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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Ashley - 2010-04-13
My 2 1/2" green spotted puffer Sushi (full marine) has this really weird habit of shying away from hands. Doesn't matter who it is, she just hates hands! lol anyone else see this? It's a rather odd, yet cute habit when she tucks in her little tail!
And for some saying their puffers nipped their freshwater fish's fins, I think I have the theory as to why: Freshwater fish are tank bred and raised, meaning most have no idea as to what a predator is. When a predatory fish (gsp) comes into the mix, most don't know how to defend themselves except to try and hide or bolt away, Meaning the puffer can and will catch and/or nip fins. Most marine fish are wild caught or tank raised for a while after being caught. They know what predators are and had to live with, learn to escape, and defend themselves since birth. When I added a Heniochus Butterflyfish (a VERY peaceful species) after having Sushi in the tank for about a year, she tried to nip at the long streamer that's his dorsal fin, but he wouldn't allow it and gave her a "dominance push" backwards showing that's not okay. It was rather cool to watch and she hasn't bugged my heniochus, or any of my fish for that matter. I think that saltwater fish know how to defend themselves better than freshwater fish do, hence they're less likely to get nipped or caught as puffer food.

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  • Alicia - 2010-04-22
    My puffer shys away from hands too! I found that moss balls are very useful. She uses it as protection when my friends come over and stick their hands all over the glass.
  • henry - 2010-05-01
    I got 1 at wal-mart and he hates to see my hands too. He will start to swim fast and jump around he's a spaz.
  • Nick - 2010-05-07
    Java moss is the preferred plant for GSPs. It is one of the few plants that survive in brackish water. Though...the closer you move towards full salt, obviously plants become less of an option for shelter. Use coral and live rock then. Puffers absolutely love little caves or cubby holes. It is natural for puffers to be scared of us. We are huge compared to them and not to mention they do understand that a hand entering the water and moving stuff around isn't normal in their aquatic environment. All fish have fear of humans to a certain point. Some just freak out more than others. Puffers are extremely sensitive fish. If you want your puffer to be less fearful, do what I do. Hand feed your fish. Of course before and after you do this, clean your hands! I give them frozen krill as a treat. I hold the krill by the tip and dunk it under the water. Just keep still as much as possible so that they understand you are not a threat. For the first couple times, don't let your fingers penetrate the surface. Just let the food go through. They will still see your fingers cause they will be in their cone of vision, but without entering the water, they see you as less of a threat. Good luck.
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Jessica - 2012-01-05
I'm worried about my 1.5 inch GSP Delilah. I have recently moved her into a 10.5 gallon tank from a 8 gallon tank. I feed her meal worms, snails and blood worms occasionally. Her personality has changed- she has lost her attack when eating and now hardly eats because she seems as though she has no energy to do so. Her teeth have grown quite a bit to not eating the snails so I had to clip them myself with cuticle clippers after I had sedated her in water with clove oil and still she is not eating any better if at all. I don't know what to do please help us!

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  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    buy live clams and you may have to trim the teeth if they are long or it will die from starvation
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alize becerril - 2011-11-11
I have a 20 Gallon tank with two guppies and a very big apple snail. Would a GSP be good in that? Also would it eat my snail or guppies?

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  • Alex Burleson - 2011-11-12
    A Green Spotted Puffer, would most likely attack your snail. Additionally, it could attack your guppies as well. Those are not ideal tank mates for a puffer. While Puffers are exciting fish to have, they can be quite aggressive.
  • sharon - 2011-11-15
    THEY WILL LOVE THEM, MAKE A GOOD SNAcK FOR THEM.
  • Mel - 2012-01-11
    I will say this, I work at Walmart in the Pets department. We are currently selling GSP and they don't do to well with us, for one they are in a very small tank (prolly 10gal) there is like 7 of them in there, plus there is about 10 African Ciclids in there as well. I feel bad for them and I find it cruel to keep them in that sort of condition. Their fins are all bitten off and they are so stressed out that all they do is hang out at the bottom of the tank with this very sad expression on their faces. I really wish there was something I could do. If I was allowed to have fishes where I live i would buy em all out and put them all in they're own private 20gal aquarium. I don't know what to do for the poor guys.
  • Alex Burleson - 2012-01-11
    A Green Spotted Puffer would most likely severely harass, or damage your snail. Additionally, as they are calculating fish, they could potentially harm your guppies. To create a beautiful environment in your twenty gallon, consider choosing a few fish from each of the following species. Please note, that you are not limited to these species of fish:

