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FAQs about True Puffer Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Puffers in General, Puffer Care and Information, A Saltwater Puffer Primer: Big Pufferfish! by Mike Maddox, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: True Puffers 1, True Puffers 2, True Puffers 3, Tetraodont Identification, Tetraodont Behavior, Tetraodont Compatibility, Tetraodont Systems, Tetraodont Feeding, Tetraodont Disease, Tetraodont Reproduction, Puffers in General, Puffer Selection, Puffer Behavior, Puffer Systems, Puffer Feeding, Puffer Disease, Puffer Dentistry, Puffer Reproduction, Freshwater Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes

Puffer tank sizes       2/11/16
Hi Mr. Bob and crew, I am doing a lot of research on my next acquisition.
<Really? Searching or re-searching?>
I have a lot of time due to setting up a qt, cycling a new tank for the geriatric fin friends and redoing the 150g for a puffer. (new skimmer, added a 29g refugium, rearranging rock, new power heads..etc)I am finding so many different tank requirements for the different species.
<There are many such requirements as INDEED there are different species.
Some fresh, some variably brackish, others entirely marine!>
Give me a suggestion :)I want one of the personable species that can live its life in a 150 gallon.
<All posted, archived on WWM, elsewhere>
I read the porcupine gets too large.
<There are other Diodontids; most all could/would live for years in a 150 if started small-ish>
But even the others seem to get huge. Is there one that can live in my tank happy. I read they can live 10-20 years.
<Yes; tis so>
It will be the only fish in the tank. I will not be upgrading tank size.
I am also reading on feeding etc to take care of my fish. I know you are going to tell me to keep reading ;-)
<Is a fave response>
I will. But a suggestion in species would be appreciated. Have a great day! Stace
<A re-reading then: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diodontpuffers.htm
similarly for other puffer families.
IF you're set on having a Burrfish species... Note that the "maximum size" listed on WWM (and many other places, like FishBase.org) IS the biggest any specimen has been acceptably recorded. Max. aquarium size will likely be no more than half this in standard length. Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer tank sizes      2/12/16

Thank you for the reply, yes I am researching.
<Original experimentation...>
When I noted the different tank sizes for different species, I should have clarified different tank sizes for each of the different species I have been researching. Some say 125 some say 180 and even some sites may say 75g for a particular species.
I am not set on a porcupine puffer or burr fish. I want the most suitable species that can live for decades in what I have.
<Many choices... amongst all families of Puffers>
I will try to choose wisely so I am not asking in 2 years why my fish is sick and the most common reply on here which is, "That tank is too small for that fish."I was hoping a simple reply such as look at the immaculatus (example) then I would have happily chosen that fish had you suggested, or any other you suggested. I asked you as you have noted, most probably the swimming habits etc of different puffer species. I personally have no idea why one puffer who may get 1 foot and another who may get 1 foot require different tanks. I will keep researching. Have a good, Stace
<A Diodon species will go here indefinitely.... You "need" to be told? Okay; get a Diodon holacanthus; right now!
Re: Puffer tank sizes      2/12/16

Ps.. I am a tad offended. I have been searching, researching or re-searching. I don't care what you call it. If I had not been re-searching then I would not know what a cockle is.
<Mmm; well; I was hoping you were doing original research and could inform me, the readers of WWM on the subject... What you DO find out, compile, please do share with us>
I had never heard of them before, or thiaminase problems, or lock-jaw and dental problems. I have been looking where to find cockles, mussels, crabs, prawns etc to be shipped to me. Then I read they have to be rinsed well and frozen. Then thawed for my fish. Yes Mr. Fenner, I am searching. I am searching for a suitable fish for my tank and a suitable place to find him food! I did find cockles at Citarella's in NYC. Have a good day sir!
<And you, B>
Re: Puffer tank sizes      2/12/16
<Ho boy... sorry for the misunderstanding>

