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Old 11/27/2011, 07:35 PM   #1
Coralreefin
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Scrawled Cowfish

Anyone have any experience with the scrawled cowfish - my LFS referred to it as an Atlantic Longhorn Cowfish... I believe it is an Acanthostracion Quadricornis... I have my eye on it but wanted to see if anyone had first experience with them.


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Old 11/28/2011, 08:58 AM   #2
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I was interested in them but learned you need to keep them with non-aggressive feeders as they are slow to consume food. What would be his/her tank-mates?


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Old 11/28/2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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I have seen a sudden influx of these into the lfs lately. One near me got 4 in a month or two. I would have loved to get one but I already have a 10" Longhorn and I have seen how aggressive it got towards a Burrfish I put in the tank. I assume something even closer to its species would be dead meat.

IMO I think it should be pretty similar to a Longhorn. As long as you make sure it can get some food, it does well with most tankmates. I've had mine with a burrfish, wrasse, and angelfish which are all aggressive eaters.


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Old 11/28/2011, 07:09 PM   #4
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My tank is pretty passive.. about the most aggressive fish is yellow tang or maybe a clownfish... rest are anthias and blue tangs and gobies. How do you like your longhorn?


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Old 11/29/2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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My tank is pretty passive.. about the most aggressive fish is yellow tang or maybe a clownfish... rest are anthias and blue tangs and gobies. How do you like your longhorn?
Sounds like you shouldn't have any problem. I love my Cowfish. It's extremely personable. It begs for food (spits water at you for it) and follows you around the room. The only issue I ever had was when I initially added my Burrfish. I guess it looked to similar to the Cowfish or it thought it was invading its territory and it got really aggressive towards it. Never acted that way towards any of the other fish. I separated them in the same tank egg crate so the Cowfish would have to get used to it being in there. After a couple of months I took out the egg crate and every has been fine.

How big is the Scrawled? Have you seen it eat at the LFS?


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Old 11/29/2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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So I couldn't resist and picked it up yesterday on my way home. He is about 2"... my LFS is pretty cool and I always ask to see them eat... ate frozen mysis. I introduced him to the tank and everything is fine... I feed some cyclopeze but he didn't eat or wasn't hungry. I feed him today frozen mysis and ate it quickly - still shy around me.

Only problem i see is that he might out grow my 120... figure a couple of years and will give me an excuse to upgrade. ;o)


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Old 11/29/2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Keep us updated. I've pondered getting a Longhorn Cowfish.


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Old 11/29/2011, 05:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Coralreefin View Post
So I couldn't resist and picked it up yesterday on my way home. He is about 2"... my LFS is pretty cool and I always ask to see them eat... ate frozen mysis. I introduced him to the tank and everything is fine... I feed some cyclopeze but he didn't eat or wasn't hungry. I feed him today frozen mysis and ate it quickly - still shy around me.

Only problem i see is that he might out grow my 120... figure a couple of years and will give me an excuse to upgrade. ;o)
I would think cyclopeze would be too small. I would try some frozen krill along with the mysis. They have small mouths but big appetites. I would keep an eye on it, though. Boxfish are pretty susceptible to ich (Mine has had it twice due to me not being careful enough) and you can't treat them with copper or anything with copper in it because they're scaleless.

An excuse to upgrade is never a bad thing.


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Old 11/29/2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Keep us updated. I've pondered getting a Longhorn Cowfish.
Great fish. I also like the boxfish like the scrawled, spotted, and yellow. They are a little harder to come by but I have been seeing more and more of them this past year.


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Old 11/30/2011, 05:26 PM   #10
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Alway loved the way these fish look. Friend of mine had one with a clown trigger for some reason the trigger was cool with this cow fish and left him alone as he went on a rampage to all the other fish in the tank......


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Old 11/30/2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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What a cool fish! He is no longer shy and swims up to my hand... I am trying to hand feeding but he is still a little cautious... I shake some krill loose and he just grabs it as it falls... really cool fish!


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Old 11/30/2011, 07:40 PM   #12
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Any pics?


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Old 12/01/2011, 01:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Coralreefin View Post
What a cool fish! He is no longer shy and swims up to my hand... I am trying to hand feeding but he is still a little cautious... I shake some krill loose and he just grabs it as it falls... really cool fish!
Sounds like a great addition

+1 for pics


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Old 12/01/2011, 07:01 PM   #14
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Success! Eating from my hand. Introducing my cowfish...




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Old 12/01/2011, 07:54 PM   #15
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Wow I have never seen one before they are AWESOME.


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Old 12/02/2011, 08:24 AM   #16
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Pic and avatar! hehe...


