Common name: Saddled Bichir
Scientific name: Polypterus Endlicheri Endlicheri
Average Adult Fish Size: 30 inches / 75 cm
Place of Origin: A widespread species, it has been recorded in Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Chad, The Ivory Coast, Mali, Sudan, Benin, and the Central African Republic. It inhabits rivers and marshy areas and is occasionally found in brackish conditions, particularly in areas of mangrove.
Typical Tank setup: Plants are unnecessary, but appreciated as they provide shade in the aquarium. Bichirs are mainly nocturnal, and bright lighting is not appreciated. If you wish to have live plants, use tall and sturdy varieties that offer shade, and have substantial root systems. Protect the base of them with rockwork or substantially sized pieces of bogwood/driftwood. Along with plants, a well-decorated aquarium that has a lot of caves made up of rock work and or bogwood/driftwood will keep a Bichir happy and healthy.
Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: Juveniles can easily be kept in aquariums as small as a 20 gallon /80 liter, but full-grown adults need an aquarium with large base dimensions measuring at least 6 feet x 2.5 feet / 180 cm x 75 cm, or 250-gallon / 1000 liter. Depth is not as important as “floor space”.
Compatibility: All Bichirs are relatively peaceful with other fish that are too large to eat. They will eat others of their own kind given the chance though, so other Bichir tankmates should be close to the same size. Sometimes Bichirs will squabble among themselves over food but rarely is any damage done.
Temperature: 74 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C
Water chemistry: pH 6.0 – 8.0
Feeding: Feed meaty live foods such as black worms, blood worms, and earthworms along with frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and beef heart. Dried foods are not always accepted, but eventually, most Bichirs will accept a quality pellet, tablet, or stick that is suitable to their size. Bichirs are slow to find food as they have poor eyesight. They hunt in the wild predominantly by using smell.
Sexing: The anal fin of the male is thicker than that of the female
Endlicheri Bichir shipping size is 18 inches