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Giant Puffer Fish

Giant Freshwater Puffer fish, juvenile Giant Freshwater Puffer fish, adult
Juvenile and adult Mbu puffers.

Photos taken at Wharf Aquatics
© Sean Evans

Common name:Giant Puffer Fish, Giant Freshwater puffer, Mbu puffer
Scientific name:Tetraodon mbu
Size:Up to 30" (76cm), usually smaller in captivity, around 20" (50cm).
Origin:Africa: Congo river, Lake Tanganyika.
Tank setup:A large tank (at least 5x2x2'/152x61x61cm for an adult kept alone, preferably larger) with plenty of open swimming space. Some smooth and robust decor items can be included around the edges.
Compatibility:Can be aggressive and intolerant of other fish, although there is some variation in temperament, and young fish introduced to a community may ignore their tankmates. However, they have formidable teeth and could potentially do serious damage to other fish. Their sheer size alone makes them unsuitable for the general community tank.
Temperature:24-26oC (75-78oF)
Water chemistry:Freshwater species. Fairly soft to fairly hard, around neutral pH 7.0
Feeding:Carnivorous: live and frozen foods including snails, mussel, cockle and shrimp/prawn, earthworms.
Sexing:No obvious differences.
Breeding:Not reported in home aquaria - impractical due to the adult size.
Comments: This species is the largest of the freshwater puffers, do not purchase unless you have the means to accomodate the large adult size! Like most puffers, they have impressive teeth, which they can use to feed on snails and shellfish.

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