Palmas Bichir 6-8 inch
DistributionDemocratic Republic of Congo. It is found in lakes, streams and flooded areas. These are often heavily vegetated.HabitatDemocratic Republic of Congo. It is found in lakes, streams and flooded areas. These are often heavily vegetated.Maximum Standard Length14″ (35cm)Aquarium SizeTOP ↑48″ x 18″ x 15″ (120cm x 45cm x 37.5cm) – 200 litres.MaintenanceFloor space is more important than depth with this species. A soft substrate with pieces of driftwood and smooth rocks arranged to form hiding places is ideal. Plants are not essential. The aquarium should have a tight-fitting cover as it is an excellent escape artist.Water ConditionsTemperature: 76 to 86°F (24 to 30°C)pH: 6.0-8.0Hardness: 5-25 dHDietP. delhezi is carnivorous by nature and will not usually accept dried foods in aquaria, though some specimens have been known to take pelleted varieties. The most suitable options are meaty live or frozen foods such as prawns, earthworms, mussel, bloodworm etc.Behaviour and CompatibilityTOP ↑Not to be trusted with tankmates it can fit in its mouth but is relatively peaceful otherwise. Suitable tankmates include other Polypterus species, Synodontis, Datnoides, Knife Fish, larger Ctenopoma species, medium to large characins and African Butterfly Fish.ReproductionHas been achieved in aquaria but details are very scarce. As this species breeds during the rainy season in nature, changes in the temperature and chemistry of the water are likely to induce spawning behaviour. A large tank is required and should contain soft, slightly acidic water. It is an egg scatterer and therefore areas of dense planting and/or spawning mops should be provided. During spawning itself the male receives the eggs from the female by cupping his anal and caudal fins around her genitals. He then fertilises the eggs before scattering them amongst vegetation. At this point, the adult fish should be removed as they may predate upon the eggs. The eggs hatch in 3-4 days, with the fry becoming free swimming around 3 days later. First foods should be brine shrimp nauplii or microworm. Apparently, the fry are not particularly mobile, so care should be exercised to ensure they are well fed.