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
Wendell - 2011-04-13
I recently bought a small (1 inch) GS puffer fish from Walmart. I temporarily put my 5 1/2 aggressive Oscar in with the Puffer in the main 100 gal tank. My 10 gal Oscar tank had sprung a leak and I was in the process to build a new tank for my Oscar since he constantly fought with members in big 100 gal tank. On the 2nd day the aggressive Oscar tried to swallow the Puffer but kept spitting it out, on the 3rd try he spat it out again as the Puffer ballooned himself out. In about 3 minutes the Oscar swam very violently and in a few seconds was as dead as a door nail. The Puffer kept nipping at the other fishes and I decided to exchange the Puffer for a less
aggressive fish. I got 3.00 credit. I think I will get a red fin black shark. Warning watch out for them cute Puffers. They are nippers and can kill mates. By the way, the Oscars are aggressive and kill too.

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  • Wendell - 2011-04-13
    Forgot one important thing. I read in the internet that the fresh water puffer is the second most poisonous fish in the world. I'm sure its safe with aquarium owners. Just be careful not to get stung. An aggressive omnivore like my Oscar died in about 3 minutes when he tried to swallow it. Yes Puffers will balloon up and inject his venom its his natural defense. By the way, the Japanese eat salt water Puffers (blowfish) when prepared by a skillfull chef to avoid organs that are loaded with toxin.
Anonymous - 2010-08-23
This is in response 2 pufferlover. I work at walmart and have recently bought 3 gsp. It is against our policy 2 add any extra chemicals 2 the tank because it would effect the other fish. Puffers are sold very quickly I don't know how you know the same fish are in the tank unless you put a tracker on them. Further more don't blame walmart 4 your lack of common sense 2 research the fish b4 u bought them like every1 else. Puffers don't need salt they can be acclimated 2 fresh or saltwater. And most fish need some variety in their diet. Try as you like I have no doubt we will continue 2 sell these fish. Fish should never be bought on impulse research should always be done 1st.

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  • Kathryn - 2010-08-23
    I recently bought 9 gsp from Walmart because I could not stand to see them in the deplorable conditions. There were 4 dead in the tank, they all had ick, fins were a mess, and were especially thin. I could not stand to see them like that. I hope that your Walmart takes better care than the one I went to. So far, it has been 6 days and we only have 4 left. : ( It was worth the money to have the puffers not spend their last days in a horrible small tank with dead tank mates, little to no food, and nobody giving a damn about them. I hoped that I could save them, but evidently not.