My goodness you are a tough cookie. My first email asked for a suggestion.
That is different than being told. Many questions on your site, people state their stock and ask for suggestions for another fish. They get answered politely. I asked you for a suggestion since I respect y'alls opinion. I don't deserve to be treated like an ignorant child. I will stick with your books. I ordered, Livestocking, Pico, nano etc...today from Amazon since I am setting up my first reef system in a 40g. At least in your books you don't come across as rude, snobbish and impatient. Don't
worry, I will never bother you again!
Apology to Mr. Bob       2/15/16

Mr. Bob, We had a bit of miscommunication last week over a puffer fish acquisition. You apologized for the miscommunication even after I said some not so nice things. I too would like to extend my heart felt apology.
<Ah; gladly accepted>
I get too sensitive. I ain't making excuses nor want any sympathy. It is just an explanation to my attitude. I am extremely agoraphobic. I am so scared of people I have to take heart medication to keep adrenaline lower.
<I too take too many pills daily. To lower my blood pressure... some are def. "mood modifiers"... Which I detest>
The only people I talk to are people online. That is no excuse for getting perturbed when I've a question.
<Agreed; and again; was just hoping to have you report from your re/search what you discovered. To share>
You were right. I need to choose my own fish with my own due diligence. I thought it would be cute to have you choose a species. I am going to name him Bob :)I am going into my puffer acquisition as if I am buying a puppy.
<A good comparison I'd warrant. These are very personable, intelligent animals>
I am putting a lot of work into upgrading the tank and filtration (as learned here along with proper diet) I intend on emailing you in 15 years and telling how 'Bob' is doing :)I have learned so much from you. I am so proud of my almost 10 year old clown, (Elmo) my 10 year old starfish, (Star) and 5 year old clown (Maxine)Your works strive me to be the best I can be for my fin friends.
<Ahh; so deeply gratifying to read; realize>
They are not 'just fish' to me. They are my beloved pets. Thank you for the many articles I have read, the books, the access to read others questions.
I am looking forward to getting my livingscape for the 40g. It should be here in a few days! My hubs burnt my other books :(He is a wee bit protective when he thinks my feelings are hurt. On the bright side, now I can buy the updated Conscientious Marine!!!
<Heeee! It is much improved. I finished the draft of the first edition in.... 1995! Some improvements since then.>
I am too excited about that! He has been warned to leave my books alone!
Hurt feelings go away, books are forever! Thank you for the knowledge you share and my deepest apologies for being too sensitive and over reacting. Your fan always, Stace
<Very glad to "hear" from you. Let us start anew. Bob Fenner>
Mr. Bob/puffer; sel., now poss. article!       2/16/16

I am sorry I accidentally deleted your last email before replying. You said you would be interested in my writing an article about my experience in choosing a puffer,
<Ah yes; in particular the criteria you settle on (e.g. the size, shape of the system)>
and doing due diligence for whichever one i choose. I would love to write an article about my experience. It will be about 2-3 months before I can get an article written.
<Mighty fine. If you'd like, I will supply you pix (gratis) and help you to possibly sell the work into the pulp 'zines first>
I still have 2 months before the actual purchase of my fish. I am cycling another tank and will be doing more reading in the mean time. Thank you for all, Stace
<Thank you. BobF>
Puffer companions for 150g    3/12/16

Mr. Bob,
This should be my last question regarding the puffer acquisition.
Last email I stated it would be the only fish, Arothron nigropunctatus. You said I could add more.
<Yes; I certainly would>
System is 150g, 29g refugium, estimating 25 g in sump. I came up with these additions and numbered stocking order which will be done very slowly although my tank is well established. The refugium is new. Please make sure
I will not be stocking heavy. Sailfin blenny (Salarias Fasciatus) 1st5 Chromis (Chromis Viridis) 2ndHawkfish (Neocirrhites Armatus) 3rdFoxface Lo (Siganus Vulpinis) 4thPuffer (Arothron Nigropunctatus) last
<These should all get along; make for an interesting display>
Thank You so very much for answering all of my questions the past month or so. I am sure I was a pain at times.
<Mmm; more of a joy than negative>
I now know why so many times you would say to keep reading. I learned more than I would have had you just answered my questions.
<Ah yes>
I feel armed enough to give my puffer The care it will need, but continue to read so I can keep learning. Also I am enjoying, "Livestocking Pico.."I already have my plans for the 40g reef I am starting, so shouldn't be bothering you about that ;-)
<Heee heee!>
unless I have some dire emergency. Take care and as always, have a great day! Stace
Ps, I wasn't kidding about naming the Puffer after you but his name will be Captain Bob, heehee
<Now that's more like it. Cheers Stace. B>

