If you plan to purchase a Fahaka Pufferfish for your home, you probably already know that they can be hyper-aggressive and are only sometimes recommended for communal tanks. But, you may be wondering if any species of fish can be kept in the same tank as Fahaka Puffers.
A few fish species can mke the best Fahaka Puffer Tank Mates; Denison Barbs, Rainbow Kribs, School Of Tetras, Siamese Algae Eaters, Silver Dollars, and Plecos are all good options. These fish and a few more can live peacefully with the Fahaka puffers due to their size and various other features.
This article will discuss the best tank mates for your Fahaka Puffer. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about the best companions for your Fahaka Pufferfish and why they are a good choice.
The Fahaka Puffer Fish
The Fahaka Pufferfish is also known as the Nile Puffer, Lineatus Puffer, and scientifically as the Tetraodon lineatus. They are found all along the Upper Nile in Egypt, Senegal, Chad, and various basins throughout East and West Africa.
Fahaka Puffers have a brownish or tan body that can fade into a yellow color under the belly. They typically grow to around 18 inches and have become quite popular as pet fish for the home in recent years.
Like all other Pufferfish, the Fahaka Puffer can puff their bodies with water or air when they feel threatened. Once it goes into its inflated state, you will notice tiny spikes all over its skin, making it less appetizing for predators.
When caring for your Fakaha Puffer, you’ll want to ensure that it has a huge tank, often reaching over 100 gallons, as this particular fish needs to be able to spin around without being obstructed in the tank.
You should avoid getting bitten by your Fakaha Puffer at all costs, as they carry tetrodotoxin. This powerful toxin can prevent your nervous system from sending messages to the brain, resulting in you being effectively paralyzed.
The Best Fahaka Puffer Tank Mates
If you’re planning on obtaining a Fahaka Puffer Fish for your tank at home, you may have been told that keeping it in a communal tank is not a great idea. They can be aggressive around other fish and even intolerant towards them if the tank is not large enough.
But on the other hand, not all Fahakas are hyper-aggressive, as their personality varies from fish to fish. Some can actually become accustomed to communal life in a large tank, and all it takes is a little preparation in most cases.
Younger Fahakas are much more tolerant towards other fish in a large tank, so it’s best to obtain it at a young age to accustom itself to life with various companions. However, you must also ensure you choose the correct companions for the tank.
Below we will list the best tank mates for your Fahaka Puffer; this will ensure that you don’t choose the wrong fish when it comes to filling out your tank with companions for your Fahaka Puffer.
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1. Denison Barbs
The Denison Barb is one of the best tank mates for a Fahaka Puffer as they tend to be larger than the Fahaka and can use this size to intimidate a Puffer if it begins to act out. As they are larger, they won’t be looked at as prey by your Fahaka Puffer.
Barbs are typically fairly easy to care for and enjoy a communal life. They thrive in environments with six or more barbs around them. If you want to ensure the safety of your young barbs, add them to the tank when you’re adding the young Fahaka. This will ensure neither is seen as prey.
Just make sure you don’t overcrowd the tank; a group of six or barbs needs 60 gallons, whereas it is recommended that a Fahaka needs almost 100 gallons, so you’ll need a relatively large tank.
2. Rainbow Kirks
Rainbow Kirks are another great companion for your Fahaka Puffer, as the fish tend to stay out of the way of others and are considered loners. They are peaceful and vibrant fish that can give an aesthetic look to your tank as they show off their red bellies and flashy fins.
To ensure that your Kirks have the best chance of survival and peaceful living, you’ll want to plan out the tank well. They require a deep sandy bottom, plenty of rocks for hiding, and a few live plants. This will keep them well-occupied and safe in times of danger.
3. Black Ghost Knifefish
The Black Ghost Knifefish is one of the more intriguing fish on this list. They are a carnivorous species that will grow to reach up to 20 inches and can live for 15 years. They are semi-aggressive and have no problem defending themselves when in danger.
They are considered great tank mates for the Fahaka Puffers as the Black Ghost is a nocturnal fish, whereas the Fahaka swims during the daytime. So, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll come across each other in the tank unless under extreme circumstances.
During the daytime, the Black Ghost spends its time hiding in the sand or gravel bottom, and if it ever comes across the Fahaka, they’re often much larger. So, it’s unlikely that the Puffer would even try to challenge it.
