How Much Does A Puffer Fish Cost?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 08/08/21 •  6 min read
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Are you considering adopting a pufferfish? Then you’ll want to know how much these special fish cost, as well as how much it costs to make them a home and maintain them. In this article, we’ll answer these questions to help you have an idea of how much it will cost. Becoming a pet parent to a pufferfish means having everything necessary to keep your fish happy and healthy!

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What is a Puffer Fish?

In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the tropical pufferfish rather than the saltwater type. Tropical pufferfish originally came from brackish, freshwater sources. There are about 30 species of tropical puffer fish that live around the world.

Pufferfish are famous for puffing themselves up when threatened. They do this to look bigger and more dangerous to predators. When a pufferfish inflates his body, he has spines that protrude out, making it more difficult to be eaten.

It’s important to understand that these fish are cute but can be aggressive and territorial. They’re usually kept alone in a tank for this very reason. Pufferfish can live for up to 10 years if cared for properly.

Some of the most common freshwater pufferfish kept as pets include:

Other factors affecting the cost of your pufferfish include your location and the fish’s appearance. As mentioned earlier, fish with unusual patterns or colors will cost more.

How Much Do Puffer Fish Cost?

That’s a great question! The answer is it depends on their species and even the pattern of their scales. Depending on where you buy the fish, a puffer can cost anywhere from $17 to $60.

Next, we’ll take a look at how much it costs to set up the puffer’s aquarium home!

How Much Does the Puffer Fish’s Aquarium Cost?

Remember that most pufferfish need to be kept alone. This is because they can be territorial as well as aggressive. It may be possible to keep two puffers together; however, be sure to ask at the pet shop or the breeder if the specific type of puffer is with another of its kind. That way, you’ll avoid having any fish wars, which are not pleasant for you or the fish.

If you’d like a small pufferfish, then your fish will need an aquarium that’s at least 20-30 gallons. Larger fish may need a 100-gallon aquarium. If the fish live in a space that’s too small, they can become stressed. Being stressed wears down the fish’s immune system, making them more susceptible to various diseases.

For a 20-gallon aquarium, figure on spending between $170 and $400. When it comes to a 100-gallon tank, they usually start at $650 and go up from there.

Your tank will also need some substrate. This can either be gravel or sand; however, sand is generally best for a pufferfish. For a 20-gallon tank, sand will cost about $10-$20 for a 20lb bag. You can find sand in different colors or choose a natural color, whichever you prefer.

Next, you’ll need to invest in an aquarium heater. Remember that your pufferfish is a tropical fish, which means he needs heated water. Puffers do best in water temperatures between 74 to 82°F. You can set the water heater to keep the temperature in the correct range for your fish. Heaters cost between $12 to $45. Experts recommend looking for a heater that has 150 W, which is best for keeping a large aquarium heated. The cost of this type of heater is about $22.

You may have already guessed that it will be necessary to buy a thermometer. This device will be used to ensure the tank is kept at the right temperature for your pufferfish. It’s a good idea to check the temperature a couple of times a day. You’ll also be able to tell if the heater is working or has broken. A thermometer for the tank usually costs anywhere from $2.50 to $7.

It will also be necessary to buy a hydrometer because puffers like to have brackish water (semi-saltwater). This device will ensure the water in the tank has the right salinity for your puffer. These sell for about $11-$12.

Don’t forget to buy an air pump and filter! These are essential for the aquarium. The pump keeps the water circulating and oxygenated, while the filter removes debris from the water. A pump and filter will generally run between $65 to $90 for a large aquarium.

Puffer Fish Maintenance

Your pufferfish will also need food, of course! Puffers, in the wild, tend to eat snails, shellfish, and other crustaceans. However, never give your puffer wild-caught food, as these may contain parasites or other “bugs” that can make your fish sick.

The best food for your pufferfish includes mealworms and frozen bloodworms. These will cost about $3 a month.

It’s also necessary to buy water treatment for the aquarium. These are necessary to keep the water healthy and free of organisms, such as fungi and parasites. A bottle of water treatment solution will run about $8.

You might also want to consider buying aquarium plants for your puffer’s home. The puffers appreciate the plants as hiding places. They also like rocks and crevices, as they would have in the wild.

Tips for Keeping a Pufferfish

Remember that your pufferfish will more than likely be happier to live alone. In addition, pufferfish is not recommended for first-time fish pet parents. This is because they are not easy to keep and come with some special requirements.

It’s also a good idea to provide your pufferfish with a shellfish every so often. A shellfish helps keep your puffer’s beak from growing too large or long. The shell will grind down the puffer’s “beak.”

And remember, your pufferfish is a pet that’s completely dependent on your care. Your fish will require food every day, clean water, and more.

We wish you and your pufferfish companion many years of happiness together!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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