Puffer fish 11/11/08 My Puffer fish looks bad. His eyes are cloudy and he looks and feels to be covered of slime. He looks dead but is swimming around. What can I do to help him? Will he infect my other fish? Erin <Hi Erin. What kind of pufferfish is this? Freshwater, brackish water, or salt water? How big is that tank? What sort of water chemistry and water quality can you measure? We need data! Neale.>

Re: Puffer fish 11/11/08 Puffer is a dogface. He is in a 55 gallon but he is the only fish. The water quality is good. We tested it and it is good. He is just a little brown on top but just barely. Besides that he has been eating good and wait. He just quit breathing? Dang. I really liked him, but I guess he is gone. Oh well, Thanks anyway. Erin <Hi Erin. Well, if he's dead, he's dead. But... now you need to review why, and certainly try to understand the cause of death before rushing out to buy any more fish. Let's review: Arothron pufferfish are extremely hardy, and in captivity have a lifespan of something like 20 years, getting to a length of some 40-50 cm (around 16-20 inches). So if your fish died any smaller/younger than this, it wasn't a "natural death". When you say water quality is "good", what do you mean? Salinity isn't really critical with Arothron hispidus because it is naturally euryhaline, meaning it is capable of swimming into brackish and even (temporarily) freshwater habitats. But like all puffers it is sensitive to nitrogenous waste, in particular nitrate. Because these puffers are big, messy feeders it is all too easy to overfeed them and overload the filter. This can not only mess up water quality but also the amount of oxygen in the tank. A 55-gallon tank is -- at best -- borderline for this type of pufferfish, at least when it is anything more than half-grown (say, more than 15 cm or so in length). Pufferfish can be easily poisoned too, with things like paint fumes being common poisons. In other words what I'm saying is don't write off a dead fish "as one of those things" and instead try to pin down what you might have done wrong. Check water quality, pH stability, salinity, oxygenation, water turnover and so on. Try and pin down possible problems, and fix them. Any questions? Get back to us and we'll try to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Puffer fish (Arothron hispidus; health) 11/11/08 Thanks for the input, we will double check the nitrates, filters, ammonia levels as well as do a water change tonight. Thanks again, Erin <Happy to help. Good luck, Neale.>

