Green Spotted Puffer Help

Robert Walsh
Member
Just before Christmas we purchased a used 120 gallon, freshwater tank that was already stocked. There is a conglomeration of fish that don't seen to go together, but they are all coexisting without any fatalities. I will list the inhabitants of the tank at the bottom on the post.
The reason for my post today is probably our favorite fish in the tank, a small Green Spotted Puffer. We were told that the fish was 3.5-4 years old, but only measures just over 2" long. I didn't take him out to measure him because I didn't want him to puff up, but we got him over to the side of the tank and measured him that way. All of us have been researching different sources on the internet to try to find out what we should be doing for him, but there are many differing opinions. I am trying to get some informed and experienced opinions

Here are my questions:
1. Could his growth have been stunted by either leaving him in freshwater all of his life or by possibly not being fed correctly when he was young?
2. We are concerned about his feeding schedule. We are reading that juveniles need to be fed every day, but that as they get older that you can cut that down some. Even though he is so small, is he considered a mature fish? How should we be feeding him? We have even setup a 5 gallon tank to try to breed some snails so we can stop going to PetSmart to ask for theirs.
3. We are also reading that because of how aggressive the GS Puffer can be that they should be in a specimen only tank, but ours seems very docile and I can't imagine him hurting anyone. Should he be moved by himself? I know that the recommended minimum tank size is at least 30 gallons, but I have a 20 gallon that I am cycling to try to start a saltwater tank. If he needs to be moved, could I use that tank since he is so small?

Tank Mates:
Blood Parrots x 2
Black Convicts x 2
African Leaf Fish
Angel Fish x 3
Electric Blue Acara
Black Skirt Tatra x 7
Tire Track Eel
Black Ghost Knife
 
Fishlover245735
Member
I’ve heard that you have to increase the salinity as your puffer ages... sorry I don’t know a lot about these guys.
 
stella1979
Member
HI Robert Welcome to Fishlore.

I'm sorry that we don't have a lot of GSP keepers these days but there is some very good information available here by a previous member who is quite knowledgeable in their care. Some links containing good info by him below.

I am not experienced with puffers but I do know that they don't do well in freshwater in the long term at all... so perhaps a reason for his small size is that he was never transitioned to a saltier setup. So, yes, he needs to be alone, if only because the other fish in your tank do not need saltwater, while the GSP does.

Hopefully, you'll get better replies than I can give today, but in the meantime, please have a look at the info provided to us long ago by the one and only pinkfloydpuffer .

Green Spotted Puffer Fish Care - Size, Lifespan, TankMates, Breeding
Important - General Guide to Puffer Care
 
Scubagirl1
Member
Robert Walsh said:
Just before Christmas we purchased a used 120 gallon, freshwater tank that was already stocked. There is a conglomeration of fish that don't seen to go together, but they are all coexisting without any fatalities. I will list the inhabitants of the tank at the bottom on the post.
The reason for my post today is probably our favorite fish in the tank, a small Green Spotted Puffer. We were told that the fish was 3.5-4 years old, but only measures just over 2" long. I didn't take him out to measure him because I didn't want him to puff up, but we got him over to the side of the tank and measured him that way. All of us have been researching different sources on the internet to try to find out what we should be doing for him, but there are many differing opinions. I am trying to get some informed and experienced opinions

Here are my questions:
1. Could his growth have been stunted by either leaving him in freshwater all of his life or by possibly not being fed correctly when he was young?
2. We are concerned about his feeding schedule. We are reading that juveniles need to be fed every day, but that as they get older that you can cut that down some. Even though he is so small, is he considered a mature fish? How should we be feeding him? We have even setup a 5 gallon tank to try to breed some snails so we can stop going to PetSmart to ask for theirs.
3. We are also reading that because of how aggressive the GS Puffer can be that they should be in a specimen only tank, but ours seems very docile and I can't imagine him hurting anyone. Should he be moved by himself? I know that the recommended minimum tank size is at least 30 gallons, but I have a 20 gallon that I am cycling to try to start a saltwater tank. If he needs to be moved, could I use that tank since he is so small?

Tank Mates:
Blood Parrots x 2
Black Convicts x 2
African Leaf Fish
Angel Fish x 3
Electric Blue Acara
Black Skirt Tatra x 7
Tire Track Eel
Black Ghost Knife
My favorite loving interactive fish. It's been a while since I lost Charlie but I'll try to help.

Feeding I never really limited him. Snails are a treat and help w his teeth. I eas able to get mine to eat clams on a half shell. At first I had to soak in garlic juice. Just don't get the juice on your hands. Takes days for the smell to wear off. If you can contact the original owner to ask it would help. They are picky eaters and depends on what they've been raised on. They get attached so he may get upset over the detachment. Mine would eat from my hand and knew my footstep. Always rushing to see me from where ever he was in the tank.

They need brackish water as they get older which is why they get put in a separate tank. Hard to find tank mates that like brackish. While still young they do well with tank mates without long wavery fins. They tend to get attracted and nip the fins. Corys do well w them but can't be in brackish water.

Not sure why he's small other than maybe he's not as old as you were told. Especially if he's 3 years old. Usually go brackish 6-12 mos old. Maybe they meant mos old not years?

He's a great pet. Let me know how it goes and if I can help more.

Also they carry internal pests when young , bc they are all caught wild. If he's young you may consider deworming. If he surfs the glass he's either stressed or bored so if he does this just do a little rearranging of the tank.
 

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