lay their eggs on leaves or other platforms found in the water. It is difficult to distinguish the male from the female, although the latter is usually larger in size.

What is the best aquarium for a freshwater puffer fish

It's important that the aquarium is fitted with enough plants so that the fish feels safe and protected, because it often hides among them. Also, it should be big enough for it to swim. As such, a large aquarium comes highly recommended.

Furthermore, the aquarium should have an illuminated section and another part where the light is dimmer, so the fish has the option to hide. It is best to have more than two couples in the same aquarium, since the dominant male could otherwise exert constant aggression towards the submissive other.

  • Water: Slightly acidic or neutral, soft or moderately hard.
  • Temperature: Between 22 and 26º C (71-79º F)
  • pH: Between 6.5 and 7.5. This is the index for the concentration of hydrogen ions, which operate in plants or fish due to lack of nutrients.
  • Hardness: Between 5 and 15 GH. This means the amount of magnesium and calcium found in the water.

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