Green pufferfish - Tetraodon fluviatilis
Scientific name: Tetraodon fluviatilis
Common name: Green pufferfish
Usual size in fish tanks: 15 - 17 cm (5.91 - 6.69 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 5.9 - 7.5
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 20°N (89.29 - 357.14ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 23 - 27 °C (73.4 - 80.6°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: South Asia
Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial
Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive/territorial
Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels
The green pufferfish are to be found over a wide area in Asia, namely India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand.
These fish have proven to be popular over the years in the aquarium trade but they do require a good sized aquarium to house them correctly. Adult specimens can reach an average length of just over 6 inches and they are a very active species so do require a lot of swimming space. The green pufferfish belongs to the family of Tetraodontidae and their full classification is . They have a reputation for being highly aggressive, keeping more than one specimen in the aquarium is asking for trouble as they are highly territorial. They have evolved over the years to acquire the ability to inflate themselves up to 3 times their normal size by intaking air or water, this is believed to be a way of protecting themselves from would be predators making them look too large to eat. However you may observe them inflating in the aquarium when there is no threat but this is perfectly normal. They also have the ability to blink, this family of fish is the only one that can do this making them all the more popular with fish keepers.
They have also evolved a beak by the fusion of their teeth on both jaws, this is to help them to crack shells of crustaceans etc. and the beak is constantly growing so they do need to grind on food to keep it short enough to prevent eating problems.
It should be noted that pufferfish house a deadly poison in their bodies namely tetrodotoxin, their is no antidote if ingested in lethal doses so handling of these fish is not recommended for your own safety. This poison affects the nervous system and will paralyse victims.
If cared for correctly the green pufferfish will have a lengthy life of up to 15 years of age.
The minimum aquarium size for the green pufferfish should be at least 4 feet (120cm) in length and 1 foot (30cm) wide. They are often kept in freshwater conditions, in the wild juveniles can live in these conditions but they are a brackish species so you will need to add aquarium salt. The sg of the water should be set at approximately 1.010 but a slight deviation is acceptable.
Sand should be used for the substrate and rocks or wood should be added to provide hiding places. The water temperature should range between 23-27°C (73-80°F) and the pH should range between 5.9-7.5.
They are high waste producers so use a filtration system rated for the water volume and back this up with regular water changes of at least 10% weekly.
Plants can be added if they are extremely hardy due to the brackish conditions but artificial plants may be the better option.
As mentioned above they need to be housed as a single specimen but they can be kept with other brackish species such as scats and archerfish.
In the wild the green pufferfish feeds on small crustaceans and shellfish so this should be replicated in the aquarium. They can be fed snails and small shellfish but leave the shells on to keep their beaks ground down to a healthy level. They will also appreciate treats of chopped earthworms.
There is no visible way of sexing the green pufferfish.
Reliable reports of these fish breeding in the aquarium have not been sourced but in the wild it is known that the male prepares a circular nest in the sand and entices the female over by stirring up the sand inside the nest. After spawning the female leaves the nest and the male will continue to spawn with other females in the area. All parental care is performed by the male parent fish.
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