Arrowhead Puffer (Pao suvattii)

From Pet Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arrowhead Puffer
Pao suvattii
Arrowhead Puffer (Pao suvattii)
Name Arrowhead Puffer
Name Lat. Pao suvattii
Synonym Tetraodon suvattii
Family Puffers
Family lat. Tetraodontidae
Order Puffers & Filefishes
Order lat. Tetraodontiformes
Origin Southeast Asia
Habitat Rivers
Diet Carnivore
pH 6.5-7.5
Behavior Aggressive
Keeping Individual, group
Care Level Difficult
Reproduction Substrate spawner
Breeding Difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 12 cm
Temperature 22-26 °C
Hardness 5-12 °dH
Aquarium ~ 300 l
US Units
Size 5"
Temperature 72-79 °F
Hardness 89-214 ppm
Aquarium ~ 80 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of the pig-nosed pufferfish is the Mekong Basin in Laos and Thailand. They live in the larger rivers with muddy soft bottoms between roots and stones, often burrowing in ambush


The aquarium should have a robust border planting, with hiding places, such as stones, roots and caves, and provide sufficient swimming space. A deep, fine sandy substrate covered with some foliage (e.g. sea almond leaves), shaded light (floating plants) and a weak current is ideal.

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


They are voracious predators. The food supply consists of live insect larvae, shrimps, mysis, small crustaceans, mussels, crabs and fish according to their size, which is also accepted frozen after acclimation or a commercial frozen food mixture. Also living earthworms, fly maggots etc. are eaten greedily. Dry food is hardly accepted and should not be the main food.

Only as much should be fed as will be eaten within a few minutes. A regular and varied diet promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

It is recommended to keep these relatively peaceful puffer fish individually or in a small group. For group keeping a larger and richly structured tank (caves, privacy screen) is necessary. They can be socialized with large fish that they do not consider prey, but it is better to keep them in a species tank

In principle, only mutually compatible fish species with similar requirements for water quality and water temperature may be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

There are no known external distinguishing characteristics.

Reproduction and breeding

Breeding in the aquarium has been successful several times. They spawn in a bottom pit or on a flat stone. The male takes over the brood care and defends the clutch intensively.

Young fish must be fed several times a day with special rearing food (Artemia nauplii). In community tanks breeding is hardly possible, because the spawn is easy prey.


They are lurking hunters, hiding in a burrow, plant thicket or buried in the sand, waiting for prey. During acclimation, it may be necessary to offer them food (smelts, shrimp, etc.) with tweezers. Adult animals require only one or two feedings per week.

When threatened, pig-nosed pufferfish can inflate to 2-3 times their size by filling their elastic stomach with air or water, then swim toward and attack the intruder. Their flesh contains tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that is deadly to humans and animals.

A cup filled with aquarium water, not a catch net, should be used for transferring or introducing the animals so that they do not become airborne.

The well-being of the fish should be checked regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least every 14 days. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even if the pollutant level has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: petdata

Source: BMEL (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische; Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF