Spotted Congo Puffer Fish Care : A Complete Guide (With Pictures)

Spotted Congo Puffer is native to the democratic republic of Congo; hence, its name.

This aquarium fish species prefer rocky habitat, highly oxygenated water, and spend most time lurking around ready to kill any small fish or crustacean they find around.

Spotted Congo Puffer

Spotted Congo Puffer has no known sexual dimorphism, but they are, however, aggressive and colorful.

Quick Facts

Temperament : Aggressive
Care Level : Advanced
Colour : Colourful
Diet : Fish Flakes, Blood Worm, Java Moss
Adult Size : 1-24 inches
Lifespan : 10 years or more
Water Temperature : 72 to 790F
Water Ph : 6.5-7.5
Tank Size : Min 5 Gallon

Overview

Spotted Congo Puffer is a tropical fish most prevalent in various freshwater, brackish, and marine water worldwide. There are over 150 varieties of this fish, and about 30 of them live in freshwater.

One of the most outstanding features of Spotted Congo Puffer is their ability to put up self-defense. Some aquarists can translate this self-defense as aggressive and might not be compatible with other aggressive freshwater fish. They produce a very deadly neurotoxin known as tetrodotoxin.

Typical Behaviour

Don’t be deceived by the cute appearance of Spotted Congo Puffer, they can be aggressive and territorial and also have impressive hunting techniques, including open water hunting, ambush predation, and stealth predation. They are also skilled enough to blow water over the substrate and uncover prey hidden prey.

Spotted Congo Puffer is also fin nippers, which can cause potential and actual harm to various tank members. Their territoriality can also become worsened during the breeding season. It is best to keep them in single tanks because of their unique feeding pattern, aggression, and care needs.

Appearance

Appearance

Spotted Congo Puffer are distinct because of their cute and unique outlook. Likewise, they look stock and chubby, especially when the conditions are right with them in fish tanks. Their chubby body is blessed with short fins that stick out of their body.

They have four big teeth that are fused on their jaws and are covered by their lips. Their lips are usually full, and it’s useful in detecting food’s texture before munching on it. Their body lacks scales; instead, their body is covered with spikes.

Life Span

Spotted Congo Puffer lives longer than most other aquarium fish. This fish species can live for ten years or more when the conditions are right for them.

Certain factors can influence the lifespan of your Spotted Congo Puffer. These factors include feeding habits, diet, tank mates, water conditions, tank conditions, and other general health conditions. It would help if you optimized all these factors to suit the existence of your Spotted Congo Puffer Fish.

Size

Spotted Congo Puffer grows large. They can grow anywhere from 1 to 24 inches, depending on various factors. Some of the factors that can affect the growth of Spotted Congo Puffer Fish include diet, feeding habits, stress level, water and tank conditions, and genetics.

Genetics is the gene that they inherit from their parents, and it is the only growth factor that you cannot directly influence. However, you can influence other factors to ensure that the Spotted Congo Puffer Fish reach the maximum height possible.

Sexing

How can you tell if a Spotted Congo Puffer is male or female? One of the most difficult things with Spotted Congo Puffer is differentiating between the male and female. The most apparent difference is that the male will be smaller and more streamlined compared to the female.

The females, on the other hand, have wider hips and are relatively longer than the males. At full maturity, during breeding, the females will have a bulged abdomen because of the eggs that they are ready to release.

Compatible Tank Mates

When mixing Endler livebearer with other fish in a community tank it is important not to mix them with larger fish as they could eat your Endler livebearer fish.

If you want to mix with guppy fish you need to be careful as they will bread with them and your tank could become over run with their fry if you are not careful.

Due to the Endler livebearer calm and peaceful nature they can mix with many different fish.

Compatible tank mates for Spotted Congo Puffer fish include

  • Danios
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Amano shrimp

Water Conditions

The water conditions of Spotted Congo Puffer are essential for the overall well being and survival of the fish. It is also influential in the overall growth and activeness of Spotted Congo Puffer.

This fish species can live in various freshwater, marine, and brackish water.

Temperature

Spotted Congo Puffer needs a fairly warm tank. They thrive best in water with a temperature between 74-78 degrees F. They can react negatively when the temperature is extremely lower or extremely higher.

It is recommended to use an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature at the recommended setting. If you are after a heater check out the ones available on amazon

PH Level

The pH level of a fish tank is the degree of alkalinity or salinity. The optimum pH for Spotted Congo Puffer is between 7.0 – 7.6, which is near neutral. An optimal pH will influence other water parameters and them at an optimal level.

You can monitor your aquariums water using a PH water tester kit available on amazon

Oxygen level

As with most fish it is important for these fish to live in well oxygenated water, For this I recommend to install an air pump in to your aquarium as this will insure that the water is well oxygenated. You can pickup an air pump online from amazon.

Tank Setup

There are certain things we need to consider when we are selecting a tank, we know the needs of this fish are

  • Prefers a lot of space as they are active and love to swim around.
  • Thrive better in-wall planted fish tank with plenty of crevices .
  • Low water current to mitigate the possibility of stress.
  • They produce a lot of waste; hence they need a filter and lots of live plants.
  • Plants, rocks, and bogwood for the fish’s exploration.

