Figure 8 Puffer

Figure 8 Puffer
Species NameTetraodon biocellatus
Common NameFigure 8 Puffer, Eyespot Pufferfish
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan6-8 years
Adult SizeUp to 3 inches (7.6 cm)
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Temperature74°F – 82°F (23°C – 28°C)
Water ConditionspH 7.0-8.0, Brackish water (low to medium salinity)

About the Figure 8 Puffer – Species Summary

The Figure 8 Puffer, scientifically known as Tetraodon biocellatus, is a visually striking and highly unique fish species commonly kept in aquariums. Native to Southeast Asia, particularly the freshwater and brackish water habitats of Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra, the Figure 8 Puffer’s natural habitats are often subjected to varying degrees of salinity. This pufferfish gets its common name from the fascinating “8” or eyeglasses-like patterns that adorn its body. With its distinct appearance and quirky behavior, this fish has won the hearts of many aquarium hobbyists.

Figure 8 Puffer Lifespan

With proper care, a Figure 8 Puffer can thrive and live up to 6-8 years in captivity. This lifespan, however, can be contingent upon various factors such as diet, water quality, and overall tank conditions.


The Figure 8 Puffer’s stunning appearance is characterized by its unique patterns. As the name suggests, the main body of the fish sports patterns resembling the number “8” or eyeglasses, making it a favorite among aquarists. This pattern is typically set against a creamy or yellowish background, interspersed with dark lines and spots. As with most puffers, the Figure 8 Puffer has the ability to “puff up” when threatened, which is both a defensive and a fascinating characteristic to observe.

Average Size

As they mature, Figure 8 Puffers typically reach a size of about 3 inches or approximately 7.6 centimeters.

Figure 8 Puffer Care

Tank Size

For a single Figure 8 Puffer, a tank capacity of at least 30 gallons is recommended. If you plan on keeping multiple puffers or other species in the tank, it would be wise to consider even larger setups.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Recreating their natural environment is essential for their well-being. A substrate of fine sand works well, allowing the puffers to display their natural digging behaviors. Decorate the tank with plenty of hiding spots using rocks, driftwood, and dense plantations. This provides security and stimulates their natural instinct to explore and hunt.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting is ideal for Figure 8 Puffers. They do not have specific demands in this area, but maintaining a regular day-night cycle is beneficial.


A pH range between 7.0 and 8.0 is optimal for Figure 8 Puffers. Regularly monitoring and maintaining this range ensures their health and well-being.


A stable temperature range between 74°F to 82°F (23°C to 28°C) closely mimics the conditions of their native habitats.

Water Parameters

Figure 8 Puffers are brackish fish, meaning they require water with a degree of salinity. However, they do not need fully marine conditions. Using marine salt mix to achieve specific gravity in the range of 1.005 to 1.008 is ideal. It’s essential to monitor water parameters regularly to ensure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are within safe limits.

Disease Potential

Like many other fish species, Figure 8 Puffers are susceptible to common aquatic diseases such as Ich and fin rot. However, with their thick skin, they are less vulnerable to certain parasitic infections. Regular observation, ensuring optimal water conditions, and quarantining new additions can help prevent disease outbreaks.

Food & Diet

Being carnivorous, Figure 8 Puffers have a preference for meaty foods. Their diet can consist of snails, small crustaceans, and various worms. Feeding them hard-shelled foods occasionally is vital for grinding down their ever-growing teeth.

Behavior and Temperament

Figure 8 Puffers are known for their curiosity and intelligence. While they are relatively peaceful, they can be territorial, especially during breeding or feeding. Their active and sometimes “personable” demeanor often makes them a favorite among aquarists.

Tank Mates

Selecting tank mates for Figure 8 Puffers can be tricky. They can be aggressive towards other fish, especially those of similar size or smaller. However, larger, peaceful brackish water species might be compatible. Always monitor interactions and be prepared to make adjustments if aggression is observed.


Breeding Figure 8 Puffers in captivity is a challenging endeavor and is rarely achieved. It requires precise water conditions, an abundant food supply, and a carefully monitored environment. If successful, the female will lay eggs on a flat surface, which the male will then fertilize. After hatching, the fry should be moved to a separate tank to ensure their safety and well-being.

Figure 8 Puffer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)