    I have had puffers for years, done my research and can say that the vast majority of GSP will need more salt in the water as they get older to thrive. As far as variety in their diet, we give them ghost shrimp, brine shrimp, snails, krill, and frozen raw shrimp. Mr. Anonymous, when I bought the puffers, the employee said they had NEVER sold one of these fish.
  • Anonymous - 2010-08-24
    Just because gsp's can remain alive in freshwater doesn't mean that they can thrive. There is a big difference between them just being kept alive, and growing well and being kept in optimal conditions.
  • Anonymous - 2010-08-24
    Just because gsp's can remain alive in freshwater doesn't mean that they can thrive. There is a big difference between them just being kept alive, and growing well and being kept in optimal conditions. I work at Wal Mart, too, and I love my job, but am repulsed by the way they keep all of their fish. In any big company, seemingly less significant beings are always sacrificed in one way or another just for the dollar no matter where you work.
  • pufferlvr - 2010-08-25
    Actually...upon realizing that their care was inadequate my local Wal Mart has stopped selling them all together! You should be proud to work for a company that realizes when they are wrong and fixes the problem. Furthermore, you talk about the customers not researching before buying a fish but you don't think the workers not knowing a thing about the fish is wrong? Plus when you have a "trained" staff member telling you that this particular fish needs certain things why would you doubt them? The problem is not the customers but that was a good attempt at putting the blame on everyone but the people who should know what they are talking about! That was almost a good argument...
  • pufferlvr - 2010-08-25
    Also...look on any website and it will tell you that GSP's may survive for a short time in freshwater but it may be months rather than years.
  • Anonymous - 2010-09-07
    I work at walmart too, research should be done as puffer fish are a hard fish to keep. They are high maintenance fish that need a lot of room. They don't need salt water but they tend to be healthier and live longer in water with one teaspoon of aquarium salt per every gallon.
  • royce - 2010-09-16
    I always buy my GSP from walmart. Recently I moved from TX to TN and transported all 12 of my GSP.. Sadly without much research have found out the hard way that STRESS KILLS these poor guys QUICKLY! All but about 3 died.. I am very sad as I have owned them for over 1 year. I will never make the same mistake twice, hope someone else can learn from this. I've never had any problems with gsp until I relocated them to another state. The fish stores around Cordova/Memphis TN suck!! Even their walmarts are not "super centers" and their fish selection is a joke. I miss Texas Walmart/Petsmart/Petco. (HUGE fish selection!!)
  • I Know What Im Talking About - 2010-10-17
    They can be kept in freshwater tanks but DO require aquarium salt I have 3 green spotted puffers in a 25 gallon tank. Two are maybe 3 inches and 1 is 2 inches. They eat bloodworms. But as I said they do need salt. I bought one in the summer of 08 and didn't use aquarium salt it turned all black and other greyish color. Then I went back and asked the experts there. It turns out they do need salt. When I got home I had aquarium salt. There was my puffer dead as a door knob. I bought one and put it in a cycled tank with other puffers they have been living for about one and a half years and are doing fine. They need salt!
  • Anonymous - 2010-10-20
    I went to a Walmart in Orlando today, and the fish in the Pet Care department made me sick. There was a dead, floating puffer with half of its face deteriorated off. I could see his skull, beak, eye-sockets, everything. Most of the fish tanks had dead, half eaten fish in them. Also, most of the fish that were alive had ich. It was absolutely disgusting, and I will never purchase a fish from there ever again.
  • Ruth - 2010-10-31
    I agree before buying a pet you should do research, but it is not like it is a puppy. I also saw these cute little puffers and read what was on the tank, I bought two Dwarf Gouramis, that was suggested as compatible. I then read it may eat them? One did come up missing but we have a large castle that they can get into. So should I give my other fish away before he comes up missing? Worried.
  • Selphy - 2010-11-18
    No fish should ever be sold at wal-mart. I have never seen a healthy tank in that place. You stress that one should research fish before making a purchase, but anyone who has enough interest in keeping any kind of fish certainly would not look for them at wal-mart. Anyone who buys a fish from wal-mart is looking for a cute little goldfish to put in a bowl, not an animal that requires any care.
  • Missvlaa - 2010-11-20
    I was in walmart not too long ago and they also had puffers that were not taken care of, their stomachs were all sunken in like they were starved. The only food they were feeding them was the flake food which they do not eat. The store did not stock any food the puffers would eat. I was very upset at this and how all the fish they had looked sick. I went back a couple days later and all the puffers were gone...hmm I wonder where they went. Wal mart should not carry fish if they do not have experienced people working with them.
  • Emerson \"young money\" Nichols - 2010-12-10
    I very strongly agree with your points but I do however believe that wal-mart should give out general information on all fish before in-store purchase. I have 2 gsp's in a community tank with 2 angelfish, 3 skirt tetras, and 3 guppies. They all get along well and they love to play in the coral. Another thing is that I strongly urge you and everyone to keep their gsp's in a full marine tank because they DO live longer in full marine tanks around 15 years but can accommodate to brackish.
  • Anonymous - 2010-12-29
    I have been to walmart and been in their fish section and I would never even think about buying a fish there! They do not take care of their fish and I wouldn't be surprised if the fish died before you can even get them home! Walmart should not be able to sell fish for the single fact that the employees don't know anything about fish to start out with. By having walmart sell fish is pretty much causing abuse to all the marine life that is sent there! GRRR! I don't even want to think about it anymore cuz it make me so mad to think about!
  • Anonymous - 2010-12-30
    As a Walmart employee, I was glad to find this site and information about the Green Spotted Puffer Fish. I try to inform customers of the care for the fish they buy and this site is helping educate them for their GSP fish! Thank you. Like all businesses these days cut backs are making good customer service harder. I tell kids that they should go home and research the fish they want on line before choosing. If parents/people care, they will set up an aquarium correctly as they will have to continue caring for the fish. I understand that small GSP don't need salt like the older ones do. Is this correct? Thanks for your site~
  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    Well I am glad your walmart is nice, but mine is not. They do not take care of their puffers. They are in a tiny tank (5 gal) and they are always sick. The WM here has no idea how to take care of them and could not tell me anything about them, except that they didn't know anything about them. How do I get mine to stop selling them or provide the proper conditions and care? It's really driving me crazy and I can't afford to keep buying them all. At least they had good last days, since they all died. Well, except for the very first one I bought a year ago. He is the happiest little guy, but I got him the day he got to WM.
  • AA - 2011-02-14
    I know there may be some walmarts that take better care of their tanks than others. It just so happens the one by my house had quite the problem keeping their puffers alive. A good amount of time went by and each time I went back to their aquatics center the condition that the GSP fish were living in was less than acceptable. They were all half dead with ick all over them. I got fed up and filed a complaint. Since then the conditions of walmart's aquatics have been better, but the GSP has no longer been available to be sold.
  • misty - 2011-04-10
    Hi my name is misty and I have 2 gsp and a 10g tank. I am having treble in the water. I just added them in there yesterday and I clean the rocks out before adding them and I clean every thing I was going to put in there and I also did the filter as well before turning it on. And yesterday the water was clear but now today it seems to be like a cloudy white starting from the middle working its way out. I never seen something like this before and I am fully new at owning a fish tank and these gsp. I keep looking up how to keep the water clear but the net is pulling up all these other things that have nothing to do with what I am looking for. I was wondering if you would please help me out? And how I can keep this water clear? Please get back to me please and thank you so much.
nick - 2011-03-24
Hi I was wondering what is a good kind of crab or something that can live in my tank and the puffer will eat or at least be able to break down his beak? I can't seem to find anything that does not need land and water and he does not seem to like the small cone looking snails. I can find bigger snails but they just seem too big so I have not tried them yet.

