Do Tobies Puff?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Apprentice
May 5, 2004
Do toby puffers (sharpnoses) puff up like true puffers do (porcs, dogfaces)

I've seen conflicted posts that say:

1-They dont puff at all

2-They do puff, but not as much as true puffers (see above)

3-They do puff to twice their size.

I've got a sharpnose hawaiian spotted puffer that I received last week, but haven't seen him puff at all (figured he would from the stress of shipment and acclimation and new environment).

Any toby puffer owners that can put this issue to rest?
No matter what kind of puffer you've got you DON'T want him to puff. Puffing is a last ditch effort to stay alive when something is trying to fit you into its mouth. Puffers that have puffed (God forbid with air) even with water can die. Whether if it's from stress or what, I don't know. Also, never net a puffer - always scoop them. If they puff with air they usually have a pretty high mortality rate.
Yeh, I already read thru that with no conclusions reached. I'm not trying to get him to puff mind u, but would like to know if tobies do puff as I've seen conflicting posts on various sites. I would like to know as much as I can about the fish since I own one. Thanks for the link.
My girlfriend has had one for about three years and has never seen him puff.
I have the blue spot sharpnosed puffer and he puffs a few times a day. He does not get big and round like the porcupine. Instead he gets flatter and stretches up and down instead of side to side. There is a seam that runs along the bottom of the fish that stretches downward, if that makes any sense.

For reference, imagine holding an uninflated balloon and stretching it from side to side with no air in it. This is how my toby puffs. He just gets taller and deeper, but flatter from side to side. It is cool. He does it anytime a bigger fish approaches him, in a domineering way or even if a stranger walks over the the tank, especially if they have red clothing on. It doesn't seem to hurt him, but if he stays puffed for more then several seconds or gets pushed around badly while inflated, by another fish, he will fade his color and get kind of mottled for a few minutes afterwords.
Top Bottom