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The Fire Eel is a very popular and beautifully marked large species that is a fascinating fish for the large predator aquarium!
The Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) is a large freshwater species that is native to many countries in Southeast Asia and is one of the most popular members of the spiny eel family. This generally peaceful predator inhabits slow-moving waterways and is largely sedentary. It is best known for its olive green overall coloration as well as its distinctive red-orange and yellow markings. The Fire Eel is a longtime favorite among many enthusiasts of large predators and oddball fish. It does attain a very impressive size, but does not require quite the enormous size of aquarium that many comparably sized fish would require provided that the aquarium is very well-maintained.
The Fire Eel is primarily nocturnal and requires driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places such as PVC tubing. It is not a particularly aggressive fish, but it will eat fish and invertebrates that are small enough to be considered prey. It will generally ignore all other tankmates that are not similar in appearance. It generally should not be kept with others of its own species or other spiny eels, but is not territorial with most other fish. It will typically inhabit a crevice as its main territory. The Fire Eel requires a large aquarium with low water flow, plenty of floor space, and powerful filtration. It prefers low to neutral pH.
Fire eels are master escape artists that are not afraid to leave the water, so a tight-fitting lid is necessary to prevent them from escaping the aquarium. If they escape the aquarium, they will often die from lack of moisture before suffocating. If they are found before being outside of the aquarium for too long, they can be returned to the aquarium and moved gently in an attempt to restart their breathing and return moisture to their bodies.
Feeding is easy for the Fire Eel. It feeds on smaller fish and invertebrates in the wild, and it is typically not finicky when first introduced to the aquarium. It can be offered live, frozen and sometimes even dry meaty foods. It is omnivorous in nature, but rarely eats plant matter in the aquarium. Instead, its other food items can be enriched with plant matter such as spirulina.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Distinctive coloration
- Fully freshwater
- Exceptional oddball fish
- Impressive size
- Compatible with many other large fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 75° - 82° F (24° - 28° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.0
- KH: 5 - 12 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 120+ gallons for an adult
- Diet: Omnivorous. Requires a variety of meaty live, frozen, and dry foods., which should be enriched with vegetable matter.
- Social behavior: Peaceful with dissimilar species too large to be considered prey
- Origin: Southeast Asia
Average adult size: Up to 36 inches (100 cm)
Average purchase size: 3+ inches (7.5+ cm)
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