I'm getting a pet Lungfish!

Any other dopers keep one of these cool guys as a pet? A West African Grey to be exact, 8" juvenile… hope to pick him up from a shop in ATL when I go to a dopefest up there in August.

The tank should arrive in the next two days, got the substrate today, getting a Magnum 350 on Monday for about 30% off. Still deciding what to do about lighting… I could use a standard boring strip light or get 2 plant hangers and hang a shop light over the tank. The only thing that’d keep me from doing that is the fact that it’d throw way too much light all over the place and may make the small hallway where he’s going to live quite frighteningly bright.

Any advice?

It’s a really early, not-so-secret Christmas gift for my brother, who is also a doper.

Dude, lungfish are cool!

I have never had one as a pet, and I assume all I know about them, you already know. They grow quite large, nearly three feet, and are gifted escape artists.

They are also messy eaters. The tropical fish store I used to go to in my teens had an albino one (priced at $1000) for years. Once, to amuse me, they fed it large goldfish. FEH. Now, I had oscars and Jack Dempseys at the time–I was no stranger to live feeding. But…well, oscars and JDs eat them whole. Goldfish gets sucked in, a few scales get spit out, the end. The lungfish, I swear, chewed his food. That poor fish was sucked it, chopped up, spit out partially (back onto the lungfish’s “lips”), sucked in, chopped up, etc. until there was just a mushy mess of orange-gold scales and eyeballs. FEH again, I say.

As far as lighting, the lungfish at the store didn’t need any. They kept him in the large open tanks under the display tanks (shallow water, too) and he had no light. Didn’t seem to faze him. So…just whatever works for you will be fine for him.

How much did you pay for him, if you don’t mind my asking? And how big is your tank?

4818 foot print w/ a water depth of about 12-15" (20" deep tank) to help keep him IN the tank…he may get upgraded to a 7224 tank or larger later down the road… an 8" juvenile is about $50. Your local shop must’ve had an Australian, which is a rare and protected species, and it being an albino made it even rarer. Yeah, they eat like turtles, very messy.

I’ve already named him “Legs”.

Make sure that he or she doesn’t escape into the local ecosystem.

I’m not kidding here. Even if you hate every other post I’ve written, just trust me here. Do not take on that fish. I now own 4 baby pirhanas. Previously I had 3 adults. Before that I had 2 tanks with the razor-demons in one and Oscars in the other. I started a 3rd tank with a lungfish. Biggest mistake I ever made with fish.

Those bastard exist solely to find a way out of the tank. I shit you not. You have to be vigilant in keeping them in. And if you spend 24 hours a day watching the tank, they’ll wait. Yes, they know you have to sleep. They’ll wait. And you will eventually sleep. That’s when it’s “go-time” for them. They’ll find a way out.

Please trust me, do not get this fish. It isn’t worth it.