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Senegal Bichir... Dinasour Bichir?

Discussion in 'Oddball's institute' started by Starfishpower, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Starfishpower

    Starfishpower Member

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    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

    Davo86 Cichlids, Catfish and Oddballs

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

    england channa aka snakehead

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    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

    sambofish Member

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    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. england

    england channa aka snakehead

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    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

    Starfishpower Member

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    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

    beblondie Member

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    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

    Starfishpower Member

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    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

    Straydum Marine Fever

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

    Starfishpower Member

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    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

    OohFeeshy It's only forever; not long at all...

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    What's the typical adult size for senegals?
     
  12. Mr._Fishy

    Mr._Fishy Member

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    Around 10-12"
     
  13. Starfishpower

    Starfishpower Member

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    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

    geo7x resistance is futile......

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



    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

    beblondie Member

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    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
     

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