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Puffers - Sharpnose

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seabass
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Sharpnose Puffers, a.k.a. Toby Puffers

Canthigaster_valentini_1.jpg

Sharpnose Puffers, also known as Toby Puffers, belong to the genus Canthigaster.  They have colorful patterns and are very inquisitive and personable fish.  It's markings are thought to provide camouflage (by disrupting its body shape) in the wild.  A fish only tank with live rock (FOWLR) with some larger open areas makes a good home for Toby Puffers.

 

These fish are considered reef safe with caution because it might try to eat invertebrates that fit in its mouth, by crushing its prey with its ever growing beak-like teeth (which must be worn down).  Keep re-supplying your Toby with live snails to help wear down its teeth.  Ghost shrimp are another good live food which will help wear down its teeth.  In addition, you can sometimes find live clams at your local market.  Place the clams in some fresh saltwater, so that they open up and flush their wastes (failure to do so can make your puffer sick).  Then crack their shells with a nutcracker or pair of pliers just prior to feeding.

 

Wait at least 24 hours before feeding its first prepared meal.  These meals include: small mollusks, krill with their shells on them, as well as hard shelled shrimp and crayfish.  Avoid making flake food a staple for your puffer (as puffers require more substantial meals).  Your new puffer might be finicky at first, but it should learn to accept prepared foods (like frozen cubes of mysis shrimp, squid, and clams) relatively quickly.  Many of these foods can be purchased at your local grocery store, but be sure to wash the shellfish which you got from the market, as it might have been treated with chlorine to kill the surface bacteria.  And keep its diet varied.

 

Puffers will often beg for food, but it is important not to overfeed them.  A single larger prepared meal (or several smaller meals spaced out throughout the day) every other day or so, is better than feeding every day.  And even if it is begging for food, don't feed multiple large meals within the same day.  You might choose to feed snails on the days where you aren't feeding prepared meals.  After they have eaten, you might notice that they have a slight potbelly.

 

A few other notes; when feeding dried foods (like shrimp or krill), you should reconstitute it in water first, so that it doesn't swell up inside the fish's gut.  Also, puffers are considered omnivores, and will occasionally graze on algae in the wild.  While not a major component, algae is still an important part of their diet.  Snails which are gut loaded with algae might be enough, although supplementing algae is still a good idea.  It's best to train your puffer to eat in a specific area of the tank.  First off, this will give its tank mates an opportunity to eat their meals away from the hungry puffer; and also, because they will be more likely to eat less palatable meals placed in their feeding zone.

 

Leopard Puffer (Canthigaster leoparda)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Micronesia

 

Central American Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster punctatissima)

Max Size: 3.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Costa Rica, Nicaragua

Little_Puffer.jpg

 

Saddle Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentini)

Max Size: 4"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Hawaii, Indonesia, Sumatra

Canthigaster_valentini_prg1.jpg

 

Bennett's Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster bennetti)

Max Size: 4"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Fiji, Indonesia

Canthigaster_bennetti.jpg

 

Blue Spotted Puffer (Canthigaster solandri)

Max Size: 4.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Indo-Pacific, Fiji

Canthigaster_solandri_(sharpnosed_puffer,_solander's_toby,_or_blue-spotted_toby).jpg


Spotted Puffer (Canthigaster jactator)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Reef Compatible: With Caution

Origin: Hawaii

Hawaiian_Whitespotted_Puffer_Canthigaster_jactator.jpg

 

Photos by image.png.764b7df6a2818ad7ca0b4ddd2d888742.png

 

Saltwater Fish Index

 

Edited by seabass

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Tritone

Thank you.

wow, I didn’t know some could actually be housed in 30 gallons.

Tempting….

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