These endearing, active fish are best maintained in species-only aquaria. If keeping with other fish, the aquarium should be spacious, and tankmates short-finned and fast-swimming. Even then, due to the variability of pufferfish personalities, certain combinations may not work out, so observe your fish very carefully. There is some debate as to whether this species is best maintained in fresh, brackish or marine water, and we believe that brackish conditions result in healthier, longer-living Figure of Eight Puffers. The tank should be furnished with plenty of hardy, salt tolerant plants, along with plenty of rockwork creating various nooks and crannies. A large open swimming space should be left in the centre of the aquarium. Multiple specimens may be kept together if the tank is spacious enough and they are introduced simultaneously. However, in smaller quarters, fin-nipping is likely to occur amongst the group. As with other puffer species, these fish can inflate when frightened or cornered. They should never be provoked into doing so, and never above water where they can take on air, which can prove fatal. If moving Figure of Eight Puffer/s to larger quarters, the fish should be herded into a solid container under the water so as to remove the necessity of netting and lifting them clear of the water. Due to the messy feeding habits and sensitivity to organic pollutants, powerful filtration should be used and a regular maintenance regime carried out. High levels of oxygenation are advised.
Small meaty frozen foods: Mysis shrimp, mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, chopped krill/prawns, cockle & mussel meat. Should be encouraged to ‘bite out’ partially opened cockle-in-shell in order to help keep the beak in check. Regular feeding of your own cultivated small aquatic snails (which will breed readily in a separate small tank) is also advised. Will not take dried foods.
The spawning of this species in the home aquarium is extremely rare. It is said that eggs are scattered amongst plant leaves and are then guarded by the male until hatching.