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
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 !
Carol - 2011-06-04
We have a GSP and it looks like his teeth are getting really long, not sure if he is eating. In the one comment someone said you could clip their teeth. Just wondering how you go about doing this?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-04
    Have you tried feeding them snails first and letting them wear down their teeth first? Try that first. Animal World article says "Puffers have strong teeth that grow throughout their lives, so are prone to overgrown teeth. Offer hard shelled live food often to keep the teeth worn down. Feeding snails daily will help to wear down the teeth. If the teeth get too long, they will be unable to eat, requiring the owner to clip the teeth".
  • Teresa - 2011-06-21
    Hi, I just read that the Green Spotted Pufferfish rerquires certain types of hard crustacean food in order to keep their teeth trimmed naturally. I do not know what this food is exactly, but you could find out from a pet store familiar with this type of fish.
    Good luck.
  • Daniel Yap - 2011-07-09
    Well, maybe you should use nail clipper :p
    There's no guarantee they will stay still.
  • Chelsee Coffin - 2011-07-11
    i have several GSP and I go to the pet store and stock up on "pest snails". Most pet stores will give them to you or they might charge you a small fee but there are usually tons of them and I can tell from my GSP's that they love them. I've had mine for almost a year now and I've never had to clip their teeth. If anything go around to all our local pet stores and stock up on pest snails. Put them in there own tank and let them breed. And only put 1-2 of them in with your puffer a day. If you do this you most likely will never have to go to the pet store to get more ever again.
Puyette - 2011-06-08
My puffer is sick.....I think! He has gone from a white belly to a gray belly back to white and back to gray. I have tested the the salinity and the ph and I think it was ok. He is not eating and there are ghost shrimp minnows and snails in the tank. His teeth don't look long.....that is if I know what I'm looking at. I think he was cold too so I warmed the water. Please help!!!!!????

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-08
    Don't panic - at least not yet. Puffer fish do change colors. They do it in their natural enviornment with some degree of regularity and they also do it in an aquarium situation but less frequently. The color change is many times due to stress - temperature change in water or condition of water or too many fish in the tank etc. Obviously, it can also be because he isn't feeling all that great. I have included an article "Fish Disease and Treatment" from Animal World. Check the tank enviornment throughly. Also, what size is your aquarium? It is recommended for 1 puffer that a 20 gallon be used and if there are other fish to go to at least a 50 gallon. Good news it is not unusual for puffers to change color, but the YUK news is that it is usually do to stress. Check the tank conditions and do the recommended treatments. Not eating is also a sign of stress.
    Read the article on the Puffer because the tank enviornment required is there. Also to be careful of amonia and nitrates as they don't necessarily eat all their food so tank gets messy. Also article says to change 30 - 50% of the water per week. Bunch of little things that can be happening here but let's just check them out one at a time. OK?
  • Daniel Yap - 2011-07-09
    You are crazy, warming up the water sometimes makes matters worst....
    It's normal 4 a green puffer to change colour of the belly. It's a healthy little guy, except if it stays with grey colour.....
Ashley - 2011-01-23
Hi Kim,
The puffers and betas definitely shouldn't go together! As much as people love to say how aggressive betas can be, he'll probably get his pretty fins torn apart before he knows what hit him. The puffers would need a separate tank for sure! Cycling basically means that the tanks ammonia and nitrate levels have dropped to zero, making the tank inhabitable. When the tank begins with new water, wastes build up causing a large ammonia and nitrate spike, making the tank uninhabitable for anything. Natural bacteria in the filter build up as these levels rise and these bacteria eventually make the ammonia and nitrates drop to zero, making it so that fishes can be safely in the aquarium. I can explain in full detail how to set up a small saltwater tank via email, and I can tell all about puffer care. Also, Craigslist is an awesome starter to look for tanks, some people even sell full set ups for super cheap due to moving, no time to take care of, etc.

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  • Nadja - 2011-02-20
    I've had multiple bettas in with my two gsps and they go great together. They only like to attack our shrimp. Every betta's fins are perfectly fine and they actually own the tank.
  • wendy - 2011-05-24
    i kicked my boyfriend to the curb and replaced him with two green spotted puffers and I've never been happier;-) They are a lot easier to take care of too. Thanks to my local pet store and their over population of nuisance snails, they eat for free. They'll pretty much eat anything I'm eating at the moment. If I'm eating a turkey sandwich...then so are they! A great replacement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brody L - 2011-04-05
Hi everybody. I am really interested in the GSP but I don't know if I should get one or not. This is only my 2nd tank, but I have successfully raised Molly babies before. So should I get a GSP or should I gain more experience first?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-04-05
    That is really up to you to determine if you have enough experience to a keep spotted green pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis). I would say that if you are serious about wanting one, then do your research and by reading up on them. They can be a little more difficult that other types of fish to keep, but as long as you feel comfortable and knowledgeable in their care, I don't see why you couldn't keep one. I would suggest reading everything listed on this page and possibly buy a book. That should help you make your decision. Good luck!
  • Danielle - 2011-05-09
    I just got one on saturday, and I love him/her. It's adorable and already seems to like me. It doesn't eat out of my hand yet, but he's gaining courage :) They're fun, but also a lot of work.
Anonymous - 2011-04-16
These puffer fish are very bipolar. Sometimes they are aggresive other times they are not. I have had mine for 3 years now and he is not very aggresive. He has only one tank mate which was introduced with him to the tank, a large 6 inch green scat. The scat was 1 1/2 inches when he first arrived to the tank.

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.