For the sake of cowfish...

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For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 13th 2009, 8:07 pm

PART I

If you’re interested in boxfish and cowfish, this is the article for you. Perhaps you’ve had a cowfish or boxfish before and you just simply just want to know more about them, or you’ve seen one at a local fish store or perhaps at a friend’s house. Perhaps, like many others, the sheer force of a cowfish or a boxfish in any aspect has grasped you. This article will help you understand the world of the cowfish and boxfish, and will educate you how to care for them as well. We’ll examine what they need in basic. As we do, you’ll soon know what essential equipment they need. We’ll also look at their maintenances, as you, being the maintainer of these fabulous fish need to know these. We’ll also look into giving proper nutrition, and feeding properly.

There are over 26 types of cowfish and boxfish through out the world. At the end of this article, we feature only the 12 most common. Though, they are called marine fish, few of them do live in the open waters of the ocean. The rest live in water no deeper than 500 meters by shore and in coral reefs. Cowfish and boxfish are saltwater fish. You must not get this wrong or else things will end catastrophically.

Anatomy

Boxfish and cowfish are odd-looking fish, from pyramid backs, to horns, to a box shape body; different species are different and similar in different ways. Boxfish have dorsal fins but not pelvic fins, and the same as cowfish do have dorsal fins but not pelvic fins. They are commonly described as swimming tanks, because of their thick armor below their broad layer of skin.

Female boxfish have pointed mouths, while the male has a wider mouth, like those seen on freshwater Corys and Plecos. They male are generally more colorful than the female. As for the cowfish, all cowfish have the same type of cone like mouth. Again the rule applies; the male cowfish is usually more colorful than the female counterpart.

Boxfish carry armor around – thick protective scales as the cowfish do as well. Cowfish have developed sharp spines for not being swallowed, as well as poison. Boxfish don’t have sharp spines, but do have a fair amount of poison.

Boxfish swim mostly with just their tail fin, but they do turn with their pectoral fins. Cowfish, however, swim with their dorsal fins and their tail fin. This allows them to “hover” compared to swimming at an angle, which the boxfish have to do to get higher, since their dorsal fins are generally smaller and weaker. Once again, for cowfish, the pectoral fins are used for turning, like the boxfish. Remarkably, the cowfish can “hover” in a spot up and down without moving forwards or backwards.

Size of a cowfish and boxfish depends on the species. For example, the long horned cowfish and the yellow boxfish both grow to a massive 18 inches. But selling sizes are smaller. Yellow boxfish are sold at merely an inch, the size of a pea, compared to the 2 to 4 inches of the long horned cowfish (you can get 0.5 inch baby ones). Some species are very small for example the scribbled boxfish at a size of 5 inches and the thornback cowfish at a 5.9-inch. But the smallest would have to be the camel cowfish at the mere 4 inches maximum (excluding the Boston bean).

Senses

Cowfish and boxfish all have sharp vision, since they don’t have as much speed as other fish like wrasse do. Their vision enables them to spot prey earlier than they prey can see, and as best as they can, the cowfish or boxfish will rush in and deliver a deadly bite. Their eye also has a pair of transparent lenses in the shape of semicircles, giving the cowfish (not the boxfish) a “cute” look. The pupil of a boxfish is a semi circle like moon thing, that is truly unique.

When you see a cowfish or boxfish, you will not see ears. They are inexistent on the outside, but in their body organs, they do have a true ear. Water conducts sound quicker than air, so hearing is vital in the ocean. Sound vibrations pass through the cowfish or boxfish, and then it reverberate in the cowfish or boxfish’s inner ear.

For cowfish and boxfish, smell is vital. Prey, mates and predators are all discovered with smell. You can’t see how they do it, but they have an organ called the olfactory organ, which is also present in a human as well. When water flows by, a part of it goes through a place called the nare, linked to the olfactory, which identifies what the smell is and sends it to the brain.

