Gray Bichir (Polypterus senegalus)

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Gray Bichir

Polypterus senegalus senegalus.jpg
Senegal Bichir

Polypterus senegalus

208 Litres (55 US G.)

25.4-30.5cm (10-12 ")




6.5 - 7.2

25 -28 °C (77-82.4°F)

5-19 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

8-12 years



This animal is available captive bred

Additional names

Senegalus Bichir, Senegal Bichir, Grey Bichir, Gray Bichir, Cuvier's Bichir, Dragonfin, Dinosaur Eel

Additional scientific names

Polypterus senegalus, Polypterus arnaudi, Polypterus arnaudii


The male's anal fin is wider than the females.

Tank compatibility[edit]

An aggressive predator, will be aggressive towards others of its own kind, and predate on smaller fish. Keep only with robust similar-sized tank mates


A carnivore, feed meaty foods such as earthworms, shrimp, bloodworms, mussels and fish fillets such as silversides.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Must have a spacious tank with exceptional filtration. Prefers a sandy substrate with plenty of hiding places. A secure lid is a must as this fish is a known escape. They prefer acidic water.


Senegalus, like other members of the species Polypterus, are generally a non-aggressive bottom-dwelling predator. They may show agression toward other bichirs over territory, and will prey on anything that will fit in a Senegalus' mouth but are otherwise a docile addition to a tank with similar-sized fish. Lighting is not necessary for this fish, they prefer a dimly lit environment with plenty of dark hiding places. Polypterus Senegalus is the most active of all Polypterus.


An elongated snake-like prehistoric-looking fish with many small dorsal finlets, a wide head and large mouth.Pectoral fins are paddle-like and will range in size due to selective breeding. Bichirs seem to "walk" with these large, muscular fins. The "longfin" variety is generally smaller in size with larger fins. The Senegal Bichir can range from a pale silver-gray to a light golden brown with even some yellow fin highlights in color. Coloration will vary due to substrate color, diet, temperature, and water conditions.



Platinum Senegal Bichir:

External links[edit]