Animal Stories - Spotted Green Puffer


Animal-World Information about: Spotted Green Puffer

The Spotted Green Puffer is a very popular attraction and the most commonly available freshwater puffer fish!
Latest Animal Stories
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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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.
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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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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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Diego - 2013-08-20
Why are my puffer fish floating on the water surface? They are not dead, they've been acting like this ever since I removed the bubbles. Please help me.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-20
    You removed the bubblers? Why? It might be that they are not receiving enough oxygen through their water. In addition to that, it could be any number of things. How large is your tank and how long have you had the puffers? They may have not acclimated to the tank yet or if the aquarium has not cycled enough it may be too unstable to help fish thrive. Also, puffers do somewhat better in brackish water as adults, so you may consider adding salt depending on their age.
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Daisy - 2013-03-19
Hello. I have a green spotted puffer fish. I have had him for a year now and he seems to be doing fine! He gets along with my other fish (1 molly and 2 Bumble bee gobies) Could I add another fish? Such as another Goby?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-19
    Really depends on the attitude of the puffer.
  • Quinlynn - 2013-04-04
    Yeah but I heard that you could put stuff in the water or on the fish to help them heal along with their fins.
  • Quinlynn - 2013-04-04
    Yeah but I heard that you could put stuff in the water or on the fish to help them heal along with their fins.
  • Aaron - 2013-08-11
    They can be in either fresh, salt or brackish water. Just put some salt in the tank with them, it's easy to figure out it alleviates (removes) the stress from the fish. Mine gets along with bumble bee fish too that's in my opinion because they hide and stay low to the ground and blend in, and they are also fast so the puffers can't catch them. Once I hade a puffer with a Black moore (goldfish) they got along great then one day I put a fiddler crab in there. He nipped at the black moore and because of that my puffer killed the crab immediately.
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Quinlynn - 2013-04-04
Hi my name is Quinlynn. I have a large fifty gallon tank with my Indian puffer and my two spotted puffers. I have a problem. On my way home one of the spotted puffers has taken a bite out of the other what do I do to help heal this? Help.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-04-06
    Well, as with any wound it will need time to heal. You could try putting in antibiotics to the water to reduce the chance of infection. Also keep an eye on the fish. If they continue to be aggressive towards each other the best thing to do is separate them into different tanks. Also, provide plenty of hiding places and plants so that they can each form their own 'territories'. This should reduce/eliminate fighting.
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Anonymous - 2011-04-20
I am a beginner to the world of fish, and I think I know what I am doing, but want it to be verified.

Here's my setup: 30 gal tank with 2 Sunburst Mollies and 2 sunset platies. I have the temp controlled at 72-78 degrees, I have some big rocks (one big enough to provide shelter), and a few plants, as well as a Chinese dragon bubbler.

Here's my question: I added a Green Spotted Puffer to the mix. Is that ok? I went to WalMart, and their fish fact tag says that the puffer will be ok with Mollies. He seems to be swimming around the whole tank, not bothering other fish, but I am worried about it after reading this website. Any suggestions?

