FAQs about Freshwater Tetraodon schoutedeni
Related Articles: Freshwater Puffers, Puffers in General, True Puffers, Brackish Puffers,
Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffy & Mr. Nasty, Small Puffer Dentistry By Jeni Tyrell
Related FAQs: FW Puffers
1, FW Puffers 2, W Puffer Identification, FW Puffer Behavior, FW Puffer Selection, FW Puffer Compatibility, FW Puffer Systems, FW Puffer Feeding, FW Puffer Disease, FW Puffer Reproduction, BR Puffer
Identification, BR Puffer
Selection, BR Puffer
Compatibility, BR Puffer
Systems, BR Puffer
Feeding, BR Puffer
Puffer Disease 2, BR Puffer
Reproduction, Puffers in
General, True Puffers,
Proper Puffer ID 7/25/06
Schoutedeni puffer advice; fw puffer stkg f'
How are you?
<Hanging in there!>
I hope all is well, I recently purchased a 5-foot 500 litre aquarium
that I have just set up to begin cycling.
I would like to keep a group of reasonably sized freshwater puffer fish
<A group of pufferfish... setting yourself a challenge there!>
From my research it seems the schoutedeni are the only ones that get to
a decent size (6 inches) and can be kept in a group.
<Possibly true, but this species is so infrequently kept that really
solid evidence either way is lacking. >
Firstly - how many do you think I can keep in this size tank, would I
get away with 8?
<Theoretically, yes. With a maximum length of maybe 10 cm, these fish
aren't especially demanding in terms of space. That said, even allowing
for their reputation for being peaceful, I don't know anyone who has
kept a group of adults, so who knows for sure how well sexually mature
specimens get along?>
I appreciate they are very expensive, but also very hard to come by.
<Indeed; their home territory is basically a war zone in the Congo
region, so exports are extremely infrequent, to say the least.>
In fact I cant find a single shop in the UK that has them!! (except one
fully grown one in a shop in London for £450!!). Do you happen to know
where I can get these from?
<The wholesaler Aquarium Glaser, among others, have exported them
occasionally. So they're on the 'lists' of fish retailers can get. In
the UK at least, you'd want to contact one of the stores known to be
able to get rare fish, and take it from there. Keith Lambert at
Wildwoods is my "go to" person for oddball freshwater stuff. If he can't
source something, it's probably not available. Even better, he ships
fish mail order if you don't happen to be anywhere near Enfield, London.
I also just had a quick look on the TropicalFishFinder.co.uk site, and
they list Tetraodon schoutedeni as being in stock at Maidenhead Aquatics
@ St Albans, so that might be worth a call too. So far as I know, the MA
chain doesn't do mail order, but on the plus side, if you have an MA
nearby, they should have access to the same wholesalers.>
Do you have any alternative suggestions for what puffers I can keep? I'd
like a group of at least 6 reasonably sized.
<Some aquarists with really big tanks have kept the 'lurker' puffers
such as Tetraodon suvattii in groups, because they don't move about
much. Indeed, when not eating they don't really do anything. So they're
not a lot of fun, to be fair. There's also the South American Pufferfish
(Colomesus asellus) that gets along with its own kind very well, to the
degree it's more nervous kept singly. Of course it's hyperactivity and
nervousness diminishes it's character a bit compared with other species,
and its tendency towards overgrown teeth may make it more challenging to
keep. But still, it's a cheap, hardy species worth considering. Maximum
size is around 8-10 cm, and it's also fairly compatible with other
active fish (e.g., tetras) as well as catfish (such as L-numbers), so
works well in carefully planned biotope tanks. It'd also be remiss of me
not to mention Carinotetraodon irrubesco, a charming species that's
small (5-6 cm long, at most) but very peaceful by puffer standards. You
could keep 3-4 pairs in a tank your size without trouble. They're
reasonably tolerant of other fish too, though odd specimens do behave
like little bitey psycho fish -- though personally I do wonder if these
reports mostly refer to similar species such as Carinotetraodon
boreensis and Carinotetraodon lorteti that may look the same but behave
very differently. My experiences with both Carinotetraodon irrubesco and
Colomesus asellus were entirely positive, and I regard them as the
closest things to 'community' puffers.>
On the topic, is there any other particularly interesting non-puffer
fish you can suggest that get to a reasonable size and can be kept in a
<Do see above. Even where you keep placid puffers, you want fast-moving
midwater fish that avoid trouble if they need to (e.g., Danios and
tetras), and retiring catfish that stay out of trouble by hiding (such
as L-numbers or Synodontis). Loaches tick both boxes, so they're often
good choices too.>
Or smaller fish that are interesting that can be kept in a massive
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice
Thanks again for your advice
I have found somebody that has 5 that are about 4-5 inches.
