Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: No
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 1' 6"
Color Form: Tan, White, Yellow
The Stars and Stripes Puffer is commonly referred to as the Whitespotted Pufferfish, or Hispid Pufferfish. It is named appropriately because of its unusual markings of stripes over the top of the body and the spots on its underside making a very attractive and striking pattern. Like all other puffers, it can also inflate its body with water or air to intimidate predators. Once the Stars and Stripes Puffer inflates its body, it would appear twice its original size so that the predator can not even engulf it. Provide plenty of live rock to keep teeth worn down or be sure to trim teeth as needed. The Stars and Stripes Puffer should be fed with large chunks of meaty foods such as krill, raw table shrimp, squid, clam and mussel. It is also a good idea to occasionally supplement with some type of herbivore diet. The Stars and Stripes Puffer is semi aggressive towards other fishes, contains a lethal toxin called as tetrodotoxin in the skin and internal organs, making it poisonous to ingest. It is a hardy fish that needs minimum maintenance and makes a good choice for any aquarist. The Stars and Stripes Puffer should not be exposed to air while handling, as the ingested air is too tough to expel and makes it difficult to survive. It features a beak-like mouth that has teeth in both upper jaw as well as lower jaw, is fused into two ?plates?. The Stars and Stripes Puffer grows up to 14 inches in the wild but is typically imported at about 1-2 inches. It should be kept in tank not less than 30 gallons with plenty of place to hide and swim. It feeds on a variety of foods including algae, coral, sponges, starfish, mollusks, anemones, urchins and other invertebrates. The Stars and Stripes Puffer is nocturnal hunter just like other puffers, and would nip at slow-moving fish and long-finned fish, but is not aggressive with others in its own family. It is not at all reef safe species and should not be kept in a reef tank. Since the Stars and Stripes Puffer may eat invertebrates found in a reef tank, it is not well suited to the reef aquarium. It thrives well in a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.1-8.4.
Members of the genus Arothron, including the Stars & Stripes Puffer, are sometimes called "Fat Puffers" or "Dogface Puffers" and exemplify the typical puffer design. Though lacking pelvic fins and a hydrodynamic body shape, puffers are extremely maneuverable and are tenacious and capable predators. Like many "Fat Puffers," the Stars & Stripes Puffer displays an unusual degree of "intelligence" and "personality" and appears to quickly recognize their owners.
In the wild, the Stars & Stripes Puffer inhabits a wide range of habitats including mangrove swamps, seagrass beds and reef flats. The ideal setup should be an established aquarium 180 gallon or larger with good filtration and a protein skimmer. Aquascape liberally with live rock and other materials to create an environment rich with nooks and crannies, caves, and overhangs while preserving easy access to large open areas. House with fish of similar size and temperament and be aware that the Stars & Stripes Puffer will eat invertebrates found in the aquarium using its fused beak-like teeth to crush open its prey.