FAQs on Bichirs, Family Polypteridae
Related Articles: Bichirs,
Related FAQs: Bichirs 1, & Bichir Identification, Bichir Behavior, Bichir Compatibility, Bichir Selection, Bichir Systems, Bichir Feeding, Bichir Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Ropefish 1, Ropefish 2, & Ropefish ID, Ropefish Behavior, Ropefish Compatibility, Ropefish Selection, Ropefish Systems, Ropefish Feeding, Ropefish Health, Ropefish Reproduction,
Very sick Bichir.
ornate bichir. No data of use, rdg. re hlth.
My ornate bichir has a lump in his stomach. I
fear that he may have swallowed a rock! Could there be another
cause of this? If he did swallow a rock is it fatal?
<Could be. Please read here:
and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>
Re: Polypterus senegalus; beh.., hlth.
Hello again Neale
so it has been a few months since I mailed about my senegalus not
Of the two other ones I was growing out one is also not growing. It has
a similar small bulge just behind the front fins (never thought anything
of it because I have seen it on TONS of bichir) I now feel this is a
parasite based issue and am going to try and deworm the two with the
bump. I have found that Levamisole is almost impossible to get my hands
on unless bought in ridiculous bulk and I tend to distrust most fish
<Perhaps... Levamisole, Piperazine, Praziquantel, Fenbendazole and
Flubendazole are all tolerated well by aquarium fish if used properly,
particularly if under the guidance of a vet. Of these Praziquantel and
Flubendazole at least are available as over-the-counter medications in
the UK, and shouldn't be too hard to obtain.>
I have found a lot of conflicting discussion on the use of garlic as a
de-wormer and wondered what your feelings were on this. If I am going to
go the garlic route how would you recommend it be done?
<I would not recommend it... the scientific literature on deworming with
garlic is extremely ambiguous if a quick peruse of Google Scholar is
anything to go by.>
I was thinking of soaking the beef liver or salmon pieces I give them in
a garlic extract (just normal food grade stuff). I will be putting the
two in their own tank for the treatment (is only a 29 gallon but will
work for a week or two).
If not the garlic do you have any recommendations as I said Levamisole
is hard to come by here (guess its used in a cancer med now..?)
and most other Dewormers I have found are all in one cure all deals
which again make me skittish.
<Do see above re: possible options.>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Polypterus senegalus; hlth., sys. f's
Found the Flubendazole on Amazon and even got it for free with my card
So I will begin the deworming. Sadly I lost my big male Senegalus over
the weekend he somehow hit a 1/4 inch gap between my filter and
lid just right and I found him to late :( .
So my breeding plans are now on hold till the little ones grow
out. I am ordering a new top for the tank after that loss however.
<Sounds wise. Good luck, Neale.>
Bichir has swollen area around its belly. Where's the
I've had a Delhezi Bichir for around 7 months now. He was pretty small
when I bought him, around 3 and a half inches or so. Now he's grown
bigger. The issue is that I've been seeing a swelling around the belly
region. It has been around a month or so since I've seen this. It gets
bloated up when he eats more, so I reduced the feeding of the fish, and
it went down a bit.
But still, a bump is persistently seen. Otherwise, his behavior and
eating habits still remain the same.
I'll post a picture of the bichir in an attachment. And I heard that
shelled peas work wonders (?) on such issues. Does this bear any truth?
<Worth trying. Please read here:
Sick Polypterus/Birchir - please help!!
I have a 5 inch Birchir and he was quite fine until a few days ago.
Then he started behaving erratically, swimming without moving, and now
spends a lot of time upside down.
We've put Protozin
in today but I'm not sure he'll last the night now. A while ago (6
months+) his back end completely seized and he ws only able to move
about with his front fins. he did recover however after about 2
months (possible metal poisoning?) and was completely fine until, like I
say, a few days ago. Everything else in the tank is fine (cichlids
they are 'relatively' happy inn the same tank together so I don't think
it's bullying). Ay advice would be gratefully appreciated.
<Something wrong here... not likely water quality (due to the cichlids
being fine); but nutritional, bullying...>
Sorry for the email, but i wasn't sure how to post on the FAQ page.
<For review; please read here:
and the linked files above; part. Foods... and Compatibility. Bob
Polypterus in big trouble! Help please. Cloacal distension
I have had a Polypterus for about a year now and about 6 months ago we
noticed there was a small bump back near his anus/tail and it has slowly
gotten bigger and bigger and now it is making it too hard for him to
even move. It is getting bigger by the day and looks as if it may pop
any second. Our guess is he swallowed a rock and now it is infected.
I am wondering if there is anything we can do for him. He is still
eating like normal, frozen krill. But he is looking in bad shape and it
is killing me to watch him suffer. Please let me know if there is
anything we can do to help him. Thank you so much!
<Mmm, I'd try Epsom Salt/MgSO4 first... ahead of any exploratory
surgery. Search on WWM re for freshwater use; read Neale's article re
and the Related FAQs files archived on its use. Bob Fenner>
sick Polypterus endlicherii
I have a Polypterus endlicherii that i purchased about 12 weeks ago.
When i bought him he was about 1.5 inches in length,
he is now close to 5 inches.
He is housed in a 28 gallon tank with a Fluval 304 canister filter.
There are some lengths of pvc pipe for hides, and the top is mostly
covered with artificial floating plants.
Water parameters are ammonia=0ppm,
hardness is 7dgh,
temperature has been kept at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
He has been living with a black ghost knife about 4 inches long, and 3
African Butterfly fish. each about 2 inches long.
<You need a larger system, stat!>
I corresponded with Neal<e>
prior to getting the Butterfly fish, they will be going into my 150gal
shortly, Neal had suggested starting them in a smaller tank so i could
be sure they were eating before i put them in the large tank. I have
been feeding with blood worms, flake food, floating carnivore pellets,
sinking carnivore pellets, earthworms, and Tubifex worms. While i was
searching your site this morning i learned that the tube worms are not
good for the bichir and will no longer be feeding them. I did feed them
only about a half dozen times.
Now to the problem, in the past three days 2 of the butterfly fish
died, without any visible cause. both were acting normally and then dead
This morning i found the Polypterus with a red sheen on his back. I
searched through your site but can not find anything about a red sheen
on the back, lots about the belly, but my fish is colored normally
there. I am sending a pic of him. i put him in a specimen container to
take the picture. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<... this reads more like a likely environmental issue... Water changes,
changing out filter carbon... and the move to the larger system. Am
sending to Neale for his added input. Bob Fenner>
|Re: sick Polypterus endlicherii
Thank you so much for the quick reply.
the 150 is cycled and ready with a couple small Plecos. (It has been set up
for over a year.)
I will move them today. i just wanted to be sure it wasn't disease before i
<I see, understand; and would move the remaining fishes from the 28>
I truly appreciate all you do here, i have been using your site for many
years now, it is an invaluable source.
<You are welcome. BobF>
sick Polypterus endlicherii /Neale
I have a Polypterus endlicherii that i purchased about 12 weeks ago. When i
bought him he was about 1.5 inches in length, he is now close to 5 inches.
He is housed in a 28 gallon tank with a Fluval 304 canister filter. There
are some lengths of pvc pipe for hides, and the top is mostly covered with
artificial floating plants.
Water parameters are ammonia=0ppm,
hardness is 7dgh,
temperature has been kept at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
He has been living with a black ghost knife about 4 inches long, and 3
African Butterfly fish. each about 2 inches long. I corresponded with
Neal prior to getting the Butterfly fish, they will be going into my 150gal
shortly, Neal had suggested starting them in a smaller tank so i could be
sure they were eating before i put them in the large tank. I have been
feeding with blood worms, flake food, floating carnivore pellets, sinking
carnivore pellets, earthworms, and Tubifex worms. While i was searching your
site this morning i learned that the tube worms are not good for the bichir
and will no longer be feeding them. I did feed them only about a half dozen
Now to the problem, in the past three days 2 of the butterfly fish
died, with out any visible cause. both were acting normally and then dead
This morning i found the Polypterus with a red sheen on his back. I searched
through your site but can not find anything about a red sheen on the back,
lots about the belly, but my fish is colored normally there. I am sending a
pic of him. i put him in a specimen container to take the picture. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.
<<I do agree with Bob that this is likely environmental, especially given a
bunch of fish have died within the last few days. But I would not rule out a
secondary bacterial infection, especially if the belly is worse than the
upper half of the body -- this is something you often see on catfish where
the substrate is less that perfectly clean. Do also check for copper, and
I'd also watch your pH; 6.4 is a bit low for a well-stocked aquarium, not
least of all because biological filtration operates poorly below 7 and
barely at all below 6. Changes in pH if your hardness (specifically,
carbonate hardness) isn't adequate will be another risk; if you insist on a
pH below 7, are you using an appropriate buffer? Cheers, Neale>>
Re: sick Polypterus endlicherii 6/22/13
I miss typed the ph, it 7.4 not 6.4.
<Ah… that does change things!>
I add 1tsp baking soda per 20 gallons to my water (well water) and that
raises it to 7.4 and a kH of 10.
The belly is fine just the back discolored. I will test for
copper. I do weekly changes of 25% with vacuuming, and where the nitrates
are at 5ppm it must be something I can't, or haven't, yet measured.
