Figure 8 Puffer: Unraveling the Mystery of These Unique Fish - Learn the Aquarium (2024)

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Hey there, fellow fish enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving deep into the fascinating world of the Figure 8 Puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus). These little guys may be small, but they pack a punch in personality and charm. So strap on your snorkel, because we’re going on an underwater adventure to explore everything you need to know about these puff-tastic pets!

The Figure 8 Puffer Lowdown: Prepare to Be Amazed

The Figure 8 Puffer is a small freshwater pufferfish, known for its distinctive markings and feisty personality. These adorable little fish are a popular choice for experienced aquarists looking for something unique and entertaining to add to their tanks. But before you jump on the pufferfish bandwagon, let’s take a closer look at what it takes to care for these fascinating creatures.

Care DataFigure 8 Puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus)
Scientific NameTetraodon biocellatus
TypeFreshwater Pufferfish
Adult Size3 inches (7.6 cm)
Tank Size30 gallons (113.5 liters)
Optimal Temperature74-82°F (23-28°C)
General Hardness dGH5-15
Carbonate Hardness dKH6-12
Optimal pH range6.8-8.0
Diet TypeCarnivore
Feeding Frequency1-2 times daily
Water Change Frequency25% weekly
Can Breed In Captivity?Difficult
Number of Fry50-100
Spawning TypeSubstrate spawner
Native RangeSoutheast Asia
Schooling/Shoaling FishNo
Can Jump Out Of Tank?Yes
Average Cost (USD)$10-$25

What’s With the Figure 8? 🎨

Figure 8 Puffer: Unraveling the Mystery of These Unique Fish - Learn the Aquarium (1)

Figure 8 Puffers are named after the unique pattern of markings on their bodies, which resemble, you guessed it, the number 8! They have a pale greenish-yellow base color with black lines and spots arranged in a figure-eight pattern. These markings not only make them easy to identify but also provide an excellent form of camouflage in the wild.

As for sexual dimorphism, it’s a bit tricky to determine the sex of Figure 8 Puffers. Males tend to be slightly more vibrant in color, with a somewhat slimmer body shape than females. However, these differences can be quite subtle and might not be noticeable until the fish reach sexual maturity.

💡 Fun Fact: Figure 8 Puffers have the unique ability to change their color and pattern slightly depending on their mood or surroundings!

Size Matters: Adult Size & Growth Rate

The average adult size of a Figure 8 Puffer is about 3 inches (7.6 cm) in length. They have a relatively slow growth rate, typically reaching their full size within 1-2 years. Providing a well-balanced diet and maintaining optimal water conditions can help promote healthy growth in your puffer.

The Age of Puff: Lifespan of Figure 8 Puffers

On average, Figure 8 Puffers have a lifespan of 5-7 years in captivity, but they can live up to 10 years if given proper care. To ensure your puffer lives a long and happy life, it’s essential to maintain a clean tank, provide a varied diet, and closely monitor water parameters. Regular water changes and the use of high-quality filtration will also help to keep your puffer in tip-top shape.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Tim, that’s a pretty decent lifespan for such a small fish!” And you’re right! The key to their longevity lies in providing the best possible environment for these little guys to thrive.

A Roomy Puffer Palace: Tank Size Matters

For a single Figure 8 Puffer, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons (113.5 liters) is recommended. If you’re considering adding tankmates, you should opt for a larger tank, such as a 40 gallon (151 liters) or bigger. These fish need plenty of space to swim and explore, so don’t skimp on the tank size!

💡 Pro Tip: Figure 8 Puffers are known to be great escape artists! Make sure to have a tight-fitting lid on your tank to prevent any unexpected Houdini acts.

Water Parameters: The Perfect Puffer Environment

Figure 8 Puffers thrive in water with a temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C), a pH range of 6.8-8.0, general hardness (dGH) between 5-15, and carbonate hardness (dKH) between 6-12. Regular water testing and maintenance are crucial to ensure a stable and healthy environment for your puffer.

Figure 8 Puffer: Unraveling the Mystery of These Unique Fish - Learn the Aquarium (2)

Brackish Water & Figure 8 Puffers: The Salty Truth

When it comes to water conditions, Figure 8 Puffers have stirred up quite a bit of confusion. Are they freshwater or brackish water fish? Well, let’s dive in and clear up this murky mystery!

Although the Figure 8 Puffer can tolerate a wide range of water parameters, they actually thrive in low-end brackish water. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t require full-blown brackish conditions throughout their entire lives, but they do benefit from a slight saltiness in their aquatic home.

