Eels

 
  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Large
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Bottom
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Loaches, Plecos, Black Ghost Knifefish, Bichirs
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care

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Eels are one of the more fascinating species of fish in the aquarium trade. They are characterized by their long bodies and snake-like heads. Like catfish, most species of eels do not have scales. Their bodies are covered instead in soft, mucus covered skins. Eels are also unique in that they do not have separated dorsal and pelvic fins. Instead, their fins merge together with their tails to form a continuous fin ridge along their bodies.

Eels are one of the more fascinating species of fish in the aquarium trade.

Eels are found across the world in rivers, lakes and estuaries. Most species return to the ocean to spawn.

Eels come in shades of brown, yellow, grey, silver and black.

eels-1While a relatively hardy species of fish able to survive in a wide array of aquarium conditions, eels aren’t recommended for beginner aquarists. For one, most species of aquarium eels can grow over 3 feet in length and require extremely large aquariums or outdoor ponds.

Most eels are bottom dwellers and prefer aquariums with soft substrate like sand, smooth gravel or peat. Many species even enjoy burrowing deep into the substrate and this should be taken into account when setting up the eel aquarium. Most species of eel are nocturnal and enjoy dimly lit aquariums with plenty of hiding places. Aquarists can use rocks and driftwood to create caves and hiding places in which the eels can hide in. Eels are however very active swimmers and also require large open swimming spaces.

Different species of eel vary in temperament and should be carefully researched before purchase. Some species of eel are extremely aggressive and are best in species aquariums. There are however relatively peaceful species of eels that can be kept with large, non-aggressive tank mates. Almost all eels are however opportunistic predators and will eat any fish that they can fit in their mouths.

Eels are carnivorous and can be fed on a range of live and frozen foods like shrimp, small crustaceans, mosquito larvae, tubifex worms and bloodworms.

While a relatively hardy species of fish able to survive in a wide array of aquarium conditions, eels aren’t recommended for beginner aquarists.

It is virtually unheard of for eels to breed in the home aquarium.

Black spotted eel, Electric Eel, Fire Eel, Peacock Eel, Tire Track Eel, Zig Zag Eel, etc.

Photo credit: Llandor/Wikimedia; Adolsomee/Wikimedia


Other Fish

Go to Ram Cichlids

Ram Cichlids

  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Community/Non-Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Mid-Range
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Other Small Cichlids, South American community species
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly
Go to Eels

Eels

  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Large
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Bottom
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Loaches, Plecos, Black Ghost Knifefish, Bichirs
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care