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Leopard Toby Puffer

(Canthigaster leoparda)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 45 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Christmas Islands, Guam, Philippines; Cook Islands
• Family: Tetraodontidae   • Species: Puffers   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Leopard Toby Puffer native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Leopard Toby Puffer (Canthigaster leoparda) is a relative new comer to the aquarium hobby trade as they have only been available to hobbyists since about 2008. While still somewhat difficult to find their attractive appearance and good temperament have made them very popular with aquarium hobbyists, which has caused importers to increase the number of these fish finding their way into fish stores. The Leopard Toby Puffer was only recently introduced into the aquarium trade due mostly to their limited distribution and deep water secluded lifestyle.

In the wild the Leopard Toby Puffer lives in deep water caves and reef slopes that are typically 50 to 100 meters in depth. These island reef slopes and caves are also quite steep, which creates a rather unique habitat in comparison to the more gradually sloping top water reef environments where the majority of fish and invertebrates collected for the aquarium hobby trade originate. Hobbyists should attempt to recreate some of the Leopard Toby's natural habitat within the aquarium in order to ease their acclimation.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Leopard Toby Puffer in the home aquarium.

Aquarium hobbyists keeping Leopard Toby Puffers should design the aquarium with the needs of a deep water species in mind. The aquarium should have plenty of deep caves and rock crevices with enough depth to allow the Puffer to escape the bright aquarium lighting. Ideally the rock work within the aquarium should re-create the steep rocky reef slope of this species native environment, which should include plenty of caves, crevices and areas of reduced or diffused lighting.

There should also be areas of reduced water flow in middle to lower areas within the aquarium, and increased water flow near the aquarium surface. This will provide a much more natural environment for the Leopard Toby Puffer as opposed to the typical reef aquarium that features intense lighting and strong water flow.

In the wild the Leopard Toby Puffer spends much of its time in large caves that limit the strong water currents that move across the face of the reef slopes in which they live. They also use their sharp nose to get into tight crevices in search of small meaty food items such as small crustaceans and invertebrates.

Tank mates should consist of similarly sized semi-aggressive fish species that are not too boisterous for the relatively passive nature of the Leopard Toby Puffer. They should only be kept with other Pufferfish in very large aquariums that are capable of providing enough territory to support multiple Puffers.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Leopard Toby Puffer.

As with most fish species the Leopard Toby Puffer needs a varied diet in order to ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals necessary to support a healthy immune system. There diet should include marine based meaty foods like: krill, shrimp, squid, mussels, clams, quality frozen preparations and pellet foods designed for marine carnivores.

Like all Pufferfish the Leopard Toby Puffers teeth will continue to grow throughout their life, thus should be provided some foodstuffs with hard shells to help wear down their teeth as would occur during their natural feedings in the wild. Feed daily 1 to 2 times per day and monitor the overall growth and girth of the fish to ensure the proper amount of food is being offered.

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