Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp


Sometimes called Dragon Fin because of their dragon-like appearance, this Fish adds a prehistoric feel to your aquarium. They are predatory but peaceful. However, they cannot be kept with smaller Fish because they can bully or eat them. In captivity, they can live up to 10 to 15 years. These nocturnal bottom-dwellers prefer feeding during the night. They have poor eyesight and rely mainly on other senses to find food. There are several types. • Dinosaur Bichir • Albino Bichir • Ornate Bichir • Saddled Bichir • Delhezi Bichir Here are a few things one needs to know about them. APPEARANCE Bichirs have long Eel-like bodies that will add a peculiar appearance to your tank. On the top of their backs, they have a series of spiny dorsal fins. They have paired lungs that help gas exchange in poorly oxygenated environments. They have two small openings on the top of their head which they breathe through. They have an average size of 1-2.5 feet. TANK MATES They usually do well with larger Fish, such as think Oscars, Blood Parrots, Flowerhorns, large Barbs, Knifefish, medium and large Catfish, and large peaceful African Cichlids. TANK SETUP The most important thing in a Bichir’s tank is a sandy substrate. Plants are also useful in providing cover from the light. They can survive in low-oxygenated water quite easily as they don’t have specific filtration or aeration requirements. However, they still need a good filtration system to get rid of the toxic chemicals. You should also put a cover on your aquarium. WATER CONDITION Bichirs prefer shallow, swampy waters and can thrive in semi-brackish waters. The water is preferably soft and acidic. DIET Bichirs are carnivorous fishes. It is recommended to feed them Bloodworms, frozen Shrimps, small Fish, and Earthworms.