Dog Face Puffer Fish – Profile | Care | Food | Reef Safe | Lifespan

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Dog Face Puffer Fish is a saltwater species that can be present in a space stretching from the realm south of Japan to east Africa and south Wales. In this article, I am going to talk about Dog Face Puffer Fish Care, Compatibility, Food, Freshwater, lifespan, reef safe, not earing, etc.

Dog Face Puffer Fish profile

Grownup specimens are sometimes very aggressive and never appropriate to be stored in a reef aquarium with small species since such species will probably be eaten. They’re to be thought of reef safe and often don’t trigger any harm to corals.

Dog Face Puffer Fish is appropriate for the aquarist who’s at the least reasonably skilled with saltwater aquariums.

They develop to be 33 cm / 13 inches and are finest stored in an aquarium of at least 350 L / 90 gallons.

It’s often not recommendable to maintain two dogface pufferfish collectively in the same aquarium because of their aggression.

Dog Face Puffer Fishes are extremely territorial and preserving a number of specimens probably requires an aquarium of at the least 6000 L / 1500 gallons if you wish to make certain that they don’t kill one another in territorial disputes.

It typically works to maintain two specimens in smaller aquariums however it’s not advisable to do that because it typically ends by one puffer killing the opposite.

The ornament can play a big role in the chance for achievement in preserving two or a number of dogface pufferfish collectively.

An aquarium that limits the line of the site and provides pure territorial borders will increase the possibility of success.

You simply monitor the dogface puffers rigorously and have one other aquarium on standby if you wish to attempt such a setup.

There are a number of species that make appropriate aquarium companions grow up dogface pufferfish.

Contains triggers, different pufferfish species, giant wrasses, giant angelfish, and a few tang species.

Juvenile Dog Face Puffer Fish ought to solely be stored with extra timid non-aggressive species since they in any other case can turn into very shy and cease-consuming.

Your puffer fish are finest stored in water with a salinity of sg 1.020-1.025 and a pH stage of 8.1-8.4. Maintain the temperature at 24-27°C / 74-80° F.

Dogface puffer fish can typically be exhausting to feed. That is often because of poor water high quality or that the fish really feel pressured and insecure because of the aquarium setup and/or its tank mates.

It might additionally typically be exhausting to get them to begin consuming in a brand new setting. At all times ask for a dogface puffer fish to eat before you purchase it.

They’re often straightforward to feed as soon as they begin consuming and could be stored on a weight loss program of shrimp, squid, marine fish, clams, crabs, and different meaty marine meals.

Essentially the most polarizing saltwater fish within the aquarium passion must be the dogface puffer fish. You both suppose they’re superior to have a look at or terrible.

There isn’t an in-between. The one factor we will all agree with is that it actually has an unlucky identity, which can be why additionally they go by the identity of black-spotted pufferfish.

Their eyes and snout clearly remind me of a dog’s, which is wonderful to see within the reef tank. They usually actually have quite a lot of persona.

Dogface puffer fish can identical to different puffer species inflate their bodies to twice their regular dimension after they turn into scared to look bigger within the eyes of predators.

It’s best to by no means attempt to scary your puffers into inflating themselves since air typically gets caught inside them and will trigger dying.

There are a number of color variations of dogface puffers out there within the aquarium commerce such because the stripped dogface puffer and the black dog Face Puffer Fish. It’s not recommendable to maintain a number of variants in the identical aquarium

Dog Face Puffer Fish Overview

They don’t have any scales
No pelvic fins
No lateral line
No motorcars…not a single luxurious
An outer and internal layer of pores and skin (that’s the way it inflates/deflates) that permits them to double in dimension when scared or provoked
And a face solely a mom may love

Along with the brief snout and pouty eyes, this rough-skinned fish additionally has a set of tooth that will make your orthodontist jealous.

These teeth are shell-crushing vices as a result of their pure meals is shellfish.

Natural Range

The dogface puffer fish is a saltwater species predominantly discovered within the Pacific and Indian oceans.

This species is present in tropical waters from the Indian Ocean to the central islands of the Pacific Ocean, roughly equalling the Indo-Pacific, besides the Red Sea.

It lives near exterior reef slopes and lagoons from the floor to 25 m (82 ft) depth.

Dog Face Puffer Fish Description

Arothron nigropunctatus is a small-sized fish that grows as much as 33 cm (1 ft) size. Its physique is oval form, spherical, and comparatively elongated.

The skin is just not lined with scales. The fish has no pelvic fin and no lateral line. The dorsal fin and the anal fin are small, symmetric and situated on the finish of the body. Its snout is brief with two pairs of nostrils and its mouth is terminal with 4 teeth.

The background coloration is variable and could be gray, gentle brown, bluish, bluish darkish, brilliant yellow, orangey-yellow, and in addition typically bi-color like bluish and yellow.

