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Starry Puffer
1 like Puffers
(Arothron stellatus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 28" 300 gallons 72-79&deg F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Tetraodontidae Puffers Fish Only The Starry Puffer (Arothron stellatus) is a very large box-shaped Pufferfish capable of reaching sizes over 3 feet in length in the wild. While wild specimens grow to be one of the largest puffers in the world at over 3 feet, aquarium specimens rarely grow larger than about 2 to 2 1/2 feet in length. Despite their large size, Starry Puffers are slow swimmers that can do well in large aquariums of 300 gallons or more. Like many puffer species, the Starry Puffer is quite popular based on its interactive personality and unique appearance. They do best in very large FOWLR aquariums that can provide both open swimming areas and areas of live rock to simulate the reef slopes and lagoons that the Starry Puffer inhabits in the wild. Juvenile specimens have large block spots on an orange body, with adult specimens exhibiting smaller black spots over a white body. Starry Puffers defend themselves both by puffing up their bodies to increase their overall size and through toxins (tetrodotoxin) that are contained in their skins and organs. Hobbyists looking to keep Starry Puffers will need a large aquarium of 300 gallons or more in size. Very strong filtration is also required due to the quantity of food and the messy way in which puffers eat. Provide plenty of internal water flow to suspend particulates in the water so that they can skimmed from the aquarium into a wet/dry or canister filter with strong mechanical filtration. Both a strong biological filter and protein skimmer should be employed to deal with the high bio load of a large species like the Starry Puffer. It is recommended that either partial water changes or de-nitrification products like an algae scrubber or bio-pellet reaction chamber are employed to keep nitrates at a manageable level. Tank mates should include other large semi-aggressive fish species like groupers, large angelfish, triggers, large tangs and other similar fish species. Starry Puffers will prey on many invertebrates and corals, thus they should only be kept in fish-only of FOWLR aquariums. The ideal aquarium setup for this species will emulate the lagoons and reef slopes of their natural habitat, with areas of open sand punctuated with rocky formations or rock piles. Starry Puffers should be fed a varied diet consisting of different marine based meaty foods including: squid, clams, shelled shrimp, mussels, krill, sea urchins and crustaceans. It is important to give them plenty of hard shelled foods in order to wear down their ever growing teeth. The Starry Puffer will see many corals and ornamental invertebrates as a food source, thus this species is not suited for the reef aquarium environment. They should be fed 1 to 2 times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
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Leopard Toby Puffer
1 like Puffers
(Canthigaster leoparda) Moderate Semi-aggressive 3" 45 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Christmas Islands, Guam, Philippines; Cook Islands Tetraodontidae Puffers Reef Compatible 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 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. 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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Dog Face Puffer
1 like Puffers
(Arothron nigropunctatus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 14" 100 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Tetraodontidae Puffers Fish Only 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. 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. 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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