<Seems likely. If this were me, I'd strip the tank down as far as
necessary to "deep clean" the substrate, do a series of water changes
(keeping water chemistry and temperature steady), and give the filter media
a good rinse and refresh (keeping biological media happy while replacing
carbon if used). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: sick Polypterus endlicherii 6/22/13
Will do, and thank you for all your help
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Mystery Bichir Disease 4-13-13
I'm sorry to take your time, but I have a suggestion regarding the
mysterious deaths that many folks seem to be experiencing. <Sure.>
My 2 year old bichir recently passed away in a much similar manner
(strange behaviour, followed by lack of appetite, then a bruised
stomach). I had mostly fed him shrimp pellets (a mistake) 3-4
times a week. I noticed him floating at the top of the tank by the
heater, which isn't unusual, but he was passing a whole, undigested
shrimp and there appeared to be blood around his anal fin.
<Undigested shrimp or shrimp pellet?>
From there it took him about a week to die. I don't have my exact
water conditions from the time but all other fish (including a smaller
female) were fine and still are. I'm thinking that possibly the shell
<exoskeleton> of the shrimp is cutting these animals stomachs or
they eat them, leading the bruising (or as one person said exploding
stomach). <An interesting theory. If you think that's the case,
then perhaps try a different food regularly and see what happens.>
Again sorry for not really having a question and probably some poor
grammar here and there, but I really hate to hear about this happening
<No problem, maybe this will help somebody solve a riddle in their own
Thanks for your time, AA
<Welcome - Rick>
Thank you! Bichir assistance, fdg. f'
I know this isn't a question, but I just wanted to let you guys know:
Your website is invaluable. The information I received regarding my
Senegal bichir when I first got him wasn't accurate or knowledgeable,
and would surely have led to a slow and unpleasant death due to
malnourishment. He's picked up a lot now that we're alternating him
between chopped nightcrawlers and tilapia, with a beef heart snack every
few days, and seems a lot more active and cheerful! The advice was also
definitely helpful in connection to my other carnivorous fish. Anybody
who searches thoroughly can probably find exactly what they're looking
<Ahh, thank you for this input. Will share. Bob Fenner>
Re: Thank you! Bichir assistance, hlth. concern
I do have a question about him now, though! I haven't been able to find
anything about this anywhere online.
Like I said, his diet was recently corrected and he seems a lot happier
on it. He gets along well with the other fish in the tank (100 gallon,
small community, a couple youngish cichlids put there to grow alongside
him. They mostly leave each other alone, really only interact when
trying to eat the same food,
<Could prove problematical. Make sure the Bichir is getting food>
no fights, just greedy fish) and is reasonably active with lots of
burrowing, darting to the top for breaths of air, etc. However, it's his
posture that I'm concerned about. He seems permanently bent at his neck.
He has no visible sores, bloating lumps or discoloration, and is eating
When he swims, he almost looks like he's running because his bent neck
arches back up and his bottom half powers along laterally, making a sort
of 'Z' shape.
<Mmm, have seen this in other specimens, particularly the smaller
species, like senegalensis>
I haven't got a camera that is capable of capturing a decent picture of
him with me at the moment, but I've included a quick sketch of what he
looks like when at rest. That bend in his neck doesn't go away, and it
almost seems like his head is fused that way. Aside from the worrisome
strangeness of his posture, he seems fine, and it doesn't appear to
inhibit his swimming capability at all. I'm afraid of what might happen
if this is something really bad, though, and if this is something I can
fix I'd love to find out what's wrong!
Thanks again for everything.
<I would not be concerned... as stated; this may well be "natural"...
Sick Senegal Bichir 7/28/12
To whomever can solve my problem
<Easy to do here>
My Senegal Bichir
has been living in my 10 gallon aquarium,
<... much too small a volume>
with air and pump, for 3 years. He has rocks and logs to swim into and
around. His normal diet is San Francisco Bay Brand Beef heart
and Top Fin's Freeze dried medley.
<And this food selection...>
From time to time, I feed him some minnows but not often. He is
now around 7 inches.
<Stunted... from the improper environment and nutrition>
Lately, about 3 days ago, I realized he has stopped moving completely
other than his head so I can tell he is breathing, but he has stopped
eating. Normally to move him out of his tank, to clean it, when my hand
got close to him he would sprint to the other side of the tank, but last
night I picked him up and he had maroon colored bruise-like spots on his
underbelly about a centimeter wide. It almost looks like internal
And there are no other fish in the tank.
Thanks for any help you can provide,
<Please read here:
the linked FAQs files above; particularly systems, foods/feeding and
disease. Bob Fenner>
Senegal Bichir... sys., hlth... not listening, rdg.
i have two Senegal Bichirs and I've had them for about
two months now. this past week I have been away and my grandmother have
been feeding them.
<If away for a week or two, and you can't completely, 100% trust someone
to keep them properly fed -- don't feed them! Fish can go without food
for very long periods and come to no harm.>
when i came home on Saturday the water in my tank had turned almost
completely black and it smelled like death. (seems like all my plant
have rotted away over the week and that's the reason why for the colour
and smell, it even turned my reddish/sand coloured gravel to blackish in
colour) now both of the Bichirs seemed to have some trouble breathing
properly so i managed to get them up and into another tank i have.
(aprox. 60L which i know is way too small)
<This is far, FAR too small.>
where they at the moment seem fine.
<And yet they're sick. Go figure. Seriously, you're rationalising here.
You were lucky they survived up until now, and clearly it was only a
matter of time before something went wrong. These fish need something
above 150 litres.>
my problem is that i discovered when i came home from work today, that
one of the Bichirs has a large-ish white spot in the middle of the
<Could be an opportunistic bacterial infection, fungus, or simply
it doesn't have any other spots and neither has the other Bichir. I was
wondering if you know if it might be dangerous or not for the Bichir?
<Assume it *is* serious, and act accordingly. Ensure water quality is
excellent (zero ammonia and nitrite) and don't put any food in the
aquarium until they're both zero for two or three days in a row.
Meantime, go shopping for a bigger aquarium and a better filter. Don't
medicate just yet (many medications are toxic to Bichirs) and see if the
good water quality and a bigger aquarium fix things by themselves.>
they are aprox. 15cm in size.
<Yikes! Much too big for an aquarium this small.>
I'm not sure of the water qualities as in Norway all shops are closed on
Sundays and i have been at work today and didn't make the opening hours
as i usually check for free at the local fish/animal store. (I am going
to check tomorrow as i have the day off) I don't know if the sudden
change in water can have caused something?
<Could well have done.>
<Do read about and understand the basic, fundamental problems of keeping
big fish in small tanks. These fish are being stressed, sickened, killed
by their world; fix it. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Senegal Bichir 7/30/12
they are normally kept in a 240 l tank, which if the water is ok, I'm
going to move them back into tomorrow.
the 60l was only a temporary shelter while i rinsed the other out. and i
also haven't fed them for 2 days now.
i appreciate you took the time to answer :)
my delhezi bichir died :( 7/19/12
My Delhezi Bichir died a few days ago. I had him for about 3 weeks (he
was maybe 4-6 inches long).
At first he was in a 5 gallon Fluval edge aquarium and seemed happy.
<I see. Well, this tank is much too small, and moreover, has limited
space for him to stick his snout out of the water to swallow air --
crucial to his survival.>
Then I moved him to a 36 gallon (cycled) tank with sand and
eco-complete substrate. I noticed that his eyes started to turn white
and a white sheen was covering him (as if he was a snake ready
to shed!). His behavior seemed ok but I did a 30% water change and the
next day he was dead. Here is some background info:
- I fed him raw shrimp pieces (which he seemed to like!)
<For sure. But these aren't enough on their own, in part because they
are rich in Thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys vitamin B1. So Bichirs,
like all predators, need a diet with lots of Thiaminase-free foods, of
which cockles and tilapia are the two cheapest and easiest to buy from
the grocery store.>
- when I did the water change the temp. changed about 6 degrees F and I
did not chlorine-treat the water (I know ... I should have done better)!
<Indeed. Not good.>
I had thought that he was a hardy species that could tolerate a sloppy
water change (I had some white clouds and danios in the same tank that
are fine), but could I be wrong?
<Deeply and profoundly wrong. Bichirs are very delicate when young, and
though they become fairly robust when larger (upwards of 15 cm/6 inches)
they are not bullet-proof. Some aquarists get confused about them
because they are armoured and air-breathing fish, so look really tough.
In fact they are somewhat sensitive to poor water quality (non-zero
ammonia, nitrite) as well as chlorine, copper and formalin.>
I guess what I really need to know is:
Any help? I would love to get another because they are so beautiful, but
I don't want to kill another fish!
<Not especially difficult to keep, but would recommend the smaller
species like Polypterus senegalus. Set up and cycle a tank of its own
(around 30-40 gallons is fine) and buy a specimen around the 12-15
cm/5-6 inch mark. Feed a variety of foods: earthworms, bloodworms,
krill, tilapia fillet, etc, but don't overfeed.>
Re: re: my delhezi bichir died :( 7/20/12
Great, thanks for your info!
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Baby Bichir Sick? 5/2/12
All but one time my questions in the past were answered by a good search
of your website, and the other time you guys responded promptly and
thoroughly. Thank you.
I couldn't find the answer I needed this time on your site, probably
because my problem is kind of vague, sorry. I have a baby Cuvier's bichir
(Woola), less than 10cm in length. He still vaguely has baby stripes. I
have him alone in a 10 gallon tank with a hidey log, sand substrate, and
a big, fake floating plant. I ran out of water testing equipment, but
last Thursday all parameters were ideal (I plan on picking up more
today). I can't get pics of Woola as he likes to hide in the plant, is
very cryptically colored, and even on the open floor is dappled by
shadows from the plant. Also, my camera lens is scratched. Now the
problem. My bichir has refused food two days in a row.
