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FAQs about Brackish Puffer Identification

Related Articles: Freshwater/Brackish PuffersAlone But Not Lonely: The Importance of  Keeping Puffers Individually by Damien Wagaman, Green Spotted Puffers (GSP's), The Arrowhead Puffer, Tetraodon suvattii, miraculously malicious, True Puffers, Puffers in General, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes, Puffy & Mr. NastyPuffer Care and Information by John (Magnus) Champlin, Things That My Puffers Have Told Me by Justin Petrey, (Big) Pufferfish Dentistry By Kelly Jedlicki and Anthony Calfo Small Puffer Dentistry By Jeni Tyrell (aka Pufferpunk),

Related FAQs: BR Puffers 1, BR Puffers 2, BR Puffers 3, BR Puffer Behavior, BR Puffer Selection, BR Puffer Compatibility, BR Puffer Systems, BR Puffer Feeding, BR Puffer Disease, BR Puffer Disease 2, BR Puffer Reproduction, Freshwater Puffers 1, FW Puffers 2, FW Puffers 3, FW Puffer Identification, FW Puffer Behavior, FW Puffer Selection, FW Puffer Compatibility, FW Puffer Systems, FW Puffer Feeding, FW Puffer Disease, FW Puffer Reproduction, Brackish Water Fishes in General, Puffers in General, True Puffers, Freshwater Puffers, Green Spotted Puffers, Burrfishes/Porcupinefishes, Tobies/Sharpnose Puffers, Boxfishes,  

Many, MANY "Freshwater" puffers sold to aquarists are slightly to moderate brackish... to full strength marine species... Know the species you're dealing with AHEAD of buying.

To ID the puffer you have & the one you are interested in, look here: http://www.pufferlist.com/ http://www.pufferresources.net/puffer_profiles

Puffer Fish Identification Help! 22 megs in pix... Why?      12/11/14
Hi again everybody! I seriously don't know what I would do without you, haha. So, today I was at Wal-Mart and had to break my personal rule of "Don't encourage Wal-Mart to sell fish by buying fish" because I noticed that for some reason they have Leopard puffers in stock (sigh).
<Is one of their unfortunately stock SKUs... an exceedingly poor choice... too mean/incompatible, not freshwater...>
So, I immediately decided to give at least one of them a better shot at life and got him- but then I noticed another puffer in the tank with the rest of the Leopards- a strange one that I've never seen before, even having worked at a LFS. So, I had to get that one, too, and now I'm trying to figure out what he/she is before putting the poor thing in a brackish tank or a fresh tank. I took some photos of the two of them so that you can see the Mystery Puffer's pattern and color compared to the Leopard puffer's patterns and color. At first I thought MAYBE it's a Fahaka, but it lacks the right color and stripe pattern that they have. The only similarity is that it has that
strange angular shape that I noticed in juvenile Fahakas, but other than that, I'm stumped. What could it be? Thanks in advance,
<Am sending this to Neale... Is this a Tetraodon duboisi? Very strange. Bob Fenner>

Re: Puffer Fish Identification Help!     12/11/14
My next suspicion is a Milk-Spotted Puffer. It's the closest possible match I've found visually, anyway.
<Ah yes! Chelonodon patoca... much more likely to be found/collected along with the Green-spotted than an African species.
Cheers, BobF>
Puffer Fish Identification Help!
     /Neale to the rescue      12/12/14
Hi again everybody! I seriously don't know what I would do without you, haha. So, today I was at Wal-Mart and had to break my personal rule of "Don't encourage Wal-Mart to sell fish by buying fish" because I noticed that for some reason they have Leopard puffers in stock (sigh). So, I immediately decided to give at least one of them a better shot at life and got him- but then I noticed another puffer in the tank with the rest of the Leopards- a strange one that I've never seen before, even having worked at
a LFS. So, I had to get that one, too, and now I'm trying to figure out what he/she is before putting the poor thing in a brackish tank or a fresh tank. I took some photos of the two of them so that you can see the Mystery Puffer's pattern and color compared to the Leopard puffer's patterns and color. At first I thought MAYBE it's a Fahaka, but it lacks the right color and stripe pattern that they have. The only similarity is that it has that strange angular shape that I noticed in juvenile Fahakas, but other than that, I'm stumped. What could it be? Thanks in advance,
<What you have there I think, Tori, is a juvenile Chelonodon patoca, a brackish/marine species that occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade. Only very occasionally though! I've seen them maybe three times in 30 years. Basic care is similar to that of other large brackish/marine puffers. It gets big (30 cm) but seems to be generally quite peaceful towards its own kind and other fishes, but there are reports of them being "fin biters" (e.g., in Aqualog) though other authors (e.g., Baensch) describe them as peaceful. Problem is the species is so rarely kept, and when it has been kept, often incorrectly (small tank, in freshwater, with long-finned tankmates) we really don't know how it normally behaves. The ones I've seen were largish subadults (around 10-12 cm long) peacefully coexisting as a large group but weren't being kept with other fish. They're probably a lot like GSPs in this regard, and long-term, they'd probably be fine with, say, Damselfish but you wouldn't keep them with Guppies. I imagine they'd be okay with GSPs but a lot would depend on the size of the tank. ThePufferForum.com is one of the better sites to canvas opinions on keeping puffers, though even there, experience with this species is limited. Good luck, Neale.>

distended belly in Puffer... False ID, reading...   7/8/09
Hi I have a 150 gallon marine tank. Levels are normal Nitrate 10 pp., Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0. I just added a puffer to the tank the LFS said it was a porcupine puffer fish.
<? This is a Tetraodon nigroviridis... Was this fish acclimated to total marine water?>
It doesn't look like it to me but that's why I took the picture. I also have a burr-fish . He's fine just posing for the picture. well my question is for the porcupine fish, his belly looks distended. he's eating fine. Will this go away should I be concerned?
<Not likely trouble... are hardy eaters where/when food is available>
could this be a bacterial infection? please let me know
thank you Michelle
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tetraodon nigroviridis (identification)   10/25/08 Ok, here's my puffer he's small freshwater, what kind is it? since No one knows. Also I looked closely there's absolutely NO green on him. just yellowish gold black and white. <This is the brackish water species Tetraodon nigroviridis. It is not a community tank species and is known in the wild as well as in aquaria to bite at the fins of other fish. Other than that issue, when kept on its own (or with its own kind) in a large (40+ gallons) brackish water aquarium it is hardy and easily maintained. Maximum size is about 15 cm/6". Make sure the water is hard and alkaline, and ensure the specific gravity is upwards or SG 1.005 by adding marine salt mix (not "aquarium salt" or "tonic salt") at a dose of 9 grammes per litre. Will not stay healthy in a freshwater aquarium for long. Sadly too many aquarists buy this fish without doing their research, and the result is a lot of sick, stunted pufferfish. Don't be one of them! Much written about this species here in the Brackish Water section of WMM; read. Cheers, Neale.>

Confused!  Puffer ID, Tetraodon, Colomesus, GSP gen. care...  10/23/08 My Amazon puffer did NOT look like the ones in Google images or yours, So I looked and found the green spotted puffer (*Tetraodon nigroviridis)* to match my own. I previously asked questions so I must re ask due to Wal-mart telling me wrong. <Tetraodon nigroviridis is usually distinctive: luminous green-yellow body colour covered with lots of small, circular black spots. It is often confused with Tetraodon fluviatilis, a species with a more greenish body and irregular black spots on the flanks and a few large saddle-shaped patches on the back. Then there's Tetraodon biocellatus, the Figure-8 pufferfish, which has two pairs of distinct yellow-ringed black spots on the flanks; two such spots on either side of the dorsal fin and another two on the caudal peduncle (the "tail"). The Amazon Puffer Colomesus asellus can be confused with these fish, but the important differences are that it has black a series of saddle-like patches running over the back and a distinctive black spot on the underside of the caudal peduncle. All of these, except Colomesus asellus, are brackish water fish.> I have Him in well planted (lots of hiding spots and open water) with 2 Juv African Cichlids, All very young. I do have ghost shrimp about 10ish for a snack and to clean up all in a 29 Gal. They RARLEY nip at each other which shocked me. Should I add another fish or is this enough? <Tetraodon spp. are not gregarious and do not need tankmates of their own kind or other species. Tetraodon biocellatus is sometimes kept in groups, and being rather small, they tend to get along fine unless ridiculously overcrowded. Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis are a bit more territorial, but in large tanks (upwards of 40 gallons, usually) it is possible to keep two or more adults. Both Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis are confirmed fin-biters, so just because they're fine with your other fish now, don't expect that to last. Wild pufferfish of these species eat the fins of other fish, and so it's a question of instinct.> What age does this puffer "puff"? <They don't, unless scared. Because of the risk of swallowing air, this isn't something to encourage, even putting aside the very idea of deliberately scaring a fish to make it do something!> What kinds of snails do I feed it? <Any of the right size.> How do i go about trimming the teeth if they over grow? (many people have many different views (even weird ones). <Do review the article on Colomesus asellus I referred you to last time. Jeni Tyrell has also written an article on this topic at WWM, though she and I differ in opinion on the use of nets to hold the puffer. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/smpufferdentistry.htm > What fish are compatible with my group? Should I add another Puffer? <Puffers of this type are best kept alone or with their own species. For a start they need brackish water, which reduces your range of options. But even allowing for that, these fish are biters. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i6/lonely_puffer/lonely_puffer.htm > Is there any "hard shelled Critters I could feed it to dull the teeth? <In theory yes there are: snails, unshelled prawns, small mussels, etc.> How big do they ACTUALLY get (many websites are different? <In captivity, expect at least 12 cm, and I've seen numerous specimens around 15 cm.> Why is it called the green spotted puffer when there not really green spots..? <Tetraodon nigroviridis does indeed have a green body with black spots.> How come many Petshops and Wal-mart mislabel there fish? <No idea.> Sorry if some of these questions seem obvious, but many websites, pet stores are telling me differently, I saw an article in a fish magazine with Mr. Fenner (SP?) Which led to me saying you know this website might be the "truthful" one. So please help me out thanks SO much, Kurt Meissner! Future Sociologist and Marine Biologist. (horrible spelling) <Happy to help. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/fwbracpuffers.htm Much written about these fish here at WWM; do read, enjoy. Cheers, Neale.>

