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Old 09-05-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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dinosaur bichir acting strange

Hello,
It's been a while since I've been on here. I've made a few upgrades to my tank in the last year, then we moved. When I installed the aquarium in the new house, my bichir was acting weird after about a week. It hangs out at the surface behind the canister snorkel. It only comes from there when feeding. Any ideas as to why this may be happening?

I'm not sure if it's significant or not, but it was great friends with the Knight Goby who passed. It was slapped out of the bucket by the plecko and I didn't realize it until a couple days later :/
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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I'm guessing that you have a Senegal bichir. They are commonly sold under that name. Bichirs are not usually out in the open always swimming fish, they usually just kinda hang out and periodically swim around. They get about 10 inches so I hope you have a proper tank size for that. They're pretty predatory but they do know their limits and don't usually eat stuff they know is too big. So no he's not acting out of the ordinary, bichirs always do that. But the senegals are generally the most active compared to some of the others, and not to mention in the group of the most small bichirs. The minimum tank size should be 75 gallons. Some might argue that 55 is enough but I do not agree with that, I'm standing by 75 gallons which is a very sufficient tank size.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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I currently have a 75 gallon tank, upgraded from a 35. Thanks for the input, it was concerning me.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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No problem, a 75 is fine, he's prolly just stressed out. Give him a few days and he should snap out of it. What do you feed him?
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #5
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Well, he's in a tank with 3 convicts, a peacock eel, 2 Raphael catfish and a plecko. Basically, I try to accommodate all of them. I feed them a mixer of blood worm pellets, shrimp pellets and floating cichlid pellets with ghost shrimp twice a month
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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Ok, I suggest adding live foods to this routine. Bichirs love love foods and so do peacock eels so I suggest every now and then add some feeder fish and if they're big enough try some prawn shrimps. My bichir loves me when I put a fresh batch of shrimps in the tank. Put the feeder fish put them in a quarantine tank and gut load them to insure proper nutrients. Ha listen to me saying I suggest adding live foods, I meant to say add some different live foods to this routine. Guess my Brain didnt wanna type that.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Birchirs like to hide during the day in a place they feel safe. I have an Ornamental Birchir that is about 13 years old and I've gone 6 months at a time without seeing him at all. I had him in with a tire track eel until the eel died a couple of years ago. I have a 125 gallon tank and it has a lot of rock and wood so all my fish can set up a territory.

It may be that your birchir needs a home to make him feel comfortable and the filter is all he has.

How big is your pleco? When I first tried the eels a 3" one almost killed my tire track. They weren't fighting or anything but the pleco raised its fin as the eel swam by and the poor eel had a really bad cut. I thought he would die but I got the pleco out of the tank and he was able to heal.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #8
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That's a good idea, thanks! I was thinking about adding something else to the tank as far hiding places but I didn't want to overcrowd the scenery. The bichir is only about 5" long. The plecko is fairly small, measuring roughly 12"-14". I used to have drift wood in the tank but took it out because it kept my water an ugly yellow, which I learned later was normal. As of now I have 2 caves and a fake driftwood tunnel.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Your pleco is 12 to 14 inches? That is huge for a 75 gallon tank. I had one in a 125 and his territory took up 1/4 of the floor space and he got really mean at that point.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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I've been watching my dinosaur bichir closely recently to make sure it's getting better. Today, I noticed that it's "hutch backed". It wobbles as it swims and half the back length of it's tail hangs, as if it's paralyzed. Any idea what's going on? Is it a parasite? Is it depressed, acting strange like Oscars? I'm beginning to think that he may be dying
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
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Mine hangs like that all the time. He just swims up (ungracefully of course), goes to the top, hangs like he's paralyzed and just sits there. It's not uncommon for them to do this. They also are not good swimmers at all, they aren't graceful and although they can achieve amazing Bursts of speed they usually aren't good at just plainly swimming. Just keep us updated and keep his water quality good. To me it sounds like he's acting like a regular ol bichir.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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Ok, that's comforting, thank you for your reassurance. I've this guy for about 9 months or so and this is all new behavior. Maybe since his friend died he's starting to act like a bichir... I'll keep an eye on him and keep you posted. The other fish don't seem to be acting any differently, so you may be right.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #13
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No problem happy to help!
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #14
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That doesn't sound good. My eel acted like that just before he died. My eel was over 10 years old when he died. I have no idea what he died of and what you can do to help your birchir. Good luck. I hope it gets better.
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