Giant Freshwater Puffer, Tetraodon mbu

Image Caption: Elaborate skin pattern of Giant Freshwater Puffer fish, Tetraodon mbu. Aquarium of Kew Gardens, London. Credit: Chiswick Chap/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Giant Freshwater Puffer is also identified as the giant puffer or Mbu puffer. It is found widespread in the deepest parts of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the middle and lower sections of the Congo River, and in the Congo Basin in Africa.

This giant puffer is very aggressive towards other species of fish, but peaceful within the community of other giant puffers. The giant freshwater puffer’s personality is diverse with each individual fish. Some can be very lively, while others seldom move around.

It can be kept as a pet, but must have a very large tank with a good filtration system. The tank should have a gravel and sand substrate with plenty of hiding places.

This species is one of the largest puffer fish growing up to 26 inches in length. Like all puffers, when stressed or frightened it will take in huge amounts of water to expand its body. The body of the giant freshwater puffer is cone-shaped with a round snout, is scaleless, and covered with tiny spines. It is green in color with yellow patterns on the back and has a white belly. It can also lighten or darken the shade of the body and change the pattern to hide itself from predators.

The diet of the giant freshwater puffer consists of freshwater mollusks, snails, shrimp, and smaller fish. It also needs to eat shelled prey in order for it to keep the teeth ground down preventing overgrowth.

Very little is known of the spawning and breeding habits of this species; there are no differences between male and female.

The flesh of this species is poisonous to eat. And it is listed as of least concern on the Endangered Species list.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Tetraodontiformes

Family: Tetraodontidae