Valentini Puffer – Canthigaster valentini
Species name: Canthigaster valentini
Common names: Valentini Puffer, Valentinni’s sharpnose puffer, Saddled Toby, Saddled Puffer
Family: Tetraodontidae (Puffers)
Order: Tetraodontiformes (puffers and filefishes)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Maximum length: 4.3 in
Minimum tank size: 30 Gallon
Hardiness: Medium (see comments bellow)
Aggressiveness: Semi-aggressive. Keep only one per tank unless kept with a member of the opposite sex. It will fight with conspecifics such as the filefish, large finned fish, and other tobies. It sometimes nips the fins of long finned species but not all specimens do this.
Reef Compatibility: No. Puffers tend to pick at everything from crustaceans to corals and live rock. They can be kept with larger stinging sea anemones.
Distribution: Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Durban, South Africa and east to the Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island.
Diet: Omnivore. In nature it feeds on algae and invertebrates. Its teeth are specially adapted to feed on hard materials. In the aquarium, it needs a varied diet of meaty foods including squid, krill, clams, and hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth.
The Valentini Puffer, also known as the Black Saddle Pufferfish, Blacksaddled Toby, Valentini Toby, or Saddled Toby is from the Indo-Pacific region where it can be found among coral heads and rocks of lagoon and seaward reefs at depths of 5 to 180 feet.
In the wild, it forms large shoals (10-100 or more). Some members of the shoal (about 5%) are actually the filefish Paraluterus prionurus, which mimics this species. The Valentini Puffer is a nocturnal hunter by nature.
Saddled Valentini has a white body with four distinct black stripes on the upper half. The body is also covered with brownish-orange dots. It has yellow fins, and blue striping running along the back. It lacks pelvic fins, but has learned to use the pectoral fins to move about the aquarium.
Males have blue-green lines radiating from the back of the eyes. They are also larger than females and may also have a light gray patch in front of the anus.
It has the ability to inflate itself to twice its original size by injesting water into the ventral portion of their body. Try not to use a net when handling this fish.
It’s flesh is poisonous. Do not eat! If ingested seek immediate medical attention.
The Valentini Puffer prefers tanks of at least 30 gallons with plenty of hiding places as well as a lot of open space to swim on. The tank should be well circulated with calmer areas for the fish to rest in. The Saddled toby doesn’t care much about the lighting of the tank but it will appreciate some shaded areas in tanks with strong lights. Keep temperature at 72 to 78F, pH at 8.1 to 8.4 and specific gravity between 1.023 and 1.025.
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