Green pufferfish

The green pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis) belongs to the pufferfish family and is one of the most frequently imported and kept in aquariums. The fish is native to Southeast Asia in coastal freshwater and brackish water habitats.

What distinguishes the green pufferfish?

A special feature of the green pufferfish is its typical plump shape. As a brackish water fish, it is used to a mixture of fresh and salt water – this should definitely be taken into account for species-appropriate keeping. Green pufferfish are very playful with each other, but socialization with other fish species is extremely difficult. It is therefore recommended to keep the fish only in a pure species aquarium.

The appearance of a green pufferfish

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The pufferfish species reaches a size of up to 17 centimetres. Its exterior is particularly striking and is characterised by a striking, light-edged black spot pattern. The colour of the rest of the body varies from yellow-green to emerald green. The belly on the other hand is white, but can take on a grey to yellowish hue in older animals.

The head and torso of the fish are covered with tiny, closely spaced spines. If the puffer fish inflates, these also straighten up. Apart from this the green pufferfish has two forked short tentacles at the nostril opening.


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Gender differences

Male and female puffer fish cannot be distinguished externally.

Water values for green pufferfish

Tetraodon nigroviridis feels particularly well in the following water values:

  • Water temperature: 24 °C – 28 °C
  • pH value: 6,5 to 8
  • Total hardness: 15° to 30°dGH
  • Salt content: approx. 4 g/l

Since the animals are used to brackish water, they should not be kept in a normal freshwater tank. It is therefore recommended to produce a light brackish water with a salt content of about four grams for a species-appropriate husbandry. The water should be medium-hard to hard and also have a pH value between 6.5 and 8. A water temperature of 24 to 28° Celsius proves to be ideal and is modelled on its natural habitat.

Food and nutrition for green puffer fish

The feeding of puffer fish is relatively demanding, as the animals often only accept live food. However, they can be accustomed to frost- or freeze-dried food. They also feed on crustaceans and molluscs. In addition to the usual feeding, however, it is important to feed the green pufferfish snails regularly so that they wear out their teeth. If this possibility is not offered, its beak grows too long and it starves to death.

The ideal aquarium for green pufferfish

The animals live together in groups, which is why at least five pufferfish should be kept together. As already mentioned, it is recommended not to keep the animals in a community aquarium. However, this is not only due to the water values, it can also happen that pufferfish hunt other species or even eat them.

The size of the aquarium should not fall below a tank length of 120 cm, because the animals become relatively large. Aquarists should especially rely on large root systems for decoration. Artificial clay tubes and coconut halves are also accepted. It is important that the pufferfish are offered sufficient hiding places. Furthermore, the animals prefer spacious aquariums with sufficient swimming space, a Sandy bottom and a current.

Characteristics of green pufferfish

Similar to other puffer fish species, Tetraodon nigroviridis are also poisonous and the poisoning can even be fatal under certain circumstances. If you are interested in this species of fish, it is absolutely necessary to find out about the poison and its effects before you buy, as everyone reacts differently to it.

Keeping conditions

  • The playful pufferfish should be kept at least five – a community aquarium is not recommended.
  • A brackish water keeping is necessary, because the fish quickly falls ill if kept in pure fresh water.
  • With medium-hard to hard water, a temperature of 24 °C – 28 °C and a pH value of 6.5 to 8 the fish feel comfortable.
  • Puffer fish are pure carnivores, which is why the feeding consists ideally of live food – regular feeding with snails is especially important!
  • The ideal tank for green pufferfish has an edge length of at least 120 cm and offers sufficient swimming and hiding possibilities.

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