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!
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Thomas Herrick - 2012-11-20
I first got my 2 green spotted puffers about 2 years ago. They are SLOW growing, although so much fun to watch! Both of mine are about 3-3.5 inches long. Since their scales are small (Practically naked on the white underside) they are VERY suceptible to a number of diseases (especially the pasasitc ailment known as freshwater Ick.) Earlier said, they display multiple personalities. They're not aggressive, no matter what the websites say. The better word to use, is 'Curious.' They love exploring new places within the tank, and nip at small organisms (Snails, crustaceans) in nooks and crannies within the tank. HOWEVER, I don't reccommend them for tanks that have fish with elegant, flowing fins. They'd be ripped apart within at least a day. It's always good to buy them in pairs (or more) so they can have members of the same species to comfort them. As earlier stated, this is a fish with a LOT of personality, so it'll need 'friends.' All in all, it's a fun, easy fish to keep. Comfortable in tanks around 20gal or more, with lots of same species buddies. It'll eat ANYTHING, (Sometimes the fins of other fish) so only be slightly cautioned. Rating: 10 out of 10! I hope to have mine for years to come!

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  • Anonymous - 2012-11-20
    Oh, and also, mine are in a 55 gallon freshwater river rock setup, with a GIANT comet goldfish, large rainbow shark, 2 large silver dollars, a Florida Freshwater channel catfish (about 7 inches right now), a sunset gourami, and a leopard synodontis catfish. That'll give you some good species ideas to refer to (they're primarily semi-aggressive, but they hold their own if nipped or annoyed.) They all get along great! :)
Tubby - 2012-05-31
We had 3 puffers that when we got them from wal-mart the tanks were busted, they were selling them half off to try and get them out of the broken tanks. To my understanding they had gone roughly 3-4 days with cold temp, no filter. We had a couple guys we had always thought were cute and would come to our fingers. We got a 29 gallon tank and everything we could need to try and keep these littles guys alive. Though just yesterday one got stuck in a little hole inside an ornament that we had. A rather large branch tunnel we didn't even know there was a hole on inside. Our little friend tubby died and now another one is dying. When puffers die do they release toxin into the water, do we need to do a 100% water change. Or is it something I am not thinking of any help would be appreciated. We bought them sickly and since with us they had been happy and healthy with white big bellies and growing in size by atleast a third larger?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-31
    When they are attacked they release a toxin which usually kills the fish that attacked them. I don't know about if the die, but it is better to error on the saide of safety. So I would do a water change but a gradual (say 25%) at a time. I wouldn't want to stress out the other fish.
  • daniel - 2012-11-07
    Do you have them in brackish water
Jeremey - 2008-10-03
I just got my lil green guy yesterday. He is very small...prob about 1.5 inches and seems to be doing really well. He swims around a lot and goes up and down the tank almost constantly. At first I did not know what to feed him so I tried regular flake food, which he wouldn't eat. I then tried frozen brine shrimp which he wouldn't eat either. So I read up on what to feed them and went to the pet store and asked for snails which they gave me for free. I also bought frozen bloodworm which the salesman advised at the pet store. He instantly ate the snails and loved the bloodworms. I am going to start my own snail colony to keep plenty on hand because they need them to keep their teeth ground down. I have read that they need seaweed too but I am not sure if this is true. A lot of information out there is so different. He is in a tank by himself because he is aggressive and all. My pretty fish are in a separate tank so they don't get eaten! Any information on what else to feed him would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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  • crystal - 2012-07-13
    hi there i have 1nile puffer and 1 fig 8 puffer both where in a tank with cichlids 2 jack dempseys ,a talking catfish a purple spotted gudgeon,1 fontosa,1 dolphin ,1 oska and 3 other that i can not remember the names of, basically hardy fiesty fish that can handle their own but the nile ate 1 of my jacks so i put him in his own tank. but then the oska was attacking the fig 8 puff and stealing his meat so i put the oska in with the nile an now he waits his turn like a good little fishy lol and now they are both perfectly happy tanks, all puffers eat mostly meat, as in mussels,cockals in the shell,live shrimp,frozen and live foods never flakes or pellets you can buy all of them in more or less any good fish shop i feed them both frozen mussals by hand bout 3 times aday if you dropping it in the tank then just make sure you clear the left over parts wen hes done, an if you get frozen cockals bash it so the shells cracked an drop it in tank give them 1 aday again clearing it b4 you put another in, hope ive give you sum ideas
  • wendy - 2012-10-10
    I was told you can drop an algea disk in the tank also and the will nibble on it
  • Sherie - 2012-10-15
    Mine really love the freeze-dried brine shrimp from Wal-Mart. I also have a colony of snails that they love. I have noticed that if you feed them too many bloodworms, they tend to seem more stressed in color. I feed mine bloodworms occasionally. Hope this helps too.
  • Heine - 2012-10-19
    I have a spotted Green puffer, also small, but had him put in a 3foot tank. He loves his freeze dried white shrimps. Hopefully i will manage to get him bigger, he lives with a African ghost knife fish and a Redtail black shark, for know.
  • daniel - 2012-11-07
    You can put danios, tetras, mollys, and platys
Blake - 2011-09-21
So will any kind of snail work? I have a lot of snails at my house or do I have to buy them??

