South American Puffers are an active fish that can be easily kept in a community fish tank.

The South American Puffer, (scientific name Colomesus Asellus) grows up to only three inches in length when fully grown. They come from the upper regions of the Amazon River system and are a very active and extremely intelligent puffer. You will often see them buzzing about the tank, traveling up and down the glass. These puffer fish make a great freshwater addition to your aquarium.

Tank Conditions

The Amazon puffer needs to be kept in a tank that is at least 20 gallons. They seem to prefer a group, so a good number to have is three or more. Even so, some do well by themselves. They are not picky about the pH of the water and they prefer a temperature range of 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank should be heavily planted or decorated. You should also provide caves for the puffers to hang out in.

My favorite cave decorations

Tank Mates

The South American Puffers are some of the most peaceful puffers. They can be kept with fast moving fish, including Zebras and Danios. Even though they are a peaceful fish, they should still not be kept with fish that have flowing fins as these fins tend to be too tempting for the puffer, and they will nip at them. Because of their peaceful nature, if you keep them in a heavily planted tank, the S. American Puffer can be a unique addition to a typical community fish tank.


These puffers must have a very crunchy diet to keep their teeth trimmed. You can feed them krill, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, and plenty of snails. The snails should be fed several times a week. This puffer has very fast growing teeth and may require tooth trimming even with a high crunch diet. Because of how small the S. American Puffer is, and how active it is, you should feed this fish once or twice a day when you feed the rest of your community tank fish.


Keeping the South American Puffer can be fun and quite entertaining. Be sure to set up a tank with plenty of decorations and plants for the puffer to explore. Understanding the proper care for this active fish can help you have a successful fresh water community aquarium.


My name is James, and I’m in love with aquariums and fish since I was 12 years old. Back then my dad gave me a goldfish, and it’s been 35 years learning about this fascinating hobby. I’ve had some freshwater aquariums, tried my hand with marine tanks for 10 years, and kept some reefs for a while too. Here in the website I try to share some of my knowledge and experiences on fish keeping.


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