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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Help on my new aquarium (Senagal Bicher)

I just bought a 20 gallon wide aquarium. I was looking for sand so I could use on the bottom of the tank but havn't had any luck on finding any. I was thinking of making tunnels for her using rubber tubing leading to the bottom of a hollow decoration (Any Ideas plz list). Knowing that bichers hate light. I want to grow plants but I just don't know what to go with yet. Of course the lighting to it will be blue or green. Mainly this tank is going to be for Nocta (1yr). I would really like to add a few more bichers. I want to make her tank look as close to thier natural environment as possible. Wondering if anybody here had any Ideas for tank mates to. I was thinking of putting my frogs in with her but read somewhere that they will quickly become dinner. Any Ideas plz help, greatly appreciate it.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:11 PM
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I don't know about this but someone here (Jess and Canadian Critter) both made homemade foam like mountain/tunnel things for their snakes/lizards which, once dry, is hard and safe in terrariums. So, since I don't know what it's called I'll go do some looking around for the threads.. If it's safe for aquarium use you could do your own by drying the foam stuff around pvc pipes for the tunnels then buying some sand for the top?? Also, I would love to see pics once your done ^^ eels are cool!

http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/f89/d...d-d-58136.html Take a look here

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thats a really good Idea.

found this just researching around that I may use to connect the tunnels together. though I know that they are going to get bigger I would defnitley need to find a wide enough pipe.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:56 PM
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I did sand (a sil9 sandblasting sand) on the bottom of a couple of my bichir tanks....I do not particularly recommend it (my other tanks were reasonably fine, polished gravel), but if you go with sand, get some Malayan trumpet snails to keep it from going anaerobic.

PVC pipe makes a very functional, if not particularly attractive, tunnel system (there are a number of good DIY articles online about covering PVC in gravel/stones, though).

A 20 gallon wide aquarium is sufficient for a small Polypterus senegalus, but you will want considerably more for a single adult (around 30 gallons), or for multiple specimens (A 40 gallon wide would work well for six P. senegalus of around 7cm-16cm, but at 16cm, you would want to transfer them to a 90-120 gallon tank.). Bear in mind that with proper feeding and frequent water changes (I am a huge proponent of 30%-50% every 3-5 days), your bichir will easily reach 25cm within a year.

Plants are tricky....bichirs are excellent at digging them up, so go with tough plants (like Anubias sp, some of the more solid Echinodorus sp.), but you need to make certain that they are very well anchored, and have the ability to root solidly (The Anubias do best lashed to wood or reasonably porous rocks to which they can attach themselves.). A few floating plants (such as the tops of giant valisineria) can create a more calm environment for the bichirs and discourage too frenetic jumping.

As far as lighting goes, go with a standard intensity lighting that will permit decent plant growth (Around 7500k) for 12 hours daily. Bichirs do not 'hate light'...they are simply crepuscular/nocturnal, so proper photoperiods are necessary.

As you surmised, any frog in your bichir tank is going to end up as dinner quite quickly (My bichirs have always enjoyed frogs as a diet item...frogs are a reasonably large part of their natural diet.). Be aware that it is easy to underestimate what your bichir can fit into its mouth...I once lost an entire school of 13 decent-sized Scleromystax barbatus due to such an error.

G. A. Christian Bilou, Herpetologist
Aquarist since 1971
Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta (Est. 1994)

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks youre always helpful. I found alot of interesting plants to buy at this site http://www.petsolutions.com/storefro...lants-p10.html. Also saw a 40 gallon long aquarium for $120 seems reasonable. The lighting is kinda of a kicker for a 48'' inch single florescent all glass strip light at $65. Anybody could find a better deal plz do not forget to mention it. lol It will probably take me at least a month to get this set up. Ill look around to see if I could find some Trumpet snails for sale anywhere pet-solutions doesn't carry.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 01:14 PM
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Have a look at these guys, too...I have had excellent experiences with them:

http://www.aquariumplants.com/

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Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta (Est. 1994)

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 04:38 PM
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Also check out eBay for plants. I was hesitant at first (but figured I was covered by buyer's protection) but the plants I ordered were very healthy. Many of the sellers I bought from threw in freebies, too, like bunches of java moss or an extra Anubias. Just another option, especially if you want to use multiple species of Anubias (I have six different varieties from eBay and most stores only have one or two).

As for sand, there's no need to buy special "aquarium sand" if you can't find it. Just get children's play sand. It does need to be washed but that would go for any sand. I'm not sure I'd recommend sand for such a shallow tank that's housing digging fish, though. I'd think the bichir would kick up the sand and clog the filter. Maybe wait until you have a larger tank (which you'll need anyways).




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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toirtis View Post
Have a look at these guys, too...I have had excellent experiences with them:

http://www.aquariumplants.com/
Thanks... they got a great variety of plants I think Im going to go ahead and get some driftwood to also use. Ill check ebay for some great deals to.

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