West African lungfish 14"
Protopterus annectens ssp.
West African lungfish (WAL)
Protopterus annectens annectens:
Africa: Senegal, Niger, Gambia, Volta and Chad basins, also in temporary tributaries of Chari River in Western Sudan; Bandama and Comoé basins in Côte d'Ivoire and certain basins of Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Protopterus annectens brieni:
Africa: Upper Congo River (Luapula), middle and lower Zambezi basin and all east coast rivers south to the Limpopo River; Upper Cubango and Okavango system; Lake Rukwa. Has been translocated to additional sites in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
This lungfish is able to aestivate and is an obligate air-breather which means that it must breathe air in order to survive.
40″ (100cm). It is usually smaller in aquaria, but is still easily capable of achieving a length of over 30″.
P. a. annectens are common in the pet trade while P. a. brieni appear to be much harder to find in the trade.
A standard 100 gallon aquarium will be sufficient for housing the average adult West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens ssp.) for life. Please remember that these aquarium sizes are just the recommended minimums and a larger aquarium will certainly be appreciated by your lungfish.
West African lungfish are insensitive to most water conditions. One does not have to have much, if any, aeration as they are obligate air-breathers. A moderate pH is recommended, though others (whether notably low or high) can be tolerated. Remember to keep up on water changes and have abundant filtration in order to deal with the excessive waste left over by these large fish.
West African lungfish are best kept alone because they have a nasty habit of injuring/killing/eating their tankmates. It is also noteworthy that West African lungfish should not be kept with their own kind (one per aquarium).
West African lungfish are not very picky fishes, so they can be fed a variety of foods, and they must have a varied diet that is both rich in proteins and plant matter. They should be fed mostly proteins on a regular basis with plant matter being offered occasionally. The plant matter helps to prevent lateral line erosion on the head of the lungfish, so be sure to include at least algae wafers in the lungfish’s diet. Acceptable food items include shrimp, fish fillets, whole fish, earthworms, sinking pellets (Massivore, etc.), algae wafers, and various nontoxic vegetables such as cucumber.
Young lungfishes should be fed daily or multiple times daily, if desired; older lungfishes can be fed every other day or even more infrequently (every three days), if desired. No matter what your feeding schedule consists of, let the lungfish eat as much as it wants and do not leave much, if any, leftover food in the aquarium after feeding.