Senegal Bichir 4"-5"

Sale price$19.99


The Senegal Bichir, scientifically known as Polypterus senegalus, is a fascinating and ancient species of freshwater fish. Known for its prehistoric appearance and unique behaviors, the Senegal Bichir adds a touch of the extraordinary to any aquarium. Here’s a detailed description of this intriguing fish:


Color and Pattern: The Senegal Bichir typically exhibits a uniform, muted coloration that ranges from light gray to olive or brown. This subdued coloration helps it blend into its natural environment. Some individuals may have faint mottling or patterns along their bodies, adding subtle interest to their appearance.

Body Shape: The Senegal Bichir has an elongated, cylindrical body reminiscent of an eel or snake. Its body is covered with tough, armor-like scales, contributing to its ancient, reptilian look. The fish's head is broad and flat, with a wide mouth equipped with sharp teeth.

Fins: One of the most distinctive features of the Senegal Bichir is its series of dorsal finlets, which run along the length of its back. These finlets are separate and can be raised or lowered independently. The pectoral fins are positioned near the front of the body and are robust and paddle-like, aiding in their bottom-dwelling lifestyle.


Adult Size: Senegal Bichirs can grow to a substantial size, typically reaching 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) in length, with some individuals growing even larger in optimal conditions.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Tank Size: Due to their size and active nature, Senegal Bichirs require a spacious tank. A minimum of 55 gallons is recommended for a single adult, with larger tanks being preferable to provide ample space for swimming and exploration.

Water Conditions: Senegal Bichirs thrive in freshwater with a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C) and a pH range of 6.2-7.8. They prefer well-oxygenated water with moderate flow.

Substrate and Decorations: A soft substrate like sand or smooth gravel is ideal to prevent damage to their sensitive underbelly. Provide plenty of hiding spots with caves, driftwood, and rocks. Plants can be included but should be sturdy enough to withstand the Bichir’s movements. Ensure the tank has a secure lid, as Bichirs are known for their ability to escape.


Feeding: Senegal Bichirs are carnivorous and have a predatory diet. They thrive on a varied diet that includes live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, earthworms, and small fish. High-quality carnivorous pellets can also be included in their diet. It's important to feed them appropriately sized food items to prevent choking.

Behavior and Compatibility

Temperament: Senegal Bichirs are generally peaceful but can be territorial with their own kind, especially in confined spaces. They are nocturnal and often more active during the night, spending much of the day hiding.

Social Needs: While they can be kept alone, Senegal Bichirs can also coexist with other large, non-aggressive fish. Avoid keeping them with very small fish, as these may be seen as prey. Suitable tankmates include larger cichlids, catfish, and other robust species.


With proper care, Senegal Bichirs can live for 10-15 years, with some individuals living even longer in optimal conditions.

Care Considerations

Regular tank maintenance, including weekly water changes and monitoring water parameters, is essential to keep Senegal Bichirs healthy. Their large size and carnivorous diet mean they produce a significant amount of waste, requiring efficient filtration.

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