Fahaka Puffer: Care, Tank Size, Tank Mates, Food & Size

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Common Name(s)Fahaka Puffer, Fahaka Pufferfish, Band Puffer, Nile Puffer, Globe fish
Scientific NameTetraodon Lineatus
Temperature75-82°F (24-28°C)
SizeUp to 18 inches
Minimum Tank Size100 gallons
Food & DietCarnivorous Molluscivore
Lifespan10 years
Water pH7.0-8.0
Tank MatesSince Fahaka Puffer are aggresive fish, adding other tank mates should be generally avoided.
BreedingEgg spawning by a breeding pair. Female produces an ovipositor when ready to spawn.
DiseaseDue to lack of hard scales, they are susceptible to injuries that lead to infections.

Fahaka Puffer Facts

  • Fahaka Puffer fish carry the toxin tetrodotoxin. It is a powerful neurotoxin that once it enters the body, it prevents the nervous system from carrying messages from the brain, and it stops the muscles from contracting. This causes the victim to be effectively paralyzed.
  • Fahaka Puffer fish have teeth that they use when they feel threatened as well.
  • Fahaka Puffer fish need a minimum of a 100 gallon tank, and they need to be able to fully spin around unobstructed.

Fahaka Puffer Care

The Fahaka Puffer fish (Tetraodon lineatus) has a light tannish to brownish body that fades into a light yellowish white underbelly. Fahaka Puffer fish also have horizontal stripes on their bodies that run from the start of their pectoral fin to their tail.

Fahaka Puffer fish, like all species of puffer fish, have the ability to puff themselves up with air or water when they feel threatened. When the Fahaka Puffer has puffed itself up, it reveals that it has tiny spikes all over its skin. These spikes are a form of self-defense that makes them a lot less appealing to predators. Not only do they have spikes and poison, Fahaka Puffer fish have strong teeth that they use to tear flesh from the bodies of other fish if they feel threatened.

It is easier to distinguish the males from the females when they have reached maturity. The females will appear more rounded due to the presence of eggs, while the male will remain more slender. While the Fahaka Puffer is young, it will have a brighter appearance that will dull with age.

Fahaka Puffer
Fahaka Puffer (Tetraodon lineatus)

Fahaka Puffer Tank Setup

If you want to keep Fahaka Puffer fish, you will need a tank that is at minimum 100 gallons. Fahaka Puffer fish require their water to be at a temperature of around 75°F to 82°F. Fahaka Puffer fish are sensitive to soft water, and do best when kept between 10 and 12 dKH, and 7.0 to 8.0 pH.

Fahaka Puffer fish require a large tank, and they must be able to turn around completely unobstructed. When setting up your tank for Fahaka Puffer fish, you don’t have to be too picky about the substrate you choose. Most owners of Fahaka Puffer fish prefer a softer substrate so that they can place their plants easily. You may want to avoid rough decor, or plants so that they do not potentially damage your Fahaka Puffer fish. Sand is also a popular choice, since they could potentially grab it up along with their meal. Fahaka Puffer fish eat a rough diet, so gravel most likely would not cause a blockage if it was ingested.

Fahaka Puffer fish can be very messy when it comes to eating. Due to their diet, they can leave a lot of food behind. They also produce a lot of waste. Therefore, in addition to performing regular water changes, you will need a good aquarium filter. A large capacity canister filter will help keep their waste under control. Monitoring and maintaining the filtration system is important as well. If the filters are not functioning correctly, the nitrate and ammonia levels can quickly reach a toxic level and cause harm.

In regards to tank decorations, only durable objects should be considered. Keep in mind that these fish will aggressively go after their food. Any object that is in their way may get pushed over. Fahaka Puffer fish have teeth that are designed for crushing hard shells, such as clams. Therefore, they can be incredibly destructive if they decided to chew on an object.

Do Fahaka Puffers Need Sand?

Fahaka Puffer fish are not picky when it comes to substrate for their aquarium. They could thrive in an aquarium with sand, dirt, or gravel. Due to the nature of their diet, they are used to swallowing hard objects. Therefore, even if they were to accidentally ingest any of these materials, they would most likely be able to pass them without difficulty.

