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
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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  • Anonymous - 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!
Hugo - 2010-12-22
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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  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    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.
  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    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.
Ashley - 2011-01-05
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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  • Kim - 2011-01-06
    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
  • cassie - 2011-01-20
    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!