Ahhh - I think it's actually Arothron stellatus! -- 07/08/08 Hi, <Hello!> I just purchased an "Arothron mappa" from my local fish shop; the puffer is currently about 3inches in size without tail. It's been in the tank 24 hours and is eating fine and very active. However, now it's settled in, its colours are not typical of a Mappa. I contacted the shop and they insist it was labeled 'Arothron mappa' from the distributor TMC, but they thought it might be a Brown Dog faced puffer. <'¦In my opinion importers/traders should know what they are dealing with'¦> But I am worried its actually Arothron stellatus, it has a rust brown base colour with tiny black spots over its upper body and tiger stripes on its belly flanks with scribble pattern on its belly...maybe a juvenile stellatus? <May very well be possible. Young A. stellatus are found here: http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.cfm?StartRow=2&ID=6526&what=species and http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.cfm?StartRow=6&ID=6526&what=species and here's a nice drawing on how this fish changes with the years: http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/faunabase/_images/Arothron_stellatus.jpg . Also see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tetraodontpuffers.htm . In contrast A. mappa always have star like lines radiating from the eyes (compare to some pictures, I'm sure you'll know what I mean.> I have seen adult grey Arothron stellatus in the wild numerous times while diving and although the quoted size is 4ft, I have not seen one that size, I have seen about 6 of them in the Red Sea at different times over the years and the largest was just over 2 ft. Have you heard of Arothron stellatus having a 'sub' species which are not the usual grey colour? <The young can be very colourful. I've seen stunningly red, yellow and orange ones. However, the grown adults become grey to light brown or tan. They can appear very mottled, especially when sleeping or stressed.> What are chances of it actually being an Arothron stellatus do they import them for the aquarium hobby <Sure'¦ much too often, sometimes as 'brown dog face puffer', sometimes as 'red puffer'.> and do you know how big they reach in captivity? <At least the 2 feet, likely 2.5 ft. The larger ones are very rare in nature, too. However, I believe one should plan with the size an animal *might* reach given good care. Most A. stellatus imported simply die or are killed as they grow.> As I might have too contact a public aquarium at some point in the not to distant future to house it, the shop is willing to swap for what I wanted but I worry what they would do with it? <I guess they would sell it to someone else (who might or might not have an adequate tank). A public aquarium might be a better place, but naturally they often do not wish to obtain all the tank busters the hobby produces. Cheers, Marco.>

Dogface.. many rather a Toby, sel. For a new tank -- 05/28/08 Hello, <Hi Dawn.> I have a 55 gallon aquarium. I have been researching fish before I set up. My problem is I have fallen for a fish that I cant have because my tank is not big enough. My forbidden love is a dogface puffer. My question is could you give me some alternatives that are not so big. What I love about this fish of course is the personality and the cuteness. <A Toby e.g. a Canthigaster valentini. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm . They are puffers, too and share the traits you list.> I would also like some pretty, colorful tankmates. <Many possibilities, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm . A small number of small to medium sized fish (no surgeons/tangs) should work with proper filtration. Just avoid too passive fish like small cardinals and too aggressive fish like some damsels and maroon clowns.> This will be a fish only tank. I do have some fish keeping experience. this tank has been a fresh water community and brackish in the past. I would now like to try my hand at saltwater. <Be sure to prepare well with the help of literature and the internet. Maybe also contact a local club.> My son wants an eel ugh, my boyfriend wants a stingray. <Both are no choices I would combine with a puffer in a tank of 55 gallons.> So what advice do you have for me and my men. <Among eels there are many possibilities, morays are very robust and come in many sizes, but I'd recommend them only for a separate tank, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm (scroll down to marine eels). A fish similar to an eel is the Convict Blenny (it's no real blenny), which might work with a Toby in your setup, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pholodichthyidae.htm . Stingrays and skates all need very large quarters and are definitely not recommended for beginners with saltwater maintenance, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm . If you like Tobies and your son likes the Convict Blenny two of you can be happy, but I fear your husband should not have a ray in this tank.> Thank you Dawn <Hope that helps. Marco.>

90 gallon for dogface puffer? Please pass. 6/18/05 I'm am in the process of moving out of state and had to sell back my 90 gallon reef to my LFS. Since my new job will require more of my time, I have decided to do a fish only setup. Many of the fish that I have interested me before, I can now get. This would include a puffer. I have always enjoyed porkys, but am aware that they would outgrow my tank. <Yes, indeed... far to big too live a full lifespan in a 90 gall or anything even close. Huge adult size> What is your opinion on the narrow lined puffer? <Arothron manilensis still grows waaaaay too large for a home aquarium. The adult size is a full foot long and they produce copious amounts of waste. And I am also not a fan of buying juveniles on the hope/promise of a huge tank "someday."> The info on this species is slim. Also, could you suggest some tankmates for a system of this size. <The tank is not big enough for this fish let alone tankmates... do consider other fishes, my friend. But avoid Diodon and Arothron> I will be running an urchin pro skimmer along with a trickle filter. <best of luck/life. Anthony>

