Common name: Guinean Bichir
Scientific name: Polypterus Ansorgii
Average Adult Fish Size: 11 inches / 28 cm
Place of Origin: Guinea, West Africa
Typical Tank setup: A well decorated aquarium with well rooted and over hanging plants is appreciated as Bichirs are mainly nocturnal and do not like bright lighting. The base of the plants need to be protected by rockwork though, other wise a large bichir will eventually uproot and destroy them. Offer plenty of caves in the form of rockwork and bog/wood/driftwood along with medium to medium-fine sand or gravel as a substrate.
Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 50 gallon / 200 litre
Compatibility: All Bichirs are relatively peaceful with other fish that are too large too eat. They will eat others of their own kind given the chance though, so other Bichir tankmates should be close to the same size. Sometimes Bichirs will squabble among themselves over food, but rarely is any damage done.
Temperature: 74 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C
Water chemistry: pH 6.2 – 8.0
Feeding: Feed meaty live foods such as black worms, blood worms, and earthworms along with frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and beef heart. Dried foods are not always accepted, but eventually most Bichirs will accept a quality pellet, tablet, or stick that is suitable to their size.
Sexing: The males anal fin is larger and thicker than the females
Breeding: Specifics are unknown
Additional Information: Always make sure the aquarium is tightly covered with no open holes or means of escape. Bichirs are messy eaters, so provide good filtration and frequent partial water changes to maintain good water quality. Even though they are bottom dwellers, they must be able to surface when they feel like it. This is because they breathe oxygen from the air as well. Always ensure that your Bichir has enough room to go up for a fresh breath of air.