Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Cody 02-03-2008 04:13 PM

Dinosaur Eel
I just saw this neat guy at my LFS, and now I am kind of interested in buying it. He was swimming all over the tank, exploring and checking out everything. He is about 4", and I take it he will get bigger. I just want some info on this guy before I make any decisions.

herefishy 02-03-2008 06:35 PM

I have never heard of a dinosaur eel. Probably a Plypterus palmas.

MattD 02-03-2008 06:46 PM

Yes, it is most likely a bichir species of some sort. I imagine your lfs has it listed as a dinosaur eel because, these are in fact, a species that existed when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Owning one is like owning a dinosaur.

Keep in mind that if you purchase one, it will need a rather large tank, and can have very few tank mates. I believe the species Polypterus Senegalus is the smallest of the majority of available bichirs, perhaps you would go with this?

Good luck!

Cody 02-04-2008 12:01 PM

I have done a little more research on a "Dinosaur" eel, and yes, they are a birchir. They are very hardy, and can tolerate a good amount of tankmates. The one in the LFS tank had it with Zebra Danios and another scholling fish as well, which surprised me. But it was only 4" long. I read that the smaller species get 8-12" long, and it would need a decent amount of space.

Any more thoughts? Btw, I have a 30G and plan on keeping Tiger Barbs, a BN pleco, and some other fish I have yet to decide.

MattD 02-04-2008 04:52 PM

See the thing is, you are not considering the long-term requirements.

Yes, it can live with several tankmates when it is small. However, once it grows larger, which it quickly will do so, anything that can fit into its mouth WILL go in there.

Trust me on this, my friend used to have one and it was a monster. I believe several people on these forums can testify to this, actually. I was once in your shoes, and still am, somewhat. I want a bichir so badly, and I'm willing to dedicate and entire tank to a solitary specimen. I will some day, when the opportunity presents itself (an unforeseen disastrous wipe of my current tank, perhaps?).

Good luck, however, I advise against your plans.

Cody 02-04-2008 04:58 PM

I know about the long-term, I guess it didnt sound like it in my last post.

I know they get up to 12" long and will eat anything 5" or shorter. That is why I was thinknig of placing like the birchir and another larger fish so he/they can have the tank to themselves.

I have read that people keep them with guppies and danios at full-grown, but they are well fed.

I probably wont be able to add him anyway. :(

MattD 02-04-2008 10:21 PM

I want one. : (

Saw some at the lfs today, they really are nice. I think this may be my mission. . .

Cody 02-04-2008 10:27 PM

I was thinking about just putting him in the 30 by himself or maybe with like a BN pleco, but that wouldn't be very nice.

The-Wolf 02-05-2008 01:39 AM

saur eel is one of the many common names for Polypterus senegalus
the Senegal Bichir,
they are not a community fish, they are a opportunist predator and will happily eat any fish that fits into its mouth.

MattD 02-05-2008 02:08 AM


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