Bichirs and the reedfish comprise Polypteridae, a family of archaic-looking ray-finned fishes and the only family in the order Polypteriformes.
All species occur in freshwater habitats in tropical Africa and the Nile River system, mainly swampy, shallow floodplains and estuaries. Polypterids possess paired lungs which connect to the esophagus via a glottis. They are facultative air-breathers, accessing surface air to breathe when the water they inhabit is poorly oxygenated.
How big does a Bichir fish get?
In the wild, Bichir fish, polypterids, have a maximum body length ranging from 25cm (10 inches) to over 100cm (39 in) depending on specific species and morphology. In captivite aquaria, you can expect a bichir to easily achieve 30cm in length. A large aquarium is recommended.
What fish can live with a Bichir?
Bichirs will eat pretty much everything it can fit in its mouth, so do not house with small fish. Ideal tankmates for a Bichir include larger Oscars, Cichlids, Parrotfish, Flowerhorns, large Barbs, medium and large Catfish. Will eat crustaceans, so do not house with crabs, shrimp or snails. Bichirs can be aggressive towards other Bichirs, avoid housing with other bichir fish species.
Do Bichirs have teeth?
Yes, bichir fish have teeth. Bichirs are characterised by a long, thin, eel-like body, pronounced teeth, protruding nostrils, and wide, iridescent eyes.
Approx. supplied size: 5.6CM/ 2.3 INCH
Maximum size: 39" / 100cm
Temperament: Predatory, but generally peaceful with similar sized fish
Lighting requirement: low/moderate
Ideal number kept together: 1
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 25 °C
Ideal pH: 6.5–7.8
Water flow: low to moderate
Temperature: 22–28 °C
Ease of Care
Moderate. Exercise caution when choosing tankmates. Bichirs can escape and jump, so a secure aquarium lid is essential.
Feed a mixture of meaty food such as bloodworm, mussels, beef heart and other larger fresh and frozen food for predators.
The species does not breed readily in home aquaria.
In captivity, Bichirs can live 10 years in perfect conditions.
Photo is for illustration only - one supplied.
Photo credit(s): thank you to customers Bill Boone and Cassie for their photos! if you would like to share photos of your pet Bichir please contact us!
For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.
Pre-orders are shipped once we have the stock available and will be shipped using the service chosen at checkout.
All services are working day services and do not include delivery on Saturdays and Sundays or public holidays as standard. Deliveries are usually Monday to Friday only, although some Royal Mail items may be delivered on weekends as standard if the service is available in your area.
|Royal Mail (2-3 days)||£0.00-£49.99||£2.99|
|Royal Mail Next Day (1-2 days)||£0.00-£49.99||£4.99|
|Parcelforce 24 (1 day)||£0.00-£49.99||£7.99|
|Parcelforce 24 (1 day)||£50 and up||FREE|
|Pallets (booked in)||aquariums / bulky items|
Pallets Standard (3-5 days)
Pallets Express (1-2 days)
|*EXCLUDED ITEMS||extra delivery fees apply:|
|Fibreglass Ponds (booked in)|
Zone 1 (7-10 days)
|Zone 2 (7-14 days)||-||£149.99|
|Zone 3 (7-21 days)||-||£249.99|
|Pond Plants (direct from grower)
|All pond plants (3-10 days)||one-off fee regardless of order size/value||£5.99|
Please see our full delivery information page and terms and conditions for detailed information on shipping policies and zones