The Living Aquarium, Hunnam Puffer Fish Lair

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The Living Aquarium

by Peter Hunnam, Annabel Milne, Peter Stebbing
Copyright 1981 AB Norbok, Gothenburg, Sweden, from the 1989 edition.

Tetraodontidae (Pufferfish or Globefish Family)
Diagnosis: D.7-12, A.7-12 usually. The body is round, inflatable, and either naked or scattered with small prickles. The teeth are fused to form grinding plates. There are no pectoral fins.

Distribution: Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific region.
These fish occur primarily in the warm seas, although some can be found in brackish and fresh waters. The family name derives from their four tooth-plates, used to grind up and eat snails. The flesh of certain pufferfishes contains a deadly alkaloid poison called tetraodotoxin This exists in the gonads, liver, and intestines, and its concentration apparently varies with the changes in the reproductive cycle, being greatest before spawning. The Japanese eat such fishes in restaurants where qualified “fugu” cooks prepare the meat by removing the toxic parts, but careless preparation causes about twenty deaths annually there, just over three-fifths of the reported cases of tetraodon poisoning. Two subfamilies are recognized, the Tetraodontidae, with nine genera, including Tetraodon, and the Canthigasterinae (sharpnose puffers),
which have deeper bodies and contain species that are popular in aquaria because of their small size.

Tetraodon fluviatilis (Green Pufferfish)

Diagnosis: D.14-16, A.12-15. There are two forked nasal tentacles, and the body is covered with small spines. The colouring is variable, but generally, the back is green with large black spots having pale borders. The underside is usually white or grey.
This fish swims by moving its powerful pectoral fins in a screw-like manner, using the tail and anal fins for steering. When attacked or frightened, it inflates its body by filling the sac-like diverticulum of its gullet with air or water. This not only increases the fish’s volume, but also erects the body spines, thus serving as a defence mechanism. There are no known external sexual differences. When courting, the male and female circle each other near the bottom, then lay and fertilize 200-300 eggs on a rock. The male guards the eggs, sometimes resting over them in order to hide them from predators. They hatch in about six to nine days, and the male moves the young to a depression in the sand, continuing to guard them while they adsorb their yolk sacs. The fishes are very intelligent and can become quite tame in captivity.
Size: 18 cm (7 in.). Distribution: Southeast Asia. Temperament: active aggressive. Water: Fresh & Brackish, 22-26°C (71.5-79°F), not critical in quality.

This is an editing error, as they mention the movement of the pectoral fins later on. There are no Ventral fins.
There are a few more subfamilies now.
Unfortunately, the picture they give is of the classic Figure 8, and the description as well. A common mistake in this era, and perpetuated by incorrect information being passed along. As a result, it is unknown to me if the breeding behaviour given above is for the T. fluviatilis or the T. biocellatus species.