Boxfish area group of puffer like fishes and the group boxfish includes cowfish and trunkfish. They all have a squared body. Their bodies are enclosed by bones.

Boxfish can be found in a very large geographical area but most boxfish available in aquarium stores can be found in the Pacific Ocean in the wild. Some of the species available in the thread is however found in the Caribbean‘s.

Boxfish are best kept alone in an aquarium without other fish due to the fact that they if stressed can release a toxin that can kill other fish that comes in contact with the boxfish. Boxfish are very slow moving and easily stressed. There are also reports that they can release the toxin if they die and thereby poison the rest of the fish in the aquarium. I can not say whether dead boxfish always release toxin or if this only sometimes are the case. It is recommendable to make sure to remove dead fish immediately to minimize to toxin released.

It is however possible to keep boxfish with other fish in a community aquarium but you will than need to make sure to minimize the stress the boxfish are exposed to. It is in order to achieve this important to avoid keeping them with large or aggressive species. Don’t forget that some small species such as some goby species can be very aggressive and therefore isn’t suitable tank mates for boxfish.

There are a number of different boxfish species available in the aquarium trade. They are very interesting fish to keep if you can give them the care they require which can explain their growing popularity. One of the most popular species is Long-horned cowfish, Lactoria cornutus

Boxfish are best kept in larger aquariums with a small to moderate fish population in it. They prefer an aquarium with low to medium water circulation. The aquarium should be decorated so that the Boxfish can feel safe. This means that caves and other hiding places are highly recommended.

Different species of boxfish have different demands both in regards to water parameters and in regards to aquarium size. Some species of boxfish are very small while other grows considerable larger.

picture of Boxfish
Ostracion cyanurus - a species of boxfish. Copyright

Boxfish are omnivores and will accept many types of foods. They should however never be feed food on the surface so sinking food is a most. The boxfish may gulp down air when eating from the surface which may cause severe balance and buoyancy problems in these fish. Boxfish eats relatively slowly and should not be kept with fast eating species since this will prevent the boxfish from getting the nutrition it needs and will result in a malnourished fish. They can be feed most food of suitable size but their diet should always contain vegetables or other vegetable food such as see weed sheets. Suitable food for boxfish includes mysis shrimp, shrimp, fish meat, clams, crab meat and so on.

There are no known information about breeding boxfish in aquarium.

Boxfish picture
Ostracion solorensis - Another boxfish. Copyright

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