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Old 10/12/2011, 04:37 PM   #1
TheFishTeen
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Hawaiian Blue Boxfish - Anyone keep this?

Hawaiian Blue Boxfish - Ostracion meleagris

How common is this fish kept? I'd bet its kept by itself or in a tank with a LOT of carbon...

It's truly a beauty....




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Old 10/12/2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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It's fairly common in the hobby. Most do poorly, many die suddenly after several months in a tank. I'm sure some are kept successfully though. There was one tonight on DD.


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Old 10/12/2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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I have one in my 72 Bowfront with a percula clown. It is by far the coolest fish I have ever owned in the last 15 years! I have a Hawaiian Blue Boxfish, I know this because the blue boxes that come out of hawaii have a unique color morph. The sides of the body are completely blue with black spots no yellow whatsoever like indo pacific specimens. I had a fish only tank with angels, tangs, and wrasses and decided to trade everything in just so I could keep this guy stress free. For the two weeks that he was in with the other fish everything went smooth except for the fact that he was having a hard time getting food. Mine absolutely loves mini-mysis, he has learned to swim right up and eat out of my hands....If you can get a healthy Hawaiian box and have a proper tank set up...go for it! Absolutely amazing fish


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Old 10/13/2011, 05:14 AM   #4
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this beaut can also release a toxin and kill everything in your tank if it gets stressed...be careful with this fish...


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Old 10/13/2011, 06:49 AM   #5
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I think the reason that people mention these "dying suddenly" is becaue it's much more difficult to notice how skinny they are getting from not getting enough food.


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Old 10/13/2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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I think the reason that people mention these "dying suddenly" is becaue it's much more difficult to notice how skinny they are getting from not getting enough food.
I think that's right. They're rigid pretty much all over except for their tails and fins.

My solarensis eats pretty much everything, including copious amounts of nori and algae that grows in her tank. I've had her for a couple of years now, and she's about doubled in size. but I think the solarensis have a slightly better track record than other boxfish. I wonder about whether some of the others simply do not get enough of what they need to live long term even if they're taking prepared food.


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Old 10/15/2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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this beaut can also release a toxin and kill everything in your tank if it gets stressed...be careful with this fish...
Yup, thats exactly why I asked how commonly this fish is kept.

BUT: My dad kept a longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta for several years without a single problem. Then he got worried that when it died it would release those toxins, as per what he read on the internet. Well its time came and the fish passed, yet nothing was killed.

This fish releasing deadly toxins is merely a myth. It may release toxins, but heck, so do your corals!

If Ostracion meleagris posses the same threat, or may I say 'lack of' threat, then I would happily put this in my tank.


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Old 10/16/2011, 12:47 AM   #8
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Yup, thats exactly why I asked how commonly this fish is kept.

BUT: My dad kept a longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta for several years without a single problem. Then he got worried that when it died it would release those toxins, as per what he read on the internet. Well its time came and the fish passed, yet nothing was killed.

This fish releasing deadly toxins is merely a myth. It may release toxins, but heck, so do your corals!

If Ostracion meleagris posses the same threat, or may I say 'lack of' threat, then I would happily put this in my tank.
It's great nothing happened when your dad's fish died, but I wouldn't be so confident posting your opinion on something like this as fact. When people search these posts they're going to get a false sense of security when you're saying X species of cowfish and boxfish don't release toxins when they die.

This isn't meant to be offensive, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone misinterpreting a random anecdote like this and making a potentially costly mistake.


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Old 10/16/2011, 12:51 AM   #9
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It's great nothing happened when your dad's fish died, but I wouldn't be so confident posting your opinion on something like this as fact. When people search these posts they're going to get a false sense of security when you're saying X species of cowfish and boxfish don't release toxins when they die.

This isn't meant to be offensive, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone misinterpreting a random anecdote like this and making a potentially costly mistake.
I am totally confident telling anyone the Longhorn Cowfish is safe and will not cause problems. Ask anyone who owns one, they posses no threat. But you are correct, I would not want to take responsibly nor the liability of other peoples livestock or aquarium.


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Old 10/16/2011, 02:14 AM   #10
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Boy can they eat!

Mine is such a pig, he can eat 3 cubes of mysis shrimp and still keeps going. I don't want him to be hungry and starve away so I feed my blue box a lot of food. A minimum of 2-3x a day. His favorite food is mysis....I soak the mysis in selcon to make sure he's getting all the good stuff. He also loves brine shrimp, marine cuisine, new life spectrum pellets, and spirulina flakes. Its a lol of fun feeding him too since he swims right up and eats out of my hands. Ill post some pictures as soon as I can. I'd love to see your boxes as well!


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Old 10/16/2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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Mine is such a pig, he can eat 3 cubes of mysis shrimp and still keeps going. I don't want him to be hungry and starve away so I feed my blue box a lot of food. A minimum of 2-3x a day. His favorite food is mysis....I soak the mysis in selcon to make sure he's getting all the good stuff. He also loves brine shrimp, marine cuisine, new life spectrum pellets, and spirulina flakes. Its a lol of fun feeding him too since he swims right up and eats out of my hands. Ill post some pictures as soon as I can. I'd love to see your boxes as well!
What else is in the tank with your boxfish?


