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Senegal Bichir... Dinasour Bichir?


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#1 Starfishpower

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 06:59 PM

Polypterus senegalus senegalus.... is it the bichir sold in lfs as "Dinousour Bichir". i dont want to get the wrong type, some bichirs get way too big.

#2 Davo86

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:13 PM

Polypterus senegalus senegalus.... is it the bichir sold in lfs as "Dinousour Bichir". i dont want to get the wrong type, some bichirs get way too big.


Yeah it is one of the common names for the polypterus senegalus,

#3 nelly

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:31 PM

usually, BUT You find people in fish shops use the names they know and its not always the same fish,,,this should help with the id :good:
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#4 sambofish

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:02 PM

these bichir are wicked i have 2 in my tank as you say my local pets at home was selling them as pencil fish 2.50 each result for me good to watch eating try them on small bits of ham mine love it

#5 nelly

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:17 PM

i feed my sinking pellets and a now and then treat of lance fish<frozen from fish shop>its sooo funny to watch the birchir swimming round tank with a 4inch fish stuck out of its gob :rolleyes:

#6 Starfishpower

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:23 PM

thanks for the pics :good: :good: :good: those look like the ones they have at my lfs. how quickly do they grow? i read in the index profile that a 30 gallon will suffice for an adult. eventually he will go in the 75 i want but until i get it do you think a small 4 incher will do ok in a 10 for a couple of months? (im upgrading to a 20 gallon by the middle of May for sure)

#7 beblondie

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:12 PM

Care of young
Young bichirs in this example P.senegalus, As they
breed in captivity and are now being farm raised
and are the most readily available subjuvenile of
the bichirs and the cheapest ( $5-10) range
and they are incerdibly small when we buy them
2''-3'' is about normal .
This is how I raise them certainly there are other
ways. I use the step up system in other words
small fish small tank as it grows I move it up
to bigger tank. Its a three step process I use
they start off in a 10 gallon tank with the water
level reduced to about half the tanks volume
fine gravel or sand for the substrate and silk
plants for cover and to float in.I use a sponge filter At this stage
they are fed bloodworms and baby brine shrimp
chopped squid and very small silversides
I feed small portions a few times a day.This
isn't possible for many but try feeding morning
and again at night, between now and 7" they
are undergoing their greatest growth and are
hungry constantly
When they reach approx. 5'' i add a small
power filter and raise the water level to approx
2 inches under the trim frame.At this size they are
bigger foods small feeder, ghostshrimp,bloodworms
earthworms etc .They stay in this tank till 7-8'' at which point
I move them to a 20 gallon long for final growout
These steps allow the bichir room to exercise
but still small enough so its easy to find/catch
food. Of course if I get a bigger specime
5-6'' they would go into the 10 gallon then move
up to the 20 long this gives me time to watch
for any signs of illness.-Anne

#8 Starfishpower

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:53 PM

awsum! thanks Anne :good: that sounds like it oughta work out just great for me since im starting to think i might want to invest in the ten gallon here pretty soon and turn it into a lush planted tank (back wall of moss, moss and java fern on bogwood and such, ect.) so while i should still get a 20 gallon before too long it might not have all the little details set up. it might be a month or 2 before i buy him but when i do ill put pictures up. i should have all the plants done by then too! thanks for all the help! i really appreciate it.

#9 Straydum

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 01:26 PM

just a note nelly, i would be quite careful with bichirs on gravel. i've lost one too many to gravel choking.

#10 Starfishpower

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:09 PM

iv heard about that, how sand is better for them. iv already got fine white sand in there from when i had a peacock eel.

#11 OohFeeshy

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:20 PM

What's the typical adult size for senegals?

#12 Mr._Fishy

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:54 PM

What's the typical adult size for senegals?


Around 10-12"

#13 Starfishpower

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:01 AM

Feeding question. when i get the senegals they are going to go into my 10 gallon. right now it houses a banjo catfish and a cory cat (among others) which would probabl have a conflict with eating, since they all eat the same thing. should i go ahead and get the 20 gallon first and move the banjo and cory in there and then let the senegals have the 10 gallon? that way nobody is competing for food, except maybe the two cats. oh and i plan on raising my senegals on feeder guppies and a few other foods every once in a while to supplement their diet. does that sound good?

#14 geo7x

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:39 AM

What's the typical adult size for senegals?


Around 10-12"


That would be a large specimen in captivity, the stopping point for most sennys is about 7".



