The Green Spotted Puffer fish (Tetraodon nigroviridis) is a member of the Tetraodontidae family. In nature, they live in areas of the world where freshwater meets saltwater and in the home aquarium, need to be housed in brackish water. LiveAquaria® recommends that their water contain a salinity of 1.0 to 1.2, and pH of 7.5-8.0.
Obtaining a Green Spotted Puffer fish can be a long-term commitment, as they can live up to 10 years. Sometimes they are referred to as a Spotted Puffer or Leopard Puffer fish because their coloring that consists of a green body with dark spots that contrasts against their white underbelly. Their heads have protruding eyes.
An aggressive larger fish that can grow to 6” or slightly larger at maturity, they can have a formidable presence in your brackish aquarium. Sought after because of the unique characteristics they possess; one is the ability to expand their belly to make themselves larger when they feel threatened. They also contain strong jaws and four crushing plates (instead of teeth) that will continue to grow throughout their lifetime, so they require a diet of shellfish that will help keep them trimmed. They also have strong pectoral fins that give them great maneuverability in the water. The Green Spotted Puffer fish does not have scales, so maintaining proper water conditions is important. Their tough leathery skin contains neurotoxins that help protect the Green Spotted Puffer fish from predators.
Not a top contender for a good community tankmate, Puffer fish are not always compatible with each other, or many other fish. Refer to LiveAquaria’s Compatibility Chart for suitable tankmates. They are known to nip other fishes’ fins, especially when they are hungry. Despite some of this, they continue to be attractive to hobbyists because they are active, unusual, and some owners feel like their Puffer fish recognizes them, so form a mutually beneficial pet-owner relationship with them.
Do not overfeed the Green Spotted Puffer fish, as they will consume all that is fed and may even eat themselves to death. They are carnivores and need meaty foods, most of which should be shellfish to keep their oral crushing plates in check. They like to eat snails and other mollusks, brine shrimp, krill, earthworms, and plankton.
The ideal aquarium will have brackish water with many plants (either real or plastic, as Puffers tend to chew on plants), rocks or driftwood with plenty of hiding places and open spaces for swimming. A substrate with small-grained sand is helpful, as Tetradons can use it to wear down their oral plates.
Approximate purchase size: 1 1/2”