Common name: Mbu Puffer, Giant Puffer, Giant Green Puffer
Scientific name: Tetraodon Mbu
Average Adult Fish Size: 24 inches / 60 cm
Place of Origin: Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, Cameroon. It inhabits rivers and lakes, including Lake Tanganyika.
Typical Tank setup: This is a freshwater puffer and does not require the addition of salt to its tank. They like a sandy substrate, with smooth rocks and driftwood pieces for decoration. Please make sure you leave plenty of open space for swimming.
Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 528 gallon / 2000 litre
Compatibility: This puffer is normally aggressive and intolerant fish that really should be kept alone. Its beak like mouth can easily bite chunks from other fish and in extreme cases rips them to pieces. However some puffers are less aggressive than others and it is down to the individual fish as to how it will react to tank mates. If you decide to take the risk, you will need a huge tank and tank mates that swim too quickly for the puffer to catch them easily.
Temperature: 75 – 79 Deg. F / 24 – 26 Deg. C
Water chemistry: pH 7.0 – 8.0
Feeding: This puffer loves all kinds of shellfish, as well as worms and other live and frozen foods. It should be fed snails and unshelled shellfish like crab legs, mussels regularly. This is in order to maintain its sharp teeth. As with other puffers, these grow continuously and become a problem for the fish if they are not kept ground down.
Sexing: You cannot sex them as there are no external sexual differences.
Breeding: Breeding has not occurred in aquariums. You would need an Olympic sized swimming pool in my opinion to be required for any serious breeding attempt.
Additional Information: The reason the Puffer fish are called Puffer fish is that they have the ability to inflate their elastic stomachs with water or air. This is usually a response to some kind of threat, although in the tank many specimens appear to inflate themselves for no reason at all. The fish becomes 2 or 3 times its normal size, big enough to scare away many potential predators, or difficult to swallow.
Puffers also have several other interesting distinctive features. They are one of the few fish that can actually blink or close their eyes. This only adds further charm to what is already a fish with bags of personality. They also have beak-like mouthparts, which are formed by a fusing of 2 teeth from each jaw. These are used to crush shells, the favourite food of most puffers.