Common Name: Senegal Birchir
Max Size: 18 inches
Temperature: 75 to 82 Degrees
PH Level: 6.5 to 7.5
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Care Level: Easy
Origin: Found in Africa, Lake Albert, Rudolph and Chad, Gambia, Niger and Senegal
Food: This fish is carnivorous/scavenger, it will eat Meat, shrimp, worms, small invertebrats and any small fish that will fit into its mouth. It will eat frozen foods, Shrimp pellets and carnivore pellets.
Notes: Polypterus do not have a swim bladder but have developed an air breathing organ, which acts similar to a lung and allows them to gulp at the surface for air. This organ also allows them to live in very Oxygen poor water conditions. Another interesting feature of the fish is like Amphibians (Salamanders and Newts) The young must go through a larval stage in which they have external gills. These will be absorbed as the fish matures.
Breeding: Little is known on the breeding of this species. There have been reports that say the males Anal fin is wider than the females and they initiate spawning, the female laying a few hundred eggs near his anal fin. The fry hatch in about four days. A water change with slightly cooler water can stimulate the spawning. After spawning remove any eggs to a rearing tank and feed the fry newly hatched brine shrimp. The young have external gills.