Interesting information on GSP sexing/breeding. Misidentification of Puffers 9/26/07 Hello! <Hi, Pufferpunk here> A couple of days ago I spoke with a young woman who works at the local pet store (national chain). I told her I had a Green Spotted Puffer and she told me she had one as well. We both have a GSP tank as well as a dwarf puffer tank. She was apparently as excited as I was to impart information she'd learned from speaking with others or reading info on the internet. Through the course of our conversation, she insisted that she could VISUALLY tell the difference between male and female Green Spotted Puffers. I found this very hard to believe considering that I've found NO information on the net supporting this claim. What I've read here at WWW, as well as at other sites, insists quite differently....that there is no sexual dimorphism in GSP. Here is her criteria for visually determining the difference between males and females: 1) Male GSP's have wrinkles behind their eyes as they get a little "older." The wrinkles are hard to see, but she swears they are there. 2) Male GSP's have a VERY faint line that runs the length of the center *underneath* side of the of the fish. Basically, there is a faint line running the length of the belly. She said you have to get down low underneath the fish and look up and look really closely because it's very faint. When she said this, I was sure she was mistakenly informing me of the dimorphism in DWARF puffers, since we did speak about them during the course of our conversation. When I asked her if she was SURE this was true for GSP's she said, "Oh, yes! I know it's true because that is how I chose my male and female to breed." I asked her HOW she came by this information and she said there is a fish *specialist* who visits the store and he is the one who gave her these tips. He said you could sex ANY puffer this way. Knowing what I've read (that it's very difficult to impossible to rear GSP fry), I asked her if they bred and she said they did and that she raised the fry (the store she works for does NOT sell GSP's...so I assumed she wasn't getting a kickback of any kind). I asked her what happened to the fry and she told me she gave them to friends. She said she fed the fry finely crushed flakes (and something else, I can't remember right now). I told her about your site with hopes she would post her experiences. Have you ever heard of anything like this? Does it sound likely to you? I'd love to know your take on all of this. I'm thinking of returning to the store to ask her more questions (although I'm not interested in breeding GSP's at this point) and try to get her to give me more information about this specialist and hopefully she will have contact information (or at a least a name) for him. Looking forward to your response, Corinthian <I guarantee you, without a single doubt in my mind, she is breeding dwarf puffers: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/puffers-in-focus/sexing-Carinotetraodon-travancoricus-the-dwarf-puffer/ You are correct, there is no info on breeding GSPs anywhere, because it has never successfully been done, nor documented. ~PP>

Re: Interesting information on GSP sexing/breeding 9/29/07 PP/Jeni~ <Corinthian > "I guarantee you, without a single doubt in my mind, she is breeding dwarf puffers..." That is exactly what I thought, too. Being the skeptic that I am (after reading everything you've posted on GSP's, as well as any information I could get my hands on elsewhere), the idea was incredulous to me. I've also read everything I could find on dwarves. I have both dwarf puffers and a Green Spotted Puffer. I'm able to sex the dwarves. As I previously stated, I made sure that she knew we were NOT talking about dwarves....and she was VERY adamant that there is faint dimorphism in GSP's. Her exact words were, "The wrinkles and lines are very faint, but if you look closely enough, they are there." I asked her how big the GSP's needed to before the dimorphism showed...and she pointed to a zero on a store flyer that was considerably larger than any dwarf puffer (it looked to me to the be size of an adult GSP). <There ya go!> When I told her I was looking to buy earthworms, she asked me what they were for. I told her that I wanted to feed them to my Green Spotted Puffer. She spouted a list of appropriate foods for GSP's. She made sure I knew that GSP's needed to be in at the very least, brackish water made with marine salt (mine is full marine now). <Gosh, I hope she isn't keeping dwarf puffers in BW!> She knew what she was talking about in every other aspect of GSP's. I love a good debate and I will debate until the cows come home but I'm simply not trying to debate this. I really want to discern fact from fiction. The girl said she chose her GSP's based on this dimorphism and that she bred them and produced fry, which she eventually gave away. She also said that the male breeder eventually killed the female breeder. I'll pay another visit to the store (which does carry dwarf puffers, BTW) and hopefully she will be there. I want to see if I can get any kind of contact information for the fish "specialist" who gave her this information. I will keep you updated. <I'll be interested to hear what your investigations find. Many folks at LFS have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to puffers, especially FW/BW ones. ~PP> Corinthian

Re: Puffer <ID> and Brackish Tank <env.> query  7/12/07 Hi guys Its me again. <Hello.> I purchased this puffer today. And I need to ID the new puffer. It was sold as a marine puffer. The LFS was not able to tell me what type of puffer fish it is. All he could tell me was that he lived in salt water. <Statistically a fairly safe bet! About 2/3rds of the family Tetraodontidae are either exclusively or mostly marine.> A few questions: 1) What puffer do I have? Is it a Chelonodon Patoca? Takifugu? <Doesn't look like C. patoca to me. That species has milky-white spots on alternating mid-brown and silvery transverse bands. It doesn't look like any of the brackish water Takifugu spp. that I've seen traded. So I'd tend to go with what your retailer said, and assume it's a "marine puffer" of some kind. Which one, not sure. There are numerous look-alike species in the family, so identifying them can be tricky. A little time at Fishbase might help, especially if you can narrow down the list by establishing where it came from... Southeast Asia, China, etc. Counting the number of rays in the dorsal and anal fins will help. See here: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/identification/specieslist.cfm?famcode=448&areacode= . For what it's worth, it doesn't look like an Arothron puffer to me, the head's wrong, and I'd tend towards either a Takifugu or Torquigener species.> 2) Can this puffer thrive in brackish water? mid to high end brackish? <Assume not, until you know better. While it is true that very many marine puffers routinely enter brackish water for periods of time, in many cases these jaunts are limited to hunting excursions or spawning events. It's a whole other issue to maintain such a fish at SG 1.010 permanently. While SG 1.018 is probably safe, just as it with many other marine fish, anything less than that should be undertaken only with care, and while observing the puffer for signs of distress or loss of appetite.> 3) Maximum length it grows too? <Without a name, who knows! But something in the 20-40 cm bracket is typical.> 4) Any other unique behaviours that may require special treatment. <You number-1 issue is to try and establish if this is a temperate zone, subtropical, or tropical species. Many of the Takifugu in the trade are subtropical fish and don't last long in warm water. In the meantime, I'd be tempted to keep this fish at a low-ish temperature for the time being, say, 22-24 C rather than anything higher. This would be safe for tropicals while not too stressful for subtropicals. Other than this, you can probably treat this fish as any other marine puffer.> Thank you guys once again. <Sorry couldn't be more helpful. Nice fish though! Neale.>
Re: Puffer ID Follow Up - 7/12/07  7/13/07
Hi guys. Just a short note on the puffer from yesterday's dailies. This likely is Tetractenos hamiltoni also called the common toad fish, another Australian species, which appeared in trade this year. It's marine, but enters estuaries. Very toxic if consumed, even compared to other puffers. They like to bury themselves in sandy substrate and live in groups. See e.g. http://www.amonline.net.au/FISHES/fishfacts/fish/thamiltoni.htm and fishbase.org re. Cheers, Marco. <Hello Marco. Thanks so much! Not a species I have ever seen in the trade in the UK (yet). Sounds an interesting species. I like the idea of a schooling species that stays relatively small. Let's hope this species turns out to be amenable to aquarium life. I note from Fishbase that its a subtropical species, so by analogy with the also subtropical Takifugu ocellatus I'd have to assume that it requires slightly below tropical temperatures, around the 18-20C mark. Correct? As for salinity, these estuarine puffers seem to be very tolerant, so by analogy with Arothron hispidus we can probably assume anything from 1.012 upwards should work well. At the very least, it sounds like a species worth experimenting with in the high-end brackish community, provided you had a marine tank you could move it to if things didn't work out. Cheers, Neale.>
Puffer ID Follow Up - 7/12/07   Temperature for Tetractenos hamiltoni 07/14/07
Hi guys. Just a short note on the puffer from yesterday's dailies. This likely is Tetractenos hamiltoni also called the common toad fish, another Australian species, which appeared in trade this year. It's marine, but enters estuaries. Very toxic if consumed, even compared to other puffers. They like to bury themselves in sandy substrate and live in groups. See e.g. http://www.amonline.net.au/FISHES/fishfacts/fish/thamiltoni.htm and fishbase.org re. Cheers, Marco. <Hello Marco. Thanks so much! Not a species I have ever seen in the trade in the UK (yet). Sounds an interesting species. I like the idea of a schooling species that stays relatively small. Let's hope this species turns out to be amenable to aquarium life. I note from Fishbase that its a subtropical species, so by analogy with the also subtropical Takifugu ocellatus I'd have to assume that it requires slightly below tropical temperatures, around the 18-20C mark. Correct? <<Yes, that is exactly what the temperatures are in the natural habitats (East coast: New South Wales and Queensland; see http://www.amonline.net.au/FISHES/fishfacts/fish/thamiltoni.htm and click on the underlined word map) in winter following http://www.marine.csiro.au/~lband/web_point/ . In summer, it may be slightly warmer, though, at least in the coastal and estuarine waters.>> As for salinity, these estuarine puffers seem to be very tolerant, so by analogy with Arothron hispidus we can probably assume anything from 1.012 upwards should work well. At the very least, it sounds like a species worth experimenting with in the high-end brackish community, provided you had a marine tank you could move it to if things didn't work out. Cheers, Neale.> <<I am not sure if they can be kept in a community. Although they live in groups, it is known they attack and kill other fishes of similar size when they are trapped in tidal pools and cannot flee, a condition quite similar to an aquarium. I hope the keeper of this puffer reads our discussion. Cheers, Marco.>>

