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Puffers and Triggerfish in Captivity (Tetraodontiformes)

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ChunkyMunky pengopus, 1 Mar 2021.

  1. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    Tetraodontiformes are an extremely interesting order of bony fish, and include Puffers, Triggers, Filefish, and even the biggest bony fish, the Ocean Sunfish. With less than 400 species in this order of awesome fish, which of them are in captivity? Which ones have you seen, and are commonly kept? Many species are even commonplace in the pet trade, so have you kept any? And do you disagree that boxfish are one of the most aesthetically pleasing animals out there?
     
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  2. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Let's start with a weird one! This fish is at Pittsburgh Zoo and several of us spent ages trying to figure out what it was, going through many photos and articles of Arothron species, reaching out to experts, etc. @Great Argus was the one who found an article mentioning a specific population of Arothron caeruleopunctatus that looks like this one. It's a huge fish, the only other puffers I've seen even half its size were the pair of fully grown white-spotted puffers (Arothron hispidus) in the same tank.
     
  3. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    San Deigo Seaworld use to keep ocean Sunfish, many were caught of a smaller size then released after a time once they reached a certain size!
     
  4. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    I keep Tetraodon schoutedeni in the WdG. Lovely fish, popular among the visitors.

     
  5. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    A very charismatic group indeed, and I know at least eight of the ten families are kept in captivity. I've never kept any myself (though been tempted by fresh and salt species more than once), however I have seen 26 species from 6 families. The majority of those species are made up of triggerfish and pufferfish, although it does include some boxfish, filefish, and the Ocean Sunfish. I would venture to say I have seen photographs of at least 60-70 species of Tetraodontiformes in captivity, particularly from the private aquarium trade. When I visited one of my local aquarium stores a few days ago they had three species for sale, Blue-spotted Puffer (Canthigaster solandri), Blue-throated Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus), and Bristletail Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus).

    The eight families I know are in captivity, the ones I have seen are bolded:

    Deepwater Boxfishes - Aracanidae
    Triggerfish - Balistidae
    Porcupinefishes - Diodontidae
    Ocean Sunfishes - Molidae
    Filefishes - Monacanthidae
    Boxfishes - Ostraciidae
    Pufferfishes - Tetraodontidae

    Triplespines - Triacanthidae

    It is very possible the spike fishes (Triacanthodidae) and threetooth puffer (Triodontidae) are/have been kept as well, the group generally does quite well in captivity, although there are some exceptions.

    A handful of Tetraodontiformes photos I have, various puffers and triggers seen in aquarium shops.

    20210126_151214.jpg 20210126_145938.jpg 20200808_150026(0).jpg 20200707_114152.jpg 20200611_162458.jpg 20200205_155858.jpg
     
    Last edited: 1 Mar 2021
  6. DaLilFishie

    DaLilFishie Well-Known Member

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    Cairns Aquarium has Dogfaced Puffer, Stars and Stripes Puffer, Map Puffer, Clown Triggerfish, Longhorn Cowfish and Redtooth Triggerfish (previously Milkspotted Puffer)

    Reef HQ has Redtooth Trigger, Clown Triggerfish, Blacksaddled Toby and Milkspotted Puffer

    Osaka Aquarium has Porcupine Puffer, Australian Deepwater Burrfish, Spotfin Porcupinefish, Ocean Sunfish, Stars and Stripes Puffer, Pea Puffer, some kind of boxfish and some kind of filefish

    Kyoto Aquarium has Yellowfin Puffer and Porcupine Puffer

    Tokyo Sea Life Park has Ornate Cowfish, White-barred Boxfish, Globefish, Blacksaddled Toby, Spotfin Porcupinefish, Mimic Filefish, a couple species of Takifugu puffers and some species of filefish

    Melbourne Aquarium has Shaw's Cowfish and Globefish

    Seahorse World has Globefish, Shaw's Cowfish and Smooth Toadfish, Redtooth Triggerfish, and some kind of filefish

    Mooloolaba Aquarium has Shaw's Cowfish

    I've seen Longhorn Cowfish, Dogfaced Puffer, Pea Puffer, Picasso Triggerfish, Clown Triggerfish, Wedgetail Triggerfish, Mimic Filefish, Tasselled Filefish, Blacksaddled Toby, Papuan Toby and Whitespotted Toby in the private trade
     
  7. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Okinawa Churaumi has threetooth puffer, at least.

