Common Name: Lapradei Bichir
Scientific Name: Polypterus lapradei
Other Names: Congo Bichir, Brown Bichir
The Lapradei Bichir has a distinctive elongated body with a flat head and a row of armored plates along its back. It is a brown or greenish-brown fish with a darker, mottled pattern. The Lapradei Bichir can grow up to 24 inches in length and has a lifespan of up to 20 years.
Habitat and Distribution:
The Lapradei Bichir is found in the Congo Basin of Central Africa. It inhabits slow-moving streams, rivers, and swamps with sandy or muddy bottoms, and is adapted to life in low-oxygen environments.
Diet and Behavior:
The Lapradei Bichir is a carnivore and feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and insects. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and chopped fish. They are a solitary fish and can be aggressive towards tankmates.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
Lapradei Bichirs require a minimum tank size of 75 gallons, with a sandy or muddy substrate, and plenty of hiding places such as caves or driftwood. They are sensitive to water quality and require a well-maintained aquarium with a filtration system that provides a moderate flow. The water temperature should be maintained between 75-82°F with a pH range of 6.5-7.5.
Ideal Tank Mates:
Lapradei Bichirs are best kept alone or with larger, aggressive fish such as cichlids, catfish, or other Bichir species.
Lapradei Bichirs are hardy fish and are relatively easy to care for, but their aggressive behavior and large size make them a challenging fish to keep in a community tank.
Lapradei Bichirs are popular in the aquarium trade for their unique appearance and hardiness. In the wild, they are an important food source for local communities and are also used in traditional medicine. They are not currently listed as endangered, but their natural habitat is threatened by habitat destruction and overfishing.
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