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Old 05-22-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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Porcupine Puffer

The Porcupine Pufferfish
(Diodon Holocanthus)
General Information
Also known as the long-spine porcupine fish and balloon porcupine fish is a large marine puffer very common in home aquaria because of its widespread distribution and their dog like personality they seem to develop with time in captivity. In the wild these puffers can reach sizes of 19 + inches but only usually average 10 inches and almost football sized in captivity and live to 10-15 years .They can be found in the US off the coasts and Hawaii,Gulf of Mexico , Bahamas, Southern japan towards Australias east coast.They are active swimmers up until they reach 5 to 6 inches and this is believed to be the reason they are so wide spread.As they grow even larger they will become a slow moving bottom dweller.
Porcupines should be housed in a tank 180 gallons or larger because of the sheer mass and size needed to turn around and not to mention the feeding habits that come with keeping one. There should be plenty of swimming room and large caves for them to rest in.Glass tops are recommended because these fish will splash and spit water from the aquarium in an attempt to beg for food and from personal experience it is a must.It is not fun when your puffer spits salt water in your eye. Quality filtration is a needed to keep water parameters in check in your puffers home.Some important things to note are puffer's are scale-less so they are very sensitive to medication. Copper shoud never be used in any circumstances. Also internal parasite's are common so keep an eye out for this in newly aquired fish.
Feeding your pufferfish is easy as they will accept most foods with little effort on your part. The hard part is not overfeeding and not giving in to your puffers attempts at begging. I along with many puffer keepers are guilty of giving in but it is not good to do on a regular basis.Hard shelled foods are nessesary with all puffers to keep their ever growing beeks worn down. They should be fed table shrimp , clams ,mussel, squid,and scallops fresh from your local supermarket.Frozen foods as whole krill , (Mysis for the younger puffs),mussels,squid etc are also good . Crayfish are also great as a weekly treat for your puffer if they are available in your area. I personally keep a small supply of hermits and snails in for my porcupine to eat whenever it want to.This makes a great snack and lets your puffer trim his beak at the same time.When you feed your puffer you want just a slight buldge showing in his stomach.I fed mine when he was smaller two small meals a day but since has been on a once a day diet. Once a day is a good for the medium sized puffer but once its even bigger every other day should suffice. Something I stay away from entirely is feeding fish. Some puffers naturally eat fish but not in this particular puffers case even though there is debate on that subject. Fish along with overfeeding can cause fatty liver disease in pufferfish and is one of the main contributors to early death in these fish. You can also offer algae even though most will not touch it.

This is another debated topic with porcupines. Like all fairly aggressive fish being able to keep your porcupine puffer with tank mates is entirely up to your fishes personality. Some if not most porcupines will kill any and all tank mates. Some do fine with other fish. Fish that are generally suggested to mix are larger fast fish like a tang, non aggresive trigger fish like pinktail's and blue throat's. Also mixing puffer's is never a good idea. Anyone who wants to keep other fish in the same tank has to be aware of what can happen if your puffer does not accept tank-mate's and needs to have a back-up plan to save your other fishes from early demise.

All in all these fish make a great pet. They easily recognize and interact with their owner and provide a lot of amusment . The greatest fish to own in my opinion and i would recommend anyone with the proper set-up to give one a try.
Information from : Various books, websites, hours of reading, personal porcupine puffer keeper.

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porcupine, puffer

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