By Bob Goemans
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Canthigaster (Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers)

Canthigaster solandri

(Richardson, 1845)

Blue Spotted Pufferfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: East Africa to Line and Tuamotu Islands, north to Southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and Tonga.

Size: 4 inches (11 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits intertidal reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs and usually found at depths between 30 to 100 feet (10 - 30 m) where it feeds mainly on benthic invertebrate and some algae.

General Husbandry: Occasionally seen in the trade, with a pale brownish body with numerous bluish to white spots and blue lines on the forehead and a black eyespot edged in blue at the base of the dorsal fin. Lacks pelvic fins, but uses the pectoral fins for movement.

Best maintained in fish-only aquariums with live rock caves and crevices for browsing, and also wide-open swimming areas with peaceful, swift moving tankmates, such as damselfish.

Should not be housed with aggressive tankmates such as groupers, dottybacks, triggerfishes or angelfishes, as this is a somewhat slow moving species.

Requires a varied diet, i.e., finely chopped fish or shrimp flesh, krill, clams, squid, earthworms and/or carnivore frozen foods, along with some vegetable matter. Should have numerous/at least three daily feedings.


    Order: Tetraodontiformes

    Suborder: Tetraodontoidei

    Family: Tetraodontidae

    Subfamily: Canthigastrinae

    Genus: Canthigaster

FYI: Will eat small ornamental shrimp, crabs, snails, and tubeworms.

Will nip stony corals.

One per aquarium unless a mated pair.

May need to be dewormed and have its teeth filed to prevent overgrowth.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Coral Safe: No

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: No

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful, and swifter

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (21 - 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Canthigaster solandri (Blue Spotted Pufferfish)
Photo © Richard Field
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