Surprisingly, boxfish and cowfish have taste buds not only in their mouth but on their lips, fins and scales as well!

Strangely, cowfish and boxfish have a most unique sense that is common for humans but seemingly impossible for cowfish and boxfish – touch. This sense can be preformed because of a system called the lateral system, which allows them to feel what they bump into or bite into.




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PART II

In the wild, cowfish and boxfish take care of themselves. They rid their wastes and don’t go back to the same spot, while other animals filter and eat it, because the ocean in so vast, whereas the aquarium is small. Their toxins float elsewhere and are filtered by other animals like their waste. But everything changes when they come into the aquarium.

As the owner, one must take full responsibility of taking care of its cowfish or boxfish. The waste must be cleaned with a filter that you purchase, its temperature must be higher than what we live in, maintained by a heater, and the water should be regularly changed.

There are many challenges that one will go through, but those problems will be mastered eventually, but more will appear and go. This is the way of an aquatic expert.

The Tank

First off, you have to choose an appropriate place to put your tank. Make sure it is close to water supply, not in sunlight (you will have too much algae growth), and has a good source of electrical circuits. Be sure the stand can hold your aquarium. Be aware, that every gallon filled with water is 8.4 pounds. So, an aquarium of size 29 gallons is 243.6 pounds with only water. Finally, choose a place where water spill would not be too devastating. That is just for an odd scenario, which is guaranteed, will not happen often.

Tank size – the most advanced aquarists always knows that “the largest is the best.” An explanation for that phrase is that cowfish and boxfish need space, as well do other fish, and space in their natural habitat is plentiful, but being suddenly confined in a squashed up place is not comfortable. For the smallest species of both cowfish and boxfish is 29 gallons for the camel cowfish. 40 gallons is the minimum for the scribbled/reticulated/striped boxfish. The longhorn cowfish requires a 100-gallon tank, for it grows very large. When purchasing a tank of the same gallon, be sure that it is long, not tall. Swimming space is reduced when tall, and pressured is increased. As well, a bigger tank allows more possible tankmates that look better. Often, people chose a species tank for theses fish. A species tank is when a tank holding a certain species of fish, like the cowfish or boxfish, is used to prevent fighting, stress, etc.

After getting the cowfish/boxfish tank, you’ll need to follow proper set up instructions. Let the tank run by its own for a few days along with beneficial bacteria too hurry up the process (optional). Then purchase your cowfish or boxfish of choice and let it accumulate in your new tank. Afterwards, find some cool looking fish like peaceful wrasse, or clownfish. Follow the rule – 1 inch of fish per 4 gallons. Too many fish results in more ammonia and nitrite.

You can buy very nice aquarium stands that are designed to hold an aquarium. They can be wood or iron. Since saltwater is corrosive, wood is better. If decided to use a homemade stand or furniture, be careful. Collapsing of a tank is the one of the worst thing for starting aquarists.

The Water

The water is significantly important in a saltwater aquarium, fish need stable water to survive. First of all, clean your tap water of chlorine, waste and bacteria by boiling, adding chemicals (optional) and running through a filter. Afterwards, set up the tank but don’t put livestock in yet. Run the water through the filter and let the tank “mature” for a few days. During the last few days of waiting for maturing, add more salt premix, or mix salt in with a hydrometer (the water salinity should be between 1.021 and 1.024). Finally, the day will come and you may put livestock in.

Evaporation of your salty water will cause more salt to be there, so add more fresh water at that time. You must check the salt readings daily too make sure it is stable. As well, crystallization of salt involving the protein skimmer and other equipment can cause a lack of salt, but this is more rare than the lack of water and increase of salt.

Remember, the ph (levels of hydrogen ions in solution/water) should be at 8.1 to 8.3. Drop of ph would be devastating in a marine tank.

There are many ways of checking your ph. There are paper strips that work fine, but there are more advanced things too.

