Black Saddled Toby Puffer - Canthigaster valentini - Small
That Fish Place
Item # 206685 / Manufacturer Part # F91 0007 0467
The Black Saddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini, also known as the Valentini Sharpnose Puffer) is characterized by the 4 black "saddles" over its back. Light brown dots and lines cover the sides and face. The yellow tail is edged in black. There are a few other similar species, but the Black Saddled Toby is identified by the 2 middle saddles that extend to the belly; these saddles stop around the midline on most other species.
Puffers are not too demanding in terms of care, but they need plenty of space and ample filtration to keep the water quality pristine. They're messy eaters, and the diet required for these fish can leave a lot of waste. Puffers have strong, ever-growing front teeth (beak) that they will need to wear down. They may chew on live rock in the tank to aid in the process. Feeding hard-shelled items, such as whole clams or shellfish, can also help to keep the teeth worn.
"Toby Puffers" or "Sharpnose Puffers" (Canthigaster sp.) have a much different appearance than their larger relatives. These puffers stay much smaller - usually under about 5 inches in length - and have a pointed face. They are generally peaceful toward other fish, but will not tolerate other puffers. They also have a reputation for being "fin nippers", and should not be kept with invertebrates or with passive or showy-finned fish. Tobies are bold eaters that do best on a diet of frozen meaty foods like clams, mussels, squid, and shrimp (shells intact) as well as some algae. All puffers can be destructive inverts and corals so it is not recommended that they be housed in reef tanks.
It is important to never provoke a puffer to see it inflate. Puffing is a stress or defense reaction, and it can cause health problems or even death for a puffer. The fish can swallow air or over-inflate with water, leading to even more stress as the fish attempted to recover and even death due to stress-related complications or internal injuries. If a puffer inflates, remove the source of the stress, lower the lighting on the tank and allow the fish to recover on its own. Avoid using a net or removing the puffer from the water and exposing it to air. Instead, transfer with rigid containers, which will minimize stress that can cause them to puff.
Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists on Pufferfish and other aquarium-related topics!
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Love my girl 1/11/2013
Tons of personality! Loves to follow me and is always swimming in front of my face. I have several inverts and she has not yet bothered them, but does eat glass shrimp. So glad I got her, can't turn down that face when she looks are you straight on.