Feeding question. when i get the senegals they are going to go into my 10 gallon. right now it houses a banjo catfish and a cory cat (among others) which would probabl have a conflict with eating, since they all eat the same thing. should i go ahead and get the 20 gallon first and move the banjo and cory in there and then let the senegals have the 10 gallon? that way nobody is competing for food, except maybe the two cats. oh and i plan on raising my senegals on feeder guppies and a few other foods every once in a while to supplement their diet. does that sound good?


Whilst the senny is small the cories should be fine getting enough food, however sennys do gobble down alot of food very fast and I would be worried that the banjo would not get anything, as they are very shy and would not come out in daylight to feed, only when they are ready which will be after the senny has eaten it all probably.

As I said cories should be fine if the senny is small however once the senny reaches the 5" mark then they will have to be seperated as the senny will be quite boisterous when feeding and cories may get eaten as well if you leave the senny to get much bigger with them.

IMO feeding senegals feeder fish is totally unnecessary, a diet of prawns, mussels (chopped if necessary), bloodworm and carnivore pellets will be just as good if not better than feeder fish.

JMO.

#15 beblondie

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:44 PM

FEEDING & NUTRITION
The avg size for a normal P.senegalus is 10-12 inchesTL in captivity

Now that you have a bichir what does it eat? In their natural habitat bichirs normally eat small fish,various insect larvae and invertabrates.Bichirs are generaly non agressive ambush predators but also oppurtunistic scavengers.Objects to big to be consumed whole are often "deathrolled" till
small parts are twisted and ripped off the carcass.The key here is to balance the diet thru a variety
of foods with an eye on total nutrition.A varied diet is a good diet for your fish and yourself.
Now then what can we feed them? You actually have several options and They will be listed below
The freezer at your local fish store is a smorgasboard of foods which should include
silversides or lancefish
mysis shrimp
brine shrimp
krill
bloodworms
tubifex worms
squid
beefheart
Simply thaw and feed


Your local market can be a great source of foods check the seafood section of the freezer
You can use just about any foods you find there including
mussels
shrimp
most fish filets (avoid salmon i think its to oily)

Available at the butcher counter or they should be able to order it for you
beefheart
and yes chicken gizzards
to prepare the above cut it into strips and remove any fat you can find
fish do not digest mammialian fat well

Live foods include
some frog species(some frogs release a nasty chemical when bitten)
tadpoles
African dwarf frogs are safe and part of the natural diet
ghost shrimp
earthworms
mealworms feed only the recently shed(white) ones the chiton in the exoskeleton
can be hard to digest and in some can result in intestinal blockages.
There is really no reason to feeders except as the ocassional treat.
Various live fish and fry can be used for foods.Caution here unless you raise them
any commercialy bought feeders usually rosie reds/tuffies (the albino form of fat head minnows),
guppies,bait minnows etc.need to be quarantined before feeding them to your fish for several reasons.
reason 1 They are kept in horrible conditions
reason 2 They are often diseased
reason 3 They often are carriers of parasites
During quarantine dispose of the obviously sick or diseased.The remaining ones feed quality
foods a healthy feeder is of course better for your fish.
Goldfish just generaly are poor feeders and should be avoided. they are oily not very nutritious and constant feed of them causes faty deposits on the liver leading to premature deaths.They also contain very high levels of Thiaminase a destroying hormone.While many fish used as feeders contain this goldfish seem to have an abundance of it.Another issue is a spine at the front of the dorsal fin which can lead to problems if the goldfish is swollowed the wrong way (tailfirst).Yet another reason not to use goldfish,goldfish farms utilize copper meds in suspension form to combat diseases in the feeders associated with overcrowding.These copper meds are retained by the feeders for long periods after they leave the farms.Most lfs invariably retain all or part of the feeders shipping water when the feeders are loaded into their bins/tanks. And copper does not dissapate from a closed system.
The key is to balance the diet with a variety of foods listed above not just 1 or 2 items and skipping a meal once you notice a decline in growth rate is good for fish.The sad truth is we as hobbyists tend to overfeed our charges

Pellitized foods
Can be found in various diameters and forms include sinking and floating pellets and sticks
shrimp pellets
worm pellets
even pellets for cichlids will work
spirulina sticks
brine shrimp sticks
Algae wafers(some eat them some just look at them)

When feeding pellets how much to feed?
Under 7''I let them eat as much as they want several small feedings when young are better then 1 or 2 large feedings.I let juvies eat till theres a slight bulge to there bellies
This really applies to bichirs 7''+ I feed mine twice a day skipping at least one day a week
Approx. 80% of their diet is a quality pellet food the rest frozen with the ocassional live feeders after quarantine of course.
How manyPellets?
I start off with total 2 pellets per inch of fish eg. a 7'' fish gets 7 pellets in the A.M. and 7 in the evening feeding is then adjusted up or down so all pellets are consumed.Remember a nice round bichir is a happy bichir-Anne

