How to Keep a Fahaka Puffer
Are You Ready for a Giant Freshwater Puffer?
One of the popular freshwater puffer species is the fahaka puffer (Tetraodon lineatus). Among other characteristics, the fahaka's beautiful coloration, large size, and predatory nature make it one of the most interesting puffers to keep as a pet.
Unfortunately, these same characteristics also make it one of most common impulse purchases as well.
How Big Does a Fahaka Puffer Get?
Although many species of freshwater puffers can fit perfectly fine in a 30-gallon tank, the fahaka puffer isn't one of them. In fact, you'll need a tank at least four times that size if you plan on keeping your fahaka until adulthood, which, by the way, is something you should plan for since most pet stores, zoos ,and other hobbyists can't accommodate such a large fish.
In other words, if you decide to purchase a fahaka puffer, you should think long and hard before shelling out cash because they are a long term commitment—not a toy that you can trade in to get something better when the novelty wears off.
An adult specimen has the potential to reach 18 inches in length—that's larger than most home aquariums are to begin with! At the very least, you will need to have a 120-gallon tank ready for your puffer. When you are choosing a tank, make sure you pick out the wide 120-gallon; a 150-gallon show tank is too narrow for an adult fahaka to turn around in.
What Do Fahaka Puffers Eat?
The fahaka puffer is a carnivorous predator. However, you'll be disappointed if you're looking for a fish that eats feeder goldfish (which aren't healthy for any fish anyway). Fahaka's eat a high protein diet that mainly consists of crustaceans, like crabs, and mollusks, like snails.
You will need to provide your fahaka puffer different types of foods at each stage of their life—baby, sub-adult, and adult. Some great food items include ramshorn snails, night crawlers, red wigglers, live feeder crabs, crayfish, clams, whole shrimp, and assorted mollusks.
Just like any puffer, fahaka's require a consistent diet of hard foods to prevent their "beak" from overgrowing. This is very important, and it's much less stressful to offer your puffer hard foods every day than it is to manually file their teeth down. I personally breed my own snail colonies so that I have crunchy foods available at all times. Our fahaka puffer, GIR, enjoys mystery snails for his daily snack.
Can I Keep My Fahaka Puffer with Other Fish? How About Other Puffers?
Like most other freshwater puffers, fahaka puffers do best when they are kept as a single fish. As adults, they are not only very large, but also quite territorial.
Every puffer has its own personality. In general, you shouldn't keep your fahaka puffer with any other fish or puffers. They just get too big, and even one bite from your puffer could mortally wound another fish.