Re: Puffer ID Follow Up - 7/12/07   7/15/07 I am not sure if they can be kept in a community. Although they live in groups, it is known they attack and kill other fishes of similar size when they are trapped in tidal pools and cannot flee, a condition quite similar to an aquarium. I hope the keeper of this puffer reads our discussion. Cheers, Marco. <Marco -- Yet another single species aquarium pufferfish! Too bad. I agree, I do hope our questioner is reading all of this. Cheers, Neale>

Puffer fish ... ID, disease/env./sys.  11/16/06 Hi <<Hello>> I just bought 2 spotted puffers a couple days ago. Did they look like this?: http://www.pufferresources.net/puffer_profiles/viewtopic.php?t=19>> They were completely normal until yesterday when I noticed that one looked like he had ick. First of all what can I do about the ick. I am putting some medication in the water. <<Please don't before you know what kind of puffer you have, what ails it, and have them in a cycled, aquarium.  If these are indeed GSPs, (Tetraodon nigroviridis) then they need 30 gallons of water each minimum, and require full marine conditions as adults.>> Second, the same puffer sits in this one corner all the time while the other puffer is swimming around the tank. Is this normal? <<No. Please get back to me, and visit www.pufferresources.net.>> Thanks <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Misidentified T. schoutedeni  7/9/06 <Hi , Pufferpunk here> We bought the above puffer fish and have been doing web searches for it all day to figure out which kind, if any, fish we can put with him.  On Google they also called him a leopard Congo or Congo leopard fish, if that's the kind we do have is that freshwater? we stupidly bought it at Wal-Mart and they couldn't give us any information other than the fact that they thought it was freshwater.  They couldn't even tell us what kind it was or what it ate and told us to buy tropical fish flakes for it but later went to a different store and bought frozen krill which it seems to love and ghost shrimp.  Any help would be greatly appreciated! <The fish you bought from Wal-Mart is a green spotted puffer (T nigroviridis)  See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  There hasn't been a schoutedeni seen for sale in the aquarium trade for over 20 years.  Also see www.thepufferforum.com.  Many good articles on care & feeding of puffers.  (Please use proper capitalization in your letters.  I have to fix, before we can post it in the FAQs.)  ~PP>

Puffer in Trouble!  6/2/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a mini green puffer fish that is not doing so well. <Please go here for proper ID: www.pufferlist.com> It seems to be very skinny then when I got it. <I see 2 mistakes so far--buying a fish without researching it & buying an unhealthy specimen.> We went to Petco and got brine shrimp. <Fairly unhealthy food--not very nutritious--mostly water.> I took him out of the tank and into a bowl with sea salt and pH down in it. <Why?  Please put the fish back in the tank!> I also put in the brine shrimp. His side fins are moving but he wont swim or move or eat. Please tell me what  can do to help him. I am completely helpless. <Go to www.thepufferforum.com & look at the articles in the Library there.  Read about the feeding of puffers & the care of them.  Read about cycling a tank too.  Read in the Hospital forum about treating internal parasites.  ~PP> -puff <Please be sure to use proper capitalization in your future letters.>

Misidentified T. schoutedeni  7/9/06 Sab., put in FW/Brackish Tetraodont ID f' <<Done.  -SCF>> <Hi , Pufferpunk here> We bought the above puffer fish and have been doing web searches for it all day to figure out which kind, if any, fish we can put with him.  On Google they also called him a leopard Congo or Congo leopard fish, if that's the kind we do have is that freshwater? we stupidly bought it at Wal-Mart and they couldn't give us any information other than the fact that they thought it was freshwater.  They couldn't even tell us what kind it was or what it ate and told us to buy tropical fish flakes for it but later went to a different store and bought frozen krill which it seems to love and ghost shrimp.  Any help would be greatly appreciated! <The fish you bought from Wal-Mart is a green spotted puffer (T nigroviridis)  See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  There hasn't been a schoutedeni seen for sale in the aquarium trade for over 20 years.  Also see www.thepufferforum.com.  Many good articles on care & feeding of puffers.  (Please use proper capitalization in your letters.  I have to fix, before we can post it in the FAQs.)  ~PP>

Pufferfish  6/3/05 <<Uhh, what happened here?  Missing query?  -SCF>> Pufferfish Aggression  1/4/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk again>   (Hi, Person e-mailing you last time and this time is not the initial e-mailer) Our green spots are the most passive of the puffers we own... <They are juvies now... Just wait till they mature & one morning you wake up with maimed or dead fish.>   (The green spot is almost fully grown) <<Um, quote from the 1st post "I have in a 29 gallon, 2 green spots, 2 figure 8's, 1 dragon fish, and 1 dwarf puffer. All are juveniles except dwarf."  If your GSP is an adult 6" puffer, then that tank is definitely too crowded!>> We have the salinity levels between what the figure eights and green spots need and there is a level which both can live in. We bought all the fish in 1.010 and that is what they are now in... <Figure 8s are best kept at 1.005 for life.  GSPs will eventually need marine conditions.  LFS rarely know what is best for puffers.>   (Didn't get any info from any LFS's being they know nothing... Apparently neither do forum runners) This particular green spot has gotten sick on several occasions where as the other green spot and the figure eights don't get sick. The red-eye and the dwarf are now in their own tank. <You're not worried about the red-eye killing the dwarf?  Puffers are best kept in species only tanks.  The species are not to be mixed.>   (The red-eye only goes for BIGGER fish... He does not mess with dwarves or guppies) <<Yet...  Dwarves have been known to take "fin rides" on fish 10x their size!.>> The first time the green spot got sick he had gill disease and this time he had something that medications did not cure... So far I have found that the most aggressive of all is the red-eye, contrary to what every website I have read has said. <It is possible that your red-eye is the more aggressive lorteti. They are almost impossible to tell apart.   (It was sold as a Samphong... AKA Red-eye red-tail)   <<So now you trust your LFS to properly ID a puffer, after saying "Didn't get any info from any LFS's being they know nothing"?>> As you have already witnessed, puffers have their own personality & levels of aggression.  Hence keeping species & sometimes individuals separate.  I know of puffers that had previously gotten along with it's tank mates, only to wake up one morning to it being the only survivor of a massacre.  Have you read the profiles & articles I linked you to?  I highly suggest that you do.  They are written by the top puffer experts in the world!  ~PP>        http://www.pufferlist.com/pufferlist2.htm <<Great site.  The owner of that site is one of the Administrators of my puffer site, The Puffer Forum>>>        http://puffernet.tripod.com/ <<Absolutely worst website about puffers on the net!>>        http://boeing_dude.tripod.com/id194.htm <<Incorrect on a lot of info here too.  The GSP is Tetraodon nigroviridis, not T fluviatilis.   They do mention "aggressive and are territorial. Few other fish can be kept with them due to this temperament" & "notorious fin nippers and can be killers."  Very true. The T biocellatus (figure 8) does not grow to 8", nor do they need a 50g tank.  They probably have them confused with the true T fluviatilis, which does grow to 8".  They also recommend tank size for the T Mbu is 75g & I can guarantee you--minimum for these fish is 300+.  Same thing for the Fahaka puffer.  They recommend a 50g tank for a fish that grows to 18"!  Mine was moved into a 125g at 9".  Believe what you wish--it's your tank.  I have written the most commonly referred to Green Spotted Puffer article used today.  I have also written all the puffer profiles in the recently released, Encyclopedia of Exotic Tropical Fishes, published by TFH.  I own the #1 pufferfish website in the world.  You might want to check that out, before doubting my experience with these fish.  Like I said, your tank, your fish, do what you wish with them.  I guess you know something I don't.  ~PP>>

"Topaz" Puffer  6/13/05 Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I'm not sure if I'm through to the right person but I am looking for advice  on my Topaz puffer fish.  If I am through to the correct person please can you email me so I can then return with the question. IF not then please can you inform me who I might need to speak to regarding feeding my fish. <Common names are not the best for identification of puffers.  Generally that name is labeled on the Tetraodon fluviatilis.  You can go here for more info: http://www.pufferlist.com/  HTH, PP> Thank you, Jae

Question About Toadfish 4/5/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Can Toadfish puffer-fish live/survive in freshwater? <"Toadfish" are a puffer that prefer brackish water as juveniles & marine conditions as adults.> Also what is their proper name? <There are several different species referred to as toadfish. ~Pufferpunk <<Mmm, and a few other species, groups of fishes... share this common name... see fishbase.org re... the Batrachoidids... RMF>>

Brackish Puffer Id & Info 3/6/05 Good morning, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I am the proud owner of a new, incredibly tiny BW puffer fish (about half an inch long - species not ID'd yet). He is currently in freshwater because that's what the pet store had him in. Should I wait until he's comfortable in his new tank before changing the water type (what I'm doing now) or go ahead and start slowly raising the salinity (to reduce physical stress)? <1st things 1st. You need to ID your puffer. Look here: http://home.messiah.edu/~dw1178/pufferlist.htm> Also, he is very shy and hides in his plants all day (aquarium all to himself, no discernible health or water problems, so it appears to be psychological). From reading I realize that several days to settle into a new environment is normal, but I am starting to get worried because I have not seen him eat anything and he's so small. What's a food that would entice a shy pufferfish out into the open?  <Make sure the water conditions are pristine. Sometimes it does take a little while for puffers to eat. Try live worms.> I am hatching some brine shrimp* and I have also scooped some FW snails out of my other tanks, but I'm not sure if they're small enough. Would he eat copepods from my nanoreef if I managed to catch them? <No copepods, they will infect your puffer! Try snails as small as its eye.> *I know the drill on these deceptively easy low-nutrition guys, and I don't intend them to be a large part of his diet.  <Good to hear.> Thank you! Any help will be appreciated here. <There is plenty of great info at that site I gave you. After you properly ID your puffer, I can help you further. ~PP>

