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Profile: Tetraodon Nigroviridis Green Spotted Puffer

Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:45 PM (#1) User is offline    

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I couldn't find a P-Fury profile on Green Spotted Puffers, so I thought I'd write one as I researched them. I hope this is helpful; feel free to post any pics, comments, or corrections.

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Green Spotted Puffer

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/\ Here are my young GSPs at about an inch long /\

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/\ Here is 6MTCoupe's GSP, which is larger /\

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/\ Here is mbierzyc's large GSP (which may need a beak trim) /\

Scientific name: Tetraodon Nigroviridis
Common name: Green Spotted Puffer
Synonyms: GSP, Green Puffer Fish
Etymology: Known as the Green Spotted Puffer because it is a puffer fish that is green with black spots.
Genus: Tetraodon
Order: Tetraodontiforme
Class: Actinopterygii
Family: Tetraodontidae
Subfamily: Nigroviridis
Size: 6", though usually less in captivity (15.24cm)
Origin: Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Minimum Tank Size: 10-gallon for one, but it will not grow very large and may get bored; I would suggest a 29-gallon.
Tank setup: Should be placed in a heavily decorated tank with lots of fake plants (they might shred real ones), lots of broken lines of sight, other decorations such as rocks (to dull their beaks on) and seashells (to raise the pH). Lots of decorations and broken lines of sight are important as these fish are very curious and smart fish and will swim around exploring their habitat. If the tank is too small or bare they will swim along the glass all day. Another way to keep them from growing bored is to hide small snails throughout their tanks, these make great meals and the fish will happily occupy themselves with hunting for the snails. It is important to have a lid on your tank, as these fish are known jumpers.
Temperament: Aggressive fish, especially as they grow older, they have a razor sharp beak and are very "curious," so be very careful when reaching in the tank. GSPs will attack almost all fish, and will certainly nip at their fins. GSPs are excellent hunters and will hunt, kill, and eat snails, crabs, crayfish, and ghost shrimp. Males can get in violent fights, and so fights should be watched closely. It is better that they live alone, as they are quiet territorial, however several can be kept together in a large enough tank.
Compatibility: There are not my fish that you will have any luck keeping your GSP with other than another GSP (and only then in a reasonably sized tank). GSPs are notorious fin nippers. They have been known to happily co-exist with another fish for as long as a year before killing it. My GSPs live with a few feeder fish (who help clean up the food scraps, GSPs are filthy eaters), and the feeders spend all day hiding and acting terrified. My GSPs generally get along with each other until I drop in the food, then even if there is enough they nip like crazy at each other and fight over a random piece of food. I have read about someone successfully keeping aquatic hermit craps with their SW GSPs, but only by scattering the tank with empty shells to trick them. In general, I'd plan on keeping your GSPs all alone.
Water Type: It will be suggested by many that you start out your young GSP in brackish water, slowly increasing the salinity until the adult GSP lives in a full salt water tank. If you choose to raise your GSP in brackish water, as some will tell you may be a benefit to the GSP's health, keep it in medium brackish water with SG of 1.010 - 1.015. Some fish keepers will tell you that a GSP can live a long, happy, and healthy life in a fully freshwater tank and that many profesional aquariums (Shed's and the like) keep their adult GSPs in hard, fresh water. The decision of water chemistry is one that you as a fish keeper should research and decided upon.
Temperature: 78 - 82 F (25 - 28 C)
Hardness: 9 - 12 dH
pH: Around 8
Sexual dimorphism: Unfortunately these fish are difficult to sex. As far as I can tell the only difference is that the female is fatter and has a more pure white stomach; as these are both matters of opinion, they will not be much help.
Breeding: Breeding is very difficult and can only be achieved in brackish water. A mating pair should be placed in a large brackish tank with lots of cover and smooth surfaces that the eggs can be laid on. When the eggs are laid the male will guard them. The fry will hatch in 6 - 7 days and will be moved to a pit or hiding place where the male will guard them. GSP fry are picky eaters, but will take brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and scraps from their parents meals.
Feeding: In the wild the GSP feeds almost entirely on crustaceans. It is important to mimic this diet in captivity not only to provide the proper nutrients, but to help the GSP trim his beak. The GSP, like a rabbit or beaver, has constantly growing teeth (its beak) and needs hard foods to help this beak from growing too long causing lockjaw and starvation. If the GSP's natural diet can not be properly reproduced then you will have to trim the fish's beak, which is not fun for the GSP or its keeper.

