A Bichir Project


New Member
Aug 20, 2023
Reaction score
hey all this is my first time in the forum, nice to meet you!

for context, I'm a novice fishkeeper based in Indonesia and have been interested in this hobby for a long while. i mean, i was introduced to the hobby by my late father! been keeping some fishes since i was a 5y.o. (am 23 now, how time flies..). I've had some experience with guppies, mollies, mini-gouramis, and even predatory fish like pufferfishes, oscars, even an albino bichir and terrapin actually! unfortunately after my father died, most of the pets got donated and i've been having trouble going back to the hobby. live gets in the way and it has been a very long time since the last time i keep any aquatic critters and to be honest this project is quite big, hence i would like to ask some opinions from other more experienced fish keepers in this matter before truly realizing this project.

so i was thinking about building a tank for a dinosaur bichir. the concept of the project is to make a perpetual ecosystem to feed the bichir without me having to go to the aquastore and buy some feeder fish every now and then. i know having a separate tank with the feeder fish to breed would be much cheaper and safer than doing this but i have been very fascinated by this idea that i just cannot help myself. my plan is to use a 90 gallon aquarium which will be fully aquascaped. not a very elaborate aquascaping though, something more minimalist and simplistic like the image below is what i have in mind. maybe with some added caves, hiding spots, and such because it'll be fitting for my project.


so firstly, after aquascaping and making sure the aquascape running good, i'll try and grow some neocaridina shrimp colony (just some readily available ones near me like red cherry shrimps) and make sure it thrives and create a big colony in the tank, this may take a few months. then when i'm quite confident i'll add some rummynose tetras along with some tiger hillstream loaches and just like the shrimp i'll try to make sure the colony thrives for a few months. the loaches however is not something that i must add to the tank, i just think that they may give more variety to the bichir's food source. i also do know that the loaches may take longer time to reproduce or not at all hence i may either scrap them altogether or lower their colony count expectation before continuing. then when i'm confident enough i'll finally add just one dinosaur bichir to the tank. so, if i were to list all my steps it would be:
  1. Red Cherry Shrimp:
    • Start with a small group of around 10-15 shrimp.
    • Allow about 3 to 4 months for the shrimp to breed and establish a larger colony.
    • After this period, i expect to have around 50-70 shrimp, and i can proceed to the next step.
  2. Rummynose Tetras:
    • Introduce a small group of around 10-15 rummynose tetras.
    • Allow about 3 to 4 months for the tetras to acclimate, establish a hierarchy, and potentially reproduce.
    • After this period, i expect to have around 30-40 tetras, and i can proceed to the final step.
  3. Hillstream Loaches:
    • Introduce a group of around 5-6 hillstream loaches.
    • This one's tentative, because hillstream loaches can be slower to breed and establish compared to some other species, I may wait for 3-4 months and see where it goes. If it turns out it's not worth it to wait because they may have higher trouble with breeding in the tank, i may skip them altogether.
with that said, to all who have more experience than me i would like to ask of your opinion over this matter. do you think it will work? in that i mean the small fish and shrimp colony will survive throughout the bichir's livespan? or in other words the bichir won't devastate the food source too fast? or maybe this project is just way too ambitious and i need to move on with another project instead?
My personal opinion, as a new Bichir owner, would to be using a live bearer… mine are currently outside in my plant tank portion of my Tilapia aqua culture set up… I paired mine with mosquito fish outside… I’ll have to move them indoors after the Tilapia harvest, for the winter… there they will be paired with silver dollars, and a second batch of Mosquito fish… but a common guppy, Platy or Molly would probably work as well

Most reactions