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Helmet Cowfish EXPERT ONLY
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Helmet Cowfish EXPERT ONLY (Tetrasomus gibbosus)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Expert Only
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Black, Blue, Tan
Diet Omnivore
Reef Compatible With Caution
Water Conditions sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4
Max. Size 1'
Venomous Poisonous When Stressed or Dies
Origin Sri Lanka
Family Ostraciidae
Minimum Tank Size 180 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information


Referred to by many names, including Camel Cowfish, Thornback, Thornbacked Boxfish, Helmet Cowfish, and Hovercraft Boxfish, the Helmet Cowfish requires the care of an experienced aquarist. The Helmet Cowfish has a rather drab, pale tan body with random blotches of blue and occasional black dots. The eyes are large and blue.

The Helmet Cowfish should have a minimum of a 180 gallon tank. Use caution if placing it in a reef tank as it will often nibble at tubeworms. When stressed, the Helmet Cowfish releases a poisonous substance, called ostracitoxin, from its mucous glands which will kill other fish in the tank very quickly.

Very little success has been achieved in breeding this fish in the aquarium setting.

When introduced into a tank, the Helmet Cowfish can be fed a diet of live brine shrimp or bloodworms. After acclimatization, chopped squid, clams, mussels, and herbivore preparations can be fed. This fish has the peculiar habit of coming to the surface and spitting when it is hungry.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 2"; Medium: 2" to 3; Large: 3" to 4"

Caution: This species secretes or releases toxins when stressed or injured that may kill fish in the aquarium. cannot accept responsibility for any loss that may occur should this animal poison the aquarium.

Please note: We guarantee that ALL aquaria species we offer will arrive alive and in good condition. However, because of the increased level of care required for this particular species, it has been designated as "Expert Only." This species is recommended only for the expert aquarist, zoo, or research institution. “Expert Only” aquatic life is exempt from our extended guarantee after their arrival.

Customer Testimonials

Theresa U Elgin , IL
The Helmet Cowfish is one of the easier Boxfish species to keep. It begins feeding on aquarium fare very quickly after introduction. Besides being slower growing and smaller than other Cowfish species, it is also more resistant to disease that often plagues Cowfish. It is extremely friendly and often entertains its keeper by flipping itself upside down in quick, circular spurts.
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