OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

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poelinca created the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

Since i'm about to move the small O's to the big tank, i'll have this small tank empty ( don't want to sell it as it fits perfectly in my "divider" between the bedroom and the living room ).

I've done my research on them and some say it will fit, some don't, so just to be sure before i do anything stupid.

Tank footprint is 39.3" x 15.7" ( 100 x 40 cm ), i gues he/she is going to be there all alone IF it fits ?
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poelinca replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

A bit more info on the footprint:

- a standard 55G would have 624" bottom area ( 4026 cm )
- my tank has 617" bottom area ( 4000 cm )

There is no big difference between the two ( mine is a bit wider too ), and form what i've read a 55G would be good for them.
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robham7770 replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

Sounds good to me. I think that type of bichir gets about a foot. I had one for a couple of weeks, before it escaped. Make sure you eliminate any openings in the tank. I would consider some silver dollars as well, with good filtration, you could keep them in there as well. I need to check, If you have the new monster tank, then I missed it. You could post a couple of pics here in the mean time.
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poelinca replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

The big tank will be here tomorrow ( unreliable small army ), it's 3:40 AM and still preparing everything for the big move tomorrow. Since i can't rely on my friends i called a relocating/moving company, witch is a good thing in the end 'couse i have insurance and if it doesn't fit thru the door ( witch it should, but anyway just in case ) they will provide a crane to get it in thru the window. A bit more expensive tough but i'm already freaking out so the insurance is a god send.
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poelinca replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

As for the bichir size here is what i have found so far:

- P. senegalus senegalus: 12" ('Senegal' or 'Cuiver's' bichir) some sites list it to reach 20"
- P. senegalus meridionalis: 12"+ (possible subspecies)

There is, Also the possibility of a third member of the Polypterus senegalus
group that is found in the Nile River, no info on this one.

Also i can't be sure on witch one i get from the LFS ( senegalus or meridionalis ).
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Nina_W replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

They're long, but long and thin, so you should be ok. Some dither fish are a good idea also - I probably wouldn't do silver dollars, since they tend to bash their noses against the glass and get hurt that way in smaller tanks, but why not some giant danios or some rainbowfish?
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poelinca replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

I would put some rainbowfish but they will turn into a snack.

Species only tank is my best option, the tank is small enough already and all i can put in with bichir is fish large enough not to be eaten.
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gorgoroth replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

senegal bichir won't eat fish that fast, at least mine did not and i kept him with black mollies. if you were getting an ornate bichir, that would be something else, that once eats mealworms and mollies without a problem.

if you want some movement, you could always add some convicts or even a raph cat.

160 gallon south american
190 gallon malawi
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robham7770 replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

Nina_W wrote: They're long, but long and thin, so you should be ok. Some dither fish are a good idea also - I probably wouldn't do silver dollars, since they tend to bash their noses against the glass and get hurt that way in smaller tanks, but why not some giant danios or some rainbowfish?

I am sure Gina is right about the SD's, but I would button the tank up the best you can. Mine got out either through the heater cut out, or through the 1/4 inch gap from the air hose.
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poelinca replied the topic: OK to keep a Polypterus senegalus (senegal bichir) in a 42G ?

robham7770 wrote:

Nina_W wrote: They're long, but long and thin, so you should be ok. Some dither fish are a good idea also - I probably wouldn't do silver dollars, since they tend to bash their noses against the glass and get hurt that way in smaller tanks, but why not some giant danios or some rainbowfish?

I am sure Gina is right about the SD's, but I would button the tank up the best you can. Mine got out either through the heater cut out, or through the 1/4 inch gap from the air hose.


I'll cut a acrylic sheet to fit the tank snug, from there on i can drill holes to fit the heater cable and hoses snug too. Thanks for the tip.
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