The Porcupine Puffer is equipped with spines, and also features jaws with two fused teeth, which looks similar to parrots. It is commonly referred as burr fish or balloon fish and is popular among aquarists. The Porcupine Puffer uses its strong jaws and teeth when feeding on hard-shelled invertebrates. It should be provided with a large aquarium, and should not be kept in a tank less than 65 gallons. The Porcupine Puffer needs alkaline conditions and water temperature between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it is puffed up, its spines get erected and we advise you to handle it with care. The Porcupine Puffer produces a toxin, which is known as tetradotoxin, in the skin and viscera that makes it unpalatable to most piscivorous. The Porcupine Puffer acclimatizes quickly to an aquarium life, and needs lot of hiding places with rocks and crevices. The Porcupine Puffer is not at all considered reef-safe since it nips over the corals and can make them suffer by darting poison on them. It should be kept in a fish-only aquarium, and it is highly recommended not to add multiple inhabitants in the same tank. Also, acclimation time of one to two hours should be given to this fish. The Porcupine Puffer has a distinct feature to save itself from predation - by ingesting water into the ventral portion of its body, it blows up so it becomes difficult for the predators to ingest it.
The Porcupine Puffer is olive-brown with a white underbelly and brown patches across its back. Its body is covered with spines that lay flat against its body. The Puffer has a yellow iris and its pupil has iridescent blue specks that are quite beautiful, but it is their personality that gives these fish lots of appeal. The Porcupine Puffer is very active and likes lots of other fish to swim around with. They will sometimes lay on the bottom and can easily become camouflaged.The family of Puffers is a distinct family marked by their ability to ingest water into the ventral portion of their body causing them to blow up for protection. These fish also have incredibly strong plated mouth structures that are used to bite and crush even the toughest shells.Almost all puffers are slow swimming fishes with powerful jaws made up of fused teeth feeding on a variety of slow moving and often hard animals. Also have a poison in their skin, tissues and organs. The poison is an alkaloid nerve poison.They will do well in a fish-only aquarium. Keep only one per tank.Puffers have bodies that are very rounded and often tapered at the mouth and caudal (tail) fin regions. Color varies, but many species have light spots and or spines.Feeds mainly on mollusks (hard, powerful teeth enable them to break through mollusk shells); also fed on other invertebrates including sponges and coral.Photo by Saltwaterfish.com member, dina12