Fahaka Puffer Size & Growth Rate

Fahaka Puffer fish can grow up to 18 inches long if kept in the proper aquarium setup. If they are kept in a smaller tank, it could stop them from reaching their full growth potential. In the wild, it is essential for the survival of the Fahaka Puffer fish that they grow to their full adult size rather quickly. They grow most of their length in the first 10 months of their life, at a rate of 1 inch every 4 weeks. They will then grow the remainder of their length in the following year.

Fahaka Puffer Lifespan

When properly cared for, and in the appropriate setup, Fahaka Puffer fish can live up to 10 years or longer in captivity.

Food & Diet

Feeding Fahaka Puffers is one of the reasons many people own these fish, since watching them eat can be quite entertaining. Fahaka Puffers are a type of carnivorous fish called molluscivores. This means that they are fish that specializes in feeding on molluscs. In the wild, Fahaka Puffer fish also feed on other insects and crustaceans as well.

What Should I Feed My Fahaka Puffer?

In an aquarium, Fahaka Puffer fish will readily accept fresh or frozen hard shelled foods. They can be fed live fish foods just as well. Snails, crabs, crayfish, and shrimp are all favorites of Fahaka Puffer.

What Does Fahaka Puffer Eat in the Wild?

Since Fahaka Puffer fish are molluscivores, they survive on a diet of mostly shelled invertebrates in the wild. They have powerful jaws that help them crush the shells of various invertebrates with ease.

Fahaka Care! Tips for keeping a Fahaka Puffer

Fahaka Puffer Tank Mates

In general, Fahaka Puffer fish should not be tank mates with other fish due to their aggression. It has been reported that juvenile Fahaka Puffer fish are more peaceful and could cohabitate safely with others for a short term. However, mature specimen are not compatible as tank mates for most fish.

Are Fahaka Puffer Aggressive?

Fahaka Puffer fish can be incredibly aggressive and intolerant of other fish in the aquarium. It may go after and attack any fish that it sees. In many cases, they will not even tolerate members of their own species.

Can You Keep Fahaka Puffer in a Community Tank?

Fahaka Puffer fish can not be kept in a community tank, as they will attack any other fish in sight.

Do Fahaka Puffers Have Poison?

Fahaka Puffers have a powerful poison called tetrodotoxin. This neurotoxin affects the victim’s brain and ability to send signals to their muscles.

Fahaka Puffer Breeding

If you wish to breed Fahaka Puffer fish, make sure you have a large aquarium tank. The tank must be large enough to house both fish comfortably. If there isn’t enough space for both fish, the breeding pair may start fighting each other. It is important that there is enough space in the tank to allow both fish to keep enough distance from each other. If you wish to breed them successfully, it is best to set up a dedicated breeding tank as well.

Once the pair is settled into the breeding tank, and the female is ready to spawn, she will develop an ovipositor. This is a tubelike structure is used with the male fish to grip the two together and fertilize the eggs. They will swim together for some time while both eggs and sperm are released simultaneously. You will notice the fish doing this several times. Each spawn will last no more than 30 seconds. They may deposit several thousand eggs this way. Once they are released, the eggs will sink, and once the parent fish are done spawning, you will want to remove them from the tank. The eggs hatch in around 72 to 96 hours, and the fry will become free swimming within a week.

The most difficult aspect of breeding Fahaka Puffers is keeping the fry fed. It is important to feed the fry well, and avoid underfeeding them. Underfed fry will not grow or survive.

Fahaka Puffer Diseases

Fahaka Puffer fish do not have scales or a hard coating on their bodies, so they are susceptible to infections if they get injured. Therefore, be mindful of the type of substrate and decor to add to the aquarium setup. Sharp objects that may injure the fish should be avoided.

Like many other freshwater fish, Fahaka Puffers are susceptible to Ich. Ich is a parasitic skin disease that will spread all over their bodies if left untreated. They can survive this, but immediate and proper treatment will be necessary. As with all disease and health issues, it is better to prevent it from happening than it is to try and treat it later on.

How Much Does a Fahaka Puffer Cost?

Fahaka Puffer fish can be found for sale by various online retailers. Their price can vary, and the cost of a juvenile Fahaka Puffer can range from $20-30 USD.

When looking for Fahaka Puffer for sale, it is important to find a quality breeder or retailer. While the fish may cost a premium, getting a healthy specimen is very important.

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