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FAQs about Burrfishes, Porcupinefishes Reproduction

Related Articles: Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Puffers in General, Puffer Care and Information, A Saltwater Puffer Primer: Big Pufferfish! by Mike Maddox, Pufferfish Dentistry By Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey,

Related FAQs: Diodontids 1, Diodontids 2, Diodontids 3, Burrfish Identification, Burrfish Behavior, Burrfish Compatibility, Burrfish Selection, Burrfish Systems, Burrfish Feeding, Burrfish Disease, Puffers in GeneralPuffer Selection, Puffer Behavior, Puffer Systems, Puffer Feeding, Puffer Disease, Puffer Dentistry, Puffer Reproduction, True Puffers, Freshwater to Brackish Puffers, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes

Porcupine Puffer Sexing -- 01/19/10
My name is Kristina and I have had my porcupine puffer for almost a year now. My question is how can I tell if it is a boy or girl?
<You can't be certain without dissecting it (which you probably do not want to do). With age, enough good food and enough space the females seem to grow a little larger and rounder. However, this character is supported only by the few cases where the sex was determined e.g. by mating activities. Many fishes simply cannot be sexed simply by looking at them. It's even possible that a fish starts as a male and becomes female later.>
I have tried to look at web sites, but they never tell you anything. I was wondering if you could help me out. Thank you so much, and your site has been a great help when I had problems with my tanks. Thank you again and keep up the good work. Kristina
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers, Marco.>

Eggs in prefilter- 03/25/07 I want to start by saying I never have to look any further than here. You guys are awesome! Question, I have a extremely healthy stripped <Striped or burlesque?> Burrfish in a 125gal. FOWLR tank along with a spotted grouper, niger trigger, and a few other smaller fish (2 tangs, and a lunar wrasse). <Yikes... crowded...> About 4 days ago my Burrfish refused to eat and began to swell/inflate only around its lower half. This lasted about 2 days and over night he was back to his normal self. Today I went to clean the prefilter and noticed thousands of what appear to be eggs swirling around. <I do see these...> they are white (some with a orange tint) and about the size of... mustard seeds. Attached is a photo. Please help me identify. Many thanks! Dan Chicago Il. <I agree that these appear to be fish eggs... I do hope you have HUGE filtration on this system... and wish I had the money you likely spend on water and food! I would remove these eggs to waste... not self-fertile. Bob Fenner>

Eggs in prefilter... Again! Diod.  4/10/07 Hey Crew, <Daniel> About 3 weeks ago my Burr Puffer laid eggs which mostly all ended up in my prefilter. At the time I was unsure as to what they were and how they got there. Bob was nice enough to quickly respond and confirm that they were indeed eggs based on the photo I attached. Two days ago my puffer again began to swell (lower half only), had no appetite and swam erratically back and forth in the tank (this was the same behavior he <Make that "she"> exhibited prior to the last time I found eggs in my filter) before reverting to its normal appearance/behavior overnight. This morning I looked in the prefilter and it was filled with eggs! Three weeks later? Why is this fish all of the sudden laying eggs? It is quite a mess to clean. Any help is appreciated. Dan Chicago Il. <Mmm, the time of the season, its life... the foods, the moon... It's amore! Bob Fenner>

Sex of Diodon holocanthus I just purchased a puffer fish (Diodon holocanthus) and he/she is about 4 inches. How can I tell what her/his gender is? <Hi Heather,  It's a question that is asked all the time, but sadly we don't have an answer for.  None of the experts in the Puffer Community have figured out a way to tell the sex of a holocanthus (Common Porcupine Puffer).  There are many rumors around it...  the spots on the body, the length of the spines on the forehead, the ratio of the size of the eyes to the body...  All of these ideas sound like it could be something... but sadly there really isn't any way to know for sure, outside of having it checked with blood sample at a lab.  Which I'm quite sure could be done, but the cost would be rather high.  out of the 150+ species of puffer around the world (from freshwater to Marine) there are only a handful of them that actually show Sexual Dimorphism (males females look different).  Almost all are found in the freshwater species.  Wish there was a way to tell exactly, but as it stands now it's just a guess.  Thanks -Magnus>

Porcupine Puffer Male/Female? Hey! I got good news, and bad. My puffers are getting along perfectly, they love each other.. But my female black boxfish has recently pecked some skin off of my puffer, what should I do so it doesn't get infected, etc? <Is this fish in a tank by itself? I would place it so... Boxfishes can be quite toxic, and shedding is a bad sign of potential release... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfshfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot for any help! Colin Davis

Re: Porcupine Puffer Male/Female? Thanks for your help, it answered a lot of my questions. Even though I have a relatively small tank (30-33gallons tall), I have two puffers in there. They are both the same size (3-4" inches). I know I have done everything wrong by putting in another one after the original one has already claimed his territory. But is there anyway to gradually and peacefully let them get used to each other? <Sometimes these (Diodontids) Puffers can be kept more than one to a system, but yours is way too small for any long term habitat... Two won't go in a 33 gallon volume. Bob Fenner> Or do you have any suggestions? I would appreciate it if you could help me out. Thanks again, Colin Davis

Porcupine Puffer Male/Female? Hi, I checked out your site about the porcupine puffer. But it did not answer any of my questions.. <Hmm> I recently purchased my second porcupine puffer, they are both adjusting, gradually getting used to each other (they were in the same tank at the store before). But my question is, the new one I just received, is much lighter in colour, almost white, where as the original one is much darker, almost a dark brown color. <There are differences here... and they can/do change with mood, foods, water quality as well> How can you tell which one is the male, and which one is the female? <No external differences... you'd have to "take them apart" (not able to put back together)> And how is it possible to breed porcupine puffers?? <Has been observed (I've even see this "in the bag" during oxygenating...). Not been spawned, young reared in captivity that I know> Any information would be appreciated, thanks a lot. Colin Davis <There are a few "puffer" websites. You can use your search engines to locate them, or look on our WWM sites Links Pages. Do read through them for input as well. Bob Fenner>

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