Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Mappa Puffer, also referred to as the Scribbled Puffer or Map Puffer, is found throughout the Indo-Pacific. This pufferfish has a very vivid and unique appearance compared to other members in the genera. The Mappa puffer’s coloration can vary from tan to yellow, with a darker maze-like pattern covering its body. Though shy in the beginning, the Mappa puffer will become more confident over time and may even appear to beg for food during feeding sessions. A Mappa puffer will inflate to over two times its original size if under stress, or felt threatened by a tank-mate, into a sphere shape. Do not purposely entice this behavior, as it can have adverse health effects and in some circumstances, cause death to your puffer. After drip acclimation in a bucket, it is imperative to transfer your puffer in a tupperware container with water to the main aquarium. If transferred with a net, the puffer will likely inflate out of the water in fear, allowing it to suck in air which is much more difficult for it to expel. The Mappa puffer is typically sold at very small and cute sizes, but it should be recognized this puffer can be a commitment given its adult size potential at approximately 24″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Mappa puffers are carnivorous. A diet consisting of various meaty frozen foods is necessary and options will depend on the size of the individual. Some examples include brine shrimp, squid, mysis shrimp, and krill to maintain optimal health and color. Hard-shelled shrimp and clams with shells are also highly encouraged to feed from time to time in order to keep their fused teeth (i.e., beak) worn down. An overgrown beak will cause complications and have consequences.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is required for small to medium sized Mappa puffers. Larger individuals will need an aquarium greater than 200 gallons. Additionally, aquariums that house large species of pufferfish should be equipped with a protein skimmer and above average filtration because of their bioload capacity. Mappa puffers may appreciate some large rock arches to take refuge at night, but need more open swimming and turning space. Given their nature, Mappa puffers can be kept in an active peaceful to semi-aggressive aquarium or a more aggressive aquarium. It is best to take into consideration the size of the puffer at the time and choose tank-mates accordingly. Puffers should not be kept with small fish or slower fish with decorative fins that they could nip at. Mappa puffers do not make good reef aquarium inhabitants because of how messy they can be, but they will also nip at corals and eat invertebrates including crabs, urchins, starfish and shrimp. Keeping more than one Mappa pufferfish in an aquarium is typically discouraged as they will quarrel. They are known to be kept with other pufferfish species successfully, but we suggest attempting this at smaller sizes only. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2-1/2″ to 3-1/2″; Medium: 3-1/2″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 7″; XLarge: 7″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.