Also, you might not be able to help on this, but my male Mollie keeps picking on the female. I was told to expect them to mate, but it looks more like torture and not mating. It could be that I am a beginner (outside that of a Beta) and just do not know what to expect. Any help here would be appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-20
    You can click on the links attached to provide you with more detailed information on the fish you have selected. Just a note to say that it is recommended that if you have other fish with a Pufferfish, you have at least a 50 gallon tank. The puffer fella likes to nip at fins. He is not supposed to be agressive and he is supposed to get along with other fish but you need a larger tank. You need a bit of vegatation there for the fish to hide and play in, whatever. Two mollies mating (movie on U-Tube) looks like the guy is trying to slam her, push her and shove her. Weird to see but it must work. Now maybe yours are fighting so watch the movie and then you'll know for sure. Looks like they were fighting to me too.
  • Anonymous - 2011-04-20
    Hmm. I wasn't told that I would need a 50, but that could be the case. The little guy has been in the tank for about 3 hours now, and he is starting to warm up to it. He swims around a lot, and doesn't seem to bother other fish. He was almost completely grey when I added him, but now his head and some of his body is back to Green. I have a 10 gal that my Beta is currently residing in that I could move him to. I bought some live plants tonight as well, so within a few weeks I should have some more greenery. I currently only have plastic plants, good ole WalMart doesn't say anything about live plants being a necessity.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21
    Yep, the information says if you just have the puffer, then a 20 gallon tank is fine but if you are adding (or have) other fish, you would need at least a 50 gallon. Puffer fish also need something to wear their teeth down so snails or some such other hard food. The 10 gallon tank is too small for the puffwer, definitely too small if there is another fish in it.
    Did you find the move on Mollies on U-Tube? There is one on just gold fish also. Strange.
    Yes, you need some plants. Have fun and enjoy. Remember all these fish are going to get bigger. The mollies will probably go 4 - 6 inches.
  • Anonymous - 2011-04-21
    Yes. Well, I took Mr Puff to Petco and donated him. I decided that I didn't want to ruin his little life just because I jumped in without surveying the water first. I think once I am out of an apartment and have my bigger tanks I will go get another puffer and try again. Thanks for all your help!

    Oh, random question. How many more fish can/ should I put in this 30 gallon? Currently I have 2 Mollies and 2 Platies. Thanks!
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21
    I am responding to the other email which tells me you took the puffer back. You are asking how many additional fish you can put in a 30 gallon tank with 2 mollies and 2 platies. If you think 1 inch per gallon (just as a rule of thumb) and subtract out for gravel, decorations etc a 30 gallon should leave you with about 27 gallons of swiming area. So the two mollies are 12 inches (as adults) and the two platies are 5 inches (as adults) which equals 17 inches. So you can add two other compatible fish whose adult size is not greater than 5 inches each. OK? Yeah probably best to take back the puffer. Good thinking on your part.
  • Dioafui - 2011-05-09
    You're fine, but the male fish will chase the female to death. You should have at least three females per male, because of his desire to pro-create. I don't know about puffers, but you spelled betta wrong.
  • nic - 2011-08-05
    Here's where you went wrong. NEVER buy fish from Walmart they are cruel to their fish. They all have an illness and are not healthy fish and Walmart does not have any idea how to care for fish. They just want to make money. I had gotten a mollie and it had 50 babies and think first about how big each baby gets. hope this helps.

    p.s get live plants like water sprites
  • brookes - 2013-03-17
    thats not true i bought mine from walmart and it was a little agrisssive at the first 4 days then it got calm it was just scared thats all. all i got to say is love your green spotted puffers. i mean who can't love that little pug face of there's...lol..!
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Liam D - 2008-02-06
Horatio and his teeth!! Following on from the overfeeding incident Horatio seemed off his food and was a nasty grey colour and not his usual interactive self. On looking at his face he appeared to be all teeth, his top teeth touching his bottom (GSP s have 4 teeth/beak for crunching shells). Googling puffer teeth showed I would need to trim them for him to eat or he would starve! Fearing he would die anyway I carried out the following procedure. I used a dish about 2 inches deep containing his tank water, about 1/2 pint, to which I added 3 drops of clove oil. I placed him into dish and gently rocked the dish until his fins stopped moving and he rolled onto his side. Then I fished him out in a net trimming his teeth with cuticle cutters (heart stopping stuff), steady hand required and not for the faint hearted! Once I had trimmed back a suitable amount I placed him back into his tank still in the net with the filter water on him until there was movement. About 20 minutes later he was swimming around. A day later he was looking a lot less grey and is now his playful self.

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  • nick - 2013-02-21
    i dont have pufferfish but every fish i buy it dies over the next couple weeks what should i do about this the oly thing i got is two corycats and thair the only ones that didnt die
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