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Senegal Bichir
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Polypterus senegalus

Senegal Bichir

Quick Stats:   Senegal Bichir

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 gallon
Light: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful
Swimming Level: No specific level
Care Level: Easy
Reproduction: Egg Layer

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:

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