He has never refused food before.
<What are you feeding him? Few fish will eat the same thing day after
day, and some foods are downright harmful: Tubifex, live goldfish, maybe
This is super worrisome as he hadn't been fed for a day before refusing,
so he has gone 3 days without food. I cleaned his tank on Sunday and did
a 20% water change. I noticed he was hyperventilating, but assumed it
was because of the tank clean freaking him out. He's getting noticeably
<Which shouldn't happen. These fish have a low metabolism and in the
wild don't eat much.>
He has a small lump 2/3 down his abdomen. It looks just like when he has
eaten a big meal, except it's farther back than usual. Could this be a
<Do suspect worms given the fact he's not eaten much and is getting thin
He's been lethargic over the past few days, and hanging out at the very
top of the tank, almost out of the water, which he has never done
before. He is also listing very very slightly to one side and I think is
having problems swimming, but he's never been graceful. I noticed on one
of the few times he rested at the bottom of the tank that he had, not
strings, but trails of like mucus hanging off his anterior belly.
<Fish often produce excess mucous when stressed.>
Not very thick. It was gone a day later, but then came back. I can't see
any external parasites on him or the tank, but when I cleaned the tank
on Sunday, the decorations were a little slimy. I have been feeding him
different kinds of flesh, trying to vary his diet, e.g. shrimp, smidgen
of beef, scallop, fish, etc. I always cut the food into little pieces
and clean any uneaten food (rare occurrence) out in under 12 hours.
Also, I nuke Woola's food and make sure it is thoroughly cooked and
theoretically germ/parasite free.
<Don't understand this. If you cook meat, you destroy some of the
That's fine for humans because [a] we somewhat evolved to eat cooked
food and [b] supplement the meat with vegetables and fruit, some of
which is eaten raw. But predators absolutely must have raw meat, unless
of course you use a vitamin supplement (which is what we do for cats and
I just found out that when my Dad fed him during my recent business
trip, he ignored my instructions and gave the bichir uncooked shrimp
bits for several days in a row, and when Woola didn't eat all of it one
day, just left the old food in the tank and didn't feed him the next
day. Woola ate it. The last two times I tried to feed him, I used beef
or fish. In the past he always goes after shellfish or worms faster
(understandable) so I assume he prefers them, but I try to add variety
and he normally eats *anything*. So, what's your bet?
<Doubt the fact the shrimps were raw had much to do with this, assuming
of course these were raw shrimps sold for humans to eat. Plus, shrimp
from the sea rarely carry parasites freshwater fish can catch (this is,
for example, one reason why Sushi is always marine fish, not freshwater
Is he just ignoring the food because he doesn't like it and has gotten
picky? Has he gotten internal parasites or an internal infection from my
Dad's feeding? Impacted bowel and I should try peas?
<I'd deworm him for sure. As for peas, if he eats them, great.>
Some weird fungus/algae I can't see yet that is linked to the aquarium
slime? Just to check, he originally had gravel. I thought I saw him
swallow a piece one time, but then he didn't die or show any distress
and kept eating, so I assumed I was mistaken. This was ~1 month ago and
prompted the switch to sand. Could he have swallowed the gravel and it
took until now for it to mess up his tiny, baby innards?
<Doesn't seem likely, but it could happen I suppose and impossible for
us to know without an x-ray (or autopsy).>
I don't know if I should leave him be, treat him/his tank for bacteria,
internal parasites, or bribe a fish vet (3 hours away) to x-ray for
I'm worried if I do nothing, he'll die horribly, but if I treat him for
the wrong thing, it could make something else worse. If there's nothing
wrong with him and I'm being paranoid, then adding anti-parasite meds
could be very harmful to such a basal fish.
Help me Wet Web Media. You're my only hope!
<A very tough one to diagnose this, but intestinal worms would be my
Sick baby bichir update
Hello again, just got home from work and everything's worse! Some of the
scales around the abdominal lump are going white. Along the dorsal fins,
the slime coat is sloughing off. Online research has me bouncing between
Ich, Columnaris, or Flukes. I need to go get testing strips. I'm not
used to sand, and just stirred it up for the first time Sunday when I
cleaned. I realized the fish hyperventilating got worse every time I
disturbed the sand. I may have ammonia producing bacteria there or
something that is making this all worse. I don't know what to do. I just
did a water change Sunday, should I stir up the sand and do another?
Should I try medicating the bichir?
<Do see previous medication. Tapeworms or some other intestinal worms
are the most likely problem here, in my opinion, though a bacterial
infection may well be setting in. Deworming and a systemic antibiotic
(perhaps two, one gram-positive and one gram-negative) makes sense. Do
of course check water quality, water chemistry, temperature. Cheers,
Baby Bichir Sick Penultimate
So, a few hours after I got home, it became obvious that whatever Woola
has, it's killing him.
I estimate death in 36 hours or less. He's having trouble controlling
buoyancy and having scale issues. Plus, I've kept enough fish for enough
years to just know when a fish is dying. He's hiding too. Novel
behavior. I figured, what the hell, he's going to die anyway, and dosed
his tank heavily. Water parameters have neutral pH, normal KH, and 0
NO2, but repeated testing showed extreme GH and 40-60 ppm NO3 (no
nitrites but nitrates? weird).
<Not really. It's what you'd expect if the filter is working.>
Anyway. I added a small dose of ammonia lock after a partial water
change to reduce nitrates.
<Won't do this. Random medicating rarely helps. Do you often add stuff
like this "just in case"? Do be aware that many medications and potions
can be toxic, especially so to primitive fish like bichirs, rays and
Waited 30 min, then added triple sulfa, 30 min, then a Metronidazole and
At this point, it can't do more harm than good. Tank's at ~81 F, and as
he's the lone occupant, I'm not putting him in a hospital tank. Here's
hoping I can save him. You didn't respond, and I totally understand. I
know you are all volunteers, and thanks anyway for all the help you've
provided over the years.
<Hmm… yes, your queries weren't in the Inbox last time I checked on the
WWM mail server. Of course I'm working on UK time, so come early/late to
the party, depending on your point of view.>
You do an invaluable service. I've never kept a bichir this young
before, so at least this is a learning experience, even if the only
lesson is how to clean sand and don't let your dad who has a history of
fish killing to feed your fish.
<Sorry haven't been able to fix this for you. Cheers, Neale.>
Baby Bichir Sick: The Final Chapter 5/2/12
<Hello again Kathryn,>
So normally I don't medicate fish much, haven't really needed to since
some early, goldfish keeping mishaps due to ignorance.
The only other times I've used medicine were when I bought cheap but
pretty Bettas I knew were sick. I know! I know! but usually I can save
them. I woke up this morning to a dead bichir and a huge, worm like
thing, also dead, protruding out of his anus.
I'm a research scientist, so I, of course, performed an autopsy and ran
some tests. No unusual bacteria or fungal proteins detected, nor any
other parasites visible under a microscope. As far as I can tell, the
parasite or a parasite/medicine-shock combo killed the bichir.
The parasite is a form of nematode native to Oklahoma (where I live)
ponds and streams and usually infects bigger, wild fish. I've only had
the bichir for a month, and got him off a local, fellow bichir
enthusiast who figured out how to breed them. I just called him, turns
out, the idiot uses untreated water from a local stream in some of his
tanks because it's "more natural"!
The fish was probably infected when I bought him :-(. I informed the
idiot to check for "striped wrigglers", local slang for the parasite,
and buried my fish under a plant outside my lab. I don't know if you
wanted to hear the ending to the story, but there it is.
<Thanks for this. Actually useful. Seems my hunch was a reasonable one,
which helps. Too bad we couldn't help sooner, but to be honest, it
sounds as if a day or two wouldn't have made much difference.>
Just in case you don't read the above:
*Thanks For All Your Help Over the Years. WWM is awesome and
<And thanks for these kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
Polypterus senegalus/Other issues
Hi guys, hope everything is well. Today I lost my
Polypterus senegalus. I had it for almost 6 months. It was about 4
inches long and it always ate and seemed fine. I had it in a 55 gallon
tank with plenty of caves and driftwood and plants. Also, a 5
pack of tiger barbs, an electric blue jack Dempsey
<Mmm, these species are "too rambunctious" to keep w/
, a black baby whale, a Geophagus jurupari, and a pair of leopard
Ctenopoma. I noticed it seemed a bit weird swimming around but he
looked normal and then in about 20 minutes it's underbelly started
dis-coloring, turning red and purple-ish and eventually burst through
<Mmm, actually a quite common scenario... have seen these animals
lost to bruising, likely quick onset bacterial issues many
I actually opened up it's stomach when it was dead to see if it
swallowed a rock or something but the stomach just popped and I
didn't notice anything in the stomach like gravel or worms unless
there too tiny to see. All the fish get along well. I got them all
small hoping they wouldn't kill each other and so far so good.
Anyways, I was wondering if you guys could tell me what happened.
<Not on the basis of this information, no. Again, I would not place
barbs of any size, nor aggressive cichlids w/ Bichirs or
My water quality is great as I tested everything after all this. I use
a gravel vac once a week and change 10 gallons of water each time. I
was told to use aquarium salt once a month
<... a very poor idea in general. See Neale's piece on salt use
to act as a preventative for disease. Other than that I use a chemical
to remove the chlorine from the new water I'm putting in.
That's all I put in my tank.
