Animal Stories - Spotted Green Puffer
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Spotted Green Puffer
The Spotted Green Puffer is a very popular attraction and the most commonly available freshwater puffer fish!
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I just bought 4 Spotted Puffers and put them. They are all by themselves without any other kinds of fish. They seem to be doing well so far but they have a few spots of black on the bottom of their bellies. Not all of them have it, I think 2 do; and they're tiny. Should I be worried? Also, I've been feeding them live bloodworms, should I be feeding them anything else just to vary their diet? They're super cute fish!
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Yes, they need snails (about as big as their eyes) to trim their teeth. If you do not feed snails, their teeth can grow too long and they will not be able to feed. Also, they love variety. I feed mine flakes, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp, dry shrimp, pellets, a marine mix of frozen stuff, and also some tubifex sometimes, along with weekly snails.
I forgot to add that GSPs are wild caught, so most likely have parasites. You should treat for both internal and external parasites. I use API general cure and it has worked well for me.
I think the best environment for green spotted puffers is saltwater not only because it seems better for their health, but the fact that they can and will tear your fish apart in a freshwater setup. I'll explain: Even though they can last for some time in freshwater, you'll soon notice that they become fish terrorists! All green spotted puffers are wild caught, where most fish have to fend for themselves. In your typical pet store, most freshwater fish are tank bred and have no idea what a predator is, so when the puffer with his/her extremely sharp beak shows up, they don't have a chance! I've seen many so-called "aggressive" freshwater fish have their pretty fins torn to pieces from a puffers sharp nip. Saltwater fish however, know how to defend themselves against predators and most don't put up with bad behavior. When I had my green spotted puffer (named Sushi), she tried to grab my coral beauty angelfish's fins, but the angelfish nipped back and chased her away. When she tried the same thing with my maroon clown, blue damsel, and royal gramma, they did the same thing and she knew not to even bother trying to nip them. I kept her for 8 years until she sadly passed away :( I highly recommend these cute little puffers for any brackish/saltwater tank, they act more like dogs than fish and have captivating personalities!
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Hi Ashley, Your comment was helpful..thank you! I was wondering if you could help me and my daughter. She wants to get two of these spotted puffers. Currently we just have "Isaac" our beta fish who is really easy to take care of. We plan on going to walmart and getting an aquarium and having it ready before we go buy the puffers. Can you just tell us specifically what we need to do? We are reading about it, but it is kind of complicated. We don't know what cycling the tank means, etc. If you could help us, we would sure appreciate it!
Kim and Kayla
This is for kim... hey kim. Cycling is the process by which you get your tank ready for fish. It is best to have your tank set up with your filtration system for at least 48 hours before you add fish. You will need to add proper amounts of stress coat and stress zyme, or the equivalent. And you will also need to adjust the salinity using ocean salt. I prefer it to aquarium salt, it dissolves better. Try to get your salinity to about 1.005 for now. You will need to check your pH and make sure it is suitable. I find a pH of 7.5 to 8.0 acceptable for my puff. Also, get a test kit and test for nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels, although you most likely will not have an issue with those things yet. They need to be continuously monitored, as levels will rise with a new tank and with the waste puffers produce. I definitely recommend at least a 20 gallon for now, more if you want more than 1 puffer, as they love space to swim and don't like being cooped up. And also, I would advise against buying puffers from walmart. It would be in your best interest to go to a local pet store and see if they will order them for you. Personally, I despise Walmart and what they are doing with their puffer fish. I keep saving them from there and they just keep getting new ones and killing them. Anyways. I hope I helped. If you would like to know anything else feel free to contact me. PS!FEED YOUR PUFFERS SNAILS!
Do they sell green spotted puffers at walmart?
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Yea they do.
