Congo puffer (Tetradon miurus)

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Characin lover

Aquarium Advice Newbie
Sep 9, 2023
Submitted by Charicinlover

Congo puffer (tetradon miurus)

Synonyms: (other known scientific name(s)

Common Names: potato puffer

Category: puffer

Family: Tetradontidae

Origin: Congo river basin

Main Ecosystem: sandy river beds

Salinity: exclusively freshwater

Temperment: extremely aggressive should be kept in a species only tank

Diet: carnivore/predator will eat live fish, shrimp, earthworms, crayfish, snails, roaches, chipped clams.
Note: make sure you feed it at least some shelled foods so it can wear its teeth down

Care: this fish needs soft substrate sand preferably deep enough to it to wallow in. Will require live prey but can be weaned into alternatives. A strong filter is required for this animal as well due to the amount of ammonia they produce due to their messy eating and meat based diet.

pH: 6.8-7.5

Temperature: 75-80 Fahrenheit

Hardness: 4-10 dGH

Potential size: 4-6 inches

Water Region: mostly stays buried in the substrate or sit on the ground when hunting or digesting but will otherwise utilize the upper parts of the tank

Activity: will spend most of the day swimming spends the night waiting in the sand. Though they may spend more time in the sand some days.

Lifespan: 5-10 years

Color: Congo puffers have Metachrosis so they do not have a defined color and will instead match the color of the substrate the only exception to this is the orange variant which stays bright orange the majority of the time

Mouth: very unusual it is upturned to fit its unique style of hunting when buried underneath the sand.

Sexing: sexed are identical

Acclimation: when transferring your puffer never expose the fish to air as it may cause the fish to inflate from stress. Inflation for puffers is very unhealthy and should be avoided by all means necessary. After drip acclimating instead of removing from the bag with a net instead drain a portion of the bag and slowly dip the bag into the tank and let the puffer swim out of the bag on its own this will minimize any potential stress.

Breeding: due to the excessive aggression that this species displays breeding has never been achieved in the home aquarium I highly recommend you do not attempt this for the safety of the puffers.

Comments: this is a very unique puffer that while somewhat difficult to care for is very rewarding. These fish often display a variety of colors so to encourage this behavior put tan rounded stones, moss balls, and different sand colors. (I use black and white in particular) avoid sharp items such as driftwood and jagged stones.
This fish requires sand as deep as it’s body this isn’t a plus in the tank this is a requirement so the puffer can wallow otherwise you risk the issue of your puffer becoming too stressed to do normal activities such as sleeping and eating.


Below shows a photo of the Congo puffer swimming and buried. Note this is my own specimen.


  • 71573685381__5BE7ECFA-E83B-4830-98E5-0FDDCF9ADA2F.jpg
    246.3 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG_1919.jpg
    258.9 KB · Views: 21
Top Bottom