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Mbu Puffer - Tetraodon mbu - Small

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Item: 208564

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The Mbu Puffer is the largest of the freshwater puffers. It is an olive to brown fish with a pattern of yellow lines that looks like a maze. The belly is yellow and the tail can be yellow to red/orange with stripes. The markings vary between individuals and can change as the fish matures. They can also darken or lighten depending on mood, or if stressed or ill.

This puffer is a hardy freshwater species. They can be sensitive to cool temperatures so maintain the water temperature within the recommended range. The Mbu's large adult size makes it difficult to keep in a small aquarium. An appropriately sized tank will offer plenty of open swimming space and room to turn around without touching the sides. Provide some places for retreat, as well as small, smooth gravel. This puffer frequently rests in depressions it creates in the substrate.

Puffers are incredibly popular for aquariums. Many puffers are curious and outgoing and they may even seem to acknowledge when their keeper is near, swmming quickly to the aquarium glass or water's surface when someone approaches the tank. While endearing, puffers may not be the right choice for some aquariums.

Puffers are not too demanding in terms of care, but they need plenty of space and ample filtration to keep the water quality pristine. They're messy eaters, and the diet required for these fish can leave a lot of waste. Puffers have strong, ever-growing front teeth (beak) that they will need to wear down. They may chew on rockwork in the tank to aid in the process. Feeding hard-shelled items, such as whole clams or shellfish, can also help to keep the teeth worn. Their diet should consist of a variety of meaty items like crab, shrimp, scallops, squid, krill and similar items.

It is important to never provoke a puffer to see it inflate. Puffing is a stress or defense reaction, and it can cause health problems or even death for a puffer. The fish can swallow air or over-inflate with water, leading to even more stress as the fish attempted to recover and even death due to stress-related complications or internal injuries. If a puffer inflates, remove the source of the stress, lower the lighting on the tank and allow the fish to recover on its own. Avoid using a net or removing the puffer from the water and exposing it to air. Instead, transfer with rigid containers, which will minimize stress that can cause them to puff.

Some puffers are found in freshwater while others are from brackish environments and should not be kept in freshwater tanks. Brackish water is between freshwater and saltwater and has a Specific Gravity of around 1.005 to 1.015; most brackish water fish need increasing salinity as they grow and mature. They may live in brackish water as juveniles but need full saltwater as adult. Puffers are not community fish; they may prey on smaller fish or nip at the fins of passive fish their own size or larger. Even the tiny 1-inch-long Dwarf Puffers have been known to bully much larger tankmates!

Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists on Pufferfish and other aquarium-related topics!
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That Fish Place
Common NameMbu Puffer - Small
Scientific NameTetraodon mbu
Max Size (in inches)26
Community SafeNo
pH Range6.5-7.8
Min Tank Size (in gallons)200
Temperature Range75-78
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico

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very nice