The Senegal Bichir (Polypterus senegalus) is a species of freshwater fish that is native to the rivers and floodplains of West Africa. It is a unique and fascinating species that is highly valued by aquarists due to its distinctive appearance and hardiness.
The Senegal Bichir is a large fish, growing up to 14 inches (35 cm) in length in the wild, though most individuals in captivity tend to be smaller. It has a long, eel-like body that is covered in large, bony scales. The fish's most distinctive feature is its numerous, flexible pectoral fins, which are used for navigation and stability in the murky waters it inhabits.
Senegal Bichirs are hardy fish that are able to tolerate a wide range of water conditions, including temperature ranges from 72-82°F (22-28°C) and pH levels from 6.0-7.5. They are also able to survive in low-oxygen environments, making them a good choice for aquarists who are just starting out or who have trouble maintaining high-quality water conditions.
In the aquarium, Senegal Bichirs are active and curious fish that will explore their surroundings and interact with their owners. They prefer large tanks with plenty of hiding places, such as caves and rocks, as well as a dark substrate and background to help them feel more secure.
Senegal Bichirs are opportunistic feeders that will eat a variety of foods, including live, frozen, and dried foods, as well as small pieces of meat and seafood. They have a reputation for being hardy and long-lived, with some individuals living for over 10 years in captivity.
Overall, the Senegal Bichir is a unique and fascinating species that is well-suited to the home aquarium. Its hardiness, adaptability, and unique appearance make it a popular choice among aquarists of all levels of experience.
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