SeaLife Planet is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Green Spotted Pufferfish Care & Facts (Tetraodon Nigroviridis)

Green Spotted Pufferfish

Green Spotted Pufferfish

There are plenty of great reasons why you’d want to keep a pufferfish. The Green Spotted Pufferfish is one of the most sought-after variants of the species, and you’ll find them in brackish waters all over Asia. That’s covering Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, the Philippines and more. They are fairly common on the whole!

Green spotted pufferfish (Zebrasoma flavescens) of Sumida … | Flickr

However, Green Spotted Pufferfish do need exceptional care. They are a very specific species of fish and can cause harm even to humans if they are handled incorrectly. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about this curious creature.

  • Fish Lifespan: Varies
  • Tank Size: At Least 30 Gallons
  • Water Temperature: Between 72F and 79F
  • pH: Between 7.2 and 8.2
  • Hardness: Between 12 and 25 dH
  • Compatibility: Compatible with Other Pufferfish (Sometimes!), Mollies, Archerfish
  • Fish Size: Up to 6 Inches

How do you take care of Green Spotted Pufferfish?

Green Spotted Pufferfish can make for wonderful pets! However, they can be a little tricky for beginners to acclimatise to, meaning that we would normally recommend you have a few years of tank keeping experience behind you. Green Spotted Pufferfish can be slightly aggressive, and as with other puffers, they are known for their defensive natures.

The Green Spotted Pufferfish is normally going to do well on its own, or with species of its own kind in the same tank. However, if you place them in a community tank with other species, smaller critters are in danger of getting gobbled up! The Green Spotted Pufferfish is a voracious hunter, and not only that, it’s likely to react badly if it feels it’s under threat. Therefore, you need to be exceptionally careful with which fish you place it in a tank alongside.

The general rule of thumb here is to look for fish of a similar size and temperament. Anything smaller than the Green Spotted Pufferfish is going to be dinner! Do also try and look for a tank of at least 30 gallons in size. Remember that while the Green Spotted Pufferfish may seem small at first, it can inflate – so take this into account!

The Green Spotted Pufferfish also arrives as a wild fish, generally, so that means it’s likely to carry a variety of parasites and other nastiness. These could put your community at risk. Therefore, look to keep your puffers in their own tank if you can. They will eat just about anything, and that includes other tank mates, so be sure to give them a balanced diet.

Green Spotted Pufferfish are nippers – many of us have learned this the hard way – but that doesn’t mean they are not awesome pets. They just need a specific level of care and attention! This is a fish you should definitely work your way up to.

How big does a Green Spotted Pufferfish get?

A Green Spotted Pufferfish will normally grow to be about six inches in length, perhaps bigger, but often smaller.

However, as with all puffers, you need to keep in mind that this critter will blow itself up into a ball if it feels threatened. It’s what makes the species so famous, and often so sought after – it’s an amazing evolutionary trait that’s pretty unique!

Puffer Fish | Freshwater Puffer Fish at Store in Houston, Te… | Flickr

However, as you can imagine, this means you’re probably going to need a fairly large tank, larger than what you’d probably account for usually. Look for at least 30 gallons to begin with, but if you have several Green Spotted Pufferfish, you’re going to want to upgrade to double the size.

As with all tropical and brackish fish, the bigger the tank, the better. The Green Spotted Pufferfish can be extremely territorial and can get mightily defensive. That means it’s going to need space. If you dare to place your Green Spotted Pufferfish in with other creatures, then they, too, are going to need lots of volume to flap around in.

So – keep six inches in mind in terms of a max length for the Green Spotted Pufferfish, but do remember that if they get scared, they will blow up large!

What fish can live with a Green Spotted Pufferf?

This is a bit of a conundrum – many fish keeping experts advise not to place any other types or species of fish in with the Green Spotted Pufferfish.

This is because the Green Spotted Pufferfish is very likely to start nipping at others and potentially cause harm or distress. What’s more, the Green Spotted Pufferfish is going to eat anything smaller than itself. It is not very discerning!