With this information we can now select a tank.

endlers tank setup

Tank Size

The tank size for Spotted Congo Puffer depends on the type and number of fish you intend to keep together.

The minimum tank size that can guarantee the safety and proper growth of Spotted Congo Puffer is 10 gallons per fish.

How many Spotted Congo Puffers to keep in a 5 gallon tank? A 5-gallon tank might be too small for even a single matured Spotted Congo Puffer, particularly the ones with large size. A 5-gallon tank will only contain young Spotted Congo Puffer or fry.

If you are looking to purchase a fish aquarium I recommend you check out the aquariums on amazon

Filtration

The cleaner your tank water is the more chance your fish have of thriving and living a happier and healthier life. I have always used a fluval aquarium filter which I highly recommend, Check them out here

Heater

It is recommended to use an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature at the recommended setting. If you are after a heater check out the ones available on amazon

I also recommend that you monitor your aquariums water temperature by using an aquarium digital thermometer. Check out these ones from amazon

Tank Decorations

Adding enough decorations to the tank of Spotted Congo Puffer will help them thrive better. It will provide them with enough hiding space and allow them to explore their hunting tactics.

You can add wall plants, rocks, bogwoods, and services to the tank of Spotted Congo Puffer. These decorations are enough to optimize their tank.

Diet

How often do Spotted Congo Puffer fish need to be fed? You only need to feed Spotted Congo Puffer a couple of times daily to meet their feeding requirement as long as you feed them with the appropriate diet.

You should avoid overfeeding your Spotted Congo Puffer Fish and ensure that you get rid of all leftovers in the tank to avoid waste accumulation.

What should I feed my Spotted Congo Puffer fish? Spotted Congo Puffer is largely omnivorous, even though they prefer meat-based diets. They are hardy eaters and will feed on almost anything you feed to them. They feed on crustaceans, snails, shellfish, and other small fish in the tank.

You can also feed Spotted Congo Puffer with live, frozen, and dried meat. You can also feed them with animal substrates such as crustaceans, shellfish, or snails once their teeth grow fully.

How long can Spotted Congo Puffer fish live without food? Spotted Congo Puffer can survive up to 12 to 14 days without food. However, how long they can go is dependent on their health status before the time.

Breeding

The breeding of Spotted Congo Puffer is quite difficult because they become extremely temperamental and territorial during this period. Different species of Spotted Congo Puffer will also require different types of water parameters.

If you are lucky to find a breeding pair for your Spotted Congo Puffer, raising the fry is another major challenge. They are extremely protective of their eggs, but they can feast n them when they hatch.

How to tell if  Spotted Congo Puffer fish is pregnant? One of the obvious signs, when Spotted Congo Puffer is pregnant, is their bulge belly. Next, they can become highly territorial and temperamental.

Diseases

The last thing I want to go through is the common diseases these fish could suffer from.

Marine Ich

Marine ich also called the white spot disease. This disease is usually caused by parasites, poor water quality, and overcrowding in the fish tank. The disease makes the body of the fish itch, and they rub their body against the wall of the tank and other surfaces aggressively.

It would be best if you didn’t attempt to use copper to treat marine ich for Spotted Congo Puffer because they are highly sensitive to copper. You can try alternative methods like using medicated food that contains antibiotics and ensuring the tank’s cleanliness at all times.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is another fish disease that affects Spotted Congo Puffer. This disease specifically targets the fin of the fish. Consequently, the fish will experience significant difficulty in swimming and hunt for food by causing erosion at the edge of the fin.

You can treat this disease by ensuring regular water changes and the overall cleanliness of the tank. Also, you can include antifungal as part of the treatment to prevent secondary infections.

Vibriosis

Vibro bacteria cause vibriosis in Spotted Congo Puffer. This disease specifically causes redness of the fin, general body discoloration, lethargic behaviors, and bulging eyes. Vibriosis can be lethal if adequate steps are not taken promptly.

You can prevent and treat this disease by feeding them with medicated food and ensuring the tank’s cleanliness at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the frequently asked questions about this fish

How big do Congo puffers get?

Congo puffer can grow to about 6 inches when the conditions are right with them. How big they can grow is dependent on various factors, including their feeding habit, diet, tank mates, stress level, and other influential factors.

Are Green spotted puffers poisonous to humans?

Many puffers, including the Green spotted puffers are poisonous to humans. They are not only poisonous to humans; they are also poisonous to any other animal that eats them. Besides, they have venom or poisonous substances that they use for self-defense.

Are spotted puffer fish aggressive?

Spotted puffer fish are very aggressive and territorial. They often attack and kill any other fish that they see as a disturbance and threat in the tank. This aggressiveness even grows worse during the breeding season.

Can puffer fish live with angelfish?

Keeping puffers with Angelfish might not come out fine because both of them are aggressive and territorial. They might keep attacking themselves until one is dead or completely worn out. If you must keep Angelfish and puffers together, ensure that you have a well spacious tank, live plants, and other decorations that can provide hiding places for various tank members.