As everyone on this website knows, these puffer fish are amazing animals. They are smarter than the average fish, playful and a lot of fun to watch. However, they can be difficult to care for and need quite specific things in order to keep them healthy. This is why they should not be sold at Walmart. I have read quite a few comments/questions which say that they were misinformed while buying a GSP at their local Walmart and I can definitely relate. When I bought Muey I was told he could live in a 1 gallon freshwater tank and live off of flakes. Needless to say my puffer was floating after 2 days. Upon thorough research and many changes I now have him in a 20 gallon tank with a 1.014 salt level and I feed him brink shrimp, etc. He has grown quite a bit and every day I am so happy I figured everything out in time to save him! I have gone to my local Walmart and told them that they should not be selling these fish. My Walmart was selling GSP's that are so sick that they look black. There is one tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water and there are appx 10 puffers in the 5 gallon tank. I have been watching so I know they do not sell them as often as they say because the same ones have been in there for a week..and every Wednesday they get more. Finally, they will not add medicine though it is obvious all the GSP's have parasites, or ICH and they will not add more salt because all of the tank filter the same water and all of the other fish are freshwater. My Walmart has agreed to stop selling GSP's (we will see if they are telling the truth) but I know that with a little more effort we can help these little guys. If everyone would go to their Walmart I'm sure something could be done. If I could stop one from selling them think of how many puffers could be saved if all Walmarts would stop! I understand that this is a big undertaking and though my Walmart called me an "animal activist" when they thought I couldn't hear I have come to love these fish and honestly, they deserve better. PLEASE HELP :)
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What are you rambling about what part of THESE FISH ARE (NOT) ENDANGERED! do you not understand? I agree fish shouldn't be sold at walmart but not for the reasons you believe after all they tell you to lift the fish over the security scanner so that they won't die well that's not true. I have puffers All five of them are alive and well months after going through the security scanner the Truth IS They Die cause people don't know what they are doing (I Was guilty of this myself at first) they buy aquariums, rocks,decorations And fish pour the water in and dump in the fish all at the same time and that's great if you get a Goldfish or a Betta But the truth is before anyone gets fish they should do some research before ever purchasing a single fish and walmart employees are not a reliable source for fish care go to A PET STORE talk to an experience/trained professional and start out with beginner level fish. Truth be told they aren't exactly easier to keep alive just the cheapest.
Yesterday I went by my local Walmart and picked up 3 little puffers there were some in the tank that look unhealthy for sure but surprisingly many looked very active and healthy for now. But the people there don't know anything about any of the fish there or how to handle them. So my friend and I needed to buy a pump and some fish furniture and all the works for these guys and since complaining about the conditions of the fish only does so much you have to just attack Walmart a little differently. We got a ten dollar pump for 3 dollars and a hideaway log thing for like 2 dollars all by switching tags around.
AK- if one of your fish looks sickly it might have ICH or some other parasite/disease I'm not aware of. I went to Petco and bought a type of medicine you can out directly into the water. I think its one tablespoon a day. I did that for a few days and they were better :)
WALMART-haha very nice...however I got a call from the head of my fish dept at my local Wal Mart last night and he said that they are going to stop selling them there asap and even try to get their distributor to stop! So maybe you could talk to them and educate them about the puffers..it's a little less dangerous, but I like your style haha
StayPuff- I'm not sure really what your point is exactly but I think we all know these puffers aren't an endangered species or they wouldn't be sold at local pet stores for 6 dollars. However, the way Wal Mart treats them is bad for them... You kind of do a 180 from the beginning to end of your comment so I'm not sure what to tell you :)
Personally, I'm glad that someone could take a step up and help these little guys out. However, I purchased two GSP's at my local Wal-Mart and have kept them in a 20 gallon fish tank. I feed them dried out krill and they seem pretty healthy. Only one of them has a strange dark brown spotting under its belly and just recently I've found him sitting at the bottom of the tank. One of his eyes has a weird white film covering it. It kind of looks like a bubble almost. I'm very worried but I don't know what to do. Please help.
Funny to stumble upon your findings this lovely morning. The only reason I am researching the Spotted puffer is because of my trip to the WALMART SUPER CENTER in MONROE NY. The section of tank they were kept in was about 5 gallons which was home to about 14 puffers + 1 DEAD PUFFER. There was one fish with most fins intact and all of the rest had no back fins and most side fins chewed off. I was so upset by this... not because I think fish have feelings but because all living things have rights....and responsibilities. It is WALMARTS responsibility to properly care for these fish in order to make any profit. And the condition that these fish ARE in is unacceptable and inhumane. I am in the process of setting up a tank for them, then going to WALMART, speaking to the manager and demanding he GIVE me the fish or change their set up at that instant. But this is only how I play it out in my head. On a serious notee I am interested in how you got your Walmart to stop their ways.
