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Is The Valentini Puffer Reef Safe?

The valentini puffer (canthigaster valentini) is increasing in popularity due to a number of photographs and videos on social media showing the fish and their unique personalities going viral recently.

This has resulted in a number of people considering adding a valantini puffer fish to their own aquariums with many people reaching out and asking a wide range of different questions about keeping this cool looking fish in their current tanks.

Although the valantini puffer can work in a range of different tank setups, we have been seeing a number of people specifically reaching out and asking if the valentine puffer is reef safe or not recently.

Due to so many fish keepers who have reef tanks reaching out and asking about the valentine puffer as well as much of the information that we see on social media being incorrect, we have decided to publish our own article going over the topic.

Our hope is that we will be able to help you better understand the various ins and outs of keeping the fish and if it is suitable for a reef tank or not.

In addition to this, we hope that we are also able to help point out a few things that are commonly not mentioned when talking about the fish on social media often resulting in people getting themselves a valentine puffer and keeping it in a tank where it causes havoc.

Is The Valentini Puffer Reef Safe?

The valentini puffer is not considered reef safe as they will eat various types of coral while also eating snails, shrimp, small fish, and anemone in the tank.

The valentini puffer can also chase and nip other fish in its tank causing a number of issues with stress and anxiety in its tank mates but there are some suitable tank mates for the valentini puffer that it tends not to bother.

The majority of people who do keep a valentini puffer will usually keep it in a regular saltwater tank rather than a reef tank but you also have to factor in that a saddle valentini puffer will require a tank that is at least 30 gallons in size with most people going with a tank that is at least 40 gallons.

Smaller tanks can increase the chances of your valentini puffer nipping the fins of its tank mates as well as the chance of it eating your corals and anemones in the tank too.

The majority of valentini puffer seem to have their own preferred corals to eat too but this does not mean that they won’t randomly try other corals in their tank to see if they like the taste of them too.

This is why some people on social media may say that the valentini puffer is a reef safe fish as they have never had issues with their valentini puffer eating the corals in their tank as it has tried them and didn’t like the flavor.

It’s just not worth the risk for the majority of people though as a fully grown reef tank has taken a large amount of time, effort, and money to grow out and most people won’t take the risk of a valentini puffer coming along and eating their corals.

“Canthigaster valentini Black-saddle toby #marineexplorer” by Marine Explorer is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Will A Valentini Puffer Eat Coral?

The majority of valentini puffer fish will eat coral with the valentini puffer often taking bites of the corals that it has available in its tank and then devouring the ones that it prefers the taste of.

This behavior has been recorded in valentini puffers time and time again even if they have other food sources available with multiple valentini puffers in a single reef tank being able to strip it of coral quickly.

A very small number of valentini puffer fish tend to not eat coral or may take a bite or two before deciding that eating coral is just not for them but it’s just not worth the risk.

Even if you get your valentini puffer from a friend who has never had a problem with the valentini puffer eating their corals in their tank does not mean that the same can be said for your corals in your tank.

As we mentioned, the majority of valentini puffer fish will usually take bites of the majority of different corals in a tank to see if they like the taste of any of them.

When added to a new tank the fish may repeat this behavior and decide that it likes the taste of some of the corals in your tank and then eat its way through some of your corals in your reef tank.

Do Valentini Puffers Eat Anemones?

It is rare that a valentini puffer will eat anemones but it does happen and once a valentini puffer has taken a bite of an anemone that it likes the taste of it can eat the anemone surprisingly quickly.

Even a single bite from a valentini puffer can cause an anemone to start to shrimp and expose its skeleton.

It is less likely for a valentini puffer to eat the anemones living in your reef tank though and they will usually eat the corals but it does still happen.

With the prices of some of the rarer anemones being very expensive, it’s just not worth the risk of adding a valentini puffer to your reef tank with expensive corals and anemones in it, especially if you have a smaller reef tank that is under 100 gallons.

We have seen a number of reports suggesting that the larger the aquarium tank, the less likely it is for your valentini puffer to cause issues and eat your anemones or coral but there are other factors that you have to factor in too.

The valentini puffer can also cause problems with sensitive fish by chasing them or nipping their fins and tails too so we would not consider it a reef safe tank even though a small number of people are able to keep them without issue.


That brings our article going over if the valentini puffer is reef safe or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the valentini puffer and how it can potentially cause havoc in your reef tank. Most people who keep the valentini puffer in their tanks will have them in a regular salt water tank with cheaper plants and suitable fish rather than in a tank with rare, sensitive corals and anemones that the fish may end up eating.