Puffer ID Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I know I just recently sent an e-mail for a new tank I want to set up but I just remembered I also have a question of identifying a pair of puffers I have. I got the from a woman who was moving and couldn't take them with her and so donated them to me. She told me her LFS called them "dwarf neon puffers" or some crap like that but the only thing I've found that resembles them (and it's quite accurate too) is Xenopterus naritus, the bronze or green puffer. She thought they were supposed to be brackish, but they have faired much better with lots of coral skeletons and no salt. I am quite concerned because everything I have been reading says X. naritus grows up to about 30 cm, or 11 inches... I don't really have a place to put them if that is true. She told me she had them for about a year and a half and didn't mention them growing a whole lot (on the other hand, I'm not sure how long-lived they are). At the moment, they are about 1 1/2 inches and living in a 10 gallon with a blue crayfish. I feed the tank with pond snails, flake (the puffers actually seem to like it), worms, and bits of fish and sometimes chicken. Can you please tell me if there are any puffers that resemble X. naritus that I might have mistaken them for? I can't really afford to get many more tanks, especially nothing large enough to keep a pair of 10 inch puffers happy in! <Actually, there are several species that closely resemble the X naritus but the most commonly found species is the Auriglobus modestus, which is most likely the puffer you have. Check here: http://www.pufferlist.com/  I would not suggest feeding your puffer chicken.> Thanks so much, Melina <Good luck with your new "friends", ~PP> 

Spamming Trolls & GSP Article Hi, as you know, I am the Admin. of The Puffer Forum.  I recently had to delete over 100 posts within a few hours from these guys.  Initially, I thought they were morons who randomly picked The Puffer Forum to spam. However, I now realize that they have some knowledge about fish-keeping. This proves that they are probably part of the fish community and this is an act of war! A deliberate attempt to sabotage a forum. I have banned their IP addresses and hopefully that will stop them. Perhaps we could locate them if some of you who are admins/mods at other forums run a search on these IP addresses. <I think Zo may be the best recipient here. Will Cc> I just finally saw my GSP article in print.  Most of the puffer IDs are wrong!  I  worked so hard on that thing & the main reason I wrote it was to clear up GSP/spotted puffer confusion. <Arghhh... JamesF and I have had similar problems of this sort... with these folks> They added pics of their own & there are 2 pics of GSPs labeled as fluviatilis & a pic of a bunch of fluviatilis saying there are both fluviatilis & nigroviridis in there!  There is a horrible pic of a sickly GSP w/a black stomach.  I don't get it!  If they bothered to read the article, they wouldn't have labeled them wrong.  I asked to see the whole article before it went to print & they said no.  It makes me look like an idiot.  Now the public continues to be confused... Sadly frustrated, Jeni The Puffer Forum http://puffer.proboards2.com/index.cgi Pufferpunk's Tanks http://wetwebfotos.com/Home?actionRequest=userview&userID=1918 <Chins up! BobF>

GSP id, keeping? Hello! <Hi, MikeD here> My boyfriend and I recently got puffers<Some of my favorite fish> (about 2 months now).  I've been doing a lot of research on them and I really think they're Green Spotted Puffers.  I just want to make sure, as I'm not sure where else to go because the LFS we went to simply had them listed as freshwater puffers,<Most do, but they rarely are, with most actually being brackish> which is what we were looking for.  It's a really good store and he's gotten a lot of fish from them before, I just want to make absolutely sure what type of puffers these are so I can give them the right conditions. So can you tell what kind they are?<Your question couldn't have come at a better time. This month's on-line magazine has an excellent article on these entitled "Brackish Fishes Green Spotted Puppies, er...Puffers" by Jeni C. Tyrell, well worth the read if you have the time> http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/green_spotted_puppies.htm What salinity should they be at?<They can tolerate pure freshwater to a pure marine environment>  They are in a hundred gallon tank right now and I'm guessing that they're a little under 2".  I've read that it's normal for them to turn a little grayish and nap at the bottom, even if they curl up a little. once they wake up though, they are bright again.<Yep. The dulling of color often indicates sleep, with the curled tail being a protective posture, much like you curling up in a ball to nap.> Surprisingly, they aren't very nippy.<That's because of the large tank. In crowded conditions they can be aggressive with their own kind, other puffers and slow, long-finned fishes>  They are currently kept with a bunch, maybe 20 goldfish (I know I know bad<very>, but they were feeders for the previous black Arowana in that tank that recently passed <Sorry to hear that, as it's one of my all-time fave freshwater fish>. they range from about 1 - 3") and he didn't have the heart to get rid of them<he really should. Goldfish are copious waste producers that often make conditions unsuitable for more delicate species and actually do better if kept at lower temperatures than most tropicals>, a green scat<another brackish water species that will do much better with some salt, up to full marine levels>, and a Pleco<Now THIS is a freshwater fish and one that typically doesn't do well with puffers...by laying still on the bottom, they are just too tempting and their armor is no challenge for the puffer's teeth>.  So it's totally a freshwater tank with a salinity that measures at a little more than 1.001.  If they are Green Spotted Puffers, how soon do we have to start turning up the salinity levels and how much?<The sooner the better and with 2-3 tblspns marine salt/gal. on up to full marine> They seem very happy.  They're wonderfully colored and zip along happily attacking all the food we give them with adorable vigor.  We feed them brine shrimp<brine shrimp usually is a poor choice as it has very little real food value> and bloodworms.  I don't understand how to feed them anything else, but would like to.  I know what type of food to feed them, but they're so small, I don't see how they can fit it in their mouths.<Their teeth are VERY strong, and they can bite off whatever size pieces they need with little or no effort>  I don't want their teeth to overgrow either, so how can I portion them so they can eat them happily?<by letting them bite off pieces from hard foods, such as shrimp with the shell on or whole crayfish, their teeth are naturally worn down>  I really want to feed them some snails, but my boyfriend doesn't want snails running rampant in his tank<snails rarely run rampant in a tank containing puffers, as they eat them, shell and all> or go through the trouble of raising shrimp.<You're saying shrimp, but I'm guessing you mean brine shrimp?>  How do we compromise? Do frozen foods stay hard enough after defrosting to grind down teeth?<Yes, if the shell is left on the shrimp, the same kind that we eat, no if you mean brine shrimp> I live in San Diego and he lives in LA with the tank, so I only have so much influence over what happens with the tank.<That one only you can solve! Good Luck!> How many more puffers should we get so they'll be happy?<you don't need to add any more>  I don't want them to argue<They will anyway...that's their nature> and I'm not sure how to sex them.<no matter, as I don't believe they've been bred in captivity yet>  I don't want them to get bullied by goldfish either.<Not likely, and in fact they may/probably will eventually start attacking the goldfish's fins, possibly to the point of killing them>  I actually want to move the puffers or the goldfish to another tank especially if they require brackish or salt water, but again, this is something I can't dictate.<Again, a very good idea. If the decision isn't made, eventually the puffers are likely to take matters in their own hands (fins?) with dead goldfish likely the end result.> I have a very limited budget, do you have any suggestions?<not other than separating the goldfish and the Pleco from the puffers and scat> I'm sorry about so many questions.  I've really been researching to try to find the answers, but these are the questions that no site seemed to answer completely or the results I find are contradictory.  We bought the puffers assuming they were freshwater, but as I did more research I started having doubts.<very wise and well done>  Please help me so that I can give these puffers the best home possible. I know that you don't want huge emails, so I'm sending you links. Hopefully these pictures will help you identify the type of puffers I have.<again, as you suspect, probably Tetraodon fluviatilis> http://i.xanga.com/jessijessi/nyc%20nj%20may04%20108.jpg http://i.xanga.com/jessijessi/nyc%20nj%20may04%20109.jpg And here's a picture: Thank you so much in advance!<You're welcome. I hope we've helped a little> Jessica

Puffer problems  6/20/04 Hello! <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have just recently purchased a pufferfish. I was told by the man who sold me the puffer that it is a Tetraodon erythrotaenia, however I have read that this is a red lined puffer, my puffer is. yellow lined between the stomach and the back, it has a white belly and the back is sometimes dark green when light is off and light green to greenish yellow when the light is turned on, I want to know what king of puffer this is. The puffer is about 1 1/2 inches long. <Look here to ID your puffer: http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/species/pufferfish/types/az.htm> I am also worried that it has not eaten anything in the past 2 days, I have only had the puffer for 4 days, the first 2 days it was eating voraciously 1-2 pc.s on tiny krill however on the 3rd day it only took 1 bite and never touched the krill again. I have a 10 gallon fresh water tank with 8 tiny guppies and the puffer fish, the guppies are eating but not the puffer. I also just purchased blood worms but puffer did not eat it too. I am concerned that he will become ill.  It has not changed to any unusual color since I purchased it. How will I know if a puffer is stressed?  My puffer is not puffed up and is happily swimming around especially when the light is off. Please help me, my puffer is so cute and I would really get upset if I lose my cute puffer. <I don't blame you!  I love each & every one of my 14 cuties!  The 1st thing I would do is test your water for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates.  Then do a 50% water change.  I do these weekly, for all my puffer tanks, to keep them healthy.  Get back to me after getting the results of your water parameters & finding out the ID of your puffer.  ~PP>

