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The Striped Dogface Puffer, Arothron manilensis, features large expressive eyes and a sad-looking small mouth. Its circular slender lines are characteristic of its body. These Pufferfish, like other Puffers are dubbed "aquatic dogs" due to their close interaction with humans. But as cute as they are, they are not at all considered reef safe. As a voracious carnivore, the Striped Dogface Puffer will unabashedly devour small inverts, though they do graze on algae as well, but won't damage corals. Puffers also have strong teeth that grow throughout their lives, so they need to be offered hard shelled live food often to keep their teeth worn down. It is best kept in a tank no less than 100 gallons with semi-aggressive tank mates and plenty of live rock for hiding places. 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. Feeding the Striped Dogface Puffer can be difficult, especially if they feel stressed or insecure. They should be fed a varied carnivorous diet consisting of fresh or frozen chopped Shrimp, Squid, Clams, and Crab Flesh, or other meaty preparations. The Striped Dogface Puffer, like most puffers, have the unique ability to inflate their body to twice its normal size to protect itself from predatory ingestion. Though this is the puffers best known trait, it is advised to never induce this action with your puffer. Further, be sure to never expose the puffer to the air, ever. If the puffer ingests air, it is next to impossible to remove it. Therefore, if ever transferring tanks, be sure to use a container rather than a net to ensure that the puffer is always underwater. They can also be fed the drug fenbendazole to prevent against internal parasites. Overall, this is one of the coolest and most unique marine fish available and every aquarists should care for a puffer at least once. They will thrive in a temperature range of 77-82°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4.
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