Darkish coloration happens across the eyes and the mouth. The pores and skin is strewed with darkish blotches which fluctuate in dimension and form. Are all pufferfish poisonous?

Dogface Puffer fish Aquarium Care

Dogface puffer fish are the finest cared for by “intermediate” aquarists with at the least some expertise in catering for distinctive species–principally due to their choosy feeding habits.

You’re not going going to get this hungry meat-eater to be taught to take flakes.

And even if you happen to do, you’d have a significant dentistry invoice in your fingers, since this saltwater fish’s tooth is made for cracking shells and can develop too giant if a dog-faced puffer doesn’t encounter sufficient exhausting stuff to put on them down.


Dogface pufferfish can develop to be about 12-13 inches as adults however are usually offered at a lot smaller dimension.

dog face puffer fish

Water Parameters

The dogface puffer fish doesn’t require something particularly when it comes to water high quality.

The usual reef aquarium water parameters are ample. Temperature, pH, Nitrates, and Salinity are crucial parameters for these fishes.

pH – 8.1-8.4
Temp – around 780F
Nitrates – as near zero as attainable
Salinity – 35 g/L

Dog Face Puffer Fish Diet

Dog Face Puffer Fish is often nocturnal hunters out within the ocean. When launched to captivity, they may initially seem shy, refusing the meals you present.

Because it acclimates into this new state, they turn into bolder, typically pleading for meals in that charming, puppy-like method.

They feed totally on invertebrates with such species as mollusks, algae, crustaceans, sponges, corals, and sea squirts an essential a part of its weight loss program.

Their sturdy, exhausting tooth could have little issues tearing into the shells of those species, even benefitting from continuously chewing on corals that put on down its continuously rising tooth.

In your house aquarium, their weight loss program ought to include meaty meals, resembling uncooked shrimp, squid, krill, mussels, and clams.

Invertebrate meals with exhausting shells and are wanted to assist hold their tooth from overgrowing.

Minimal Tank Dimension

The dogface puffer fish can develop to be over a foot in size that’s around 30+ centimeters for these of you utilizing the metric system–however then once more, these of you utilizing the metric system.

So…which means you’re finest to maintain them in a tank that’s about 75-90 gallons

Dog Face Puffer Fish Compatibility

The dogface puffer fish is taken into account to be non-aggressive or semi-aggressive saltwater aquarium fish, so long as you’re not a tasty invertebrate–as a result of they’ve big tooth for breaking into and consuming clams, crabs, and shrimps. They need to in any other case go away your fishes and corals alone.

Resulting from their giant dimension and meat-eating disposition, they’re typically stored in tanks with bigger aggressive or predator fishes.

Splendid tankmates can be different non-aggressive (or reasonably aggressive) puffer species, triggers, lionfishes, snowflake eels, presumably giant choose tang species, and huge wrasses or angelfish will make for good companions.

Fish with lengthy fins would possibly discover the pufferfish nipping on their fins.

Dog Face Puffer Fish Care

Feeding your dogface puffer fish with hard-shelled invertebrates will assist examine the expansion of its teeth.

If you’re not cautious, the tooth may develop so giant that they forestall the dog-faced puffer fish from even having the ability to eat something.

That’s the reason I like to recommend solely intermediate or superior aquarists to attempt their hand at caring for man’s finest (aquatic) good friend.

Additionally, in case your motivation for preserving these wonderful creatures…is that you simply love the thought of watching a puffer inflate itself…you must in all probability suppose once more.

Okay, I’m in your facet, it feels like it might be superior to see and showcase.

However, it’s not good for the fish. Dogface pufferfishes clearly solely inflate themselves when they’re pressured, and issues can go flawed after they do.

If they could get an excessive amount of air throughout this course, they may have to bother shrinking again to regular dimension and die.

This might be a giant bummer for each of you, however principally in your dog-faced puffer.

Please additionally be aware that the dogface pufferfish typically proves troublesome to feed, particularly when pressured, insecure, or shy.

That is particularly the case when they’re first launched into the tank. Be certain that they feed correctly earlier than buy.

Gradual feeding is usually the result of inner parasites, which a correct dose of fenbendazole will help eradicate.


A dogface puffer fish can price anyplace from about $40 to a whole lot of {dollars}, primarily based on the scale and sweetness. The widespread vary might be $50-90

Take away

The dogface puffer fish is actually an attention-grabbing saltwater fish worthy of consideration as you intend out the livestock additions in your personal tank.

They’re large, (typically) stunning, and are actually eyecatching within the tank, as they swim around seeming to crave your consideration.

They require some specialized care when it comes to what and the way typically you feed them in order that your dog-faced puffer doesn’t develop dental issues as they get older.

The black-spotted puffer is a shell-cracking, invertebrate-consuming machine, which implies it isn’t completely reefed safe.

However, when you’ve got a big tank the place you need to hold aggressive or semi-aggressive fish, the Dog Face Puffer Fish may very well be a cool selection.

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