Maximum size : 15 cm

Green Spotted Pufferfish - Tetraodon Nigroviridis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Green Spotted Pufferfish (Tetraodon Nigroviridis) is a fascinating and highly intelligent fish that is sure to capture the attention of experienced aquarists. With their unique appearance, vibrant personalities, and remarkable ability to recognize their owners, these fish are a true delight to keep. While they may not be suitable for community tanks due to their aggressive nature and scaleless bodies, they make excellent pets for dedicated hobbyists. In fact, their impressive intelligence and active swimming style make them some of the most rewarding fish to watch.

In the event of maintaining multiple Green Spotted Pufferfish, it is prudent to ascertain that all individuals share a consistent size and are introduced simultaneously. The integration of newcomers into an established group tends to be met with resistance. It is pertinent to acknowledge that while the temperaments of pufferfish can display considerable variability, the prevailing trend is that Green Spotted Puffers exhibit a discernible level of aggression, which becomes more pronounced as they mature. Thus, a diligent and observant approach to their interactions is recommended.

Green Spotted Pufferfish are most optimally housed within dedicated species-only brackish aquaria. The aquarium's design should encompass a spacious layout, thoughtfully adorned with an abundance of rock formations to facilitate the creation of caves and visual partitions while concurrently ensuring the provision of sufficient open area for their energetic swimming behaviour. Employing a substrate composed of aragonite or crushed coral serves to contribute to a consistent alkaline pH level.

While the topic remains subject to debate, there exists a deliberation regarding the most suitable aquatic conditions for this species, spanning the range from freshwater to brackish to marine environments. However, our perspective asserts that maintaining Green Spotted Puffers in brackish conditions fosters a robust, prolonged lifespan and overall health. The introduction of marine salt, accompanied by meticulous regular hydrometer-based assessments, constitutes best practice, complemented by a gradual and meticulous acclimatization process for the fish's well-being.

Owing to their proclivity for generating debris during feeding and heightened susceptibility to organic pollutants, the employment of robust filtration mechanisms is recommended. It is prudent to diligently adhere to a systematic maintenance regimen to sustain optimal water quality. Additionally, the implementation of elevated oxygenation levels is advisable to promote the well-being of the aquatic environment.

These pufferfish have a striking green body adorned with black spots, and their protruding eyes and distinctive features give them a distinctively frog-like appearance. They are also equipped with powerful jaw and unique teeth-like structures used for crushing their prey. Interestingly, the Green Spotted Pufferfish can puff itself up as a defence mechanism, jutting out its spines to ward off potential predators. In addition, their flesh contains a poisonous substance that can be fatal to predators that consume them. Overall, if you're an experienced aquarist seeking a captivating and intelligent fish, the Green Spotted Pufferfish is an excellent choice.

Green Spotted Pufferfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sexes of Green Spotted Pufferfish is a daunting task for even the most experienced aquarist. Traditional methods, such as visual inspection or behaviour analysis, are ineffective, and the only definitive way to differentiate males from females is through dissection or by observing egg-laying behaviour in females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameTetraodon Nigroviridis
Year Described1822
Other NamesGreen Spotted Puffer, GSP
OriginsThailand , Sri Lanka , Cambodia , Philippines , Malaysia , Myanmar , Vietnam
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
Diet & FeedingCarnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 15 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeBrackish
pH 7.5 - 8.2
GH 9 - 10
Ideal Temperature
78 - 82
25 - 27

Natural Habitat

The Green Spotted Pufferfish originates from the rich and diverse lands of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. These incredible creatures can be found in a variety of environments, including rivers, streams, and flooded areas.

One of the most remarkable features of the Green Spotted Pufferfish is their ability to adapt to different water conditions. As they mature, they have been known to transition from freshwater to brackish or even marine water areas. This migration enables them to thrive in coastal environments, where they continue to mesmerize and amaze with their striking appearance and unique behaviour. 


To breed the Green Spotted Pufferfish, it is recommended to keep more than five fish in a tank to increase the likelihood of mixed sexes. Once a female is recognized, typically distinguished by her larger size after breeding, the spawning process can be managed. To optimise breeding success, a brackish water environment with plenty of flat rocks or pebbles should be provided to give the fish a surface to lay their eggs upon.

After laying, the male takes over to guard and protect the eggs. The eggs will hatch in approximately seven days, and the male will continue to defend the fry, moving them to a pit. Raising the fry can be challenging as they have limited food options at this stage, primarily consuming Cyclops nauplii.

Diet & feeding

Green Spotted Pufferfish are notorious for their voracious appetite and will eat almost anything offered to them. However, overfeeding can lead to health problems, so it is crucial to provide them with a balanced diet in appropriate portions. Snails are an essential part of their diet as they help keep their beak-like teeth filed down to a suitable size.

It is recommended to feed them snails similar in size to their eyes. Along with snails, crustaceans are a significant part of their diet as they are true carnivores and thrive on meaty foods. As juveniles, their diet consists of plankton, cockles, brine shrimp, worms, and white bait. As they mature, they will consume a variety of crustaceans, such as lobster, crayfish, crab legs, scallops, squid, mussels, and clams. A varied diet is crucial for optimal health and growth.

Other Pufferfish of interest