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Old 10/16/2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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I am totally confident telling anyone the Longhorn Cowfish is safe and will not cause problems. Ask anyone who owns one, they posses no threat. But you are correct, I would not want to take responsibly nor the liability of other peoples livestock or aquarium.
Our sponsors who sell them warn of their toxicity. I am glad you had a positive experience with them, but your recommendation is against what others warn.


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Old 10/16/2011, 09:34 AM   #13
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From what I've read here and elsewhere, the longhorn cowfish appears to present less risk than other boxfish. That is not to say that it poses no risk, and I've also read accounts of a dead cowfish causing a die-off of other fish.

I believe that the ostracions (including the meleagris that the OP asked about) are supposed to be worse. I lost a male solorensis in a 40 gallon with no issue.

IMO, the main reason to avoid these fish is that they've got a pretty bad survival rate in captivity. I love my boxfish, but have lost both males I got for her - one in QT, one in the display (with no negative impact on the other fish in the 40 gal). I won't be trying that again.

As to the toxicity, I believe the reports I read and think others should take them seriously as well. It's a significant risk. Not necessarily because it's guaranteed to happen, but because of the seriousness of the consequences if it does.


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Old 10/16/2011, 10:00 AM   #14
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From what I've read here and elsewhere, the longhorn cowfish appears to present less risk than other boxfish. That is not to say that it poses no risk, and I've also read accounts of a dead cowfish causing a die-off of other fish.

I believe that the ostracions (including the meleagris that the OP asked about) are supposed to be worse. I lost a male solorensis in a 40 gallon with no issue.

IMO, the main reason to avoid these fish is that they've got a pretty bad survival rate in captivity. I love my boxfish, but have lost both males I got for her - one in QT, one in the display (with no negative impact on the other fish in the 40 gal). I won't be trying that again.

As to the toxicity, I believe the reports I read and think others should take them seriously as well. It's a significant risk. Not necessarily because it's guaranteed to happen, but because of the seriousness of the consequences if it does.
Thanks Robin. While I love this fish, I am reluctant to take that kind of risk. Tempting, but hopefully my better judgment will prevail.


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Old 10/16/2011, 10:18 AM   #15
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Well, the biggest temptation is seeing one on DD, which does't happen that often. If you must, I would recommend a female soloresis. From what I can tell, once they're eating they're pretty easy. The males are less hardy, I think. This isn't the flashiest fish around, but she eats everything and is very entertaining. By which I mean that she stares at me and will eat from my hand.

I've never read a single report of long-term success with the meleagris or other species of ostracion.


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Old 10/16/2011, 10:19 AM   #16
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Well, the biggest temptation is seeing one on DD, which does't happen that often. If you must, I would recommend a female soloresis. From what I can tell, once they're eating they're pretty easy. The males are less hardy, I think. This isn't the flashiest fish around, but she eats everything and is very entertaining. By which I mean that she stares at me and will eat from my hand.

I've never read a single report of long-term success with the meleagris or other species of ostracion.


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Old 10/16/2011, 12:35 PM   #17
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Well, the biggest temptation is seeing one on DD, which does't happen that often. If you must, I would recommend a female soloresis. From what I can tell, once they're eating they're pretty easy. The males are less hardy, I think. This isn't the flashiest fish around, but she eats everything and is very entertaining. By which I mean that she stares at me and will eat from my hand.

I've never read a single report of long-term success with the meleagris or other species of ostracion.
Just comes to show some species are best left in the ocean. Those fish are reserved to god's fish tank.


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Old 10/17/2011, 10:32 AM   #18
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Get a Boxfish!

I can't stand when people live by the rules and don't push any boundaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have a tank that is set-up especially for your boxfish then there is nothing wrong getting a boxfish! Just feed them a variety of foods several times a day. I have asked so many store owners about boxfish releasing toxins and not one has every had a bad experience!


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Old 10/17/2011, 10:42 AM   #19
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From October 17, 2011



From October 17, 2011



From October 17, 2011



From October 17, 2011



From October 17, 2011



From October 17, 2011



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Old 10/17/2011, 11:01 AM   #20
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Beautiful fish dynomite... how long have you had it?

As for them not releasing toxins... well, that's just factually wrong. I'm not saying that they're a guaranteed tank apocalypse, but these fish will do what there physiology will do. A lot of factors come into play - tank filtration, size of the fish, individual fish biology, hardiness of tnak-mates, etc.

There are plenty of threads discussing how boxfish wiped out a tanks' inhabitants. On the other hand, I have a tetrasomus gibbosus in my 180, so it all depends on what kind of risk you're willing to accept . I'm not saying don't buy boxfish, just be aware of the risk and the difficulty involved in keeping them healthy for the long term.

A previous poster claimed that any fish could be kept if the tank was properly set up. This may be true, but since we don't always know what a "proper tank set-up" is nor are we always able to provide such an aquarium in a home setting, I'd be a little more cautious in claiming that "any fish" is capable of being successfully kept in captivity.


