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

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
Fahaka Puffer (Tetraodon lineatus)

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 they are threatened. It is easier to tell 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 Tank Setup

If you are wanting 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, and because of their diet, they can leave a lot of food waste behind. They also leave a lot of poop behind, so in addition to performing regular water changes, you will want to invest in a good canister filter to help keep their waste under control. Monitor your equipment often. Their nitrate and ammonia levels can quickly reach a toxic level, and cause harm.

For decorations you will want to keep in mind that they will aggressively go after their food, and anything that is in their way will inevitably get demolished. Since Fahaka Puffer fish have teeth that are designed for crushing the shells of their prey, as you can imagine, they can be incredibly destructive of their aquarium when it is meal time.

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 their rough diets, it is suggested that if they were to accidentally ingest any of these materials that they would 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 most people own one of these fish, and watching them during feeding time can be quite entertaining. Fahaka Puffers are a type of carnivorous fish that is called a molluscivore, this means that they are a fish that specializes in feeding in molluscs. In the wild, Fahaka Puffer fish feed on insects, and crustaceans.  

What Should I Feed My Fahaka Puffer?

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

What Does Fahaka Puffer Eat in the Wild?

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

Fahaka Puffer Tank Mates

The Fahaka Puffer fish should not be tank mates with any 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.

Are Fahaka Puffer Aggressive?

Fahaka Puffer fish will be incredibly intolerant of other fish in its aquarium. It will go after and attack any fish that it sees. 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 brain and its ability to send signals to your muscles.

Fahaka Puffer Breeding

If you are planning on breeding Fahaka Puffer fish, you will want to make sure that your tank is large enough that they do not see or come in contact with each other, as they will fight every time. The key to success here is to make sure that you are observing your Fahaka Puffer fish so that they do not end up fighting.

You will need a separate, dedicated breeding tank setup for these fish. When the female is ready to spawn, she will develop an ovipositor. This is a tubelike structure that is used with the male fish to grip the two together to 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. There are typically large losses of the fry due to starvation at this point, so it can be tricky not to underfeed them.

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. It is for this reason that you will want to make sure that they are in the appropriate setup. Monitor them to eliminate any potential problems that you have.

Like all freshwater fish, they 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 you will have to monitor your fish often so that you catch any problems before they get out of hand. Like with most problems, it is better to prevent an Ich situation from happening than it is to try and treat it later on.

How Much Does a Fahaka Puffer Cost?

If you are looking to purchase a Fahaka Puffer fish, you can find one online anywhere from 20-60 USD. You want to make sure that you do your research and are buying from a reputable seller to get the healthiest fish.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the knowledge that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory Aquatics is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish healthy.

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