Puffer size problem...? Actually Aquarist Choice & LFS Info Problem I think I made a big mistake. I knew that I should have put the fish on hold for a couple days to research more about it. <Bingo> I bought a puffer from my LFS on Thursday, and after doing some research on your site, I have found out that the puffer that I purchased is a narrow-lined puffer (Arothron manilensis). This is a problem for me because he can grow to about a foot long, or even 20 inches. My tank is certainly not big enough for him. I have a 29 gallon tank, and the reason I thought it would work was because I was told that he would only get to be about 4-5 inches long. I thought he would work nicely with my spotted Hawkfish, but I now know that I was wrong.  My other problem is this, my LFS will not let you return a fish, so I am assuming that you can't trade him in either. <I wouldn't assume anything here... ask them, other shops> How long can I keep him in my tank, how fast will he grow? My biology class at school has a 125 gallon tank that could be his future home, but I don't know if I really want to make that $20.00 donation to the tank housing a 5 inch barracuda, and soon a Lionfish from another tank when he outgrows it. Have any ideas of what I should do? <Ask the school... would go with what you list> I know from now on to research anything I am going to put in the tank before buying. In fact I was only going in to get another Damsel. By the way, if I get rid of the puffer, would an Arc-Eyed Hawkfish be compatible with the Spotted Hawkfish? Thanks, Daniel <No... not a good idea to mix Cirrhitids. Bob Fenner> 