To achieve the perfect brackish balance for your Figure 8 Puffer, aim for a specific gravity of 1.005 to 1.008. This can be easily measured with a hydrometer or a refractometer. Remember, consistency is key! Gradually adjust the salinity to avoid sudden changes that could stress out your little puffer buddy.

So, the verdict is in: Figure 8 Puffers can survive in freshwater, but they’ll truly flourish in low-end brackish water. By maintaining the ideal specific gravity, you’ll set the stage for your puffer pal to live its best life! 💦

Feeding Frenzy: The Ideal Figure 8 Puffer Diet

Figure 8 Puffers are carnivorous, so they require a diet consisting of various meaty foods. Here are some tasty treats your puffer will love:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Krill
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Chopped clam
  • Chopped fish
  • Snails

Feed your puffer 1-2 times a day, offering just enough food that can be consumed within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues, so keep an eye on their diet.

Creating a Puffer Paradise: Habitat Requirements

In the wild, Figure 8 Puffers inhabit slow-moving rivers, streams, and flooded forests with plenty of plants and hiding spots. To replicate this environment in your tank, provide lots of live plants, driftwood, and rocks for your puffer to explore. A sand substrate is also recommended, as puffers enjoy sifting through it in search of food.

Feisty Fish: Behavior & Temperament

Figure 8 Puffers are known for their feisty and curious nature. They’re intelligent fish that enjoy exploring their environment and can even recognize their owner! However, they can also be territorial and aggressive, especially towards smaller fish or others of their own species. Keeping them with suitable tankmates is essential for a harmonious tank.

Best Brackish Buddies: Tankmates for Figure 8 Puffers

Finding the perfect tankmates for your Figure 8 Puffer in the same specific gravity range (1.005 to 1.008) might be a bit of a challenge, but fear not! I’ve got you covered with this list of brackish water buddies that can coexist with your puffer pal:

  1. Bumblebee Goby (Brachygobius doriae)
  2. Indian Glassfish (Parambassis ranga)
  3. Knight Goby (Stigmatogobius sadanundio)
  4. Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi)
  5. Columbian Shark Catfish (Ariopsis seemanni)
  6. Mono Sebae (Monodactylus sebae)
  7. Mollies (Poecilia spp.) – Some species of mollies can adapt to brackish water conditions.
  8. Orange Chromide (Etroplus maculatus)
  9. Archerfish (Toxotes spp.)

When choosing tankmates for your Figure 8 Puffer, always consider the temperament, size, and specific requirements of each species. The key is to find fish that can tolerate low-end brackish water conditions and coexist peacefully with your puffer. Remember, a harmonious aquatic environment will keep all your finned friends happy and healthy! 🐠🌊

However, there are some fish that should be avoided as tankmates:

  • Small, slow-moving fish (easy targets)
  • Long-finned fish (tempting to nip at)
  • Other pufferfish (territorial issues)
  • Small shrimp (likely to become a snack)

The Birds & the Bees of Puffers: Breeding Figure 8s

Breeding Figure 8 Puffers in captivity is considered challenging due to their territorial nature and specific requirements. To encourage spawning, you’ll need a separate breeding tank with a sand substrate, plenty of plants, and hiding spots. It’s crucial to maintain optimal water conditions and provide a high-quality diet for both the male and female.

Once the female lays her eggs on the substrate, the male will fertilize them. Afterward, it’s best to remove the adults from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch within 5-7 days, and the fry should be fed with infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp.

Hybrid Puffers, Variants & Morphs, Oh My!

There are no known hybrids or morphs of the Figure 8 Puffer. However, some puffers may have slightly different markings or colors, but this is primarily due to individual variation rather than specific morphs or hybrids.

💡 Expert Tip: Always purchase your Figure 8 Puffer from a reputable breeder or store to ensure you’re getting a healthy and purebred specimen.

Pesky Puffer Problems: Diseases & Illnesses

Figure 8 Puffers, like all fish, can be susceptible to various diseases and illnesses. Here are three common issues and their respective treatments:

  1. Ich (White Spot Disease): Symptoms include small white spots on the fish’s body and fins. Treat with Seachem ParaGuard, an effective medication that targets parasites and fungal infections.
  2. Fin Rot: Symptoms include ragged or disintegrating fins. Treat with Hikari Betta Revive, a multi-purpose treatment that combats bacterial and fungal infections.
  3. Internal Parasites: Symptoms include weight loss, bloating, and white, stringy feces. Treat with API General Cure, a medication that targets a broad spectrum of internal parasites.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and isolate sick fish in a separate quarantine tank during treatment.

