Dogface Puffer
Dogface Puffer

Dogface Puffer

Dogface Puffer

Dogface puffer fish
Scientific name: Arothron nigropunctatus

Dogface puffer fish are like most other puffer species fish that has a lot of character and personality which often gives them a special place in the heart of their keepers. Many keepers of dogface puffer fish swear that different specimens of this species show significant different behaviour and personality. Something that isn’t hard to believe for anyone has kept other large fishes such as many large cichlids where the same personality differences are abundantly present.

Dogface puffer fish is a saltwater species that are found in an area stretching from the area south of Japan to east Africa and south Wales. Adult specimens are often very aggressive and not suitable to be kept in a reef aquarium with small species since such species will be eaten. They are to be considered reef safe and usually don’t cause any damage to corals.

Dogface puffer fish is suitable for aquarist who is at least moderately experienced with salt water aquariums. They grow to be 33 cm / 13 inches and are best kept in an aquarium of at least 350 L / 90 gallon. It is usually not recommendable to keep two dogface puffer fish together in the same aquarium due to their aggression. They are highly territorial and keeping several specimens most likely requires an aquarium of at least 6000 L / 1500 gallon if you want to be sure that they don’t kill each other in territorial disputes. It sometimes works to keep two specimens in smaller aquariums but it is not recommended to try this as it often ends by one puffer killing the other. The decoration can play a large roll in the possibility for success in keeping two or several dogface puffer fish together. An aquarium that limits line of site and offers natural territorial border increases the chance of success. I would however recommend that you monitor the dogface puffers carefully and have another aquarium on standby if you want to try such a setup.

There are several species that make suitable aquarium companions to adult dogface puffer fish. Includes triggers, other puffer fish species, large wrasses, large angelfish and some tang species. Juvenile dogface puffer fish should only be kept with more timid non aggressive species since they otherwise can become very shy and stop eating.

Your puffer fish are best kept in water with a salinity of sg 1.020-1.025 and a pH level of 8.1-8.4. Keep the temperature at 24-27°C / 74-80° F.

Dogface puffer fish can sometimes be hard to feed. This is usually due to poor water quality or that the fish feel stressed and insecure due to the aquarium setup and/or its tank mates. It can also sometimes be hard to get them to start eating in a new environment. Always ask to se a dogface puffer fish eat before you buy it. They are usually easy to feed once they start eating and can be kept on a diet of shrimp, squid, marine fish, clams, crabs and other meaty marine food.

Dogface puffer picture
Dogface puffer fish swiming near the bottom of the aquarium– Arothron nigropunctatus.

Dogface puffer fish can just like other puffer species inflate their bodies to twice their normal size when they become scared to look larger in the eyes of predators. You should never try to scary your puffers into inflating themselves since air sometimes get stuck inside them and may cause death.

Nothing is known about breeding this species in aquariums.

There are several colour variations of dogface puffers available in the aquarium trade such as the stripped dogface puffer and the black dogface puffer fish. It is not recommendable to keep several variants in the same aquarium

Pufferfish Articles:

Black Dogface Puffer - Information about Black Dogface Puffer.
Immaculate Puffer – How to care for Arothron immaculatus.
Saddled Toby – Information on keeping Canthigaster valentin.i


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