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8 Great Puffer Fish Types for 40-Gallon Tank 

A 40-gallon tank can be too small, too big, or just enough if you don’t know the correct type of fish to put in it. Pufferfish are not an exception, and there are types of pufferfish that you can put in a 40-gallon tank.

Most pufferfish owners will know that taking care of a pufferfish will require big tanks or a lot of space. If you are limited and can only get a 40-gallon tank, ease your worry as you can still have a pet puffer fish in a 40-gallon tank. 

We’ll give you eight great types of pufferfish that are perfect for a 40-gallon tank. We’ll also let you know how many pufferfish will fit in a 40-gallon tank. 

8 Great Puffer Fish Types for 40-Gallon Tank 

There are eight types of pufferfish to choose from if you have a 40-gallon tank. These include Pea/Dwarf puffers, Red-eyed puffer fish, Figure 8 puffer fish, Valentini puffer fish, Arrowhead, South American, and Congo pufferfish.

The number of fish that can fit in a 40-gallon tank will depend on the size and type of the puffer.

Pea Puffers 

Pea puffers are extremely adorable because of their small size. They are the smallest known species of pufferfish, with a maximum length of one (1) inch. The pea puffers originated in the freshwater rivers of India.

Because of its small size, you can put a pea puffer on a smaller tank. It is recommended to have one pea puffer for every 5 gallons. So if you have a 40-gallon tank, you can house around eight (8) or more pea puffers.

However, the more space you can provide for the puffers, the better, so you can reduce the number if you wish.

Of course, this will only be successful if you monitor and take good care of the tank. You also need to provide many plants as hiding places to prevent fighting and stress among the pea pufferfish.

Pea Puffers 
Pea Puffers

Dwarf Puffer Fish 

A Dwarf puffer fish is not different from the Pea puffer fish as they are the same fish. The Pea pufferfish is also known as the Dwarf pufferfish, the smallest known type of pufferfish. 

So if you are wondering about the dwarf puffer fish, all you need to know has already been given in the pea puffers section.

Dwarf Puffer Fish 
Dwarf puffer fish

Red-Eyed Puffer Fish 

A Red-eyed puffer is a freshwater species that grows up to 2-3 inches. Their distinct feature is the red ring around their pupil, hence their name. 

The minimum recommended tank size is 20 gallons. These species are best kept alone, and the aggression between two Red-eyed males is high. 

If you closely monitor the fish and water parameters, you can still put another Red-eyed puffer. In a 40-gallon tank, you can have 2-3 red-eyed puffers. Again, the more space for the puffers, the better.

Red-Eyed Puffer Fish
Red-Eyed puffer fish

Figure 8 Puffers 

Figure 8 puffers are warm-water fishes native to the brackish waters in Southeast Asia. The average size of a Figure 8 puffer is 3 inches.

The minimum water requirement for a single figure 8 puffer is 15 gallons. But if you are planning to take care of multiple puffers, it is recommended to have 10 gallons per puffer.

So in a 40-gallon tank, you can have up to four (4) Figure 8 puffers.

Figure 8 Puffers 
Figure 8 puffers

Valentini Puffer Fish 

The Valentini puffer fish is a very friendly and peaceful puffer that gets along well with most fish. A Valentini puffer’s average size is 4 inches.

It needs a 30-gallon tank or more, and because you have a 40-gallon tank, you can only have one (1) Valentini puffer fish. However, you can put other suitable fish in the tank instead.

Valentini Puffer Fish 
Valentini puffer fish

Arrowhead Puffer Fish 

Arrowhead puffer fish, known as Tetraodon Suvattii, originates from Laos and Thailand. 

Arrowhead puffers are commonly found on rocky or muddy substrates. The arrowhead puffer has a rock or boulder-like appearance, which is an advantage while hunting for their unsuspecting prey.

An adult arrowhead pufferfish is typically 6 inches big. It requires a 30-gallon tank. A 40-gallon tank is big enough to keep one (1) Arrowhead puffer fish happy.

South American Puffer Fish 

The South American pufferfish, more commonly known as the Amazon puffer, originates in South America. A South American puffer has an average size of 3 inches. The minimum tank size requirement is 30 gallons. 

The South American puffer should preferably be in a group of six or alone. However, a group of six (6) South American puffers is impossible in a 40-gallon tank because it requires at least 55 gallons.

So, unless you can get a bigger tank, you can only have one (1) South American puffer.

South American Puffer Fish 
South american puffer fish 

Congo Puffer 

Tetraodon genus or more commonly known as Congo puffer is a freshwater fish that needs highly oxygenated waters.

A congo puffer typically grows up to 6 inches. Keeping one congo puffer in a 40-gallon tank is recommended to ensure their health and growth.

How Many Puffers Are in a 40 Gallon Tank? 

The number of pufferfish that can fit in a 40-gallon tank heavily depends on the type of pufferfish you want to take care of. Some types require more space, while others can be kept in a small tank.

Of course, because you’re planning on taking care of a pufferfish, it will need a lot more space than its size.

A pufferfish requires places that it can hide, and you also don’t want to stress out your pet. So it is recommended to put a lot of decorations such as plants.

Puffer Fish as Pets. Freshwater Puffer Fish Facts

Puffer Fish as Pets. Freshwater Puffer Fish Facts, Care, Information, Food, Poisoning, Aquarium, Diseases, All Included. the Must Have Guide for All P
  • Lang, Elliott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 138 Pages - 03/05/2013 (Publication Date) - IMB Publishing (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


In conclusion, a 40-gallon tank is more than okay for some types of pufferfish. You now have eight types of pufferfish to choose from. 

You can even house several pufferfish in a 40-gallon tank. Eight or more Pea puffer fish or Dwarf puffers can be put in a 40-gallon tank. So, this one’s for you if you want a lot of fish in a tank.

However, some puffer requires lots of space and allows you only to keep one in a 40-gallon tank. Valentini, Arrowhead, South American, and Congo can be kept alone in a 40-gallon tank.

So, a 40-gallon tank is not an issue if you want to take care of a pufferfish. Just ensure that the fish have enough space and the water is in excellent condition.

It is also recommended to fill it with plants, especially if you are housing multiple pufferfish.

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