He is a private individual and is moving house and can’t take them with.
He has asked for £500. Based on your experience do you have any idea
what a fair price would be for these?
<That's not a bad price at all for five more or less full grown
specimens! Juveniles could easily go for anywhere between £50-100;
they're really that rare in the trade. You could haggle I suppose, but
if these genuinely are Tetraodon schoutedeni, if you turn him down, it's
unlikely you're going to see them anywhere else for a while. Cheers,
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice 8/8/18
Thanks Neale, the owner has sent a video of the fish, the video was too
large to send so I have screenshotted some pics of the fish into a word
document and attached- do these look like real schoutedeni? They do to
me but would like a second opinion.
<Tetraodon schoutedeni is most likely to be confused with Tetraodon
nigroviridis, both of them having circular spots on their bodies.
The most immediately obvious difference is that Tetraodon
schoutedeni has reddish eyes, whereas those on Tetraodon nigroviridis
tend to be golden.
Furthermore, whereas the spots on Tetraodon nigroviridis tend to be
discrete black circles, the spots on Tetraodon schoutedeni are more
closely packed, almost like 'crazy paving', especially on the dorsal
surface. The back surface of Tetraodon nigroviridis is also more
iridescent golden on most specimens, unlike the dull, often mottled
colours on Tetraodon schoutedeni. While both species tend to swim with
the tail fins closed, the tail of Tetraodon schoutedeni is often
reddish-brown but without speckles or spots, whereas the tail fin of
Tetraodon nigroviridis tends to be clear, but with some spots or
speckles apparent, especially towards the base. Do also look at the
'tentacles' by the nostrils. On Tetraodon schoutedeni these are very
long and narrow, whereas those on Tetraodon nigroviridis are much
shorter and broader, like spoons. This difference is very obvious and
very reliable, but do look at photos on Google to know what you're
looking for! Supposedly, Tetraodon schoutedeni has more obvious spines,
including particularly long spines on the belly, whereas the skin of
Tetraodon nigroviridis is much smoother, though a few bristles or
pimples may be apparent here and there. The pictures you sent me are a
bit small to be definite, but it certainly looks like they have reddish
eyes, which is promising! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice 8/8/18
Thank you :-)
<Most welcome and hope you're able to positively identify the puffers to your
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice
Quick question further to your email below. Is it possible to mix Carino
tetradon irrubesco with Amazon puffers in the same tank?
<Yes; kept two pairs of Carinotetraodon irrubesco alongside three Amazon Puffers
in a single 180 litre tank without any problems at all. The two species barely
notice each other. I did have lots of plants, especially floating plants though,
and Amazon Puffers will spend most of their time at the surface if they can,
hunting for food! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice 8/10/18
Thanks! Could I put some dwarfs in there too? Or no because they are a bit more
aggressive even if smaller?
<Dwarfs as in Dwarf Puffers? Carinotetraodon travancoricus? Nope. They'd either
be two nippy, or too easily bullied. Either way, best kept on their own. Cheers,
Re: schoutedeni puffer advice 8/14/18
I followed your advice and have a very similar setup (2 pairs irrubescos in a
200L) and bought 4 Amazon puffers yesterday.
The amazons are going a bit mad, swimming along the back glass side to side
<This is what they do.>
I know they can be a bit erratic like that.
<Yes. These are open water, migratory, river-dwelling Puffers that don't lurk.
They're more like Danios or Silver Dollars than regular Pufferfish.
Open water, strong water currents, and floating plants are what they like.
At night they do hide among the plants though.>
Will that settle?
<Eventually they become less hyperactive, but they're always swimming.>
They have been doing it for 24 hrs!! The water is fine and the tank is well
Would adding another 2 (so a school of 6) help?
<Whether they're really schooling fish is unknown to me, but they certainly
appreciate being with their own kind, and show few, if any signs of aggression.>
Or will they calm down after a few days?
I'm worried that they are very stressed/nervous.