Unidentified Puffer  11/21/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Just wanted to know if anyone could help me identify this little guy.  He was sold at the LFS as a brackish zebra puffer.  Any info would be greatly appreciated. <Thanks for including pictures of the puffer.  It is a Takifugu oblongus.  Not a commonly sold puffer.  It's imported from Sri Lanka & India.  This puffer generally swims in the upper portion of the aquarium & is quite a speedy fish.  Occasionally, they will retire to the bottom of the tank, to bury itself in the sand, waiting for a meal.  Because they are constantly hungry & voracious in their appetite, they may pose a threat to other fishes in the tank.  Even the smallest species of this puffer will attack & take bites out of much larger fishes.  Among themselves however, they are peaceful.  They do well in fresh & brackish water, but are best kept in marine conditions as adults.  They grow to 16" (40cm), so with their enjoying to swim so much, a very large tank is in order for this fish.  The fish in your photos looks very thin.  Either it hasn't been fed in a while (most LFS will only offer flakes), or it has internal parasites.  They need to eat hard-shelled food to keep their teeth trimmed.  Feed shellfish & mussel meat.   Thanks, Robert Stanley <Good luck with your new puffer.  ~PP>

Freshwater Puffers for Beginners?  9/13/-4 Hi guys, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Just to check with you, which types of freshwater puffers are suitable for beginners as I really love puffers a lot but the spotted puffers which I kept lived less than 3 weeks every time... <Oooohh, that's not good! =o{  They definitely are not FW puffers!  I guess you need much more research on them.  Read my article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm> Can freshwater puffers be kept together with blood parrot fish? <I am presently keeping South American & dwarf puffers with a parrot cichlid & a frontosa in a 50g tank.  How large is your tank?  A parrot needs at least a 30g.  Puffers in general, are really not for beginners.  SAPs need a constant daily supply of snails to keep their fast-growing teeth trimmed.  Otherwise, you'll need to trim them by hand every 6 months or so. Here's an article on them: http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/sapuffer.shtml  You might be better off with some dwarves.  They still require special foods also, but are not as difficult to keep as SAPs.  They can get nippy though.  Here's a great website, devoted to them: www.dwarfpuffers.com.  Puffers are best kept in species only tanks.  ~PP>

T. cutcutia 3/31/04  <Hi, Pufferpunk here>  A friend of mine gave me a puffer over spring break but I don't know for sure what type it is. I think it is a Tetraodon cutcutia but I am not sure.  <How did you come up with that ID?>  He kept it in a ten gallon tank but I know that it is too small for him.  <Depends on the puffer, but you're probably right. How big is it? Is it in a cycled tank?>  His eyes have a film like glaze over them that looks like gas/petrol on water.  <That may be just the way the light is hitting it, but it couldn't hurt to treat with Melafix anyway.>  Do you know of someway that I could find on the internet what species it is for sure. I is hard to find the right conditions for the fish when you don't know for sure what it is.  (Friend is moron and doesn't know for sure).  <You can look here: http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/species/pufferfish/types/az.htm   How do I tell if the fish is constipated and how do I fix that?  <Is it defecating? Answer these questions & get back to me. ~PP>>

T. cutcutia 4/1/04   I haven't seen any feces, but I really don't know what to look for. There isn't anything that appears to be feces in the tank. It never moves from one spot in the corner of the tank. <If it is indeed T. cutcutia, they are nocturnal fish, even feeding at night, sedentary during the day.> I came up with the ID by searching the net and comparing characteristics. He is about 4.5 to 5 inches long up to the start of the tail fin. <did you check on the site I referred you to?> If you mean by cycled that I have a filter that cycles the water then it is cycled. I am new at this so I don't have any experience with it. <If you set-up a new tank for it, then nope that does not mean cycled at all!  At this stage, you need to find some Bio-Spira immediately & add it to your tank, or the fish will certainly die.  Read: http://www.piranha-fury.com/information/default.php?id=cycling & http://fishstoretn.com/bio_spira.html  The 2nd link will tell you how Bio-Spira works.  That online store is out of it & Marineland won't be making any more until the end of summer, so you'll have to search around the local stores for it.  Get a Master Test Kit & start testing for ammonia & nitrItes.  If there are any you need to do 50-80% water changes accordingly, as to prevent the toxins from killing your fish.  Do you have any of the gravel or decor or filters from the 10g tank?  I'm afraid that if you have let the stuff get dry, the bacteria won't be viable anymore though."   Thanks for the help <Let me know how it goes.  ~PP>

F8 Not What it Seems (really a Ceylon puffer) Puffer 3/7/04 <Hi Jeff> Here are some other pics of the puffy. I'm not sure if its easier to see him on these or not. <Your puffer is not an F8 (T biocellatus) It is a Ceylon puffer (T fluviatilis) This fish is to be cared for exactly as a green spotted puffer (T nigroviridis).  See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  The only difference in your fish is that it will grow to 7-8" & need at least 30g.  Definitely looks like internal parasites.  I would  treat with Discomed & get the salinity up.  Try raising the temp to get him to eat.  Do that according to the article.  How big is your pufferfish?  Sorry if you told me already.  ~PP>
Confusing Info on WWM Ho Bob, this page is all wrong: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpuffers.htm <Jeni... do you have Frontpage, the program? If so, I trust you well enough to log on and "fix" all this> T biocellatus are low-end BW fish, not FW. The photo for the T fluviatilis is of a GSP (T nigroviridis). Both of which are high-end BW puffers that prefer SW as adults. The best photo I have of a T fluviatilis is here, along with a photo of my T miurus (Punkster) & my red-eye (T lorteti--Pugsly) Sorry about the focus. You can use my photos of the GSPs for the nigroviridis, but most folks aren't familiar with the adult sized fish, so maybe the photo you have in the fluviatilis slot (of a nigroviridis) would be more familiar to folks. You do have a photo of fluviatilis, but it's in the schoutedeni slot. The photo of the fish under diseases is of a nigroviridis, not a fluviatilis. I should be able to get some photos of Colomesus asellus & C modestus from folks on my website. Just waiting for their permission. I have a great photo of what a C asellus looks like when it needs their teeth trimmed (every 6 months or so). This will be the subject of my next article. Got all that??? ~Jeni/PP <Kind of... I thought we did fix the pix, names before... Are you sure this is the present state of affairs on the brackish sub-web? Bob F>
T fluviatilis T miurus (Punkster) T lorteti--Pugsly
Re: Confusing Info on WWM Ho Bob, this page is all wrong: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpuffers.htm to log on and "fix" all this> <<Sorry, but I don't have Frontpage.  <I will reimburse for the purchase> I looked at the site again & you're right, it was mostly fixed. I don't understand--someone linked to that page for puffer ID & it was all wrong again.  <One possibility that comes to mind is that they accessed a "cached" version... Google crawls our site... every month or so... so, it might be theirs or someone else's saved release... Oh, the joys of the Net!> I'm not sure how she could link to an old page.. Sorry for that. There is still a mistaken ID of the fish listed in the Disease part. The photo is of a nigroviridis. <<Fixed 3/12/04 RMF>> <Okay... will look, try to correct. Please do check in two or more days hence to see if this is done> Might also want to add that since puffers are wild-caught, many come in w/internal parasites, & their food needs to be treated with an anti[-parasitic drug, like Discomed (that's what has worked for me). Also, maybe you want to add links to my article on the GSP (nigroviridis) by its photo & Heather's article on the Arrowhead, by the suvattii.  <Mmm, the links are on the respective/treed pages as per usual convention> I like my photo of the Congo, if you want to add it & I gave you a (although somewhat blurry) photo of a lorteti, if you wish to add them.>> ~Jeni/PP <Will try to get to along with the above. Back to my other/real work! Bob F><Done! RMF>

Pufferfish ID  2/09/04 Thanks for the quick response! But... that is not the puffer I have. I have kept Colomesus asellus. This puffer looks very muck like Tetraodon lineatus. Exact body shape, multiple black and gold, thin horizontal lines, not fat bands like asellus. Any other ideas? Its definitely a puffer that gets big. <Maybe a parrot puffer (Colomesus psittacus)?  See: http://tekipaki.jp/~puffer/puffer/colomesus/psittacus/index.htm  (I know you said horizontal stripes) If not, why don't you try looking here: http://tekipaki.jp/~puffer/puffer/tetraodontidae.htm  If you want to translate the site, paste the address here: http://babelfish.altavista.com/translate.dyn Let me know what you find ~PP>

South American "tiger" Puffer?  2/09/04 Hi, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I bought a puffer from the fish store that I work at. I have kept and seen almost all puffers. <Cool, I have 14 of them, from 1"-12".> This puffer  has a common name of a tiger puffer. Very freshwater/Fahaka looking type puffer.  Looks like a soft water river type. Fahaka body shape, white stomach, black and gold "tiger " type pattern on his back. If I had a camera, I would send you a picture. I know of all the common names and what a pain they are, but this is all I got. Any ideas on a scientific name for him? I have looked on a thousand sites and cant find a picture. Let me know if you can help. <Your puffer sounds like the more commonly named, South American or Peruvian puffer (Colomesus asellus). It is striped like a tiger, hence the name you found it called at the LFS.  It is the nicest of any puffer kept (for a puffer), even able to live in some more aggressive community tanks.  They grow to 3".  The biggest problem I've come across with these little guys, are their teeth.  They need almost a strict diet of snails, or else their teeth will have to be trimmed by you on a fairly regular basis.  Mine wont eat snails, so their teeth are trimmed every 6 months or so.  Eventually their teeth will grow so long, they won't be able to eat & starve to death.  See: http://puffer.proboards2.com/index.cgi?board=hospital&action=display&num=1057161492.  Here's a good article about them: http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/sapuffer.shtml  More info with a photo: http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/species/pufferfish/types/coloasel.htm> Thanks, Amanda <Enjoy your new little puffer pet!  ~PP>

