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This months profile was written by Joker an active contributor to the site.



Fahaka Puffer

Tetraodon lineatus

    These fish are very personable and will come to recognize you as their owner. They are extremely aggressive and need to be kept alone in larger tanks

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 18 inches+ (46 cm +)
    Tank: 120 gallons (450 Liters) with at least 24 inches (60 cm) of turning room
    Strata: Bottom to middle but will come to the top.
    PH: 6.0 - 7.8
    Hardness: DH: 8-15
    Temperature: 74°F to 80°F (23°-26° C)


    Order: Tetraodontiformes
    Family: Tetraodontidae
    Genus: Tetraodon
    Species: lineatus


Common name:

    Fahaka Puffer, Nile puffer, Coral Butterfly, Lined Puffer.


    Badmans' Forum
Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Africa: Nile, Chad basin, Niger, Volta, Gambia, Geba and Senegal Rivers.

General Body Form:
    Typical puffer shape with scale less tough skin. There are two protruding forked nasal processes on either side of the head.

Fahaka Puffer

    Green and a lighter yellow underbelly. Has yellow stripes running down its body. Sometimes The green may be suffused or overlaid with reddish to maroon. May be particular to a fish, mood, or setup - some fish show it routinely, others never. Not terribly common.

Experience level:

    This fish is for advanced aquarists only. They have special needs that need to be taken care of and they require a lot more time than most tropical fish. You have to know what their specific needs are and how to meet these requirements. Fahaka puffers are an expensive fish to keep. These guys require a commitment as they can live for many years.

    Fahaka Puffer juvenile


    Large tank, over filtration is a must because this fish is a very messy eater and produces large amounts of waste. Sandy and or rounded gravel substrate is a must as very young Fahakas and a few adults act as lurker predators as much as hunter-predators. They bury themselves in the substrate - only the eyes showing if it is deep enough. Almost all young fish (still mottled cryptic color, no stripes) show this behavior. Very few adults do this unless really disturbed or threatened, but then they may . It needs caves and places to hide and explore. It needs large open swimming areas. It enjoys a very complex environment with lots of caves and lots of plants. Expect the fish to grow 1 inch per month in the first year. Like all other kinds of puffer fish, these fish are very intolerant of ammonia and nitrates and must be introduced to a fully cycled tank. They are strictly a freshwater fish. Needs at least 50% water change every week.

    Diet: A carnivore, it is best kept on a diet consisting of Krill shrimp, crayfish, crab and the occasional feeder fish. Feeder fish really should not given at all because they are poor nutritionally most of the time and a massive disease hazard for a fish that can live into its teens, plus not much good for the incisor either. Freeze dried food is a good way to feed your fish. They will eat shrimp with shell on and broken off crab and lobster legs, etc. that you can buy at almost any supermarket. Young fish that are around 3 inches and smaller should be fed 1-2 times daily. Fishes 3 to 6 inches should be fed every other day. And fish bigger than six inches should be fed twice a week. Sometimes a fish may need to be fed more as it grows. Only the real lurkers are piscivores, and they prefer inverts if available (in captivity), but lacking those will certainly take live fish.

    Compatibility: The Fahaka puffer is extremely aggressive and will kill anything else in the tank. They must be kept by themselves.

    Characteristics: They are aggressive fish that tend to be active. They will come to recognize you as their owners. They will appreciate well planted tanks with caves as they like to explore. This fish can puff up with air and it should be picked up with a tub of water and not a net.

    large rivers, open water, weed beds and vegetated fringes.


    These fish are so aggressive that it isn't known how they reproduce in the wild. They are impossible to breed in the aquarium due to their aggressive nature.

    - Pufferpedia - tetraodon lineatus
    - Fahaka puffer

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Shane
If you like a wet pet dog, then the Fahaka puffer is it, however, I would never recommend a tank any smaller then the 180 for this fish, Mine grew to a wonderful 15 inches long and about the diameter of a baseball, he ate mussels, crab legs, squid every now and then. You must have great filtration and do not keep any glass thermometers in the tank as he will chew on them...he knows when we are home and visits simply a wonderful fish, I have recently lost him and will certainly get another one...not for a beginner though...




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