Boxfish Species


Boxfish, cowfish and trunkfishes are all members of the Ostraciidae family. They are very unique in appearance and unlikely to ne confused with any other species! Their characteristic shape, seemingly awkward swimming style, and very animated looks have earned them a dedicated following amongst aquarists.  Boxfish are a favorite for large aquariums such as those found at zoos or public aquariums.


One of the most unique aspects to boxfish biology is their ability to produce a noxious chemical known as Ostracitoxin. In addition, boxfish are covered in armor like scales to aid in protection from predators.

Captive Care

Boxfish can be somewhat finicky upon initial acclimation to captivity, however once established they are relatively hardy. Due to the large size and ability to release poison, and tendency to pick at invertebrates in reef aquariums, they are best for large dedicated fish only tanks.

One of the primary challenges of maintaining boxfish in captivity is the difficulty associated with feeding them. Many freshly imported specimens can be reluctant to begin feeding in captivity, however offering high quality meaty foods will often entice them to begin feeding.

Most boxfish species found in the aquarium trade, such as the Longhorn Cowfish, are available as small, brightly colored juveniles. However, it is important to consider the adult size of these fish, which is often in excess of 16” in length. An aquarium of 125 gallons in size or larger will be suitable for an adult boxfish.

Suggested Piscine Energetics Products

We suggest a diet based on Piscine Energetics Frozen Mysis, Piscine Energetics Frozen Calanus, Piscine Energetics Pellets (1mm and 2mm) and Piscine Energetics Saltwater Flakes.

Recommended Products

What People Say

After feeding my seahorses your mysis for about 3 months; they are fat and happy!!! they give me baby seahorses (at least 300 ) each 14 days... So I'm very satisfied of your mysis.The frozen mysis is about 70 per cent of their diet.

Yvan Charbonneau Quebec

I am keeping these Indian mudskippers -- very cute -- about 3-4 inches long. I've been feeding them frozen bloodworm, and decided to try them on mysis. I feed them in a "shallows" in the 150 I have set up for them. The minute the mysis hit the water they were on it, frozen and all. They gorged until their little bellies were almost bursting. I have yet to see an aquatic creature that does not go absolutely nuts over PE Mysis.

David Lass Massachusetts