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Old 12/11/2011, 08:03 AM   #17
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Very cool. What is it's main color? I know it's usually neon yellow but mine turned out green except for its belly. I wonder if this is a color morph or if this just happens sometimes.


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Old 12/11/2011, 08:18 AM   #18
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Right now, he is yellow body with neon blue dots/lines... he is such an interesting fish... he really is likes puppy dog... everytime I am working in the tank and have my hand in the water, he just follows me around inspecting my work.... I am half expecting to roll over so I can scratch his belly.


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Old 12/11/2011, 08:41 AM   #19
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These are great fish. I've had dozens of them because I collect them here in NJ in late summer as tiny Gulf Stream strays, most less than an inch long. They are easy to feed, and quite hardy. They become an increasingly nervous fish as they grow larger, and they do grow very large. They have a tendency to take off in bursts of amazing speed and force when startled, bending their horns on the aquarium glass. Size is the biggest problem with these great fish.


There is a photo on my Public Profile of an especially beautiful Scrawled Cowfish that I collected in NJ. It was, when the pic was taken, about 15 months old. After another year had passed I donated it to a local public aquarium. It had gotten too large and too jumpy. You can see the slightly bent horns in the pic. There is another pic of an inch long Scrawled Cowfish on my Public Profile taken 4 months after I collected it from a dock piling in Barnegat Bay. It's sharing a tank with a newly caught Spotted Drum from Panama. The small Cowfish that drift up here on the Gulf Stream all die when the water gets cold in October.


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Old 12/11/2011, 12:03 PM   #20
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I've seen them while snorkeling in Florida, and they are very flighty and fast!


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Old 12/11/2011, 01:20 PM   #21
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You would not think so to look at them but Cowfish on the reef can take off like a rocket, with blinding speed for a short distance. They tend to be very careful. When you approach too close they look like a baseball hit right off the bat, gone instantly.
The best food for small ones, in my experience, are live blackworms. As they get larger they will take small garden worms. Both food are extremely nutritious. They will learn to eat small freshwater snails, useful in keeping their fusiform teeth from growing too large, always a potential problem for larger Trunkfish.
Along with other members of their family of fishes they move fine sand by shooting bursts of water from their mouths, exposing various live food items. They will do this in an aquarium. Fun to watch. Those fusiform teeth allow them to eat pretty much anything that catches their fancy.


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Old 12/13/2011, 09:48 AM   #22
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Just the other day mine flipped out for no reason and rammed the lid harder than I ever though it could. I thought it might have broke it. One of its horns is a little dented but other than that it is no worse for wear


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You would not think so to look at them but Cowfish on the reef can take off like a rocket, with blinding speed for a short distance. They tend to be very careful. When you approach too close they look like a baseball hit right off the bat, gone instantly.
The best food for small ones, in my experience, are live blackworms. As they get larger they will take small garden worms. Both food are extremely nutritious. They will learn to eat small freshwater snails, useful in keeping their fusiform teeth from growing too large, always a potential problem for larger Trunkfish.
Along with other members of their family of fishes they move fine sand by shooting bursts of water from their mouths, exposing various live food items. They will do this in an aquarium. Fun to watch. Those fusiform teeth allow them to eat pretty much anything that catches their fancy.



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Old 12/25/2011, 01:19 PM   #23
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Very disappointed... I woke up Christmas morning to find my cowfish dead only tank... I have no idea what went wrong... I feed the best food daily (cycloeeze, rod's food, mysis)... he was eating from my hand. All the other fish are fine (purple firefish, firefish, blue stripe pipefish, red scooter, assessors)... nit sure what happened...


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Old 12/25/2011, 01:30 PM   #24
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Old 12/26/2011, 09:10 AM   #25
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Very sorry about your Cowfish. When they are small they tend to be delicate. They are not like most other fishes, able to negotiate their environment with grace and ease, and they also seem to be susceptible to bacterial/fungal problems that, because of their physical structure, are not quickly detected. They also, especially at small sizes, require a lot of food. I mean a LOT of food, and need to eat frequently. They need 'meaty' nutritious foods. Live blackworms have been absolutely indispensable for raising the very small 15 to 30 mm juvenile Cowfish I collect every summer. I believe most of my very young Cowfish/Trunkfish would perish without this highly nutritious food. As it is, even with the best care I can provide, I'd estimate that about 20% die from unknown causes with the first week or two. Their aggressiveness toward each other is certainly a mortality factor for my Cowfish, since I usually have several together in the same aquarium. Their food requirements are, in my experience, much higher than most other fishes. They are intelligent personable creatures, very appealing, but not an easy fish by any means, especially when young.


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