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Discussion Starter #1
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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Discussion Starter #2
As Promised:




 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #9
Updated photos of the Bichir and his tankmates.





 

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Discussion Starter #11
They are supposed to get to 24". And there are two in there, however the other one was being shy today. He is the smaller one though. The other one is about an inch longer, which is odd, as I got it second. My theory is that the first one I got, Leviathan, is a male. His anal fins fit the description of what a male's should be, and the males tend to be slightly smaller than the females, and grow slower. The other one, Luna, which I got 2 weeks later, and was about 1/2 an inch shorter than Levi when I put her in there, has surpassed Levi, and her anal fins match what a female's should be.

It would be absolutely fantastic if they were a male and a female. They get along well, and are usually rubbing bodies against each other. If they happen to decide to breed...

Lets just say my aquatics budget will grow enormously.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I just wanted to keep them in the tank, and not the other interesting fish I have in there, I could keep them in the 150gal. From what I have researched, when they get that big, even in a larger tank, they become lazy and don't move all that much, and when they do move, they are just swimming vacuums that swallow anything unlucky enough to get in it's way.

There is a way to combat this laziness. And that is to keep their primary diet of live fish that they must hunt for themselves. I plan to do this and try to keep them active throughout their lives. My ultimate goal is a 400+ gallon for them. Probably 72x36x36, though I may go for one a little deeper front to back, but I definitely want to keep 6 feet long. So maybe 72x48x36, that would be a bit over 500 gal, basically a small pond in my living room. Haha.

But that is a ways off. For now, yes the 150gal will be fine. If you wanted a similarly cool fish, the Senegal Bichir or the Delhezi Bichir stick to about a foot long when mature.
 

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I saw the Senegal Bichir while looking around and those might work nice. I have a 125 but kinda have my heart set on a pair of oscars for that tank so I would need another tank for the Bichir. And I don't have a lot of room for the big ones I can do 75g no problem but larger gets kinda hard.

The Senegal might work nice it looks like those get about 12" (in the wild they get bigger) so I could do a 75g pretty easy for one and still have room for something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why Oscars, if you don't mind me asking? I personally don't find them attractive, and I have also found that you can't get away with breaking the rules for compatible tankmates with them. Oscars are not compatible with anything other than water. But if that is what you want, I don't wish to dissuade you, I was just wondering why you wanted them.

I think if I was going to try a species only fish tank, I would try puffers. They are interesting, and it is something I haven't done before. (I kind of lump Oscars in with the rest of the Cichlids) In fact, I may be doing some re-arranging between my tanks, and free up my 40gal and put a pair of figure 8 pufferfish in there. Either that or several pea puffers. If I do that, I will need to pick up a 10 gal to use as a snail grow out tank.
 

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I'm also not a big fan of Oscars, but I will say they aren't species only type of fish. There's plenty of other cichlids that are big and bad enough to be with them. Also some cichlids that are TOO big and bad for them. Also quite a few exotics that can be mixed. I've seen a ton of Oscar/Arowana combo tanks.
 

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Was feeding the cichlids and mine decided to make a little appearance. He's in with a dovii, buttikoferi, festae, tire track eel, and 2 Venezuelan pike cichlids now. Bout 9" currently. And you'll notice the bigger they get, the less saturated the black will be.



 

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Very cool.



I keep going back and forth on the Oscar. I sort of talk my self out of one then I read about one or see one and I have to start over.

I want to pick up a pair of Senegal Bichir soon, I have to wait till my QT is empty so I have a place to put them. The Bichir look so cool just need to make room for bigger tanks.
 
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