Is there anything else you would recommend that won't disturb the
<No; I don't even use dechloraminator myself>
Or am I okay with what I'm doing? I've had this tank
running for about a year now. I've become very happy with my tank
and my fish. Especially because I know realize that the Ctenopoma are a
Also, soon the wooden floors are getting redone at my house. I have a
neighbors house that I can set up a spare 26 gallon tank I have. I was
planning to use gravel and water from my 55 gallon tank as well as
putting the African root pieces and all the plants I have in that tank.
I was slowly going to add fish in (every 2-3 days) after it's been
running for 3-4 days. I'm worried to move the fish like this. I
could leave it in my house in my basement under the floor getting
redone but I worry about the fumes and dust the workers will make. What
do you think about this?
<Ask the vendors who are doing the floor. Most low VOC app.s
nowayears call for simply covering tanks w/ damp towels, turning off
Sorry the message is so long. Thank you very much for taking the time
to read this and help me out. I'll wait to hear from you.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Polypterus Senegalus/Other issues
Thank you for your help Bob. I have a few more questions if you
I also lost one of my tiger barbs the same night that I lost the
It was floating with a swollen belly and the Polypterus died with the
same issue only that it's belly ripped through it's skin.
<Mmm, again, that too-often bacterial, red-bruised
I'm worried there's a problem with worms or parasites in my
tank. What is something I can use to treat whatever is going on and
prevent this from happening again?
<Nothing I would do prophylactically, no. Optimizing the
environment, nutrition are your/the best bets>
But is also safe for all the other fish in my tank. Is it a food
that I might be using?
<Could be a contributing cause>
I have a premium flake food. Also, I use frozen bloodworms
<These are proving problematical in recent years. I'd severely
limit their use>
and frozen Mysis shrimp as the baby whale will only eat those. I also
use freeze dried plankton and krill. I constantly switch each time I
feed them but mostly use the flake.
I read up on the aquarium salt links I found on your website. So I only
use the salt to treat certain issues?
<Yes; my and Neale's advice>
Not for regular use with each water change?
<Correct... there is some salts (combinations of metals and
non-metals... I taught H.S. physics, chemistry... and bio.) in all
And I have city water, so I'm nervous not to use a chlorine
remover/water conditioner and I've always used it and most of my
fish in my tank have been with me close to a year now.
<See WWM re water changes... I am a strong practitioner/advocate for
setting water out a week in advance of use...>
I'll wait to hear from you. Thank you
<Cheers Ben, BobF>
Hi, I just got this baby bichir for my 28 gallon bow front, and I
didn't know that it needed small gravel/or sand for the tank. I was
wondering if this could be an issue?
Also, my bichir spends much of it's time swimming around rapidly at
the top of the tank, what should I do?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RopefishSysF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Bichir. 10/15/11
This is the most pathetic excuse for help I've ever received, in
all the time it took you to respond my fish died. THANKS FOR THE
<Whoa there, Ryan. If you look at the link Bob sent you, the VERY
FIRST question at the TOP of that page is about Ropefish and substrate
Given that your e-mail didn't really ask anything beyond the fact
your tank had sand and your Bichir looked agitated, this page would
actually be quite a good place to start your own research. Also on that
page, the VERY FIRST LINK at the top of the article is a link going to
Bob's piece of Ropefish and Bichirs generally. If you took the time
to reach that article, you'd likely come across any number of
things you might not have considered -- and certainly didn't ask us
about. We offer help, yes, but we're volunteers, and we're
free. The aquarists here are among the best in the hobby. But our time
isn't unlimited, and often the best we can do to help you is direct
you to a page where you can do your own research. If, after reading,
you can't help yourself, then feel free to write back with a more
detailed question. In any event, your anger here is misguided and
Cool down, think about the situation more carefully, and act
Sick Senegal Bichir
Hello, thank you for putting together this amazing site!
I have a Senegal Bichir living in my 20gal tank. He is only 4ish inches
now and will move to a bigger tank once he and his tankmates (Bala
<Gets quite large...>
Synodontis catfish, and Pleco
<Depending on species, this too>
) grow up. For the past couple of days, the bichir has wedged himself
behind the filter intake and stays back there all the time.
<Kind of what Polypterids do... behaviorally>
I thought he had bloat so I put him in quarantine with Epsom salt and
it seemed to help a bit as he was swimming around in the
About 5 minutes after I put him back in the main tank however, he
nibbled on a shrimp pellet and promptly shoved himself back behind the
I know he's not being sucked in by it because I saw him force
himself into the narrow gap. He has plenty of hiding places and tubes
he can chill out in on the bottom of the tank, but he chooses to go up
there. Is this normal behavior?
<Yes. You may benefit from reading re Bichirs on WWM:
and the linked files above>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Senegal Bichir 9/15/11
Thanks so much! He's started coming out a lot more now, but I think
he's just made that spot his base of operations. The article was
extremely helpful. Just a new fish owner overreacting!
<Ahh! Cheers, BobF>
Senegal Bichir, hlth., sys.
Hello, I have come to your site on several occasions for answers
to many questions and found it very helpful.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I have a couple of issues I have not been able to find answers to
though and am hoping you can help... I recently (2 weeks ago)
upgraded from a 20 tall to an Aqueon 55 gal with an Aqueon CA55
filter which moves 355 gallons an hour or just under 6 1/2 tank
turns per hour. I used river pebbles/rocks purchased from the
Wal-Mart garden center which I rinsed very well, put in a few
live plants, rocks and a piece of wood.
<I see. While pebbles can look nice, they're a pain to
clean around, trapping all kinds of gunk! They're also pretty
unpleasant for some types of fish, primarily burrowing and bottom
feeding fish that like to root about in the substrate, so be
careful what you choose.>
In the filter I put the bio-filters from the old tank and put
some of the old gravel into pantyhose in the bottom of the tank
until the water cycles. Water conditions are: Fresh water,
Avg. Temp 75 degrees,
PH 7.8 - 8,
nitrates in the caution zone and nitrites are in the stress
I did a 15% water change/gravel vac the day before yesterday
<While you have non-zero nitrite levels, do 20% water changes
at least every second day.>
and added tank salt
<Why? Salt is of little value in freshwater fishkeeping, and
liable to stress those species that dislike it.>
and supplemental bacteria.
<Usually pointless, but shouldn't do any harm.>
And I reduced feedings to every other day.
The community consists of: 6" Albino Rainbow Shark,
4 Chinese Algae Eaters 4"- 6",
<These will NOT get along once mature.>
3 Zebra Danios and a
5.5" Senegal Bichir.
<A risky companion for life with Plecs and especially with
Chinese Algae Eaters. Bichirs are targets for fish that like suck
at mucous, and I personally WOULD NEVER trust such fish with
Chinese Algae Eaters.>
All of these fish I've had since they were an inch or so in
size except the Danios which were introduced as food
<Yikes! These use of feeder fish is not only expensive but
It introduces parasites, it promotes aggression, and above all
else, Cyprinidae including Danios (and minnows, and goldfish)
contain too much fat and a substances called thiaminase that
destroys vitamin B1. If you want to try live foods, try
earthworms. Of course, earthworms will vanish in a tank with
pebbles, die, and end up rotting. But in a tank with fine gravel
or smooth silica sand, the Bichir will hunt for worms and consume
them during the night. The natural diet of these small Bichirs is
primarily insect larvae: bloodworms, mosquito larvae,
but are still a little too large for the Bichir to eat. My issues
are, other than the high nitrites, (1) the Danios have developed
very red gills.
<Reaction to non-zero nitrite levels.>
(2) The Bichir (Spike) spends a lot of his time swimming rapidly
back and forth the length of the tank.
<Stressed. They're burrowing fish, and psychologically
want to root about hunting for midge larvae and other wormy
foods. Your pebbles are frustrating that. Coupled with non-zero
ammonia levels, and potentially unpleasant and certainly
territorial tankmates (the CAEs) and you have a nightmare
scenario for this species..
Supposedly a bottom dweller he spends a lot of his time at the
top of the water. He started doing this shortly before I moved
him to the big tank and I thought he was just outgrowing the 20
gal but he still does it. Is this an indicator of something more
And am I on the right track to stabilizing my water
<My gut feeling is that you aren't experienced enough to
be altering water chemistry. If you think a pH-down product is
what you want, or you don't understand how carbonate hardness
works to stabilise pH between water chemistry, you shouldn't
touch water chemistry. Hard, alkaline water is fine for Bichirs.
They are not at all fussy. But messing about with water chemistry
can be extremely risky.>
I went with river pebbles because I don't like the way the
color flakes off of regular tank gravel after a few vacuums.
<If your tank is dirty after you feed the fish, you [a]
don't have sufficient mechanical filtration and/or turnover;
or [b] are feeding much too much. Plain vanilla gravel
shouldn't change colour at all, but dirt and algae will cover
the granules if conditions in the tank aren't clean.>
Was that a mistake also?
I sent a pic of the tank but couldn't get a pic of the red
gills because the Danios move too fast. Sorry, I probably have
more questions than you have patience, but thank you in
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Dinosaur Bichir and Oscar... env.,
My name is Kyle I bought a Dinosaur Bichir about 4 months ago and an
Oscar about 2 months ago and they were very active and the other day I
noticed that there were tiny little white worms on the glass
<Planarians or nematodes; usually means you're (dramatically)
overfeeding and/or (seriously) under-cleaning the aquarium. Think of
them as rats or cockroaches, moving into the "kitchen" that
is your aquarium.>
of my tank so I cleaned it all out and everything and the next day when
I got home from school my fish were just laying there,
<Did you clean the filter? Did you clean the filter so aggressively
you killed off the filter bacteria?>
I put some food in for them but they never ate usually when I feed them
they swim around the top of the tank and a few hours later my Oscar
died and now my Bichir has this pretty big white spot on his back and
his back fin and it looks like he is bleeding from the inside around
it... can you tell me whams wrong with him??
