Bumblebee Puffer Fish – Care Guide, Feeding, Behavior…

The Tetraodontidae family of Pufferfish includes the Bumblebee Puffer Fish or Amazon Puffer, commonly known as the South American Pufferfish (SAP).

While most puffers have a vicious streak and will at least cause some damage to tank mates that are sluggish or have lengthy fins, many puffers have a cute and funny appearance. Bumblebee Puffer is peaceful so it cannot be kept with aggressive tank mates since it is a gentle fish that is nearly bashful.

The Origin of Bumblebee Puffer Fish

Müller and Troschel published a description of the Bumblebee Puffer Fish (Scientific name: Colomesus asellus), in 1849. It may be found all across South America’s Amazon River basin.

The Bumblebee Puffer Fish is distinct in that it migrates up and down rivers to flooded estuaries in the Amazon, making it a tougher puffer due to its endurance for various environments.

Other common names for it include Amazon Puffer, Brazilian Puffer, Brazilian Freshwater Puffer, Asell’s Puffer, Bee Puffer, and South American Pufferfish (SAP).

Bumblebee Puffer Fish feeds on benthic crustaceans, fish, planktonic invertebrates, and plants in its native environment. In contrast to other freshwater puffers, Bee Puffer does not protect their eggs.

They lay their eggs on the river bottom during the rainy season, and the larvae move downstream. In captivity, breeding hasn’t proven very effective so far.

Couple of Bee Puffer Fish


The Amazon Puffer also goes by the popular name “Bee Puffer” because it resembles an inflated bumblebee. These fish may have a golden hue to the upper portions of their bodies, which become lighter and whiter underneath, as well as multiple black, distinct partial bands.

However, the Bee Puffer’s color may vary, much like that of many other pufferfish. There won’t be as much variation in coloring; some could have more consistent color and subtle band patterning.

The largest black blotch on the bottom, immediately before the caudal fin, serves as this puffer’s most obvious identifying feature. The Banded Puffer may be distinguished from the Bee Puffer by its black spot.

The Banded Puffer is also bigger than the Bee when it is fully grown. According to records, Bee Puffers may reach a maximum length of about 5 inches (14cm). In an aquarium, pufferfish may survive for a very long time, many of them do so for 10 years or longer.

When frightened, puffer fish may “puff” themselves up with air or water. To prevent them from being eaten, they have developed this defense mechanism. Many puffer species, like this one, may create deadly compounds in their flesh as a form of defense.

Fish length in inches: 5.0 inches (12.70 cm). These fish typically grow to a length of around 3 inches, although they have been known to reach lengths of up to 5 inches (14 cm).

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Bee Puffer is generally a simple fish to maintain. They may be kept in a variety of conditions and remain healthy and happy since they are migratory fish that can be captured in the wild.

But not everyone will like these fish! They have no scales, making them more vulnerable to illness. Additionally, they have quickly erupting teeth that will eventually require actual clipping. You will inevitably need to cut their teeth even with the right food in an aquarium setting.

The “community” fish with the largest room requirements is the Bee Puffer. Each puffer requires 15 gallons, so storage space can be an issue.

Because they are such filthy eaters, they also need larger filters and more regular water changes. But if you’re ready for the task, adding one of these guys to your tank will be fascinating and appealing.

Foods and Feeding

The Bee Puffer is an omnivore, however, the majority of its diet comes from items that are related to meat. A few plants, peas, algae wafers, and spirulina flakes are other favorites of puffers, as well as live insects, earthworms, brine shrimp, blood worms, and shrimp.

Try different items; puffers are adventurous eaters who will try just about anything. Even though these tiny fellas are begging like starving pups, be careful not to overfeed them.

Puffers will overeat if given the chance. They should always have lovely, round bellies rather than ones that protrude.

It is crucial to provide your puffer shelled food every day since doing this will prevent their teeth from overgrowing.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails shouldn’t be introduced since their shells are too hard and would damage the puffer’s teeth. In spite of this, a Bee Puffer owner will probably still need to cut their puffer’s teeth once or twice a year. They will starve if their teeth grow too long since they won’t be able to eat.

However, the majority of the food in their meals will be meat.

Live foods, such as fish, shrimp, and worms: However, when introducing feeder fish to your aquarium, be cautious since they may spread illness.

Algae wafers, peas, and various plants are offered as examples of vegetarian food.

