Polypterus Ornatipinnis - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 38 Old 12-12-2014, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Polypterus Ornatipinnis

Decided to get something completely different for my 150 gal tank, and got talked into an Ornate Bichir by the guy at the lfs. I've done a little research, but I was just wondering if anyone has had any first hand experience with one in a tank. my biggest concern is what does he need in the way of care, and is there any telling signs of illness different than that of other fish. I have mostly kept catfish (many, many different kinds), cichlids, comets, and tetras. I already have him and he is quite the beautiful specimen.
His name is Leviathan.
Pics will be posted once Photobucket decides not to take forever...
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post #2 of 38 Old 12-12-2014, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
As Promised:




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post #3 of 38 Old 12-12-2014, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Also, what other fish would be an appropriate tankmate. AKA, what won't he eat, do I just need to get other big fish?
Since he is supposed to just chill at the bottom of the tank, could I get an arrowana? my tank is a 150gal 4ft long, 2ft deep, and 30 inches tall.
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post #4 of 38 Old 02-06-2015, 06:15 PM
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Hey just saw your post. I've owned a couple of these guys, endlicheri bichirs, and delhezi bichirs.

They are really easy to keep. If you're experienced in maintaining a healthy tank like you stated with previous fish, he'll be a breeze. Tank mate wise u just wanna stay away from stuff that will fit in his mouth. I've had numerous fish get eaten by my bichirs over the years so you wanna be ABSOLUTELY SURE that he can't fit the fish down the hatch.

I've kept jardini and silver arowana with them, bigger cichlids (festaes, buttikoferi, dovii, midas, pike cichlids, texas cichlids, jacks, umbee, etc), peacock bass are really nice with them, red tail prochilodus, large datnoids, payara, etc... There's a wide variety of stuff that you can keep with them. Some of the more aggressive stuff (jardini aro, mean cichlids) can be hit or miss depending on how aggressive your specific fish gets but a lot of the large calm stuff can do really well.

I've got an ornate that's about 8-9 inches in a tank right now with a festae, dovii, buttikoferi, tire track eel, and jardini arowana that range from about 5-10" and it's been fine.

Good luck with your new fish!

11 tanks @ 660 gallons currently active... From river monsters to rasboras. Check out my YouTube and subscribe!
www.youtube.com/sirreal303
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post #5 of 38 Old 02-16-2015, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Well so far I have Buenos Aires Tetras, Zebra Danios (disappearing quickly), Giant Danios, Black Ruby Barbs, a Madagascar Rainbow Fish, an Electric Blue Acara, and a Pink Tailed Chalceus. The rainbow and Chalceus stick towards the surface, and at a grown size of 6-8" and 8-10", it will be unlikely that they will become food. The Acara should get too big too quickly to be eaten by the Bichirs, I know I am forgetting something, aside from the feeder guppies that get replenished and depleted weekly.

-I forgot the Bristlenose Pleco, and Alb. Chinese Algae eater. I also have 4 Mystery snails, two blue and two golden.

Last edited by chiefacorn; 02-16-2015 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Remembered other fish
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post #6 of 38 Old 02-16-2015, 01:07 PM
I would just like to butt in here and say,

that is a gnarly looking fish! Very cool!
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post #7 of 38 Old 02-16-2015, 07:56 PM
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10" is nothing to a full grown bichir.

They'll be fine for a long while, but eventually bichirs (aside from the smaller types) become a problem for anything that isn't a monster fish. More so after the lights go out and a lot of fish drop their guard, or surface fish come down towards the bottom to rest.

The pink tailed is gonna have the best bet at survival, but even then I've had an endlicheri bichir literally snap a hujeta gar in half which are basically the same size and style as your chalceus. Not trying to eat it, just latched on and broke it in half.

I think you'll have good luck with him, but you'll definitely be losing some more fish in the future lol.

11 tanks @ 660 gallons currently active... From river monsters to rasboras. Check out my YouTube and subscribe!
www.youtube.com/sirreal303
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post #8 of 38 Old 02-25-2015, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
Added an archerfish. Looks like I have reached the threshold of my tank, I will be needing an upgrade in size eventually.
On a side note, it took 2 days for 60 feeder guppies to be devoured.
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post #9 of 38 Old 02-25-2015, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
Updated photos of the Bichir and his tankmates.





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post #10 of 38 Old 02-25-2015, 03:23 PM
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He looks awesome!

How big will he get?


You can follow Old Fort Exotics on You Tube and on my Fish room thread.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5l...KdIa-pb3K2zb7A
https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/d...h-room-517930/

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