Allenbatrachus grunniens

Allenbatrachus grunniens is an interesting Toadfish from South-East Asia for the aquarium keeper with a special preference. Powerful live food is required and adding salt is recommended.

Allenbatrachus grunniens

Allenbatrachus grunniens belongs to the Toadfishes. Most species live in marine or brackish water. However, there are also species that live in freshwater.

They are all benthic fish that wait for prey from an ambush. Their life on the bottom makes a swim bladder unnecessary. That is therefore missing.

Allenbatrachus grunniens is found in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Allenbatrachus grunniens grows up to 20-30 cm.

The species has sharp spines on the dorsal fin and fin rays. Contrary to what is often thought, these are not poisonous in this species. Nevertheless, they can pierce the skin and cause infections. The fish will never actively attack with the spines. The greatest danger is that swimmers or bathers will step on the fish.

Allenbatrachus grunniens can regularly be found in aquarium shops that focus on fish species that are not massively traded.


Allenbatrachus grunniens is a fish for the aquarium keeper with an ‘acquired taste’. They are interesting fish that mainly lie on the bottom, hop around and therefore look a bit ‘grumpy’. Smaller fellow residents will certainly be eaten. Large busy or aggressive co-inhabitants frighten them too much. In addition, moving and live food is required.

There is uncertainty about water parameters. It is certain that the fish occurs in completely fresh, brackish and salt water and can tolerate different salinities. Yet the experience is that the fish do not do well in aquariums if they are kept in fresh water for a long time. They probably live in waters that regularly flood with salt water. Brackish water or water with varying salinity levels therefore appear to be beneficial to health.

Allenbatrachus grunniens is known for making growling, whistling and grunting sounds. As loud as a frog.



P. de Pijper

Copyright images
Nonn Panitvong –
Choy Heng Wah

Additional information





First described by

Carl Linnaeus



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