Aquarium Fish

Panda Puffer

posted: 05/15/12
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Panda Puffer
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Panda Puffer, also known as the Masked Pufferfish, has black patches around both eyes. It lacks pelvic fins, but has learned to use the pectoral fins to move about the aquarium. It has the ability, when threatened or alarmed, to inflate its body to almost twice its normal size. 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. Its teeth are actually a fused beak-like structure.

A 100 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium with a good protein skimmer is suitable. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef tank. It does become alarmed when in a net, therefore, use a container to transfer it.

The Panda Puffer diet 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 nocturnal hours.

Fish Facts

Name: Panda Puffer (Arothron diadematus)

Family: Tetraodontidae

Range: Red Sea

Size: Up to 12 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: No specific level

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Scatterer

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