Animal Stories - People Talking About Puffer Fish


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Heidi - 2014-03-16
Hi! My husband and I have been the proud owners of a green spotted puffer (Penelope) for the last two years...we raised her in a 6 gallon fluval edge...which I know is way too small for her, but she's always been a very happy fish with a very white belly. We've also always just put aquarium salt in her tank...never marine salt. We've recently moved her to a much bigger 25 gallon tank. And she seems unhappy. Any suggestions? Also, do you think we should transition her to marine salt? We want her to have the longest and best life that she can't have...we are VERY fond of her! Thanks so much!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-20
    Sometimes a new enviroment can cause some stress, and that may be why its acting unhappy. But if its eating, that's a good sign. These fish do need a much more brackish water as they get older, with a salinity of 1.018-1.022 for an adult, this is almost a full saltwater environment. You can get a marine salt at a pet store, which may be helpful as they include trace elements that are essential for saltwater fish.
  • keyonne - 2014-03-26
    How tall is it?
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Anne - 2009-03-14
I have a striped puffer for about two years, he/she is awsome! Very docile so far, actually I have a hard time keeping things in the tank with him/her, but not because he bothers anyone, it's the other way around! We call him "lil man" he's been so awesome. He stopped eating live food a year ago, I got worried something was wrong as he was keeping a couple guppies as buddies. But I got him eating a variety of frozen foods. He's about 7" long, plump, beautiful blue eyes. He shares his tank with two small clowns, anemone, blue damsel, and an engineer goby that's huge. oh yea, Patrick, the chocolate chip star, he gets hand fed too. They are smart, people tend to think fish don't have much brain other than instinct, but I beg to differ!

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  • Anonymous - 2013-03-20
    this is a freshwater fish.... why do u have it in a salt water tank?
  • Anonymous - 2014-03-11
    Need to change your tank to freshwater!
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Animal-World info on Spotted Green Puffer
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Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

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  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
Reply
Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

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  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
Reply
Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

Click For Replies (5)
  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
Reply
Animal-World info on Amazon Puffer
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estrondo - 2009-06-20
I am looking for somewhere to get a hold of more of these puffer fish. We originally had 3, but lost two. We absolutely love them, but have had no success in being able to replace them. Does anybody know where (in Canada) I can get more of these wonderful fish?

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  • Anonymous - 2010-03-29
    I've seen them at Big Al's in Edmonton Alberta just the other week.
  • steve m - 2012-08-26
    You can find them at Big Al's fish shop in Hamilton Ontario if this is in your area, maybe they can ship!
  • Anonymous - 2012-12-08
    I got mine at Pisces Pet Emporium in Calgary.
  • Cory - 2012-12-16
    Big Al's Aquarium Services in London Ontario has about 7 of them right now. Ask for 'Tony' the week-day fish guy. He is really great! :) I just got one. Absolutely adorable!
  • Max miller - 2013-03-21
    I need help fast ! My South American puffer is not eating anything he is in a 50 gallon with. Just 10 pea puffers the pea puffers are eating beef hart . But the. Puffer is just not eating anything like beef hart, live worms and gost shrimp.
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-22
    Hey Max, if your South American puffer is new to the tank, it may just be getting its bearings, so I'd be patient. You could also try offering brine shrimp, as shrimps help mimic their natural diet.  However if you've had it for a long time, check its teeth. Their teeth constantly grow, so puffers need crunchy foods like snails in their diet to wear the them down. If the teeth get too long puffers will refuse to eat, and so the teeth must be trimmed.
  • AmazonFisher - 2014-02-09
    Well I have not had any luck with finding them in the usual stores but if you call the store and request one you can order one. I have also had luck with On-line shopping. I use the website AquariumFish.net But be warned do not get the 80 dollar puffer because you will not be able to care for it if it's your first puffer. I recommend the dwarf puffer for it is truly a Freshwater fish. I Am Looking for the Brazilian Puffer, also known as the Amazon Puffer. If you could help me with how to keep a puffer please help me out (FRESHWATER).
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Animal-World info on Spotted Green Puffer
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Mike Thornton - 2014-01-20
I just got 2 puffer fish. Put them in my 40 gallon tank with a cichlid. 5 hours later, the cichlid died. Is this due to the puffers poison?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2014-01-20
    The puffers do not excrete poison into the water, there is only poison present in their bodies which can kill other fish if they try to eat them. How long have you had your cichlid and was he much larger than your new puffers? Puffers are known to be somewhat aggressive and will go after fish who are smaller than themselves, so it is possible he was attacked and killed.
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Animal-World info on Amazon Puffer
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Arual kamrock - 2014-01-03
I work for a pet retailer and my primary interest is in aquatics. I've been devouring as much info as possible for two years and put my best foot forward Into my 3 freshwater tanks. About 9 months ago I bought an amazon puffer. The retailer did not know much about this fish, and the poor fellow likely was hungry and uncomfortable for a month of so when he came home with me. I try hard to be diligent and study each fish and its needs. I soon realized the dire importance of snails and other foods that would help keep 'puff daddy's' teeth filed down. He did his share of glass surfing and seemed neurotic for a good while. This fish became my baby; I knew he has special needs and I felt this charming little fellow deserved my utmost attention. I painstakingly stuck pond snails to the sides of my tank, shooing away any competitors so that puffy would have them. His main diet consisted of bloodworms and pond snails. and occasional daphnia. But now, contrary to all I have read, he readily accepts not only sero-nip tablets, but regular flake food! I'm so glad I challenged all the Info that lists puffers as taboo. Certainly one must know what they are getting into, but this little puffer had captured my heart and seems to be thriving better each day in a mere 20 gallon community tank.

