What is a good food for Bichir.


MFK Member
Feb 4, 2022
I have been feeding my Senegals variety of things but at the back of my head there is always a fear of not giving them the nutrients they need. I feed them frozen market shrimp and pellets but I realized that there is no specific pellet food for Bichirs. Is it ok to just feed them catfish/Angelfish food like I mostly do ? Any reccomendations on pellets ? Thanks in advance !
(Btw Before reccomending Hikari sadly my country doesnt have them...)
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Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
Agree with Caveden Caveden . If you eat fish offer small pieces of raw fish. The pellet will supply most of the nutritional supplements.


MFK Member
Feb 4, 2022
Agree with Caveden Caveden . If you eat fish offer small pieces of raw fish. The pellet will supply most of the nutritional supplements.
So no need for extra vitamins and stuff ? Yeah we do eat fish every week since we live near the sea so I offer some of that to them before cooking.

The Masked Shadow

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2020
Southern California (San Diego)
I use sinking cichlid gold and tilapia as my staples.

Read this, from Hendre’s “Everything you need to know about bichirs” thread.

Feeding bichirs is simple enough, they are adept at tracking food down and eat heartily, but what do you feed them? There are 3 main categories of food options you can give your fish: Pelletized, frozen and live foods. The types, benefits and caveats of each type will be discussed individually in the following paragraphs.

To summarize this at the beginning, it is important not to overfeed your bichirs due to their ability to pack on food. In a captive environment, they do not exert as much energy as a wild fish would, therefore making them susceptible to obesity and fatty liver disease, a common cause of death for many captive fish. It is best to feed them till they are visibly full; you get a feel for how much food they eat and can adjust according to the fishes’ size.

The best diet is a mixed diet, this is key for balanced nutrition.

Pelletized foods
A backbone of home aquaria, pellet foods are the simplest way to deliver quality nutrition to your pets. There is a bewildering array of pellet types aimed at different groups of fish made with different ingredients, there is nothing made specifically for bichirs though. Bichirs will often eat sticks or pellets such as shrimp, fish, seafood, worm, spirulina, brine shrimp or algae-based foods. Even cichlid pellets work.

To choose your foods it is best to look for the following in the nutritional information and ingredients:
  • The first 3 ingredients are animal or algae-based before moving to filler ingredients, eg Fish meal, shrimp meal and krill, “fillers and other ingredients”. These foods are more nutritious.
  • Protein content: 40-45%+ is ideal for carnivorous fish
  • Fat: 3-6% maximum
  • Fibre: 2-4% maximum
A good pellet should form the majority of your bichirs diet and can be supplemented with frozen or live foods.

Frozen foods
Aptly named for foods that are stored in your freezer, frozen foods make for a good supplement to a bichir diet. These products will often be available at your local fish shop or seafood section of a supermarket. The list includes:
  • Bloodworms
  • Krill
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Tubifex worms
  • Squid
  • Silversides
  • Other non-oily fish fillets
  • De-shelled market shrimp
These can be thawed and fed to your fish. For raw seafood, particularly thiaminase-containing foods such as market shrimp, should be pre-soaked in a vitamin product that contains vitamin B1 to combat deficiency caused by thiaminase. It doesn’t hurt to add vitamins to raw seafood in general. For a better list of seafoods containing thiaminase click here

Live foods
The final, and smallest, component of your bichirs diet can be live foods. This includes:
  • Small shrimp
  • Insects such as small freshly moulted cockroaches or mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Small fish
  • Insect larvae
  • Even frogs
These should only be given as occasional treats. Chitinous insects such as mealworms and cockroaches should only be fed after moulting as their otherwise hard exoskeleton can cause intestinal blockages.

Any feeder fish should ideally be bred at home or quarantined for extended periods due to the sub-standard conditions in which they are raised, and the high rates of disease and parasites. Goldfish should be avoided as they are oily, contain lots of thiaminase and are not nutritious compared to pellets or prepared frozen foods.
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MFK Member
Jul 8, 2013
New York
These are great for ornate bichirs apparently.
--Hikari Tropical Sinking Wafers for Catfish, Loaches and Bottom feeders-- on Amazon. Also always recommend the massivore bites from Hikari.
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Mar 29, 2023
Frozen market shrimp and pellets are a good start, but you're right that there's no specific pellet food for Bichirs.

Catfish/Angelfish food can be a suitable alternative, just make sure it's high in protein and low in fillers. You can also try sinking pellets designed for carnivorous fish; they often work well.

And I totally get what you mean about mask-wearing during Covid. It made eating out a bit of a challenge, but safety first, right?
Now, when I'm looking for something yummy, I'm all about finding an irish breakfast near me. It's a comfort food quest that always hits the spot.
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