Animal Stories - Puffer Fish


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Anonymous - 2011-04-20
I am a beginner to the world of fish, and I think I know what I am doing, but want it to be verified.

Here's my setup: 30 gal tank with 2 Sunburst Mollies and 2 sunset platies. I have the temp controlled at 72-78 degrees, I have some big rocks (one big enough to provide shelter), and a few plants, as well as a Chinese dragon bubbler.

Here's my question: I added a Green Spotted Puffer to the mix. Is that ok? I went to WalMart, and their fish fact tag says that the puffer will be ok with Mollies. He seems to be swimming around the whole tank, not bothering other fish, but I am worried about it after reading this website. Any suggestions?

Also, you might not be able to help on this, but my male Mollie keeps picking on the female. I was told to expect them to mate, but it looks more like torture and not mating. It could be that I am a beginner (outside that of a Beta) and just do not know what to expect. Any help here would be appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-20
    You can click on the links attached to provide you with more detailed information on the fish you have selected. Just a note to say that it is recommended that if you have other fish with a Pufferfish, you have at least a 50 gallon tank. The puffer fella likes to nip at fins. He is not supposed to be agressive and he is supposed to get along with other fish but you need a larger tank. You need a bit of vegatation there for the fish to hide and play in, whatever. Two mollies mating (movie on U-Tube) looks like the guy is trying to slam her, push her and shove her. Weird to see but it must work. Now maybe yours are fighting so watch the movie and then you'll know for sure. Looks like they were fighting to me too.
  • Anonymous - 2011-04-20
    Hmm. I wasn't told that I would need a 50, but that could be the case. The little guy has been in the tank for about 3 hours now, and he is starting to warm up to it. He swims around a lot, and doesn't seem to bother other fish. He was almost completely grey when I added him, but now his head and some of his body is back to Green. I have a 10 gal that my Beta is currently residing in that I could move him to. I bought some live plants tonight as well, so within a few weeks I should have some more greenery. I currently only have plastic plants, good ole WalMart doesn't say anything about live plants being a necessity.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21
    Yep, the information says if you just have the puffer, then a 20 gallon tank is fine but if you are adding (or have) other fish, you would need at least a 50 gallon. Puffer fish also need something to wear their teeth down so snails or some such other hard food. The 10 gallon tank is too small for the puffwer, definitely too small if there is another fish in it.
    Did you find the move on Mollies on U-Tube? There is one on just gold fish also. Strange.
    Yes, you need some plants. Have fun and enjoy. Remember all these fish are going to get bigger. The mollies will probably go 4 - 6 inches.
  • Anonymous - 2011-04-21
    Yes. Well, I took Mr Puff to Petco and donated him. I decided that I didn't want to ruin his little life just because I jumped in without surveying the water first. I think once I am out of an apartment and have my bigger tanks I will go get another puffer and try again. Thanks for all your help!

    Oh, random question. How many more fish can/ should I put in this 30 gallon? Currently I have 2 Mollies and 2 Platies. Thanks!
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21
    I am responding to the other email which tells me you took the puffer back. You are asking how many additional fish you can put in a 30 gallon tank with 2 mollies and 2 platies. If you think 1 inch per gallon (just as a rule of thumb) and subtract out for gravel, decorations etc a 30 gallon should leave you with about 27 gallons of swiming area. So the two mollies are 12 inches (as adults) and the two platies are 5 inches (as adults) which equals 17 inches. So you can add two other compatible fish whose adult size is not greater than 5 inches each. OK? Yeah probably best to take back the puffer. Good thinking on your part.
  • Dioafui - 2011-05-09
    You're fine, but the male fish will chase the female to death. You should have at least three females per male, because of his desire to pro-create. I don't know about puffers, but you spelled betta wrong.
  • nic - 2011-08-05
    Here's where you went wrong. NEVER buy fish from Walmart they are cruel to their fish. They all have an illness and are not healthy fish and Walmart does not have any idea how to care for fish. They just want to make money. I had gotten a mollie and it had 50 babies and think first about how big each baby gets. hope this helps.

