Last update: June 19, 2023

9 Best Green Spotted Puffer Tank Mates – FishLab

The Green Spotted puffer (GSP) is a highly unique fish – their spotted yellow-green back and cute, puffy appearance make them an attractive choice for aquariums, but don’t be fooled! Finding the best green spotted puffer tank mates would be quite the job as this creature is highly aggressive and can attack and even kill practically any other fish.

With that being said, the bullies might end up living peacefully in a large tank with other fish species that can tolerate brackish water. However, there will always be a risk of conflict arising between the beautiful creatures.

Make sure to carefully review our list of 9 best tank mates for green spotted puffers as there are a few extremely important things that you would have to bear in mind before choosing the right ‘neighbor’.

Green Spotted Puffer Tank Mates – What You Need to Know

Even if you take all the facts mentioned below into consideration, no one would be able to guarantee that your green spotted puffer would end up becoming friends with its tank mate. But knowing this information would help you increase your chances of success.


Just like other pufferfish, the green spotted puffer can vary greatly in personality, but, overall, they are known for being very aggressive. It is not unusual for this fish to nip on the fins of its tank mates or even kill them.

That’s exactly why keeping green spotted puffers alone or with other GSPs is usually suggested. But they might also live peacefully with non-aggressive large fish. 


Green spotted puffers are a relatively large specie of puffers. They can reach a size of about 6.5 inches. Even though these creatures are not gigantic, they are quite thick and powerful and require plenty of space.

It is not recommended to get species that are smaller in size as a tank mate for the green spotted puffer as the latter can injure the weaker fish. 


These puffers are highly aggressive fish. They are not considered to be community fish and need a lot of space to thrive.

Furthermore, GSPs will, in the majority of cases, eat everything they can. In fact, they might even eat themselves to death, so the rest of the inhabitants of the aquarium might be left without food.

Parameters ; Tank Setup

The fish should be kept in a large aquarium (30 gallons is the minimum tank size). Do bear in mind that 50 gallons are preferred as this will give the puffer enough space to swim and explore.

The temperature of the water should be kept between 78 and 82; the pH – between 7.5 and 8.5. The species spends its entire adult life living in brackish water, so you would, of course, have to choose the tank mates that can tolerate the same conditions.

9 Best Green Spotted Puffer Tank Mates

Finding the right tank mates for a green spotted puffer is a challenging task because you can’t know for sure how your puffer is going to react. So, let’s put it that way – these 9 best green spotted puffer tank mates are the species that are more likely to live in peace with such an aggressive neighbor.

  • Spotted scats
  • Other green spotted puffers
  • Sea catfish
  • Mono fish
  • Gold dust mollies
  • Dalmatian mollies
  • Marble lyretail mollies
  • Archerfish
  • Hermits

Below, you will find out a bit more about every creature, so that you can then make an informed decision about what tank mate to get.

Also read:

1. The Spotted Scat

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  • Scientific Name: Scatophagus argus
  • Adult Fish Size: 12 inches
  • Compatible with: archer fish, monodactylus, and other scats
  • Care Level: advanced
  • Origin: from Kuwait to Australia and Japan

The scat fish are large beautiful creatures that are quite curious and outgoing. They hardly ever hide or run, unless there is a fish that’s bigger in size harassing them.

Do bear in mind that a spotted scat is not the right fish for a beginner. They are nitrite sensitive and have venom spikes that can result in pain and dizziness in humans.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Spotted scats require the same water parameters as green spotted puffers. They are also larger than the puffers and relatively sociable.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Though the spotted scat is considered to be a calm species, it can get aggressive about food which can potentially lead to problems with the tank mates.

2. Other Green Spotted Puffer Fish

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  • Scientific Name: Tetraodon nigroviridis
  • Adult Size: 6.7 inches
  • Compatible with: other GSPs, mollies, scats, bumblebee gobies
  • Care Level: advanced
  • Origin: Southeast Asia

This guy has a rock-hard beak and very sharp teeth and uses its pectoral fins for maneuverability which allows the fish to energetically swim backward and forward.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • In some cases, green spotted puffers are best maintained in tanks that are inhabited by a single species.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • These creatures can have different personalities, and if you end up with two aggressive puffers, your aquarium might turn into a bloody mess.

