|Latin name||Canthigaster papua - (Bleeker, 1848)|
|Common name||Papuan toby|
|Family||Tetraodontidae - Canthigaster|
|Origin||East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia|
|Max length||10.0 cm (3.9")|
As aquarium fish
This species has a toxin in its skin, which it releases when highly stressed or dying.
This poison can kill all the aquatic life in the aquarium, if unlucky.
Must not breath in air
These fish must not suck in air when they are being fed or transported, as they have difficulties expelling it again.
Can be a threat to many invertebrates
This species eats shrimps, crayfish, crabs, small bivalves, sea urchins, snails and similar.
Food which sharpens teeth
These fish require food which helps to prevent overgrowing teeth. e.g. clams.
If their teeth grow too much, it might necessitate grinding them down, however this is a very stressful procedure.
Well established aquarium with algae
These fish should be kept in a well run aquarium where they can "graze" algae from rocks and stones.
If there are insufficient algae on the rocks, it is important to feed more frequently and supplement with algae rich food e.g. Spirulina.
Be careful with catching and transporting these fish
One must avoid catching Pufferfish with a net, as there is a risk of it "puffing" itself up, whilst being in it.
It can be fatal if it "puffs" itself up when out of the water, as it will have trouble getting rid of the air again.
If it is stuck in the net it is necessary to cut it free.
When transported, the Pufferfish can release a poison, so avoid emptying this water into the aquarium.
Lives in a pair
This species can live as a pair (male and female).
This species often has a fun and interesting personality.
This species is similar to Canthigaster solandri, but can be distinguished by the orange area beneath the snout and the blue spots on the side.
Genus description (Canthigaster)
Fish from the Canthigaster genus, also known as Tobies, are smaller then most pufferfish and cannot blow themselves up to the same degree.
Some, but by no means all, are known nip other fish, hermit crabs and the like. These small Pufferfish can sometimes be kept in a coral aquarium, but it is necessary to ascertain which corals they are likely to nip.
Family description (Tetraodontidae)
Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) are known for their unique way of swimming, their very interesting personality and of course their ability to puff up. It is not a coincidence that so many aquarists fall for these funny fish.
In nature, pufferfish blow water onto sand to find food, hence they are also called "Blowfish". They will sometimes do this in the aquarium. In addition to this they will also spray water out of the tank, so do not be suprised if they do :-)
Site electrical equipment with care.
Many of the species have spines, but these can normally only be seen when the fish is puffed up.
They are not generally reef safe, and will sometimes nibble at the fins of the other fish. They are, on the other hand, very hardy and if ones purchases a healthy specimen it can live for many years under good conditions.
One must be careful when handling and transporting the fish, as many of the species will release a toxin into the water.
They are described as being difficult to keep, but if one has the correct equipment and food, it is indeed possible. Something to be aware of with Pufferfish is that they demand a lot of food, so the aquarium must be able to handle this. They require food which grinds their teeth, as they keep on growing through out their life. The fish is unable to eat if their teeth grow too long. Suitable foods are snails or mussels.
Flake foods are not suitable for pufferfish even though they will eat it. It must be supplemented with a varied selection of seafood and frozen foods.
When selecting a pufferfish at the fish store, one must be aware of parasites, as these are quite common among them. These may show up as white spots or small irregularities in the skin. They can also have internal parasites which can only be avoided by quarantining the fish.
See more about feeding, selecting and diseases in John Champlin's article.
|Distribution||Indo-West Pacific: Maldives to eastern New Guinea, north to the Philippines and Palau, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.|
|English common names||False-eyed pufferfish, Papuan toby|
References and further reading
Scott Michael. Aquarium Fish: The Papuan (Canthigaster papua) and Ocellated Toby (C. solandri) - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).
|pair couple, herbivore, algae eater, eats shrimp, eats crab, eats bivalve clams mussels scallops, eats snails, eats sea urchin, toby tobies|