Valentini Puffer

June 2012
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Valentini Puffer

By Peter Loa

Call it the Valentini Puffer, Saddled Toby or perhaps Blacksaddled Sharpnose Puffer ……I call mine….”Puff Diddy”
I have been eyeing this species for quite a while now and the varieties it comes in
….other aquarists have forewarned me …can’t keep them they said…fin nippers they said…blah blah blah… mind was set.
I have not so much worried with the facts that they may nip the fins of my other long finned fish or damage my corals and hassle my crustaceans.
After all, they seem to co habit quite well in the Korean aquarium I visited recently, albeit was a much much much bigger tank.
There was also the fear that these fish, being of the puffer breeds, tend to have poison. This merely added to my wanting one, the “challenge” that this fish posed
excited me.
It has been a while now and it seems these fears are quite unfounded or perhaps have not surfaced.
It’s cute little teeth, the way it elegantly flutters it’s fins like a hummingbird and navigates it’s merry way around the tank and how it playfully nips the gravel vac during water changes interests me.
I have found that when a healthy specimen like mine is bought and from quite a juvenile stage, it is actually quite a hardy fish and acclimates comfortably into my current setup. The only fear I had was one night as I was gazing into the tank, it’s skin color had seemed to bleach or wash out for lack of a better description.
This I later learnt was how it was in  it’s sleeping state and not due to it being sick or stressed although it is one of the indicators.
Another interesting find is that Puff daddy’s eyes were able to move independently of each other.
I feed mine a variety of foods and again am fortunate that I got a healthy specimen and at a very juvenile stage, it has adapted to prepared foods and occasionally as a treat I would let it “hunt” live seamonkeys.
To summarise, my point is, don’t be too afraid to stock certain breeds although I strongly advise you do excersie more caution than I did. I merely went for the cute traits of the fish and my trust in the Aquaristic team and their healthy live stock, so much so that I did not even bother with a quarantine tank (which is now a freshwater tank)
Some may debate that it is quite irresponsible of me and I tend to agree but again, knowing that your local aquarium shop maintains a high standard of water parameters, stock healthy specimens and only sells them after a good period of observation under their care……I don’t really have much to worry about now do I? Fish keeping is after all supposed to be a calming hobby.
Most importantly, ensure your tank is maintained properly and nature will take its course…and I always ensure that drive home with the fish in the bag is replicated like a drive home with a pregnant wife…..

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