False-eye Puffer

Sharpnosed Puffer ~ Solander's Toby ~ Blue-spotted Toby

Family: Tetraodontidae Picture of a False-eye Puffer or Sharpnosed PufferCanthigaster solandri
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Can False-eye Puffer be kept with nemo clowfish?  Hieu

   Where did this fish, the False-eye Puffer get it's "false-eye" name? (Also called the Sharpnosed Puffer, Solander's Toby, or Blue-spotted Toby) Well, the false eye is a black spot at the base of the dorsal fin! You can just barely see it in this photo.

   The False-eye Puffer, Sharpnosed Puffer, Solander's Toby, or Blue-spotted Toby are in the family of "true" puffers and members of the sub-family Canthigaster. They are all identified by their elongated and pointed snouts. Thus, the name "sharpnose" is associated with all these fish.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Tetraodontiformes
  • Family: Tetraodontidae
  • Genus: Canthigaster
  • Species: solandri
False-Eye Puffer, Spotted Toby, Canthigaster solandri

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Little puffer in captivity

Don't have a 150 gallon tank for a 1 foot puffer? Try out a little water pup in a smaller package, the Canthigaster solandri, or False-Eye Puffer; also called the Spotted Toby or Blue Spotted Puffer for obvious reasons. The members of this genus are known at Tobies or Sharpnose puffers and have similar needs as their large brethren! Fish only tanks are best and only pair up if they are a known male and female pair in a tank that is at least 50 gallons. Offer shelled inverts to help them wear down their teeth which continue to grow. Like a real dog, they may need to be wormed, tend to chew cords, and like some dogs, they do nip! If your other fish have circular holes in their fins, that is your Toby being a bad boy! Avoid fish with overly flowing finnage. They will eat algae, including coralline species, which will help wear their teeth if it is present on live rock. They will not bother large stinging anemones, but will eat any stony corals, starfish and most inverts.

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Maintenance difficulty:   Although the false-eye puffer, (aka sharpnosed puffer, solander's toby, or blue-spotted toby) is easy to feed and generally hardy, they require special care and a special diet to stay healthy.

Maintenance:   Puffers have strong teeth that grow throughout their lives. They need to be offered hard shelled live food often to keep their teeth worn down. For a better explanation and links to the practice of puffer dentistry (if needed) please read here. Because they eat a meaty diet and are often messy eaters, puffers will produce a large bio load on the biological filter of your aquarium requiring frequent water changes and good maintenance practices.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    False-eye puffers are found in the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea

Foods:  Puffers are primarily predatory fish in the wild, though they do graze on algae as well. Acceptable foods include shellfish, crustaceans and hard shelled foods such as snails. A large variety of all kinds of live and frozen meaty foods are best. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. Some of the suggested frozen foods include prawn, crabs/crabs legs, bloodworms (live or frozen), blackworms (live or frozen), silversides, and mussels. Be sure to wash these foods thoroughly before feeding. Live foods can include snails, crabs, crayfish, shrimp (these are good for keeping their teeth trimmed), and earthworms. Live fish will also be eaten but it is thought it may cause problems such as 'fatty" liver and so should be fed sparingly or not at all.. Puffers are not picky eaters and will quickly become adapted to a variety of prepared aquarium foods and an occasional algae wafer. Flake food is not recommended. Even though they may eat it, puffers will not thrive on it.

Social Behaviors:    This is a peaceful community fish.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    False-eye Puffer, Sharpnosed Puffer, Solander's Toby, or Blue-spotted Toby adults can grow to 12.0 cm (4.7 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 30 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    No special requirements.

Availability:    This fish is available from time to time.

Lastest Animal Stories on False-eye Puffer

Hieu - 2019-04-25
Can False-eye Puffer be kept with nemo clowfish?

Anonymous - 2017-06-29
I have a standard 29 gallon tank with two maroon clownfish about an inch in length. Would one of these get along with the clownfish?

lakeyn - 2012-09-17
I believe it mostly boils down to the specific fish & tank size. My Toby Puffer has been in a 110gal with my dwarf lionfish & blue damsel for a few years. NONE of the fish nip or have any other issues with one another. The smaller the tank, the more territorial fish are going to be, period. The order they are put into the tank can make a difference too. My damsel should be eaten by my lion, but because he was there first she yields to him & his territory. I love these little puffers, they are full of personality, but be careful - mine likes to jump out of the tank any chance he gets.

Mika - 2005-07-20
I have a blue-lined toby, and although he is personable and rather easy to keep, he does take nips out of the other fishes fins. My poor sailfin tang looks scalloped now!

  • Bill - 2012-07-24
    I had a bigger Maroon clown that used to always have bits of her fin bitten off and you'd always see her chasing the puffer and anything else away from her anemones. The poor fish had a pretty hard life and died early for other reasons. One bad winter the water temperature got pretty low and every fish died in the tank but the Maroon clown and her little partner. Then we restocked the tank and it happened a couple of weeks later and her partner died. She probably died a year or two after that. Oh yeah, puffers are infamous for nipping.