3. Ariopsis (Hardhead Catfish)

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  • Scientific Name: Ariopsis felis
  • Adult Size: 12-16 inches
  • Compatible with: practically any saltwater species
  • Care Level: extremely advanced
  • Origin: Gulf of Mexico and northwest Atlantic

Hardhead catfish are not the typical specie that you’d see in someone’s aquarium. But these creatures do make great tank mates as they are calm and peaceful.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Hardhead catfish are not aggressive and have practically the same water requirements as green spotted puffers.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • These creatures cannot be contained in a small aquarium. So, if you want to adopt such a tank mate, you would have to upgrade the aquarium to at least a 150-gallon one.

4. Mono Fish

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  • Scientific Name: Monodactylus argenteus
  • Adult Size: 6-8 inches
  • Compatible with: mollies, scats, archerfish, and brackish species of gobies
  • Care Level: advanced
  • Origin: the western Atlantic Ocean

Mono fish, or moonfish, are gorgeous silver creatures that are incredibly active. They enjoy swimming all around the aquarium and exploring the decorations.

A moonfish is semi-aggressive and might feel threatened if your pufferfish is larger.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Both of the species need brackish water.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • None

5. Gold Dust Molly

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  • Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
  • Adult Size: 3-4 inches
  • Compatible with: mollies, swordtails, guppies, platies
  • Care Level: beginner-friendly
  • Origin: Mexico

Gold dust molly is one of the most popular aquarium fish. It is a peaceful half-golden, half-black creature that is playful and active.

Ideally, you would want to ensure that your pufferfish is not overly aggressive before releasing the gold dust molly in the tank.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Gold dust mollies are highly adaptable and would easily get used to the water in which the GSP is housed.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • As the mollies are smaller than the green spotted puffer, they might end up becoming food, at one point.

6. Dalmatian Molly

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  • Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
  • Adult Size: 3-5 inches
  • Compatible with: guppies, dwarf cichlids, tetras
  • Care Level: beginner-friendly
  • Origin: Central and South America

Dalmatian mollies are very sociable creatures that are docile, energetic, and, in general, quite harmless. With that being said, the little guys may become aggressive if paired with unsuitable tank mates or if the aquarium gets overcrowded.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • These mollies are highly adaptable and easy to maintain, so you wouldn’t really have to make any changes to your aquarium if you already have a green spotted puffer.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

Dalmatian mollies can become competitive.

7. Marble Lyretail Molly

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  • Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
  • Adult Size: 2-4 inches
  • Compatible with: tetras, mollies, platys
  • Care Level: beginner-friendly
  • Origin: Mexico and South America

This pretty black and white fish can make a peaceful addition to most aquariums. It has a large tailfin with big edges which can make the fish appear slightly bigger than it really is.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Both of these species thrive in brackish water.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Ideally, the marble lyretail molly should be housed with other peaceful fish. If your pufferfish has been showing signs of aggression, the molly might start to suffer or may even get harmed.

8. Archerfish

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  • Scientific Name: Toxotes
  • Adult Size: 5-7 inches
  • Compatible with: other archerfish or species that are of the same size
  • Care Level: moderate
  • Origin: Southeast Asia, Australia, the Philippines  

The archerfish is known for being able to shoot a strong jet of water toward its prey. It can attack the species that are a lot smaller but is generally quite friendly with larger creatures.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • The archerfish and green spotted puffer might be able to coexist in peace as they have similar body sizes and water preferences.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • The archerfish can become aggressive if kept alone, so having this fish in schools of 4-5 is recommended. The green spotted puffer, in its turn, might not want to have that many neighbors in its tank.

9. Hermits

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  • Scientific Name: Paguroidea
  • Adult Size: usually, around 1-2 inches
  • Compatible with: other hermit crabs, clown fish, gobies, wrasses
  • Care Level: moderate
  • Origin: the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Australia

Hermit crabs are generally safe against pufferfish as the latter has a relatively small mouth. Furthermore, the hermits have evolved to hide from predatory fish.

Pros of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • Hermit crabs will thrive in brackish water, just like the green spotted puffer.

Cons of Keeping with Green Spotted Puffer

  • The GSP might end up knocking the hermits off the rocks, nipping at them, or even devouring them.

Final Thoughts

These were the 9 best green spotted puffer tank mates, but, in all honesty, no species would make the perfect neighbor for this aggressive fish.

And remember that even if you think that all of your tank mates are getting along nicely, there is always a chance of the GSP injuring or eating the other fish if it ever shows signs of weakness. 

Ian Sterling

I've been keeping fish for over 30 years and currently have 4 different aquariums – it's an addiction. I'm here to teach you everything there is to know about fishkeeping.

I also use this site as an excuse to spend lots of money on testing and reviewing different aquarium products! You can find my reviews here.

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