Amazon Puffer – Colomesus asellus

Amazon Puffer - Colomesus asellus

  • pH: 5.5-8
  • gH: 2-12 dGh
  • Temperature: 20-26C
  • Maximum Size: 8cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180 litres, 100x40x45cm


Colomesus asellus is found in the Amazon in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Colombia and the Orinoco in Venezuela in varied conditions.


Colomesus asellus isn’t usually recommended for community tanks because of the possibility of fin-nipping, however, I have kept them successfully with keyhole cichlids and hatchet fish. Small loricariids and possibly corydoras species would also work in my opinion. They are a social fish so a group should be bought rather than just one or two fish.

Housing and Feeding

Colomesus asellus does not tolerate nitrate well so the tank should be meticulously maintained with 30-50% weekly water changes. Provide floating plants for overhead cover and rocks, bogwood and plants for cover.

Because this fish has rapidly growing teeth, staple foods need to be hard to help in keeping them in trim, and foods with the shell on such as cockles, snails, and krill are essential for this. Without these hard foods to grind down the teeth they rapidly become overgrown and need manual trimming, otherwise the fish will be unable to eat and will subsequently die of starvation. They do also graze on aufwuchs, and painting rocks with a gel or paste food (home-made is good) will also help in tooth maintenance.


At the time of writing, this species has not been bred in aquaria.




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