Boxfish comical little fishes that really do look like a box!

They have a stiff cube shaped body that is covered with a hard bony armor.

lactoria_fornasini.jpg

This provides excellent protection for these slow swimming fishes but they are also able to secrete a deadly toxin when they are in danger, the result could be a total wipe out of the entire community tank, so choose their tankmates carefully.

They can be found mainly near coral reefs in oceans around the world where they feed on algae, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Their social structure usually consists of harems of a single male and several females. Some types of Boxfish have several “horns” on their head and thus they are also known as Cowfish. In the home aquarium, Boxfish should be provided with several retreats formed by rocks and caves.

Because they are slow moving they do not appreciate strong water movement in the tank. Feeding should not pose a problem as they will accept all types of food. Included in their diet should be meaty as well as vegetarian fare (mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill, dried seaweed sheets, etc.)

As with many of the saltwater fishes successful breeding of Boxfish is very difficult, if not impossible, at this time.

Boxfish are generally peaceful and they definitely require peaceful, slow moving tankmates like themselves, do not house them with aggressive eaters. As mentioned earlier, they are capable of releasing a lethal toxin when they are stressed so “bullies” in the tank need to be removed.

Be cautious when introducing them in a reef tank since they will often nibble at tubeworms.

TankConditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

Compatibility: Butterflies, Cardinalfish, Chromis, Clownfish, Damsels, Dartfish, Dragonets, Eels, Filefish, Foxface and Rabbitfish, Gobies, Grunts and Sweetlips, Jawfish, Hogfish, Lions and Scorpions, Parrotfish, Pseudochromis, Squirrelfish, Tangs and Surgeons, Wrasse, Live Corals, Live Rock and Sand.

Cowfish Longhorn

Name: Cowfish Longhorn
Family: Ostraciidae
Species: Lactoria cornuta
Size: 20 in (50 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Peaceful

Cubicus Boxfish

Name: Cubicus Boxfish
Family: Ostraciidae
Species: Ostracion cubicus
Size: 20 in (50 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

ostracion cubicus

ostracion cubicus (Photo credit: Joachim S. Müller)

Name: Boxfish
Family: Ostraciidae
Species: Ostracion cubicus
Size: 6 in (15 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

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