Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Stars and Stripes Puffer, also referred to as the Whitespotted Puffer, is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, and Hawaii. This pufferfish has a more unique appearance compared to other members in the genera. Stars and stripes puffer body coloration can vary from yellow to light brown, with white spots dorsally and white stripes ventrally. Though shy in the beginning, the Stars and stripes puffer will become more confident over time and may even appear to beg for food during feeding sessions. A Stars and stripes 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. A Stars and stripes puffer will make a great addition for the dedicated aquarist with a large fish only with live rock aquarium. An adult Stars and stripes puffer can reach an approximate size of 18″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Stars and stripes 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 Stars and stripes puffers. Large sizes of this species will need an aquarium greater than 200 gallons. Additionally, aquariums that house adult sizes of Arothron pufferfish species should be equipped with a protein skimmer and above average filtration because of their bioload capacity. Stars and stripes puffers may appreciate some large rock arches to take refuge at night, but need more open swimming and turning space. Given their nature, Stars and stripes 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. Stars and stripes 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 Stars and stripes 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: 2-1/4″ to 3-1/2″; Medium: 3-3/4″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 6-1/2″; XLG: 6-1/2″ to 8″; XXLG: 8″ +
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.