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Old 10/17/2011, 12:07 PM   #21
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Beautiful fish dynomite... how long have you had it?

As for them not releasing toxins... well, that's just factually wrong. I'm not saying that they're a guaranteed tank apocalypse, but these fish will do what there physiology will do. A lot of factors come into play - tank filtration, size of the fish, individual fish biology, hardiness of tnak-mates, etc.

There are plenty of threads discussing how boxfish wiped out a tanks' inhabitants. On the other hand, I have a tetrasomus gibbosus in my 180, so it all depends on what kind of risk you're willing to accept . I'm not saying don't buy boxfish, just be aware of the risk and the difficulty involved in keeping them healthy for the long term.

A previous poster claimed that any fish could be kept if the tank was properly set up. This may be true, but since we don't always know what a "proper tank set-up" is nor are we always able to provide such an aquarium in a home setting, I'd be a little more cautious in claiming that "any fish" is capable of being successfully kept in captivity.

I had a similar conversation with another RC member earlier in the year. He was worried about Lactoria cornuta he had purchased and its infamous capabilities to release an antigenic poison.

Both myself, and another member convinced him there are no worries, and I sincerely believe so. I personally know people who have, and still own that fish with many other species in the same tank. So i DO believe Boxfish can be kept with long-term success.

I have seen Boxfish in the Aquarium of The Pacific, Mandalay Bay Aquarium, even Shark Reef Lagoon in Las Vegas. I don't think they would feel comfortable putting this fish in a tank that could wipe it all out. Now you might say well public aquariums are different, as the tanks are of massive volume and have very impressive equipment. Yes, that is true however I still believe the Public Aquariums do not see a threat in most Boxfish, and neither do I.


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Old 10/17/2011, 05:43 PM   #22
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Love your spunk, fishteen, but you make a heckuva lot of assumptions and sweeping statements. You should qualify them more if you expect to be taken seriously.

On another, man o man, those boxfish are amazing Maybe someday when I have a bigger tank.


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Old 10/17/2011, 07:17 PM   #23
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Love your spunk, fishteen, but you make a heckuva lot of assumptions and sweeping statements. You should qualify them more if you expect to be taken seriously.

.....
My thoughts exactly.
In addition need to make a clear difference between opinion and fact, that line gets blurred a bit too much with his posts.


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Old 10/17/2011, 11:21 PM   #24
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Blue Box

Hey Guys, after the fish arrived at the store I had them hold onto it for 3 weeks. He was eating from the start...right after being brought in from Hawaii. But I wanted to take it slow with this guy so I decided to hold off bringing him home. It seems fish out of Hawaii ship better, maybe it's because of the short transit time. Anyway, I haven't had him that long... only about 2 and a half months now. Still have my fingers crossed hope all goes well. I make sure that my nitrates are extremely low, this involves a 20 gallon water change weekly because of the high amount of waste this fish produces. I also feed a lot of food and he eats every last bit. This fish is more aggressive than one might expect, he attacks his own reflection all the time. He was originally in the tank with a blue angel, bird wrasse, blue tang, percula clown, and a yellow tang. I got so worried that he would wipe out all my other beloved fish that I actually went and traded them in. While in the community setting he was still quite aggressive during feeding time and would get his share. He does eat way more now that he pretty much has the tank to himself. I left the percula clown in the tank because I couldn't get myself to trade him in since I've had him for so long. I've also had a long-horn cow in the past pass away in a community setting and nothing else died. I think it may be that they're only likely to release toxins when a larger predator is trying to eat them or something? If anyone is interested in keeping a blue box just make sure its eating with gusto and don't try and bring him home too quick. Ill let you guys know how he does.


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Old 10/17/2011, 11:47 PM   #25
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Hey Guys, after the fish arrived at the store I had them hold onto it for 3 weeks. He was eating from the start...right after being brought in from Hawaii. But I wanted to take it slow with this guy so I decided to hold off bringing him home. It seems fish out of Hawaii ship better, maybe it's because of the short transit time. Anyway, I haven't had him that long... only about 2 and a half months now. Still have my fingers crossed hope all goes well. I make sure that my nitrates are extremely low, this involves a 20 gallon water change weekly because of the high amount of waste this fish produces. I also feed a lot of food and he eats every last bit. This fish is more aggressive than one might expect, he attacks his own reflection all the time. He was originally in the tank with a blue angel, bird wrasse, blue tang, percula clown, and a yellow tang. I got so worried that he would wipe out all my other beloved fish that I actually went and traded them in. While in the community setting he was still quite aggressive during feeding time and would get his share. He does eat way more now that he pretty much has the tank to himself. I left the percula clown in the tank because I couldn't get myself to trade him in since I've had him for so long. I've also had a long-horn cow in the past pass away in a community setting and nothing else died. I think it may be that they're only likely to release toxins when a larger predator is trying to eat them or something? If anyone is interested in keeping a blue box just make sure its eating with gusto and don't try and bring him home too quick. Ill let you guys know how he does.
Thank you for the first hand information. We'll keep in touch


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