The green-spotted puffer is an intelligent, inquisitive and active fish with personality. These spotted fish with rounded bodies, small mouths and buggy eyes come to recognise their owners and excitedly swim up to the aquarium glass.
Given proper environment and care, puffers can live 10 or more years. They need brackish water, lots of space for swimming and places to hide.
Green-spotted puffers are a hardy fish that require specialised feeding. Therefore, they're frequently rated as moderately difficult aquarium fish. The proper diet keeps green-spotted puffers healthy and active.
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Green-spotted puffers are omnivores. While in their natural habitats they eat some vegetation, their diet consists primarily of meaty foods such as shellfish and crustaceans. Puffers grow to 6 inches long. Smaller green-spotted puffers (about 2 inches) eat crickets, glass worms, frozen or freeze-dried krill, gut-laden ghost shrimp and little snails the size of their eyes. Larger puffers consume bloodworms, brine shrimp, clams, crab legs, crayfish, freeze-dried krill, ghost shrimp, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, snails and squid.
Snails are essential for puffers, including green-spotted puffer fish. Puffers' teeth continue to grow through their lives, and they depend on crusty shells for trimming. Overgrown teeth disable puffers from feeding, leading to starvation.
These aggressive fish require food that's live or frozen, rather than flakes or pellets. Feeder fish aren't recommended; they don't meet puffers' nutritional requirements and can carry disease.
Bloodworms and freeze-dried krill are used as treats. As staples, they don't provide needed nutrition and crunch.
According to an article by Jeni Tyrell on the AquariumLife website, fish size determines feeding frequency. Small green-spotted puffers--under 2 inches--are fed daily. Medium-size puffers, 2 to 4 inches, are fed every other day. Large puffers, 4 to 6 inches, are fed every three to four days.
Green-spotted puffers are skilled at begging and can gorge themselves to death. Tyrell wrote, "Feeding puffers every time they beg will cause fat, lazy fish and eventually you will be killing them with kindness."
A green-spotted puffer that ate a proper amount sports a rounded belly; one that overate looks bloated. When the stomach is the right fullness, the owner can use a net to remove remaining food and dispose of it or freeze it in a zip-close plastic bag.
Puffers that overeat suffer constipation and trigger environmental distress. Detritus increases ammonia amounts and encourages growth of fungus, to which puffers are vulnerable. A moderate, balanced diet maintains health of both fish and their home.
Puffers are quite messy eaters and produce a large amount of waste. This taxes aquarium filtration systems and quickly degrades the quality of water. Large tanks are best for these predatory consumers of sea meats. About 50 per cent of puffer aquarium water should be changed weekly, according to recommendations.
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