Valentini Pufferfish

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This shrimp is so good it needs to be seen in wide
Sep 16, 2003
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Common name(s): Valentini Pufferfish, Saddle Valentini Puffer, Valentini Toby, Saddled Toby.

Scientific name: Canthigaster valentini

Family: Tetraodontidae

Origin: Pacific/Indian Ocean (Fiji/Tahiti)

Maximum size: Approximately 4 inches in captivity.

Care: The Valentini Puffer is a peaceful addition to most community FOWLR tanks. It is a pearly white with dark brown stripes and spots and a yellow fan-like tail. They are moderately easy to keep. A 30 gallon tank is the minimum size (40 gallon recommended). The fish's maximum size is approximately 4 inches in a home aquarium. Specific gravity is best around 1.022 and 1.024. Recommended pH levels can be between pH 8 to 8.5 and hardness of dKH 8-12. They do best in temperatures ranging from 72F-78F (22C-26C). Saddle Tobies are compatible with most fish; however they are not reef-safe. Puffers tend to pick at everything from echinoderms and crustaceans to corals and live rock. Therefore a fish-only community aquarium would be the best environment for them.

Feeding: The Valentini Puffers prefer mysis shrimp, krill and squid. However they will willingly accept clam, pellets or marine angel food.

Sexing and Breeding: Females are more rounder then males and males have a dark brown dorsal stripe as well as yellow bellies. Breeding is accomplished by egg-laying on tuffs of algae. Not much is known on aquarium breeding Saddle Tobies.

Comments: Valentini’s are incompatible with filefish, other tobies and large finned fish as they may fight or pick at them. Poisons are on parts of the Valentini Puffer for defence purposes, however it cannot excrete anything. They also have a strong beak like mouth for biting down its hard shelled food (usually shrimp and similar molluscs). Most Puffers should be caught in a container rather then netted as they can become alarmed and may inflate. This can cause a lot of stress on puffers and should always be avoided.

Note: There is another fish of very similar appearance, the Mimic Leatherjacket (Paraluteres prionurus) – ensure you are purchasing the correct species.

Photo: A Valentini Pufferfish.



a "fish hater"
Sep 19, 2005
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Northern BC, Canada
If well fed and purchased at a fairly young age, these as well as most other Puffers (including the "fearsome" Diodon species) are actually quite reef-safe. However, miss a day of feeding and your Hermit Crabs and small Snails will begin to disappear with a crunch.

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