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Puffers

Puffers belong to the Order Tetraodontiformes. As the name specifies, Puffers “puff out” and look like a round ball by consuming lots of water or air (when on surface) to keep their predators away. Many species are also known to possess Spines for protection. Puffers are very poisonous Vertebrates and the toxins produced in its skin & certain organs can be harmful if consumed. Despite their venomous nature, Puffers are quite popular among aquarists. Fresh Marine offers several interesting species of this adorable looking fish. However, prior to moving on to them, let us check few common features found in Puffers.

Compatibility. Puffers are Semi-Aggressive & Territorial in disposition, and should be kept one per tank. They may nip a hole in the Fins of their tank mates. They adapt very well to the new environment of an aquarium. Puffers are not Reef Compatible and should not be kept with small tank mates, as they will predate on them.
  • Habit & Habitat. Puffers usually come from warm ocean waters and they generally have a worldwide spread. In addition, there are some Freshwater species of Puffers as well. Puffers live solitarily or in pairs, on Coral Reefs, Lagoons, & Bays. They inhabit dead and living Corals, are Nocturnal in habit, and actively predate at night.
  • Morphology. Puffers are Hardy and have a large spherical body, usually covered with Spines. Puffers have a large Head with big beamy Eyes. They move slowly with the help of Pectoral Fins as they lack Pelvic Fins.
  • Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Puffers require a Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025, a pH of 8.1-8.4, and a Temperature of 72-78°F in the Marine Aquarium they are kept. These fish need ample movement space and Live Rocks & Caves for hiding.
  • Aquarium Feeding. Puffers are Omnivorous and feed on all types of food. They should be fed a variety of foods such as Live Algae, Shrimp, Squid, Krill, Fish, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Sponges, Corals, Anemones, Urchins, and Clams, along with the supplements to replenish the necessary nutrients.
  • Aquarium Breeding. Puffers are not easy to breed in captivity and there is hardly any observable difference between the sexes.
  • Care. Expert Aquarists should handle Puffers, as they are moderately difficult to maintain.


  • Some of the best selling Puffers available at Fresh Marine are listed below. These Puffers are classified according to their Families.

    Family - Canthigaster.
  • Blue Dot Puffer (Canthigaster epilamprus). Also known as Lantern Blue Dot Toby & Sharp-nosed Puffer, these Puffers grow up to 6” long and require a minimum of 50Gallons tank capacity. They are better suited in Coral or Rock Aquarium.


  • Family Tetraodontidae.
  • Dogface Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus). Also known as Arothron Dogface Puffer and Blackspotted Puffer, these fish grow up to 13” in length and require a tank of minimum 100Gallons capacity. They are better suited for Fish-Only Aquariums.
  • Golden Puffer (Arothron meleagris). Also known as Arothron Golden Puffer, Spotted Guinea Fowl Gold Puffer, Guinea Fowl Puffer, and Spotted Puffer, these fish change their color to Black, Yellow, and Golden during their life cycle. The Black body of Puffers has White spots all over.
  • Saddle Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentine). Also known as Valentini's Sharpnose Puffer, Valentini Puffer, Black Saddle Puffer fish, Black Saddled Toby, Valentini Toby, and Saddled Toby, these Puffers are White in color with Brown Saddle Bands that look like spots. They have four Black Bands on their back. The Tails & Fins are slightly yellow in color. Growing up to 5”, these Puffers require a tank of minimum 20Gallons capacity. They are better suited for Fish Only Aquariums.
  • Spotted Puffer (Canthigaster punctatissimus). Also known as Crowned Puffer and Spotted Sharpnose Puffer, these Puffers occur in Red color with White spots all over their body. Growing up to 5”, these Puffers require a tank of minimum 50Gallons capacity.
  • Starry Puffer (Arothron hispidus). Also known as Stars-N-Stripes Puffer, these Puffers are Gray in color with small White spots on the anterior half of the body and White to Pale Blue lines on the posterior side. They also possess coaxial White & dark Gray lines around their Eyes. Growing up to 14”, these Puffers require a minimum of 100Gallons capacity.
  • Panda Puffer (Arothron diadematus). As the name implies, it looks similar to the Panda Bear and has the same Black & White markings. Growing up to 13”, this Puffer requires a minimum of 100Gallons tank.


  • Family Diodontidae. The members of this Family have their body covered with Spines for defense.
  • Porcupine Puffer (Diodon holocanthus). Also known as Spiny Puffer, Porcupine Fish, Long-Spine Porcupine Fish, Balloon Porcupinefish, and Porcupine Pufferfish, these Puffers are Olive Brown in color with White under belly. They also have Brown patches over their back. They are known for their camouflage. Growing up to 40”, these Puffers require an aquarium of minimum 150Gallons capacity.
  • Spiny Box Puffer (Chilomycterus antillarum). Also known as, Striped Burr Fish and Bridled Burrfish, the body of these Puffers is Yellow in color with a Tan sporting dark stripes over them. Growing up to 6” in length, the Puffers require a minimum of 70Gallons tank.


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