The Fahaka Pufferfish, also known as the Nile Puffer, Globefish, Lineatus Puffer (Tetraodon lineatus), is a tropical freshwater Pufferfish found in the upper Nile, Chad, Senegal, Gambia, Geba, Volta and Turkana basins in West, Northeast and East Africa.
Fahaka Pufferfish can reach up to 43 cm in length. Like all Puffers, they have the ability to inflate when threatened and carry the toxin tetrodotoxin. Fahaka Pufferfish, like other molluscivores, feed mainly on benthic organisms which may include freshwater mussels and snails. They are typically found in large rivers, open water, weed beds and vegetated fringes.
This is a freshwater Puffer and does not require the addition of salt to its tank. We suggest a sandy substrate with smooth rocks and driftwood pieces for decoration. Leave plenty of open space for swimming. You can plant the aquarium if you wish but be prepared for bite marks to appear in the leaves if the Fahaka spots any morsels of food on them.
A generally aggressive and intolerant species that really should be kept alone. Its beak-like mouth can easily bite chunks from other fish, or in extreme cases rip them to pieces. If you decide to take the risk you will need a huge tank and tankmates that swim too quickly for the Puffer to catch them easily.
It is also very aggressive towards conspecifics. Some aquarists have had success keeping it in groups, but to attempt this an enormous tank. The fish will still bite one another and fight, no matter how large the tank, so «success» should be regarded as them not murdering one another!
There are no external sexual differences, but when they are full of eggs females take on a noticeably rounded appearance. Just prior to spawning a small ovipositor is visible.
Pufferfish are so-called as they have the ability to inflate their elastic stomachs with water or air. This is usually a response to some kind of threat, although in the aquarium many specimens appear to inflate themselves for no apparent reason. The fish becomes 2 or 3 times its normal size, big enough to scare away many potential predators, or difficult to swallow. Puffers are also one of the few fish that can actually blink or close their eyes.
Many parts of the body of puffers contain the deadly neurotoxin tetrodoxin. This is the same poison found in the notorious blue-ringed octopus. When ingested in sufficient quantities, it can cause paralysis and death. As yet there is no known antitoxin and to humans, it is over 1000 times deadlier than cyanide. Grotesquely, the victim usually remains conscious as he or she becomes paralysed. It’s a famous delicacy in Japan but is prepared only by highly-trained chefs, and even then many people have died from eating it. This need not worry you, but if you need to get rid of your Puffer sell it on. Getting the barbecue out is not recommended!
Also known as the Nile Puffer or Globefish, Tetraodon lineatus was previously named Tetraodon fahaka. It is an enigmatic species, as not only is it one of the most aggressive puffers available, but it will learn to interact with its owner, developing into a real pet. Its eyes appear to show real expression, and its ponderous movements are a joy to watch. It can also change colour depending on its mood or surroundings. Some specimens will puff up when they want attention and to see a fully-grown adult inflate to the size of a football is an amazing sight.