    Adventure Aquarium: queen triggerfish, long-spine porcupinefish, scrawled cowfish, honeycomb cowfish, sharpnose puffer, white spotted filefish, spotted trunkfish, spot-fin porcupinefish, yellow boxfish, guineafowl puffer (golden form), saddled puffer, red tail filefish

    Columbus: long-spine porcupinefish, titan trigger

    Electric City: niger triggerfish

    Landry's Aquarium Denver: ornate boxfish, narrow-lined puffer, spotted boxfish, picasso triggerfish

    National Aquarium in Baltimore: titan triggerfish, gilded triggerfish, striped burrfish, orange filefish, honeycomb cowfish, sharpnose puffer, white spotted filefish, queen triggerfish, sargassum triggerfish, spotfin porcupinefish

    Pittsburgh: yellow boxfish, long-spine porcupinefish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus, clown triggerfish, white-spotted puffer, blue-spotted puffer

    Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies: ornate boxfish, spotted trunkfish, likely others; there's two huge salt tanks that each only have signs for a couple of species

    Staten Island: striped burrfish, northern puffer

    Virginia Aquarium: redtoothed triggerfish, orange filefish, queen triggerfish, gray triggerfish, striped burrfish, northern puffer
     
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  8. MonkeyBat

    MonkeyBat Well-Known Member

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    My old school in Guam had Picasso triggerfish in their office tank. They replace them with freshwater fish. There are probably quite a few species in Guam facilities although I'm not sure which types
     
  9. DaLilFishie

    DaLilFishie Well-Known Member

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    I forgot Blackblotched Porcupinefish and Pinktail Triggerfish at Cairns Aquarium, Pinktail Triggerfish at Reef HQ and Pinktail Triggerfish and Spotted Burrfish at Osaka Aquarium
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2021
  10. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    Pea puffers are quite common at LFSs

    Where are Molas kept?
     
  11. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Monterey Bay Aquarium keeps young Mola mola on a regular basis, until they outgrow the tank.
     
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  12. DaLilFishie

    DaLilFishie Well-Known Member

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    Monterey Bay Aquarium, Osaka Aquarium, Nordsoen Oceanarium, Oceanario de Lisboa, Kamogawa Sea World and L' Aquarium Barcelona, perhaps more. Formerly kept at Tokyo Sea Life Park and L'Oceanografic Valencia.

    If you're counting all molas, not just M. mola, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium held Sharptail Mola for a short time.
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2021
  13. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I have kept and bred the Malabar dwarf puffer (Carinotetraodon travancorius), sometimes called the pea puffer, which is a name that has also been used for young puffers of other species (and they grow to be much bigger than a pea - at least as large as a big broad bean ;)).
    They have become quite popular as aquarium fishes in the last 15 years or so, because they are so small, live entirely in freshwater and are very cute in appearance and behaviour. However they are proper puffers, hunting snails and quite capable of killing each other if the mood takes them. They are easy to feed with small frozen and live foods and easy to spawn: the male nips or butts at the female very gently and follows her closely as she swims slowly into a clump of plants where they quiver side-by-side for a moment as they spawn. They repeat this process as they swim around the tank. I managed to get some photos of this behaviour.
    I have seen quite a few other freshwater puffers in the aquarium trade in the UK, but I don't think many others are tank bred. The Amazon puffer stays quite small and seems to be very active. The Nile puffer or fahaka puffer grows much larger and is attractively marked, but it is said to be very aggressive and predatory. There are species from the Congo and Mekong which are also very predatory, but lie on the bottom and attack other fish from below. The largest and most expensive is the mbu pufffer, also from the Congo region, which is much more active and attractive, it can become a favourite pet withan expert fishkeeper.
     
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  14. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Interesting topic! According to my life list I have seen the following species from the pet trade and a few public aquariums here in Australia:

    *Titan Triggerfish Balistoides viridescens
    *Redtooth Triggerfish Odonus niger
    *Pinktail Triggerfish Melichthys vidua
    *Clown Triggerfish Balistoides conspicillum
    *Gilded Triggerfish Xanthichthys auromarginatus
    *Picasso Triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus
    *Bursa Triggerfish Rhinecanthus verrucosus
    *Six-spined Leatherjacket Meuschenia freycineti
    *Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket Brachaluteres jacksonianus
    *Bridled Leatherjacket Acanthaluteres spilomelanurus
    *Striped Cowfish Aracana aurita
    *Ornate Cowfish Aracana ornata
    *Longhorn Cowfish Lactoria cornuta
    *Yellow Boxfish Ostracion cubicus
    *Globefish Diodon nicthemerus
    *Freckled Porcupinefish Diodon holocanthus
    *Three-Bar Porcupinefish Dicotylichthys punctulatus
    *Stars and Stripes Pufferfish Arothron hispidus
    *Blue-spotted Puffer Canthigaster solandri
    *Black-saddled Toby Canthigaster valentini

    My favourite species I have seen to date has to be the Ornate Cowfish - a marvellous species:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2021
  15. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Just remembered I used to take care of one a decade ago! This is the only photo I can find, looks like a long-spine porcupinefish?
     

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  16. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Looks like long-spined porcupinefish to me. Very nice-sized Naso Tang as well! :)
     
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  17. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    Boxfish are quite spectacular, are the care requirements why they are not more present in public aquariums? (At least from what I've seen)
     
  18. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    It was a very nice home tank that I took care of a couple of days a week. The porcupinefish was very friendly and liked to follow me around :)
     
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  19. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Because they emit potent toxins when they are overly stressed or die. One boxfish can wipe out an entire tank depending on the size of it.
     
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  20. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    That could be a reason...:D
    Part of the reason I haven't considered one myself
     
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