If you want to buy a puffer fish, make sure you read this first!

If you decide to bring home a freshwater puffer as a pet, you have to be prepared to take care of it for quite a while; some puffers can even live a decade or longer. For this reason, you should always make sure that you’re willing to feed it the right foods, perform the necessary amount of weekly maintenance, and be proactive in keeping your puffer healthy. 


Do you have any questions about buying a freshwater puffer? Let me know about them with a comment! 


Are there freshwater puffer fish?

If you’re wondering if there are freshwater puffers, then your confusion is justified! Many pet stores are completely unaware of the true freshwater puffers, which in turn leads them to tell their customers that all puffers need salt in their water. This is completely false. However, many of the puffers that are commonly sold as freshwater aren’t really freshwater fish at all. One of the best examples of this is the green spotted puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis); they are high-end brackish water fish. I can’t count how many pet stores I’ve been in that looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about freshwater puffers, or pointed out to me that I was keeping mine wrong and that they would all die if I didn’t add salt to their water. Anyway, I just wanted to take the time to clear that little myth up. :) 

Do you have any questions regarding their care? Or perhaps you’re wondering about a specific species of freshwater puffer? Let me know with a comment! 


Do you take the time to quarantine your puffer’s food?

If you don’t, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Live food, including live aquatic snails, can transmit parasites and disease to your puffer fish. Unfortunately, many people skip making sure their live feeders are safe for their puffer’s consumption. This is one of the reasons why beeding your own puffer food, or at least ordering large shipments of it and raising it in a dedicated species tank, can be very beneficial. Fortunately, you don’t have do get fancy setting up a quarantine tank for your puffer’s food. In fact, a simple plastic tote will work perfect for this! Make sure you have filtration, dechlorinated water, and you’re good to go! 

Don’t forget, feeder goldfish are never a suitable choice for puffer food - no matter what the pet store may say or do. 

Do you have questions about quarantining your puffer’s food? Let me know with a comment! 


Having a hard time figuring out what to feed to your puffer?

When freshwater puffers are small, it’s pretty easy to create a nutritious meal for them that consists of diverse prey items. However, if you have a species that gets larger, like Tetraodon lineatus, then you may come to a point where you’re at a loss as to what to feed your fish. Fortunately, puffers aren’t picky eaters - it shouldn’t be too hard to find something that yours likes! Aside from the commonly recommended fare of aquatic snails, you can also offer your puffer mussels, clams, crab legs, pieces of lobster, crayfish, whole shrimp and live feeder crustaceans. Just remember that if it’s live, it has to be quarantined first. 

Do you have any questions about feeding your puffer? Let me know with a comment! 


Having problems with a glass surfing puffer?

When a puffer is bored, stressed or hungry, it isn’t uncommon to see them swim up and down the glass. This is commonly referred to as glass surfing, and while some puffers are prone to doing this naturally, it’s very important that you ensure that there isnt an underlying cause to this behavior. For example, a green spotted puffer will swim up and down if it’s being kept in a tank that’s too small for it. This is a very common sight in retail pet stores that are keeping multiple puffers housed in a tiny tank. Not only are the fish glass surfing because they are in a barren (i.e. boring) tank, but they are also trying to escape poor water quality due to there not being enough water to dilute their waste, and possibly their tankmates, as well. 

If your puffer is glass surfing, then you should immediately test the water in your tank to ensure that your fish isn’t trying to escape a source of discomfort. If everything checks out, then take a look at the way you have set up the tank. Do you have enough decorations and territory for your fish to explore? Is the tank big enough? Is the water heated? 

Do you have any questions about a glass surfing puffer? Let me know about them with a comment!


Tips for Buying a Puffer

In your search to find a puffer for sale it can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement. After all, who doesn’t enjoy getting a new fish? However, it’s really important to make sure that you’re taking the time to ensure you’re buying a healthy puffer because they aren’t always easy to rehabilitate - especially if the previous owner took very poor care of them. So, what should you look for in a healthy puffer? To start with, there shouldn’t be any weird lumps, bulges or sunken in spots on its belly. Additionally, the puffer’s fins should not be tightly clamped down, and its tail should not be pulled into the body (it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a hovering puffer tail position and a very unhappy puffer who has its tail pulled in). Finally, check to see if its eyes are clear, and make sure that there aren’t any white spots covering the puffer’s body or fins. 


Are you trying to find a puffer for sale?

Sometimes, it can be really hard to buy puffer fish because it doesn’t seem like there are any for sale. I’ve totally been there, done that. So, since I already look for puffers that are up for sale frequently for myself, I thought I would start compiling a list of my findings so that other people can benefit from them, too. I’ll be posting the lists that I come up with every Friday on my freshwater puffer website, under the section, “Puffers for Sale.” Head on over and check out the first list today! 


Need help figuring out what to feed your puffer?

I just put together a guide that talks about all the different types of foods that are suitable for freshwater puffers to eat, including pictures. Check it out at Feeding Your Puffer 101! It was initially going to be a post on the website, but it turned out to be too long after I added in all of the pictures, so I figured that it would be better suited as a PDF guide instead. Let me know what you think! If you know anyone that would benefit from reading it, feel free to share it with them. 


Considerations About Keeping Dwarf Puffers

Out of all the freshwater species, dwarf puffers (Carinotetraodon travancoricus) are probably one of the most common starter fish in the hobby. After all, they’re the smallest puffer out of the bunch, which means they don’t require a huge tank or an expensive food bill. In turn, this makes them extremely easy to take care of, and they can actually be kept with their own kind - which is something that cannot be said of most puffers.However, if you’re planning on keeping your dwarf puffers in a species tank, then it’s a good idea to purchase all of your specimens at the same time and then later weed out the extra males. 

One of the most important things to remember about dwarf puffer fish is that they need to eat on a frequent basis - at least two times a day. Unlike other inactive species of freshwater puffer, you cannot go a couple days in between feedings. This means that you will have to take the time to learn your puffer’s eating habits so that you don’t accidentally overfeed them. 

Since they eat so often, they also produce a large amount of waste and ammonia. This quickly pollutes their fish tank, which means that you will need to make sure that you are diligent about changing out the water your aquarium. If you don’t, your dwarf puffers will quickly die from all the toxins that accumulate in their water. 

Do you have any questions about keeping dwarf puffers as pets? Let me know with a comment! 


Learning How to Take Care of a Green Spotted Puffer

Taking care of a green spotted puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis) can be a lot of fun, and they’re very cute little fish. However, before you head out to purchase your fish, it’s a good idea to pick up a green spotted puffer care guide to help you understand how to take care of your new pet. Unfortunately, there is a lot of information circulation about spotted puffers that is both false and very misleading - if you make the mistake of following it, then you will most likely end up with a dead puffer. This is especially true when it comes to Tetraodon nigroviridis. 

At the very least, your puffer will never live up to it’s full potential because it was not taken care of properly. One of the most common mistakes people make when they are new to keeping puffers is feeding them the wrong diet. All puffers are a very specialized fish, and you cannot treat them the same way that you do other types of tropical aquarium fish. Additionally, many pet stores make it seem like puffers make great community fish, when in reality, they will only terrorize (or eat!) everything in your tank if they aren’t kept as a single specimen. 

Do you have an experiences keeping a green spotted puffer that you would like to share? Let me know about them with a comment!