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This months profile was written by Joker an active contributor to the site.
General Body Form:
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.
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 ½ inches and smaller should be fed 1-2 times daily. Fishes 3 ½ 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.
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.
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