    p.s get live plants like water sprites
  • brookes - 2013-03-17
    thats not true i bought mine from walmart and it was a little agrisssive at the first 4 days then it got calm it was just scared thats all. all i got to say is love your green spotted puffers. i mean who can't love that little pug face of there's...lol..!
  • Merida DunBroch - 2016-01-31
    If the male molly is just chasing the female you have nothing to worry about. It's perfectly normal.
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Animal-World info on Malabar Puffer
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J Mino - 2019-03-01
I would love to have dwarf puffers, but only if they are captive bred due to their population reduction in the wild mainly caused by the aquarium trade. Are there any captive bred dwarf puffers for sale? I can't seem to find any for sale!

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Animal-World info on Spotted Green Puffer
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Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

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  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
  • RJ - 2017-07-11
    South American puffers, aka Amazon puffers, are fully FW fish. Spotted Green puffers (the common T. nigorividis) start fresh, but quickly need fairly heavy brackish conditions.
  • Zoe - 2018-08-18
    Hi. South American Puffers or Bumble Bee Puffers aren’t fully fresh water, they live in and tolerate quite well, brackish conditions up to 1.005 throughout different periods of their lives. 😊
Reply
Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

Click For Replies (7)
  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
  • RJ - 2017-07-11
    South American puffers, aka Amazon puffers, are fully FW fish. Spotted Green puffers (the common T. nigorividis) start fresh, but quickly need fairly heavy brackish conditions.
  • Zoe - 2018-08-18
    Hi. South American Puffers or Bumble Bee Puffers aren’t fully fresh water, they live in and tolerate quite well, brackish conditions up to 1.005 throughout different periods of their lives. 😊
Reply
Mary - 2012-01-20
I have a 10 gallon tank along with 5 goldfish, I've got hiding spots and decor and fake plants. I was at Walmart and saw the litter spotted green puffer. The lady in the fish department gave me very little info on him. She said he eats just flakes, and use the aquarium salt. I bought him and the Jungle aquarium salt. Thankfully I still have a can of blood worms to hold him over besides the flakes until I go buy some other foods/snails for him. Little did I know what I was getting into. What kind of snails would I buy to feed him? I'm going to go buy some real plants for him to nibble on too. Do you think my little guy will survive in my tank?

Click For Replies (7)
  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-20
    Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon nigroviridis) from Walmart are typically brackish water and will not survive, sadly in your tank. Puffers are referred to as 'aqua dogs' due to their personality, and the fact that they chew on whatever they can. Keep your wires out of reach. They will grow up to 5' and they are semi-aggressive. They really need their own tank and brackish water is not too hard to keep, sort of between salt and fresh. As little juveniles, like many fish, they are found in fresh water, then migrate to estuaries, or brackish water. If it is still young enough to deal with the fresh water, it will go after your goldfish.

    I would suggest buying another tank for your puffer if you are in love with it, and look up a little more information and your puffer will reward you with years of companionship. They do need to be entertained too! If you don't want to do all of this, then I would say to return the puffer to the store.

