The Aquarium Shop

Pufferfish

Puffers are characterized by their almost box-shaped bodies and somewhat comical swimming movements

Puffers enjoy clams as part of their regular diet. The shells help to keep their teeth conditioned.

Scientific Name: Tetraodon nigroviridis

Common Names: Green Spotted Puffer, GSP

Origin / Habitat: brackish rivers and estuaries of Borneo and SumatraCare Level: Moderate

Max Size : 6" (15 cm)

Lifespan: to 10 years, sometimes as much as 15

 

Description:  Pufferfish are a curious species of brackish water fish. They are characterized by their almost box-shaped bodies and somewhat comical swimming movements involving their dorsal, anal and caudal fins.

 

Behavior: Pufferfish are extremely agile and can swim in almost any direction, but are also extremely slow. Puffers compensate for this with an interesting defense mechanism. When feeling threatened, they will fill their elastic stomachs with water until they are much larger in size and almost round in shape. The puffer fish’s bodies are also covered in tiny, pointed spines, making them a formidable meal when puffed up. 

 

Temperament: In most cases, freshwater puffers don't do well in a community tank setting. They will either eat the other fish, nip at their fins, or starve because they aren't fast enough to compete for the food. There is no way to make sure all the fish are getting their fair share without overfeeding your tank, which will cause an ammonia spike, eventually leading to dead fish. 

 

Diet: Most species of pufferfish are carnivores and prefer live foods like shrimp and aquarium snails. Puffers can also be trained to accept a variety of frozen foods. An important point to remember though is that pufferfish have extremely strong teeth that grow consistently. So it is important that puffers be provided with shelled foods once in a while to keep their teeth at a manageable length. 

 

Temperature: 78 - 82 °F (25 - 28 °C)

pH: 7.5 - 8.2

 

Tank setup: Puffers do best when kept in very large aquariums with plenty of hiding places made of caves, logs and plants. Often, puffer fish will claim a few hiding places as their own. They can also be highly territorial towards each other. For this reason, it is advisable to arrange the puffer fish aquarium in a way that breaks up their line of sight, decreasing the size of the territory each fish will feel it needs to defend. The minimum tank size for most of the smaller ones is 30 gallons. The more active species need a bigger tank because they need extra swimming space to prevent boredom. A bored puffer will constantly pace the glass, up and down. You can fix this by adding more decorations and hiding places in their tank for it to explore.

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