Stars and Stripes Pufferfish (Arothron hispidus)
Max Size: 1 foot 6 inches
Reef Compatible: No
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
The Stars & Stripes Puffer is a visually striking fish, easily recognizable by its unique appearance, which perfectly justifies its common name. The upper half of its body is adorned with white spots resembling stars against a greenish tan background, while the lower half features horizontal stripes, completing the stars and stripes ensemble. Its pectoral fin base has a darker coloration, characteristic of Arothron puffers. This captivating fish is a great addition for puffer enthusiasts or anyone seeking personality in their larger marine aquarium, whether it's fish-only or fish-only-with-live-rock setup.
Belonging to the genus Arothron, the Stars & Stripes Puffer, like other "Fat Puffers" or "Dogface Puffers," represents the classic puffer design. Despite lacking pelvic fins and a streamlined body, these puffers are highly maneuverable and skilled predators. Notably, the Stars & Stripes Puffer, along with many other "Fat Puffers," exhibits a remarkable level of "intelligence" and "personality," often recognizing their owners quickly.
In their natural habitat, the Stars & Stripes Puffer can be found in diverse environments, including mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and reef flats. To recreate an ideal setup for them, a well-established aquarium of at least 180 gallons with efficient filtration and a protein skimmer is recommended. Ample live rock and other decorations should be used to provide hiding spots, caves, overhangs, and open areas. When housing this puffer, it is essential to select tankmates of similar size and temperament, while being aware that the Stars & Stripes Puffer will consume invertebrates found in the aquarium, using its fused beak-like teeth to crush its prey.
To maintain optimal health, the diet of the Stars & Stripes Puffer should consist of various meaty foods, including squid, krill, clams, and hard-shelled shrimp. These food items help to wear down their continuously growing teeth.