Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Tetraodon miurus

Congo puffer

Congo Puffer, Tetraodon miurus Congo Puffer, Tetraodon miurus
Photos by Michelle Stuart


Tetraodon: Greek, tetra = four + Greek, odous = teeth

General Notes:

Tetraodon miurus is strictly a fresh water species, no salt should be added to its environment. The water should be of high quality with high levels of oxygen and very low nitrogenous waste levels. The substrate should be fairly deep to allow the fish to exhibit its natural behaviour of laying partially buried. Don't use fine sand as this may compact and cause other problems, use river sand with a grain size of 1 - 2mm.

Good circulation is essential in order to keep the oxygen levels fairly high so a good power filter should be regarded as essential.

A simple layout with a few well rounded stones and some bogwood is all that is required, live plants won't thrive as they may be dug up on a regular basis but artificial plant could be included.


Wild Tetraodon miurus feed mainly on smaller fish, in captivity they will accept a range of live and frozen food. Snails, shellfish, prawns, earthworms, crickets, meal worms, blood worms, lance fish and krill will all make an acceptable diet.

Note, in the UK it is illegal to use live vertebrate animals (this includes fish) as food. The practice is cruel and unnecessary.


Red eyed tetra, Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
Ready to ambush any passing prey

Aggressive, ambush predator which will lay partially buried in the substrate ready to snatch any prey item which passes within reach, Tetraodon miurus should therefore be kept alone. 


There are no known external differences between the sexes.


This species has never been bred in captivity.

Wild status

Tetraodon miurus  is a relatively common species across a large range. Congo puffers face no major threats. 

Additional information

The colour is extremely variable with this species and common natural colours include brown, red or even yellow or green.

Information at a glance

pH: Neutral
dGH: 4 - 15
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Lighting: Not critical
Diet: Carnivore
Size: 15cm (6in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Moderate
Aquarium type: Single specimen
Swimming level: Bottom

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Helostoma temminckii

Origin: Africa: Congo basin

Habitat: Fresh water only. Large rivers, often found in fast flowing water.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Tetraodontidae
Genus: Tetraodon
Species: T. miurus Boulenger, 1902

Other common names:
Potato puffer

Synonyms: None