The GSP should be fed a constant staple of snails; a perfect GSP meal nutrition wise and for keeping the beak in check. Most people will tell you to feed them snails "the size of their eye," and while this is good advice, the GSP will not be picky and will take on almost any sized snail. The snails should be supplemented with frozen or freeze-dried krill or plankton. The local fish store will tell you to feed your GSP cichlid pellets or tropical fish flakes, but not only does this not help your GSP trim his beak, you also are very unlikely to get the GSP to eat pellets, flakes, or sticks. Another good food is frozen or live blood worms and other worms. GSPs will also eat crickets, worms, grub, crabs, crayfish, ghost shrimp (and other shrimp), and most mollusks - all of these foods can be fed live or dead.

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These fish are great beginner puffers (perhaps the easiest puffer next to the Dwarf Puffer). Although many people will tell you that these are brackish fish that should be phased into full salt once they become adults, this is not necessarily true. These fish can reportedly live happy, healthy lives in hard fresh water as long as they are cared for properly. I've heard that Shed's Aquarium keeps their GSPs in fresh water, and they may have some idea what they're doing. Either way, it is important that you keep these fish's tanks clean, since they have no scales or gill covers. A 50% water change should be done weekly removing all of the waste and uneaten food.

Be careful when shopping for puffers. My local fish store tried to pass these fish off as Dwarf Puffers, the difference being about 5 inches (when full grown). Make sure you feed them a varied diet with lots of snails. If you fail to feed you GSP enough hard food you may have to trim your GSP's constantly growing beak to prevent starvation. This involves catching the GSP, placing it on a plate, paralyzing it with a dangerous chemical that could kill it, and clipping its beak with nail clippers. Not a fun event for you or your fish. Regardless, GSPs are great fish that make great pets.

There isn't much information out there on GSPs (why I wrote this), but here are my sources:
Profile
Profile
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Boring Article (Scientific Names)
General Info

This post has been edited by IHadSexWithAllTheseFish: 10 April 2006 - 06:22 PM


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Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:04 PM (#2) User is offline    

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looks good :nod:

Posted 04 April 2006 - 10:51 PM (#3) User is offline    

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Very informative post!
I plan on buying a Green Spotted Puffer as soon as my tank is done cycling. I went to the thepufferforum.com and everyone there insists that GSP needs to be kept in brackish water and eventually full marine water when they eventually reach full maturity. Could you please give me your reasons why you are sure that this type of fish needs only freshwater? Have you talked to anybody that has had their GSP reach full maturity in a Freshwater tank? I tried to research this myself but there is a lot of conflicting information. Thank you in advance.

Posted 05 April 2006 - 11:12 AM (#4) User is offline    

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The owner of my local mom and pop fish store told me that he has had several GSPs live full happy and healthy lives in fresh water, and so have many of his customers. Also, I've heard that Shed's, or one of those big aquariums, keeps a few full grown GSPs in fresh water. The only time I think that you would benifit from a brakish tank is if you are trying to breed these fish, which I hear is very difficult and can only occur in brakish water.

Posted 05 April 2006 - 12:16 PM (#5) User is offline    

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View PostIHadSexWithAllTheseFish, on Apr 5 2006, 11:12 AM, said:

The owner of my local mom and pop fish store told me that he has had several GSPs live full happy and healthy lives in fresh water, and so have many of his customers. Also, I've heard that Shed's, or one of those big aquariums, keeps a few full grown GSPs in fresh water. The only time I think that you would benifit from a brakish tank is if you are trying to breed these fish, which I hear is very difficult and can only occur in brakish water.


After doing my own research I agree with your findings. I will hopefully have a couple of these fish in my cycled tank within couple weeks.

Posted 05 April 2006 - 12:25 PM (#6) User is offline    

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Quote

After doing my own research I agree with your findings. I will hopefully have a couple of these fish in my cycled tank within couple weeks.

Congratulations, these are great fish. Enjoy!

Posted 06 April 2006 - 12:55 AM (#7) User is offline   Mettle 

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How about the fact that these fish migrate out to and live in the ocean when full grown? Maybe that's why they need full marine when older?

A few years of captivity doesn't erase thousands of years of evolution.

Check to see how long GSPs are living in fresh water compared to salt and make up your mind then.

And I would trust the people at the Puffer Forum. A lot of those people are experts on the fish they are talking about. Some have 20+ years experience...

If you're not going to keep a fish properly don't keep it at all... Maybe this is why your puffers and the one at the store you bought them from are all ending up DEAD.

But it's your money and your fish.
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Posted 06 April 2006 - 12:12 PM (#8) User is offline    

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View PostMettle, on Apr 6 2006, 01:55 AM, said:

How about the fact that these fish migrate out to and live in the ocean when full grown? Maybe that's why they need full marine when older?

A few years of captivity doesn't erase thousands of years of evolution.

Check to see how long GSPs are living in fresh water compared to salt and make up your mind then.

And I would trust the people at the Puffer Forum. A lot of those people are experts on the fish they are talking about. Some have 20+ years experience...

If you're not going to keep a fish properly don't keep it at all... Maybe this is why your puffers and the one at the store you bought them from are all ending up DEAD.