~ A consumer who Cares~
I was thinking of getting a Spotted Pufferfish from my local Walmart, but after reading your comment, I'm not sure I should now. I really want one, so what do you suggest I do?
I was planning on buying a spotted puffer for my fish tank. After I read your comment, I'm not sure I should get a spotted puffer. What would your advice be?
Kerray- The first thing I did was speak with a manager. It depends on the manager for how that goes...Mine said he would see what he could do which I don't think was much. I also sent an email to WalMart which surprisingly, they read. I got a call a few days later from a man who worked at the one which I specified in my email and he said he is working on getting the distributor to not send the GSP's to their store anymore. He was very understanding. He also said that he is talking to their distributor as well. If I were you I'd just get annoying. Just keep talking to people until they get so sick of you that they do what they can... Send an email to WalMart it works! Don't try sending one to the WalMart ethics people because I sent a long detailed one and they wouldn't even review it. good luck!!
Bugboy- You should totally get one! However, when you are at the store try to keep an eye out for skinny puffers (always a bad sign). Also look for frayed fins or spots of white or gray. The spots are called Ich and its a disease caused by a parasite. If you do pick a puffer that shows signs of Ich go to Petco and buy the medicine. One bottle will last a long time. I just put a tablespoon in every day for about 4 days (turn the filter off) and my fish got better. Make sure you have at least a 10 gallon tank..you may need to upgrade later. Keep the salt level at 1.012 and as they get older you can raise it if you want...these puffers are pretty hardy so they can have a broad salinity range. They like to have a lot of hiding places. and apparently they get bored so change it up once in a while. Buy the brine shrimp or you can vary their food. Just realize they are more work than an average goldfish but they are REALLY COOL fish so I would say go ahead and get one. Also talk to your local WalMart worker and share the knowledge ;)
Ok dude let me tell you something
I got a gsp from walmart and I wasn't planning on it to "live"
but my fish is blessed and is living 4 weeks more than I expected!
Here's the thing, right now my fish is stopping for 2 minutes to stay still and he gets fat, and he closes his gills and just plays dead then he finally deflates and all these bubbles fly out
plus he's getting this black line under his mouth that lines his whole body
it's funny because that's how I got him from walmart
idk what he does when he stops moving closes his gills and his mouth and just sits there but he makes a popping noise and then inflates he's been doing it all afternoon so maybe someone can tell me what's happening!
I wanna buy two spotted pufferfish. What tank should I get? How much salt do you need in it per gallon? I also wanna save these little guys from walmart...
Where can I buy their food? And what do you think is the best thing they can eat?
I have a ten gallon tank and what should I feed him I'm feeding him snails and he is very active and seems to be eating well ..... but I want to make sure to give him the best habit .... and how much salt should I put in.....?
Scott Edgar -
Wow sounds like you went to our local hellmart....only reason we went there was for these fish and there were 3 dead in the tank and all the rest had their fins eaten right off....sad.
I agree that gsp's shouldn't be sold at WalMart. My 11-year-old daughter knows much more about fish and their care than the associates at WM -- because she's had EXPERIENCE with fish! (Sad, but true.) You should see some of the situations we have seen at our WM!
I wondered if you could help me with my gsp. I too, fell in love with the little guys, not realizing how different they are from all the fish I have had over the years. This is my third and he had been doing well for two months (after he sampled everyone in the tank.) He is now separate and after doing well, he has stopped eating. He is about 1 1/4" long. I wonder if his teeth have grown too big. Can that happen quickly? He was happy eating betta pellets and ghost shrimp. He never would eat flakes or dried shrimp. And because I couldn't find snails small enough, I bought a large one last month, hoping it would reproduce soon for him. (We once had one that did so very quickly all by itself.) I finally found some snails smaller than the gsp's eye and he won't eat them. He looked like he watched the baby snail, then went close to it and then swam away. He just sits around lethargically now. This tank has been established for years. He acted this way before I did a partial water change (and vacuum) a couple days ago. I added salt again and the pH is the same as it always has been at 7. I read in here somewhere that I may need to cut his teeth if they have grown too big. HOW in the world could I do this myself? (A few years ago our guinea pig had a quite costly surgery to correct the same problem and then thrived.) I dont' want the little guy to suffer and die --especially to starve to death! What can I do? (We live in a small rural town with a privately owned pet store and no large chain pet stores. The closest large pet store is about 85 miles away. Although they are usually very helpful, I didn't ask my pet store since they don't sell gsp's.) Thanks for any help.