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Animal-World info on Spotted Green Puffer
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TT - 2008-11-28
I wish people would quit about brackish requirements for keeping Spotted Green Puffers. It has no factual bases. The Spotted Green Puffer is an amazing fish. In their natural habitat they breed and spawn in Brackish water. However, adults typically migrate to freshwater. Adult Spotted Green Puffers have been found in Marine, Brackish and Freshwater habitats. They will do just fine in a freshwater tank. However, you can't just take one which has been living in brackish or marine environment and drop them into a freshwater environment. The reverse is also true. As long as you provide a clean freshwater environment with hardwater and a slightly higher ph, this great fish will do just fine. Don't spit out information you read on the internet from people whom have no idea what they're talking about.

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  • Blake D - 2010-04-25
    So can I expect any of the thirteen SGP’s in my small pond outside to breed? I gave them plenty of plants and a few small lilies for shade from the harsh southern Louisiana sun. Coolers and heaters keep the water temp between 75 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit year round. They never really show any aggressiveness towards there pond mates of neon tetras, mollies, platys, guppies, and the one loan beta. All other live bearers bread wildly with a high rate of fry survival. I even throw extra salt water from my reef tank into the pond and keep it at brackish levels. Should I be focused on planting swords? Or should I focus on giving them a more rocky type playground with slate standing straight up like discus use for there eggs? Or both?
  • Anonymous - 2010-08-19
    No, no, no, no, no, no.

    They are born in FRESHWATER, and migrate to higher salinities as they mature.

    You are right in mentioning that they require a higher pH... but don't dismiss the comments about the varying salinity these little guys require! Having your salinity bounce between 1.008-1.020 over the course a 2 months is ideal.
  • Christy - 2010-09-17
    That information does not come from information people read on the internet. It comes from actual experiences with green puffers doing extremely poor in freshwater conditions. I dont know if you have ever seen a green puffer in marine conditions, but i can guarantee it looks much better than yours.
  • des - 2011-02-22
    You are right.
  • coenobitaexpert - 2011-04-06
    I think we should just be kind to one another. No ones puffer fish looks any better than the rest. This comes from a marine biologist, specializing in Coenobitas. Just cool your puffers.
  • Anonymous - 2013-11-06
    My puffer got sucked into my filter and when i tried to see what was clogging my filter it poked me does anybody know if they are poisonous and can they harm humans
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-11-07
    The Green Spotted Puffers, such as Tetraodon nigroviridis and Tetraodon fluviatilis, absorb poisons from their food, specifically algae inside the guts of clams and other shellfish. When they stop feeding in the wild, the amount of poison slowly declines. Consequently most pufferfish found in captivity will be without poison.
  • Jo - 2013-11-20
    Hi. I am new to GSP fish. Got as a gift with all equipment that's should have. Problem is as was reading it needs brackish water. Went to the store which it was bought at and they said they are in freshwater in their store, looking healthy. Now mine is small so how do I adjust his water to brackish ? It's the only fish I got in this 100l tank and she is around 2 inches no more. Please help.
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Floveme - 2013-10-12
Help! My green spotted puffers eyes are yellow! I can't find anything about the coloration and wanted to know if it's normal?

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  • David Brough - 2013-10-19
    They should be yellow. You have a perfectly healthy puffer :)
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