Pufferfish ID 2/10/04 <PP here again> Oooooh! I found him! On that second website!!! Thanks!!! <Cool, glad I could help!> Sphoeroides annulatus! Towards the bottom of the page, (look at the photo options!) It looks like he's in a saltwater tank... Eeesh. I gotta run to work. Thank you for your help,  That's the one site I didn't find on my own. <That's a great site.  Puffers there I've never heard of.  Photos & videos too!  Even has a page to print out origami puffers to make!> Now that you've seen him, got any tips? <I actually bought a Niphobles takifugu that was in FW at the LFS.  A lot of SW fish are found visiting FW & BW, but actually should be kept in SW.  If the puffer you purchase is in FW at the store, then you should start out your tank in FW and raise the SG .002/week, until you reach the desired SG.  This is so you don't destroy the good nitrifying bacteria as you add salt.  SW bacteria are different than FW, so you need time for the SW bacteria to develop as the FW bacteria dies off slowly. If you already have an established BW tank and are buying a puffer kept in FW at the store, you need to acclimate it very slowly. Whenever I change a fish over from FW-BW, BW-SW, or visa-versa, I use a drip system.  I put the fish in a bucket below the tank I will be moving it into, covered by water from the tank the puffers were living in, about 1" over its head.  I tie a knot in an air hose until it drips enough water into the bucket to raise or lower the SG in the bucket .001/hour.>   Thanks again! Amanda <Good luck & let me know how it goes ~PP>

Fresh or Brackish Puffers?  2/09/04 Thanks for all the great info! <No problem!> I've visited aquariumfish.net before but I hadn't heard anything good or bad about them. Their site seems extremely informative. Unfortunately, their "potential" customer service is lacking. I will explain my experience with them a little later. <OK, now you've got me curious!> I visited the other sites you recommended. http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/intropuffer.shtml seems promising but I can't get the links to the other pages to work. I tried accessing it through both Explorer and Netscape without luck. I have no idea why. I'll try again on another day. <Hmmm, that's strange, I can still link from your letter here.  I have Explorer. Did you try to copy & paste in your address bar?> I think http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/species/pufferfish/index.htm is an excellent site! Love it! <I agree> You asked if I know what kind of Puffers I would like. I would prefer a freshwater type that will grow more than 0.5" and less than 6". The only ones I can find to purchase via Internet are at www.aquariumfish.net. They are the true red-eye, common red-eye, figure eight, and dwarf puffer. Do any of these fish have a "fin up" on the others? (Sorry, I just had to). <cute!> I thought the Avocado or Congo would be nice to have but I can't find any for sale. <I saw both the "avocado" (could be the Ceylon--T fluviatilis or the bronze/golden puffer--C modestus. Both are known by that common name) for sale at www.aquabid.com.  F8 puffers are nice beginner  puffers, although they are light BW species.  Not very difficult though.  See: http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/8puffer.shtml  These fish are not as aggressive as other puffers, so you can actually house them with other fish, like gobies.> Jumping back to the "potential" customer service issue with www.aquariumfish.net... Basically, as I mentioned before, I have had a big problem with nitrates for several years and have tried everything I can think of to fix it. Their website has an email address that is set aside for "questions & feedback". So, I emailed them about the nitrate problem. I also told them I was thinking of purchasing from puffers from them. I got no response at all. A week or so later I tried emailing them again. This time they answered but their response was for me to listen to their recorded radio shows by utilizing a Window's based computer "...at a neighbor's house, school, or library. Those of us that answer emails are not so qualified to answer difficult questions like yours..." Not quite the expertise I was expecting. Hopefully, the actual purchasing of the fish will go a little smoother. <I guess it comes down to the fact that they just are interested in your $$$.>   My nitrates started rising again -- sigh -- so I added some live plants and replace my Whisper Power Filter with an Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel Power Filter. (I am using the old filter media). <good> The Emperor is for aquariums up to 80 gallons so there is a bit of overkill, but I figured it couldn't hurt. There isn't anything else left for me to do but wait and see if it helps. <You can never over filter a puffer tank.  On my 125g I have 2 Aquaclear 500s & an Eheim 2217.  The AQ 500 cycles 500g/hr & is recommended for a 150g tank.  In addition, I do 50% weekly water changes & cleaning the gravel at the same time.> I also picked up some "nuisance" pond snails from our local PetSmart. The www.pufferfish.co.uk site had directions on raising them as food for the puffers so I am going to give it a try. <You're on the right track!> Again, thanks for you advice and I will let you know how things turn out. Karen Smith <Sounds like you are going to have some happy, healthy pets for a long time!  ~PP>

T. lineatus FW or BW?  2/06/04 Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I've been trying to get an answer on whether or not my Fahaka (T. lineatus) is a freshwater or a brackish  water fish.  I keep finding conflicting info on the internet. Can he do brackish? <the T lineatus (Fahaka puffer) is a FW fish from the Nile river.  It is not a BW fish, but some folks have had success keeping it in light BW (SG of 1.005 or less).  I have one that is 12" & has always been kept in FW.  Do you realize you will be needing a 120+gal tank for your puffer within 2 years?  they grow very fast!   They are messy eaters & high waste producers.  you will need super filtration for it.  Do not expect to be able to have any tank mates with it.  I do 50% weekly water changes on all my puffer tanks. All puffers are predatory fish and need hard-shelled, meaty foods to keep their teeth trimmed. Like rabbits, their teeth grow constantly and can overgrow enough to cause starvation in the fish.  Puffers eat crustaceans in the wild.  Foods for smaller puffers are frozen/freeze-dried krill/plankton, gut-loaded ghost shrimp, glass worms, crickets, worms and small snails (the size of their eye).  Snails are an essential food to a puffers diet, especially when small. Many serious puffer keepers breed their own snails.  As your puffer gets larger, there are many more crunchy foods for them to eat.  Larger Fahakas will eat cut-up pieces of scallops, shrimp, crab legs, whole mussels, clams, oysters, squid, lobster and crayfish.  Mine love to chase live crayfish, fiddler crabs and gut-loaded ghost shrimp.  I gut-load (pre-feed) my live food with algae wafers, so my puffers get their veggies. I buy most of these foods at the fish department of my grocery store, freeze and later thaw in warm vitamin water as needed.  Smaller puffers (under 2) need to eat every day, skipping one feeding/week.  Feed them until their bellies are slightly rounded.  Medium sized puffers (2-4) should be fed every other day.  Larger puffers (4-6+) should be fed every 3-4 days & extra large 1-2x/week.  You may find this schedule difficult, as puffers are very adept at begging for food!  Feeding puffers every time they beg will cause fat, lazy fish and eventually you will be killing them with kindness.> The fish store I found him in had him in brackish, but knew nothing about him.  ("He just came in today....the invoice said he was a Fahaka something ...we think.")  I've had him in brackish for a while now and he's fine, but I don't want to damage him if he can't take it long-term. I can easily cycle another AQ for him if he needs it. I do know how big he will get and I do have other larger AQ's available for the future. He is about 2 inches right now and would get lost in a huge tank so he is in a 20G long. <Mine started out in a 15g, then a 29g, 40g, 55g & now in his permanent home of 125g.  All in less than 2 years!> Thanks for the help. Tam Jones <Enjoy your wonderful pet! ~PP>

Article for Mag I would like to write an article on the ID & care of green spotted puffers (T nigroviridis).   Mostly because there really isn't a good one out there. <Great! You go Punkster!> Is it true that the mag is paying for articles? <Yes, a whole two hundred American per> What parameters should I use? <About 1,400-2,000 words, pix if you got 'em> Can I still post this article somewhere on the web for referrals? <Yes, can also be sold to other media... I'll help you with this if you'd like>  Also, there is still a lot of misinformation (BW puffers listed as FW, wrong ID w/photos) at WWM.  I still need to go through it all.   <I will give you access to the site so you can begin the process (part of a/the large plan on/for WWM) of moving you and possibly Ananda into "running" the brackish subweb... are you familiar with MS FrontPage or other web-publishing software?> Jeni/PP <Be chatting. Bob F>

Puffer Qs 12/19/03 <Hi Pufferpunk here> hello, I'm so glad I've discovered this site. It's near impossible to get information on puffa fish. I have 4 spotted puffa fish. I've had them for nearly a year and feed them bloodworm. 2 of the fish seem to be a bit sluggish and tatty and their bellies are dark, the other 2 are perfectly fine. they are only small ( about 4cm ) and live in a 2 ft tank with a Pleco. What have i done to my babies? <I'm not sure what kind of puffers you have.  Look at this website.  http://www.pufferfish.co.uk/aquaria/species/pufferfish/index.htm It has loads of great puffer info & also you can ID your puffer there.  If you have a green spotted puffer (T. nigroviridis), then these are brackish water fish, that prefer high-end saltwater-saltwater as adults.  I also assume they are in freshwater, since Plecos don't like salt.  Likely that could be a big part of your problem.  You need a hydrometer & marine salt, to make BW.  Write me back after you ID your fish & read all the info.--Pufferpunk>  