    Cardinal Tetra
    Boseman's Rainbowfish
    Mollies
    Yo-Yo Loach
    Cherry Barb



  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    And the GSP will end up dying as it is a salt water fish.
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Melissa - 2012-01-24
This comment is for all the people that are concerned about the green spotted puffers changing color. I am not an expert, so this is me sharing my experience with them. I have 3 GSPs...Larry, Mo and Curly. I have had them for over a year and they were very little when I got them. They are now big and plump, look very healthy and have beautiful fins. I do not believe that every time they change color, that they are stressed. Every night when I shut their light off, they will calm down, go down to the bottom, and each one finds a place to 'sleep'. They get very pale, lose most of their spots and rest on the bottom of the tank in the sand. If you walk by, or turn on a light in the room, they will wake up and instantly regain their spots and color within seconds. I think they change color sometimes when they are calm. Just my opinion...

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-24
    It is more than your opinion. It is your observation and a good one and i thank you for it.
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Allyson - 2011-11-06
My fish keeps going in the filter and he just lets the water pull him is he sleeping? Please comment.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-11-06
    Does he ever swim or eat? If he never swims, he may have died, otherwise keep an eye on him. It is not good for him to continually be pulled up into the filter - this could kill him eventually.
  • coree - 2011-11-06
    I don't know? But I have an idea try moving the filter somewhere else in the tank if he goes in there he must like that spot if not the filter was in his favorite tank area so try it.
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Anonymous - 2011-10-03
I just got my adorable little gsp and I also have two other tanks. I feed all my fish twice a day 6 a.m. And 6 p.m. Now I'm wondering should I get him on the same schedule or can I feed him a bit more?? Your comments would be appreciated..

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  • Olivia nelson - 2011-10-05
    I believe a 25 gallon. I also have a few other fish in the tank which I now realise crowd my poor gsp. I think he is still happy though. I feed the other fish twice a day with flakes and give my gsp mayb 2 mini frozen bloodworms a day. Am I doing him more harm than good by that?? And also I haven't tested my heater yet I have had him also a week how often would you recomend me testing the water. I know unsound un-educated on this it's just my first gsp. I wanna do it right :)
  • jordan king - 2011-10-04
    First of all, how big is the tank in which the gsp is held. They should only be fed once every 2 days (frozen food). They won't eat all the food! They're really messy eaters. Make sure you're not adding to the ammonia and nitrates in the water as the amount of food going in can change that!
  • Alex Burleson - 2011-10-04
    Feeding schedules are good things to keep, however they are not essential in feeding your fish. A puffer will eat when you feed him/her given it's hungry. Feeding them twice per day, is appropriate. What are you considering/have been feeding the puffer?
  • Elaina Russell - 2011-10-18
    I feed my 2 GSPs in the am when I get up and in the eve. at dinner time. Usually a cube of frozen Carnivore I buy at the pet store. During the day sometimes I feed them about 10-15 small snails. This is a treat for them and it also keeps their teeth from getting too long! Fish Dentistry is very expensive! Good luck!
  • Fran - 2011-10-30
    Feeding your fish once per day is plenty. Twice is too much....
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Jen - 2011-09-29
HELP!!! I am taking care of my sons biosphere 30 gal while he is at college. He comes home in intervals to do scheduled water changes so I don't have much experience other than feeding his cichlids and the adorable GSP. His 2nd old Puffer keeps jumping into the back of the biosphere where the pump and filters are. So far he has been unscathed however, I came home today to find him wedged by the pump and heater. After turning off the pump ,I was able to net him and get him back in the tank. To my horror ,it looks like he has a hernia by his side fin. It is not an open wound but I fear he might have suffered from excessive suction. I was pleased to find him actively swimming in normal control. He is eating normally. He just has that odd puffed out shape by his right side fin. Will it recede or is the little doomed? I am planning to get to the aquarium store in the morning to try to jury- rig a net across the back in hopes that it will prevent him from jumping into the back of the bio-sphere. Thanks in advance for whoever can offer info

