The South American puffer fish Colomesus asellus are ideal for aquarium care. They remain small (usually around 6-8 cm, at most around 12 cm, other sizes given in the literature are based on confusion), are pure freshwater inhabitants, love to eat small snails and are absolutely peaceful, both against conspecifics and against other fish species. They have only one characteristic, which is negative: they are unbelievably active and rush continuously through the aquarium. They should not be kept together with calm fish species and also nervous aquarists should keep their hands off them.
Care must be taken during acclimation: Colomesus are very susceptible to Piscinoodinum and Ichthyophthirius (velvet and spot disease). The diseases can be combated well with commercially available medications, additionally a temperature increase to 30°C and a flow pump helps. After the acclimatization the fish are robust and long-lived and give a lot of joy by their droll nature.
Now is the season for these animals, which we get from the upper Amazon (Peru). By the way, in 2013 a cryptic sibling species was described from the Rio Tocantins drainage in Brazil, which practically does not differ in color from C. asellus, but in small anatomical details and especially by DNA: Colomesus tocantinensis. This species is also a pure freshwater pufferfish. To our knowledge it is not exported and its care should not be different from C. asellus, but it is good to know that it exists.
For our customers: Colomesus asellus has code 218303 (approx. 3 cm) on our stock list. please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer