Eyespot Puffer - Pao leiurus
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 rockwork 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.
Some puffers are found in freshwater while others are from brackish environments and should not be kept in freshwater tanks. Brackish water is between freshwater and saltwater and has a Specific Gravity of around 1.005 to 1.015; most brackish water fish need increasing salinity as they grow and mature. They may live in brackish water as juveniles but need full saltwater as adult. Puffers are not community fish; they may prey on smaller fish or nip at the fins of passive fish their own size or larger. Even the tiny 1-inch-long Dwarf Puffers have been known to bully much larger tankmates!
Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists on Pufferfish and other aquarium-related topics!
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|Common Name||Eyespot Puffer|
|Scientific Name||Pao leiurus|
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