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Cow fish, longhorn cowfish

  • Scientific name: longhorn cowfish
  • Common name: Cow fish, Pez Toro, Cuckold boxfish
  • Size of the aquarium: 300-four hundred litros
  • Temperament: Quiet
  • Temperature: Between 24 ° and 27 ° C
  • pH: Among eight.1 and 8.4
  • Diet: omnivorous
  • Length: 30 cms


The cowfish, longhorn cowfish, also known as fish box cuckold, even like fish Toro, It does not go unnoticed, it is impossible, strange and authentic morphology makes it unique among marine aquarium fish. Belonging to the family of Ostraciónidos, also called boxfish (cuckold fish box), It characterized by protuberances decorating their front mode horns, and which they are those that originate their common name Pez Vaca.


On freedom, Cow fish can grow to about 50 centimeters, but in the aquarium rarely exceed 30 centimeters. They have a body angular boxy shapes, characterized by the presence of a bony shell, completely covering his body. This shell protrude anal fins, dorsal and pectoral, and tail. Their fins are excessively delayed, what makes him a lousy swimmer. Note distinction of those fish, are their horn-shaped protrusions that come their forehead, barely visible in younger specimens, but they grow with age. It is not uncommon to lose occasionally, but they come out again. Too It has other horns below the caudal fin. Habitually They are yellow coloration, taking green, although there are specimens in other less attractive colors like brown or gray. His body is dotted with white spots, which may be bluish, brown or green. No sexual dimorphism.

Distribution and habitat

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They are from the oceans and Pacific ndico ??, They are also present in the Red Sea and East African pair. In natural state, We can find them at depths ranging from 1 a 45 meters deep (although they can reach the 100 meters), in coral reef areas, but also in areas near the coast, ponds or estuaries, Always protected areas. In juveniles they are often associated with marine invertebrates Acropora corals (stony corals), where he finds refuge from other aggressive fish species.

Aquarium conditions

The longhorn cowfish is a fish that nothing intermediate water, for what you need an aquarium of about four hundred liters, with temperatures ranging between 24ºC and 27ºC, with a pH between 8.1 Y 8.4. Like clean water, well oxygenated and moderately soft. To recreate their habitat Pure, the bottom of the aquarium should be covered and rock area, which we will provide holes where you can take refuge. Because they are not very good swimmers, we must give the aquarium a moderate current, to help you move, but poses no risk to their integrity.


They are omnivorous, accept any food that is offered, including lettuce leaves or spinach. In the aquarium they can provide a diet of small crustaceans, molluscs, fish pieces, tubifex and shrimps dried or lyophilised, combined with green foods and dry foods appropriate. Because they are poor swimmers, not like competing them for food. In a community aquarium, we will ensure that adequate food received, and are no other copies that eat their ration.

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Behavior and compatibility

The cowfish is a peaceful fish, that can live in a community tank, provided that you do not see threatened by more nervous copies. In this case you can be altered, I feel scared and segregating through your skin, a toxic substance (ostracitoxina) which can cause illness in the rest of the inhabitants of the aquarium. When specimens are young, They form small groups, but in adulthood he becomes a solitary and territorial fish, what It does not support the presence of other specimens of the same species.


It is known that consists of putting very small eggs. In a first phase, live fry Pelagic so after spawning, which always occurs when the sun sets. Its reproduction in captivity is quite difficult, and it has only been achieved by experienced acuriófilos.


The cow fish is a fish that is not too difficult to keep in captivity, provided that we place you in a community aquarium where you have to compete for food, or traveling companions will get stressed. In adulthood, it is territorial, it is not advisable to have more than one longhorn cowfish in the aquarium. Acclimatization to the aquarium, It is relatively simple.

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