If you want an unusual fish, this is it. I have one that is a little over 30 cm long. I taught it to eat Night Crawlers (earth worms) from my hand. I tap twice on the top of the tank and it comes up to receive its food. It also lets me pet (stroke) it. I wrap my hand around it and stroke the whole body. It is a wonderful pet.
Very interesting species, not for the beginner though. Fire Eels are a bit delicate for most fish, and Fire Eels must be fed live black worms, but this will be very difficult, because your other fish will tend to eat all the black worms before the Fire Eels find the worms. One thing is for sure, you should definately have at least 2 pieces of piping. Eels are all escape artists so their aquarium must have a cover without escape holes, or they will escape for sure. If your tank cover has holes, cut pieces of plastic from a plastic milk carton. Be sure the pieces are clean, then tape them over the holes in your cover. Even better, get an Eclipse 1, 2, or 3 Aquarium Hood for your aquarium. The Eclipses leave no holes for your Eels to jump through.
WOW I love these guys! They are some of the most active fish out there. He swims as I move around the tank and he will let me hold him and hand feed him. It is really neat! I have never had a fish that would let me do this. They do need live food and also a variation of frozen foods. Over all they are a great type of eel.
I have had a fire eel for a few months now and I love him. I keep him with some Tangs and Malawi's and he is fine. He is very active even in the day and is even hand fed! He is extremely friendly and playful, but beware, they require special attention when it comes to feeding. I got lucky and got him eating from live ghost shrimp to frozen krill. All in all, an awesome fish for large tanks.
My eel is very peaceful and friendly to the community tank. It eats frozen brine shrimp or blood worms. My eel usually likes to hide and sleep in a sea shell. It is very graceful, but make sure you put in many plants, rocks, or drift wood for it to hide in. Just be sure that the fish you already have are compatible with the fire eel before you purchase one. I keep my eel with gouramis, tetras, danios, silver dollars, and an algae eater that is 30 cm long and my fire eel won't bother them a bit. After a day or two my eel will felt at ease and started coming out. It will swim like a regular fish once in a while, it's interesting to watch and observe. But mostly it swims gracefully around the bottom of the tank eating particles of food that it finds. Mine has been doing fine so far in a 225 L tank. I do not recommend this eel for beginners.
These are rare spiny eels! They are quite common in SE Asia, but not North America. I think that they may have a very low survival rate during the shipping process to North America. I saw a few of them for sale in a local pet shop, but they were not doing that great at all (I think that they were all dead within a week or two)! They are also very expensive. I'd love to buy and keep one, but I have to wait for the right batch.