Now I Wanna Be Your Dog (face Puffer)! Hello, WWM Crew! <Good Morning> First of all, I have to tell you your site is magnificent. My husband and I recently set up a saltwater tank (yes, we have small children and did the Nemo thing.) While we have received abundant conflicting advice, we decided on the "slower is better" school of thought as best (as in, don't rush anything - curing a tank, adding live sand, adding fish, etc.)  <Great, in this hobby patience is rewarded with stability.> Here is what we have going on now: we have a 55-gallon fish-only tank humming along nicely, with 2 Ocellaris Clowns (we started with one, as advised by our LFS store owner, who then soon reversed himself and we soon added the second; regardless, the new addition, "Marlin," promptly took a chomp of the original, "Nemo" - of course -which only increased the resemblance of our "Nemo" to the movie Nemo, who has a shortened "lucky" fin. At any rate, all is well with them now, though as Clowns go, I guess "Marlin" should be renamed "Coral." ;) 1 Regal Blue Tang, 1 Yellow Tang and 1 Flame Dwarf Angel. <I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but each of these tangs needs a 75-90 gallon tank when they reach full size. As well as these tangs as they get larger, will be at higher risk of fighting, and or killing one another with their bone spines on the sides of their tails. Please try to return one or both soon or invest in a bigger tank (120-180 gallon for these fish to care for them properly for the long term. Both tangs get over 8" easily.> Everyone is getting along, and the tank appears - and according to our daily, and scrupulously recorded, tests - to be doing well. (TetraTec PF300 Filter, two "bubble bars" as we were advised the Tangs did much better with them, 40 lbs of live sand, and a 1 lb of live rock which we plan on soon augmenting, as we have recently learned it would be very advisable.) <Yes. Live Rock is the best filtration that exists for a saltwater tank. Though I think a protein skimmer would also help you a lot here to remove protein wastes from foods and fish waste form all these fish. do research one that will fit your needs. An Aqua C Remora should do fine> As I said before, we have received, from various books and alleged "experts" conflicting information. For example, two "experts" swore that a Regal Blue Tang was inevitable bad news, while another one said that they're tetchy and there's a high mortality and a fourth was ambivalent: as I wrote above, our "Dory" - the kids have named them, of course - seems to be doing just fine. She likes hanging out behind a large ornamental (fake) coral, and went through a period when she liked to fold herself up like an origami and hide out within another piece of ornamental (fake) coral which looks somewhat like a mutant cauliflower or an alien brain from Star Trek.  (For whatever reason, this activity appears to have bored her, or she discovered there was nothing interesting within the mutant cauliflower folds, and now has staked out the area behind the taller (fake) coral formation, though she's pretty amiable about sharing the space.) <I fear this will not last for very long at all. If or when it does become aggressive the situation will deteriorate quickly. Tangs generally as a rule do not play "nice" together. And in a 55 gallon they wont play nice for much longer if at all.> My question is, I'd like to add a dog-faced puffer (the desire was always there, and the puffer-writers on WWM just increased the desire.  I have read the FAQs and the articles written on WWM in regards to puffers, and they are so well-written and appealing that they have only encouraged me. (We have dogs - cockers, specifically - and I swear the dog-faced puffers look hopeful and expectant at me when I see them in our favoured shops. Ja Ja, they probably just want a hand-out, as do our cockers, but they are very hard to resist.  I understand (again from the FAQs) that puffers are predators, but it also appears that, handled correctly and fed, one would not necessarily provide the distressing scene for my adoring children to see of Mr. Puffer seeing Nemo, et al, as a too-tempting hors d'oeuvre. <Well as one of the resident puffer people here at WWM I know the draw, However, that is only asking for trouble in your present tank, and would be asking for trouble unless everything was moved to at least a 180 gallon. These fish get 15" and poop like adults even at small sizes. As for their mood or temperament, each puffer is very different and only by watching the one you want will you know what you are getting into. They are very personable, but at the same time they are very demanding as to water quality, feedings and tank sizes and can turn on tankmates quickly to fight for territory of if they are threatened. If you do get a bigger tank the puffer should be fine with the clowns provided it is well fed and not overly aggressive. Puffers eat invertebrates mainly and are not normally fish eaters.> Our original plan was, when conditions were right, to add two black clowns (at the LFS where we purchased our "Nemo" Ocellaris Clowns, we saw orange and black ocellaris coexisting quite happily in some display tanks - not in tanks where fish are available for sale) and then consider our tank complete, but I am hoping that there might be room and compatibility for a dog-faced puffer. Your thoughts? Pros? Cons? Thanks for all your help! ~ Candace <Well, As I stated above, a dog faced puffer is like a dog, it needs special care and a lot of room to roam. Those tangs are the same way. Please do not add any more fish into this tank until you get a much larger one. Also I do NOT advise getting more clownfish. Clownfish are very dominant and the pair you have has settled, but adding more simply means a new pecking order must be settled and that might mean one or more die after its all said and done due to stress or disease. Please do continue researching on WWM and fishbase.org before you buy any fish to make sure you know their adult full sizes and whether you can care for them.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Puffer species comparison Well, my partner has been wanting a puffer for months now, and we have even set up a small tank in anticipation of getting a baby - with plans for a much larger (125-180) tank for a future home.  He had been mostly attracted to the dog faced variety (nigropunctatus), but these suddenly became scarce in our area after we got the tank ready.  After waiting for our LFS to special order one, he finally came home with what they got him last night - not a dog face.  After searching your site and FishBase, I am fairly certain it is a white spotted (hispidus).  It has the regularly sized and spaced white spots over a gray mottled background, although none on the tail/fins. It has pinkish lips, and thin gold rings around the base of the clear pectoral fins.  There are no bars or stripes.  This seems to be within the variation range I have found in pics.  I will try to count rays on the fins tonight I guess. He seems to like the fish, although it is bigger than we anticipated at about 6-7".  So far I have learned that they grow bigger in the wild than the dog face - 20" compared to 13".  How big should we be prepared for in captivity?  Also he has proven quite noisy at night, making grunting and clicking noises, and splashing water in the tank.  Should we assume this will continue? <Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus 1758), the White-Spotted Puffer. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, east African coast, tropical east Pacific coast. To twenty inches in length in the wild. Cute when small, and very hardy... just big eaters and mess makers. Here are pictured a four inch juvenile in captivity, a one foot specimen in the Red Sea, and a fifteen inch mottled or "koi" one in the Seychelles. He will likely get at least 2/3 his wild size. He may settle in and some of the activity subside, but he is a puffer! They are very intelligent and engaging.> What other considerations/surprises are there with this species compared with the dog face? <They are both big mess makers, have very good filtration and regular water changes.> We have the option of returning him and waiting for another specimen, but that's not really fair to the fish or the dealer.  I can already see that owning this puffer is going to be a rather more engaging experience than with most fish.  Mike <Like a water dog. Make sure you get the bigger tank underway ASAP. Enjoy!  Craig>