    If you want a TRUE FRESHWATER puffer, they are out there, just do the research before buying, and even then, do not put in with goldfish. Hope that helps and have fun with your spotted aqua dog!
  • Mary - 2012-01-20
    They are not gold fish but *GLOfish* their little neon tetra sort of fish and I've been keeping a eye on them and they seem to be getting along. I do plan on getting him a 20gal tank tomorrow just for him. He is quite adorable and I do want to keep him, Hoping he lives and heals because his fins are severely chewed up. I read they are omnivorious and need alot of meat like live crustaceans and freezed bloodworms or shrimp and snails to keep there teeth in check. He's only a inch big right now, would anyone recommend what to feed him till he gets bigger?
  • Jay - 2012-01-26
    Mary, those glow fish will be a meal soon. The amazon puffer is a brackish water fish when young then requires full marine conditions when fully grown. Despite what you read online most puffers are salt water fish. In the long run your glow fish will be eaten or killed and the puffer will die from living in the wrong environment. This is what happens when you buy fish from the know nothings at walmart.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-01-31
    Hey I just did a bit of homework after purchasing probably the same freshwater puffer. I already have salt as well as brakish water but they need snails clams and other hard shelled live food to trim there teeth or they will grow to long to eat an die or if you are brave enough you might have to trim the teeth they also like brine shrimp as a treat as well as frozen blood worms
  • kyle - 2014-03-08
    Please help I just got 2.
  • RJ - 2017-07-11
    South American puffers, aka Amazon puffers, are fully FW fish. Spotted Green puffers (the common T. nigorividis) start fresh, but quickly need fairly heavy brackish conditions.
  • Zoe - 2018-08-18
    Hi. South American Puffers or Bumble Bee Puffers aren’t fully fresh water, they live in and tolerate quite well, brackish conditions up to 1.005 throughout different periods of their lives. 😊
Reply
Animal-World info on Amazon Puffer
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Norma - 2014-07-23
I live in Simcoe Ontario. I need help trimming my amazon bee puffer's teeth. Can anyone help me? I tried it myself but had no success.

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  • Norma - 2014-10-15
    Just to let everyone know, i did successfully trim my Amazon Puffer's teeth. It's funny, they were shy of me before i did it and now they are always at the front of the tank when i look at them. It's like we've bonded lol
  • Nettie Colvin - 2018-05-16
    Hello. If you add live purple rock they will trim their teeth by chewing on live rock. Hope this helps.
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Animal-World info on Golden Puffer
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Steven Charlton - 2018-03-17
Toxic if eaten .... not venomous in character ;) I have two of these ;)

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Animal-World info on Fahaka Puffer
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Adriane West - 2013-07-13
I just purchased my fahaka puffer, was told he is very agressive and grows 5'' but if raised with other baby fish it may do fine with all of them growing together! I have a 125 gallon tank includding my globe puffer, 2 peacock cichlids, tire track eel, 2 african cichlids, 3 tiger barbs, electric blue jack dempsey, 2 feather fin catfish, jeweled cichlid, 1' plecostomus, blood red parrot, they all get along beautifully! No problems at all! We will be upgradeing to a tank twice the size eventually ;) p.s researched when I got home to realize he grows 18''.

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  • Daniel h - 2013-09-02
    Adriane, just get a separate tank for your puffer. As he gets bigger it's very likely your other fish will randomly become victims of nasty bites or viscous predatory attacks. I love my fahakas but only put fish with them that I would be ok with losing.
  • Dave - 2017-02-21
    Yeah, this is what's going on with me! 75 gallon tank. 25 African cichlids Fahaka Puffer, 2 clown loach. Noticed fins being nipped never seen it happen. Must be the puffer. He is at 3 inches. Been feeding clam, mice shrimp. Trying to figure out what size tank I should get and what filter. For the long run.
  • Steph - 2018-03-08
    Yeah,,, I just got 3 tiny little FP.... learning a lot.... but they all 3 stalk together! I have 2 baby Oscars the slightly larger than them as well as 4 cichlids same size, the 3 will soooo slowly stalk one fish at the same time,, and the crazy part is, if they see me, they will hide around the corner of decorations and wait for me to leave to begin their hunt again... all this behavior in one day! Anyway, I have a 75 gal to transfer to in the next few days temporarily and will choose my favorite and give or sell the rest so there is no issue. Then as they grow will definitely go tank shopping haha! Such characters these little fellas are!
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Animal-World info on Amazon Puffer
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Jeff Trout - 2017-11-17
Looking to purchase up to 6-8 amazon puffers.

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Russell - 2017-05-04
I would like to purchase 2-3 amazon puffers

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  • Peter - 2017-07-19
    We have these amazon puffer for sell on ebay: ID fish-paradise
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