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Nigerian Senagulas Bichir-anyone Have One?


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does anyone have any info on bichirs? i am really intrested in them my bf bought one on impulse about a year ago and i adored her! i named her penelope and would feed her whenever i was at my bf i do know what they eat but not much else i cant seem to find much onfo on them? sadly penelope died when she escaped the tank:( but any info would be greatly appreciated mostly im wondering how big do they get? how much space do they need is it best to keep them by themselves or with another? thanks for any info any one has for me!

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Senegal bichirs like to be kept in groups. The minimum size should be at least a 30 gallon. They're really not too hard to take care of and are rather forgiving of mistakes. Always have your tank covered since they enjoy jumping and taking walks across the floor. (I've had that happen before). Don't forget to feed them a nice varied diet. I especially like Massivore by Hikari, frozen (uncooked) shrimp, and bloodworms. They love the stuff as well as my ropefish.

What size are you looking at getting? You can keep the little tiny ones they mislabel as "Dinosaur Eels" at Pet*smart for some reason in a 10 gallon tank to help them grow out where there will be no competition for eating. But you can get bigger ones at those family owned lfs for cheap. Do keep in mind they can reach 12 inches if I'm not mistaken. Mine is currently 9 inches.

Another rule of thumb, don't keep them with anything they can fit in their mouths they will not hesitate to eat it. They're great with most non aggressive fish. I've had success with angelfish, as well as pearl gouramis. However I didn't keep both the angelfish and the gouramis in the same tank at once. Loaches will work as well as long as they're not small enough for them to eat. I would also recommend a sand substrate for them. I personally use pool filter sand, it's heavy and they can kick it up all they want and it sinks to the bottom and doesn't cloud your water. I rinsed it in a pillowcase and it was crystal clear when I put it in. No dusty particles like play sand, and you can get 50 pounds of it at Leslie's pool store for $10 or less. Sometimes Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware carries it but I haven't seen it up here in MD. Make sure you call around you can get a good deal. The reason for using sand is I've seen a lot of people's bichir's eating and they accidentally choke on the gravel and end up getting bloat and it's a sad death for them. With the sand they can easily spit it out and bury their heads in it.

Also, do not add plecos if you can help it, especially common ones. They will suck the slime coat off of the bichirs should they get a taste for it, and bichirs, being lazy will simply not care and just let them do so. :( And by the time you realize what's going on the bichir may have already succumbed to illness or has gotten a serious infection. I've seen mixed success with bristlenose plecos, most people say they tend to leave the bichirs alone.

Bichirs also like hiding spots. A cave or a nice grove of plants will do nicely. Senegals are he most active of bichirs and will spend hours going up and down the side of the glass or patrolling the bottom of the tank or 'perching' on objects in the tank so I don't think you'll have to worry about them hiding too much. Ropefish are also rather friendly but they definitely like to be kept in groups or else they just sit there.

I hope that helped some! If you have anymore questions feel free to shoot me a PM. They are very cool fish. Just make sure you don't get an Ornate bichir for that 30 gallon LOL

Edited by Haruka
Forgot some things
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wow thank you SO much for all this info! i deff have my heart set on a senagulas like i said my bf had one and i loved her(well i dont know if it was a her but oh well) he would feed her frozen blood worms,mysis shrimp and leaf worms. im so glad you said 30 gallons my bf has a 40 gallon tank he isnt useing and asked me if i wanted it! thank you SOOOO much for the info!

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Senegal bichirs like to be kept in groups. The minimum size should be at least a 30 gallon. They're really not too hard to take care of and are rather forgiving of mistakes. Always have your tank covered since they enjoy jumping and taking walks across the floor. (I've had that happen before). Don't forget to feed them a nice varied diet. I especially like Massivore by Hikari, frozen (uncooked) shrimp, and bloodworms. They love the stuff as well as my ropefish.

What size are you looking at getting? You can keep the little tiny ones they mislabel as "Dinosaur Eels" at Pet*smart for some reason in a 10 gallon tank to help them grow out where there will be no competition for eating. But you can get bigger ones at those family owned lfs for cheap. Do keep in mind they can reach 12 inches if I'm not mistaken. Mine is currently 9 inches.

Another rule of thumb, don't keep them with anything they can fit in their mouths they will not hesitate to eat it. They're great with most non aggressive fish. I've had success with angelfish, as well as pearl gouramis. However I didn't keep both the angelfish and the gouramis in the same tank at once. Loaches will work as well as long as they're not small enough for them to eat. I would also recommend a sand substrate for them. I personally use pool filter sand, it's heavy and they can kick it up all they want and it sinks to the bottom and doesn't cloud your water. I rinsed it in a pillowcase and it was crystal clear when I put it in. No dusty particles like play sand, and you can get 50 pounds of it at Leslie's pool store for $10 or less. Sometimes Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware carries it but I haven't seen it up here in MD. Make sure you call around you can get a good deal. The reason for using sand is I've seen a lot of people's bichir's eating and they accidentally choke on the gravel and end up getting bloat and it's a sad death for them. With the sand they can easily spit it out and bury their heads in it.

Also, do not add plecos if you can help it, especially common ones. They will suck the slime coat off of the bichirs should they get a taste for it, and bichirs, being lazy will simply not care and just let them do so. :( And by the time you realize what's going on the bichir may have already succumbed to illness or has gotten a serious infection. I've seen mixed success with bristlenose plecos, most people say they tend to leave the bichirs alone.

Bichirs also like hiding spots. A cave or a nice grove of plants will do nicely. Senegals are he most active of bichirs and will spend hours going up and down the side of the glass or patrolling the bottom of the tank or 'perching' on objects in the tank so I don't think you'll have to worry about them hiding too much. Ropefish are also rather friendly but they definitely like to be kept in groups or else they just sit there.

I hope that helped some! If you have anymore questions feel free to shoot me a PM. They are very cool fish. Just make sure you don't get an Ornate bichir for that 30 gallon LOL

:goodpost:goodpost:bighug

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wow thank you SO much for all this info! i deff have my heart set on a senagulas like i said my bf had one and i loved her(well i dont know if it was a her but oh well) he would feed her frozen blood worms,mysis shrimp and leaf worms. im so glad you said 30 gallons my bf has a 40 gallon tank he isnt useing and asked me if i wanted it! thank you SOOOO much for the info!

:D That'll do nicely! You might want to get it a friend of the same size. You can tell males from females by the size of the anal fin.

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Oh and make sure there's room at the top so they can breathe air. They'll definitely enjoy that 40 gallon. I'm sure 3 would be just fine. They're not that dirty.

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now comes the task of finding them! my bf got his from wally world (amazingly) but they have logn since stopped selling them and i have never seen them at any of my nearest fish stores perhapes ill have to order some up. im deff going to keep this in favorites so i can read it over and over! thank you very very much!

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Absolutely no problem! :D Pet*smart sells them as 'Dinosaur Eels' for $6.99 most of the time, but I think you'd be better off asking for a special order from the fish store.

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