Red Congo pufferfish (Red Potato)

The Red Congo pufferfish is a perfect ambush predator! Well, almost perfect, because this puffer fish lacks speed, but is a master in disguise. It easily blends into its surroundings with its camouflage ability, like a chameleon.

Appearance and behaviour

This puffer has a wide variety of different colors, from red to brown, orange, yellow, grey and black, to blend in with its surroundings between rocks, sand and wood, but when needed it easily turns into orange or a full red color. This fish can grow up to 15 cm and is nicknamed potato fish because it kind of looks like a potato.

The Tetraodon miurus is a bottom fish that digs itself into the sand and waits for the right moment. That moment is when the prey comes close to their nose and then they attack from below and devourer their prey. Their mouth is designed for this attack, positioned pointing upwards. Other animals do not notice the puffer fish as it lays comfortably dug into the sand with just their eyes visible, which they can move in all directions separately from one another, giving them a perfect peripheral view. This puffer fish needs to be kept alone in the aquarium, because it will see anything swimming around it as food.

Keeping a Red Congo pufferfish in the aquarium

In nature these fish are found in clean, fast-flowing, highly oxygenated water, making them sensitive to water quality. Therefore it is important to have a good working, strong, biological filter in your aquarium as these fish can produce a lot of waste. Do regular water changes and / or filter over nitrate retracting filter material to keep the nitrates low, preferably below 20 ppm. Provide them with a sand bottom, in order for them to demonstrate natural behavior. We recommend fine sand of at least 5 cm deep for them to dig in comfortably. Do not put gravel or rocks with sharp edges in the aquarium because the fish can hurt itself when digging in. They are not very active fish, thus not requiring a particularly large aquarium. An aquarium of 80 x 40 cm x 40 cm with a thick sand bed bottom is sufficient. Most important is to maintain good flow and pristine water quality at all times.

Feeding the Red Congo pufferfish

This particular species eats fish, but also loves shrimp, worms and insects. It’s important to offer them a varied diet close to what they can find in nature. Give them more insects like cockroaches, crickets and locusts than fish in their diet. When you do feed them fish, make sure it’s free of thiaminase such as Tilapia, because thiaminase is an enzyme that can cause vitamin deficiencies.

Tetraodon miurusUp to 15 cm
Congo, AfricaTemperature: 24 – 27 °C
pH: 6,5 – 7,5
GH: 5 – 15
They can blend in with their surroundings due to their Chameleon camouflage abilities.


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