Ornate Bichir (Polypterus ornatipinnis)


The Ornate Bichir is a distinctively marked, large growing species found throughout parts of the Congo River Basin and surrounding areas in Central and East Africa. This species is exported from the Congo but is also commercially bred in Asia for the aquarium trade. The largest of the “upper jaw” group of bichirs, they can reach an impressive 24″ in size as adults in the wild. In the aquarium, they have been popular for many years due to their eel-like body shape, predatory nature, and unique appearance. Like all bichirs, they are hardy fish, requiring a large tank due to their adult size but are otherwise undemanding.

Size Note: Small size Ornate Bichirs are tank raised, larger sizes are wild collected


Ornate Bichir (Polypterus ornatipinnis)

Origin: Wild Africa
Locale: Congo
Diet: Predator, will accept frozen and sinking foods
Adult Size: 22″
Recommended Tank Size: 120 gallon+
Compatibility: Predatory, but generally not aggressive towards tankmates too big to be considered a meal. Should not be kept with overly aggressive fish which may nip at their fins.

Preferred Water Parameters
pH:                          7.0  – 7.6
Temp:                     76-82F
Ammonia:              0ppm
Nitrite:                    0ppm
Nitrate:                  <30ppm

Shipping Note: Due to size, the need for extra packing, and space requirements, larger sizes may not be eligible for our flat rate shipping. We strongly recommend shipping very large fish via air cargo when possible. Please contact us for a quote or for additional shipping info.