Filters

Filters are essential in aquariums; they remove dangerous wastes like ammonia. Many filters are available, of many kinds. There is mechanical, chemical and biological filtering. Mechanical gets out large clumps of waste, chemical, uses chemicals to dissolve waste, and biological is just bacteria eating the bad bacteria, producing clean water and oxygen. The best is all of them, but the single best is biological. So based on those statistics, an external power filter which hangs on by the side is one of the best. It uses mechanical, and chemical filtration, but bacteria colonies will grow on sponge pads in the filter, making it an all three type of filter. Wet dry trickle filter is the same concept as the power filter, just a bit more powerful. Finally the exterior canister filter is the exact same concept as all described above, just way more powerful, and a lot more quicker, thus making it more expensive.

Be careful, external filters can leak and take good care reading the instructions – no, do not throw the instructions away, watch your filter leak water everywhere and flood your room, then fish the instructions out through rotten garbage.

Live rock is strangely becoming increasingly popular for filtration, it uses biological filtration, and it comes with a handful of goodies, live unknown living animals on it, you can get creatures for free without purchase! As well, live rock is the base for coral; it hosts most types of coral. Cowfish and boxfish love this stuff; they like to pick at it a lot.

Live sponge can work as a mini-filter and are very sturdy, just never expose them to air or else they will die. Cowfish and boxfish may pick at sponges.

There are sponge filters, a simple air pump, pumping air through a tube, covered by a sponge. Beneficial bacteria will grow on the sponge, and will make a good mechanical and biological filter. Sponge filters are sold for less than $10 and can filter up to 125 gallons in some occasions.

Some tanks run solely on biological filter media, ceramics, with a great range and design for beneficial bacteria to grow.

Heaters

Heaters are important because all your fish (not just you cowfish or boxfish) rely on the temperature and good water condition to survive. You need to know to put the temperature at 24 to 27 degrees Celsius (or 75 to 81 degrees fahrenheit) and be careful not to put the heat to high – you will burn/overheat the fish to death. You don’t want a cooked cowfish or boxfish.

Heaters must not be close to any heat or intense lighting, or else it will fail. When a heater fails, it will probably either boil your fish alive, or turn off (the better choice). There are heaters with a system that turns off the heaters when it fails. Buying those saves you from slowly boiling a cowfish or boxfish (you can eat it if you want – just kidding - WARNING you will fall ill if you eat it, you could easily die. This is because, like a puffer fish, the flesh of a cowfish or boxfish is toxic). This happens less and less often (because nobody eats them) – just be aware that this could happen.

During summer time, when the temperature is hot, your house will be hot, and obviously, the water will be hot as well. At that point in your fishkeeping hobby, you will not need a heater.

Others

There are other things you can do for your cowfish or boxfish like protein skimmers, though unnecessary because they are just a type of chemical filtration. As well, you can have UV sterilizers to disinfect your waters, but is useless, because you can just boil your water and add declorinizer. They are commonly seen, especially for tanks with tangs. Ozonators are completely too puzzling for scientists, which does not insure safety for aquarists while using, plus they can damage fish health if not used properly.

Tankmates

Tankmates for cowfish and boxfish have to be somewhat gentle, but more aggressive species like smaller eels or related fish like puffers may be a good choice. Good tank mates are in the list following: Picasso Triggerfish and most triggers (avoid the aggressive ones like the queen titan trigger), Snowflake Eel and all other eels (just watch the dragon eels – they are aggressive), all Butterflyfish, all puffers (somehow, they hate boxfish so avoid mixing boxfish and puffers up), all filefish, all seahorses and pipe/shrimpfish, most angelfish, all tangs – yellow, blue, hippo, jeweled, etc, sharks (the sharks don’t even pay attention to them), chromises, damselfish, cardinals, some wrasse – watch the aggressive ones – do not get the cleaner ones – they will literally clean the skin of the poor cowfish and boxfish, and will leave only their scales, and many other fish – don’t mix cowfish of any kind with any boxfish or cowfish, same vice versa – these fish will fight and are extremely intolerant of other relatives.