<Yes and no. Yes, they're spooked now, but once settled in, they remain a bit
frenetic. Cheers, Neale.>
Now: South American Puffers; was RE: schoutedeni puffer advice
They already looks a little bit more settled this morning (though still more
erratic than most fish!).
<Indeed. These puffers will become quite tame, in fact mine would feed from food
held in needlenose forceps quite happily. But they are always swimming about,
like Danios, rather than your traditional pufferfish. Just accept that's how
they are, and you'll find them refreshingly peaceful (if occasionally nippy) by
comparison with other puffers. I call them "the nice puffers"...
Do note that the adult size stated in some aquarium books, 15 cm/6 inches, is
wildly optimistic and probably based on a brackish water species, Colomesus
psittacus, that's hardly ever traded; instead, expect SAPs to get to about half
Have a great day.
here> I have a Tetraodon schoutedenti (think that is how it's
spelled) <Spelled: schoutedeni> and he has had a dark grey belly
for several days now. He doesn't see as interested in his
food as he used to be, doesn't seem active like he used to
be. He has a variety of food to choose from, live ghost shrimp,
freeze dried brine shrimp, freeze dried krill and snails. The PH
is 7.5, and I add a bit of salt every week. Mostly he seems to
nestle into the plants and stays grey. Any ideas on what is going
on with him? <Yes, I can tell you exactly what's wrong with him,
he's not a T schoutedeni, he's a T
nigroviridis. There has not been a schoutedeni sold in the
aquarium trade in over 20 years! You have a brackish water
fish & are keeping it in freshwater. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/g
Also, check out: www.thepufferforum.com. Be sure to test the
water parameters for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates &
Misidentified T. schoutedeni 7/9/06 <Hi ,
Pufferpunk here> We bought the above puffer fish and have been doing
web searches for it all day to figure out which kind, if any, fish we
can put with him. On Google they also called him a leopard
Congo or Congo leopard fish, if that's the kind we do have is that
freshwater? we stupidly bought it at Wal-Mart and they couldn't
give us any information other than the fact that they thought it was
freshwater. They couldn't even tell us what kind it was
or what it ate and told us to buy tropical fish flakes for it but later
went to a different store and bought frozen krill which it seems to
love and ghost shrimp. Any help would be greatly
appreciated! <The fish you bought from Wal-Mart is a green spotted
puffer (T nigroviridis) See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm There
hasn't been a schoutedeni seen for sale in the aquarium trade for
over 20 years. Also see
www.thepufferforum.com. Many good articles on care &
feeding of puffers. (Please use proper capitalization in
your letters. I have to fix, before we can post it in the
Where can I buy this fish? (Schoutedeni Puffer) Do you know
where I can find this fish to buy? Do you have any information on it?
Books? Does it eat plants? Can I have it in a 20 gallon planted
aquarium by itself? <Have a bit on this species posted here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwpuffers.htm Can likely be special-ordered
through a good sized livestock-carrying fish store... or a good etailer
of same (links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/links.htm
Not a plant eater, territorial with its own kind, so likely one to your
twenty gallon system. Fine solitarily. Bob Fenner> Thanks David
Neat Puffers Hi, I don't search the web often but a
friend showed me this site. I have had many puffers both freshwater and
marine, so it was great to see this site on my favorite fishes. I have
been trying to locate a T. schoutedeni for years now but no luck, but I
noticed that the picture of it on your site looks more like mature T.
biocellatus, as T. schoutedeni has red eyes and two brownish patches on
it's head but otherwise looks a bit like fluviatilis. Also just
wondering why no mention of T. erythrotaenia. <Just no exposure as
yet> And a few years ago I saw a few puffers of a species that I
have never seen in any book or magazine. I actually saw them around the
same time at a couple different stores and bought one, but it died a
day or two later. It was a little freshwater species, kind of greenish
with a black spot on the sides behind the pectorals that are connected
by a line that goes up over the back and another spot on it's back
on top of the caudal peduncle, all outlined in brilliant orange. I
actually have a few slides of it but only shot with natural light (and
tank light) that aren't too bad. Any ideas? Is it a Chonerhinos?
<Likely yes> Anyway a great website. I am using a friend's
computer so if you feel like replying... it's Regards, Ron Parsons
<Thank you for writing. Much needs be discussed, recorded re the
tetraodonts and their captive care, behavior. Bob Fenner>