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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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