Concerning invertebrates like shrimp and crabs, these unique inverts must be chosen carefully, because they could end up as a meal. Fire shrimp or other cleaner shrimp can be good tankmates, but a fully-grown cowfish or boxfish could easily consume these. A full-grown cowfish has been reported picking on a mantis shrimp, crushing the mantis’s hard outer body and devouring it.

For immobile inverts, sea anemones are good; they won’t bother the cowfish or boxfish, but can sting the cowfish or boxfish to make them aware of their surroundings. Sponges are nice; just watch the picking from those little box and cowfish!

Watch for those little pesky or good hitchhiker inverts, and the cowfish or boxfish will eat them all. Just one thing – you have to watch for octopuses. You can keep them together if your lucky, but anyway, either the cowfish or boxfish kills the octopus, or the octopus tries to kill the cow or boxfish, but it fails and get’s itself killed, or the octopus triggers the ostratoxin to be sprayed at it and they all die/the octopus squirts it’s ink and kills them both. Anyhow, they aren’t too good together.

Gravel

Gravel for these unique tanks are usually live sand or crushed coral sand packages, because the maintain the right ph, and live sand has beneficial bacteria and some live animals (not as many as live rock). 1 inch of sand is enough for most tanks. Pebbles can be used, but aren’t commonly used because they are “not part” of their natural habitat and cowfish and boxfish can’t blow at them and move them. Cowfish and boxfish blow at the sand to exploit small invertebrates, so providing them with fine parcels of sand is a better idea than large pebbles. As well, food particles may be wedged unnoticed between pebbles, causing more ammonia.

There is the exception of “black” natural sand, black sand that is very fine, maintains ph, and is the natural settings in deeper water and some in shallow coral reefs. It works very well and is highly recommended. This black sand can host beneficial bacteria but does not include bacteria in packages. The black sand may take longer to mature in a tank. It is common for use in fish only tanks for only saltwater. It is also called black moon sand. This makes your fish stand out more. Black moon sand can be sharp, so be cautious while using it, for it could hurt your cowfish or boxfish, though not likely.

Décor

Decoration in saltwater tanks can be natural or artificial.

Most common in tanks is live rock, which is plucked from the ocean, after coral particles, living creatures and rock are swept away in the current. Live rock is also a biological filter and at the same time, being one of the closest types of natural decoration. You need cured live rock, because those dead animals on it will slowly rot, and cause more ammonia to be present. If it isn’t cured, brush at it with a toothbrush, or a small brush. Don’t boil your live rock because it would kill the majority of the good goodies on it.

Live coral is a good decoration as well, as it maintains ph, but coral polyps take decades to grow, and that is why more rare corals should not be bought, as it should be conserved and left in the ocean. Maricultured corals are great and will be perfect for purchased, because they are cultured, thus as good as fake or dead coral, just it would add a bit more responsibility on the aquarist’s side. Dead coral washed up on shore or in the shallower waters are fine for your aquarium, just boil and put it into your aquarium. As an alternative to both, fake coral is realistic, and has the same effects as real coral except for ph maintaining. Some fake corals do come with aeration, and are capable of maintaining ph levels. As well, real coral has to be target fed for good growth, and have bright lighting with strong water flow, and so, live coral is usually not suitable for very first beginners.

Tufa, a type of soft rock, is porous and very easy to mold and generally inexpensive. Tufa has all the good attributes as coral including maintaining the ph, thus making it a good choice as well. You may chose to mold tufa into coral like shapes, caves, tunnels, and many other odd looking and creative shapes. Tufa is also a great life holder; small beneficial organisms are lured to this type of rock because of the holes, which are great bacteria holders. Tufa, with no doubt, is also a good substitute for live rock. As a note, cowfish and boxfish treat this the same as live rock and love it in no matter what shape.