However, it is possible to build a community with this puffer as a staple. However, it is hardly recommended if you are setting up any kind of tank for the first time.

You could potentially place mild mannered or stable fish such as the Archerfish or Mollies in with puffers, though they will need to be around the same size. What’s more, you must make sure that you place the Green Spotted Pufferfish into the tank with other mates and species at the same time. If there is one thing the Green Spotted Pufferfish really doesn’t like, it’s newcomers to their community.

The Green Spotted Pufferfish is likely to see a new addition or two, even if they are completely harmless herbivores, as potential threats. If they are bigger than the puffer, they will get scared. If smaller, they will be dinner.

Therefore, make sure to try and house Green Spotted Pufferfish on their own. They do well in species-only tanks and communities, which really isn’t a bad thing for most fish keepers.

Can Green Spotted Puffers live in freshwater?

The jury is out on whether or not a Green Spotted Pufferfish should live in freshwater. What is agreed on, however, is that the Green Spotted Pufferfish thrives in brackish water.

Many brackish fish can swim from between marine/saltwater and freshwater fairly easily. Brackish is somewhat like the midpoint, to make things extremely simple. However, for the Green Spotted Pufferfish, this type of water is more likely to help them thrive and live healthy lives.

So – if you are thinking of taking on Green Spotted Pufferfish, the best thing we can suggest is to look exclusively for a brackish tank. As mentioned, you’ll probably do best hosting these puffers on their own.

Do Green Spotted Pufferfish puff up?

Yes! As you may already know, puffers have the amazing ability to inflate themselves at will.

However, this is almost always as a defence mechanism. Therefore, it’s probably never a good idea to see it as something ‘cute’!

If your Green Spotted Pufferfish inflates, it feels scared or threatened. The way of this type of puffer tends to be that it is fairly reactionary, so you may find that the Green Spotted Pufferfish blows up quite regularly. However, there is no need to be scared.

GSP 2" | Green Spotted Puffer | CheepShot | Flickr

What you should do, however, is be way of the other fish in your tank. This defence mechanism really does work wonders in that it scares off all kinds of fish species. Therefore, if you want to be extra careful, you should make sure to keep your puffers well away from other species.

As mentioned above, it is perfectly possible to house a Green Spotted Pufferfish safely alongside other species, but it is going to take exceptional care and oversight. Otherwise, you may end up with some fish that are extremely stressed out. This can cause illness and may even lead to fatalities, so only take on the Green Spotted Pufferfish if you really know what you’re doing.

Should I get a Green Spotted Pufferfish?

The Green Spotted Pufferfish is one of the coolest brackish fish around. It’s famously colourful-looking, and of course, it’s most famous for its astounding defence mechanism. However, these are fish that are going to demand more from you than, say, your average goby, or guppy, or clownfish. The Green Spotted Pufferfish is a sought-after beast that is raised in wild conditions – it’s not really built for a tank per se – but that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce it to your own aquarium and see how you get on.

For beginners, we would definitely advise looking at fish and creatures which are much more stable in terms of their emotions! The Green Spotted Pufferfish is a hungry beast that reacts dramatically to lots of things – and that, in turn, is going to cause all kinds of dramas elsewhere in the tank. There’s nothing to say you can’t make a go of keeping your own specific puffer tank, but you should really keep this community separate from everything else.

The Green Spotted Pufferfish is really fascinating to watch. Puffers are fantastic pets and while they can be a little tenacious, and can bully around other fish, they are extremely rewarding. A mark of a really exotic tank is one that has a Green Spotted Pufferfish in it. However, just make sure you have some experience in keeping fish – full stop – before you dare look into these critters.

Related Articles

About Me
scuba diving

Erik Miller

Passionate scuba diver

Hello, there. Welcome to my blog. I am Erik and I’m the main editor of Sealife Planet website.

My passion and hobby has always been scuba diving. My mission is to grow this website and help others with useful information about the sea world. Enjoy! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Related posts