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
dawn - 2010-12-03
I have a question. I have a green spotted puffer. I was misinformed and didn't do a lot research before I got them. I had gotten a small tank and it clouded up real fast and for a week I fought ammonia and ph levels. Til I went and bought a bigger tank. Here's where my question is... my 1st puffer sometimes lies on the bottom of the tank curled up in a ball. Only for a brief moment. When it's in the ball I can see that he's still moving fins and breathing. Is it normal or is he sick? After his brief lie down he gets back up and swims around again. In the new tank all the levels are where they're supposed to be. Otherwise he is quite active.

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  • desiree noel camacho - 2010-12-08
    If your green spotted puffer fish is on the bottom of the tank that means it's dead.
  • murry - 2010-12-17
    Hi I just bought a spotted fresh water puffer yesterday and seem to have a similar problem. He's real active for a while then he sits in the vegetation. It's almost like he rests and then gets more energy. Is this normal?
  • Steven - 2010-12-20
    It's not uncommon for puffers to literally "curl up" and sleep.
    Here's a picture of my little guy taking a nap:

    Three things are really important to help with puffer waste levels if you already have a decent size tank (At least 30 gallons, unless you don't mind also stunting the growth):
    1) Properly cycled tank
    2) Aragonite (Simply amazing stuff and it will help keep Ph levels close to 8.)
    3) Proper feeding. Puffers are pigs of the sea and will eat and eat far more than they should. Make sure to use the proper snails as Malaysian Trumpet Snails are too hard, especially for younger puffers. Freeze dried bloodworms are a common meal, but lack nutrients found in other foods. The more variety you offer, the better off the puffer will be.

    That's the bare basics, but I hope it helps.
  • Experienced Fish Owner - 2011-09-04
    Even though I am not a puffer owner (yet), I know something's wrong when
    I see it, or hear it. Now, it could be taking a quick rest, but from what I know
    it could be a little sick. I would go to the store where you got this puffer and ask them. If you got it from wal-mart I suggest you go to a more professional store, not a grocery, clothes, everything store.
Meg - 2011-02-09
I found a fresh water pufferfish at WalMart, it's tail has been almost completely eaten. Would it grow back if properly cared for?

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  • Experienced Fish Owner - 2011-09-04
    I've had fish that have had the same tail bitten problem, they are not lizards,
    they do not grow back. Make sure to look carefully at the fish you want to buy, for any cloudy eyes, weird swimming or anything else. It could be a disease.
Aleshia - 2011-08-17
So I saw this adorable puffer fish at WalMart and I want to buy him because I feel that he needs to be rescused from that awful place. I already have a 50 tank but I dont want to add him into that community because I have too many small fish. So, I have a reserve 10 gal tank and I was wondering if I saved only one puffer and did consistant water changes would he be okay in a 10 gal tank?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-17
    A 20 gallon is recommended. I think if you were just going to use the 10 gallong very temporarilky - it would be OK - otherwise it is just too small.
  • Dawn - 2011-08-29
    I have 2 spotted green pufferfish in a 3 gallon aquarium and both are doing good together. I did have them in a 1 1/2 gallon aquarium and they did fine in it. They get along. I clean the tank once a week and add a little aquarium salt in it. I also use an air pump in the tank too. I feed them twice a day. They like the freeze dried shrimp. I have had them for about 5 months and they are growing.
Marcella - 2011-08-19
I just bought a spotted puffer and a blood parrot cichlid from wal*mart. Unfortuanently, the blood parrot cichlid is a bit mean and nips at my puffer fish. My puffer fish just stands vertically wedged between the filter and the corner of the tank (he is able to get out) and stays there for hours. They live in a two gallon fish tank with a temperature of 72 degrees, they have plants and rocks and a cave. Is he just getting used to this new enviroment or is this not a good habitat for him?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-20
    Your tank is way too small. You need at least a 10 gallon just for the puffer. At least. Otherwise you are running a big risk of stunting, agression and death. For the two, you need at least a 20 gallon. Might want to read up on whether they can be OK tank mates as well.
  • Fran - 2011-08-29
    Both Cichlids and Puffers are incredibly aggressive. I have both. - Not in the same tank. The previous reply is right you need at least 10-15 gallons for your little puffer but I wouldn't recommend putting him in a tank with anything. The only thing that might survive in a tank with him is an octo or a loach. No promises though. I had an albino catfish in with mine for a year and then one day he just up and ate him for sh*ts and giggles. They can snap at any point and eat your whole tank. You probably know this, but they have teeth and you need to give them crunchy snacks (like little snails) or else their teeth overgrow, they can't eat, die etc... Hopefully you also know that green spot puffers live in brackish water- you can look it up just read a little bit they are pretty low maintenance once you figure out some basic facts about them. Oh, and cichlids are just jerks they nip at everything even their own kind.
Arden - 2011-08-15
Okay, so I have 1 puffer in a 30 gallon tank, and it's been totally fine, but I came home one night and he was sitting at the bottom of the tank, his spots are dissapering and he's all dark with a little black on his belly. He hasn't moved from that spot for 2 days now, and is breathing very deeply. He now has this thick clear coat forming over his eyes. What do I do?? ):