Be aware, some shops sell “dead live rock,” don’t trust them, dead live rock is just normal lava or tufa rock or live rock with absolutely no life on it – there is no point, it is a waste of money, you may as well get live rock or tufa. But dead live rock isn’t always so, some dead live rock is scam and will rip you off.

Anemones and considered a bit complicated for the beginner, but the intermediate is perfectly suitable for one. Attach to a live rock or a piece of tufa. When feeding the cowfish or boxfish, feed above the anemones, so the anemones will consume the uneaten food. Anemones are perfect for clownfish as they make great homes. Watch out, an anemone could consume some smaller fish.

Zoanthids and polyps are a great addition for the aquarium. Just know that “zoos” can release toxins as well. Both zoos and polyps snatch at the water with their mini tentacles at once, and then spring open once again. They catch small particles of food this way and are very amusing to watch. Some cowfish and boxfish pick at zoos and polyps, especially the ones looking like daisies, just make sure that the Zoanthids won’t get too mad and release poison.

Cowfish and boxfish live in reefs as imagined by aquarists, but also live in seagrass. Aquarists can try to imitate such wonder, but is extremely difficult. Intense lighting will have to be used, special sand of the marine type, and other specific equipment, like preparing colonies of plankton and phytoplankton. But of course, because this is quite advanced, there is also another substitute: fake seagrass. This material is compact, inexpensive and looks somewhat the same! But for advanced aquarists up for the match, go ahead!

Feeding

Cowfish and boxfish are omnivorous. They will eat live foods like brine shrimp, squid, clam, fish and even red meat (not to say you should give them this)! They eat vegetable servings as well, like dried seaweed, algae strips and other veggies. Vegetables should not be served too often, just once a day. Feeding these fish are very “cool”, but they could be refusing and shy on arrival. They will spit out foods that they don’t like, but foods that they do like will be
Probably always too big, and they will consume half of what they bit and spit the rest out. You have to collect what they spit out, as it will become ammonia if not cleaned up. Small crabs and shrimp can be used to eat the leftovers. Blennies also do this well too.

To prevent disease, slightly boil, microwave, cook, and/or steam raw food before feeding, unless it is raw table shrimp from a good manufacturer. Giving food with seasoning and flavor is NOT okay, for it could have ingredients that aren’t good for fish. The food was made for humans – not fish. Soaking food in salty water with ginger or garlic is good, as it boosts the cowfish/boxfish’s immune system. Also soak with vitamins with or without garlic for even better results.

Watch out; if the cowfish or boxfish is being to slow, target feed. Target feeding means that you will give food directly to the cowfish or boxfish. Being too aggressive isn’t too common – but it does happen. The teeth of cowfish and boxfish are as sharp as those of triggerfish and puffers. When they bite a tankmate, their teeth will leave a wound matching the one of a triggerfish or puffers. Remove the bitten and treat in a QT. While treating also make sure that the offended – the cowfish or boxfish isn’t too angry or else it may release a dangerous toxin – ostratoxin into your tank because of stress. If it is a longhorn cowfish, the releaser will not die, but all other species of cowfish and boxfish will die along with the ones in the tank. Do not attempt to prove this wrong, it is very rare and some have said they haven’t heard of such a thing, but it is confirmed after extensive research that, they have released these toxins into a reefers or aquarist’s tank. As well, do not try to prove me wrong about the fact that only longhorns will survive their own toxin, as it will result in a very costly way and is inhumane.

