Tetraodon lineatus Puffer Fish Lair

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This is my Fahaka, Tetraodon lineatus. Ogre has been with me since December 2000. He has grown from about 1.5 inches to about 7 inches, total length. He will hopefully reach the optimal size of 16 inches! When I first got him, he was just a baby, with mottled colours to help him camouflage better. As he has gotten older, the bright maroon stripes have intensified. He especially flashes them when excited about eating, or about activity outside of the tank. He is very fast. When he swims close to the surface of the tank, he makes a wake. He also has systematically destroyed most of the plastic plants in his tank, clipping off pieces one by one. He is a good eater, taking most types of larger meaty foods. I started working with him to make sure I would be able to safely clean his tank. I often cup him in my palm while feeding, and he allows me to hold him. He does not stalk my fingers or hand when I clean the tank, but if you just put a finger at the top of the water, he will go for it.

I have a sand substrate so he may easily bury himself. He often is difficult to find in the tank, he is so well hidden. A few experiments with fast moving fish in the tank were failures. He ate them. I do not recommend housing this fish with any other. Even with the same species is very touchy, some keepers have had very drastic results.

Originating from the Nile River system in Egypt, this fish is probably predominately freshwater, though a brackish salinity is likely to be encountered closer to the mouth and the delta. I have chosen to keep mine in light brackish, about 1.004 to 1.006 salinity.

This fish matures to a large size. 16 inches is a common grow out size, making the fish quite rotund, like a football. Large tanks are required. Do not cramp this glorious fish in a tiny tank. Get a 100 to 150 gallon tank. Do not even begin to think that this is a community fish. Also, most experiments with housing several Fahakas together have failed with death as the outcome. Have a sturdy cover for the tank, they do leap and breach often.

In my opinion, this fish closely resembles the Arothron species of salt water puffers. An intelligent, curious and clever natured fish, they deserve the best of care and environment.