Compatible Bichir tank mates?

  1. Goose117 Initiate Member

    Hi everyone. First post here!

    So currently I have 2 3 year old Bichirs in a 30 gallon, established aquarium. They seem to be doing really well, and have been for over 2 years! However, they aren't very fun to watch unless I am feeding them. For example they rarely swim any more than a couple inches off the bottom. They usually just recluse into their hiding spots, and don't come out much.

    So that brings me to my question, what type or types of fish could I add to the tank to make it a little bit more lively? I was thinking of some Denison Barbs, but those seem to be fish that swim at the lower levels, and I don't know their pH requirements.

    I want something that swims in the middle and higher levels, enjoys being in water with a pH of 6.0-7.0, and will be a good tank mate to my two Bichirs. Any thoughts? Also it would be a really nice bonus if the fish liked Blood-worms, but that is by no means a necessity.

    The only fish I know of that meets those requirements is a Bala Shark, however I know I'm missing something!

    Oh and one more quick question: My tank has zero ammonia and zero nitrites, but the nitrates are very high. Why would this be? It is my understanding that nitrate comes from ammonia?

    Thanks and hope you can help!
     
  2. spiffynid Initiate Member

    From what I can find, bichirs will eat anything that a) won't eat them first and b) fits in their mouth. Anecdotally, my bichir refused to eat the pair of feeder fish I put in his tank. He would eat other feeder fish, but not that pair. They were best of friends for the longest time, until I added another bichir that didn't get the memo that they were friends, not food.

    Honestly, I was content with the feeder fish, they were generic and not very colorful, but they swam mid to upper levels, kept the tank clean and were fun to watch. Then again, my tastes might be different from yours.

    My 6 month old bichir knows when I come to the tank, and I've caught him cruising and checking out the pots and plants (just to make sure they were still there lol)
     

  3. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    They would do better in a bigger tank, they can get to well over a foot in length so need space to swim, if they're feeling cramped that could be why they aren't very active