Setting up the tank

Usually, one will set up the whole aquarium without livestock (or live rock/live sand for the animals living in/on there). Then water can be put in and turn on all heaters, filters and other equipment including lights and let the tank “mature” for a few days. After those days, apply live sand and/or live rock, and then let the tank mature for another few days. If you want to let your tank go even quicker, ask your local fish dealer to take gravel from a well-maintained and healthy tank and spray over yours, thus giving beneficial bacteria that is already mature. Maturation with well live rock, live sand and mature bacteria will allow the tank to mature in 1 week to 2 weeks. Normal maturation time is 2 to 5 weeks. If you still can’t wait, you may take a more “cruel” way of getting it to mature – get freshwater zebra fish or mollies and/or saltwater chromises, and they can survive in saltwater and are very hardy, keep them in the tank and let their ammonia and nitrite become nitrate. Take these fish out when starting your put in livestock, you can sell them or keep them. This can kill the fish you were using, the ammonia will burn at the gills of the fish and the nitrite will make them gasp for air. If you wish not to see them suffer, do not attempt this step.

UV rays and ozonators aren’t good choices as stated above – they are dangerous to use (ozonators) and expensive. They do clean your water well, but they aren’t useful unless you have a very sick fish and are very delicate and you want to give him a good stay at the QT (quarantine tank). Thus, you can use UZ sterilizers (the best out of both). Just a warning – the ozonators may be dangerous for all, especially young children.

Maturing may take experience; you have to now about how long it takes for your tank to mature in your hands.

Brining it home

When you purchase a cowfish or boxfish, the cowfish/boxfish will be put in a rounded plastic bag. Ask for a dark non-see through bag, and then wrap both bags in newspaper. For longer distances, (30 minutes or more) bring a styrofoam box, because this box keeps the temperature around the same as the temperature your fish was in.

The cowfish/boxfish must be put in first, with the exception of coral, anemones, mushrooms, polyps, sponges, and other creatures like that. Good tankmates are clownfish, blennies, damselfish, small peaceful wrasse, small puffers and others.

Once it gets to your home, unwrap the bag or open box and take the cowfish/boxfish in the bag, and place gently on water. Wait for 10 – 15 minutes, then scoop some of your aquarium water into the bag, then scoop the mixture (in the bag) out and dump it out. Repeat another time, and then it can be released into your aquarium! As well, there is the choice to use a Styrofoam box and pour all contents into there, then fill a small, but long pipe that is bendable with water and hold both ends. Make sure the box is below your tank. Ask for a helper to tie the pipe and form a knot. Now submerge your hose into your aquarium and the other end hanging in your box. Allow your tank water to slowly drip for 30 minutes, take out some water and dump it out, then allow water to drip for another 30 minutes, then release into aquarium. Water should be almost the same temperature, degree – or 1 degree in between. Salinity should be almost the same.

Enjoy!

Cowfish and boxfish will bring pleasure to your tank and household; there will be many good days to come.

Puppy like, these fish are, they will pay attention to everything inside and outside of the tank. Cowfish and boxfish can relate you to feeding. They will play games, blow at it – then it spits water at you. Or maybe you will play tag with the cowfish, move your finger, it follows, and move your finger there – it goes there, your finger goes there – it goes there with your finger. Feeding can be an enjoyable time.! You can even hand feed them! It is an experience you will never forget – it will become one of your favorite fish.

But days will come, when your cowfish or boxfish is old, and it is crippled, it will fall. But do not let this sad moment overwhelm you. You must take action to prevent toxins – namely ostratoxin from the cowfish or boxfish, to kill your fish. Remove the poor old fellow, and then apply activated carbon to the tank. Have a funeral, a memorial, a tribute and perhaps even a grave for the poor guy. You will remember your cowfish or boxfish – forever.

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PART III

This part tells you about many common species of boxfish and cowfish and gives you excellent advice and information.


Cowfish

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Name: Longhorned cowfish

Scientific name: Lactoria cornuta

The longhorned cowfish is a diligent species, very smart and attractive. It is characterized by it’s odd looking horns and when mature, a long tail. This species has been observed spitting water when hungry. Feed live brine shrimp and other meaty foods, with an occasional vegetable serving. This species is not actually what everywhere says – hard too keep – expert only. This is nonsense and is perfectly suitable for an intermediate aquarist. If it cannot get food, target feed. This species grows to 18 inches in the wild, only 9-10 inches in aquariums. The longhorned cowfish needs a tank of at least 75 gallons, preferably 100+ gallons. It is extremely playful and is highly intelligent. It is long lived if cared for well.



