Dinosaur Bichir Care Guide & Species Profile

The dinosaur bichir, additionally referred to as the Senegal bichir, grey bichir, or dragon fish, is a freshwater fish of the Polypteridae family members. Dinosaur bichirs have long, round bodies around one foot in size, and also are grey or off-white with refined, splotchy patterns.

This fish’s extending nostrils, solid ranges, and also serrated dorsal fin have actually been contrasted to a dragon, and also the types has actually come to be preferred amongst enthusiasts.

While the dinosaur bichir can be forgotten by starting aquarists as a result of its meat-eating feeding pattern, its elegant swimming and also one-of-a-kind look are aesthetically pleasing to fish tank caretakers, and also with appropriate treatment, the fish can live gladly with various other big container companions for several years.

Table of Contents

Dinosaur Bichir Details & & Summary

Dinosaur Bichir


Taxonomic name Polypterus senegalus
Typical names Senegal bichir, grey bichir, Cuvier’s bichir, dinosaur eel, dinosaur bichir, dragon fish, overload dragon
Circulation Africa, India
Dimension Approximately 18 inches in bondage. 28 inches in the wild
Life span 10– 15 years
Shade Gray or off-white with periodic dark smudges
Diet Regimen Predator
Personality Predacious
Minimum container dimension 29 gallons
Temperature Level 77– 80 °F
pH 6.5– 7.5
Firmness 8– 12 dGH
Treatment degree Intermediate
Reproducing Wild-caught

Beginning(* )In the wild, the dinosaur bichir is generally located in the lakes, swamps, and also floodplains of Africa and also India. The thick plant life and also slow-moving water motion in these settings permit this durable fish to flourish, and also in bondage, it requires a comparable atmosphere with great hiding locations.

Grownup Dimension & & Life-span

In bondage, the dinosaur bichir is substantially smaller sized than in the wild. Restricted ladies usually get to 14 inches however can be as long as 18 inches, and also men get to somewhat much shorter sizes. In the wild, this fish can expand as much as 28 inches. Dinosaur bichir proprietors can anticipate the fish to meet 15 years, making it a remarkable lasting fish tank resident if well-cared for.


Enthusiasts can quickly locate the dinosaur bichir in their neighborhood fish tank shop. At a price of around $10 for a little sampling, this fish is a budget friendly enhancement to any type of freshwater container. The fish can additionally be located online on

PetSmart, LiveAquaria, and also Worldwide Fish and also Family Pets Promotions

Look & & Actions

The dinosaur bichir’s one-of-a-kind, dragon-like appearances and also predative nature might appear frightening to a newbie aquarist. Nonetheless, the fish’s slow-moving, winding swimming rate and also foreseeable habits make this fish a terrific beginner-to-intermediate freshwater tropical fish.

Color Styles, Patterns, Fins, and also Sex Distinctions

A lot of dinosaur bichirs are grey, off-white, or brownish with an uneven pattern of big dark brownish or black smudges. Like eels, dinosaur bichirs are lengthy and also round, however their skin is scaled and also solid.

This types’ head is rounded and also smooth, and also 2 pectoral fins are placed behind and also listed below the gill location. These fins offer most locomotion, while a serrated dorsal fin of 8– 11 spinal columns leaves the back resulting in a level, sharp back fin.

Adolescent samplings have gills that vanish with age, and also some have a dark red stripe pattern that discolors as the fish ages. Male dinosaur bichirs expand to a somewhat smaller sized dimension than ladies and also have a bigger rectal fin for reproductive objectives.

Regular Actions

The dinosaur bichir is meat-eating and also tries to consume any type of fish it considers as target– generally anything under 3 inches. The dinosaur bichir cohabitates with bigger non-prey fish.

This fish utilizes its extending nostrils to look for target, as its vision is weak, and also it gradually paces around the container with its pectoral fins, developing an elegant look as it discovers. This bichir is additionally understood to regularly dart to the top of the container, utilizing a collection of primitive lungs to take gulps of air from the surface area. In the evening or at night, it relaxes at the end of the container, utilizing suction to eat shellfishes, worms, target fish, or various other meat-eating fish.


Treatment & & Container NeedsBichir Promotions

Dinosaur Bichir

Tankmates for a dinosaur bichir need to be big, strong types, or else, the container friend will certainly be consumed or hurt by the dinosaur bichir.