Peacock Puffer & Spotted Puffer  9/4/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a 50 gal talk with four happy inhabitants, Scott's fairy wrasse, a pair of perculas with their maroon ritteri and a 10 inch wolf eel. Recently I found at my local aquarium store four 3 inch peacock puffers and I immediately wanted to inform you and ask a few questions my self the manager noted theses were very peaceful puffers and only would double in size I have a spotted fresh water puffer and even though he is 4 inches he is the king of his domain. Could the peacock puffers be so docile and if so is there a chance they could be an easy snack for my wolf eel. <There seem to be an influx of these "peacock puffers" (Takifugu ocellatus), available in the aquarium trades lately.  It's a shame really, since there has never been anyone (even the best puffer experts, Robert T Ricketts, a puffer keeper of over 40 years & Dr Klaus Ebert, author of The Puffers of Fresh & Brackish Waters) able to keep these puffers alive more than a few months.   RTR said, "I have tried 4 of them, various times and various water conditions. My shortest-lived was on the order of a week, the longest did grow a fair bit, but was still only a handful of months at the most - I don't have the exact figures handy. All were definitely still juvenile fish, all ate, all were active to hyperactive, and all died."   With that in mind, it would be best not to buy these puffers, as it will continue to deplete the natural populations, only to have the fish in a tank for a very short while.  It's such a shame that collectors have no idea--they are taking them out of their home, to certain death!   I wanted to also write to you about your "FW" spotted puffer.  If your puffer is a green spotted puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis) or  GSP, Then it is not a FW puffer.  It needs high-end BW when younger & prefers SW as an adult.  At 4" it should already be in a SG of around 1.018.  Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  ~PP>

Pufferfish Bob, this is Les Vargas, the LAPD cop you met at Tideline and the one you talked to the other night about the angel fish.  I have a question:  In your opinion, would a dog face puffer fish (scientific name is Arothron nigropunctatus) be able to peacefully co-exist in my 240 gallon aquarium.  The fish I have in there now are a Sohal tang, blue tang, Naso Tang, French angel, masked butterfly, yellow tang, tomato clown, and Fiji damsel, and a banana wrasse. All of these have peacefully co-existed for the past three to four years.  Would the puffer fish be a fin nipper or attempt to eat the smaller fish?  Please let me know.  I'll be guided by your word. Thank you. Les Vargas <The Puffer should make a fine addition. They can be nippy, even big biters, but your other fish are not slow or dummies... And will stay out of its way. This is a great aquarium species... very intelligent. Bob Fenner>

Fish Selection Hello. I hope you can offer me some more advice. I have a 150 gallon tank with the following fish: Clown Trigger(6 inches) emperor angel (6-7 inches) fire clown purple tang Sohal tang (4 inches). Unfortunately, I recently lost my green bird wrasse to unknown causes. There was no sign of disease and all the other fish look fine. I was wondering if you could suggest a new tank mate for my fish. I was thinking possibly a dog-face puffer or an auriga butterfly. I think a butterfly fish may be a little too shy for my tank considering the other inhabitants. Please let me know what you think of these choices or if you have any other suggestions. Thank You, Heather Mann >> Many, MANY possibilities for your rough and tumble assemblage... But I think you've mentioned a real winner in the Dog Faced Puffer... Do get one of these... great personality fishes... and hardy. Bob Fenner

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