UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Do Puffer Fish Eat Coral?

Pufferfish are exotic pets and could be hard to maintain. Their beak-like teeth allow them to eat hard shells, so can pufferfish also eat corals?  

The rising popularity of reef tanks might have inspired you to try adding some live corals to your tanks, along with other aquatic creatures or invertebrates.

So, if you have a pufferfish, you need to know if your hard work and money will be futile or not. 

You can stop worrying as we’ve done the research for you and we’ll help you in your distress. We’ll let you know which corals are safe from pufferfish and what a pufferfish eats in a coral reef.  

Do Puffer Fish Eat Coral?  

Yes, pufferfish eat corals. They prefer the rugged corals to help keep their beak-like teeth in good condition.

Because of their strong, infused teeth, munching down corals and other rocks is not an issue for pufferfish. Because they eat invertebrates, if they find some on the corals, they will eat it, along with the coral.

 Puffer Fish with Coral
Pufferfish with coral

What Corals Are Safe with Puffer Fish?  

The safety of corals will depend on the type of pufferfish; some pufferfish will eat corals, while others will leave them alone. You have less to worry about if you have Valentini Puffer and Blue Spotted puffer. 

However, Dog Face Puffer and Porcupine Puffer are not safe for corals as they will most likely eat them. Of course, it can also depend on the type of corals that you’ll put in the aquarium. Here are some corals you can try:


• Scolymia 

• Caulastraea (Candy Cane Coral) 

• Euphyllia ancora (Anchor or Hammer Coral) 

• Sinularia dura (Cabbage Leather Coral) 

Brain Coral 

If you have a dog face puffer fish, I have some good news. Some people have successfully kept nerites, nassarius, ceriths, and turbos with a dog face puffer.

However, your pufferfish’s characteristics and preferences are hard to predict.

So, the best thing to do before adding corals is to buy small fragments first and test them out for a few weeks before purchasing a bulk. You have to discover what corals your pufferfish will eat and not eat.

What Do Puffer Fish Eat in The Coral Reef? 

Pufferfish will eat almost anything in a coral reef, including corals. Pufferfish’s diet has a wide variety, and their diet is dependent on their locations.

Some pufferfish might be omnivores, while others tend to be more carnivorous.  

However, most puffers mainly eat fish and shellfish. In certain situations, such as when there is food on a coral, they will also eat the coral or take bites.

Their hard beak-like teeth make it possible to eat hard shells, stones and corals. 

Pufferfish will most likely eat shrimp, crabs, snails, and other crustaceans and invertebrates in a coral reef.  

What Do Puffer Fishes Eat?  

The diet of a pufferfish is crucial for the toxin it produces. In the wild, it mostly eats algae and invertebrates.

It will also eat hard-shelled creatures such as clams, mussels, and crabs to keep their beaks in excellent condition.  

Their diet is also dependent on their location. Some pufferfish are omnivorous, while others are predatory based on the available food in their area. Most pufferfish eat corals, sponges, algae, worms, shrimps, snails, and shellfish. 

While in captivity, they are inclined to eat anything. You can find food for your pufferfish in local pet stores, but it is vital to remember that following their natural diet is the best option. 

Pet pufferfish can be fed with commercial fish food. But hard-shelled creatures are still essential in their diets to keep their teeth strong. Worms, algae, shrimp, and snails are what most owners feed their pufferfish. 

Pufferfish tend to lose their deadly toxin because of some limitations in their diet when they are in captivity.

In Short

To summarize, pufferfish eat corals. Certain species such as Valentini Puffer and Blue Spotted puffer are reef safe and have a low chance of eating your corals. 

However, a dogface puffer fish and porcupine pufferfish will most likely eat the corals you’ll put in the tank, along with other fishes, shellfish, and invertebrates. 

Even though puffer fish are not entirely reefed safe, you can still make it work if you genuinely want a reef aquarium.

You have to find out which corals your pufferfish will and will not eat. You can do this by testing small fragments or corals for a few weeks. 

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.