This fish probably has more common names than any other fish – in addition to being called the porcupine puffer, it is also called the spiny puffer, hedgehog fish, balloon fish, plus a slew of others. Although it is known for its ability to inflate itself, do not let it do this in the course of catching it. Inflating is a strain on the fish, and is to be avoided if possible.
The fact that the porcupine puffer is found all over the world is probably due to the fact that it is not a good swimmer, and is easily caught in currents. Also, it will eat virtually anything. The teeth are fused into what is usually referred to as a “beak” and with this the porcupine puffer is able to crack the shells of crabs, clams and the like. It has a huge appetite, and needs to be fed at least once a day, or more frequently if possible. Feed it a variety of meaty foods, including some that still have the shell so its beak gets a workout. One of the most endearing qualities of this fish is that it becomes very tame, and will “beg” for food like a puppy dog; be very careful if you finger feed this fellow, as it can do some real damage if it bites you.
This is definitely not a fish for a reef tank. It is best kept either alone in a specimen tank, or with a few other large fish. It will try to eat anything it can. Give it a rock arrangement or a ledge to hang out under, as it is really a nocturnal fish.