#16 Starfishpower

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:03 AM

thank you so much Anne. thats the kind of information iv needed to hear. and seriously you should copy and paste that to the index for senegals or something. its kinda like "all you ever wanted to know about senegal bichirs but were afraid to ask". it was really good. you dont know how appreciative i am for that. thank you. i think my banjo is going to have a really hard time getting his fair share of food so iv decided to set up another tank and move all the occupants of the ten gallon into it when it gets done. i have an old 55 gallon in the attic and iv done the math on how much it will cost me to get it set up well enough to take care of the banjo, the cory and some other fish and i should be able to manage it pretty soon. with my DIY skills im gona build the stand to start out with. after i get the 55 running im gona turn my attention to the ten gallon and make it my project, get it ready for some senegals. i think i want to get 2. iv already designed the hood and am figuring out the specifics of what kind of lights i need and what not (iv got a thread going over in plants to help me out with that). are there any pitfalls i should know about with this species? things that should be avoided, like certain types of plants to put in their tanks, or to many, or too much lighting? i think i might turn the 55 into a breeding tank for feeder fish like guppies. idk. whats a good feeder fish? ya on second thought i think id like to use the big tank for fish i actually like, not silly feeders.

#17 Starfishpower

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 06:16 PM

imprtant question: how long do they live?

#18 geo7x

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 07:53 PM

I expect they would live for 10-15 years + if they weren't killed by something else first, but may I ask why lifespan is so important to you? Unless it's a killifish any fish has the capability of living for a fair few years at least.

#19 Starfishpower

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 11:09 PM

i just wanted to make sure i wasnt buying such a long term commitment that id still have them when im 108 years old! just making sure its not one of these really long lived fish ya know. its like ppl say on here all the time: "do your research first, then buy the fish" it would be very irresponsible of me otherwise. and by the way.... just how short lived are killifish?

#20 beblondie

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:48 AM

10-15 years is the avg. with some individuals living almost 30 years-Anne

#21 Starfishpower

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:53 AM

lol watch me be a good fish keeper and be one of those ppl that keeps them for thirty. :fun: :lol: oh and now im thinking im just gona set them up in the 55 gallon to begin with and leave the 10 as a litle comunity tank kinda like it is now.

#22 geo7x

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:03 PM

and by the way.... just how short lived are killifish?


Some species of killifish only live about a year in the wild, something to do with their natural habitat drying up at a certain time of year or something. In aquaria these fish can go up to about 18 months though, and not all killifish are like this.

#23 Starfishpower

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:12 PM

huh, ok. that is short lived. poor things. well iv pretty much decided this is the fish i want and iv even drawn up an "artists rendering" of what i want the tank to look like. i plan on putting them straight into the 55 gallon so it can be their final home. im not going to decorate it very much at first to assure that they have plenty of open space to find their food and not have to hunt for it so much, that and im on a budget and cant spend the money to turn a 55 into a lush planted tank overnight :lol: im reaserching certain speices of rainbow fish to put in there with them. any suggestions on them casue iv never really done much of any reading on them ever until today. they loook like good fish though.

#24 Starfishpower

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:31 AM

ok i need to know about how to tell the genders apart and in what ratios to buy them in respects to this. i know the index profile says males have a "large pocket like anal fin" but i dont know what that means. iv examined all the pics of them on here that i can find and they all look the same to me. please help me out here and is there a certain system to mixing the 2 genders in an aquarium? like should i have 2 females to every male, or some other combinations, or does it matter? since i have decided they are to go into my 55 gallon first amd remain there im thinking i might want to have it as a species tank. how many can i put in there in regards to adult sizes? i wasnt really thinking of getting any more than 4 (to avoid a large bioload) and to be perfectly honest 2 would be just fine. im not really in the mood to get a whole lot of fish right now, basically finish out my little community tank with 2 more corys and 1 more banjo and that can pretty much be it...that 10 gallon and the bichir 55 and im done getting any more fish for a good while, with the exception to my bettas of course but they have their own little tanks and dont really factor into the equation. getting back to my question though, what do i need to know about sexing?

