African Lungfish care *newbie*


Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
May 9, 2005
feeder tank
African lungfish are noted for turning on tankmates for no reason anyone can fathom they can be fine for months and in some cases years then suddenly attack any tankmates.The bite is powerful in adult specimens and can easily crush and or remove fingers.A tight lid is needed.Care is fairly basic,
In their natural occuring range West and Central African rivers,lakes and swamps
bichirs are found in water conditions varying in pH values between 6.5 to almost 9.0.
And water hardness varying between2dH to almost 20dH.
And tempuratures ranging from mid 70'sF to mid 80'sF
with a dissolved oxygen content between 3.3 parts per 1000 by volume
and 2.50 parts per 1000 by volume.
3.3 parts per 1000 by volume is common in aqauria kept at 75 F
These water parameters will flucuate thruought the year as dry season gives
way to the rainy season and rivers rise and swamps flood often lowering water temps
for short peroids of time.As you can see they are tolerant of a wide range of water
African River
West and Central Africa are full of rivers. Within each of these river systems are
numerous biotopes -- this description will focus on species found in slow-moving
sections and side streams.
pH 6.9-7.2,
3-8 dH,
temp;75-81F (24-27 C)
The tank should be furnished with wood for hiding places, and fine gravel or sand for a substrate.
The lighting should be muted, and the water should have a slight current.
African Swamp
The waters support a variety of species and vigorous plant growth making it an ideal subject for a biotope aquarium.
pH 7.2-7.8,
2-8 dH, 7
Temp:70-75F(21-24 C)
The tank should have fine gravel, sand, or clay for a substrate.
Dense vegetation and floating plants help recreate the natural setting.
Use submerged wood to provide hiding places.
The lighting should be bright and the water should be clear.
As for plants consider anubias secured to driftwood or floating plants
Eating habits
Lungfhishes generaly inhale the food item then chew(they have no teeth,the teeth were fused together long ago into plates 1 upper 1 lower) on it for a while and then spits the flattened, macerated item almost all the way out of its mouth.The crushed food item is covered with a thick, slimy mucus-like substance.Then the food is inhaled again and the process is repeated until the lungish is satisfied that the item is well and truly mashed to a pulp.Then it swallows the food and is off to search for more. Any loose bits of food are expelled from the gill slit (along with their mucus covering).
Lungfish do not have a stomach as we think of one.The primary role of the stomach is to serve as a food storage area where the food items are physically prepared for the intestine and some initial phases of chemical digestion occur. Because lungfish (and chimaeras) chew and crush their food into tiny bits instead of bolting down large chunks, there is less of a need for a food storage area and the digestive processes are all carried out in the intestine with the use of a spiral valve. Lungfish do have a slight swelling of the esophagus anterior to the intestine (where a stomach would normally be) but it doesn't appear that the food really stays there for long.

spiral valve = a spiral or helical fold in the midgut.Functions to increase the surface area for processing food without lengthening the intestine.

Foods lean meaty foods ghost shrimp, earthworms bloodworms beefheart
also make vegetable matter available also good quality pellets such as sinking carnivore,
spirulina,algea tabs and earthworm sticks -Anne
thanks blondie, very helpful :thumbsup: