Adding a puffer? Large? Toby? Both?


New member
I have a well stocked 300g tank. The only coral are mushrooms and also has anemones. Fish include tangs - purple, naso, desjardins, gem; angels-goldflake, scribbled, queen, coral beauty; eels-snowflake and blue ribbon; harlequin tusk. All fish live harmoniously together.

The 1 fish I have wanted to add was a puffer- love their personality. My lfs has a small stars and stripes puffer. I have also thought of a toby- like a spotted, saddleback, or blue spot.
Thoughts of which to add - a toby or a large puffer?
Thoughts of the stars and stripes vs other larger puffers?
Is the stars and stripes also compatible with a toby puffer? Add 1 of each?

Lastly - if I do add one or both, what do you feed and how often? Is it sufficient to feed the cubed food that I feed the others and then supplement with raw shrimp and clams maybe once a week?


I only have a 55g with mushrooms, soft corals, and anemones, so a relatively similar livestock scenario. My Blue Spotted Toby Puffer has never touched any of them. In fact he hasn't even eaten any of my inverts (skunk and peppermint shrimps, nassarius and trochus snails, and even tiny hermit crabs). I do believe this is unusual behavior though as puffers are known for wiping out portions of the cleanup crew. In all honesty Ive have never actually seen my pufferfish eat, but I've had him for two years so he clearly must be. The only reason I know he hasn't gone after inverts is that I keep count of how many I've thrown in and how many I see during feedings. Ive been throwing flakes and pellets in the tank every few days, and the rare occasional frozen food, and he looks very fat and healthy to me, so cubes should totally be sufficient. Even if you did get one that had a diet for corals, I don't think I've ever heard of them going after mushrooms or anemones, their beak is used for more stoney like corals.

Aggression wise he doesn't go after anything in the tank, and no one even thinks about going after him either. The blue dots tell the other fish that he is indeed poisonous and shouldn't be messed with. Ive never had him puff up either. He for sure seems to be the most interactive and curious of my inhabitants, I think partly because he's so confident that nothing would ever consider attacking him, and loves to swim up to my hand whenever I do maintenance.

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
The smaller puffers are pretty slow swimmers, so they may not get enough food at feeding time, especially with all the competition you have.


New member
I had a dogface that ate all my mushrooms and zoas so he went back to the LFS. I now have a burrfish which has been a perfect citizen and eats out of my hand and is a nice size (around 4").