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Dog Face Puffer

(Arothron nigropunctatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 14"
• Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Tetraodontidae   • Species: Puffers   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Dog Face Puffer native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Dogface Puffers or Blackspotted Puffer as they are also commonly known as within the aquarium hobby are considered one of the most "personable" fish species. Dogface Puffers are quick to realize where their food comes from and will recognize their owners on site. They enjoy the attention they receive from their owners and can even be hand-fed. It has even been said that Dogface Puffers are so interactive that they tend to become family pets.

Dogface Puffers are not an aggressive species and are suitable for most community fish aquariums. While this species is not aggressive towards other fish species, it is destructive towards corals and crabs, snails etc. Overall a very fun community species with a very interactive personality.

Dogface Puffers coloration is highly variable, with individuals ranging from brown to blue-gray, with varying amounts of yellow and black spots. While more rare, some individuals can be black, gold or even orange. The coloration around the eyes and nose give this species its name, where as the rest of the body has a number of black spots. The finnage is similar to other Pufferfish, which gives them the appearance of hovering in the water.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Dog Face Puffer in the home aquarium.

Dogface Puffers are a non-aggressive species, but do grow quite large in size, thus they are most suitable for large (100 gallon or more) community aquariums. Dogface Puffers do best with other non-aggressive community species and can even be kept with others of their own kind. While it is not uncommon for this species to be a shy feeder at first (especially if kept with more boisterous tank mates), but it will soon become bold to the point where it can be hand-fed. This species is not suitable for reef aquariums as it will chew on corals and may eat some invertebrates.

Pufferfish have strong ever-growing front teeth that they will need to wear down, thus they can often be seen chewing on live rock or similar items. Hard shelled items, such as clams or shellfish are excellent as they provide a valuable food source and help the Dogface Puffer keep its teeth worn down. In the wild this specie is found living in or around coral reefs and thus will require a large aquarium with both open swimming area and rock formations. Because of the diet required for this species, it can produce a large bio load on the biological filtration of the aquarium, thus good filtration practices must be adhered to so that the water does not become fowled.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Dog Face Puffer.

The Dogface Puffer requires a varied diet of meaty foods and marine algae or preparations designed for herbivores. Suitable meaty items include: chopped shrimp, clams, squid, prawn, krill and fish along with shelled mussels or shellfish. It is best to feed this species multiple times a day (3 to 4 times) amounts of food that they will consume without waste. Dogface Puffers are not picky eaters and will quickly become adapted to a variety of prepared aquarium foods and an occasional algae wafer. Flake food is not recommended, as even though they may eat it, they will not thrive on it.

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