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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Miscellaneous species > Senegal Bichir
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the



Senegal Bichir
Photo courtesy of Aqualand pets plus

Polypterus senegalus senegalus



Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Dave
Well I've kept mine for 6 months and had very few problems with it. There are four main things to remember:
1) have a good fitting lid (otherwise it will be sat under your bed/settee and try and rip your hand off)
2) this monster is a predator, it does hunt and it will feed on your little tetras
3) Defense, any small tank mate must be able to defend itself (be too spikey) or be fast and continuously alert. This is cause I've kept small flying foxes and bicolors that move too fast and active day and night
4) respect, yes if u don't it will bite you, and those curved teeth don't let go so easily

From: X. Wu
Do not underestimate the appetite of this fish. The aquarium shop owner told me that it is a 'fairly friendly' type, I believed as it looked pretty harmless. I still bought the smallest one (approx. length 8.5 cm), just to be on the safe side, since I'm adding it to my community tank. That night it joined my bunch of baby Koi, Swordtails & Neon Tetras; that had been getting along well for half a year. That night, this genocidal fish went on a killing spree. The next morning, all 13 (yes, THIRTEEN) of my Neon Tetras (each length: 2-2.5cm) were all gone!! The Polypterus Senegalus swelled like a bumpy sausage. Despite its small size, this little guy ate about 1 fish per hour!! My tank was equipped with loads of hiding space, but I guess 'you can swim, but you can't hide' form this species.

From: Brian
I have a 55 gallon tank with several moderately to highly aggressive fish. Dino, (my polypterus) gets along quite well with my red lined snakeheads and tiger oscar. unfortunately, he never gets a shot at any feeders I put into the tank, as the snakeheads will eat a dozen or more feeders and the oscar will eat the rest. It is also hard for him to get frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp, as my three bala sharks get most of them. I've found that he absolutely loves thin sliced roast beef that I tear into bite sized pieces, and he has no ill effects. he roams the tank like he owns it!

From: Dani
I work at a pet store. We have these fish in with aggressive Cichlids and other fish. My WARNING to you, they are quite capable of being aggressive, and they can definitely eat a LOT. Just look at them, do they look like nice fish to you? Come on now! These things are mean! One of the grabbed onto the hand of my coworker and had to be PRYED off!

From: Aaron
Hi... erm... Well, I have had mine for a few months now with 10 tiger barbs, 1 albino frog and 2 sucker fishes... He eats feeder fishes and all that but he never seems to bother my other inhabitants... He does eat a lot but does not seem aggressive towards the frog and other fishes. Wonder why... hope my lovely frog does not get eaten one day.

From: Steve
Hey, I just bought two bichirs, and I have them in a 55 gallon tank with my two dragon fish(violet goby). they all are not above six inches. And they seem to get along fine. I feed them blood worms, and small feeder guppies, white clouds, or what ever they can fit in there mouths. And they might surprise you on what they can fit in there! I would recommend this fish to any one.

From: Michelle
I have owned my bichir for quite a while. Even though he's only about 8" he will easily go through 2 dozen rosey reds in a week. (Quite different from what the pet store told me to feed him, 8 tiny feeder guppies). I now feed him small gold fish and roseys each week. They are very interesting fish, with really good personalities. Mine will eat from my hand and he likes to greet me at the front of the tank whenever I enter the room. Luckily the store where I purchased him from warned me he'll eat anything in the tank that isn't bigger than him, so I avoided having all my frogs eaten.

From: Jonathan
I have 3 of the above bichirs and they are living happily with my frontosa, they face little competition from the frontosa as I feed them at least 3 times a day... they are very peaceful fish... if kept with big fish... except during feeding time

From: Andrew Jaeger
I have had one for 2 years, and it is amazing how much they eat,mine will easily wipe out 20 or so feeder fish over night. It also takes sinking and floating pellets without any complaints. But any fish smaller than or even about the same size as it soon becomes food. I keep mine with an African lungfish and it is the only species of fish I have found that the lungfish doesn't eat. They can be trained to accept food directly from me Via Chopsticks.

From: Matt
This fish is very hardy. I own two average sized Oscars as well as a very Large Jelly Bean Parrot fish and a Reef Peacock, all coexisting in a 90 gallon tank. All of these fish torment each other on a regular basis with the exception of the Bichir. Nobody pays attention to him at all. It is however hard to feed him seeing as how all of the other fish are exceedingly voracious. Use a large tube to sink the Bichir's food down while distracting the other fish with their regular gruel. All in all, the Bichir is a very cool fish to own.

From: Bob
The first time I saw saw this fish I thought it was great. It looked really cool with its smile and its strange way of hovering around. The pet store people told me it was the meanest thing in the store. I went to another store weeks later and got one for the heck of it, I had a free coupon and there was a good guarantee so what the heck. It was about 8 in and didn't look very good. It didn't eat at first but when I threw in some goldfish it ate a few fast. So with my experience I've found that these fish will eat any living thing that will fit into their mouths but is not territorially aggressive or is not at all aggressive to anything it cant eat.





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