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Fire Eel
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

Fire Eel

Quick Stats:   Fire Eel

Family: Mastacembelidae
Range: Southeast Asia
Size: Up to 24 inches
Diet: Carnivore
Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Plants, driftwood, sand substrate
Tank Conditions: 75-82°F; pH 6.8-7.2; dH 10-15
Minimum Tank Capacity: 50 gallon
Light: Medium
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Swimming Level: Bottom
Care Level: Moderate
Reproduction: Egg Layer

The Fire Eel is a nocturnal predator and a member of the Mastacembelidae family, also referred to as the Spiny Eel family. Members of this family are not true eels. They are elongated, tropical, freshwater fish that have numerous spines preceding the dorsal fin.

Best suited for a larger species aquarium, a soft substrate is necessary for this fish. The Fire Eel will often dig in the substrate and bury itself; this may uproot plants and rearrange decorations. A tight lid should be used for any long, slender fish, as they will often try to escape from the aquarium. It will not tolerate tank mates of its own species.

Unfortunately, the breeding habits of the Fire Eel have not been documented.

A carnivore, live foods such as earthworms and black worms should be fed to the Fire Eel. Prepared tablet foods as well as krill and ocean plankton may eventually be accepted.

Ideal tank mates include: Similar sized fish (miscellaneous fish) with similar care level and aggression.

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