Aquarium Fish

Blackspotted Puffer

posted: 05/15/12
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Blackspotted Puffer
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Blackspotted Puffer is also known as the Arothron Dog Face Puffer. It changes appearance during different stages of life. While in the gray phase, it is gray with black markings around the mouth, eyes, and dorsal fin. The pectoral fins have a yellow appearance. The half-yellow phase is denoted by a yellow underbelly and dark gray overcoat, while the face looks similar to the gray phase. It may also have black spots over the body, which may be gray or yellow. It very rarely changes phases while living in an aquarium.

The Blackspotted Puffer lacks pelvic fins, but is very maneuverable, using its pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins. Instead of "teeth," it has a fused beak-like structure which it uses to crush prey.

A 100 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium is suitable. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef tank. It tolerates other Puffers that are not more aggressive than itself. It is shy at first, and becomes alarmed when in a net, therefore, use a container to transfer it.

While "puffed up," its spines are held straight out from the body to discourage others from trying to eat it. Parts of the flesh are poisonous if digested.

The Blackspotted Pufferfish needs a varied diet of meaty foods including squid, krill, clams, and hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth. It hunts at night, so it may only be seen during the night-time hours.

Fish Facts

Name: Blackspotted Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)

Family: Tetraodontidae

Range: Indo-Pacific

Size: Up to 13 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Coral or rock, plants

Reef Compatible: No

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 100 gallon

Light: High

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Swimming Level: Middle

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Scatterer

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