View Full Version : Porcupine puffer

01-04-2010, 06:11 PM
Im new to this site and thought id just ask a quick question......
I recently purchased a porcupine Puffer who is really adorable and is living with 2 clown fish in my tank with no issues as yet. Just wondering if you can suggest any other fish that would happily live with my fish?
We have a 190L tank so dont want anything that is too big as I know the puffer has some growing to do yet!!

shell x

01-04-2010, 06:27 PM
They are predatory so anything to small will get eaten although they need hard shelled creatures to eat as they grow teeth which must be filed down by them eating crustaceans. The care sheets all seem to have some tank mates, so unlike the spotted puffer it seems you can keep them with a few fish. Here are some links and excerpts from other owners


Porcupine puffers get closer to 18". They have four teeth fused into two plates, one upper and one lower. Because their teeth continue to grow constantly throughout their lives, they require hard shelled foods such as mussels and clams in order to keep their teeth from overgrowing. If they do not get adequate amounts, their teeth will have to be manually filed down. If properly cared for, their life span is closer to 12-15 years. They are, sadly, highly prone to lock jaw. Treatment can often be successful however. They should be in a species-only tank. Some are compatible with other species, some aren't. Its highly dependent upon individual personalities and caution should be taken when having tankmates. Despite their appearance, they are considered to be very aggressive. pH is best between 7.6-8.2.

Having worked with this fish (among many others) for the past 10 years I can tell you that they do very well in large fish only systems with a good bit of live rock. They get along well with other larger, somewhat boisterous tankmates. You can keep more than one in your aquarium if the tank is on the larger side (180 gallons or bigger). Diodon Holocanthus should be fed freeze dried krill and plankton (with the shell on) as well as frozen food and algae. Though carnivorous a fair amount of their diet in the wild is made up of seaweed and other plant material. Overall a beautiful and hardy species.

01-05-2010, 12:37 AM
Great info provided, not much to add.

Based on the tank it's in you're probably at maximum bio-load already. I wouldn't recommend adding any more fish to this particular set up.

In a larger tank, which the porcupine puffer will eventually require, they do fine with other semi-aggressive or aggressive fish.

They're very impressionable and adorable fish (with the knack of spitting water out the tank if you let them!)

01-06-2010, 09:33 AM
Thanks for the info guys, its much appreciated! thumbs2:

Just needing a bit of advice re. feeding......
I have been feeding live brine shrimp, chopped frozen squid, prawn and mussel (not sure if i have spelt that right), however My puffer eats the brine shrimp but doesnt really bother with the shopped frozen stuff although she will have a bit of prawn. Just wondering if i would be better putting the prawn, mussel and squid rings in whole? The puffer appears to be happily swimming around and gets on just fine with my clown fish (we were told this may not be the case).

Any advice would be brilliant x

01-06-2010, 01:55 PM
Just remember you have to feed them something crustacean with a hard shell like mussels or mollusks in shell. They have to have it to grind there teeth down, if you don't you will have to file them manually and I imagine that's not a fun job.

01-06-2010, 01:59 PM
well it ate some mussel earlier, absolutely loved the stuff but appeared to puff up on its underside..... i thought this could be because she was warning the other fish off but its still not gone down......... any ideas why this could be?:help:

01-06-2010, 02:01 PM
I also have a turbo snail but the puffer isnt even entertaining it even though the guy in the shop said it would be the first thing to get eaten!

01-06-2010, 02:55 PM
probably just full, most fish get a little thicker somewhere when there gourged

01-07-2010, 12:06 AM
I feed my porcupine puffer shrimp-in-shell (from the supermarket's seafood section, including the tail), the remaining menu items are from the LFS: prawn, clam, squid and silversides. Occasionally (~twice a month) I feed it frozen krill. The prawn, clam and squid are perhaps the staple.

Mine is currently 5" or 6" and would ignore live brine shrimp which are too small for its attention, but if your porcupine puffer is fairly small you may want to try frozen mysis shrimp instead of live brine shrimp. Their beaks are well equipped to do all the chopping but I cut portions down to about 1" or 2". How large is your puffer currently?