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Polypterus Bichir


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I just got a polypterus buchir from a really nice lady, I already knew about this but she gave me this advice, before adding it to your tank you should let the bag float in the water for 15 minutes. She is actually the first person to give such advices to me. Anywho, she said the polypterus bichir was actually a dragonfish, that's wierd! She probably mistakened for it. My bichir is now living with my bala sharks.

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Guest im-trying

Bichirs are sometimes called dragon fish I dont know if its right or not, but they are a primitive preditor fish that usually have to start being fed on live food. As far as I know they are quite predatory, how is it feeding? Also do you know how big they get? Some can get over 12 inches some of them 24.

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/keeping_polypterus.htm there is a size chart about half way down on that page.

How big is the tank you have because you said you have balas and a 180 gallon tank is the usual recomendation for them.

Good luck with it :)

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Guest Oreo

I just got a polypterus buchir from a really nice lady, I already knew about this but she gave me this advice, before adding it to your tank you should let the bag float in the water for 15 minutes. She is actually the first person to give such advices to me. Anywho, she said the polypterus bichir was actually a dragonfish, that's wierd! She probably mistakened for it. My bichir is now living with my bala sharks.

I don't know much about those bichirs, but congrats on those fish! :D

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Wow, they're fantastic fish! I've seen them only once, they cost $1500 in australia and I think we even need a license to keep them here! -The ones I saw were almost 10inches long, and that was grown over about 10 months that they had them in the shop, they got them when they were about 3 inches! :o they look so primative. good luck with your new pet! :)

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I had a 12 inch bichir for a long time. Sadly he died due to being moved to a need tub. Give them lots of room(55+ gallons) and lots of food. They grow fast. You could easily have a foot long bichir in a year.

If you need any info I could share some of my personal experiences with this type fish. :)

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Polypterus Bichirs can grow to be about 27 inches. From what I heard they should be in a 135 gallon tank, but I don't have enough room for that big of a tank, so I think a 55 will do, after all 1 gallon per inch for all tropical fish.

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What type of Polypterus is it? If it's Polypterus senegalus (Senegal Bichir/Curvier's Bichir), they're often referred to as the "Nine-Segmented Dragon," for the number of segments on their dorsal fins. :)

I had one for several months (W*lmart sold her to me as a "small pleco." -_-|||) Unfortunately I lost her in a freak bacterial bloom that wiped out everything in the tank except a common pleco and two apple snails. But she was a wonderful pet while I had her--very responsive!--and would follow my finger along the glass.

Someday I think I'll get another large tank and try bichirs again. Congrats on yours!

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Yeah, W. A. L. M. A. R. T. can get mixed up with fish. Anyways I am beginning to think my Polypterus Bichir is actually a Senegal Bichir, it looks very much like one. Plus is it ok for bichirs to eat Betta pellets? I have been feeding mine for quite a while, he's fine and pretty much likes them better than the tropical fish flakes I give him.

Edited by FishFan8
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Polpterus is just the genus of the fish. If yours is a sengal bichir then its Polypterus Senegalus. 55 gallons will be too small eventually. If he is small then I figure he will be fine for 6 months. With bichirs 10 gallons(at least 5 gallons) is a general guide to keeping them. Senegals are one of the larger types that really need lots of room. Bichirs are also bottom dwelling fish so the more ground area the better. Don't worry about height to much. Not sure if this is something you already know but always keep your tank covered. They WILL jump if they have an opening.

Its actually not ok to feed you bichir flakes and pellets. He needs to be on a live food diet or frozen food diet. I feed mine tubifex, bloodworms, and daphnia blocks. He also got minnows at least twice a week. I fed my bichirs 8-12 times a day.They are ferocious predators. Its also best if you keep the lighting on the tank very dim and give him plenty of caves and plants to hide in.

Are you keeping him with any fish? Tank mates should be selected wisely. I was surprised with my bichir so I panicked and just threw him in the goldie tank hoping it would be fine for a few days. After a few days to settle in he decided to attack the goldie sin the night. It was just a few small tares but could have been much worse if he was big.

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Actually Polypterus Senegalus are way smaller than Polypterus Bichir (Nile Bichir which can grow to 27"). Senegalus can grow to only 16 inches when it comes to adults, I might only get 60 or 55 gallons. And yes, I did put them in with goldies, so far since he is a baby, no harm was done, all in piece! But yes I will gt a new tank soon. Yes I knew these fish are escape artists, I have a well covered tank. I have also heard that Senegals are able to eat earthworms as long as they are rinsed. I have been researching these fish before I got them so pretty much he is in fine condition, so are my goldies.

Edited by FishFan8
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Hey, noticed you were thinking of feeding your birchir earthworms! -Just a hint, if you haven't researched it already, -if you get your worms from your garden you'll want to keep them for a couple of days in a clean media, so that any earth that they've eaten that has fertilizers etc can come out... I'm not sure what other people use as I usually buy my earthworms from a petfood distributor, but perhaps some moist kitchen towels, or perhaps a piece of moistened bread or something? :)

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I fed mine soaked "Sinking Carnivorous Pellets," frozen brine shrimp, and frozen beefheart. She especially liked the latter.

I hadn't tried earthworms, but I heard it recommended to put them on a moist paper towel. I wonder how the bread would do? That seems like a good way to get extra vitamins/nutrients into the worms, if you put some on the bread before adding the worms.

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Actually Polypterus Senegalus are way smaller than Polypterus Bichir (Nile Bichir which can grow to 27"). Senegalus can grow to only 16 inches when it comes to adults, I might only get 60 or 55 gallons. And yes, I did put them in with goldies, so far since he is a baby, no harm was done, all in piece! But yes I will gt a new tank soon. Yes I knew these fish are escape artists, I have a well covered tank. I have also heard that Senegals are able to eat earthworms as long as they are rinsed. I have been researching these fish before I got them so pretty much he is in fine condition, so are my goldies.

Sorry I wasn't even thinking about the nile bichir. Its not common that people keep them.

I would take him out. Mine was only 4 inches when I was given mine and he still managed to do damage in the few days he was with the goldies. If you can, 65 gallons make great homes for them. 55 gallons have a very small width.

Earthworms aren't recommended but if you have a clean source(i.e. store or reliable online seller) then go for it. Try not to feed earthworms to much, they don't have all the nutrients like frozen food or live food from the fish store.

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Thanks for the tip, but I'd rather stick with freezed bloodworms or brine shrimp. Too much cleaning when it comes to worms. I want to know, how big do they grow each month, is it about an inch a month?

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Thanks for the tip, but I'd rather stick with freezed bloodworms or brine shrimp. Too much cleaning when it comes to worms. I want to know, how big do they grow each month, is it about an inch a month?

Mine was growing a lot faster than that. About 1 inch every 2 weeks once he started eating frozen and freeze dried food. They are true weeds.

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MAN THAT'S FAST! Compared to us, we only grow to 1 or 2" a year! In the wild I have heard thar they eat insects, is it okay if I feed Lil Pep (My Senegal Bichir), shrimps? If so should it already be cooked or raw? Cooked as in boiled then freezed.

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That's why I was asking. I was afraid that some food might have too much harmful oils and chemicals that we humans can take while fish can't. Thanks for answering Sushi67! :)

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