Puffers, molly fry, and more (10/28/03) [previous message] """Actually I'd stay longer to say more, but my mollies have just started to shoot out fry and I have to catch them and separate them before they can eat anymore.   <Well, now we know that you don't have a pair of males! :-) > I don't know what you people do to catch fry, but I'll be damned if there is anything better than a turkey baster for catching those little things, lol. <*blink* Three years of keeping mollies and catching molly fry, and that never even occurred to me...I use a couple of nets.> Robert *Turkey basting the baby mollies* <Truly, some excellent ideas come from people who are do not know what they are supposed to do. Thanks for the idea! --Ananda>""" [/end previous message] I must admit, after seeing that response, I bust a kidney laughing. <Which is about what I did when I read about the turkey baster! :-) > To be honest, those two I had WERE males, since I was confusing the caudal fin with the anal fin. <Ah, gotcha.> My biology knowledge from back in the high school days is escaping me. <Quick! Go chase it, catch it, and tie it down! ;-) > The mollies were actually female silvers, hand picked since I could see that they were pregnant. <The only way to be sure you're getting mollies that really are female, as opposed to largish immature males...> They are all in the 55 now, but I'm still one female short. Honestly when I noticed the fish looking like they were in a feeding frenzy, I took a closer look at them swimming after fry. Whilst I sat there looking at all the fry hiding in corners and tight spaces, I couldn't figure out how to get them out to save them. There lying against the side of the aquarium was the turkey baster, which I had used to suck up sand to make decorative waves amongst on the bottom of the aquarium earlier. <Uh-hunh, playing in the tank again, hmmm?> You could just imagine the eyebrow lift as the thought struck my mind. o.O So taking the baster I just stuck it in the corner and *thoop*, three fry in a single shot. (Great minds at work... turkey basting fish). I got about 15 of them into the separator chamber and left them in there, since I had to go to class. Sadly though, somehow the chamber was dislodged from the side and had drifted under the power filter flow by time I got back. <Doh!> The chamber was knocked under, and by time I got back I only found 4 still alive and hiding. So they were moved over to the 10 gallon where the puffer and the gobies still reside, although they leave the fry alone. The pufferfish seems more interested with scrounging around for food, although he won't touch a snail on the ground if it's not crushed first. He is still too small to pick them off the wall so the only way of getting him to eat them are to crush the snails and drop them right in front of his face or let them float on the surface. He's getting about one or two snails a day before breakfast and dinner. <Sounds good for a spoiled little puff. :) > Ok, now I have looked at the spotted green pufferfish on FishBase, and something seems wrong between looking at the online ones and the one I have. You won't be able to tell by the pictures but mine looks like he has more of a beak or extension of his jaw area, instead of a regular slope. He looks more like a ball (hence the name Meatball) than the footballish look, and the kicker is he basically NEVER fans out his caudal fin. <Mine don't, either.> He only does it when he's completely stopped in the water, and that is a very rare occasion in itself. He always keeps it squinched when he uses it like a rudder. <Yep, sounds familiar!> Ok, here are the pictures, although they probably wont help as much. <You've got a healthy-looking Tetraodon nigroviridis in your tank. --Ananda>

Mystery puffer (10/11/03) Hello, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> First of all, I want to say thank you for the response to my first inquiry regarding the "Unwell leopard puffer fish".   Unfortunately, both Puffer's died. <Major bummer.> Looking back, I think the problems may have been due to high ammonia levels - which we were able to take care of, unfortunately it was too late for my little puffers :(. <I was afraid of that. :-( :-( > Anyways - my boyfriend recently decided to surprise me by purchasing two new puffers - I'm not sure if I'm ready to try again, but this petstore doesn't like to take purchases back.   <Argh> I'm really nervous since he doesn't know what type of puffers they are and the petstore doesn't know either - they said they arrived as "assorted freshwater/brackish puffers" .   <Might take the Big Foam Clue Bat with you next time you visit... perhaps to let them use it on their buyer or distributor?> They had them in a freshwater tank - they're currently in my brackish tank as of the last two days, so far so good...  They don't look like any type of freshwater or brackish puffer I've ever seen - they more resemble this marine puffer I once saw years ago. I've gone through hundreds of websites trying to find something that resembles them.  Do you know of any website that show photo's of puffers and their species - or are you familiar with their description?   <One web site with a whole pile of puffer illustrations:   http://tekipaki.jp/~puffer/ > They are Orange/Yellowish with a dark brown stripe that runs horizontal across their side, a dark brown spotting/partial stripe above the main one, blue colored eyes and very fine light/powder blue markings around the eyes.   <This doesn't sound like any puffer I'm familiar with....If at all possible, could you send us a photo?> I'm very uncomfortable about having them in my tank since I don't know anything about them - so any suggestions would be greatly welcomed (except to tell my boyfriend not to surprise me anymore with mystery fish - we already had that discussion). <Glad you already had the discussion with the boyfriend. I would keep these guys in a very low brackish environment for now, and feed them the usual puffer food (crustaceans, snails, etc.) Keep a log of how they respond to the water conditions they're in, too.> Thanks! Chrissy <Keep us posted, and get us some photos... --Ananda>

Re: my puffer <Ananda here tonight, answering puffer questions...> do you have any info on black river puffer? is it a fresh or salt water fish? <This is probably Tetraodon leiurus, aka the target puffer. It is a freshwater and brackish fish. More info about them here: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=16134&genusname=Tetraodon&speciesname=leiurus, and do check out http://chunkypuff.net/projectpuffer/pavilion.htm for photos of various species and information on same. And the puffer info on WetWebMedia starts here: http://wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/fwbracpuffers.htm. Enjoy! --Ananda>

Re: seeking your expertise! <Greetings, Lisa. Anthony> Thank you for your reply. I guess I didn't clarify....I have FRESHWATER dwarf puffers, although I do put a little salt in the water. <yes...they really aren't freshwater, but necessarily brackish> From everything I've read, they belong in a freshwater tank?  <nope...they tolerate freshwater. They are likely brackish. You have the little figure eight or spotted green puffers, I suppose? The frogs are at full size, guess I didn't clarify that they are DWARF frogs and very mellow, and do not bother them.  <yes...agreed> As long as there is no danger of the puffers eating the frogs....am I okay? <Danger Will Robinson! Hehehe... yes, the frogs will eventually get nipped/eaten. A strange mix> Could I eventually move the puffs to the 46 gallon? Or would they pick on the Jelly Beans? <please read up on this site about brackish fishes and displays... a unique and wonderful microcosm...but limited in fish compatibility> From what I hear, the frogs would drown in a larger tank. What do you think? <they are really better suited to the smaller aquaria where they can feed easier away from active community fish> Thanks! Lisa <kind regards. Anthony>

Black river puffer question Hi, I have been having some problems trying to identify my new puffer. The most common names I have found are: the black river puffer, humpback puffer or red dragon puffer. Puffernet identifies it as a common freshwater puffer. I do not know whether this fish is strictly freshwater or if it's brackish or what. I am also wondering about compatibility with other fish. I have noticed nocturnal behavior also and I was wondering if there are any special steps I should be taking to provide for a nocturnal species. thanks <Mmm, please take a look on WWM here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwpuffers.htm and the FAQs files linked... and fishbase.org with your common names... or peruse the family Tetraodontidae there. Bob Fenner>
Re: black river puffer question
I checked there, but none of those match. I am attaching a picture that is definitely the same species.  <Mmm, no pic attached> I believe the correct scientific name is Tetraodon palembangensis. The real problem I am having is identifying the behaviors and requirements of this fish. I have exhausted the sites I know of. thanks <Do keep searching the Net... with different search engines... for brackish water fishes as a search term. Bob Fenner>

Which is which? (Spotted Green Brackish Puffers) I wrote you a few days ago now I have another question; I have seen in many sources, yours included, the names Tetraodon Fluviatilis and Tetraodon Nigroviridis as what seem to be the same fish. I cannot tell the difference through the photos I have seen between one and the other species, or if there even is one; the fish I have looks like all the photos I have seen associated with these names, except one; In your archives you have Tetraodon Fluviatilis with 2 completely different pictures for the same name. This is important to me in my research of my particular species of puffer and how he needs to live. I am now so utterly confused, please help! My fishy needs this info! =) <Sorry for the confusion. I only find the one image associated with the name Tetraodon fluviatilis (though both species do come into the trade... from the same countries... and are... yes, unfortunately called the same in the trade. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwpufferfaqs.htm re someone else's input on this "name game". Bob Fenner> Thanks Mallika

Brackish Porcupine Puffer Hi Bob! <<Actually JasonC, hello to you.>> I saw a porcupine puffer at LFS. it is listed as freshwater or brackish spices. is there a such species? <<I looked through my limited resources of freshwater puffers and couldn't find one that is not smooth skinned. Perhaps it is mis-labeled?>> I thought porcupine puffer lives in marine water? <<The classic 'Porcupine Puffer', Diodon Holocanthus is indeed a saltwater fish. Here's a link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diodontpuffers.htm  If any of these are the fish you saw, then the store has mis-labeled it.>> Please explain..... <<I'm not sure I can. I'd be asking the fish store to explain. Cheers, J -- >>