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  • Brody L - 2011-04-05
    Hi nick,
    If you buy a live plant from your local pet store (your puffer will need a live plant anyway) the plants there are usually sold with what I'm guessing are Malayan snails. If you have algae or scum in your tank they will grow fast and they breed lots. I'm pretty sure that they can survive in brackish water but I'm not sure....
fishysushi - 2011-03-22
Can I keep a green spotted puffer in with my 4 inch crayfish its brackish water but only 10 gallon?

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  • David Brough - 2011-03-24
    First of all, the GSP will definately outgrow a 10 gallon aquarium. As far as the crayfish goes, the GSP may see him as food. This is not certain, especially if you feed him other meaty foods but they do snack on invertebrates. Also, we used to keep crayfish feeder goldfish tanks and occasionally the crayfish would eat one of the goldfish, I don't know if the goldfish were sick or just hanging out too close to the crayfish, but either way the crayfish ate the goldfish.
ashley M - 2011-03-18
I need help my puffer fish had a weird thing come out of it idk if it's eggs but it is in like a sack as a bigger ball at the end and 2 other little balls almost looks like a sperm egg or whatever you call ...

newbie - 2011-01-31
I just bought a GSP and was wanting to feed it ghost shrimp. I was wondering how many a day would be appropriate to feed it? I don't want to over feed it.