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Name: Camel cowfish

Scientific name: Tetrosomus gibbosus

The camel cowfish is an oddball fish. It is shaped in a pyramid like shape and is very intelligent. This fish has blue eyes and is able to locate things outside of the aquarium. They are very playful and friendly. Target feed if it cannot compete for food. They need to be feed meaty foods with an exception of some vegetable servings. They are not expert only species and other types of information like that are false. This species needs at least a 30-gallon tank. The camel cowfish grows to a mere 4 inches long. This little cowfish lives as long as its very “horny” longhorned cowfish relative.

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Name: Shaw’s cowfish

Scientific name: Aracana aurita

The Shaw’s, or striped cowfish is a rare species and is not quite as hardy as the camel or longhorned cowfish. These, like most other cowfish are very cool looking, but this one is thinner than it’s fellow cowfishes. The striped cowfish likes shrimp, and prefers live brine shrimp. This species is a tad more delicate than other cowfish and is more around the expert status. The striped cowfish needs at least a 75-gallon tank. It is very active as well. Target feed if not able to compete for food. It gets to only 4 inches long. It will be considered a failure if one loses this fish due to insufficient feeding.

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Name: Thornback cowfish

Scientific name: Lactoria fornasini

The thornback cowfish is rare, but not as rare as the striped cowfish. It is small and valued for that, even though it is bigger than the camel cowfish at a 5.9-inch length. Thornback cowfish are very sturdy and they can eat a lot. They can be put in a 40-gallon tank. They are very smart and have good eyesight. Provide the thornback cowfish with shrimp and other meaty foods. Target feed if not able to eat get a sufficient amount of food.

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Name: Scrawled cowfish

Scientific name: Acanthostracion quadricornis

The scrawled cowfish is a peaceful, long living social cowfish that is the biggest of all cowfish at 22 inches long. It is sociable and very friendly. It has good eyesight and is very strong. It loves to eat shrimp. It is highly intelligent, and like many other cowfish (Longhorn, Camel, etc) can dupe humans and isn’t easily fooled. This cowfish needs a tank of at least 150 gallons. Target feed it not able to compete for food.

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Name: unknown Boston bean cowfish

Scientific name: Lactophrys sp.

The Boston bean cowfish is a relatively unknown species to most aquarists. It is small but passionable. It needs a tank of at least 29 gallons. It likes to eat, but its mouth is small, so provide food in small pieces. Some times, this species will be mixed up with longhorn cowfish babies or yellow boxfish. This little cowfish grows smaller than 4 inches. Target feed if it isn’t feeding well.

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Boxfish

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Name: Yellow boxfish

Scientific name: Ostracion cubicus

The yellow boxfish is a common and very “cute” boxfish. Its mouth is the same in both genders. It is very smart and proactive; it is much like a cowfish and obviously is relatives with the odd cowfish genus. It is bright yellow and poka-dotted, but that doesn’t last long. It soon will turn into a long dull blue and brown, but is equally compassionate. Keep in at least a 80-gallon tank, better 100+. It is easy to keep. Target feed if not doing too well.

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Name: Flame boxfish

Scientific name: Anaplocapros lenticularis

The flame boxfish is one of the most rare boxfish or cowfish for sale; it is expensive as well, one of the most expensive type. It is an expert only for sure, it is limited by range and are hard to keep in captivity. It has a striking good look and it is white on red with a set of bright eyes. This fish must be feed fish meat and shrimp/meaty foods. This fish is very affectionate towards its owner and is a great species if you have the time, commitment and the money to do so. This fish needs at least a 75-gallon, even though it is only 4 inches long at maximum size. Must target feed if not getting enough food – it will be a failure if this exotic creature is lost in that way.