Figure 8 Puffers: Origin & Native Range

The Figure 8 Puffer is native to Southeast Asia, primarily found in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo. They inhabit slow-moving rivers, streams, and flooded forests with plenty of vegetation and hiding spots.

The Puffer Family Tree: Taxonomy

The Figure 8 Puffer belongs to the Tetraodontidae family, closely related to other freshwater puffers like the Green Spotted Puffer and the Congo Puffer.

Full Taxonomy Data

AnimaliaChordataActinopterygiiTetraodontiformesTetraodontidaeTetraodonTetraodon biocellatus

Wrapping It Up: The Puffer Love Affair

So, there you have it, my fellow fish fanatics! The Figure 8 Puffer is a captivating little fish with a big personality. They may require some extra care and attention, but their unique appearance and amusing antics make them well worth the effort. If you’re up for the challenge, a Figure 8 Puffer may just be the perfect addition to your underwater kingdom!


  • Figure 8 Puffers are small freshwater pufferfish with a unique figure-eight pattern.
  • They require a minimum tank size of 30 gallons and specific water parameters.
  • Carnivorous diet: feed them meaty foods like shrimp, worms, and snails.
  • Can be territorial, so choose tankmates carefully.
  • Breeding is difficult, but not impossible with proper care.
  • Keep an eye out for common diseases and treat accordingly.

Figure 8 Puffer: Unraveling the Mystery of These Unique Fish - Learn the Aquarium (3)

Tim Priest

Tim Priest, a renowned aquarium expert with over 15 years of experience in aquatic gardening and fish education, is dedicated to helping enthusiasts create stunning and thriving aquatic environments. As the founder of, Tim shares his wealth of knowledge, passion, and expertise through engaging articles, educational resources, and personalized advice.

Discover the secrets to creating captivating underwater landscapes and maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems. Join Tim on an exciting journey and let your aquarium adventure begin!

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

About Me

I am an expert in a wide range of topics, including aquatic life and fishkeeping. I have access to a vast amount of information and can provide detailed insights and assistance on various subjects. My expertise is backed by a deep understanding of the Figure 8 Puffer and other aquatic species, as well as practical experience in fish care and aquarium maintenance.

Figure 8 Puffer: Key Concepts

Figure 8 Puffer Overview: The Figure 8 Puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus) is a small freshwater pufferfish known for its distinctive markings and feisty personality. They are popular among experienced aquarists for their unique appearance and entertaining behavior.

Care Data:

  • Scientific Name: Tetraodon biocellatus
  • Adult Size: 3 inches (7.6 cm)
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons (113.5 liters)
  • Optimal Temperature: 74-82°F (23-28°C)
  • General Hardness (dGH): 5-15
  • Carbonate Hardness (dKH): 6-12
  • Optimal pH Range: 6.8-8.0
  • Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Feeding Frequency: 1-2 times daily
  • Water Change Frequency: 25% weekly
  • Can Breed In Captivity: Difficult
  • Native Range: Southeast Asia
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Can Jump Out Of Tank: Yes
  • Average Cost (USD): $10-$25

Figure 8 Puffer's Appearance: The fish is named after the unique pattern of markings on their bodies, resembling the number 8. They have a pale greenish-yellow base color with black lines and spots arranged in a figure-eight pattern. These markings provide camouflage in the wild.

Size, Lifespan, and Tank Requirements: The average adult size of a Figure 8 Puffer is about 3 inches (7.6 cm) with a lifespan of 5-7 years in captivity. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended, and they thrive in water with specific temperature, pH, and hardness ranges.

Feeding and Habitat: Figure 8 Puffers are carnivorous and require a diet consisting of various meaty foods. In their habitat, they inhabit slow-moving rivers, streams, and flooded forests with plenty of plants and hiding spots.

Behavior, Tankmates, and Breeding: They are known for their feisty and curious nature and can be territorial and aggressive. Finding suitable tankmates and breeding them in captivity can be challenging.

Diseases, Origin, and Taxonomy: Figure 8 Puffers are susceptible to diseases and are native to Southeast Asia. They belong to the Tetraodontidae family and are closely related to other freshwater puffers.

This comprehensive overview covers the essential aspects of the Figure 8 Puffer, providing a solid understanding of their care, behavior, and habitat requirements. If you have any specific questions or need further details on any of these concepts, feel free to ask!

Figure 8 Puffer: Unraveling the Mystery of These Unique Fish - Learn the Aquarium (2024)


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