Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 06-24-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dillsburg PA
Posts: 63
Talking Let the debate begin - Boxfish Family Toxins

Ok I am new to this site and I guess I will stir up the tank right away.
My question is this.........What is everyones opinion or facts on the myth that the boxfish family (longhorn cowfish)(spotted boxfish) etc. can and do give off a toxin that can destroy and kill everything in a tank? As you can see I believe this to be a myth and have found no hard evidence to back the claim up. I believe it to be an urban legend stemming from people who eat sushi and get sick or die from the toxins. I have had a number of boxfish and puffers and yes some have died but none of my tanks have ever suffered multiple losses. I have a friend that has been in this business for over 30 years and has never seen it happen. He believes that people who lose a boxfish or multiples want to immediatley blame it on the toxin. So with that being said I would love to hear peoples thoughts on the subject!! Thanks alot!

boxfishlover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
thincat's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
Welcome to AA! The Truth is that I just don't know much about them giving off toxins when they die. I know they have poison glands and that's about it.

Happy Reefing,
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dillsburg PA
Posts: 63

Its not so much when a boxfish dies that they release a toxin, supposedly when they are threatened or scared they release it. So I am told anyway. My thoughts are that yes they may release a toxin but I do not believe it to be strong enough to kill anything just strong enough to be irratating. The store I currently go to (That fish place) Lancaster PA insists that the toxins kill tanks. Almost to the point they were not going to sell me my cowfish because they thought the burrfish I have would be to aggressive. Needless to say with the proper acclimation they are now buddies!
boxfishlover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Krypt's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Holley, NY
Posts: 752
Boxfish do secrete a toxin named Ostracitoxin as a defense mechanism when stressed. The amount and lethality of the toxin is relational to the size of the boxfish. If it is tiny like is common among our ranks (1-2 inches) then the amount of toxin it produces when stressed will easily be processed out of our systems with the use of GAC or aggressive protein skimming and depending on the size of the tank it is in, may not cause any effect what so ever. Now if the boxfish is a mature adult and is full grown then the effects of them releasing the toxins can be devastating to a home aquarium as it is a much greater quantity.

Here's a couple links with info about the toxin:
Ostracitoxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ostracitoxin: An Ichthyotoxic Stress Secretion of the Boxfish, Ostracion lentiginosus -- Thomson 146 (3641): 244 -- Science

In order to read the science article, you gotta subscribe and do other stuff to download the pdf version of the article.
"If your wife ever asks how much something was for your tank, just tell her you got it on sale and you had to have it! She'll understand"

Krypt is offline   Reply With Quote

boxfish, toxin

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Let the party begin! MizzMollies Member Introductions 3 11-13-2009 10:54 PM
Where to begin? Poetic Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 5 03-25-2009 07:11 PM
Where to begin NJGourami Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 09-26-2007 10:06 PM
Let the MTS begin! gfink Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 10-03-2005 02:25 PM
Where to Begin? Sakuri Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 06-16-2005 11:41 AM

» Photo Contest Winners

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.