Aquarium Fish

Porcupine Puffer

posted: 05/15/12
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Porcupine Puffer
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Porcupine Puffer is also known as the Porcupinefish or Porcupine Pufferfish. It has spiny appendages which cover most of its body, which may vary from light gray to mottled tans, sometimes with dark spots. Its teeth are actually a fused beak-like structure. The Porcupine Puffer lacks pelvic fins, but has learned to use the pectoral fins to move about.

A 150 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium with a good protein skimmer is a suitable home. It may be aggressive at times, nipping the fins of tank mates and leaving a circular hole as its mark. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef aquarium. It has the ability, when threatened or scared, to inflate its body to almost twice its normal size. Parts of its flesh are poisonous if digested.

The Porcupine Puffer needs a varied diet of meaty foods including squid, krill, clams, and hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth.

Fish Facts

Name: Porcupine Puffer (Diodon hystrix)

Family: Diodontidae

Range: Global

Size: Up to 40 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Coral or rock, plants

Reef Compatible: No

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 150 gallon

Light: Medium

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Swimming Level: No specific level

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Scatterer

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