Common Name: Delhezi Bichir
Scientific Name: Polypterus delhezi
Other Names: Congo Bichir, Delhezi Polypterus, Armored Bichir
Habitat and Distribution
The Delhezi Bichir is found in the Congo River basin in Central Africa. They are primarily found in slow-moving rivers, streams, and swamps. They tend to inhabit areas with dense vegetation and muddy bottoms.
Size and Lifespan
The Delhezi Bichir can grow up to 18 inches in length, although they typically reach around 12-14 inches in captivity. They have a lifespan of up to 15 years.
Diet and Behavior
The Delhezi Bichir is primarily a carnivorous species and will eat a variety of meaty foods such as worms, insects, shrimp, and small fish. They have a unique way of feeding, where they suck in their prey using a vacuum-like motion.
In terms of behavior, Delhezi Bichirs are nocturnal and will spend most of their day hiding in vegetation or under rocks. They are known to be peaceful towards other fish, but may eat small tank mates that fit in their mouth.
Breeding and Reproduction
Breeding Delhezi Bichirs can be challenging and is rarely accomplished in captivity. They are oviparous, which means they lay eggs. The female lays around 60-100 eggs, which the male will fertilize and guard until they hatch after approximately five days.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements
Delhezi Bichirs are best kept in a large aquarium of at least 75 gallons, with plenty of hiding places such as rocks, caves, and vegetation. They prefer soft, acidic water with a pH between 6.5-7.5 and a temperature range of 75-82°F. It is essential to provide good filtration and regular water changes to maintain water quality.
Ideal Tank Mates
Delhezi Bichirs can be kept with other large fish that are too big to fit in their mouth. However, they may become aggressive towards smaller fish that can be seen as prey. Suitable tankmates for Delhezi Bichirs include larger cichlids, knifefish, and catfish.
The Delhezi Bichir is a hardy and relatively easy fish to keep, but they do require a large aquarium and specific water conditions. They are a good option for intermediate fish keepers who have experience with larger fish.
- Temperature: 75-82°F
- pH: 6.5-7.5
- General Hardness (GH): 5-15 dGH
- Carbonate Hardness (KH): 4-10 dKH
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Nitrite: 0 ppm
- Nitrate: <20 ppm
The Delhezi Bichir is a fascinating and unique species that is popular among fishkeepers. They are sometimes referred to as "living fossils" because they have remained relatively unchanged for millions of years. In the wild, they are an important source of food for the local people, and their numbers have declined due to overfishing and habitat destruction. The Delhezi Bichir is currently classified as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.
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