Black Female Boxfish (Ostracion meleagris) Care
The Black Female Boxfish, Ostracion meleagris, is also known as the Whitespotted Boxfish. These fish come from the Indo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific regions. Males are much more colorful than females having a blue body with a wide black swatch on the top of the head. The top of the body is covered in white spots whereas the sides have yellow spots. Females are all black with white spots.
Boxfish are omnivores and require a diet containing both meaty foods and plant-based foods; meaty foods may include pieces of chopped on mussels, squid, and clams. They should be fed multiple times a day. Boxfish require expert care and it can be very difficult to get to eat when first introduced to an aquarium – using live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp can help encourage it to start eating.
They will do best in a fish-only tank of at least 180 gallons with slower moving, non-aggressive tankmates.
NOTE: When stressed, Boxfish release a toxin called ostracitoxin from their mucous glands. This toxin can quickly kill everything in the tank. If caught quickly, you can sometimes reverse the toxin with activated carbon. If a boxfish is being bullied, is stressed, or appears ill, remove it from the tank immediately.
Boxfish are considered reef safe “with caution” as they are known to nip at tube worms.