Fahaka Puffer Tank Mates (You might be surprised!)

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Fahaka Puffers have a reputation for being aggressive and don’t always do well with tank mates. If your puffer will accept other fish in the tank with it, then consider fast swimmers that won’t compete for food such as Tinfoil Barbs or Silver Dollars or fish which are too small to be seen as food such as guppies, mollies, or neon tetras.

If there is one species of fish that has really grown in popularity over the last few years, it has got to be the freshwater pufferfish. From the Mighty Mbu Puffer which reaches around 30” (75cm) down to the tiny Dwarf puffer which reaches just about 1” (2.5cm), there is a pufferfish to suit every aquarium.

I have been keeping puffer fish for over a decade and in that time I have kept almost all of the popular species, and a few of the more exotic ones. I am a pufferfish fan through and through!

Can A Fahaka Puffer Have Tank Mates?

The answer to this question will largely depend on the personality of your particular Fahaka Puffer. I currently keep two Fahaka Puffers in two separate aquariums. One is a stone-cold killer that attacks anything that enters his aquarium. The other one is far more relaxed and allows a large colony of guppies to live with him.

There seems no obvious reason why one Fahaka Puffer will allow tank mates, but another won’t. I got both mine at the same time from the same source and I have treated them in the same way. They just have different personalities.

What Fish Could Live With A Fahaka Puffer?

If you have a Fahaka Puffer that accepts other fish in its aquarium, consider choosing mates that won’t compete for the same food as the Fahaka Puffer and won’t harass the puffer.

Tinfoil Barbs are an excellent choice. Tinfoil Barbs are herbivorous, so don’t compete with the Fahaka Puffer for food, and they swim incredibly fast, so if the Fahaka has a nasty streak, they have a fair chance of escaping.

Silver Dollars will work just as well as Tinfoil Barbs do, for pretty much the same reasons. Both Tinfoil Barbs and Silver Dollars like to swim in a school, so get at least 6 and make sure the aquarium is large enough.

If you prefer, you can go for small, fast tank mates. I currently keep guppies with one of my Fahaka Puffers.

The advantage of guppies apart from the fact they multiply quickly and replace any the Fahaka may snack on, is that they clear up all the little bits of food the Fahaka misses. Guppies will quickly eat the uneaten bits of snail or clam left in the shell.

Guppies will also pick through the Fahaka Puffers poop, eating any undigested pieces of food.

Can Fahaka Puffers Live Together?

Definitely not! Unless you are talking about keeping your Fahaka Puffers in a swimming pool-sized aquarium, they will quickly kill one another. Your two puffers will probably be a single specimen by the end of the first day.

I haven’t managed to find any credible reports of people keeping more than one Fahaka Puffer in an actual aquarium.

In Conclusion

Fahaka Puffers are aggressive towards other fish. Occasionally, you will get a Fahaka Puffer who will tolerate tank mates. When you do, choose tank mates that are nimble enough not to get eaten and won’t compete directly with the Fahaka Puffer for food.

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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