4. School Of Tetras
The Tetras are small, cute, and very adaptable fish that thrive when they are in large schools. While they only grow up to 2 inches, they are generally considered excellent tank mates for any fish species, including the Fahaka Puffer.
As Tetras are usually found in large schools, they can hold their own when faced with a much larger threat. They rely on their large school to confuse or intimidate predators and work fast to break the line of sight of the attacker.
If one of your Tetras does succumb to a violent outburst from your Puffer, fortunately, they’re cheap and breed easily. So you can purchase them in bulk if you need to add a few more to your tank.
5. Clown Loaches
The Clown Loach can be an excellent choice of tank mate for your Fahaka as they tend to be very peaceful fish who stay out of trouble. Yet, if placed in danger, they have no problem defending themselves.
Ensuring that the Clown Loach is placed in schools is imperative as this will ensure that they have a sense of comfort and security. They tend to be bottom dwellers and enjoy hiding anywhere they can. Thus, they will most likely stay away from the Fahaka Puffer.
6. Silver Dollar
Silver Dollars are known as excellent tank mates for your Fahaka Puffer and thrive in communal living. You’ll need to have around six of the Silver Dollars to ensure they have a strong and secure community and to increase their level of comfort within the tank.
These fish grow to be relatively large, enjoy group dwelling and have a somewhat easygoing temperament, making them the perfect companions for your Puffer. As they are large enough and come in groups of at least three, they are generally not seen as prey. Just ensure they have a few hiding spaces in times of an emergency.
7. Elephant Nose Fish
If you’re looking for an exotic species of fish to accompany your Fahaka Puffer, then the Elephant Nose fish is a perfect choice. This unique-looking fish will grow to be 10 inches long and looks like a mix of a fish, elephant, and bird.
It’s highly unlikely that the Elephant Nose and Fahaka Puffer will engage in any kind of fight as they are evenly matched in size and weight. While they are both aggressive in nature, if the tank is large enough, they will typically steer well clear of one another.
Plecos are a great fish species and do well in any freshwater setting. They help keep the tank clean and come in a range of species and sizes, with the largest reaching up to 25 inches in length.
These catfish tend to keep a low profile in the tank and will generally swim around the bottom, relying upon camouflage when necessary. The size of the Pleco is the main reason behind their place on this list. As they tend to be rather large, they are not easily intimidated or looked at as prey.
9. Red Tail Shark
Red Tail Sharks are beautiful and intrinsic fish in addition to any tank. They are completely black with a vibrant red tail, making them stand out in any setting. While they only grow to 6 inches, which is around three times less than your average Fahaka, they are extremely aggressive when placed in danger.
They have a feisty temperament that ensures they will protect themselves against all threats from your Fahaka; however, you must be wary of the other fish in the tank.
The Red Tail can be intolerant of other fish; thus, ensuring there are various rock decorations and life plants keeps their aggressive tendencies to a minimum.
10. Blood Parrot Cichlids
The Blood Parrot Cichlid resembles an overgrown goldfish and is quite an admirable companion to your Fahaka Puffers tank. The fish will grow to be around 10 inches long and tends to be a loner.
The Blood Parrot does well when they are in schools, and while they tend to be much more docile when compared to other Cichlids, they stay well clear of any danger, making them suitable companions to your Fahaka.
11. Rainbow Shark
The Rainbow sharks share many similarities in size and personality when compared to the previously mentioned Red Tailed Shark. However, it does have a slighter slimmer body, with skin that’s a dark brown color with red fins.
The Rainbow shark will grow to be around 6 inches long and will have no problem being aggressive toward larger fish if it feels threatened. This makes them a great tank mate for your Fahaka Puffer, as you generally want to pair puffers with more aggressive fish, not docile ones.
12. Siamese Algae Eaters
Siamese Algae Eaters are one of the more controversial fishes on this list, as they are small fish coming in at 6 inches long, and they don’t tend to be aggressive. However, various pet owners have recorded that it can work.
These fish are fast and can’t get away from danger rapidly, and if the tank has a good selection of rock formations and live plants, they tend to do very well in the company of any kind of fish.
So, now you know that there are various fish that can live in the company of a Fahaka Puffer, so long as various factors have been considered, you can now add some companions to your Fahaka Puffers tank.
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.