<He has Finrot, likely from chronically poor water conditions. Treat
with an antibiotic. Don't waste your time with Melafix/Pimafix, and
try to avoid using anything containing copper of formalin, as these can
be toxic to Bichirs. Clearly, you need to ALSO dramatically improve the
way you maintain this aquarium. Polypterus senegalus is quite hardy,
but it does need an aquarium around 180 litres/45 US gallons to do
well, plus a filtration system rated at not less than a turnover of 6
times the tank per hour. Ammonia and nitrite levels should be 0, and
water chemistry should be soft to moderately hard, without an extreme
either way in terms of pH; 5-20 degrees dH, pH 6.5-8 works fine.
Re: Dinosaur Bichir and Oscar 3/9/10
Well I wasn't home for about a week and I asked my brother to take
care of them for me and when I got home there was a bunch of uneaten
food on the bottom of my tank
<Well, there you go.>
and those worms so I took my fish out and cleaned everything with
and got a new filter
<Why? If the tank is filthy, by all means siphon out detritus from
the gravel, and change up to 50% of the water on one day, another 50%
the next day, and so on until the tank is nice and clean. But never,
ever replace all the biological filter media at once. You can safely
change up to 50% of the biological media per 6 week period. But
changing more than that -- or deep cleaning mature media so it
effectively becomes new media again -- will cause major problems for
water quality. Without filtration bacteria in sufficient numbers, the
tank will crash as water quality plummets.>
I change the water in my tank once a month so the have fresh water and
because my other brother told me it helps them grow faster.. is there
any specific kind of antibiotic u would recommend?
<Not really, no; anything like Triple Sulfa or Maracyn II are good
choices and should do the trick. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dinosaur Bichir and Oscar 3/9/10
Ok ill remember that but I figured if the worms were in my filter I
wouldn't be able to get rid of them so that's why I got a new
<The worms like likely come right back if conditions deteriorate.
They travel into tanks on plants, with live food, etc.>
alright thank you, can I get them at any pet shop or do I have to buy
<In the US, antibiotics for fish can be purchased at pet stores, but
elsewhere you will need to ask a vet. Antibacterial medications such as
eSHa 2000 may work in lieu of antibiotics, but it does depend on the
severity of the infection. Do follow the instructions, in particular
with regard to dosage and removal of carbon from the filter (if used).
All the medications in the world won't help if conditions in the
tank aren't good, so check nitrite level, and make sure this is
thanks for everything, Kyle
Re: Dinosaur Bichir and Oscar
thank you for everything
<You are welcome. Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Your opinion? Bichir...
Many thanks. New question.
The young bichir has a red worm type thing coming out of his gills. One
from each gill. This is probably a fluke correct?
<No. Assuming this is still a small specimen, under 10 cm, it is
probably the remains of the external gills Polypterus spp. possess when
Bichir (RMF, thoughts on a swollen
Bichir?)<<Where you've referred.
I read the page on bichers and think our dinosaur Bichir who is
about 1.5 or so may be developing the problem described, but
I'm not sure.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/polypdisfaqs.htm We have
a 150 gallon tank with various cats, 3 parrots, 2 Bala sharks, 1
<As in a caecilian? Typhlonectes natans? Not ideally suited to
life with fish.>
4 Gourami, 1 rope fish, 1 small African knife fish, and 2 redline
torpedo barbs. Everyone gets alone for the most part. The Bichir
did bite one of the small cats recently, but I think we forgot
their dinner the night before.
<Possibly, but check also there are enough hiding places for
Bichirs are snappy when it comes to territory, and while
Polypterus senegalus is a fairly mild mannered species,
there's no point creating situations where fish
We cleaned the tank thoroughly a few weeks ago, and added water
conditioner as always. We clean it every 2-4 weeks and have more
than adequate filtration and oxygenation - power heads and air
stones. With the variety of fish, we put in OSA flakes, sinking
discs for the cats, shrimp pellets, and rotate worms and krill or
brine shrimp. The Bichir eats very well and loves the shrimp more
<Shrimp is a good food for them up to a point, but do
understand it contains a lot of thiaminase. There's good
evidence that diets high in thiaminase lead to vitamin B1
deficiency, and this probably explains many mystery ailments
among predatory fish.
Use foods with thiaminase (shrimp, prawn, mussel) only 2-3 days
per week. The majority of a predatory fish's meals should be
foods with no thiaminase, such as tilapia fillet, cockles, or
We occasionally feed them peeled soft peas. Our water has been
very stable - all within normal parameters for the last year - we
lost just one fish - a barb, during that time. We have a little
bit of an algae problem and have treated it by cleaning
everything and using Algae Fix a few times a week.<What! Look,
algae remedies are toxic. Even fish medications can be toxic when
used freely, and very much so to "primitive" fish like
Bichirs. Who knows what Algicides do to them! If you have an
algae problem, don't throw potions at the symptoms, since
you'll be doing this forever. Understand why you have an
Perhaps the tank is overstocked. Perhaps there aren't enough
live plants. Perhaps the lighting is too poor to support higher
plants. Whatever. But throwing potions into the aquarium is
simply adding one more variable to understanding why this fish is
A couple weeks ago, we noticed the Bichir had a small lump on his
belly - toward the front. I wondered if he ate a big pellet or
was constipated. So we put some peas in there for fiber. It did
not help. Today, we noticed it has grown considerably. He is
still very active and eating well, so I think if we can treat
whatever it is, he should be ok.
<Yes, I see. It does look like he's eaten a tankmate! But
if that isn't the case, it isn't altogether clear what
the problem might be. One confusing factor is we can't rule
out either vitamin deficiency or a negative
reaction to the Algicide, both of which are
Given we have a 150 gal tank, not sure we want to treat the whole
tank. We do not know what the barb died from recently. He seemed
ok. We have not added any new fish in a year, or changed their
diet. Can you please offer your opinion?
<I'd start by laying off the Algicide, optimising water
quality, and stop feeding foods containing thiaminase. See if
better conditions and a better diet lead to any improvement. If
things didn't get better in 2-3 weeks, then I'd think
about possible treatments.>
I saw the Flagyl treatment and wondered if I should put him in
his own tank for that.
<Parasites are most likely to get in via "feeder
fish", and if you've used them at some point, then
treating against protozoan and worm parasites may be worthwhile.
Because Polypterus are mostly wild-caught fish, they may come
into the aquarium already infected with tapeworms or nematodes,
in which case treating with an anti-worm medication would be
useful. In either case, treatment in a hospital tank would be
We have a few 10 gal quarantine tanks for that purpose. Is this
I attached a few pictures. If it's not clear or you would
like more, let me know.
Thanks so much!
Re: Bichir hlth. 1/27/10
Thank you very much for your advice.
<Happy to help.>
I read it and will toss the algae potion and hold the shrimp for
a few weeks. I have earthworm flakes that I can give him
<Earthworm flakes? Never heard of those. Live earthworms are
better. For one thing, they contain indigestible matter (i.e.,
soil) that helps clear out the gut, like a laxative. Secondly,
they contain plant matter (i.e., the decaying vegetation they
swallow) and that is an excellent source of vitamins and
minerals. Dried foods on the other hand tend to have reduced
vitamin content and also tend to promote constipation. Since
abdominal swelling is one of the symptoms here, using any kind of
dried food would be wrong. Stick to fresh and live foods
I'm going to reread your email and make a list of
interventions. I do think they have enough hiding places, we have
two very large castles and a large log. No real plants, just fake
- we haven't been able to keep them rooted
and doing good - the cats are hard on them.
<Floating plants are good in situations like this. I have a
tank with a Panaque catfish that merely views most plants as
food, but by adding Indian Fern and Amazon Frogbit, I've got
lots of greenery and algae problems are virtually nil, despite
the tank being heavily stocked. Seriously, I wipe the front glass
maybe once every two or three months.>
Lots of aeration. Our bichir is an avid swimmer and actually
doesn't hide a lot in the castles.
<Can he even fit in them? Bichirs have little flexibility, and
won't use caves they can't swim into easily.>
We have new light bulbs. We haven't had feeder fish or
anything new in well over a year, so can I rule out
<Certainly less likely. However, because bichirs are (usually)
wild caught, there's also a small chance they could bring
something with them from the Nile or wherever. To be fair, the
risk isn't that high, and usually if bichirs do come with
parasites already present, they're external worms or lice
that are relatively easily to deal with.>
We had an itch outbreak after the last ones and treated the whole
tank - and lost quite a few fish.
<Something that really shouldn't happen, so do review your
treatment methods. Ick isn't fatal, and it's easy to
diagnose. The way it kills fish is by allowing secondary
infections to get into the open wounds caused by the parasites.
So in practise, if you catch the infection early on, the actual
risk of deaths is very small. But because Ick medications
commonly include copper or formalin, they can actually be pretty
lethal themselves, so you need to know when to use off-the-shelf
medications like these, and when to use plain salt and heat
instead. One other issue with Ick medications (as opposed to
salt) is that they're removed by carbon, so if you happen to
use carbon in your filter (not something I recommend) that carbon
will make treatment ineffective.>
The rubber eel is a Typhlonectes natans. We were told he would be
fine in the aquarium, and has done well but hides a lot.
