Aquarium Fish

Cube Boxfish

posted: 05/15/12
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Cube Boxfish
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Cube Boxfish is also referred to as the Yellow Boxfish, Polka Dot Boxfish, or Cubicus Boxfish. The juvenile form is easily identifiable as having a yellow box-shaped body with brown spots. As an adult, the yellow will fade and become brown. The Cube Boxfish is sometimes confused with the Longhorn Cowfish, Lactoria cornuta which is occasionally also called the Yellow Boxfish.

This is a very difficult fish to keep in the aquarium setting by any other than the most experienced aquarist. It should have a minimum of a 125-gallon tank. Use caution if placing the Spotted Boxfish in a reef tank as they will often nibble at tubeworms. If stressed, the Cube Boxfish releases a poisonous substance, called ostracitoxin, from its mucous glands which will kill other fish in the tank very quickly.

Very little success has been achieved in breeding these fish in an aquarium.

When first introduced, the Cube Boxfish prefers a diet of live brine shrimp or bloodworms. Once acclimated, the diet should include chopped squid, clams, mussels, and herbivore preparations.

Fish Facts

Name: Cube Boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)

Family: Ostraciidae

Range: Indo-Pacific

Size: Up to 18 inches

Diet: Omnivore

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

Reef Compatible: With caution

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

Minimum Tank Capacity: 125 gallon

Light: Medium

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Venomous: Yes

Swimming Level: No specific level

Care Level: Experts only

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