Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Porcupine Puffer has a wide geographic distribution in the wild and may be one of the most iconic pufferfish in the saltwater hobby. Recognized by its puppy-dog like appearance and spines, the Porcupine puffer will inflate to over two times its original size if under stress, or felt threatened by a tank-mate, into a sphere shape with all of these spines erected. Do not purposely entice this behavior, as it can have adverse health effects and in some circumstances, cause death to your puffer. After drip acclimation in a bucket, it is imperative to transfer your puffer in a tupperware container with water to the main aquarium. There are two reasons you do not want to transfer your puffer in a net: 1. The spines could get stuck, and 2. If the puffer inflates out of the water, it’s sucking in air which is much more difficult for it to expel. Porcupine puffers are known to recognize hobbyists as their caregivers and will even beg for food. Some individuals have even been observed to spit water out of the aquarium to gain attention! These quirky behaviors certainly make the Porcupine puffer a playful and engaging addition to any large fish only with live rock aquarium. An adult Porcupine puffer can reach an approximate size of 12″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Porcupine puffers are carnivorous. A diet consisting of various meaty frozen foods is necessary and options will depend on the size of the individual. Some examples include brine shrimp, squid, mysis shrimp, and krill to maintain optimal health and color. Hard-shelled shrimp and clams with shells are also highly encouraged to feed from time to time in order to keep their teeth worn down. Overgrown teeth will cause complications and have consequences.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is required for medium to large sized Porcupine puffers. Extra large Porcupine puffers will need an aquarium greater than 200 gallons. Additionally, aquariums that house large species of pufferfish should be equipped with a protein skimmer and above average filtration because of their bioload capacity. Porcupine puffers may appreciate some large rock arches to take refuge at night, but need more open swimming and turning space. Given their nature, Porcupine puffers can be kept in an active peaceful to semi-aggressive aquarium or more aggressive aquarium. It is best to take into consideration the size of the puffer at the time and choose tank-mates accordingly. Puffers should not be kept with small fish or slower fish with decorative fins that they could nip at. Porcupine puffers do not make good reef aquarium inhabitants because of how messy they can be, but they will also eat invertebrates including crabs, urchins, starfish and shrimp. Porcupine puffers have been kept together successfully, but we suggest attempting this at smaller sizes only. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 3″; Medium: 3″ to 4″; Large: 4″ to 5″; XLarge: 5″ to 6″; XXLarge: 6″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.