Porcupine Puffer Fish (Diodon holacanthus)

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Porcupine Puffer Fish

Diodon holocanthus2342.jpg
Porcupine Puffer Fish

Diodon holacanthus

473 Litres (125 US G.)

25.4-48.3cm (10-19 ")


8.1 - 8.4

22.2-27.8°C (72 -82 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Flake Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

5-8 years




Additional names

Porcupine Puffer Fish, Balloon Porcupine Fish, Spiny Puffer, Long-Spined Porcupinefish, Freckled Porcupinefish, Bloat

Additional scientific names

Diodon hystrix holocanthus, Atopomycterus bocagei, Diodon maculifer, Paradiodon quadrimaculatus, Trichodiodon pilosus, Diodon sexmaculatus, Diodon quadrimaculatus, Diodon pilosus


Found across most tropical shallow reefs across the globe from the Atlantic through the Indian and on to the Pacific Ocean.[1]


Very hard to distinguish between males and females. No records of this fish being bred in captivity.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Not reef safe, keep in a fish only saltwater set up. May nip at other fish, do not keep with smaller fish. Will eat any crustaceans or invertebrates in the tank. Can work with Tangs and Wrasses. This fish is very messy and eats a lot, so adequate filtration must be used to keep water quality optimal.


Needs to eat hard shelled invertebrates to help keep their teeth down. Will also accept meaty frozen foods.

Feeding regime[edit]

Twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Needs a spacious tank with places to hide and explore. An SG of 1.020 - 1.025 is preferred and good water conditions are a must as this fish can be sensitive to changes.


A very curious, somewhat comical fish. Will puff up if startled, or removed from the water, however be aware that this can cause fatal internal problems so must not be encouraged!


A short stout body with a short nose and large eyes, a pale yellow base colour with brown blotches, and as it's name suggested, the body is covered with spines which are laid flat when swimming, will be raised and combined with the infamous bloated puffer fish body when startled. The longest spines are on it's head.
Also known as Bloat in the film Finding Nemo.




  1. Fishbase (Mirrors: Icons-flag-us.png) Distribution

External links[edit]