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-15
    Aniaml World article on Fish Diseases and recommended Treatment link
    Check out the symptoms and see if something corresponds to what you see. I didn't see anything specific - cloudy eye - sounds like you got a bacterial thing going on though.
Sincere - 2011-08-11
Hello fish lovers. I just got me a gsp to add to my 40 gallon tank. I have a gouami, 2 tiger barbs, tinfoil barb, pinktail chelse, black skirt tetra, painted tetra,dragon eel, angel fish, 2 zebra danios, 3 aries,and a palaco. I'm new to the fish world so can you give me some feed back? Thanks

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-11
    I think (know) you are placing to many fish in a 40 gallon. Rule of thumb is 1 usable gallon (subtract gallons out for decorations and gravel) for each one inch the fish are going to be as adults. Otherwise you will have stunting, possibly death and definite agression. So the Puffers need about a 15 gallong tank on their own for the two. Community fish are supposed to get along and for the most part they do. However, humans are supposed to get along also and there is always a Ted Bundy or Jeffry Daimer in the midst. Your fish need plenty of room and they need their own safe territory and mixing many together - even if community fish - in too small a tank is a recipe for problems.
Leanne Kendrick - 2011-05-17
I have 3 GSP in my 20 gallon tank w/ Lg rosy barbs. 2 of the GSP are doing very well. 1 looks like he is starving, any ideas?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-17
    You need a 20 gallon tank for 1 pufferfish and you have 3. You need at least a 50 gallon tank. That would help. Tank is too small they gang up and try and reduce the population so maybe they are not letting the 3rd puffer eat. What happens when you try and feed them? Do the two prevent the third from eating? Until you get a larger tank can you put a divider in to let the 3rd one eat?
  • Daniel Yap - 2011-07-09
    Separate the hungry little guy to another tank. 2 of your puffer might be bullying it.
    Hey, don say its not true. I have experience about this little guy, so hurry before its too late
  • NICHOLAS KIESER - 2011-08-10
tiffany - 2011-08-04
I just got 5 puffer fish. I love them. I love watching them swim around. I lost 12 puffers when I moved to my new house because of the water. I hadn't thought about getting any more untill I went to the store and found some bigger puffer fish then what I had`before. I couldn't resist myself. I have a rain bow shark and upside down shark and some guppys in my tank will the sharks mess with my puffers?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-04
    They are neat looking
Rian L - 2011-07-05
I know gsp like to eat fiddler crab and zebra danios. Its hard to find other fish that will be a good match for a tank for my two gsp. Anybody have any suggestions?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-05
    WOW there seems to be greatly varying points of view on this. There is everything to absolutely no other tank mates to any non-agressive community fish that is larger than the puffer is fine. They are agressive and big time fin nippers. Many tank mates just dissapear. They should be able to be with their own kind or definitely recommended that the other fish be nice community fish. Large tank and no crowding with plenty of plants and hidey holes.

    In a community setting, be sure there is plenty of room and that the aquarium is well planted. It can also have a variety of other decor such as rocks and roots. Place the decor in a manner that breaks their line of site and provides plenty of retreats for all the fish.

  • Daniel Yap - 2011-07-09
    Well, maybe only their own kind they will tolerate, They're racist, except if you set up some hiding space for the other fish.
  • Chelsee Coffin - 2011-07-11
    I have molly fish in with my puffers and they don't bother each other but of course I make sure there is plenty of room and hidding places. I havent lost a fish in months so I would say try some mollies.
  • Anonymous - 2011-07-12
    Well Carol you might not want to stick your hand in the cage!!!:}
  • Anonymous - 2011-07-28
    I have two gsp in my tank. They seem to get along fine with my rubber lipped pleco's and albino rainbow sharks.
Nicole McDonald - 2011-07-22
My puffer fish is just floating there. We have changed the tank several times. It seems like every week it starts to stink! We have the correct temperature and brackish water for the green puffer. We have the bubble maker to help oxygen flow and a filter. He looks really sick, Help!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-23
    Where is the water coming from? Purifying tablets, chlorine? Something is strange if the tank is smelling that bad. I also included link for Fish Disease and Treatment Look up symptoms and also tank conditions. Corresponding treatment is recommended.
  • Betta Care - 2011-07-23
    Check for water source, I suggest you get water from a different source and treat it with conditioners available in pet stores before you let your fish in. Also make sure that the water is run through a new filter before you let your fish in. I suggest you check the following 2 sites which give a lot of information about fish care and

    All the best !