Optimal Diet for Tetraodon Nigroviridis
Maintaining a healthy diet for your green spotted puffer(Tetraodon
nigroviridis) is one of the most important aspects of care. After all, without access to plenty of hard, shelled foods, your puffer’s teeth will quickly grow out of control. In fact, if a green spotted puffer is kept on an inadequate, soft diet, their teeth will eventually become so long that it won’t be able to eat anymore. Eventually, the teeth will have to be trimmed, or the puffer will slowly starve to death.
Here are a few different foods that you can feed your spotted puffer to keep its diet as diverse as possible – please note that not all of them are considered hard foods:
1. Aquatic Snails. These are one of the easiest hard foods to feed your puffer. In addition to being super easy to breed, most prolific species of aquatic snails are also the perfect size for your puffer to munch on. The best way to ensure your green spotted puffer is receiving an adequate diet of hard foods is to breed your own supply of feeder snails. To do this, you will need a container, sponge filter and some vegetable-based food, like spirulina flakes or shelled peas. Oh, and a starter culture of Ramshorn snails or common pond snails! However, it’s very important to remember that all live food has to be quarantined before it is offered to your puffer – even snails can transmit disease to your puffer tank.
2. Whole pieces of shellfish. Another great way to make sure your puffer’s teeth are staying in check is to regularly offer it small pieces of shellfish, like shrimp, lobster, crayfish and crab. Some species of crab and shrimp will be small enough for an adult green spotted puffer to eat whole; however, you’re probably going to have to cut the shellfish up so that it isn’t too big for your puffer. Additionally, make sure you’re getting whole shellfish that still have the shell on otherwise it will no longer be a hard food that can help wear down your puffer’s teeth.
3. Appropriately sized worms. Although worms aren’t a hard food, they do make a great puffer snack! Red wigglers are almost always a hit, and so are pieces of night crawlers that have been cut up to bite-sized chunks. If you’re having a difficult time getting your new puffer to eat, then you should definitely try out a live worm or two. Most bait shops have containers of both types of worms for sale, and so do many pet stores – never collect worms from your backyard, or anywhere else that pesticides may be present.
4. Frozen fish food. To further vary your green spotted puffer’s diet, consider adding in the occasional meal of blood worms or frozen brine shrimp. Just remember to thoroughly wash off the blood worms after you thaw them out before you offer them to your puffer. If you don’t, the water will get really messy.
In addition to eating the foods listed above, Tetraodon nigroviridis will also occasionally take bites out of aquatic plants if you have any that can withstand brackish water, like Java fern. For the sake of your puffer’s health, please remember that feeder goldfish are not a suitable food item under any circumstances. Although there are plenty of videos on the Internet that suggest otherwise, and the occasional pet store employee, too, feeder goldfish are usually ridden with disease because of the unsanitary conditions they are kept in. Aside from being a fatty food that would not naturally be a part of your spotted puffer’s diet, they can transmit parasites and other diseases to your puffer – which is a pretty big price to pay just to watch a fish eat another fish.