Pufferfish attract a lot of attention among aquarium owners because they are “odd” looking freshwater aquarium fish. These fish can be very entertaining – they are energetic and move continuously. Surprisingly, they are capable of recognizing their owners and can be hand fed after some time.
Another attraction to these fish is due to their interesting way of moving. They swim slowly using their pectoral, dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. Their eyes are also able to move independently, and have signs of aposematism , which is the use of bright ‘warning’ colors in their appearance to warn predators of the danger attached to hunting them. They also have four large, distinct teeth fused into an upper and lower plate. This is an adaption that has proven helpful for their diet, which consists of crustaceans and mollusks. The teeth are a convenient crushing tool which makes eating a lot easier for these fish.
Origins and Behavior
Puffers are found in tropical waters. They use their strong jaws and teeth to crush the shells of mollusks and crustaceans which are their staple diet. They puff out their bodies to warn predators because their body shape and fin configuration forces them to swim slowly.
They are able to cope well in a community tank with larger fish and are not aggressive to one another. They are heavy eaters and should not be overfed as this can cause them to lie in the bottom of the tank, unable to move. They should be fed live food such as snails but if this is not possible, they will also eat pellets and flakes.
Although some puffers can have problems with water temperature and chemistry, they are known as very adaptable and should present very few issues for a seasoned aquarist. Due to this, they are the most widely traded species and are noted as being hardy and straightforward to maintain.
Buy Pufferfish Online
Pufferfish are rare and very seldom available from typical pet stores. Instead, you are more likely to find them in specialist stores and occasionally online. One place that you may find them online is eBay. Here are some live puffer fish currently for sale:
Inflating Pufferfish: Their Natural Defence
Pufferfish are famous natural defense mechanism. They are able to inflate their bodies by expanding their stomach through filling it with air and water as they do not have any ribs. This causes them to rapidly inflate when they sense or see a predator nearby so that the predators are scared off. Along with inflation, some puffers are also able to change the color of their bodies, much like a chameleon.
Pufferfish Species – Over 120 Varieties
There are over 120 species of the puffer fish. Dog faced pufferfish are a favorite among aquarists because they have the most personality. They are so called as their face resembles that of a canine. Puffers are found in freshwater and saltwater. At the time of writing, there are 180 species and they can be found in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
To add something truly unique to your aquarium, you should consider pufferfish as they are unusual and will surely add an element of excitement to your collection.