17cm - 20cm
The Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) is a fascinating and visually striking species that is popular among aquarium enthusiasts. Here's some information about Fire Eels:
Appearance: Fire Eels have an elongated and snake-like body shape, which can reach a length of up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) or more when fully grown. They have a dark, velvety black body with striking orange, red, or yellow lateral stripes that run the length of their body. These vibrant stripes give them their distinctive "fire" appearance.
Behavior: Fire Eels are primarily nocturnal and spend much of their time hiding among plants, rocks, or driftwood in the aquarium. They are peaceful and generally non-aggressive, making them suitable for community aquariums. However, they may show territorial behavior towards their own species, so it's best to keep them as the sole representative of their kind in the tank.
Tank Setup: Fire Eels require a spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and areas to explore. They prefer a soft sandy substrate to burrow into, as well as driftwood, rocks, and live plants to mimic their natural habitat. A securely fitted lid is essential as Fire Eels are excellent jumpers. The water should be clean and well-filtered, with regular water changes to maintain water quality.
Water Parameters: Fire Eels thrive in tropical freshwater conditions. They prefer a temperature range of 24-30 degrees Celsius (75-86 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. It's important to provide them with good water circulation and ensure the tank is adequately oxygenated.
Feeding: Fire Eels are carnivorous and primarily eat meaty foods. They are opportunistic feeders and will readily accept a variety of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, small fish, and blackworms. It's important to ensure they receive a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs. They may also accept high-quality sinking pellets or tablets.
Compatibility: Fire Eels can be kept with larger, peaceful tank mates that are not small enough to be seen as prey. They should not be housed with aggressive or fin-nipping species. It's best to choose tank mates that inhabit different levels of the aquarium to avoid competition for territory.
Care Considerations: Fire Eels are sensitive to water conditions and require pristine water quality. They are prone to stress-related diseases if kept in poor water conditions, so regular monitoring of water parameters and maintenance is essential. It's important to provide them with a well-established and matured aquarium with stable water parameters.
Fire Eels are captivating and unique additions to a well-maintained aquarium. With their striking appearance and intriguing behavior, they can become a centerpiece in your aquatic setup. However, it's crucial to ensure you have the proper tank size, appropriate tank mates, and a commitment to maintaining high water quality to provide them with the best possible care.