Ornate Polypterus (Bichir)
Difficulty – Intermediate
Personality: Nocturnal Predator
Latin Name: Polypterus ornatipinnis
Common Names: Ornate Bichir
Adult full size: 30”
Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons
Water Parameters: Neutral
Safe for Planted Tanks: Only large plants (Swords / Anubias / Java Fern)
Foods: Sinking carnivore pellets, Krill, Silversides and other meaty foods.
This snake-like fish originates from various rivers in central Africa. Polypterus are considered ‘living fossils’ (prehistoric creatures that have remained unchanged), and a bridge between fish and amphibians (an intermediary step towards growing limbs). Polypterus ornatipinnis is a nocturnal predator, and should not be kept with smaller fish. It needs a lot of floor space as well as a very secure tight-fitted lid. Soft (sandy) substrate, driftwood and rocky hiding places are also recommended. It is a very hardy fish that is best kept with other ‘peaceful predators’ like other Polypterus, Datnoids, Synodontis, Knife fish, Arowanas etc.
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