Green Spotted Puffer Fish 

Green Spotted Puffer Fish Care, Feeding, and Tank Setup

Green Spotted Puffer Fish 

The green spotted puffer (GSP) has special demands and requires special care. Their speckled yellow-green backs make them appealing for home aquariums, and their unique mannerisms set them apart from almost any other fish you’ve ever had.

Green spotted puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis or (syn) Dichotomyctere nigroviridis) live in Southeast Asia’s rivers and estuaries in the wild. Unfortunately, in captivity, they are frequently the victims of inexperienced pet stores and aquarium owners.

GSPs, perhaps more than any other fish species, are a great example of why it’s so vital to do your research before bringing a new aquarium fish home. Failure to do so in this scenario may result in the death of your puffer and possibly all of the other fish in your tank.

You’ve probably come here to learn more about how to care for your puffer if you already own one of these little dynamos.

If you haven’t yet brought a puffer into your house, read this article carefully and consider whether you’re ready to make the commitment. You’ll find owning a puffer to be extremely enjoyable and rewarding if you make the decision to do so and follow through.

Of course, appropriate aquarium maintenance should be practiced in every tank you possess, but it is especially crucial with the green spotted puffer. When it comes to ensuring that your puffer has a long and happy life, understanding puffer behavior, care, and tank requirements will go a long way.

This book is meant to serve as a basic introduction to green spotted puffer care and to help you avoid many of the frequent mistakes that new puffer owners make.

Tank Mates & Tank Size for Green Spotted Puffers

Tankmates are generally not recommended when maintaining a GSP. The green spotted puffer is a ferocious fish that will attack and kill any other fish or critter in the aquarium. Many puffer keepers believe that they shouldn’t be maintained alongside other fish or even other puffers.

In a single-specimen tank, it’s best to keep a GSP alone. Even as youngsters, and even if the pet store claims they are freshwater fish, they do not belong in a communal aquarium. They aren’t, and putting them in the same tank as other aggressive tropical fish is a recipe for catastrophe.

Others puffer owners keep a pair of puffers in a 55-gallon or bigger tank, and some even have success keeping their puffer with other brackish-water-tolerant fish. When your puffer is kept alongside other fish, though, the chance of confrontation is constantly present, and it doesn’t seem worth it.

What is the maximum size of a green spotted puffer?

GSPs are large, powerful fish that need a lot of room to thrive. The minimum tank size for a single puffer is 30 gallons, despite the fact that they only grow to be about six inches long as adults. However, 55 gallons is preferable because it gives your fish plenty of room to swim and explore.

For most of their life, green spotted puffers housed in aquariums demand brackish water. They begin their lives in freshwater and then migrate to brackish or marine environments as adults in the wild. As far as you’re concerned, this means that as your puffer gets older, you’ll probably need to raise the salinity of your tank water.

Green Spotted Puffer Supplies

To maintain a perfect aquarium arrangement conducive to a healthy puffer, you’ll need a few particular items. While standard gravel substrate is adequate, some keepers prefer crushed coral to maintain the proper pH levels in the tank water. As with any aquarium, it’s a good idea to have a water-testing kit on hand to ensure you’re on the right track.

You’ll also require a supply of sea salt. This is not to be confused with aquarium salt, which is used as a freshwater tank conditioner. You’ll want to keep marine salt in bulk bags because it’s utilized in saltwater aquariums.

A hydrometer is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment you’ll need. These are low-cost gadgets that test the specific gravity (salinity) of your tank water, which is essential for ensuring you’re providing your fish with the correct brackish environment. Specific gravity of about 1.006 is required for young puffers, whereas a reading of about 1.02 is required for adults.

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Coralife Energy Savers ACLAF877 Deep Six Hydrometer

You may use an inexpensive hydrometer to check the specific gravity of the puffer’s tank water and make sure it’s at the right brackish salinity. Pufferfish can survive in freshwater or near-freshwater as juveniles before transferring to brackish water as adults. Some puffer owners even maintain their puffers in fully submerged aquariums.

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Green Spotted Puffer Basic Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 78-82°F
  • pH: 7.5-8.5
  • Specify Gravity Range: 1.004 – 1.022
  • Weekly water changes to keep the water clean

Bringing Your Puffer To Home

When purchasing your puffer, make sure to inquire about the type of water it is kept in. As a starting point for putting together your GSP’s new home, this is critical. It’s vital to realize that stores frequently maintain them as juveniles in freshwater.

It would be a shock to your new fish’s system to place it in a brackish environment when it is used to freshwater. You can start it in freshwater and progressively raise the salinity with each water change if it lived in freshwater at the fish store.

A GSP, or any other fish, should never be added to an uncycled tank. If you’re not sure how to cycle your tank, do some study and make sure you know how to do it before bringing your new fish home.

Because most puffers are caught in the wild, parasites should be avoided. Ask the fish store whether they’ve taken any precautions to prevent parasites from infecting their fish, and be ready to give your baby puffer the appropriate treatment if necessary.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind for beginner puffer keepers:

  • When it comes to eating, GSPs have a reputation for making a mess. Be prepared to clean up after yourself!
  • Over-filtering your tank isn’t a bad idea. You can either use a filter designed for a larger tank or pair two smaller filters together to transport more water than a single filter.
  • On a weekly basis, execute partial water changes. Clean water should replace about a third of the total volume of water in the tank.
  • Sea salt should not be added straight to your aquarium because it may hurt your fish. Allow it to dissolve in a pail of clean, fresh water before gradually adding it to the tank.
  • Because few living plants flourish in brackish water, you’ll have to rely on fake decorations. Consider providing your puffer with plenty of tunnels and caves to explore.
  • Some puffer owners enjoy changing the décor of their tank every few weeks to provide their fish with a new place to explore.
Green Spotted Puffer Fish

Green spotted puffers Feeding

What do puffers eat?

