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  • Senegal Bichir / Polypterus senegalus ‘Lake Chad’ For Sale
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Lone Star Rare Exotic Fish Co.

Senegal Bichir / Polypterus senegalus ‘Lake Chad’

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We have 2 left in stock

The Senegal Bichir is an old acquaintance amongst those who admire primitive fish. Widely distributed around Africa, this species has been on the planet since the time of the dinosaurs, presenting practically all the characteristics of primitive fish. 

These particular Senegal Bichirs are wild caught specimens from Lake Chad in Africa. 

They are incredibly peaceful and easy to care for, assuming none of their tank mates can fit in their mouth, making them a fantastic fish for those who want to start keeping primitive or monster fish without having a fish that will get too large. Senegal Bichirs are extremely resilient and hardy predators, which can be easily maintained with other similar-sized or larger fish.

With a Jurassic appearance, their back fins form a serration that resembles a dinosaur crest. Its cylindrical body is elongated and robust, with olive green ganoid scales, with a white ventral part, without spots. The tail ends in a point. They have lungs for breathing atmospheric air and long, flat fins, which these fish use to get around in muddy environments and even change between different pools of water.

When young they have the same characteristics as adults, but some specimens may have three dark longitudinal stripes on the flanks, which disappear as the fish grows. Juveniles also have an amphibious life habit, which is lost as the fish becomes an adult.

To keep them in optimal conditions, the length of the aquarium is more important than the depth. It is important to point out that the substrate must be sandy and soft, as the tank should have driftwood and rocks forming refuges. Gravel should never be used as the substrate for bichirs as they are known to accidentally swallow pieces while eating, which can potentially result in their death. Always keep the aquarium completely covered, as Senegal Bichir are great jumpers, in addition to being an expert species in escaping the aquarium.

Senegal Bichirs are a captivating and very interesting species to observe. They are one of the most out-going and active species of bichir, especially when kept in a group where they will almost constantly display amusing and playful behaviors. A living fossil that is a cool addition to many types of aquarium setups. 

Senegal Bichir Care Information: 

Scientific name:  Polypterus senegalus
Common name: Gray Bichir, Senegal Bichir
Order: Polypteriformes — Family:   Polypteridae
Distribution: Africa: Nile basin and West Africa including Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Volta and Lake Chad basins. Widespread, occurring in at least 26 African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia, among others.
Behavior: Peaceful
Adult Size: 10-14” 
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Temperature: 75 to 86 F
Minimum size tank: 75 Gallons 
Feeding: Carnivore
Reproduction: Oviparous. They lay eggs on plants or substrate. Mating begins with a series of jumps from the surface, usually just one at a time, followed by a slow descent through the water. After a while the male will get very close to the female and sometimes the female will remain motionless in the water when the male will come up to her from behind and push her with sideways head movements. The male's anal fin, normally enlarged and swollen, is bent into a concave shape and used to "shave" the female. Eggs are laid a little at a time along thick vegetation and fertilized by the male afterwards. They spawn during the rainy season, one seasonal peak per year. Parents do not care for the offspring and apparently do not practice cannibalism; juveniles practice cannibalism among their siblings.
Sexual Dimorphism: The male has a much thicker and wider anal fin than the female. This feature becomes more apparent as the fish mature. 
Additional Information: The most active of the genus, quite resistant and nocturnal, although it is common to see it swimming during the day in search of food. In captivity, their longevity can exceed 30 years, being quite common in the aquarium trade. It has nocturnal habits, very poor vision, but has an excellent sense of smell to locate food. Fossils of earlier relatives have been found and date back to the Triassic period, which occurred during the early development of dinosaurs over 200 million years ago.

Shipping Information, General Information & DOA Policy




Shipping Information

Livestock Shipping Rates
Continental United States:
  • In-stock Livestock under $599: Flat Rate $49.99
  • In-stock Livestock over $599: FREE SHIPPING
  • Pre-Order Livestock under $999: Flat Rate $69.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock over $999: FREE SHIPPING  
  • In-stock Livestock under $299: Flat Rate $19.99
  • In-stock Livestock over $299: FREE SHIPPING
  • Pre-Order Livestock under $499: Flat Rate $29.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock over $499: FREE SHIPPING


  • In-stock Livestock: Flat Rate $99.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock: Flat Rate $119.99


