26-05-2020, 18:13
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Polypterus ansorgii

The Polypterus ansorgii or Guinea multipurple is a very rare fish among aquarists. In the wild, it is found in a small area of Guinea. It is very rarely found in the trade.

The current family of Polypteridae are the only survivors of the ancient Polypteriformes group, dating from the Late Cretaceous, 60-100 million years ago, which is referred to as the last phase of dinosaur domination.

Polypteriformes can nowadays be found in freshwater reservoirs in Africa, mostly 10° north and 10° south of the equator.

Polypterus ansorgii

Polypterus ansorgii has a reptilian-like cylindrical body shape. The body is covered with multilayered, diamond-shaped scales. The fish has 7-16 triangular dorsal fins that make it look like a dragon. The pectoral fin is located where the lizard's legs are. The swim bladder is a primitive lung in which the fish stores air, which is necessary for adapting to life in swamps with low oxygen levels in the water. But even if the oxygen level in the water is sufficient, Polypterus ansorgii regularly ingests air from the water surface. Young fish have external gills that are clearly visible, but they disappear as they get older. The fish are able to survive up to two days in the air. Polypterus Ansorga has poor eyesight. The fish look for food by smell. The lower jaw has a pair of bony plates that the fish uses to crush food. Males differ from females in having a wider anal fin, which is about 2 times wider than the female's fin. Females are slightly larger than males and have a larger head. It should be noted that the sex differences are only apparent when the fish have reached a size of 15-20 cm in some sources, it is claimed that these are small fish, but this is not true. The size of fish in the wild is up to 90 cm.

Ansorga polypterus are predatory fish. They usually swim slowly and cautiously. They hide in hiding most of the time. They are most active at dusk. When keeping multiperov in the general aquarium with other fish in the neighbours to them to pick up only fish with at least 2/3 the size of Polypterus Ansorga, all that less will serve them as food. Do not keep Polypterus in the aquarium with cichlids. In this case, they will constantly hide in hiding and stop feeding.

Keep the fish in an aquarium of 400 liters. Numerous hideaways in the form of snags and rocks should be available. The perimeter of the aquarium should be planted with aquatic plants. Allow space in the aquarium for the fish to swim freely. The aquarium should be top-covered with a solid lid - the fish are very strong and able to lift the lid and climb through the small holes. Between the surface of the water and the lid must be air gap, so that Polypterus can take a breath of air.

Water parameters: temperature 25-28° C, hardness dH 2-12° acidity pH 5,5-7,0. The composition of the water is not critical if the weekly substitution of at least 1/3 of a fresh one. Quality water filtration is required. If the water quality is maintained at an appropriate level, the fish are virtually disease-free.

Polypterus ansorgii

The fish feel more comfortable in low light. This should be considered when planting the plants and select species that can thrive in these conditions.

Many aquarists manage to accustom the fish by giving them food by hand. But be careful - their dorsal fins are razor-sharp.

Their menus include bloodworms, shrimps, krill, squid meat, mussels, fish meat, earthworms and dry food.


Under natural conditions, Polypterus ansorgii reaches sexual maturity at about 5 years of age. Under aquarium conditions, the fish do not breed.

Life expectancy Polypterus ansorgii in aquarium conditions is about 10-15 years.

Polypterus ansorgii

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