View Full Version : Reef Safe Puffers?

05/24/2007, 10:45 AM
Does anyone have any knid of puffers in thier reef tank? If so what kind? how much havoc have they created if any? Thanks

05/24/2007, 10:48 AM
I have never heard of this being done sucessfully. I wouldn't tempt fate. Puffers generally eat anything which fits in their mouths.

05/24/2007, 11:56 AM
I have a porcupine puffer (about 8 inches) in a mostly softy reef with leathers (cabbage, finger), zoo's, mushrooms, ricordia, frogspawn, button coral, yellow colonial polyp, xenia, brain coral, and a couple of monti cap frags, and cup corals. He leaves it all alone (so far been about 8 months).

Problem is feeding him is bad for my nitrates. I had to put a sulfer denitrator on the tank to keep them down but they are still around 5 - 10. Maybe because I keep him so well feed he does not touch the other stuff. Never has shown any interest in it at all actually. Possibly because I raised him since he was about 2 inches and has grown up only eating what I feed him.

I have seen a few other threads where people mention they have had luck with a porcupine in a reef. I am waiting for the day when he does a jekyll and hyde.

Definitely a risk based on all the known habits but so far so good.


05/24/2007, 12:03 PM
What about a saddle puffer?


05/24/2007, 12:08 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10006957#post10006957 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by toccata
What about a saddle puffer?

http://www.tropicalfish.at/saltwater/puffers/Canthigaster_valentini.jpg I was thinking of maybe a saddle, or valentini, or sharpnosed. But i would love to try porcipine. But not at the risk of all my corals!

05/24/2007, 12:43 PM
It isn't the coral I would worry about with a puffer in the reef, it would be the smaller reef fish, and all members of your clean-up crew including all snails, hermits, other crabs, and shrimp. They would also like to eat any clams/mussels as well as any other inverts you might have.

05/24/2007, 12:50 PM
puffers dont generally bother fish. although they probably will eat many members of your CUC. as for corals, its a bit hit and miss but most will nip the crap outta coral.

05/24/2007, 01:03 PM
puffers dont generally bother fish. although they probably will eat many members of your CUC. as for corals, its a bit hit and miss but most will nip the crap outta coral

Really? Well you learn something new every day. I didn't know they were coral nippers. Good to know, Good to know...



05/24/2007, 02:05 PM
Clean up crew can be an issue but my large snails and hermits have been ok with him. A few small snails went MIA but I also have a harlequen tusk fish and I suspect him more than the puffer. I try to only get large snails for that tank such as the three large zebra turbo's I added recently and they are fine. This use to be a fish only but my corals out grew my reef so I started moving some stuff into it and now it is almost as full as my true reef tank. Go figure.

05/24/2007, 02:06 PM
my porcupine has eaten 3 fish already

i personally know two other people who's puffers have eaten smaller fish

05/24/2007, 02:13 PM
I've had a 7" porcupine puffer in my reef for about a year. He's never harmed any of my corals, crabs, starfish, cleaner shrimp, or other fish. Sometimes he tries to eat hermits, but they always escape into their shells before he can get them. He's never shown any interest in my corals, except when he sleeps on them.

My puffer's a messy eater, but when I feed him, my anthias and wrasses follow him around and clean up his scraps before they reach the sand bed.

05/24/2007, 03:08 PM
I bought an hawaiian white spotted puffer and he is great, He doesn't bother anything and eats frozen food so no trips to the pet store for live food. They stay really small for a puffer and the only worry i would have is on a clam killing him, not the other way around. Its perfect if you can find one, look at pictures on google

05/24/2007, 03:29 PM
Hawaiin white spots are similiar to the blue spot or sharp nose right?

05/24/2007, 03:49 PM
I don't know how big the others get, let me see if i can find something

05/24/2007, 03:53 PM
look at the puffers here

it has the puffers you are looking at

05/24/2007, 05:02 PM
It all boils down to whether you feel lucky. So, do you feel lucky, punk?

05/24/2007, 07:55 PM
I recently purchased a white spotted for my RSM. He's been eating frozen brine, frozen mysis, a snail (Nassarius that I crushed in a vise), a red legged hermit and a turbo snail. This has only been 6 days.

He already knows when feeding time is. He also "attacks" the glass before I feed him. Kinda weird hearing his teeth on the glass.

I do plan on adding softies to the tank. I'll just have to keep an eye on him. As far as other fish, I plan on it.


05/24/2007, 08:51 PM
You could bring a Green Spotted Puffer over from fresh. It takes a while (1 month to be safe) but they are pretty cool and mine never touched anything in my reef. I've spoken to 2 others with the same situation.

I also have a blue spotted puffer but he nips on clams.

05/24/2007, 09:10 PM
I have a Mappa Puffer in my 180 Gal Reef. I have had him in the reef for about 6 months. He has not touched my corals or my shrimp. The only thing he has touched were the sponges. I keep the sponge in the tank for the Emperor and Majestic to snack on. I do keep the Mappa well fed. I open up a clam or put a jumbo shrimp on a clip a few times a week. Not only does he go after it all my wrassed and angels do as well.
I know he could turn around tomorrow and possibly go after the corals. He does not bother any of my fish. He is about 7 inches in length right now. He will get huge in the long run.
I love this fish...so personable, comes right up to the front of the tank everytime he sees me.
It is a total crap shoot with puffers in a reef tank. My experience has been great so far.....the key phrase is so far
Good Luck