Animal Stories - Dog-faced Puffer


Animal-World Information about: Dog-faced Puffer

   This is a favorite among the puffers, probably because the Dog-faced Puffer or Black-spotted Puffer looks like such a nice guy, look at that face!
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Daniel Kishen - 2014-03-18
I am thinking of getting a dog face puffer, what other fish do well with it and what should I feed it?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-20
    The Dog Face Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) are large carnivorous predators that can reach up to 14'  and need a tank of at least 100 gallons. They are considered Semi-aggressive, because they will eat snack sized fish as well as any crustaceans (not good for a reef tank!), but they are not scrappers. So look for tankmates that are too large to be eaten and of similar habits, like lionfish or frogfish. They may also do fine with larger angelfish or tangs, and possibly more passive triggers. But their diet preference rules out small fish like damsels and clownfish.
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seatzy - 2012-07-15
I have recently purchased a 200 gallon fish tank, it is something special. I have plenty of live rock and have started to put my fish in (once tank has matured). I have Valentini puffer, two lion fish, a wrasse, granddad blenny, convict blenny and I have just today got myself a dog-face puffer today. He has fitted in like he has been there since the beginning. He allows the wrasse to clean him and has accepted the other fish, as they have them. I am wondering if he will end up eating my clean up crew. I have a few nice orange legged hermits and the like. I also have a sand sifting star fish, he won't attack that will he? thanks

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  • Daniel Kishen - 2014-03-18
    I am afraid it isn't a very good idea to keep him with a starfish as they tend to attack invertabrates. He will be fine with the other fish and crustaceans.
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heather damitio - 2013-12-06
I have had my black spotted puffer for almost 6 months. He has always eaten well and been active. Lately he is sitting on the bottom of the tank under a rock and one of his eyes has turned white. I have been hand feeding him for a couple days because he isn't coming to the surface. Yesterday he would not eat and kept running from me. What do I do?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    It sounds like your puffer has cloudy eye. This can be caused by a number of different things from water quality, diet and bacterial infections. First check your water parameters to make sure everything there is okay. Being a 6 month old tank, I'm guessing you are keeping on top of that. Next make sure you are feeding him a varied diet, and then look at a treatment. You will want to treat with a broad spectrium antibiotic. You can either treat the tank or feed him foods soaked with antibiotics. If you choose the soaked food route, add 250 mg of antibiotic to each ounce of food. Good luck.
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Melonie - 2013-04-25
Can someone tell me how many eggs a Dogface Puffer Fish lay? I also need to know the parenting skills of this type of puffer and what are their pedators. I'm not finding much on any website. Thanks.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-04-26
    Little is known about breeding.  They have not been bred in captivity to properly study.  The puffer has a lot of defenses against predators so most stay away.
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dana - 2007-05-21
I've had my puffer along with three other fish for a little over a year, and they are all doing great! I found something funny that was kinda weird is that my puffer loves having her picture taken. I was playing around with a digital camera one day and she started getting really excited in her tank so i walked over there and took a picture of her, and she loved it. She is the only fish that responds to this in the tank, and will follow me from one side to the other following the camera. I definitely recommend a puffer they are so friendly and sweet, a great addition to any tank. I have never had a problem with her and the other fish, I have a snowflake eel, a lyretail wrasse, and a maroon clown.

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  • jada - 2010-04-06
    Wow we saw one in myrtle beach @ original Benjamin's it was so weird we didn't know what it was. It had teeth and looked like a dog. So when we came home I looked on the computer and saw what you posted.

    Does your dog-faced puffer have teeth?
  • Megan - 2012-12-26
    puffers, being predatory animals, tend to watch what is going on around them. they are very smart fish. my jeff (yellow belly dog face puffer) gets all excited when he sees me going to the freezer for his food.
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Brendan Cox - 2012-02-19
I just bought a yellow bellied dog faced puffer. It is very active at night, but during the day it just lays under a rock until feeding time. It has a healthy appetite. Is this normal?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-02-20
    Very normal Brendan! They can be a bit shy when intoduced into a new tank. I use to hand feed mine krill with tongs to get them comfortable. Once comfortable they have amazing clownish personalities.
  • tom - 2012-08-16
    yes it is normal
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Julie Skillman - 2012-07-02
I need help with my Dog face puffer! His mouth is open and he is showing his teeth and has a black swollen tongue? Could he have gotten bit in the mouth by one of my other fish? Or could it be his teeth are too long?

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  • tom - 2012-08-16
    His teeth are to long give him a clam or two
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tiff - 2011-06-02
I just had my dogface puffer for about a month, and she turns a darker color sometimes, and shes always resting on a rock or the gravel at the bottom of the tank. Is this normal? Can someone tell me what to they feed their dogface.............

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-02
    Yes, the dog face puffer will change colors. They don't usually do this in an aquarium enviornment but they can. They do it very naturally in their own natural habitat. So don't worry about that one. OK feeding........

    Puffers are primarily predatory fish though they do graze on algae as well. Acceptable foods include shellfish, crustaceans and hard shelled foods such as snails. A large variety of all kinds of live and frozen meaty foods are best. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. Some of the suggested frozen foods include prawn, crabs/crabs legs, bloodworms (live or frozen), blackworms (live or frozen), silversides, and mussels. Be sure to wash these foods thoroughly before feeding. Live foods can include snails, crabs, crayfish, shrimp (these are good for keeping their teeth trimmed), and earthworms. Live fish will also be eaten but it is thought it may cause problems such as 'fatty" liver and so should be fed sparingly or not at all.. Puffers are not picky eaters and will quickly become adapted to a variety of prepared aquarium foods and an occasional algae wafer. Flake food is not recommended. Even though they may eat it, puffers will not thrive on it.

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kathy - 2012-01-29
Our new Black Spotted Puffer, Tbow's eyes turned cloudy and now green. Any idea what this could be?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-30
    Scroll to symptoms in the Animal World article Fish Diseases
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Chip Kramer - 2011-09-20
We have a dog face puffer, Smiley, he was being harassed by a wrass who we have removed from the tank. Since then he has been hiding in the corners and has stopped eating krill. It almost seems he forgot how to eat. He must be eating snails in the tank as he doesn't look like he is starving. Now he comes up to the front of the tank like he used to when feeding and i can put krill in his open mouth but he wont eat the krill. should we be looking for different food?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-21
    Some ideas on foods in the Animal World article on Dog Face Puffer. They like their meat so maybe just got tired of the same thing and wants a variety. Good suggestions and variety on feedong the puffer in the article though so please read. Thanks a bunch.
  • robert - 2012-01-26
    Hi I have a 7 inch stars and stripe puffer and eats anything but will not eat krill, but loves prawns and muscles and fresh squid. Even gets mouth fulls of coral sand like a gobby filtering it for food.
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