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Macrognathus siamensis
Spot-Finned Spiny Eel, Peacock Eel

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Spot-Finned Spiny Eel - Macrognathus siamensis

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I've found that the spiny eels are my favourite fish so far. They poke their heads out of their little hidy holes and keep an eye on everyone else's business, then when the lights go out they come out and go in search of little fish and other mouth size prey! I have had a few jump out on me before, so beware of those cut corners of the aquarium lids for the air pipe lines and heater cords to travel out. I have a little 10 cm and a 20 cm eel living together in harmony, they don't attack each other at all. I've heard other people have had difficulty. I also find if you have nippy fish, like convicts and kribs, the eels tend to lead secretive lives. But if living with placid, less picky fish like angels and discus they are very happy, scooting along the bottom on top of the gravel. Overall, I think these fish are truly amazing and eye catching.

Contributed by Joe Turner

I have a 30 cm Spiny Eel, I think it's a peacock or perhaps what I've heard referred to as spotted spiny eel. I've had it for 8 years now, since it was about 5 cm long. I feed mostly frozen bloodworms, but it loves earthworms and earwigs and will take flies on occasion. It won't touch the big wolf spiders, but I had an African Butterfly that would devour them :) The Eel will also eat ghost shrimp, snails and any small neon type fish that end up in the tank. It's fun to watch it hunt, it is really smooth and stealthy and coils its neck to strike live food like a snake. One time I bought a 10 cm crayfish with big pinchers, thinking it could easily defend itself. Well that lasted about 1 week and Hector the Eel had himself a lobster dinner! It is peaceful with the other fish in the tank, and surprisingly has never eaten the resident cinnamon loach who has lived in the tank for longer than the eel (9 years) but is only 8 cm long and half the size of the earthworms I feed the eel. But it leaves the loach alone, I guess they must be buddies! The eel is very friendly and will eat from my hand readily. It will follow you around the tank and is very curious in general. But it is an escape artist. It used to go into the filter to finish off the remaining snail population and then, at one point, it started leaving the tank. Both times, oddly enough, when I was out of the city and had roomates watch the tank. Each time the eel was estimated to have been out of tank for 45 minutes to an hour, and the tank is a 1 meter drop to the floor! Each time the eel was found covered in dust and dried out, but 8 years later it still lives! Guess it just has a desire to explore the world when I leave, or perhaps its looking for me...

Contributed by Mike

I have had my two Peacock Eels for about 3 and 4 months now. I originally bought one on it's own and then another to keep him company. The first eel's condition was poor and worsened until he seemed to have starved himself to death, while the second eel very quickly settled in the tank and has easily doubled in size. In an effort to give my successful eel a friend I purchased another peacock eel. He is still in good health today, but again not growing anywhere near as fast. They are both reasonably active, however and will not even look at food unless it is alive, so here in Australia black worms seem to be the most readily available food to suit my eels. They are overall the most interesting part of my community where they are housed with Clown Loaches, Bristlenose, Dwarf Gourami, Harlequins and Neons. If they are not fed sufficiently, I do notice the small fish popluation seems to drop very quickly!

Contributed by Melanie Quinton

This eel's got a character. It is my favorite fish in the aquarium. I keep him with 1 Bolivian Cichlid, 1 Cockatoo Cichlid, some Emperor and Black Widow Tetras, and 5 Bronze Corydoras. he gets along well with everyone, especially he loves to play with the Corydoras. He always swims all over the aquarium and at night he snuggles in the gravel with his head pointing up. I hand feed him frozen blood worms once every 2 days. The eel always dances around near the front of my aquarium whenever new people come and take a look. It's bubbly personality is a great addition to my aquarium.

Contributed by Chris Liando

My peacock eel stayed hidden most of the time. Originally I used sand substrate, but this was too hard to keep clean, so I switched to larger gravel and gave it a cave instead. Eventually it grew big enough to bury itself in the gravel. It ate bloodworms and only came out at night. You really need to have a secure tank for these guys, as they do like to climb out. Try as I might to cover all open areas in the lid, my eel eventually found a gap and ended up on my floor. I'd had it for two years and it grew to be about 25 cm long.

Contributed by Karen Trinkaus

My tire track eel is definitely the highlight of my tank. When I first got him he just hid in a rock and never came out until I hand fed him an earth worm. Now he is the most energetic thing in my tank. He is the most friendly thing. When I approach the tank he's at the top waiting for me. It's funny when I clean the tank because he's always trying to get in my hand. Apparently my hand has what he wants all the time! I recommend these to any tank. Within 6 months my eel is almost 30 cm long. He gets along great with my big Texas cichlid.

Contributed by Tim Sawyer

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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