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Spotted Congo Puffer: A Complete Care Guide

“Spotted Congo puffer” That sound very familiar to me,

When I was a child, I saw next door uncle brought a fish which having brown to black colour.

There are spots on its body with brown-yellow mix background.

Spotted Congo Puffer


So when I grew up, I decided to ask from him, he says It is a spotted Congo Puffer, There I got excited because I haven’t heard that word before, but familiar since from childhood.

So I did lots of research on the internet and You tube.

I decided to share the facts I found by writing this article. This article will help you to get better knowledge about Congo Spotted Puffer If you are willing to have this beautiful fish in your tank in the future.

Let me give some Introduction about this Spotted Congo Puffer.

Spotted Congo puffer, where it is scientifically identify as Tetraodon schoutedeni. Actually What is in a name?

Tetra refers to four ( like Tetrahedron) Odon means tooth ( Like orthodontist), schoutedeni the named after Belgian zoologist Henri Schouteden who founded this fish species.

This Spotted Congo puffer belongs to the family Tetraodontidae

is a fresh water puffer fish which native to the pool Malebo ( formerly stanley pool) a lake like widening in the lower reaches of Congo river system in the Democratic republic of the Congo.

In the wild, they are founds in the Swity flowing water where it is highly oxygenated.

They often live among the rocks and vegetations within that water system.

Spotted Congo Puffer

When compared with other pufferfish species, Spotted Congo Puffer with large eyes which allows it move independently here and there within the tank or any other water body.

It is advisable not to touch fish with the hand as it can bite the human finger’s.

Even can chew the aluminium cans. How could it possible? Yes, their mouth contains four teeth which firmly attach to the upper jaw and lower jaw.

This can see when you feed them with molluscs like snails and other crustaceans.

I have seen those molluscs shell been crushed by the Congo fish be aware!

Similar characteristics with other puffer fish:

Spotted Congo puffer also with torpedo shape which common to all puffer species.

Other similar features are dorsal fin located at the frontal side, and pectoral fins can be seen close to the gills and Their anal fin situated at the abdomen with parallel to the dorsal fin.

And the tail is forked and curved.

How Spotted Congo pufferfish differ from other Pufferfish?

Spotted Congo Puffer

Even though it has similarities with other Pufferfish, there are significant and unique features to them as well.

That is the self-inflating ability. When it occurs, backwards-pointing spins appear from the belly area of fish.

It is a unique feature, as I mentioned earlier, take place when only fish get stressed or frighten.

Other than that they have a characteristic club-like shape where tail looks like a knob radically reduce from belly to the anal fin.

Read more about Fugu Saddle Puffer

When it comes to the Congo Spotted puffer size:

If I ask you how big do Spotted Congo Puffer get? Answer simple they vary from size 3.5 – 6 inches( approximately 9-10cm).

But vary depending on the sex, age and health etc.

Most believe that this fish can not keep in home aquariums. It is totally a myth.

If you can give the exact natural habitat conditions, it can keep within home aquaria.

Watch the following video, where this man unpacking the newly brought spotted Congo puffer.

Amazing! It is fully packed considering the safety of the fish; there it proves you can have your fish any time, where ever you are from the product outlets. No evidence need to show how people like to keep this Congo fish.

When it comes to the tank conditions,

If you are a fish breeder, maintaining good water quality is a must.

As spotted Congo fish intolerant to low water quality, pay much attention to it.

You can prepare tank with the sandy substrate at the bottom and use much live aquatic plants for aqua scaping while maintaining, Temperature of water at 72-79 F ( nearly 75F /28.3 C) and PH to be between 6.5- 7.5 for optimal growth.

Water should be oxygenated and must have a moderate flow.

It is better if you can give caves much as possible, it will provide them with more hiding places.

Congo Puffer tank size?

It is needed to provide much space for them, so used at least 40 gallons ( 160L ) tank for keeping.

watch the following video, how it keep there! “It is a 160 Liter water tank”.

The most important factor regarding the Congo puffer is the filtration. As they produce a large amount of waste, there should be an excellent filtration to remove it because ammonia produce within the tank can get toxic to other fish mates too.

You can either use a sponge filter or an external filter or both.

I hope you get the point!

The behaviour of Tetraodon schoutedeni:

Can Pufferfish live in a community tank?

Yes, schoutedeni puffer is very peaceful towards their community as well as to other fish mates.

The best tank mates for them would be short-finned fast swimming fish such as catfish and cichlids.

Also, they are capable of inflating as mentioned earlier by taking the water or air but be careful if it takes air, it can be fatal to them!

Note: when your fish transfer to the tank follows it under the water. Never get out of water.

You can supply them with many aquarium plants with your aqua scaping, and they like to spend more time with these plants, sometimes sleeps on it.

They also can change their colour to dark green according to the environment. This happens most of the time when they get stressed.

So be in touch with them.

Note: when you first introduce them to the tank you need to quarantine them for about 2 weeks, this can help to relieve the stress due to the temperature and other environmental factors until they get adapted for the tank.

watch the following video! “This shows how they are quarantined”.

Spotted Congo puffer diet and feeding

They must be provided with well nutritious freeze-dried, frozen food such as frozen Mysis shrimp, blood worm, white mosquito larvae, chopped cockle, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, shell-on prawns and shell snails are some of them.

As I did internet research, I found fed them with three times a day once every week is better, as this fish always seek for food.

Aquarists breed small snails in a separate tank, as they reproduce rapidly, can fulfil Congo fish hunger instantly.

Gender determination of Spotted Congo Puffer

It is said to be difficult to recognize them visually. But commonly male Spotted Congo Puffer smaller than female, and female Puffer looks much more prolonged and bigger with wide hips.

When it comes to sexual maturity, you can identify the abdomen of the female is blurge or enlarge by having eggs and male often chasing the female swimming around the tank.

When it comes to breeding

If you can fulfil native water parameters and other requirements you can breed in home aquaria.

But the major problem faced here is the difficulty in gender identification, to find out a sexually matured pair. Experts can, but beginners need to practice for that.

Each Pufferfish need about 20 gallons means both 40 gallons of water are enough.

After they are mating, eggs will release out of female will deposit on the aquarium plant leaves, and it often guards by the male Puffer.

You can see little babies after 4-5 days after eggs get hatched.

During this period, you must feed them correctly according to a schedule.

Sure it will be a fascinating thing for you.

Congo puffer fish: Wikipedia

Disease and care

Like other fish, they also can be susceptible to the bacterial infections other parasites.

If you caught it from wild must deworm first. As you maintain good water quality and adequate filtration, along with a balanced diet, there will be no issues arise.

Their teeth should trim because it led to growing within its entire life cycle.

Even though they have slow growth, it is good to trim. You may use expert advice for this.

Watch the following video which shows it simply.


Having a fish like Congo Pufferfish adds beauty to your tank, and It is very interesting to have a fish-like Puffer.

If you maintain correct water parameters, you can easily breed them anywhere in the world and give them enough balanced diet.

Always quarantine before adding it to the main tank, also as mention do the trimming.

Happy fish keeping!

Further reading :

  1. Green dragon pleco: Ultimate care guide 2020
  2. Do platies need a heater?














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