Green Spotted Puffer

Green Spotted Puffer
Species NameDichotomyctere nigroviridis
Common NameGreen Spotted Puffer, Leopard Puffer
Care LevelIntermediate
LifespanUp to 10 years
Adult Size6 inches (15 cm)
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons for a single puffer, 50+ for multiple
Temperature77°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C)
Water ConditionspH 7.5-8.5, Specific Gravity 1.005-1.025 in adulthood

About the Green Spotted Puffer – Species Summary

The Green Spotted Puffer, or Dichotomyctere nigroviridis, is a charismatic yet challenging aquarium resident. Originally from Southeast Asia, these fish captivate aquarists with their quirky personalities, fascinating behavior, and vivid coloration. But it’s essential to recognize the uniqueness of their care requirements, from their dietary habits to their transition from freshwater to brackish water as they age. Their charming nature, combined with the demands of their care, make them a fish for the dedicated hobbyist.

Green Spotted Puffer Lifespan

Green Spotted Puffers, with optimal care, can thrive for up to 10 years in captivity. Their lifespan is significantly influenced by factors such as diet, water conditions, and general tank maintenance.


Unmistakable in appearance, the Green Spotted Puffer possesses a vibrant green-yellow body peppered with dark spots. Their belly region is usually lighter, transitioning to a near-white hue. Their eyes, protruding and endearing, swivel independently, allowing them to keep a vigilant watch on their surroundings.

Average Size

Upon reaching maturity, the Green Spotted Puffer will typically measure around 6 inches (15 cm) in length.

Green Spotted Puffer Care

Tank Size

For a single Green Spotted Puffer, a 30-gallon tank is a minimum recommendation. If you plan to keep multiple puffers, it’s advisable to have a 50-gallon tank or larger to accommodate their territorial nature and reduce aggression.

How To Set Up Their Tank

The tank setup should emulate their natural brackish habitat. A sandy substrate, coupled with mangrove roots or driftwood, provides an authentic feel. As they tend to be burrowers, ensure the substrate is smooth to prevent injuries. Offering plenty of hiding spaces and caves is beneficial for this species. As they mature, they’ll need a transition from freshwater to brackish conditions, so investing in a good quality hydrometer to monitor salinity levels is essential.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting suffices for the Green Spotted Puffer. They don’t have specific lighting requirements, but maintaining a consistent day-night cycle is essential for their well-being.


A pH range of 7.5 to 8.5 is ideal for these puffers.


Maintain a stable temperature between 77°F and 82°F (25°C to 28°C).

Water Parameters

As they age, Green Spotted Puffers transition from freshwater juveniles to requiring brackish conditions. A Specific Gravity of 1.005-1.025 is recommended for adult puffers.

Disease Potential

Like all fish, Green Spotted Puffers are susceptible to various diseases, notably Ich or White Spot Disease. Regular monitoring, proper quarantine practices for new tank additions, and maintaining water quality are crucial preventive measures.

Food & Diet

Being carnivorous, their diet largely comprises protein. They relish foods like snails, which also help in grinding down their ever-growing teeth. Other dietary inclusions can be shrimp, crabs, and various worm types. It’s vital to offer a varied diet for overall health and to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Behavior and Temperament

While they are often seen as curious and playful when young, as they mature, they can become territorial and display aggressive tendencies, especially toward their kind or similarly-sized fish. Their beak-like teeth are capable of inflicting significant damage, so it’s essential to consider this when planning tank mates.

Tank Mates

Given their aggressive potential, careful consideration is needed when choosing tank mates. Fish that are much larger or faster than the puffer are generally safer choices. Some potential tank mates include archerfish, monos, and scats. Always observe interactions when introducing new fish.


Breeding Green Spotted Puffers in captivity is quite rare and challenging. In the wild, they lay eggs in crevices, which the male then guards. Given the difficulty and the puffer’s specific requirements, only advanced aquarists typically attempt breeding. If pursued, it’s crucial to offer a spacious tank, proper diet, and optimal water conditions.

Green Spotted Puffer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)