Top 3 Reasons Why Feeder Fish Will Kill Your Green Spotted Puffer
Unfortunately, there will always be someone that recommends feeder fish as the ideal diet for a green spotted puffer, which is why I’d like to take the time to point out the dangers of doing so. In fact, you may even see pet stores tossing in goldfish with their puffers, too. Tetraodon nigroviridis does eat a very meaty diet; however, that meat is not derived from a piscivorous source. Their natural diet includes a variety of shelled creatures, including shrimp, crabs and mollusks.
What are feeder fish?
A feeder is any fish that has been bred specifically to feed another carnivorous fish. Some people do it the right way, and treat their feeders like they would any other fish – which includes giving them enough room to swim, keeping their water pristine and providing them with a healthy diet. However, the majority of feeders that are bred on a large scale are not kept in the abovementioned conditions. Instead, they are kept in filthy, disease ridden tanks that are so overcrowded that handfuls of fish die every day.
Types of Feeder Fish
Here are a few of the most common types of fish that you’ll see offered as feeders:
- Live bearers, like mollies, guppies and platys
- Comet goldfish and rosy red minnows
- Excess fry, like baby convict cichlids
Reasons Why Feeder Fish are an Extremely Poor Choice for a Green Spotted Puffer
1. They’re unhealthy and transmit disease and parasites. The number one reason why feeder fish will eventually kill your green spotted puffer is because they are potential carriers for some nasty parasites and disease that can overtake your puffer tank. Very few people take the time to quarantine their live feeder fish, which is equivalent to playing with fire. Although your puffer may be fine the first several times, or even for a couple years, you will eventually put a sick feeder fish in their tank that wreaks havoc on their health. Or accidently spill contaminated bag water into your main tank, which is a great way to introduce fish ick, anchorworms and other parasites to your otherwise healthy puffer.
2. Feeder fish make an inadequate diet. Again, feeder goldfish and other types of fish specifically sold as prey for other fish are not part of a green spotted puffer’s natural diet. Although they may snag the occasional fish in the wild, their primary diet consists of mollusks and crustaceans – which is a pretty far cry from the fatty, soft meal that a feeder fish offers. Some may argue that their puffer enjoys eating feeder goldfish; however, that’s just as bad as justifying eating a diet of junk food with the rationale that it tastes good.
3. Feeders won’t help keep your puffer’s teeth worn down. Along the same lines of a soft meal, a feeder fish won’t prevent your green spotted puffer’s teeth from growing too long. If you allow your puffer’s teeth to grow long enough that it can’t close its mouth anymore, then you will have to trim them down or risk losing your puffer to starvation. Unfortunately, you could also lose your puffer during the process of trimming their teeth, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing – which is why prevention is a much better route to take.
Final Thoughts on Feeding Green Spotted Puffers Feeder Fish
Although it may be “cool” to watch your puffer eat other fish, there are plenty of other ways to get that same thrill without putting your puffer’s life at risk. For instance, live feeder worms, like night crawlers and red wigglers, are nutritious snacks that most green spotted puffers will attack ferociously. Additionally, it’s a lot of fun to watch your puffer stalk live ghost shrimp, as well as various types of aquatic snails, like Ramshorns – both of which should always be quarantined before they’re offered to your puffer as food, because they can transmit parasites and disease, too.
Do you disagree with me on the topic of feeder fish? Let me know about it by leaving a comment!