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Characteristics of Colomesus asellus

Colomesus asellus

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18 Pictures of this fish from our forum users

scientific name

Colomesus asellus

German Name


English Name

Assel puffer or Amazon puffer

First characterisation

1848 by Müller & Troschel


Fish size

~ 8 cm

A greenish gray gleaming basic coloring with five fat, dark, regularly distributed cross-lines.

This puffer has a relatively big nasal organ.





22 °C - 28 °C


small crustacean
few fish

Basin size

110 imp.gal.


The question, whether this puffer should be kept in a tank at all is very controversial among puffer keepers. In any case, this puffer confronts its keeper with some problems. In an aquarium tank, these puffers do not reach a maximum size of 5-6 inches. Most individuals reach a maximum size of 3 inches. Some fish keepers assume that this puffer cannot develop completely normal in captivity. This puffer, despite its small size, seems to have an enormous swimming need. Even in generously dimensioned tanks, this puffer often swims aphetically along the glass for hours. Reports of different keepers let assume that one could at least partially counteract this pathologically behavior by a dense planting. Densely planted tanks with swimming plants seem to calm this species. This effect can be supported by the usage of different roots. However, this theory has not been completely covered yet. This species does not have any particular demands concerning the tank’s ground. However, sand is generally more suitable than grit for puffer tanks, since one can remove feed remains (empty shells or half-eaten snails) more easily.

The feeding of this puffer is also difficult. It is often reported that these animals do not like snails (or only very unwillingly). Even with individuals that are nourished almost exclusively with snails, it frequently occurs that the teeth of them develop unduly. It is assumed that this puffer also uses other things to grind down its teeth in its natural habit. What materials he uses, is unknown.

In the end, it has to be said that this species seems to be especially illness-susceptible. Often one can see already visibly sickened animals in stores. Even healthy individuals should not get in touch with only latently sickened co-inhabitants. This danger is especially big if one buys new fishes for a Colomesus asellus tank.

Inner-specific, as well as, aggressions towards other species do not occur. Socialization with snails and shrimps is, like with all other puffer species, not possible. Considering all these facts, one should rather not buy this species since there are more suitable species (esp. for an aquarium tank).

Last updated:

23-01-2008 13:19


04-06-2007 20:32


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