The Puffer Fish or Pufferfish if you prefer is one of the most interesting fish that you can keep in an aquairum. He is quite popular if not only for is habit of “puffing” up but for his expressive face that almost seems human.
The unique ability of the puffer to puff up is what it uses as means of defense. They can actually puff up to 3 times their size to scare off a predator, and if your pufferfish has barbs (a porcupine puffer fish) then that makes him all the more scary! However cool it may be to see the fish puff up, you should never try to make him do this because it is actually very stressful for him.
Puffer fish are omnivores and have voracious appetites eating most anything they are presented with and may even eat some of your other thank inhabitants! You want to be sure they get enough greens and a good commercial food. Some people like to supplement with freeze dried bloodworms, shrimp or krill and the will also eat crabs and muscles that are in the shell. The latter is actually recommended so that it can help wear down their “beak” or toothplate which can cause problems if it gets too long.
Pufferfish often nip at each others fins if they are kept together in one tank - so you‘ll want to keep an eye out for this. They will also eat crabs, snails, shrimp and crayfish, so you don’t want put them in a tank where you have any of these as pets!
There are many different species of puffers and each requires a different environment. All should be kept in large tanks - 50 gallons or more, but some live in fresh water, some live in salt water and some live in brackish water which is a mixture of salt and fresh water. Needless to say, you best make sure what type of water your puffer needs before you bring your pufferfish home for the pet store.
Freshwater Puffer fish get along best with other fast moving fish such as sharks, Barbs and Danios. If you have the brackish species then you want to house them with Scats, Archer Fish, Needlenose Gars and the like.
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