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  • AMF - 2011-02-23
    One ghost shrimp once a week...and you need to gut load it first...put it in a separate tank and feed the ghost shrimp an algae's not only a good way for them to keep their "wild" instincts, but gut loading the shrimp first is a good way to give your GSP some veggies...
Pam Boval - 2011-01-05
Oh come on people..I purchased my 1st GSP..Mr. Peabody at WalMart approx 2 years ago..he is adorable. I purchased my 2nd approx 6 mths ago from WalMart give Mr. Peabody a buddy of his own species. I have a 150 gallon freshwater tank with angels, diamond tetras, red tetras, zebras, loaches..etc. It is a great community tank and so far I have never had any problems w/socialization, etc. I do remember when I brought Mr. Peabody home he had ick so I went ahead and treated my whole tank for ick..which I do whenever I add new fish just as a precautionary measure. He responded well and is growing and thriving beautifully. His new tank friend is also doing well..I HAVE NEVER FED THEM ANYTHING BESIDES WHAT I'VE ALWAYS FED MY OTHER FISH..which is shrimp pellets..which the puffers seem to like the best..they also like the freeze dried whole river shrimp, which you can purchase at most pet stores. They also consume flakes which my other fish feed on. Why do people have to make things sooo complicated? Just enjoy your tank and quit listening to all the gibberish that people constantly bombard us with. They are probably the most fun fish that are in my tank and yes...they do seem to recognize us after awhile. Mr. Peabody is happy and his "partner in crime" also seem to be happy. They propel around and makes whoever happens to see them chuckle and laugh a bit. Good Luck and believe don't have to go buy special food, etc. to have a happy and healthy GSP...I learned something by reading your site though..I didn't know that WalMart couldn't treat their fish that appear to have disease..which is the case with a lot of the fish I observe in their tanks. My puffers are the only fish I have ever purchased from WM and only then because I immediately fell in love w/them when I saw them..Happy fishing.....

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  • Anonymous - 2011-01-11
    Good job! I completely agree with you! I got one from WalMart too and it ended up dying....I plan to get a new one!
  • tracy - 2011-01-10
    Do they need salt in their water to live? And I have 2 in a 10 gallon tank is that enough room for them. Plus how do you know if they have the ick?
  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    Hey this is for tracy.... you can tell if it's ich by the fish's skin. If it has little white specks then it most likely has ich. You should probably treat for parasites as a preventative measure anyways.
  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    I agree that puffers are very hardy fish, but wouldn't you rather know you were providing everything you can for your fish, like he would get in the wild? I only say this because your puffer can be fine one day and dead the next. It happens. And it sucks when you know that it is your fault. So my opinion is, better safe than sorry. Good luck with yours. By the way, their requirements get more tricky the larger they get. It might be easy now, but what about when the salinity needs to be raised at 2 inches, and at 4? And what about when he gets big enough to eat the rest of your fish? They get more aggressive as they get older. So good luck with yours. Hope it works out well for you.
  • Ashley H - 2011-01-20
    Hi Pam, I was reading your statement about the puffer fish and you seem to know a little more than the wal mart people where they were bought from. My husband bought me TWO baby puffers and I only have a 1.5 gallon tank. He didn't do the research and I don't know much about fish considering this is our first tank. I have been looking to upgrade the tank to a bigger size because I do want other fish. Walmart said to only feed them the Tetra flakes and that was it. The more I research the more I see they can eat. Any advice on what I can or can't or should do? Thanks for your time!
  • cassie - 2011-01-21
    Walmart is WRONG! You need a 30 gallon for now. Really, puffers want 30 gallons per fish. And you most likely will not be able to put other fish with them. Some people have success with that, but I have aggressive GSP's so I would advise against it. And they will eat fish flakes, but they are carnivores and need meat. Crustaceans, ghost shrimp, blood worms, and snails the size of their eyes. Only once per week with snails. Feed 2x a day while they are small, under 2 inches, after that, every other day. Also, you will need to test your water in your tank and make sure it is acceptable. pH of between 7.5 and 8.5, and make sure your nitrate, nitrite and ammonia is basically 0. There are products you can buy that will help you with this. I would advise against listening to very many people about how to care for your fish. I have seen many bad things happen when the care requirements are not followed. When your puffers get over 2 inches, start adding salt. You can ask for my email if you would like. I have been caring for fish, among many other things, for 10+ years and know a lot, through trial and error and research...
  • Bobbette - 2011-01-27
    I bought a spotted puffer at Wal Mart and was told he would be fine in my community tank with my Mollys and Angels. I took him home and within hours he terrorized my poor little balloon belly Molly and ate the whole fin off of the top of his body. It was awful. I moved him to the spare tank and keep him by himself, and I love him. He is so cute. All I have fed him so far is shrimp pellets. I'm going to a real pet store tonight to talk to them and get him exactly what he needs. It was wrong of me to buy him on impulse without researching him first. But Wal Mart should train their employees. They should have to know how to take care of the pets that they sell. He is so cute and irresistible, I would have bought him anyway for my spare tank, but if I had known how aggressive he is, I could have spared my poor little Mollys fin.
  • george - 2011-02-13
    You said that you have them with angels, what is your salt level because every site tells me that they need salt.
Marita - 2011-02-01
I have a 10 gallon brackish tank. I purchased 2 GSPs about 2 months ago. The one died after 2 days and the other has been hanging in there. He recently has been acting lethargic and not as happy. Also right before his tail, after his gills looks "deflated". It's flat and has no real depth but only on his right side. I thought maybe he was lonely so I got another GSP to keep him company a few days ago. He seems to be doing a little better and is swimming around more. But his tail is still flat on the right side. Has anyone heard of thus? Know how to remedy it? Can point me in the direction to where I can get dome answers? Thanks!!

