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Freshwater Puffer Fish

August 02, 2021

Freshwater Puffer Fish

Puffer fish belong to the familyTetraodontidae. The family name is because of the large four teeth used for crushing the hard shells of their prey. They are slow-moving fish and show dorsal, anal, caudal fin motion. 

Natural Habitat of Puffer Fish:

Puffer fish are common in tropical and temperate climates. They mostly live in brackish or marine water, but about 35 species can enter the freshwater. 

They live in water with a pH between 7.0 and 7.6 and a temperature between 74-78° F. They can also be kept in aquariums with temperature ranges below 74 and maintain filtration of the aquarium. 

Puffer fish are present mainly from South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. They are primarily found in the submerged plants along the riverside.

Species of Puffer Fish:

There are at least about 150 known species of puffer. Some common species are,

  • Red Eye Puffer

  • Dwarf Pea Puffer

  • Congo Puffer

  • Golden Puffer

  • Fangs’ Puffer

  • Emerald Puffer

  • Imitator Puffer

  • Nile Puffer

  • Crested Puffer

  • Mbu Puffer

  • Striped Puffer

Diet of Puffer Fish:

Puffer fish are primarily omnivores. They mostly feed on algae, tropical granules, color flakes, tropical flakes, spirulina flakes, and small invertebrates. Their diet varies depending upon their environment. 

Larger species eat the mussels, crustaceans and mollusks, and shellfish. Some species also exhibit the ambush to open water hunting techniques.

Reproductive Behavior of Puffers:

Most species of puffers are cave spawners; puffers mainly breed in captivity. They don't breed in aquarium environments.

Defensive Mechanism Towards Predators:

  • Puffer fish can recognize human behaviors. They can swell their faces to avoid being swallowed by larger fishes. 
  • Most puffers have the ability to change their colors in response to their environment. 
  • Puffers have excellent eyesight and a rubber-like tail fin, which helps speed up the motion as the primary defense mechanism. 
  • Puffers have pointed spines. The skin of most puffers is toxic to some animals as puffers release the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, making the puffer the lethal choice as prey. 

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