West African Lungfish (Protopterus annectens)


A large-growing and unusual fish found throughout much of West and Central Africa, the West African Lungfish is a member of the familiy Lepidosirenidae, an ancient lineage of fish that extends back almost 100 million years. In the wild, these fish inhabit all kinds of aquatic habitat, from shallow swamps to rivers but generally prefer calm, slow-moving waters alongside aquatic or emergent vegetation. Named for their unique, lung-like organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air, lungfish are able to survive in water with essentially no dissolved oxygen and even long periods of drought. Juvenile lungfish feed largely on insect larvae, while adults are omnivorous, feeding on crustaceans, snails, freshwater clams, and generally anything else they can fit in their large, powerful jaws. In the aquarium, they are a hardy and adaptable species but should ideally be kept alone or with very fast-moving tankmates as they are likely to take bites out of other fish.


West African Lungfish (Protopterus annectens)

Origin: Wild West Africa
Locale: Lower Niger River Basin, Nigeria
Diet: Carnivore and scavenger. Will readily accept pellets, frozen, and other prepared foods.
Adult Size: 36″+
Recommended Tank Size: 200 gallons+
Compatibility: Typically not aggressive but has a powerful bite and they are likely to take “exploratory” bites of tankmates. Best kept singly or with fast-moving fish.

Preferred Water Parameters
pH:                          6.5 – 7.5
Temp:                     76-82F
Ammonia:              0ppm
Nitrite:                    0ppm
Nitrate:                  <30ppm