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-23
    Some snails are for land and some for tanks. I would buy them.
  • Dan - 2011-10-13
    When I was looking into getting a GSP PetSmart told me that they had snails in with the live plant tank, and that they would just give them to me if I wanted them.
    WHatever you choose to feed them, keep in mind that GSP WILL eat other types of food, but occasional snails or shellfish are crucial; their teeth do not stop growing, and only crunchy shells will file them down. If left unchecked, the teeth grow to the point where they are unable to open their mouths and then you have to trim them yourself or they will starve.
  • Elaina Russell - 2011-10-18
    I get my GPS snails for feeding at the local pet store. Usually lots in quite a few different tanks. Round ones, cylinder ones, just snails.
  • Tanya - 2012-09-10
    Try buying and raising Ramshorn snails. They breed very fast and should be small enough for the puffers.
  • wendy - 2012-10-10
    Pet smart and petco gladly give you the little black ramshorn snail that come in with their plants for free. Another food they love are ghost ship you can purchase these for about $. 25 a i'll feed mine tese a few times a week. I alternate beteen blood worms, defrosted silver slider fish pieces and snail a ghost shrimp they are very happy! ! ! Best of luck they really are adorable little guys
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-10-10
    Most are fine and many are so easy to breed that id cuts the expensive of purchasing. The  Malaysian trumpet snails is one that you do not want to introduce.  Their shells are very hard and could actually break the puffers teeth making it unable to eat.  Ram horns are always a safe bet and easy to breed.
Frankie - 2012-06-11
I have a gsp, and he was doing fine for the first few weeks and now his stomachs black and he won't eat anything. He was in freshwater, so I moved him to a brackish water tank and he's not getting better. What do I do?

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  • Anonymous - 2012-10-07
    Check your PH and ammonia levels that is most likely the issue
Bree doan - 2012-09-05
My green spotted pufferfish is soo cute and bright with one white belly and he's the most happiest fish ever he's only 2 inches and in a 10 gallon tank with lots of plants and rock and he eats right out of my hand and loves his BFF baby Pleco they play all the time so I am only thirteen and he's got the most cared owner I buy him whatever he wants and he even goes to petsmart with me in his travel tank he's the most happiest prince well token cared of puffer so he's my baby and gives tank kisses

jenny dieringer - 2012-06-04
i have 2 puffers will they do well with black mollys.

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  • Anonymous - 2012-06-24
    I have mine in a tank with 3 mollys and they do great together. The place I bought them said they are tank mates.
  • Anonymous - 2012-07-15
    I have a community tank and got 2 puffers.  Just today the one puffer ate the fins off my black mama molly. I'm highly upset, and put the puffers in their own tank until I know what to do with them.
Chad Wilson - 2012-06-05
How ofen do you feed one puffer?

cali - 2011-12-25
I was going to get two green spotted puffers in a 3 gallon tank and I was wonderin if I should get them or would they fight to much when they start getting bigger!!!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-25
    You would need at least a 20 gallon tank for one of these fellas. It is strongly recommended that at least a 50 gallon tank for two. In a 3 gallon stunting or possibly death can/will occur. But yes, you can keep two together. Read the full Animal World article that is at the top of this page.
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    A 3 gallon tank is good for 1 betta, or 2 small fish like tetras (it won't be 3 gallon after you add decorations, substrate, heater, etc.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-02-06
    They will die. They need at least 20 gallons each plus more room if there are any more fish with them
  • Carla King - 2012-04-17
    I am so angry with the person in the fish dept at Walmart! I bought my son a 1 gallon starter tank, and 1 green spotted puffer with the recommendation from the person. Now after reading everything about the puffer I either need to take back the fish or get a much larger aquarium. Sigh. My son already named this cute little guy too. If he is going to be too high maintenance I don't know about keeping him. With one will it really be a big hassle? Do I really need a 20 gallon for just one? Can he survive well in a 10 gal or 15 gal?
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-18
    Carla. I would suggest re-homing the little guy or return it. These guys are a bit of work and not really for beginners. Unfortunately there isnt much that can survive in a 1 gallon tank.
  • kristie mckendrick - 2012-06-02
    You need to have at least 30 gallon per puffer fish. They are territorial and a 3 gallon tank would certain cause a war between them. I bet they would fight before they got bigger. I have my 1 puffer in a 60 gal. with 3 bala sharks, and 2 clown loaches, and a ghost knife fish, and pleco. And I had a blue lobster and the puffer ate my lobster (that cost me $30 puffer fish cost me $6 ) and it rules my tank (it's the smallest fish in the tank)... they are VERY! aggressive. I feed it snails and ghost prefers to hunt live food...I have to change my decorations and caves and tunnels in my tank around often as it becomes very bored. It's a very active fish! So if you get this fish I would recommend a LARGE tank even when they are young.... the fish are very easy to get sick ( they have no scales to protect from disease), so much care and water checking is needed..they are brackish and can be marine acclimated as they become adults.
shannon - 2012-05-16
We have a gsp. It's the size from the tip of your pinky to the first bend, when should we move him to a bigger tank? We have tiger barbs, tetras, pitcus catfish and 3 mollies in the tank with him? We just got him on Saturday so we are still learning what to do, we will be getting another 10 gallon tank for him to go all salt water with in the next two-three months if possible. Any help with this will be greatly apperciated. Thanks in advance.

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  • Bill - 2012-05-30
    What size is the tank that your fish are in now? With the quantity that you have sounds like you should have at least 50 gallons for all of the fish to have their own space as you may know some tetras and of course your gsp can be territorial I have a rather large setup with hospital tanks and quarantine tanks I take my aquariums very seriously and leave nothing to chance, I always say when in doubt get a bigger tank, I also have tetras mollies dwarf guaramis sword tails angel fish and my gsp in one tank and all get along rather well in a 200 gallon tank