But it's your money and your fish.

Wow, calm down :ooh: . I'm am well aware of the reasoning for keeping a GSP in brakish and marine. I listed the believed benefits of keeping a GSP in brakish and then I listed my reasoning for not doing it; it is up to the reader of the profile how they choose to keep their fish and I believe that either way is good.

I should mention for those that are trying to decide between brakish and fresh water that a brakish tank is not that difficult to keep and has the added benefit of keeping people who believe they have the final say on the best way to keep every fish from bitching at you.

Posted 06 April 2006 - 01:19 PM (#9) User is offline   Mettle 

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What it comes down to is a choice, yes. But it's a choice on keeping a fish correctly or incorrectly.

I could keep an oscar in my 30 gallon long tank. But that would be bad fish husbandry. Just like keeping a gsp in fresh water.

I just don't like inexperienced people playing themselves off as knowing everything because they read a few internet FAQ files written by joe blow.

If you're truly interested in keeping the fish and being able to write authoratatively on the subject try keeping multiple tanks, with varying levels of salinity, and in the end document your findings. This could take years though. (A guy at the Puffer Forum did this with figure 8s and his studies took over 15 years.)
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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:19 PM (#10) User is offline    

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Quote

What it comes down to is a choice, yes. But it's a choice on keeping a fish correctly or incorrectly.

I could keep an oscar in my 30 gallon long tank. But that would be bad fish husbandry. Just like keeping a gsp in fresh water.

I just don't like inexperienced people playing themselves off as knowing everything because they read a few internet FAQ files written by joe blow.

If you're truly interested in keeping the fish and being able to write authoratatively on the subject try keeping multiple tanks, with varying levels of salinity, and in the end document your findings. This could take years though. (A guy at the Puffer Forum did this with figure 8s and his studies took over 15 years.)

Wow, that is very interesting. I'll get right on that.

I posted what all of these "experts" on sites like pufferforums put, and then I posted my opinion. People are smart enough to do a little research on their own and decide which setup to go with. You aparently would choose brakish, good for you.

This post has been edited by IHadSexWithAllTheseFish: 06 April 2006 - 04:40 PM


Posted 09 April 2006 - 12:54 AM (#11) User is offline   Mettle 

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View PostIHadSexWithAllTheseFish, on Apr 6 2006, 05:19 PM, said:

Quote

What it comes down to is a choice, yes. But it's a choice on keeping a fish correctly or incorrectly.

I could keep an oscar in my 30 gallon long tank. But that would be bad fish husbandry. Just like keeping a gsp in fresh water.

I just don't like inexperienced people playing themselves off as knowing everything because they read a few internet FAQ files written by joe blow.

If you're truly interested in keeping the fish and being able to write authoratatively on the subject try keeping multiple tanks, with varying levels of salinity, and in the end document your findings. This could take years though. (A guy at the Puffer Forum did this with figure 8s and his studies took over 15 years.)

Wow, that is very interesting. I'll get right on that.

I posted what all of these "experts" on sites like pufferforums put, and then I posted my opinion. People are smart enough to do a little research on their own and decide which setup to go with. You aparently would choose brakish, good for you.


Yes. Good for me that I choose to practice correct fish hubandry and not to further propogate falsities on the internet by mascarading a profile as anything more than second hand knowledge that is probably incorrect.
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Posted 09 April 2006 - 03:30 AM (#12) Guest_DannyBoy17_*

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Man, you just dont get it do you? Firs toyu Oscar, and now this?

Sorry bro, but fish keeping is not about keeping something alive in a tank...its about allowing something to thrive in an artificial enviroment, and its your responsibility to do the best you can to provide that.

If you can afford to buy an Oscar, a Puffer and tanks for them, you can afford a $10 bag of Red Sea Salt and a $10 hydrometer which will keep your tank brackish for ages.

Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:16 PM (#13) User is offline    

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Boy, and you guys (DannyBoy, Mettle) don't get it. This profile is mostly second hand knowledge I gathered as I researched the new fish I would be keeping; to write a profile based solely on one's own fish keeping experience would be rather reckless, on-sided, and self-centered.

You don't agree with one aspect of the profile, to which I also provide the alternative you suggest in the profile. It is up to a fish keeper whether or not to keep their GSP in fresh water, brackish water, or salt water. I simply provided the reasoning for doing all three (the responsible thing to do in a fish profile).

So congratulations; you've added to your post totals. I'll add your concerns to the profile, and you can stop posting pointless personal attacks.

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:03 PM (#14) User is offline   MR.FREEZ 

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is this the end of the debate :laugh:

Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:29 PM (#15) User is offline    

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It looks like it. I think I covered their concerns a little better in the profile. I'm always happy to make reasonable and responsible improvements.

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