Environment and also Container Needs

While the dinosaur bichir isn’t specifically timid in its container, this bottom-dweller needs some concealing places and also relaxing locations. Utilize a fish tank sand substratum as a base, including smooth rocks and also driftwood to produce holes and also caverns. Java brush and also java moss include a terrific vegetative atmosphere and also provide the fish locations to check out.

Superficial containers permit ideal swimming and also feeding, and also a firmly secured cover is a need to due to the fact that the dinosaur bichir will certainly dart as much as the surface area swiftly to take a breath air, and also could leave. Loosened fish tank hoods permit the fish to leap out of the container.


Container Problems

The dinosaur bichir types needs a freshwater container, and also while it’s a strong fish, proprietors need to make sure tidy problems.

Particular container problems consist of:

Water kind: Freshwater

  • Storage tank dimension: Minimum 29 gallons
  • Storage tank form: Wide base surface for feeding and also relaxing
  • Water temperature level: 77– 80 °
  • ( 25– 27 °F)C Substratum: Fish tank sand
  • Storage tank configuration: Smooth rocks, driftwood, thick plant life
  • Level of acidity: pH 6.5– 7.5
  • Water firmness: modest, 8– 12 dGH
  • Filter: Suggested, to lower hand-operated cleansing of feces
  • Bubbler: Not essential. The bichir normally surface areas to take a breath
  • In general, this types has reduced upkeep requirements and also is a strong, solid types for brand-new aquarists to maintain.


One advantage of maintaining a dinosaur bichir is the fish’s resistance to illness. This type isn’t vulnerable to any type of certain ailment, making it resistant and also simple to look after. Nonetheless, proprietors need to keep in mind that wild-caught samplings usually lug a bloodsucker, Macrogyrodactylus polypteri, which eliminates container companions.

quarantine fish tank or transfer salt bathroom are straightforward services to this issue.A Promotions

Container Companions

In spite of its meat-eating nature, the dinosaur bichir is tranquil in containers to name a few big fish. As long as the container friend is higher than half the bichir’s dimension, or at the very least 3 inches long, the capacity for co-living is high.

Wonderful container companions for dinosaur bichirs consist of:

Various other Polypterus samplings

  • Bloch’s catfish (Pimelodus blochii)
  • ” fish (Metynnis argenteus)Silver dollar Minimal spiny eel (Macrognathus aculeatus)
  • Black acara (Cichlasoma bimaculatum)
  • (Balantiocheilos melanopterus)
  • Bala shark Diet Regimen and also Feeding

As a meat-eating bottom fish, the dinosaur bichir consumes shellfishes, little fish, water bugs, and also amphibians in the wild. In bondage, this types isn’t careful and also takes pleasure in a variety of foods consisting of earthworms, shrimp, mussels, feeder fish, or dried out pellets and also flakes.

Dinosaur Bichir


Feed the fish daily, and also, to prevent soiling the container with food waste, just offer sufficient food for a couple of mins of feeding. Dinosaur bichirs favor to feed at night, and also utilize their nostrils to look for food under of the container.


The dinosaur bichir is usually wild-caught, however this types can reproduce in fish tanks too. Motivate reproducing in a fish tank by supplying a superb living atmosphere to promote courtship, consisting of high-grade water with regular modifications, a diverse choice of online food, and also a substantial container with ideal plant life for egg-laying.

Courtship and also reproducing take place throughout the wet period in the wild and also can be substitute in the container by changing water with a chillier temperature level of 60.8– 69.8 ºF (16– 21ºC). Throughout courtship, the women down payments 100– 300 eggs over a number of days, which are fed by the man and after that transferred amongst plants in the container.

After courtship and also egg fertilizing take place, move the plants or reproducing companions to a brand-new container so the grownups do not consume the eggs.

fry eat their egg cavities for a week after birth, and also proprietors can start to feed them little online shrimp, worms, or insect larvae after one week. Eliminate bigger fry as required to prevent cannibalism.Bichir Promotions

Should You Obtain a Dinosaur

for Your Fish tank?Bichir Some newbie aquarists are daunted by the dinosaur bichir’s meat-eating diet plan and also hostility in bondage. Nonetheless, prospective proprietors need to not be repelled by these one-of-a-kind qualities.

This types’ comforting swimming pattern, adaptable diet plan, and also dragon-like look make it an extremely enticing enhancement to a freshwater fish tank. With devotion and also a healthy and balanced container atmosphere, the dinosaur bichir is a flexible, long-living, and also remarkable freshwater types to have.

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