Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Spiny Box Burr Puffer, also known as the Web or Striped Burrfish, are found in the Atlantic Ocean. Not as common or as easy to care for as its closely-related counterpart, the Porcupine Puffer (Diodon holocanthus), the Spiny box burrfish has a tan to yellow body with stripes and short fixed spines. These always erect spines are a distinguishing character of the Spiny box burrfish. Like other pufferfish, however, the Spiny box burrfish can inflate to at least two times its original size if under stress, or felt threatened by a tank mate. 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. There are two reasons you do not want to transfer your puffer in a net: 1. The spines could get stuck, and 2. If the puffer inflates out of the water, it’s sucking in air which is much more difficult for it to expel. Spiny box burrfish are known to recognize hobbyists as their caregivers and will even beg for food. Some individuals have even been observed to spit water out of the aquarium to gain attention! These quirky behaviors certainly make the Spiny box burrfish a playful and engaging addition to any large fish only with live rock aquarium. An adult can reach an approximate size of 8″ to 10″. Note: This species is infrequently available.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Spiny box burrfish 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 teeth worn down. Overgrown teeth will cause complications and have consequences.
Care Requirements: A minimum 90 gallon aquarium is required for small to medium Spiny box burrfish. As it matures, this puffer will need an aquarium greater than 150 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. Spiny box burrfish may appreciate some large rock arches to take refuge at night, but need more open swimming and turning space. Given their nature, Spiny box burrfish can be kept in an active peaceful to semi-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. Spiny box burrfish do not make good reef aquarium inhabitants because of how messy they can be, but they will also eat invertebrates including crabs, urchins, starfish and shrimp. Spiny box burrfish have been kept together successfully, or with other similar pufferfish, 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: 2-3/4″ or less; Medium: 3″ to 4″; Large: 4-1/4″ to 5″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.