The barred bichir, armored bichir, or banded bichir is an elongated fish found in the Congo River, specifically in the upper and middle portions. This species is one of the more commonly available to the aquarium hobbyist.
All bichirs look like prehistoric dragons with just a little variance in size and color pattern. They generally live a long time, get along with any fish that cannot fit into their mouth, and so make an excellent addition to a large fish tank. They are easy to take care of and feed. The dilemma in purchasing odd large fish is that they are usually available in smaller sizes and need to grow with the tank. Best to match them with appropriate sizes of other species, for instance match a five inch bichir to medium size cichlids, and a foot long bichir to larger fish. Medium size is 4 to 6”, large size is 12” or more.
- Scientific name: Polypterus delhezi
- Origin: Congo River, Africa
- Lifespan: 15+ years
- Max size: 16 inches
- Food: Live feeders, frozen, flake
- Shipping Size: Approx. 3 inches