Striped Burrfish - Chilomycterus schoepfii - Small
The Striped Burrfish (Chilomycterus antillarum, also known as the Spiny Boxfish) is a relative of the popular Porcupine Puffer (Diodon holocanthus). They have a brown striped body covered in erect spines. Burrfish have a boxier, more rigid shape than other puffers found in aquariums and do not inflate as readily.
Puffers are incredibly popular for aquariums. Many puffers are curious and outgoing and they may even seem to "know" when their keeper is near, swimming quickly to the aquarium glass or water's surface when someone approaches the tank. While endearing, puffers may not be the right choice for some aquariums.
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. Their diet should consist of a variety of meaty items like crab, shrimp, scallops, squid, krill and similar items.
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.
All puffers can be destructive inverts and corals so it is not recommended that they be housed in reef tanks. Most are fine with most larger community fish, in a large tank with plenty of space to swim and explore. Avoid keeping them with tank mates that are much smaller, slow, delicate, or have long flowing fins. They may also prey upon much smaller fish and crustaceans like crabs and shrimp.
Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists on Pufferfish and other aquarium-related topics!
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|Common Name||Striped Burrfish - Small|
|Scientific Name||Chilomycterus schoepfii|
|Community Safe||Yes, with caution|
|Max Size (in inches)||10|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||90|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.020-1.024|
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