Also a note to the person who thinks a gsp won't attack large fish... In the first few days, our innocent looking little 1 1/4 inch gsp really tore up the fins of our 4" angelfish, our 2 1/2" betta and several other fish over 2" especially if they had long fins or tails.
I recently got a cute GSP from walmart and the info on the tank only said the size and feed it frozen flakes. But in reality a GSP needed so much more, a 20 gallon tank, 50 for extra fish, needs hard shell food to prevent over growth of it's always growing teeth, and since the GSP has no gills or scales it's prone to diseases and needs weekly 30-50 water exchange, and because I didn't know I put my poor little puffdaddy in fish a 3 gallon fish tank with 3 goldfish and he died. The next time I went walmart the pore puffers look all black an distorted I was so sad and It' all walmart's fault, the poor fish get treated like goldfish.
I too was misinformed when buying a GSP at my local walmart. I bought a 1 gal tank and fish flakes and kept him in fresh water. The fish was named Jaws. I was excited because he was the first fish I had owned since I was little. I found Jaws dead Wednesday afternoon when I came home from my summer class. I was mad at walmart and took the fish back and had them replace the fish. Then I got onto the internet to find out what wet wrong with Jaws, I found out that they told me all the wrong things. That this new fish (Cuddles) was also going to die. I took the little 1 gal tank back to walmart and bought a 10 gal tank. I went to a pet store and bought frozen shrimp and blood worms to feed to Cuddles. Also live snails for him to crunch on. I got a hydrometer and salt to put in my tank. Cuddles is doing great now. He swims around happy and healthy. He as already grown since Wednesday when I brought him home. Eventually when he is bigger and I have room I will put him into a bigger tank and maybe with tank mates and will feed him live shrimp. I look forward to taking care of Cuddles. But I am furious at walmart. I don't understand why they would do this to the fish and their owners. I plan on talking to the manager and asking them to either stop selling puffers or take care of them properly and correctly informing the people looking into owning one of these amazing fish. And everyone else who knows anything about these fish should do the same. If you need help on what to say or on caring for your puffer go to this web site. It has saved my fish and most likely many others too.
I appreciate the info. like some people I got 2 puffers at wal-mart & just said add salt, come 2 find out they need a variety of things. Any added info. you have would be good 2 know so they don't die.
karen- Have you tried feeding your puffer frozen brine shrimp? Mine goes crazy for it and you can buy a little pack of it and expect it to last for a while. As for the teeth being too long...I highly doubt thats the case if you have been feeding your puffer hard foods fo a while. Try changing up the food a little and see if that helps. You could also take a sample of your water in to PetCo and get it tested. Its free and they can tell you if there's anything in your water that might be stressing your puffer out.
Again I encourage everyone to talk to their local WalMart. Honestly, what I have found out is that the managers don't realize what these fish need and therefore don't teach the workers. When I educated my WalMart's manager he was amazed at how much GSP's need. Perhaps by simply explaining to them the care these fish need you can help in some way. Luckily, the person I talked to felt bad and wanted to do something about it.
I bought one at Walmart and your right they look soo sad. But I'm keeping my puffer fish at the right temp and its already looking better.
I understand about the Puffers at Walmart. I had 2 babies from our Walmart and 1 died a day later and the other 1 died almost a week later. I do not like Walmart carrying them because they do not know how to take care of them. I even went back to Walmart with the fish and told them about it. They told me that it wasn't their fault that my fish died and that they weren't going to give me my money back until I had to go as far as talking to the manager about it. I told them that if they were taking care of right at Walmart then they wouldn't have died. So I know how you feel about Walmart keeping them there. When we got ours from there, they had them in a 10 gal tank with about 20-30 of them in the same tank. I was very upset about that and I did tell them they cannot be having that many puffers in 1 tank. I looked everything up on how to take care of them before I got them and I did everything I was supposed to do and they still died cause they were from Walmart. But I love puffers too and so do my kids. I just got new ones today and they are a lot bigger but I got them from a pet store this time. And they are great fish.