<They are burrowing animals that don't like light.>
He's fun to watch. Is he not suited because of the
environment? Is there something I need to watch for with him?
<Caecilians breathe through their skin, so they're very
sensitive to poor water quality. They're also likely to be
stressed by medications not expressly known to be safe with
amphibians. Because they have delicate skins, they're easily
scratched by gravel, and once that happens, secondary infections
are common. The general rule is not to mix amphibians with
They don't tend to live side by side in the wild, and a
cautious approach works well in aquaria too.>
The only fish we have had a very hard time keeping is Plecos. No
We've tried several small types, but no luck.
<Could be various things. Copper is toxic to them, and being
benthic fish they are very sensitive to poor water circulation at
the bottom of the tank. Bichirs are obligate air-breathers, so
rather less fussy in this regard. Plecs are omnivores rather than
carnivores, and aren't scavengers in any sense, so do need a
specific diet carefully planned around their needs.>
We've had the bichir for probably 18 months or more, so
wouldn't any infections or worms show up by now?
<Yes, likely so. But wild-caught fish may come with low level
parasitic infections that don't cause problems until water
quality or diet or some other factor reduces their immune
We don't have any tiny tankmates for him to eat.
Thanks again!!!! This is so helpful!
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: My first aquarium... Bichir hlth.,
Mormyrid sel. 12/28/09
My bichir has developed a white mossy growth covering much of his
The rest of the tank seems fine. Is this the ich I hear about?
<No; is likely Finrot and/or Fungus. Treat promptly but with great
formalin and copper-based medications can be lethal to Bichirs,
Mormyrids, Catfish and Loaches.>
I have a baby whale in the tank along with a featherfin catfish and the
<"A" Baby Whale (Pollimyrus sp.) won't last long...
these are highly gregarious fish that should be kept in groups of at
least five specimens. Singletons tend to pine away, while groups of 2,
3, or 4 often end up with one bully and the rest dead... and of course
the remaining bully ends up pining, so then there are zero. Do always
read up on fish prior to purchase.>
Many thanks for your help.
Re: My first aquarium
Ouch I tried but came up with little info.
<Often the case with fish that have a poor survival record in
While books (and, if I might modestly add, expert fishkeepers like me)
will usually have something to say about Mormyrids and other
"difficult" fish, online sources put together by the vast
majority of hobbyists concentrate
on fish species that are relatively easy to keep. Instead you need to
pick up a copy of something like Baensch's Aquarium Atlas volume 3
you'll find Pollimyrus listed and briefly described.
What kind of timeline does he have?
<Really does depend. A single specimen may well thrive if tankmates
are smaller than it is, and it can feel settled and secure. But with
tankmates of similar or larger size it will feel more nervous, and the
more nervous it is, the more stressed it can become.>
I don't know if there are four more in the city. I've been
He is eating well right now.
<Good. With Mormyrids generally, while eating well, they're
basically healthy and easy to keep; but as soon as they have problems
getting enough to eat, their condition worsens, and they become much
weaker. Good water
quality, including a high oxygen concentration, is important.>
I have purchased a "naphthoquinone" based product. Will that
PS: do you guys take donations? I'm starting to feel like a
<Yep, you're welcome to buy us a beer. Do see the Donate button
at bottom right.
Don't worry about feeling like a pest; this site works precisely
because we get lots and lots of interesting questions. Besides, we
aren't selling anything, we're all volunteers, and we really do
want to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Bichir with bump (RMF, thoughts on treating
Greetings from Athens, Greece.
<And good evening from England!>
I have two bichirs in my tank (about 10cm long and I have them for a
year or so- did not know they were supposed to eat live food so have
been eating mostly cichlid food, shrimp pellets and colour flakes so
<If your Bichirs eat these foods, that's fine. They don't
need live foods.
In fact all I'd add would be some wet-frozen food (white fish,
mussels, prawns, etc.) so that you don't have problems with
constipation. No need for live fish or live foods of any kind.>
A week ago one of them developed a raised spot about 2/3 down from his
head (towards the lower fin). It is raised whitish with 3 darker lines
on it (I think it is the way the scales look because it is raised).
<Likely physical damage. Which species are these? Bichirs are not
gregarious, and they will fight with each other. More importantly,
cichlids can damage them. I have seen Polypterus senegalus mixed with
African cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus mostly) and the cichlids had
bitten off all the fins from the Bichirs!>
It has been the same through the past 10 days or so. The fish looks
happy and healthy with good appetite.
<Good. Would avoid treating for now, since Bichirs can be sensitive
to medications. Only if the wound fails to heal would I use medication.
My favoured medication for Finrot is something called eSHa 2000.
However, I'd be very careful if using this, and I'd watch the
Bichir for any signs of stress. I've used it with Pufferfish, which
are just as sensitive, and they're fine. But you must be alert to
any possible problems. Possibly, you might treat immediately with a
mild antiseptic like Melafix.>
Initially I thought it was an injury (? bite) from another fish (mostly
cichlids in the tank),
<Certainly a possibility.>
but now the other bichir has a smaller one in the same spot.
<Could they both be attacked by the cichlids? Or each other? The
cichlids tend to bite at the fins. Bichirs tend to snap at each other,
so you see damage to their jaws as well as their pectoral fins and
Have photos but not very clear ones (with mobile, but will take new
ones with camera later today and send you- will also send latest water
<Photos and water chemistry parameters would be helpful.>
Fish shop says it is an abscess but I don't think so (and am a bit
reluctant to ruin my flora- have a quarantine tank- but don't like
it: no fish saved in there)
<Yes, abscess-type things can happen on fish. This is basically
Finrot, so any medication for Finrot should work for an abscess (same
I would appreciate any input,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
<<Mmm, have met up w/ collectors of Polypterids of several
species in traveling... and have had a fair share of trying to deal
with "breakdown" syndromes with their import over many years.
Oxolinic acid (see ChuckR's input on WWM re) and Wiki's input:
re) and Nitrofuranace and other Furan cpd.s have proven
efficacious over time/trials. RMF>>
Bichir Skin Bump/tear 10/17/09
I've had a Senegal for about a year now with no problems, but
about a week ago he developed a "bump" on his back near
the back of his head.
<Most likely an ulcer, but possibly something else. Ulcers are
typically sites of infection, caused by physical damage and/or
exposure to serious water quality problems. So as usual, check to
make sure that the water quality is good (zero ammonia, zero
nitrite) and that there aren't any objects or predatory fish
that could be causing physical damage.>
I thought it would go away, but it's gotten worse! It now
looks like its going to "Burst" through his skin!
He seems to be fine. He's eating and moving around just fine
but I'm worried. I've looked everywhere but found
nothing, please help! Thanks!! I feed him small feeders, shrimp,
and sometimes pellets.
<Now, your use of "feeder fish" is one thing that
rings alarm bells. If you want your fish to get sick, give it
feeder fish. I cannot stress this point too strongly! There is no
better way to introduce bizarre diseases and parasites into your
aquarium than by adding feeder fish to a tank. Since Senegal
Bichirs feed primarily on insects and worms, there's no need
to give them live fish. Earthworms, frozen shrimp, chopped clams,
lancefish, bloodworms, mealworms, etc. are all taken. The problem
with feeder fish is that they're raised cheaply in ponds, and
to make them cheap, they receive no real medical care at all.
Plus, minnows and goldfish have high levels of thiaminase, and
over time, this causes a Vitamin B1 deficiency that can lead to
all kinds of problems including, no doubt, breakdown of skin and
muscle. This is amply discussed in the scientific literature, and
anyone who told you Bichirs need goldfish or minnows was talking
rubbish. Your Bichir will certainly need antibiotics to prevent
bacterial infection of the muscle and bloodstream (septicaemia).
A trip to the vet would also be very, very useful. I have seen
large fish recover from ulcers like this, but it does take very
clean water and the use of antibiotics at least until the skin
All Ph, N, A, and such are normal. I Also I attached some pics so
u can see what I mean.
<Indeed, a sad looking Bichir! Lovely animals, but please,
don't use feeders. Whether the feeder fish are the definite
cause of this problem is impossible to say -- that's part of
the problem with feeder fish -- but they could well be. If you
are 100% sure water quality and physical damage aren't the
issue, then some weird bacterial or parasitic infection is left,
and feeder fish are VERY GOOD way of getting such things started.
So, repeat after me, "Feeders are bad"! In the
meantime, use an antibiotic, offer clean water conditions, and
hope for the best. These are hardy fish, and the chances of
recovery are good. Oh, and don't use copper or formalin based
antibacterials without consulting a vet first; primitive fish
such as these can react very badly to such medications (i.e.,
they die). Cheers, Neale.>
Greetings WWM crew/Neale, I'm in need of your advice once again. I
can't send a picture but I'll try to describe it as best as
possible. I just saw my small 4 inch Ornate Bichir have something like
its gill sticking out of the gill socket on its right side. It looks
slightly reddish and has a branch like structure, leading me to think
it is a gill but my sister thinks it is a parasite. While it seems
perfectly alright, I am very worried as to what it is. Could you help
me out here by stating a list of possibilities? Thanks a lot. Gene.
<Hello Gene. When very young, Bichirs have external gills; these are
red, feathery, and hang out sort of behind the normal gill covers and
above the pectoral ("arm") fins. They usually disappear by
the time the Bichir is big enough to sell, but yours is so small
relative to its final adult size, I suspect that this is what
you're looking at. There are no real health issues, but being
sensitive and easily damaged, you want to make sure such fish are kept
away from boisterous and especially nippy fish, such as Tiger Barbs.
