Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Tetraodon fluviatilis

Green Puffer

Green Puffer, Tetraodon fluviatilis Green Puffer, Tetraodon fluviatilis
Photos by Andy Rapson


Tetraodon: Greek, tetra = four + Greek, odous = teeth

General Notes:

Using around 25gm (one tablespoon) of (marine) salt per gallon should be added to their water, green puffers are essentially a brackish water species more so as they mature. If raised in fresh water there is an increased risk of a fungal infection. As with most puffers they have little tolerance of poor water quality and as such particular attention should be paid to regular water changes in order to keep nitrogenous waste as low as possible.

Sans makes a good substrate along with a few rounded stones for decor. Live plants are unlikely to thrive in brackish water but plastic plants will offer some cover for the fish and help it to feel confident.


In captivity they will accept a range of live and frozen food. Snails, shellfish, prawns, earthworms, crickets, meal worms, blood worms, lance fish and krill will all make an acceptable diet.


Aggressive and better kept alone. Green puffers will fight among themselves, occasionally to the death. Small juveniles are more tolerant but they become increasingly aggressive as they grow. Part of their natural diet is the fins and scales of other fish which says it all really.


There are no known external differences between the sexes.


There are few details but green puffers have been bred in captivity. The fish were kept in brackish water and the eggs were deposited on a rounded stone. Both parents exhibited brood care.

Wild status

Tetraodon fluviatilis is a wide ranging common species with no major threats.

Additional information

The flesh of this species is toxic if eaten.

Information at a glance

pH: 7.8 - 8.4
dGH: 15 -25
SG: 1.005 - 1.01
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Lighting: Subdued
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 17cm (7in)
Min tank size: 150 litres
Difficulty level: Moderate
Aquarium type: Specimen
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Helostoma temminckii

Origin: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Borneo

Habitat: Slow moving rivers, estuaries. Fresh and brackish water.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Tetraodontidae
Genus: Tetraodon
Species: T. fluviatilis, Hamilton 1822

Other common names:
Spotted puffer


Chelonodon fluviatilis,
Arothron dorsovittatus,
Dichotomycterus rangoonensis dorsovittatus,
Dichotomycterus rangoonensis