Aquarium Fish

Senegal Bichir

posted: 05/15/12
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Senegal Bichir
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Senegal Bichir, also known as the Cuvier's Bichir, Gray Bichir, or Dragonfin, is a member of the Polypteridae, or Lobe-Finned Pike family. This surface-breathing fish has an elongated body and is similar to the Reedfish, except that it has pelvic fins, whereas Reedfish do not.

The Senegal Bichir should be kept in a densely planted aquarium with rocks, driftwood, and a soft substrate. A community aquarium with larger fish is well suited for this fish as long as the aquarium is large enough and not overcrowded. Overcrowding with other fish or other Senegal Bichirs may cause this fish to become territorial, aggressive, and eat other fish. It tends to escape from the aquarium, so use a tight-fitting lid.

Unfortunately, the breeding habits of the Senegal Bichir have not been documented.

A carnivore, Polypterus senegalus can be offered a varied diet of live foods such as worm and shrimp, as well as prepared foods such as krill, pellet food, and freeze-dried tubifex. The Senegal Bichir may also accept some frozen foods.

Ideal tank mates include: Similar sized, miscellaneous fish, Passive South American Cichlids, Plecos and Scavenger Catfish.

Fish Facts

Name: Senegal Bichir (Polypterus senegalus)

Family: Polypteridae

Range: Africa

Size: Up to 12 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Plants, rocks, driftwood, caves

Tank Conditions: 77-80°F; pH 6.5-7.5; dH 8-12

Minimum Tank Capacity: 90 gallons

Light: Medium

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: No specific level

Care Level: Easy

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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