The Striped Puffer or Narrow-lined Toadfish are in the family of “true” puffers. This is a wonderful species! They are really personable and wonderful aquarium specimens!

This guy looks like he needs a good meal! If your Striped Puffer or Narrow-lined Toadfish is not eating, check water conditions and give it a small goldfish or guppy.

An unbent paperclip attached with a rubberband to the end of a 1/4 inch stiff plastic tubing can be used to spear guppies and present them to the fish. This also works real well for other slow meat-eaters like anglers.

Striped Puffer / Narrow-Lined Puffer in the wild, Arothron manilensis

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These pufferfish, like other puffers are dubbed “aquatic dogs” due to their close interaction with humans. They have been known to spit water out of the tank to get attention! They need hard shelled crustaceans to wear their teeth down, or the aquarist will be doing that for them! Striped Puffers are fine in a 125 gallon tank and they grow to only 12,” making them a little more manageable. They prefer sandy bottoms where they can hunt for buried foods and blow the sand around.

Scientific Classification


Maintenance difficulty

Although the striped puffer is usually easy to feed and generally hardy, they require special care and a special diet to stay healthy.

striped puffer or Narrow-lined Pufferfish
Image Credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock


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

Striped Puffer or Narrow-lined Toadfish are found in Western Australia and western Pacific east to Micronesia and Samoa. Generally found in shallow waters on mud or silty sand.


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

Generally this fish can be aggressive and has been known to nip at other fish of the same size like Tangs, Angelfish, Mandarinfish, etc. They are best suited to a more aggressive type aquarium.

Sex: Sexual differences


Recommended light levels

No special requirements.

Narrow-lined pufferfish or Striped puffer
Image Credit: Jesus Cobaleda, Shutterstock


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

Length/Diameter of fish

Striped Puffer or Narrow-lined Toadfish adults can grow to 50.0 cm (20 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size

A minimum 100 gallon aquarium is recommended. This is another large puffer like the Dogface Puffer.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong

No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom

No special requirements.


This fish is available from time to time.

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Featured Image Credit: Rob Atherton, Shutterstock