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Mastacembelus erythrotaenia
Fire Eel

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Fire Eel - Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

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Mastacembelus_erythrotaenia_4.jpg (20kb)
Photo Credit: Robin Thomsen

I finally purchased a 30 cm Fire Eel at a LFS for $35 as an addition to my 380 liter Cichlid tank. I was told I wouldn't be able to find one cheaper than $50, so it was a deal I couldn't pass up. So far so good...most of my fish (paired Oscars, Jack Dempseys, a Green Terror and a Texas Cichlid) gaze upon it with a curious look on their face, in exception of the Green Terror who chases it away every time it comes in her territory. It shares a few caves with a Black Ghost Knife and is a rather fascinating addition to my tank.

Contributed by Dale Tyler

I had a fire eel for many years. To help them live long healthy lives you should feed them more than brine shrimp or bloodworms. These are large bodied fish and need more meaty foods like earthworms and ghost shrimp. I had mine in a tank with sand on the bottom and plants like java fern and anubias (plants that are tied to other objects). I also used to raise young guppies and angelfish in the tank with him and he never once took one, even though at the time he was 35 cm long. Keep them well fed on the shrimp and worms and they will leave fish alone...

Contributed by Barbara

A buddy of mine gave me a fire eel of his for my office tank when he broke down his tank at home. He was visible for about 3 days, then he disappeared until today (3 months later). Well, I found where he has been living...he has been swimming upstream into my filter and living up in there. Today I lifted the cover off to check my biological filter and, much to my suprise and disbelief, his face was looking up at me.

Contributed by Zac Henneman

I have two of these in my 400 L tank. I think they are fantastic. I have fine sand in there with two hollow logs they love to hide in. I have many plants which they can up root, but I find if you place the plants smartly, they tend to stay in place. My eels are about 30 cm, ones slightly longer and fatter than the other. They are fine with other fish: I have discus, reed fish, angels, tetras, bettas, platies, gouramis, albino rainbow shark, silver sharks, pleco, and a small ghost knife. They bother none of them, just each other sometimes. I feed them bloodworms and frozen cooked peeled prawns, they love prawns! I used to have these in a 100 L tank, I don't recommend that. I soon realised I'd need something bigger!

Contributed by Chris Hughes

I have had 3 fire eels over the past 25 years. They all seemed to love earth worms. The one I have now I bought at about 8-10 cm. now it's about 23-25 cm in about a year. Now eating 2-3 trout worms, once to twice a week. Along with brine shrimp I feed the discus and ghost knife. Be careful, I lost one when it tried to swim up the filter cascade and missed. Didn't survive the fall.

Contributed by Richard St.Hilaire

I have a 95 cm Fire Eel and she is the best. She poses and comes out to see the customers in the club that I run. She mainly likes to come out at night when there are more people around and when she does, she does a dance for everone.

Contributed by Toni Smith
Fire Eel Comment

The reason I got into fish was because I saw a fire eel and it was my second fish I bought when I found a good healthy one. It was only 3 cm long and I put it in a 1200 L tank. I thought I'd never see it again, but I still have it after a year. It's now 30 cm and eats out of my hand. I feed him beef/lamb heart. I chop it up into tiny bits freeze it, then chop bits off that I can hand feed. It loves that and so does my first fish, the black ghost knife. My third fish was a gold nugget plec. Everyone loves it and no losses yet after 2 years.

Contributed by Cara Maxwell

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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