Humpback Dragon AKA Band Puffer (Tetraodon palembangensis)
The Humpback Dragon Puffer is a colorful and lethargic species that is a very interesting fish for the medium to large aquarium!
The Humpback Dragon Puffer (Tetraodon palembangensis) is a rare "oddball" fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It is a fully freshwater species that inhabits slow-moving waterways. Despite its adult size, it does not require an exceptionally large aquarium due to its lethargic ambush predator nature. It can be an aggressive fish, but it can also cohabitate with other fish, including its own kind, under the right conditions.
The Humpback Dragon Puffer spends most of its time sitting on the substrate waiting for prey to come near, but it will occassionally swim around and explore its environment. Like all puffers, it seems to have a curious nature. It may be compatible with fast-moving fish, but there is no guarantee that it will not go after prey-sized fish if given the opportunity. It will typically spend most of its time in an area that it deems its territory and it may defend this territory aggressively. However, it will reportedly cohabitate with fish of appropriate size and temperament as long as there is ample territory and cover for all fish. Decor that creates broken lines of sight is key in this situation.
Dry foods are often ignored by the Humpback Dragon Puffer, although sometimes groups of this fish will learn about new food sources by watching one another try them out. Still, it is not a good idea to rely on dry foods as a staple for this fish. Live and frozen meaty foods of appropriate size are best for this fish. Its wild diet mostly consists of crustaceans and snails, so it should not be kept with dwarf shrimp. On a more positive note, it will happily clear any aquarium of any small snails, including the “nuisance” snails that inhabit most planted tanks. The "beak" of the Humpback Dragon Puffer can become overgrown if it is not fed enough food items with exoskeletons to keep the beak worn down. Various snails and shellfish are excellent foods to help with this.
The Humpback Dragon Puffer must should never be exposed to air since it might inflate with air. When this happens, it is often unable to expel the air and will eventually die.
- Highly intelligent with a lively and endearing personality
- Compatible with other fish under the right circumstances
- Safe with any plants
- Excellent option for ridding the aquarium of nuisance snails
- Fully freshwater species
- Temperature: 75° - 82° F (24° - 28° C)
- pH: 6.8 - 7.6
- KH: 8 - 20 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 55 gallons for a single specimen, 100+ gallons for multiple specimens
- Diet: Carnivorous. Often will not eat dry foods, but live and frozen meaty foods will be accepted. Weaning to dry food is more likely with groups of this fish.
- Origin: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos
- Average adult size: 7 - 8 inches (17.8 - 20.3 cm)
- Average purchase size: Medium: 3 - 4 inches (7.6 - 10.2 cm), Jumbo: 5+ inches (13 cm)