Bought 2 today at wal-mart today because my pet store was out. I feed them live blood worms. Wal-marts card said flacks I do not think that is correct. I filter out half the water every 10 day checking water often and will take care of these 2 the best I can. I hear only feed them what is eating in half a minute no more. I like all the pointers and will keep looking to fined out more.
I bought a puffer a week ago at walmart and 3 days later it was covered in ick but we just got the medicine and it is clearing up and we plan to do research and take proper care of it.
WAL*MART rule's yes the person you get to talk to may not know a guppy from a mollie but they only have specific people for the fish part of the time...I know for about 6 months that was my job. I have had 3 green spotted pufferfish and the only one not still living croaked 2 days after I got him from pet supplies plus the 2 I got from work are just fine 3 years later...so if you want to get a GSP from your local walmart and they have them make sure that you know enough about the fish to get it in the first place and pick a healthy one...and if you read they are freshwater fish that can be acclimated to brackish they are not Strictly saltwater they have to be eased into it.
At this age, I prefer my pets in cages -
I don't know what Walmart you went to, but if you had caught the name of the people who were being nasty when they thought you couldn't hear, you could get rid of them. I'm not going to get into everything, but would like to state they are not allowed to take medicine off the shelf, but can order medicine for ich and other parasites. You are actually supposed to keep meds on hand since sometimes it takes awhile to receive stuff. Let's be honest, Walmart is like a pet store, it is only as good as the people taking care of it. Since Walmart is everywhere, they get bashed. No matter what type of pet you are buying you should research and make sure it is healthy (puppy mills anyone?). I know to never trust a pet store, no one can control all their employees all of the time. Mislabeling happens on everything. This year my husband "rescued" an Ornate Baboon Tarantula (and an 8 year old girl). He wasn't the first to tell the OWNER that her spider wasn't a Golden Chaco (she even admitted it), he just bought it real fast because our children overheard the mother relenting to purchase the "nice" spider for her daughter. Mislabeling and misinformation is everywhere, that is why everyone should research.
And yes, I sell GP's, I own GP's and all are healthy. They do not sell too fast at work because when people think the cute little fish will be perfect in their tank I explain they may do good for awhile, but the cute little fish will eventually kill everything (and they love crabs). m
I "rescued" a GSP from WalMart 2 days ago...the conditions they were in were deplorable..most were missing their tail fin and they were being kept with Blood Parrot Cichilds... As the employee was netting my GSP I suggested she throw in a little GSP, that looked like it could use a little TLC and had been staring at me, for free. The employee actually replied, " I wish I could..anything to keep them from being attacked by the cichlids." Another time I was there almost none of the GSP's had tail fins and one was actually stuck in a corner, with his tail fin chewed to the bone, just bumping into the corner because it couldn't maneuver itself around and out of the corner. It is so sad... I wanted to take them all home, but budget and tank space do not allow. I bought my puffer because of those big dopey eyes and the "old man" face. Adorable. I would like to join your "crusade" but have no idea where to begin. Perhaps I will attack the situation from an economic standpoint as well as a humane one. I bought my puffer some snails based on suggestions from this site, but I came home today to find my puffer with my red platy in his mouth, shaking it around like a dog with a chew toy. Poor platy was only in that tank to re-coop from the Gourami's in the other tank taking a bite out of his tail fin. I need to make a few adjustments in his tank mates..and was wondering if I put a piece of frozen shrimp in the tank will that discourage him from eating my other fish? He eats flake and baby shrimp just fine. I just need to keep the other fish alive until I can afford another tank. Advice, please?
I am a pufferlover I just got 4 at Walmart and they all look like they WANT to die. I am lucky they are still alive I got them just a couple days ago and all are NOT leaving the bottom one can't swim with one fin because for some reason he won't use his other to help himself swim. But I do need to get aquarium slat for my water for them. And I am hoping once I go back up there into my room all 4 will be moving and won't be on the bottom of the aquarium floor.
