Care Level: Advanced
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Fornasini Thornback Boxfish, also referred to as the Blue-lined Cowfish, is native to the tropical and temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific, including Australia, and south Africa. The Fornasini boxfish has a yellow-beige body that’s decorated in vibrant blue dots, and a pair of appendages that resemble “horns.” Very small or juvenile Fornasini boxfish may have less developed horns that aren’t very noticeable. Boxfish are often admired for their “puppy-like” behavior, in which they may eventually associate the hobbyist as their caretaker and therefore, will beg for food at the front of the aquarium. Exercise caution to not overfeed; select a feeding schedule that works best for you, your boxfish and aquarium as a whole. An adult Fornasini boxfish can grow to approximately 8″. Note: This species is rarely available.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Fornasini boxfish are omnivorous, feeding upon benthic algae, tubeworms, and various microorganisms. In the aquarium, boxfish should be offered a variety of high quality frozen meaty foods, enriched shrimps, and foods containing algae such as Spirulina, Chlorella, and pieces of marine sheet algae for variety. It is not uncommon for a Fornasini boxfish to ignore food upon introduction and that they can be extremely stubborn with accepting frozen foods at first. Offering live adult brine shrimp or black worms can help bridge the transition to frozen foods. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements for the boxfish’s health and to maintain body mass. Boxfish are slow eaters, and should not be housed with aggressive feeders that may out compete them in food resources. Note: Our Fornasini boxfish for sale are eating a combination of live foods and frozen foods, or frozen foods only. It is not uncommon for this species to revert back to only accepting live foods, or ignore food altogether, for a period of time due to the stress of a new environment.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 90 gallon aquarium is ideal to house a single Fornasini thornback boxfish. While this size aquarium may seem like overkill for its size, it allows the boxfish room to grow and to dissipate in greater volume any toxin that could be omitted by this fish. We highly suggest having carbon filtration on the aquarium as well to extract toxin from the water volume. Boxfish cannot tolerate nitrite or ammonia spikes and absolutely need generous live rock for feeding and some crevices to take refuge. Water movement should be on the gentle side because boxfish are not extremely powerful swimmers, and can easily be blown around. Fornasini boxfish are typically intolerable of each other, so only one specimen per aquarium is recommended. Do not house them with aggressive and extremely active tank-mates; a Fornasini boxfish would thrive best in a very timid and laid back fish only with live rock aquarium as they may nip certain sessile invertebrates in a reef aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.
Caution: This species secretes or releases toxins when stressed or injured that may kill fish in the aquarium. Aquatics Unlimited cannot accept responsibility for any loss that may occur should this animal poison the aquarium.