Irma - 2011-01-15
I recently purchased 2 spotted puffers and from what I've read on here, I now know why my tank got cloudy. I only have a 10 gallon tank. My question to anyone that knows anything about Walmart is....Why is it that Walmart keeps them in a small tank and it doesn't get cloudy? My tank was very clean for the first 24 hours. I left home and came back at the end of the day and it was cloudy? What can I do for the mean while to keep my tank from becoming cloudy while I get a bigger tank?

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  • posiden - 2011-01-19
    You need at least 1-2 really good filtration units. Plus it could be your ph balance along other problems.
  • KC - 2011-01-29
    You might need to use start rite in your tank for the chlorine and ammonia levels. Those two chemicals can cause your tanks to appear cloudy.
  • Chelsye - 2011-01-30
    Walmarts tanks are probably all connected to the same filtration so it's not like having a filtration system on one 20 gal tank it is many tanks on one giant filtration system (as are most pet store tanks) more water in the circulation keeps the water cleaner longer and if the walmart has an experienced fish person then there is probably a large tub in the back which adds more water then appears in the tanks (kinda like a computer network system) If you take a small zip lock bag of your tanks water in to any pet store they will check your ph levels and will check for other chemical problems in your tank (usually for free) they will explain to you what you need to do to correct any problem with your tanks chemical levels. There is also a "clear water" product made by jungle you can bye it at walmart or any pet store I have used this product for over 8 years and have never had one problem with it (read the directions first of course).
Chris Buttram - 2010-11-14
1) GSP's are like people. You can live on minimal foods and WATER, but other nutrients make you healthier. As does SALT for Puffers.
2) I have a 55 gal. tank with....and don't hold your breath....6-GSP's, 4-hatchets, 8-White fin tetras, 6- Golden rasbora's, 4- Mollies(and they love the salt too), 7-fancy tail Zebra Danios, and 2 of ea.- Kissers, Dwarf flame, Golden, Opaline, Blue Gouramis. Not to forget this has been a passion, not a hobby, for 24 years. Read up everywhere on how to care for ALL fish...and don't be pissy to other posters.

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  • Tom - 2011-01-03
    Chris, I have become quite an enthusiast myself over the past year, and now have a 55 gal, a 30, and a ten...all full of a variety of loaches, barbs, tetras, platys, guppies, gouramis, catfish, plecos, etc. I happened upon your post this morning while reading up on some of my new additions, and just wanted to touch base with you, as it sounds like you have quite a wealth of knowledge and I'm always looking to expand my fish keeping horizons. If you have the time, I'd love to have a fellow aquarist to chat with. Looking forward to your reply.
  • holly - 2011-01-06
    Hi how long have you had your gsp's? Do you think two could live in a 30 gal tank, at least for a year or so?
  • Ashley H - 2011-01-20
    Hi Chris -

    You seem to know a lot about fish. I was needing some advice if you have some time. My husband brought home some GSP the other day and a tank from walmart (because a day earlier I had saw them and said how cute they were). They sold him 2 puffers and a 1.5 gallon tank to start off with because he wanted something small for our daughters room. Now that I've done some researching I see they are very hard to take care of and need a BIGGER tank. I'm searching around trying to see what size I need. I would like to add some little sharks or something with the puffers if possible eventually. What size tank do you suggest? What filter or what accessories do you recommend? I did add salt to the water and they have a place for hiding. Walmart told my husband just to feed the Tetra Flakes. As I have been reading they need much more variety than that. Can you give me any advice? I really want them to live I have actually grown attached to them. :)Thank you!