#25 andyourblueblood

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:57 AM

Care of young
Young bichirs in this example P.senegalus, As they
breed in captivity and are now being farm raised
and are the most readily available subjuvenile of
the bichirs and the cheapest ( $5-10) range
and they are incerdibly small when we buy them
2''-3'' is about normal .
This is how I raise them certainly there are other
ways. I use the step up system in other words
small fish small tank as it grows I move it up
to bigger tank. Its a three step process I use
they start off in a 10 gallon tank with the water
level reduced to about half the tanks volume
fine gravel or sand for the substrate and silk
plants for cover and to float in.I use a sponge filter At this stage
they are fed bloodworms and baby brine shrimp
chopped squid and very small silversides
I feed small portions a few times a day.This
isn't possible for many but try feeding morning
and again at night, between now and 7" they
are undergoing their greatest growth and are
hungry constantly
When they reach approx. 5'' i add a small
power filter and raise the water level to approx
2 inches under the trim frame.At this size they are
bigger foods small feeder, ghostshrimp,bloodworms
earthworms etc .They stay in this tank till 7-8'' at which point
I move them to a 20 gallon long for final growout
These steps allow the bichir room to exercise
but still small enough so its easy to find/catch
food. Of course if I get a bigger specime
5-6'' they would go into the 10 gallon then move
up to the 20 long this gives me time to watch
for any signs of illness.-Anne


i love anne!

just a note nelly, i would be quite careful with bichirs on gravel. i've lost one too many to gravel choking.


i lost my first sen. to gravel today. he was 8 3/4". sad day...

#26 geo7x

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:01 PM

ok i need to know about how to tell the genders apart and in what ratios to buy them in respects to this. i know the index profile says males have a "large pocket like anal fin" but i dont know what that means. iv examined all the pics of them on here that i can find and they all look the same to me. please help me out here and is there a certain system to mixing the 2 genders in an aquarium? like should i have 2 females to every male, or some other combinations, or does it matter? since i have decided they are to go into my 55 gallon first amd remain there im thinking i might want to have it as a species tank. how many can i put in there in regards to adult sizes? i wasnt really thinking of getting any more than 4 (to avoid a large bioload) and to be perfectly honest 2 would be just fine. im not really in the mood to get a whole lot of fish right now, basically finish out my little community tank with 2 more corys and 1 more banjo and that can pretty much be it...that 10 gallon and the bichir 55 and im done getting any more fish for a good while, with the exception to my bettas of course but they have their own little tanks and dont really factor into the equation. getting back to my question though, what do i need to know about sexing?


Well basically the male has a broader anal fin than the females, it's described as pocket like because when breeding the male stretches it into a cup-shape, however this is not the usual shape of it, I've only seen mine stretch his a couple of times. It's just worth remembering that the anal fin of a male is broader.

However at 4" it will be difficult to tell the sexes apart, 4" is the borderline between it being impossible to sex them and being able to, so it may be difficult, and any if you get them any smaller than 4" it may not be possible at all.

Sorry I don't know what the ratios should be.

#27 beblondie

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:10 PM

ok i need to know about how to tell the genders apart and in what ratios to buy them in respects to this. i know the index profile says males have a "large pocket like anal fin" but i dont know what that means. iv examined all the pics of them on here that i can find and they all look the same to me. please help me out here and is there a certain system to mixing the 2 genders in an aquarium? like should i have 2 females to every male, or some other combinations, or does it matter? since i have decided they are to go into my 55 gallon first amd remain there im thinking i might want to have it as a species tank. how many can i put in there in regards to adult sizes? i wasnt really thinking of getting any more than 4 (to avoid a large bioload) and to be perfectly honest 2 would be just fine. im not really in the mood to get a whole lot of fish right now, basically finish out my little community tank with 2 more corys and 1 more banjo and that can pretty much be it...that 10 gallon and the bichir 55 and im done getting any more fish for a good while, with the exception to my bettas of course but they have their own little tanks and dont really factor into the equation. getting back to my question though, what do i need to know about sexing?


1 male and one female would be fine no the problem unless you're really good its almost impossible to sex upper jaw Polypterids like senegals till they reach 7-8 inchs with any certinty.Sexing the males anal fin is approx. twice as wide as the females and more muscular.-Anne

#28 Starfishpower

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:38 PM

ok, so i shouldnt really worry about it since i cant tell the difference anyway. ill be sure to keep an eye out just in case one is more prominent thatn the other but basically i should just pick any 2 i like. thanks :good: :good:

#29 Tobigara

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 02:37 PM

Quick question if i may. How long does it take for a senegal to reach 7 months?

#30 Starfishpower

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 03:11 PM

Quick question if i may. How long does it take for a senegal to reach 7 months?

good question. what exactly is the growth rate for these fish? do they grow fast to a certain length and then slow until there full lenght or is there some other pattern? what can be expected?




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