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Old 12-09-2005, 03:24 PM   #1
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Feeding

I feed my bichir three things: bloodworms, krill and frozen shrimp from the local grocery store. There are problems with feeding him these though.

Bloodworms: he might eat the bloodworms which is a good thing but the problem is (a) when I put it in the water the convicts see it and eat it all up before he even has a chance and (b) he will only eat the bloodworms if they are still in a clump and the clump sinks to the bottom of the tank which doesn't often happen.

Krill: its cheap, sinking to the bottom in a good amount of time and every other fish likes it. Bichir doesn't always like it. I actually have never witnessed him eat it, so yeah I guess not the best food for him.

Frozen shrimp from the grocery store: he sometimes eats it. The good thing is that it sinks to the bottom well and depending on his mood he might eat it. However, the problem is that its a bit messy, if it get freezer burnt he doesn't eat it and I am worried he might choke on it, even whenI break/ cut it up.

Squid: I tried feeding him this one time. It take a bit of time to sink to the bottom, however, I have seen him take a few nibbles on it, however, squid is very very chewy. He always eats is food whole. So he has a hard time eating it. Also, he sometimes spits it out and lives a bunch of white pieces of squid all over the tank.

So I was wondering what have you guys fed your bichirs that they will always eat. Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-09-2005, 04:48 PM   #2
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not to hijack the thread, but i LOVE bichirs and intend on setting up a tank to keep them...

just exactly how do you pronounce "bichir"?

i've heard 2 different pronounciations:

bih-sheer
biker (like hells angels bikers )
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:55 PM   #3
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There are several ways to pronounce it actually
WHY BICHIR?

When Europeans (French) discovered the genus Polypterus in 1809 it had already been known along the Nile since the time of the pharoahs. The local peoples referred to them as bichirs (unknown pronunciation and spelling). While unable to come up with an exact meaning for the word it was most likely a descriptive term (''whip'' has been suggested) for this type of fish.

The French most likely pronounced it as phonetically as possible to the orginal native word and came up with bee-sheer as a pronunciation and spelled 'bichir'. Since this would be the name of these fish for
several years until they were scientifically described and put into the proper family it became an accepted common name.

However the correct English pronunciation is up for grabs. Several dictionaries all have their own pronunciation including the below:
bee cher
beech er
biker
bercheer
bi cher
bir chir is common in England
Also known by the common name lobed fin pike,dinosaur eel.
The name Polypterus : poly=many + pterus=fins and is pronounced po-lyp'-terus.
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:56 PM   #4
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To answer the first question I feed mine much the same as you but I also add a good quality sinking pellet to their diet-Anne
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:32 PM   #5
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Will your Bichir eat off a long stick? Maybe you could use a long stick or tongs to put the bloodworms down at the bottom where the convicts wont get to it as quickly. At a LFS I saw the bichirs eating diced up pieces of silversides (or other anchovy-ish fish) They were going at the pieces of fish like crazy and they sank very quickly.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:57 PM   #6
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maybe get some shrimp pellets? those are always good for bottom feeders and slow movers like ADF's becuase they stay for a while and sink to the bottom.. cheep too.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:02 PM   #7
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Maybe I would try shrimp pellets, but the thing is that the pellets are really small, and he completely ignores food that is really small. Also, with pellets that small it will take a few a actually fill his big stomach. I don't think he will let me feed him with a stick. He is VERY VERY VERY SKITISH. He tries to jump out of tank or goes straight to a cave the second you look into the tank from the hood. I have hear a lot of people talk about feeding bichirs silversides, where exactly do you buy them? Is there anything I can do to stop him from being soo skiddish? I will try the bloodworm stick thing though. Thank you all for your help, any more advice is still very welcome. Thanks again in advance.
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