T. fluviatilis or not T. fluviatilis? Esteemed Mr. Fenner, <Steamed, like rice?> I have two spotted puffers sold to me as Tetraodon fluviatilis, when I bought them both looked similar and I requested the liveliest of the bunch. The pet store had them in brackish water and being impatient I brought them even though the tank I had cycled at home was freshwater (a little salt). I raised the salinity in the 20gal. tank to 1.002 while I acclimated the puffers to the new temp. in their little baggie. This being done I guess I crashed my bacteria because it was touch and go with ammonia and nitrate levels for awhile and the tank was cycled for 2 weeks and both levels were 0 before I added more salt (and puffers).  <Yes, astute of you to notice> Anyway, now the ammonia and nitrate are fine: temp.78, pH 8.0, sal. 1.002. But one puffer seems much happier than the other...his belly is always black I read here about the color of their bellies changing and it does for one but the others stays black. Black belly is also much rounder and I suspect that I have two different kinds of puffer, maybe one fluviatilis (brackish) and one nigroviridis (freshwater)? <Maybe... I would like to suggest another more likely possibility. That one is "happier" than the other... or reciprocally, that one is making the other miserable... typical amongst these species> The pet store says that they could be different but could offer no suggestions for keeping both happy in the same tank. Should I try to take the balloon shaped one (I suspect nigroviridis) with the black belly to a freshwater tank? How would I do this without killing the fish? <You need to ascertain the species definitively... do take a look through the pix on fishbase.org re... and re switching, acclimating them to other spg/salinities, can be done (slowly) over a period of days to weeks... by water changes, addition of less or more salty make up water...> Also I notice that one has a pattern of very small spots or specs (not disease) tapering off into the tail while the other has a "clear" tail, I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere as a possible way to tell these two apart but...Please help me make these fish happy. Thanks, Tim <Again, very observant of you. The markings are likely more to do with stress than species differences. I would separate these two. Bob Fenner>
Re: T. fluviatilis or not T. fluviatilis?
Thank you for the quick reply, I will begin separate the two and see what happens. The fish with the black belly actually seems to bully the lighter one a bit... Thanks again, Tim <Yes... understood you to state this... yet it may well be the more stressed individual of the two just the same... as you'll see. Bob Fenner>

Re: T. fluviatilis or not T. fluviatilis? Mr. Fenner, I separated the two and put the one I thought might be T. nigroviridis in freshwater. The result has been dramatic. Like two different fish. The LFS said to just lower the salinity in the brackish tank and "let them adapt" but I thought they were a bit flippant about the whole issue, hopefully all fish will remain happy as they are. Thanks for your help. Tim <A pleasure my friend. Delighted to read of your diligence. Bob Fenner>

Ceylon FW Puffers Hello, I have two Ceylon puffers in my 55gal FW tank. We call them Jeckel and Hyde. One minute they are swimming around, or shall I say up and down, and eating like pigs, in full color. Their little bellies are white and the spots are bright. The next minute, they are laying on the bottom, all black in color and barely breathing. Once they start swimming again, their bright and healthy looking. We just don't get it. The smaller of the two is getting worse, with more down time, I think he might die soon if I don't do something. We feed the frozen brine shrimp and occasional blood worms. What could it be? Michelle <Hmm, couldn't find this common name anywhere in my feeble memory, on ICLARM's FishBase, in TFH reference works... but do know this is actually a marine to brackish water species... and that likely what is happening has to do with a lack of salt in your Puffers water. Can your other livestock tolerate much salt? Like a teaspoon per ten gallons or so of uniodized (ice-cream, kosher...) salt? Or better, the same amount from a synthetic salt mix (like for marine fish tanks)? This is what they really need. Maybe take a read through the freshwater puffers section and FAQs on the www.wetwebmedia.com site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwpuffers.htm Sort of like you and I trying to "catch up" by drinking seawater... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ceylon FW Puffers Hi Bob, Thanks for the email, I didn't expect to hear from you so soon. The real name for the Ceylon puffer is Tetraodon, I think.  <Ah, likely T. fluviatilis... common names are actually my bane!> I don't usually use the scientific names. They resemble green spotted puffers in body shape and size. Anyway, the smaller of our two Ceylon's passed last night:( for reasons unknown. You do put the right salt in our tank after every water change, our water is brackish. As soon as the little one died, the big one started failing too. I don't no what to do:( Michelle <Any idea of how brackish your water actually is? Maybe the conductivity as a measure? I would/am still inclined to place more salt as I wrote last... Bob Fenner>

New FW Puffer Mystery species/husbandry... Hello, I just bought a fresh water puffer and have never heard of or seen this one it is about three inches long and on bottom it is white on top it has big stripes going back from black to goldish light green color the name they said it was is a Belem puffer but I see it nowhere on your site.  <Only know of one place to send you here. www.fishbase.org... search their under the genus Tetraodon for descriptions, images that match your specimen> I have this one in a 20 gallon long now do you know of any other fish that will go with it?  <Not without knowing the species...> He is very aggressive from what I have seen I have a Plecostomus in a different tank can I put him in their he is about 7 " long. Also I was thinking something like an Oscar or convict will any of these work with the puffer? <Maybe... would investigate the types of life this animal is found with in the wild... and NOT buy livestock ahead of such investigation in future... You know better. Bob Fenner>

Unidentified puffer Hi, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what puffer I have. None of the pics look quite right (juv Fahaka, juv MBU)....that is until I stumbled across your page. You have a fish at the top of http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwpuffers.htm labeled as an unidentified puffer. Do you know what it is yet? I have that very same fish and I am not sure what species it is. Anyway, get back to me, I am rather interested to know what info you have on it. Clayton <Well, thanks for causing me to get off my duff re this photo/specimen... think this is a Tetraodon lineatus (see fishbase.org for another image, info.)... though not as distinctly "lineated" as some smaller individuals I have seen. Perhaps check out the other twenty one species of the genus on FishBase as well... Bob Fenner>

Puffer confusion!!! (brackish id) Dear Robert, First of all I'd like to thank you for a great website. I'm in the process of putting together my second website at the moment, and I'm running into some difficulty with classifying Pufferfish. My confusion lies in the fact that there exists t. fluviatilis and t. nigroviridis. I have been researching and trying to differentiate the two the best I can, since I'm going to be profiling them in my website, "Puffernet". If I'm not mistaken, the two are from the same part of the world (southeast Asia) but are brackish and freshwater, respectfully. Is this correct? <Both these Tetraodons are brackish and fresher water... take a look at the coverage of nigroviridis (note spelling) and fluviatilis offered on the fishbase.org site> I don't seem to be the only one confused on this matter, as many genome sites (you'd hope they would know the difference) are calling them the same fish when there's two different species as per you and FishBase). It would seem to me that t. fluviatilis has a more torpedo-like shape and is brackish, while t. nigroviridis exhibits a more club-like form and is freshwater. <Like, agree with your morphological assessment> If I am correct in my nomenclature, are there any other distinguishing characteristics for these two fish? I do realize that t. nigroviridis is an inhabitant of freshwater streams and rivers, and wish to pass that information onto the masses so these fish can be properly cared for. Once again, I was wondering if you could shed a little more light on differentiating the two fish. Thanks so much for your time. Fred <Both fishes do best in water with some consistent salt mix make-up... both pugnacious, nippy toward unwary tankmates, both require meaty foods in their diets... fluviatilis "shinier", more discrete, consistent, smaller dots... Bob Fenner>

Interesting puffer observation Hi Bob, I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on something that has been puzzling me regarding the green spotted puffer. I have spoken to you before, I have a large tank with 15 puffers, a mixture of figure 8's (Tetraodon biocellatus) and Green Spotted (Tetraodon nigroviridis.) I have been keeping puffers for a long time and have a keen interest in them. On observation of my puffers I notice that there is a distinct difference between the green spotteds and for some time I have been convinced that some of them may be a slightly different species. I have attached a picture (scanned for viruses-don't worry) for your to view. I find that some of them are rounder in the face with large spots and black eyes and a more 'cartoony' appearance. Others have a longer nose with very reflective blue eyes and a wiser look about their face and more erratically patterned spots (as in the top picture.) Do you think there could be a slight difference? I have looked up all the literature I could find and they all seem to be labeled as the same species. Only one of my specimens displays these blue eyes and it is very young, perhaps this goes with age? <Have noticed these differences at times as well... think they may be due mainly to size, geographic variation... perhaps developmental history (winners, alpha types versus not)... Worth investigating the root papers dealing with the morphometrics of the species. Could be searched through fishbase.org to start bibliography. Bob Fenner>

A Puffer by any other name would smell... Hi! <Hi, Trish... Anthony Calfo here answering Bob's mail while he is away on a fantasy fish collecting trip, as we are told, wearing nothing but a natural bikini made from the hide of a capybara that he caught himself, and armed only with a buck knife clenched between his teeth> I recently bought 4 baby puffers - the spotted green kind. <AKA: Green Puffer, Spotted Puffer, Leopard Puffer, etc.>  However, different websites seem to give it different Scientific names. Some say it's TETRAODON FLUVIATILIS, others say it's TETRAODON NIGROVIRIDIS. <I'm not certain...Bob can confirm, but it is my understanding that they are one in the same and that T. nigroviridis is the valid name> The pictures of both species on the internet look the same so I can't tell which species mine is. My puffers have an iridescent green background with round spots. What is the difference between Tetraodon Fluviatilis and Tetraodon Nigroviridis? Would really appreciate it if you can clear up my confusion...Thanks, Trish <I'll borrow your confusion and add it to my own cerebral clutter... best of luck to you, Anthony>

Neat Puffers Hi, I don't search the web often but a friend showed me this site. I have had many puffers both freshwater and marine, so it was great to see this site on my favorite fishes. I have been trying to locate a T. schoutedeni for years now but no luck, but I noticed that the picture of it on your site looks more like mature T. biocellatus, as T. schoutedeni has red eyes and two brownish patches on it's head but otherwise looks a bit like fluviatilis. Also just wondering why no mention of T. erythrotaenia. <Just no exposure as yet> And a few years ago I saw a few puffers of a species that I have never seen in any book or magazine. I actually saw them around the same time at a couple different stores and bought one, but it died a day or two later. It was a little freshwater species, kind of greenish with a black spot on the sides behind the pectorals that are connected by a line that goes up over the back and another spot on it's back on top of the caudal peduncle, all outlined in brilliant orange. I actually have a few slides of it but only shot with natural light (and tank light) that aren't too bad. Any ideas? Is it a Chonerhinos? <Likely yes> Anyway a great website. I am using a friend's computer so if you feel like replying... it's Regards, Ron Parsons <Thank you for writing. Much needs be discussed, recorded re the Tetraodonts and their captive care, behavior. Bob Fenner> 

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