  • We do not ship to Hawaii.
Overnight Delivery
Please note that shipping rates are subject to change.  We are located in the United States and will only ship to the Continental US. We ship using primarily UPS Next Day Air Overnight, which ships directly to your doorstep. Some shipments may be shipped using USPS Priority Express Overnight. Packages are typically delivered between 10:00 am -12:00 pm, but can sometimes be later. The shipping cost includes styrofoam insulation, box, bags, heat packs, etc. The day the shipping label is created, you'll receive an email with tracking information. 
Orders typically ship within 3-10 business days. We ship Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, which means packages are delivered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please specify what day works best for you to receive on the Cart page prior to check out. If no date is selected prior to check out, your order will be shipped the next available day at our convenience. Please remember, most fish require at least 2 days to clear out their digestive systems before shipping, which may delay shipping them out until the following week.
While placing your order, please provide your email address and phone number. 
Free Shipping 
We offer free shipping to the continental United States on qualifying orders. In the vast majority of cases this will be via UPS Overnight, however larger orders or orders that contain very large fish that select free shipping may be required to use Southwest Cargo Airport to Airport shipping or pay 50% of the cost of UPS overnight if direct to doorstep is preferred. If you are planning to place a large order or are ordering a large fish and want to know if your order will require Cargo Shipping, please contract us prior to ordering. 
Airport to Airport Delivery 
This option is only available for large fish or very large orders. 
Airport to airport is typically the fastest, safest, and most economical shipping option for large fish or large orders. The fish are sent to your nearest Southwest Cargo facility at your local airport where you'll be able to pick them up. We will not charge you for shipping if you choose this option. You will pay the airline directly upon pick up, unless Free Shipping applies to your order. 
After placing your order, text us at 936-239-1292 with your Order Number and your Airport Code (ex. LAX, ATL, DFW, JFK, MIA) and we will find the best flight for both you and the fish, as well as walk you through the process if you are unfamiliar with it. 
Local Pick Up
We are located in Livingston Texas (approximately 50 miles North of Houston), but we do not have a public location to visit. However, if you are in the Southeast Texas area and would like to pick up your fish in person, we do offer local meet-up's. Simply select "Local Pick Up" at checkout and include a valid phone number on your order and we will reach out to you to arrange a time to meet up.

General Information

Pre-orders often take 2-4 weeks to fulfill, but can occasionally take 4-8 weeks, so please be prepared to wait after placing your pre-order. 
Photos are not available for any pre-order livestock, and any photos that are offered are only a visual reference and in most cases not the exact fish being offered.
Pre-orders are handled separately from our In-Stock Livestock. If you are wanting to place an order for both In-Stock and Pre-Order Livestock, please place them in separate orders if you want them to ship separately. If you order In-Stock Livestock with your Pre-Order Livestock, your In-Stock Livestock will be held until your Pre-Order Livestock is ready to ship in most cases. 
Pre-orders have a flat rate $99.99 shipping charge for UPS Overnight Shipping to your doorstep, or FREE SHIPPING over $899. If you are placing a very large order we will require Southwest Cargo Airport to Airport Shipping to be used as the shipping method. If you are placing a large order, please reach out to us prior to placing your order if you would like to know if your order is too large to ship via UPS.
Pre-orders are subject to cancellation at any time. Due to the nature of pre-ordering livestock, we can not always guarantee that all of the fish that you order will arrive to us. Sometimes due to factors such as shipping delays, availability changes, or fish arriving to us DOA, we will have to either do a partial or full order cancellation. In the unusual case that we are unable to fulfill your order within 8 weeks of being placed, you can choose to receive a full refund with zero cancellation fees, or we will issue an automatic full refund with zero cancellation fees if we determine that we can not fulfill the order at all. 

Order Cancellation
If you need to make changes to your order, please contact us and we will be happy to assist with any modifications. If an order needs to be canceled after being placed and prior to shipping, we can either issue a store credit for the full amount, or can issue a refund. If a refund is preferred, there will be a 10% fee that will deducted from the refund amount as a service fee and to cover our transactions fees both ways.
Quantity Discounts and Bundles
We offer Quantity Discounts and Bundles on many of our In-Stock Livestock. These discounts will be automatically added to your cart on qualifying livestock and can be combined with other discounts. Please note that these Quantity Discounts DO NOT work when PayPal is used as the payment method. If you are taking advantage of these discounts, make sure to pay by Debit/Credit Card and NOT with PayPal. We have no idea why this is the case with PayPal payments, but it is. We will not issue refunds/discounts after the fact if you use PayPal and your Quantity Discounts are removed, so please be mindful of this in advance. 
Product Photography
We do our best to keep our photos accurate and up to date, but be aware that livestock photos may not always be of the exact fish available unless listed as WYSIWYG. 
Special Requests
Can't find what you're looking for? Head over to our Special Requests page and leave a comment with what you're looking for and we will do our best to find it.
Limitation of Species
We are located in Texas, meaning that while we may be better than all of y'all in the rest of the country, we unfortunately can not keep or sell many of the species that we would like to. This includes fish such as Freshwater Stringrays, Piranha, Arapaima, Electric Eels, and Payara just to name a few. For a full list of restricted species in Texas, head to Texas Parks & Wildlife's list of Invasive, Prohibited and Exotic Species.
Click here to apply for a wholesale account.

Live Arrival Guarantee / DOA Policy

We take great pride in our packaging and losses are a very rare occurrence, even when shipments are unexpectedly delayed. Live arrival is always guaranteed given the conditions listed below are met. If there are any DOA's, we offer full store credit towards your next purchase for the lost items, minus any shipping charges if Free Shipping was not included in your order. No cash refunds. Shipping charges are non-refundable. 

Conditions of Live Arrival Guarantee
1. The package must be received on the first delivery attempt.
2. The package must be sent to the correct address and not a forwarding address. 
3. A clear video of the fish in the original sealed bag must be sent to 936-239-1292 within 2 hours of delivery.
We are not responsible for any losses that occur after the fish is removed from the bag or beyond 2 hours after the marked delivery time, so please make sure that you are available to receive your fish as soon as they arrive and that your tank is ready to accept new livestock.