Ornate Bichir - Torn gill or
Hi, I have an ornate bichir that's been with me for a month or two
now...recently I saw that the left end part of its gill was red, and
had a bacterial-looking pattern on it.
<Are you sure this isn't the fish's external gill? Juvenile
Bichirs have external gills similar to those you see on amphibians such
These gills are red, feathery, and poke out behind the gill and above
the pectoral fin.>
I'm not sure whether it is torn, or it is diseased. It is in a tank
with another ornate bichir of nearly the same size (barely 5 inches)
but as far as I know, they get along very well together.
<Ornate Bichirs are not tolerant animals, and tend to be very snappy
towards one another. Do watch these two fish. Given their large adult
size (60 cm/24 inches) individuals will require a large tank, and more
than one specimen a very large tank.>
The tank's water was not very good for a few days, by that I mean
that there was some residue from food and algae, but the ph and
temperature were fine.
<Bichirs are hardy, but like all fish they will suffer if water
quality is poor, and the external gills on juveniles will be likely
sites of Finrot infections and similar.>
So what exactly is wrong with it?
<Either Finrot, or merely the external gills.>
I put some mineral salt in already, and I have some medicine for sores
and lesions but I didn't dare put it in just in case it makes the
<Salt obviously won't help, since salt has no particular
usefulness on bacterial infections (if it did, why would we bother with
You will need to use some type of antimicrobial, I'd suggest eSHa
2000 or Maracyn.>
Please help as soon as possible.
Re: Ornate Bichir - Torn gill or
External gill? I've never heard of that before.
<Learn a new thing every day.>
I'll check and confirm it first. Thanks for the help!
Appreciated that you gave me a list of sicknesses related to it, but
the fish died. Thank you anyway for trying and sorry for not providing
a photo or responding earlier.
<Too bad. Sorry to hear this.>
Since the tank is rather empty, aside from my Ornate Bichir and Oscar,
my sister asked if keeping another Ornate Bichir is advisable. Go for
it or don't?
<Depends on the size of the tank. Polypterus ornatipinnis is a
reasonably big species (to 60 cm in the wild, and easily 50 cm in
captivity) as well as territorial. So unless your tank is upwards of
300-400 litres, I wouldn't even think about mixing two specimens.
Even in a big tank, you'll need to take care that there are ample
hiding places for each specimen. Cheers, Neale.>
Please tell me how to help my
Polypterus ornatipinnis 5/23/08 Sick Polypterus I hope you can
point me in the right direction to save my Polypterus ornatipinnis. We
have had this guy for about 5 years now. He is about 18 inches long and
he lives in a 90 gallon tank. His tank mates are 2 very large Oscars, a
African water frog, a gar pike and a very large algae eater (Pleco I
think) Anyway...yesterday I noticed the algae eater sucking on the
Polypterus. Today, he is covered in whitish spots (seems like he is
losing his color) and it appears as though he is bleeding under his
scales. He has been out of his normal "spot" in the tank a
lot today. I am at a loss for what to do or what is wrong with him.
Everything seems to be ok. He gets fed mostly Rosies and occasionally
frozen brine shrimp. But this has been his main diet for all his life.
Can you help us? He seems to be getting worse very quickly. Thanks in
advance for any help you can offer. Karyn <Ropefish and Bichirs
sometimes come down with this weird bacterial infection. This usually
occurs while acclimating wild fish but I guess it could happen to a
long term captive if the conditions were less than ideal. The best
medication is Oxolinic acid. Very expensive and difficult to come by
but wholesalers find it very effective when getting wild shipments in.
I would recommend a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the
filters in the meantime. If you cannot find this medication then try
Nitrofuranace with Metronidazole together.-Chuck>
Ornate Bichir may be dying... 9/10/07 My boyfriend
and I were just cleaning the tank and we moved some decorations and
found our ornate Bichir laying on his back <Bad> at the bottom of
the tank. He is still breathing and every once in awhile he starts to
"spaz" out and do barrel rolls and jerk around. Could he have
gotten hit by something slipping in the tank like a rock and gotten
stunned? <Possibly> Could this be a sickness?? <Mmm, yes>
He did not eat for the last two days. Any suggestion would be greatly
appreciated! -- Thank you, Stephanie Beetsch <What re the water
quality here? Is there much in the way of ammonia, nitrate? What did it
feed on? How long have you had it? What else... decor and livestock is
in this system? Bob Fenner>
Re: ornate Bichir may be dying..
9/11/07 He ended up dying last night but just so I can get an
idea what it could've been....the water was 7.8 to 8.0 ph, no
ammonia or nitrate when I tested it last night. The temp. is about 80.
I have him in a tank with African cichlids and some silver tip sharks.
There was no marks or bites on him as far I could tell. He was eating
thawed out silverfish. This is what the fish store told us to feed. He
had no interest in worms or beef heart, was really the only thing he
would eat. I wanted to get another one because he was so fun to watch.
What would you recommend. Thank you for all your help, really
appreciated! <Hello Stephanie. Bichirs are basically very, very
hardy animals, so to lose one tends to imply something has gone wrong.
Since all your other fish are fine, you can probably rule out water
quality. I'd expect (and have observed) cichlids to become
distressed from such things well before Bichirs. Diet may be a factor.
Feeding a fish just one thing is never a good idea. Bichirs are not
really fish eaters by specialisation, since they move too slowly to
catch them. Fish are a bonus most of the time. Rather, they feed on a
variety of invertebrates, particularly insect larvae, large aquatic
insects such as beetles, worms of all types, crustaceans, and so on.
River shrimp, earthworms, and mealworms all seem to be especially good
(and completely safe) live foods for Bichirs. On the frozen food front,
shelled prawns, mussels, bloodworms, and krill should be accepted
without complaint. There's no need for a Bichir to eat every night,
and if it didn't eat a meal one night, remove the food and try it
again the next night: often hunger improves a fish's willingness to
try something new! Once trained and settled in, Bichirs will also take
good quality pellets, like Hikari Gold, and these sorts of foods are
excellent "vitamin boosters" to really optimise your
fish's health. Rotating the menu from one item to the next is
important because it allows a fish to get all the different nutrients
it needs. This isn't to say whitebait were a bad food item, but if
the only thing the Bichir ate month after month, you can't expect
the fish to stay in good health. Now, in terms of trying again, the two
Bichirs that recommend themselves as being excellent aquarium fish are
Polypterus senegalus and the fish sold in the trade as 'Polypterus
palmas' (but almost certainly one of any number of look-alike
species). Both of these are small (~30 cm), placid fish that feed
primarily on invertebrates. Juveniles thrive on bloodworms and similar
foods, while adults happily take various small items of seafood.
Neither is expensive or difficult to find. P. senegalus is perhaps the
easiest to keep, and the one species that breeds fairly regularly in
aquaria. 'P. palmas' is perhaps marginally more testy but is a
bit prettier to look at. Both would work well in your tank, assuming
the cichlids were not aggressive. Bichirs are easily bullied. I
wouldn't mix them, for example, with Hemichromis, Pseudotropheus,
or Melanochromis type things but they get along fine with
Pelvicachromis, Nanochromis, Pseudocrenilabrus, etc. I hope this helps,
Polypterus palmas problem! --
08/31/07 Hey crew, I had bought a Polypterus palmas from a pet shop
around 3 months ago. I had started off feeding it sinking pellets, but
it wouldn't eat those anymore so I decided to buy some earthworms
and blood worms. These worked perfectly until now. My palmas usually
finds his food and bumps into it, but now he sometimes passes over it
or hovers near it and chomps around that area but still completely
missing it. I looked closer and I noticed his two nostrils/antennae
have shrunk a huge amount. What used to be nostrils are just small
bumps where the nostrils should be. He hasn't been able to
successfully get his food for days, and I'm worried he might starve
to death because he isn't able to smell his food anymore. The water
isn't cloudy at all and is pretty clear. The only decor he has is a
small ceramic temple where he lounges under. I think it might of been
ammonia burning off his nostrils, I just changed the ammonia remover
from my filter (Aquaclear) recently, the instructions on the filter
told me to change the ammonia remover every 3 months (When I bought the
box with the ammonia remover it said to replace it every month). Hope
by replacing the ammonia filter with a new one he'll be able to
grow bank his nostrils. He's around 4.5 inches and lives in a 4
gallon tank. Hope you can help me, Worried palmas owner. <Greetings.
