Aquarium Fish

Guinea Fowl/Golden Puffer

posted: 05/15/12
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Guinea Fowl/Golden Puffer
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith | Information provided courtesy of
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The Golden Puffer is a fish of many names including Guinea Fowl Puffer and Spotted Puffer. It changes appearance during different stages of its life. While in the black phase, it is black with white spots over the entire body. The golden phase is denoted by its rich burgundy to golden tan coloring with smaller white spots covering its body. It also has a yellow phase, during which, it is lacking the white spots. It very rarely changes phases while living in an aquarium.

The Golden 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.

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.

A 125 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium is suitable. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef tank. It becomes alarmed when in a net, therefore, use a container to transfer it.

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

Fish Facts

Name: Guinea Fowl/Golden Puffer (Arothron meleagris)

Family: Tetraodontidae

Range: Indo-Pacific

Size: Up to 19 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: 125 gallon

Light: High

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: Middle

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Scatterer

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