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I want a Puffer Fish

Question: I saw some Puffer Fish in your shop and I definitely want one.! Are they difficult to keep?

Answer: Yes, and No.! There are numerous species of Puffer fish ranging in size from only a few centimetres to almost 80cm for the famous 'Mbu'. Water conditions also vary considerably with everything from soft-acid to hard-alkaline and from Fresh to Brackish to full Marine

The first thing is to ask about the species and the conditions under which it is being kept in the shop. You will also need to know about its feeding habits. All our puffers remain in quarantine until we are happy that they are feeding well, but you will need to know "feeding on what?". Some small species are happy on bloodworm and small crustaceans such as frozen Krill. Medium sized species may need Cockles and chopped White Bait, but for some the only acceptable offering is 'Live'. You will probably be able to train it to accept dead food, eventually, but until that time you may need a supply of sacrificial Guppies, Platies or other small fish.

Hairy Puffer (Tetraodon baileyii)The next question you should be asking is "Size?". Puffers such as the baby Mbu which we regularly have in the shop, are cute, especially with those big baby eyes, but remember it will eventually grow to 60cm and probably live for 20 years. While the Mbu is the largest by far, other species can reach 20cm - 30cm and will need a tank all to themselves.

Lastly, aggression. There are only a few puffers which can be kept in a community tank, and then only with larger fish. All are nippers, even of fish without long fins. Some such as the 'Pig Nosed Puffer' (Tetraodon suvattii) and the 'Hairy Puffer' (Tetraodon baileyii) will quite literally bite the hand that feeds them.

Maroon Clownfish in an Anemone