Senegal bichir aquarium fish by Kazakovmaksim, via Dreamstime

Bichir fish (Polypterus senegalus) living on land. Photo: Antoine Morin
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Hello All. These fish are great. I have two 55 gallon tanks, one is home to a single ornate bichir, and three Senegal's live in the other. They have voracious appetites and never hesitate to eat anything that can fit in their mouths, whether wholly or partially. Cover your sump as well or they'll hide in there! The 3 Senegal's get on well with each other, and occasionally play - they chase each other but don't nip. Have noticed that the ornate still has gills protruding from the back of the skull yet the same sized Senegal's have lost theirs. Curious. Final thought, add feeder fish just before lights out (bichirs are nocturnal), turn off tank lights and watch this graceful predator in action. There seems to be different ways of pronouncing their names, here in Thailand, the pronunciation is "bi-cheer" which is pretty close to the original North African French-Arabic name. From:
Pictured: Emily Standen with Bichir fish (Polypterus senegalus)
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I got a Senegal Bichir 4". Feed a mix diet of small chucks of fresh fish meat (smaller than its mouth), soften freeze-dried plankton, and bloodworm. Question is: How do you know if it is constipating? My birchir has this "full-meal" stomach (you know, looks irregular from the outside and looks full) for few days so I am worried... it's swimming around the tank more often these last few days as well. Senegal bichir freshwater aquarium fish
Photo provided by FlickrHungry prehistoric fish - Senegal Bichir
Photo provided by FlickrAlbino Senegal Bichir - My Fish
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When setting up the aquarium for this fish remember that it will require a tank with a large footprint, low flat tanks are ideal as the depth of the water is irrelevant when keeping these fish. They are excellent jumpers however and a lower depth of water can compound this problem so always make sure that you have a tight fitting lid to prevent the fish from escaping. The Senegal Bichir also has very poor eyesight but this does not prevent them from exploring the aquarium as they have a very strong sense of smell, a few plants should be added along with some rocks or pieces of driftwood, adding hiding places will increase the confidence of the fish.Polypterus senegalus is also known as the dinosaur eel because of its elongated, eel-like body and its serrated dorsal fin that is dinosaur-like. This species, however, is not a true eel. The small pectoral fins of the Senegal Bichir only allow this fish to swim slowly, preventing it from being a better predator. A modified swim bladder gives the Senegal Bichir the ability to breathe atmospheric oxygen.This carnivore will eat anything it can capture, dead or alive. Offer them meaty foods such as prawns, small pieces of filleted fish or even the occasional meal of beef heart. Senegal bichir will also accept flakes, pellets, frozen and dried foods.The Senegal bichir, sometimes called the dinosaur eel or the dragon fish, is a species of freshwater fish found in the marginal swamps and freshwater lagoons of Nile basin and West Africa.Senegal bichir at Cochin pet show. The Senegal bichir also known as the gray bichir and Cuvier's bichir, is sometimes called the "dinosaur eel" also called "Dinosaur Bichir" or "dragon fish" in the pet trade.Dr Larsson and his colleagues raised juvenile Senegal bichir on land for nearly a year, with an aim to revealing how ancient fish may have used their fins in a terrestrial environment.