Polypterus are lovely fish, and generally very hardy. However, I think
your problem here is Finrot or something similar, caused by problems
with water quality. There is simply now way you can keep these fish in
a 4 gallon (15 litre) tank. None. Nada. Nix. They are all fairly large
creatures (even the smallest species gets to around 30 cm). The species
sold in the trade as "Polypterus palmas" can actually be one
of a whole group of things, including Polypterus teugelsi (~40 cm),
Polypterus mokelembembe (~34 cm), Polypterus retropinnis (~34 cm), or
one of three subspecies of Polypterus palmas (from 30-35 cm). At the
very least you need a tank not less than 100 litres (about 26 US
gallons) in size simply to provide even basic water quality and space
requirements, let alone "good" conditions. Anyway, ammonia
does indeed cause problems similar to burning; specifically, its
necrosis of the delicate tissues causes by poisoning. Left untreated,
such wounds commonly become sites of Finrot and fungal infections. Now,
let's expand this a little. Ammonia remover has no place in an
aquarium containing large predatory fish -- unless you're using
large amounts of the stuff and replacing it weekly, it simply cannot
deal with waste produced. You need a proper biological filter for the
Polypterus aquarium providing at least 4x the volume of the tank in
turnover per hour. A large external canister filter would be the best
choice, but a decent undergravel filter would also work. Polypterus are
hardy and somewhat tolerant of immature aquaria, which is why your fish
is wounded rather than dead. But still, you're imposing on this
hardiness, and there's only one possible eventual outcome: death of
the fish. So, here's what you need to do to save this fish: buy a
tank at least 6 times bigger than what you have. Then, install a proper
filtration system. While the filter matures, perform large water
changes: 50% ideally daily, but not less than every two days. This will
likely take about 6 weeks to mature the aquarium to the point where you
cannot detect ammonia or nitrite in the water. Once you're done,
your Polypterus should heal quickly, and will live happily for another
10+ years (they're quite long lived animals normally). You may
decide to treat for Finrot/fungus as well, but if you do, choose a
brand of medication safe with sensitive fish, because Polypterus are
quite distantly related to the mainstream bony fish groups, and their
reaction to medications can be unpredictable. Ideally, choose something
deemed safe for use with stingrays and invertebrates. That said, if
moved to good conditions, I would expect this fish to heal quite
readily by itself. If you can't do ALL of these things, then
re-home the Polypterus: you clearly don't have an aquarium that can
house this wonderful fish, and keeping it would be cruel, end of story.
I hope this helps, Neale>
Re: Polypterus palmas problem! --
09/01/07 Thank you and thank god you answered, you saved it's
life :) <Cool. And perhaps you should thank Dagon the fish-god as
well. Cheers, Neale>
Ill or injured Bichir, no useful
info. 5/20/07 Dear WWM Crew,
Thank you for the information and
advice your site provides. I have a question about my Senegal Bichir.
She is about 3 months old and 6 inches. Recently I noticed redness
along her anal fin and tail. <Mmm, sign of environmental
issue/s...> The tank has no aggressive fish. Is it possible she
simply doesn't have enough room to turn in her favorite cave?
<Possibly, but much more likely there is/are something/s amiss with
your water quality...> The cave is a 6"x 6" plastic
container that is upside down and covered in rocks. I appreciate your
assistance. <... What re the system make-up, maintenance, water
quality tests, foods/feeding... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/polypterids.htm and
the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Polypterus senegalus, beh., hlth.
5/20/07 Hi <Hello.> My Polypterus senegalus
has recently stared to eat the stones in the tank, I was just wondering
if this is natural or could there be a problem with my fish? <It is
extremely *unnatural*. Bichirs are predators that hunt by smell. So
they don't normally eat stones. Are you feeding it enough? If so,
what are you feeding it? The ideal diet for Bichirs are frozen
bloodworms, small pieces of mussel and prawn, and small amounts of
frozen fish such as whitebait. Some Bichirs will also eat pellets.
Unless you are breeding your own livebearers, do not use live feeder
fish and UNDER NO circumstances use goldfish/minnows bought from pet
stores, as these are parasite bombs. If you want to use live food,
things like mealworms and earthworms are ideal, being clean and easy to
obtain.> Hope to hear from you soon, <Well, here I am.> Dave.
Rope Fish With Spots 4/9/07 Hello, My
fiancÃ© and I bought our first Rope Eel (or fish since
that's what they come up as under Google) and she looked fine when
we were in the store. However, the next morning I notice two
small white dots on her back, so I called a friend whose had a fish
tank for over 30 years. He assured me that Kaliah didn't
have ick, although we went ahead and put Ick away in her
tank. This morning when my fiancÃ© and I woke the
two dots turned into three large ones, one on her underside and two
along the length of her body. We are extremely worried about
her since we've grown attached so the question to you is if Kaliah
is shedding at all, since the spots do look like dead skin. Is it
normal for a rope eel to shed its skin and if not then what can we do
to spot it and make her healthy? We feed her tropical fish
food and some shrimp, per the sales lady. Thank You. Lotsa
Love Aurora < Check the WWM website for articles on general info on
bichirs. To be more specific, your bichir probably has a stubborn
bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean
the filter. The first drug of choice is Oxolinic Acid. Difficult to
come by and very expensive, it is a miracle worker on rope fish and
other bichirs. If you cannot find it then try a double dose of
Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. Let your local pet shop know so maybe
they can treat the next batch before they sell them. Many stores
don't know about this treatment and think that rope fish die
because they are fragile, but they are actually very hardly and live
for many years.-Chuck>
Polypterus delhezi... dead 3/6/07 I
had a young Polypterus delhezi about 3 in. <This IS small> that
just died 2 days ago. I was shocked because I've never seen a
Bichir suffered like that to death. The body was half paralyzed and
it's having a hard time swimming to the water surface to gulp for
air until its whole body got paralyzed and died. What killed my fish
and how can I prevent that kind of disease? Another thought i fed it
with chopped feeder guppies. Do you think that cause my Bichir to die?
thanks... <... Please send your writing through spell- et al.
checking... to learn, correct your English. Small Polypterids often are
imported with enteric bacterial problems... "chopped feeder
guppies" did not help... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/polypterids.htm and
the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Armored Bichir, with missing
nares 2/22/07 I have a young Polypterus delhezi about
3.5 in. I noticed that it has only one tubular nostril when i bought it
and I'm scared that it will be a big problem for my delhezi cause i
know that their nostrils are use for hunting and getting food. Is their
a chance growing it back? <Mmm, yes... if not "bitten too far
back"... and even living w/o... in good care. Bob
Ornate Bichirs nostrils Hi, I would like to
know does the tubular nostrils of a Bichir grows back in time it happen
to be bitten off by cichlids? thanks Rgds Louis <If not bitten too
far back, yes. Bob Fenner>
Bichir gill growths Hi Bob, I'm the guy
that owns the 17 inches ornate with a torn left pectoral fins. Thanks
for your reply. In between, I forgot to tell you that a juvenile ornate
specimen of mine have 'red color horns' that resembles the
Chinese saint animal 'dragon'. The 'horns' grow from
inside the gills and go upwards. And the 'horns' grows as the
fish grows. I had never seen anything like this before. No doubt it is
BEAUTIFUL, but I am worried that it might be some disease or similar.
<Not likely. Especially if this fish is small/young... they have
growths that come out of their gill areas then. Bob Fenner> Rgds,
Torn Bichir fin Dear Dr. Fenner, <Just
Bob, please> Please help me. I own a ornate Bichir which is now
currently 17 inches. I love him dearly. Last night, the left hand side
of the pectoral fin of my Bichir was torn! Left with only the muscle
part, the rest of the fin is gone! I am not sure what happened.......
Dr., will the fin grow back in time??? Please tell me.....
<Sounds like either a tremendous injury (did the fish get stuck
somehow?) or an aggressive encounter with a tankmate. If the injury
isn't too deep the fin will regenerate. These fishes are tough. Bob
|I Didn't Mean to Call You a Bichir!
Another lesson in how Not to Punctuate Sorry to bother
you but I don't know who else to ask.. I have this Bichir who
looks very swollen.. from bellow the head to the mid fin.. it has
been swollen for weeks now, I have 3 more Bichirs in the tank that
are doing fine.. I have a 55 gal thank.. it seems to be ok
except for the swelling.. it seems to have gone bigger too in the
last couple of days.. I've had that Bichir for more than a year
now, at least 1.5 years.. I attached a picture so you can see what
I mean.. thanks for your help. < You need to get some
Metronidazole ASAP! This bloat situation can be cured if it is
caught early. It usually happens in cichlids mainly Tropheus and
some lake Malawian fish. I think it is stress related. Big
fish are messy eaters and generate a lot of waste. It is easy to
let the wastes build up in the tank and get out of hand unless you
do some water changes. If your fish is still alive you need to do a
30% water change now and treat the water for ich. A
Formalin-malachite green medication will work. Add a hand full of
rock salt too. Look for the Metronidazole at your local store.
Check the ingredients for it. It may not be labeled as such. Treat
the entire tank with 250 mg per 10 gallons. Use a little extra and
use 6 tablets. Remove any carbon from your filters and if you have
a Marineland filter with a BioWheel then remove it and place it in
a plastic bag with some aquarium water in it. Leave it open and
don't let it dry out. Do not treat on the second day and repeat
day number one on the third day and every other day until the fish
is cured. If the fish dies then watch the others closely in case
they don't eat. If they don't it means that they are sick
too and need treating. I got this cure a few months ago from
another website. The website is called JDTropheus.com. They deal
strictly with cichlids in the genus Tropheus and this cure does
work. Good Luck.-Chuck>
|A Thank You Hello WWM Crew, within the following page,
concerning to your pages, a person called Chuck gave a very helpful
answer to a question concerning a problem that now also occurred in
my tank. I successfully saved my Bichirs using the tips published
on your website. I want to say Thank You to Chuck for his help, so
I want you to give me his email address. Sorry, If I did not notice
any contact formulas of your page, but I got to your page by using
a German internet search engine, so maybe I did not get the full
frameset of your page. The URL of the page is:
www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bichirfaqs.htm Thanks a lot for
your answer. < I am glad you were able to save your Bichirs. The
real credit should go to a Tropheus breeder who turned me on to
this treatment. You can find him on his website at
JDTropheus.com.-Chuck> Greetings from Germany, yours Dr. D.