South American Pufferfish/Amazon Pufferfish
Genus: Colomesus
Species: C. asellus
Maximum Size: Reportedly up to 6", 3" more common in home aquaria
Aggression: Mid, Social
Temperature: 72-82 F
pH: 6-8
Hardness: 5-20 dH
Brackish Tolerance: varies, 1.000-1.005
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons for a group of puffers
Feeding: Flake, Pellets, and Algae Wafers likely accepted. Chopped Shellfish, pieces of frozen fish, even vegetable matter good for supplements. Eats some snail species

Notes: South American Pufferfish (SAPs) are unique as far as the commonly traded pufferfish go. Unlike the Carinotetraodon and Tetraodon puffers sold, these fish are social and can be kept in good sized groups. Indeed, they seem to be nervous when kept alone. A group of about 6 puffers is a good number for keeping aggression down. Other choices for tankmates are a bit limited. As confirmed fin nippers, it’s best not to keep them with easy-going fish like Corydoras catfish. The best tankmates are fast (like Glassfish) or spend the majority of the time hiding (like Synodontis catfish, in freshwater).

These fish are adapted to river life and appreciate higher water flow than other puffers. Filter flow of 6-10 times tank volume per hour is beneficial. Also as riverine fish, they are less dependent on caves than other puffers, though they do appreciate plants to hide in.

SAPs do hunt and eat snails, but specific species are certainly preferred. Pond snails (Physa sp.) are easiest, and Ramshorn Snails may be accepted. Malaysian Trumpet Snails may be too hard to eat and should be avoided. Feeding snails may help wear down their teeth, which grow very fast. Trimming may need to be performed at some point during the life of the fish (more information and instructions in the sources below).

SAPs seem to be prone to Ich infestations. Freely floating Ich protozoans cannot survive brackish conditions and thus it is better to keep these fish in slightly saline water. Like many puffers, SAPs are very sensitive to Ich Medications that contain Copper.


The Nice Puffer: Colomesus asellus, the South American Puffer, Neale Monks

Colomesus asellus (Amazon Puffer), Seriously Fish

Fish Dentistry: Tooth Wear and Care in Predatory Fish, Kelly Jedlicki, Anthony Calfo

(Image Source)


More of Bumble and Honey, with a very rude photobomb by Pumpkin. Edit: I forgot to tell the best part-they were both free! One was to replace the puff puff I got last week who died in under24 hours. The other was for helping out in the shop…I spent2.5 hours feeding fish and cleaning hair algae, and got a puffer as payment. I may be turning this into a semi-regular semi-internship.