Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Boxfish
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Boxfish
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Boxfish (Ostracion meleagris)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Expert Only
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Black, Blue, Orange, White
Diet Omnivore
Reef Compatible With Caution
Water Conditions 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size 10"
Venomous Poisonous When Stressed or Dies
Origin Hawaii, Maldives
Family Ostraciidae
Minimum Tank Size 180 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information

Overview

The Boxfish is also referred to as the Spotted Boxfish, Blue Boxfish, Black Boxfish, or Whitespotted Boxfish. The various names are due to the dimorphic appearance of the male and female. The male is the more colorful of the two, with a vibrant blue body and a wide black swath covering the top of the body like a cap. The entire body is speckled with dots, white on black and black on blue while a thin horizontal stripe of orange adorns the tail. The female is entirely black with white dots.

This is a very difficult fish to keep in the aquarium setting by any other than the most experienced aquarist. It should have a minimum of a 180 gallon tank. Use caution if placing the Boxfish in a reef tank as they will often nibble at tubeworms. When stressed, the Boxfish 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 these fish in an aquarium. When first introduced, the Boxfish can be fed a diet of live brine shrimp or bloodworms. After acclimatization, chopped squid, clams, mussels, and herbivore preparations can be fed.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small Female: 1" to 2"; Medium Female: 2" to 3; Large Female: 3" to 5"; Male: 3" to 4"

Caution: This species secretes or releases toxins when stressed or injured that may kill fish in the aquarium. LiveAquaria.com 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 please.

Customer Testimonials

Neil Tournoux Alliance , OH
A very neat fish to keep in the home aquarium! Mine acclimated within a few days and began taking frozen mussle--now it eats any frozen food I put in the tank! With the proper setup, filtration, and tankmates, I don't believe this fish is any more difficult than an average fish. Just be careful to house it with peaceful tankmates that don't induce stress - it can wipe out an entire tank!
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