Like most tropical fish, your GSP will not consume flake food. You’ll need to feed frozen meaty items like blood worms and krill. Before serving, thaw the food in tank water and make sure you only give your puffer as much as he or she will consume in a few minutes.

Green spotted puffers are famed hunters, and feeding live ghost shrimp to your fish can provide stimulation that frozen foods cannot provide.

Do green spotted pufferfish have teeth?

They don’t have teeth, but they do have a bony plate in their mouth that grows during the time. Adult puffers in the wild eat crustaceans, and hard-shelled items form a big portion of their diet. Without hard items to wear down the plate, puffers may become crippled to the point of being unable to eat.

Of course, you won’t feed your baby puffer shellfish, but you will want to get it used to eating snails as soon as possible. Pond snails are pests, and anyone who has had them in a freshwater aquarium knows how difficult it is to get rid of them. If you give your puffer the chance, it will eat these creatures.

Many pet businesses have an abundance of snails in their fish tanks, and if you ask gently, they will often give them to you for free.

Raising Snails as Puffer Food

You could find it worthwhile to raise your own snails rather than always going to fish stores for snails. This isn’t as difficult as it appears. All you’ll need is a 10-gallon tank with basic filtration, lights, and substrate to start growing a snail colony for your puffer’s food.

Snails are simple to breed: just put a few in a tank and within a few weeks, you’ll have baby snails all over the place. Pond snails will eat nearly everything, but you must give them algae wafers and plenty of vegetables to ensure that your puffer receives adequate nourishment.

Maintain your snail tank in the same way you would a fish aquarium, with weekly partial water changes. Pond snails are tough, so even with bad tank upkeep, you’re unlikely to kill many, but you should make sure the snails you give your puffer are as healthy as possible.

Snails roughly the size of your puffer’s eye should be fed. He won’t be able to crack the snail’s shell if he gets any bigger. He might be able to get the snail out and eat it with a little patience, but he’ll miss out on the benefit of the hard shell wearing away at the plate in his mouth.

Your GSP can eat every day when it is a newborn, but as it becomes bigger, you should switch to an alternate day feed/fast regimen. Feeding clams, crabs, or shrimp to your puffer as it grows older is a good idea. Never leave uneaten food in the tank to rot, and make every effort to get rid of any shells that may have been left behind. Unused food may poison the water in your tank, creating a harmful condition for your fish.

It’s worth noting that puffers don’t always appear to have an off button when it comes to eating. They’ll keep eating as long as there’s food, and their tummies will expand until they resemble fat little balloons. This is amusing, but don’t go too far with it. Keep an eye on how much food you’re providing your fish and make sure he doesn’t overeat.

Green Spotted Puffer FAQ

Are green spotted puffers aggressive?

Green spotted puffers are extremely aggressive, and any other fish in the tank with them, including other GSPs, is likely to be attacked and killed. As a result, the majority of puffer keepers maintain their fish in single-species tanks.

Are green spotted puffers freshwater fish?

GSPs may live in freshwater as juveniles, but as adults, they must adapt to brackish conditions. To avoid causing undue stress to the fish, acclimation should be done gradually over time.

Can green spotted puffers live in saltwater?

Despite the fact that most puffers live in brackish water, some puffer owners keep their mature fish in complete marine environments. This is another alteration that should be made gradually over time to allow the fish to adjust.

Are green spotted puffers poisonous to humans?

Because of the toxic compounds they produce, many puffers, like the green spotted puffer, are hazardous to humans and other animals if eaten. They do not, however, use venom or harmful compounds to assault other animals.

What can live with a green spotted puffer?

Despite its aggressive character, there have been reports of GSPs coexisting with other brackish-tolerant fish, such as black mollies. These are, however, uncommon circumstances. Two puffers can sometimes coexist in the same tank if there is enough space and no visible decorations.

Why is my green spotted puffer turning black?

It is a symptom of tension when puffers become black. While the stress may or may not be justified, the fish are nonetheless affected. If your puffer’s belly is consistently grey or black, something is amiss in the tank, and it’s time to reassess your tank management techniques.

Do green spotted puffers puff up?

Yes. GSPs “puff” by filling their body with air when they are scared or disturbed. Never force a puffer to do this on purpose. Puffing is a last-ditch protective tactic for avoiding predators. For the fish, it is quite stressful.

How do you handle a green spotted puffer?

It’s something you should never have to do with your puffer. It should remain in its new home for the rest of its life. However, there may be occasions when you need to relocate your fish tank. In those rare instances, don’t use a net to catch your fish. Instead, herd it into a large container and scoop out the tank water with it.

How long do green spotted puffers live?

GSPs can live for over a decade, so if you maintain you’re healthy, you’ll have it for a long time! Some puffer keepers compare their relationship with their fish to that of owning a dog or cat.

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