The Ornate Bichir is a distinctively marked, large growing species found throughout parts of the Congo River Basin and surrounding areas in Central and East Africa. This species is exported from the Congo but is also commercially bred in Asia for the aquarium trade.
The largest of the “upper jaw” group of bichirs, they can reach an impressive 24″ in size as adults in the wild. In the aquarium, they have been popular for many years due to their eel-like body shape, predatory nature, and unique appearance.
Like all bichirs, they are hardy fish, requiring a large tank due to their adult size but are otherwise undemanding.
Ornate Bichir (Polypterus ornatipinnis)
Origin: Wild Africa
Diet: Predator, will accept frozen and sinking foods
Adult Size: 22″
Recommended Tank Size: 120 gallon
Compatibility: Predatory, but generally not aggressive towards tankmates too big to be considered a meal. Should not be kept with overly aggressive fish which may nip at their fins.
Preferred Water Parameters
pH: 7.0 – 7.6