Meaty Food: Feed bugs, worms, snails, and shellfish as the majority of your diet.

Feeding Frequency: Several times each day. These fish will beg for food all the time, so be cautious not to overfeed them.

Bee Puffer

Care Guide

Pufferfish are believed to be more vulnerable to illnesses, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels because they lack gill coverings and scales. The Bee Puffer is not an excellent fish to cycle in an aquarium, like other puffers are.

These fish will often put greater strain on the aquarium filtration system, necessitating more regular water changes and better upkeep in general because they typically don’t finish all of their food (messy eaters!).

A substantial weekly water change of 30% to 50% is usually advised for an aquarium housing puffer fish. It will be necessary to use a larger-than-normal canister filter, which should empty the tank six to ten times each hour.

However, this South American Freshwater Puffer is very sensitive when it first enters a new tank.

Tank Setup

A 15-gallon aquarium will be just fine because the Bee Puffer doesn’t need a big aquarium. However, a well-planted 20 to 30-gallon aquarium is preferable if you intend to maintain more than one or other species alongside them.

This freshwater puffer fish migrates from brackish to freshwater environments. It can thrive in low-salinity conditions up to SG 1.005

In order to keep your inquisitive puffer healthy and stress-free, an aquarium setup is crucial. It’s vital to keep in mind that these puffers were collected in the wild and normally move up and down currents.

It is crucial to have some rotating power heads to generate current because of this. A bigger container is necessary since puffers are rather messy eaters.

Sand should make up the tank’s substrate because puffers like to dig about in it. You’ll observe that the puffer fish furiously swim up and down the glass when they catch a glimpse of their reflection.

Planting the tank with tall, twisted-rooted plants will reduce the reflection and help reduce their nervousness. Pay particular attention to each corner of the tank. These plants will also give them the protection they need and a swimming place to play in.

These puffers can be seen swarming in small groups under logs and vegetation in the wild. So, to help them feel safe, put some floating driftwood in the tank. A full, secure cover should be present on the tank’s top.

Social Behaviors

Because the Bee Pufferfish are calm, they may be housed in a communal tank with other non-aggressive species. Although generally just at feeding time, this puffer will nonetheless nip fins.

Having three or more Bee Puffers together is always a good idea. Long-finned fish with slower motion should not be consumed (Angel fish, gourami, long-fin tetras).

It may make a wonderful tank companion in an aquarium that is correctly set up and does not make the puffer bored. Bee Puffers don’t often love being the center of attention or become animated when they visit their owners.

They may be trained to perform little tasks in exchange for treats, which helps them avoid boredom and satisfies their innate curiosity.

bee puffer swimming

Fish Diseases

The absence of gill coverings and scales in the Bee Puffer increases its susceptibility to illness. Puffers typically exhibit indications of sickness initially in a tank, twitching and rubbing around.

Most medications work well on them, and they often heal fast. If you have a Bee Puffer tank, NEVER use copper.

Puffer’s teeth are another frequent problem, but they are not a disease; they develop quickly and, if not worn down or cut, may cause overgrowth and malnutrition.

Even when feeding aquarium fish shelled foods like snails, there is typically a risk that you will need to trim their teeth. This sounds worse than it actually is. To do this, gently put the puffer in a cup of water without any other fish.


Can you keep a puffer fish in a small tank?

They thrive in tiny aquariums, and you may keep a couple or a trio in a desktop tank. As long as the flow isn’t too strong, a decent filter can assist preserve the quality of the water.

In general, puffers are weak swimmers and tend to favor places where there is less water movement.

How many pea puffers should be kept together?

If you provide lots of cover in the form of aquarium plants or decorations, you may keep up to six or seven pea puffers in a 20-gallon aquarium (without any other tank mates).

Do pea puffers need sand or gravel?

Some Pea Puffers would never be seen acting in this way, while others might do so quite regularly. To prevent harm to the fish, the substrate should be fine, soft sand in any case.

It is possible to utilize aqua soils and plant substrates, but it must be covered with at least 1.5 cm of fine sand.

What plants do pea puffers like?

Some Pea Puffers would never be seen acting in this way, while others might do so quite regularly. To prevent harm to the fish, the substrate should be fine, soft sand in any case.

It is possible to utilize aqua soils and plant substrates, but it must be covered with at least 1.5 cm of fine sand.