Weeksii Bichir (Polypterus weeksii)

Weeksii Bichir (Polypterus weeksii)


  • Family: Polypteridae
  • Origin: West Africa
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Color Form: Green, Tan
  • Max. Size: 1' 8″
  • Care Level: Difficult
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Water Conditions: 77-83° F, KH 1-12, pH 6.5-7.5


The Weeksii Bichir is also known as the Mottled or Fatheaded Bicher, which originates from the Congo basin, Africa. As with other members of the primitive Polypteridae family, the Weeksii Bichir has the unique ability to survive out of water. With a lung-like paired swim bladder and gills to help breathing, the Weeksii Bichir can spend short periods of time on land, but must soon return to its water environment for adequate respiration. This species is snakelike in shape with a very large head and is greenish brown in color with black banding.

The Weeksii Bichir does best in a large “oddball” aquarium with other large, passive fish. When provided with plenty of open swimming areas, rocks and crevices, the Weeksii Bichir is not usually aggressive toward tank mates. This species is semi-aggressive in the fact that they will swallow any fish or invertebrate that they can fit into their mouth, but they are very passive towards other large fish. Prone to jumping, a tight, well-sealed aquarium lid is required.

Eggs are deposited on clumps of vegetation; however, breeding in the hobbyist’s aquarium setting is not common.

A carnivorous fish, the Weeksii Bichir requires live food in its diet as well as chopped meats and beef heart.

Approximate Purchase Size: 3″ to 5″


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