Do Fahaka Puffers Bite? (Mind your fingers!)

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Although Fahaka Puffers do not see people as potential food, given the opportunity a Fahaka Puffer will bite you. A Fahaka Puffer has very powerful jaws and a large Fahaka Puffer would easily be able to remove a careless fish keeper’s finger!

It is easy to see why pufferfish are rising in popularity at the moment. They are full of character, fun to interact with and for most fish keepers represent their first ‘wet pet’.

I have been keeping freshwater pufferfish for over 10 years and I have two Fahaka Puffers. For the majority of people, a Fahaka Puffer will be the biggest fish they ever own and it is surprising how they quickly become part of the family. They have a true personality. However, don’t allow their friendly nature to catch you off guard.

Are Fahaka Puffers Aggressive?

In the scheme of pufferfish, Fahaka Puffers would not be considered overly aggressive, however, this very much does vary by individual.

One of my two Fahaka Puffers lives with a number of other fish including guppies and mollies. My other Fahaka Puffer is a stone-cold killer and doesn’t allow anything else to live in the same aquarium.

Fahaka Puffers are sufficiently aggressive that I would not just stick my hand into their aquarium without being extremely cautious.

Are Fahaka Puffers Teeth Sharp?

A Fahaka Puffers primary diet is made up largely of shelled foods including snails and clams. To break through these shelled foods the Fahaka Puffer has to have strong, sharp teeth.

The Fahaka Puffer also has very powerful jaws. Shelled foods are crucial in a Fahaka Puffers diet as biting through the shells helps keep the Fahaka Puffers teeth trimmed. Fahaka Puffer teeth are continually growing.

If they don’t keep them filed down, they can grow so long that eventually, the Fahaka Puffer won’t be able to close its mouth and will ultimately starve to death.

Best Food To Keep Puffer Fish Teeth Trimmed?

As mentioned above, it is critical to keep a Fahaka Puffer’s teeth trimmed, and the best way to do that is with shelled foods.

I currently feed my Fahaka Puffers a mixed diet that includes snails, small clams, shrimp, crabs, and small crayfish. Small Fahaka Pufferfish can also be fed freeze-dried krill to help keep their teeth in trim.

What Happens When A Fahaka Puffer Doesn’t Eat Shelled Foods?

If we fail to feed our Fahaka Puffers shelled foods, their teeth will continue to grow. Without grinding their teeth against hard shells, the teeth will eventually grow so long the Fahaka Puffer won’t be able to open or close its mouth. Ultimately, the result will be that the puffer starves to death.

If you end up with a Fahaka Puffer with teeth that are too long, you may have to manually trim them yourself.

Manually Trimming A Fahaka Puffers Teeth

Manually trimming your Fahaka Puffers teeth is not for the faint-hearted. You will need to hold your nerve, and if your Fahaka Puffer is large, you will need someone to help you.

To trim a Fahaka Puffer’s teeth, you will first need to sedate the fish. You can purchase proper anesthetics for fish, although many home aquarists use clove oil (I have used this one from Amazon in the past). Just be cautious with the clove oil as a large dose will kill your Fahaka Puffer.

Once the Fahaka is anesthetized, carefully remove it from the water and trim the teeth a little using some clippers like the ones you might use for a dog’s claws. Do not cut too much of the tooth off it one go. It is much better to cut a little, then remove a bit more if required.

In Conclusion

A Fahaka Puffer will bite. Their teeth and jaws are very strong and they can easily remove your finger.

Fahaka Puffer’s teeth have to be maintained and it is up to us as responsible fish keepers to feed them the correct foods to keep their teeth trimmed. If we fail to feed the right foods, we may have to manually trim the teeth ourselves.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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