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T. nigroviridis, the Green Spotted Puffer. One of the most commonly sold
puffers, often they are only about 1 inch total length in the stores. Another
puffer with confusion around the scientific name, the most common error being
T. fluviatilis, which is an entirely different fish, the Ceylon or Topaz.
This species is aggressive. Peace may be had in a community environment while
they are juveniles, but as they mature, the predator instinct becomes paramount.
The individual above is a classic example. Raised by a person in a community
Fresh water tank, he was moved to a salt water environment on the advice of
an aquarium maintenance provider. Though the suggestion was good, these fish
do like salt water as adults, the fish was very methodical about taking the
fins off of all the other beautiful SW fish in the tank. Including a large
bat fish. So Mr. Green Spotted was traded in to the LFS. At a healthy 6 inches
total length, and about 2.5 inches wide, he is a formidable puffer. He also
was not showing his lovely markings at the store, and remained very black
in appearance. So, no one wanted to buy him. I traded in an aggressive catfish
from one of my community tanks for this wonderful fish.
He has his own tank, marine salinity with a skimmer and a Penguin biowheel
set up. He has sugar sand substrate in which he loves to partially bury himself.
He will attack anything you put in the tank. Including my hands! He will also
leap out of the water almost completely if he thinks I have food. The picture
above with him at the surface is right before a large leap. He spits water
at me too. a true character, and a real piggy eater, he has quickly earned
a spot in my heart. I am happy to have him out to pasture in my home. I suspect
he is at least 7 years old based on the LFS's account of the original owner's
Many people experience a loss of the bright yellow colour as their GS puffers
age. I do believe that keeping them in very heavy brackish to full marine
salinity will allow them to shine their best. When they are comfortable and
in the proper water parameters, the colours are nice and bright. This puffer
will be dark, even on his belly when he first wakes up, or after resting behind
his large rock. But after a few moments of swimming at the top and begging
for food, he is brightly coloured again, with a pure white belly.
This species is very prone to ich (AKA White spot disease). Another reason
to keep the salinity high enough to not allow that parasite to get a foothold.
Often, entire shipments come through that are riddled with parasites and disease.
On our email list, waves of concerned puffer keepers come to us for advice.
You can almost see the pattern of the shipments. A salt water bath upon reaching
home with a new GS may go a long way towards preventing the parasites from
winning the battle.
At this point, all specimens of this species are wild caught. There are no
good visual cues for sexing this species, though some people believe there
are body shape differences in the genders. To my knowledge, no one has successful
captive bred this species. I suspect that the environment cannot easily be
provided by aquarists to mimic the natural conditions this puffer needs to
breed. Especially with the adult's affinity for SW conditions, I suspect that
the fry are microscopic and need to use the ocean water columns to feed on
planktonic life. More than likely, eggs are laid at a certain time of year
where the fry will wind up inland at a specific time where a food source small
enough is available in the estuaries and streams.