I just bought 4 of these guys. I need to get a bigger tank apparently, lol, but they seem really neat. I can't wait to get a bigger tank. Thanks for all the info! I would have never known about the teeth getting too big. But I like em, greens my color and green bay is my team. I'm gonna buy a little helment for them to swim in! BOW CHICKA YEA! Thanks
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You're funny xD.
These guys do awesome for krill.
We just purchased 2 GSP this evening at a Walmart in NHR TX. There was no information about the fish and they were located in what was previously a Plecostomus tank. When it was time to purchase the fish I asked what they were all she had was a name and a sku on the wall where they bag the fish. The employee was unaware of what type of water they were in or what they required for food, although she mentioned several times that the fish would not eat. It amazes me that they would sell something without providing at least general information. Yes I agree that you should research before purchasing any type of pet, but the majority of people buying fish at Walmart are not advanced fish keepers and if they buy a fish it is likely a first time purchase with a brand new tank. Obviously several hobbyist buy fish there but you can not call the uninformed ignorant for lack of knowledge on the fish when the employees don't even know. The Pet-co store in this area will not sell them because it is difficult to keep the employees (teenagers) from misinforming the customers of the tank and feeding requirements. I am one of those ignorant people, I assumed that they were a brackish fish because they were in a tropical area, but I only knew that because we had previously purchased mollies. As soon as we got home I searched to find out what they needed for food, and then flew into a panic at learning what they required and what would happen to the others left behind... how sad and depressing. We also discovered that we will have to purchase snails from a small specialty fish shop because our local big pet stores do not carry them. We are still at a total loss on what to do but I think we have enough to make it though the night. We went to buy Mollies or Platies and they were out...the GSP's are very cute and curious fish and my daughter loved them and who at Walmart doesn't buy things on an impulse. We are excited but very stressed about the purchase, something I thought would be a rather easy and affordable pet to care for is going to be much more than we had planned on, hopefully we can keep the little guys alive. For reasons like this I do not believe that Walmart should sell this type of fish. We will definitely be contacting a district manager about the situation! Thankfully this is the only store left in the North TX area that still sells fish.
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Good places to look up fish keeping info are www.allabout-aquariumfish.com & www.fishlore.com.
I love Oscars and the green puffers if I get a small Oscar can I put the same tank?
I just got a new gsp and he is only about the size of my pinky fingernail can anyone tell me about how old he is...I can find everything but how small they are to start off with but he is by far the smallest puffer I have ever started with any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Bailey (3 gsp, 2 leapord geckos, 1 savanah monitor, and much much more) -
That might be a dwarf puffer or it is really really young....these fish (green spotter puffers) are almost entirely wild caught (they have only been bred once in captivity) my gsp were about the size of a toonie (canadian two dollar coin or a inch and a half long) when I bought them six months ago and have at least doubled in size since then....I have three in a 60 u.s. gallon aquarium that is heavily planted with plastic and fabric plants (they eat the live plants but once in awhile I put one in because they do like them) their salinity is at 1.014(brackish) and are fed once a day..... I switch up the food everyday (4 day cycle) brine shrimp, blood worms, ghost shrimp(live) and snails(live) then I generally skip a day so they are not over fed....these guys are messy eaters so I bought a filter that dose nearly twice the filtration needed for the tank....they are almost always (not when I turn on the light and wake them up a five in the morning) bright green and almost pearl white so I'm guessing they are happy and healthy and they seem to be doing well..... if you need more info on these funny little fish give me a shout.
This is in reply to pufferlvr and whoever decided it was ok for walmart to treat animals this way. I am in complete agreement with pfferlvr because I have bought two GSP from walmart, and I have only bought more from Walmart so that I can help the poor fish. I have talked to the walmart in my area and they will not do anything in response to my complaints. The last time I was in and bought my second fish Bloat, ALL the GSPs were black, one was DEAD and stuck in the filter and left there, and another's tail and fin was rotting off with no help from the store. No matter what is policy or not, animals such as these should not be dying and getting sick for ANY reason. I love both my GSPs, Gilly and Bloat, and I am running out of room to buy more just to save them. IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED.
I own a green spotted puffer and it's a baby i'ts the cutest thing I ever saw except my baby sister.
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I bought my GSP at my local Wal-mart and a week later it was floating at the top of my 1 gallon tank lifelessly.