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Name: Blue and Black spotted boxfish

Scientific name: Ostracion meleagris

The blue and black spotted boxfish are the same species, just male and female. They are labeled into different species. They all need at least a 55-gallon tank. Target feed if not able to compete for food. These fish grow to 7 inches.

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Name: Ornate boxfish

Scientific name: Aracana ornata

The ornate boxfish is an expert only rare boxfish that is almost never available for the aquarium. Not much is available on what they eat and behave but is generally the same as normal boxfish. They are all very odd looking and they look very intriguing. 75 gallons is the minimum tank size that this fish will properly live in. They get only to the maximum size of 5 inches. Target feed if not full enough – like the flame boxfish – it will be considered a failure if one loses this fish by insufficient feeding.


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Name: Scribbled boxfish

Scientific name: Ostracion solorensis

The striped, reticulated or “scribbled” boxfish is an odd looking species with stripes and splotches everywhere. Even their eyes are striped. The love to eat, and they are sure good at doing so. They aren’t hard to keep and are easy to feed. They need a 50 gallon or bigger. Males are rare and expensive in the aquarium trade. Target feed if it isn’t getting much food. They only grow to 4 inches.


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Name: Whitley’s boxfish

Scientific name: Ostracion whitleyi

Whitley’s boxfish is a rare species of boxfish, it isn’t all too common, and isn’t all that rare compared to other rare species like the ornate boxfish. It grows to 4 inches and need at least a 55-gallon tank. They like shrimp and meaty foods, though vegetable servings are acceptable. Target feed – it would be a shame to lose an exotic fish like this if lost in that manner.



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* Note – Boston Beans are various types of juvenile boxfish or cowfish, commonly the longhorn cowfish and the yellow boxfish. Lactophrys sp, “official Boston bean”

~ocean


Last edited by ~ocean on November 13th 2009, 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 13th 2009, 8:19 pm

It's nice. A much longer version of my article. Perhaps we could add this to the information center!

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 13th 2009, 8:57 pm

Sure!!! some mistaques tough....

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 13th 2009, 9:52 pm

Well i will just check to see for them. Try and make a final draft though. Hopefully i will catch whatever falls through the cracks.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 13th 2009, 9:53 pm

I just edited something... longhorn in a 25g? I don't think so... lol

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 14th 2009, 3:20 pm

Haha. Yeah. You can e-mail me the final copy.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 14th 2009, 5:04 pm

alright... or i could just pm you...

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 14th 2009, 5:52 pm

That to.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 14th 2009, 6:03 pm

lol

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 15th 2009, 3:42 pm

Hows it coming. Is it ready?

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 15th 2009, 7:53 pm

almost...

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 15th 2009, 11:18 pm

Waiting. bounce Smile

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 16th 2009, 11:11 pm

still editing... lol

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 21st 2009, 6:39 pm

:?:

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on November 22nd 2009, 5:23 pm

maybe tomorrow...

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on November 22nd 2009, 5:52 pm

lol okay.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on December 13th 2009, 12:51 pm

I think it's ready - just copy and paste it.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on December 13th 2009, 4:42 pm

Did you put in the new one?

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on December 16th 2009, 6:14 pm

no, I just did some editing straight away...

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on December 17th 2009, 10:26 pm

Okay. Will try to in the next few days.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by ~ocean on December 29th 2009, 1:25 pm

is it up?

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Bluntokian on December 29th 2009, 2:27 pm

HEY! Sticky. Grats
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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on December 29th 2009, 8:57 pm

No. However i will get it soon. Keep reminding me Razz.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on December 29th 2009, 10:08 pm

I'm putting it up right now! Check the TA Information center in about five minutes Smile.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

Post by Hero on December 29th 2009, 10:29 pm

I lied. Wait till tomorrow. BTW send me some pictures so i can put them in. Send me your best. Any as long as there SW so they can go in the article.

- temperatereef@live.com

i think thats the right one lol.

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Re: For the sake of cowfish...

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