Animal Stories - Dog-faced Puffer
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Animal-World Information about:
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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Definitely not a reef-safe fish. He will eat any and all soft corals from my experience.
This fish has a huge personality. Frequently he will swim up to the glass and "beg" for food. My dog-faced puffer will not except anything but flake food. He used to eat supermarket shrimp and that was a cheap way to feed him. Now he wants flake food only. Variety in the diet is important to prevent this from happening.
This fish should not be fed flake food as an only food. They have teeth and those teeth need to be ground down. Otherwise over time the teeth will outgrow the mouth and need to be clipped with a nail trimmer much like gerbils teeth. Not a fun task. Food for this fish to keep its teeth filed would be shelled things like shrimp. If its teeth outgrow its mouth the fish will die and starve.
This fish has not attacked any fish in my tank. These include smaller fish like a cleaner wrasse and green chromis. Actually, my tomato clowns are meaner than the puffer. The puffer is mostly a peaceful fish in my experience.
This fish is generally nocturnal. On the reef during the day, they can be found hiding under coral branches. By night they are out looking for food. Although this fish ignores this nocturnal activitity in captivity.
They do not seem to grow very fast. I have seen 1" growth after one year in my tank.
Blasting powerheads tend to push this fish around. They are poor swimmers.
I recommend a tank size of 125 gallons minimum. Due to the feeding habits of this fish, a large skimmer to remove waste is paramaount.
If you add them to a "mostly fish only" tank containing hardy corals such as mushrooms and polyps, it will soon become a "true fish only" tank. My new puffer eats my mushrooms as if they were pancakes hot off the griddle! :-)
I've seen dogfaces do quite nicely in 75 gallon tanks.