Ephippion guttifer
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Ephippion guttifer
Common name Prickly puffer
Family Tetraodontidae - Ephippion
Origin West Indian Ocean
Max length 80 cm (31.5")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume Unknown
Hardiness Unknown
Suitable for aquarium Not suitable for home aquarium
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Unknown

Food

Recommended
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Other invertebrates
  • Fish

Poisonous skin.

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.

Poses a threat towards small fish and invertebrates

This species can be a threat towards small fish, shrimps, small bivalves, worms, snails and the like.

Demand a very large aquarium when fully grown

This species needs a very large aquarium when fully grown.

Exactly how big the aquarium should be is hard to say, but the size of this species is such, that it cannot normally be kept in a home aquarium.

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.

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.

References and further reading

About references

John Champlin. Puffer Care and Information - Reefnut.com - (English)
Bob Fenner. All My Puffers, Tobies, Box, Porcupine, Cowfishes - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

eats shrimp, eats bivalve clams mussels scallops, eats snails, eats fish, eats bristleworm polychaete fireworm
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