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-30
    I don't know of anything you can do but unless severely injured, I would think the swealling would just go down. If a similar thing happened to a human ther would be swelling and then probably a black/blue mark but it would go back tonormal. So on a fish - I would think just need to wait and unless severely injured it would just go back to normal.
  • Elaina Russell - 2011-10-18
    You need to cover the access where he is able to jump into. asap! Next time may not be so lucky!
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jason - 2011-10-08
i have about 60 cichlids from 1-6 inches in a 250 gal. tank with LOTS of lace rock...a perfect paradise for any fish. here's my question though...my girlfriend wanted one of these green spotted puffers and well we ended up with six, lol and that's where the laughing stopped. I was told these fish were aggressive and would do fine with my cichlids. They both like salt and are mean... but when we put them in the tank they immediatley started getting picked on AND THE SMALLEST ONE GOT EATEN BY MY BIGGEST CICHLID.....and 5 min. later MY CICHLID DIED!!!!!! are these fish poisinous? Called 10 different pet stores and no one knows. Can you help?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-08
    Scroll up the article to Description. You will read that the GSP can emit a toxin from it's skin in defence reaqction to agression. I am sorry ---
  • Elaina Russell - 2011-10-18
    Yes! they are poisones! Explaining why your Cichlid died. I keep my 2 puffers in a 30 gal. tank JUST the 2 of them share. Any thing else that moves in there is the crustaceans I give them to eat. Which they do very quickly!
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Elaina Russell - 2011-10-18
I have 2 spotted green pufferfish Mo and Scanner. Not sure they are both Male however? These are much more interesting to have in my aquarium than the common fish types, I think!They look at me and I can most times read what they are saying! very human-like eye movements. Also, the way they move in the water is un-like average fish. Up, down all time favorite. But, Boy! are they fast when they want to be! Very fun and entertaining! Would love to know more ie: what sexes they are and breeding puffers!

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Experienced Fish Owner - 2011-09-04
I am a very experienced Fish owner, Not so much with puffers though.
Can someone please tell me where to get the GSP? Please don't tell me Wal-mart because I am not buying a sick puffer.
Thanks :)

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  • Adam - 2011-09-09
    I just got one at Petland, I have gotten fish from them before with good results. I have also gone to Pet Smart...of the ones I got from there, say 10 10 15 over time...only one made it past the 2 week return cycle. I think they have them there too. You might have better luck than I did.
  • Anonymous - 2011-10-03
    I bought my awsome little guy from a pet land he is a happy little healthy guy, just watch them for about a week in the store, and see how they act you will be able to tell if they are worth it! Providing they're not sick they are so worth it! :)
  • Olivia - 2011-10-03
    To be honest I just to my gsp a few days ago but I have bought others from there before and never had a problem. Couple pleco but no sick ones or anything. And my gsp seems to be doing just fine happy and healthy :)
  • jodi - 2011-10-18
    i have bought two GSP from walmart and have yet to have any problems
  • Alex Burleson - 2011-10-18
    Green Spotted Puffers, can be purchased from many online retailers. Large chain pet stores such as PetSmart, and Petco are also known to carry these fish. They are not difficult fish to acquire, so you should not have a difficult time finding one.
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