Home Fish Science What Do Puffer Fish Eat? (Complete List)

What Do Puffer Fish Eat? (Complete List)

by gvald

Puffers eat live, frozen and dried meat. Larger puffers can eat small frozen fish such as lancet fish or white fish.


You can also give them vegetable and plant-based foods once or twice a week.


Their teeth are an important aspect to consider as they continue to grow throughout their lives. You may need to feed them hard substrate animals such as shellfish, crustaceans or snails to help control the growth of their teeth.


If their teeth grow too long, your fish will have trouble eating and you will have to cut them off.

Depending on the size of your puffers, they will require different feeding habits.

  • Small species (less than 2 “): Need to be fed daily.
  • Medium species (2-4 ″): need to be fed every other day.
  • Large species (4+ ″): Need to be fed two or three times a week.


Can we eat puffers?

In Asian cuisine, puffers are highly prized. Yet, it contains a toxin that proves fatal, even in very small doses. If the fish is badly prepared, death is guaranteed.


Puffer does not produce poison itself: it feeds on toxic bacteria and algae, against which it is immune. When it eats these organisms, the digestive system of the puffer does not destroy the toxin, but stores it, in its liver, and in other organs. In this way, the puffer becomes toxic itself, which protects it from its predators, which avoid eating it, not to get sick.


Female puffers also store poison in their ovaries, which makes them in principle more toxic than males.


Can you tame a puffer fish?

Saltwater puffer fish have been interesting for adults and children, but did you know that there are freshwater puffers? Freshwater and puffers are much less common than their succulent brethren, but are gaining in popularity.


In this report, we will focus on the Spotted Puffer, the Pea Puffer, as well as the Congo Puffers. All three have their own unique care requirements.


What should you feed a puffer?

Feeding time for puffers is messy as these fish simply eat frozen and live foods. Snails seem to be one of their favorite foods. Adding live insect snails like pond, ramshorn and bladder snails provide your puffer enrichment. Slurping their prey and watching your balloon search can be an exciting opportunity.


Frozen or live blood worms are a major hit with any pea pocket. White worms (mosquito larvae) and black worms are famous as favorites. While worms and snails seem to be the favorites, a varied diet is important to the well-being of any fish, so try brine and mysis shrimp too!


Flake and pellet foods should not be part of the fish’s feeding plan. Not only will the puffer not eat it, but it is available in frozen and live choices. The pea puffer requires nothing else and is a carnivore.


Do puffers have teeth to eat?

No, but they do have a bone plate in their mouths that continually grows. Wild adult puffers eat crustaceans, and hard-shelled foods are an important part of their diet. Without hard foods to wear down the plate, puffers may eventually become incapacitated to the point of not being able to eat.


Of course, you won’t be feeding your baby mollusk, but you will want to start eating snails soon enough. Pond snails are parasites, and if you’ve ever had them in a freshwater aquarium, you know how difficult it is to get rid of them. These are the creatures your puffers will devour if you give them the chance.


The aquariums at many pet stores contain all the snails they can handle, and if you ask nicely, they are often willing to give them to you for free.

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