Figure 8 Puffer Fish

Very couple of individuals can withstand a pufferfish once they’ve seen them, and the small figure 8 puffer may be one you ‘d like to supply with a home in your freshwater fish tank. Their expressive faces and propeller-like fins are lovely. Pufferfish derive their name from their capability to inflate themselves with water or air when startled. It’s a protective mechanism — it’s more difficult to swallow a large fish than a little one.

Characteristics of Figure 8 Puffer Fish

Scientific NameTetraodon biocellatus
SynonymChelonodon biocellatus, Chelonodon ocellata, Crayracion fluviatilis ocellata, Tetraodon steindachneri
Common NameFigure 8 puffer, eyespot pufferfish
OriginFreshwaters of Southeast Asia
Adult Sizeup to 2 1/2 inches (6 centimeters)
SocialAggressive, best kept alone
Lifespan5 years
Tank LevelMid, bottom dweller
Minimum Tank Size15 gallons
DietLive foods, prefer snails and shellfish
Hardness5–12 dGH
Temperature72–79 F (22–26 C)

Origin and Distribution

The figure 8 puffer comes from fresh waters and in brackish streams and estuaries of Southeast Asia, consisting of Borneo, the Malaysian peninsula, Sumatra, and Thailand. Pet figure 8 puffers are usually wild captured, which suggests it’s essential for them to be quarantined when they first arrive to be sure they do not pass along health problem to other fish.

Other Names for Puffer Fish

other names for puffer fish
They are morphologically similar to the carefully associated porcupinefish, which have large external spines (unlike the thinner, hidden spinal columns of the Tetraodontidae, which are only visible when the fish has expanded).

The Tetraodontidae are a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the order Tetraodontiformes. The family includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, blowies, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab.

Colors and Markings

Figure 8 puffers are little for pufferfish, reaching an adult size of fewer than 3 inches. They are deep brown in color on the upper part of the body and white on the underside. Yellow spots and lines are sprayed throughout the body. The name is derived from the markings on the back of the puffer that looks like a figure 8.

Even when not surprised, figure 8 puffers have a roly-poly look. You can quickly spot a well-fed puffer by its rounded stubborn belly. Puffers have two sets of teeth, each of which is fused, giving it a beak-like look. This unusual arrangement of teeth provides it the ability to tough squash products such as the shells of shellfishes. These teeth grow throughout the life of the fish and should be ground to keep them from being too long. For this reason, they need hard-shelled foods to assist keep their teeth the proper length.


Puffers are not well suited to a neighborhood tank because they tend to be aggressive. Even puffers that have previously been docile can end up being aggressive as they age, or if they are not well fed. A puffer can turn on its tankmates and chew them to pieces. On the other hand, the majority of owners have found figure 8 puffers more serene than any other puffers, and some have effectively kept them in a community tank.

Ideally, figure 8 puffers must be kept alone or in a large aquarium with just a couple of other fish that flourish in the same environment. Owners who have held them in brackish water find that bumblebee gobies, knight gobies, and mollies are suitable buddies.

Owners keeping them in freshwater fish tanks have reported keeping them with fish such as barbs, sharks, and tetras. In these cases, the environment might have enabled sufficient space to keep the puffers from feeling threatened. As a rule of thumb, don’t anticipate to keep them in a typical freshwater neighborhood tank successfully.

Figure 8 Puffer Habitat and Care

freshwater puffer fish care
The ideal fish tank will have brackish water with numerous plants (either real or plastic), rocks with a lot of concealing locations, and a sandy bottom made up of an aragonite-based sand. The Figure 8 Puffer can be aggressive to members of its own species, so care should be taken when housed together.

Controversy exists over whether any puffers are true freshwater fish, but some people think figure 8 puffers fall under that category. They come from the fresh waters of the Southeast Asia area, and although they endure brackish or even full salt water, they might fare better in fresh water. Others have reported the opposite, mentioning that salinity in the series of 1.005 to 1.008 will considerably extend the lifespan of the figure 8 puffer.

Scientific information is doing not have on the lifespan throughout captivity in fresh water.

Figure 8 puffers choose a neutral pH and tolerate soft to moderately tough water. Keep the water temperature on the warm side, around 78 F. The minimum tank size needs to be 15 gallons for a single specimen, more if possible. Filtering must be robust, as figure 8 puffers tend to leave many particles from consuming. They are sensitive to ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, and will not do well in a tank that is still going through the start-up cycle. Regular water changes to maintain beautiful water conditions are recommended for this fish.

Unlike many fish, Figure 8 puffers can acknowledge and react to their owners; however, they can likewise get tired. As a result, they need sufficient open area to swim, however also require locations to conceal and check out. They can be hard on plants, due to aggressively assaulting their food, which typically falls on plants and other aquarium decoration. Embellish the tank with durable plants, and know that you may require to replace them from time to time.

Figure 8 Puffer Diet

The dietary requirements of figure 8 puffers are maybe among the more requiring elements of keeping this fish. Flake or dried foods do not meet their dietary needs. Instead, they need to be fed meaty and hard-shelled foods such as clams, crayfish, crickets, daphnia, krill, mollusks, oysters, plankton, scallops, snails, shrimp, and worms.

Since the beak of the figure 8 puffer can become overgrown, it is essential to consist of lots of hard-shelled foods in their diet to keep their teeth from overgrowing. In nature, they generally consume crustaceans. Although live foods are perfect, some owners have had success training their puffer to consume some frozen foods. Make sure to choose premium frozen foods.

Sexual Differences

Even for experts, it is nearly impossible to sex figure 8 puffers. The surest way to sex them is to see the ordinary female eggs, which is an incredibly rare event. Just a couple of cases of generating in captivity have been reported.

Breeding the Figure 8 Puffer

Little is known about how to breed figure 8 puffers. In the different celebrations they have spawned in captivity, they have laid eggs on a flat surface area, such as the substrate. The male guards the fish for around a week up until the fry are free-swimming.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: