Fahaka Puffers will grow at a rate of approximately 1” (2.5cm) per month for their first year, then about another 6” (15cm) in their second year. Fahaka Puffers usually reach full adult size by the end of their second year.
Freshwater pufferfish are rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of fish in the hobby. Their popularity has grown massively over the last few years. Whether you have space for the tiny Dwarf Puffer, which reaches around 1” (2.5cm), or the mighty Mbu Puffer, which can reach 30” (75cm), there is a pufferfish for just about every aquarium.
I have been keeping Fahaka Puffers for more than 10 years. I currently keep 2 Fahaka Puffers in 2 separate aquariums. I have had them for a couple of years and watched them grow from tiny fish to the large ‘wet pets’ they are today.
What Affects How Fast Fahaka Puffers Grow?
There are essentially three factors that will affect how fast your Fahaka Puffer will grow;
What you feed your Fahaka Puffer
Over the last few years, I have written a number of articles on feeding Fahaka Puffers. Most recently I wrote What do Fahaka Puffers Eat?.
Essentially, to grow large, strong, and healthy a Fahaka Puffer needs a diet made up of a variety of different foods. I feed my Fahaka Puffers clams, snails, mussels, earthworms, and occasionally crabs and crayfish. By feeding my Fahaka Puffers a variety of foods, I make sure they get a variety of vitamins and minerals. I try to mimic their natural diet as closely as possible.
If we just feed our Fahaka Puffers one food, there is a risk they will become deficient in one or more vitamins or minerals. This deficiency can lead to improper growth or the Fahaka Puffer being susceptible to pests and diseases. Feeding poor-quality foods may lead to your Fahaka Puffers’ growth being stunted.
How often do you feed your Fahaka Puffer?
Whilst variety is key to a strong, healthy Fahaka Puffer, frequency of feedings will have an effect on Fahaka Puffer’s growth rate. The more often you feed your Fahaka Puffer, the quicker it will grow (providing you don’t overfeed it of course).
A young Fahaka Puffer will need to be fed small amounts of food, 4 or 5 times a week. A juvenile Fahaka Puffer, which will be around 6”-8” (15cm – 20cm) in length, will need to be fed 2 or 3 times a week.
An adult Fahaka Puffer may only need to eat once a week.
Fahaka Puffers are large fish and they produce a fair amount of waste.
The filter on your Fahaka Puffer’s aquarium should be sufficient to convert the puffer’s poop from ammonia (which is very toxic to fish) to nitrate (which is less toxic, in small quantities). It is our job as fish keepers to reduce the nitrate levels in the aquarium by carrying out regular water changes.
If nitrate levels are allowed to get too high in the Fahaka Puffers aquarium, the puffer will become stressed. A stressed puffer doesn’t grow well and may become susceptible to pests and diseases. Personally, I change a minimum of 25% of the water in my Fahaka Puffer aquariums to keep the nitrate levels as low as possible.
How Big Do Fahaka Puffers Get?
Fahaka Puffers are large fish. A full-grown Fahaka Puffer will grow to around 18” (45cm) long. Unlike many other fish, Fahaka Puffers aren’t just long, they are also very broad. A full-grown Fahaka Puffer is quite an imposing fish.
Fahaka Puffers grow relatively quickly. A healthy, young Fahaka Puffer will grow at a rate of about 1” (2.5cm) per month for the first 12 months or so. Over the next 12 months they will usually grow by about another 6” (15cm). A Fahaka Puffer should reach around 18” (45cm) by the time it is 2 years old.