which spiny eel is best for me?

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which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by synodontisjack on Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:16 pm

made this sticky on mfk, thought id share it with you guys:

Just thought id share a bit of advice on those considering to get a spiny eel to help them to decide whch one.

Spiny eels are a great group of fish to keep, they range in sizes from the 6" zig zag eel to the 1m fire eel!. One thing in common with all spiny eels is thta they have great charachter and many will learn to recognise their owner and become tame enough to take food from hand.

The first thing to take into account when purchasing a spiny eel is tank size as if you own a tank with a footprint of 72"x30" or more then you might want to consider the larger mastacembelus eels such as the fire or tire track eel. But even if your tank is as small as 24"x12" then the smaller macrognathus eels may fit your bill with the zig zag reaching no more than 6". It is imortant to mention that all spiny eels prefer a soft sand substrate as they may be cut by gravel when burrowing. All spiny eels are notoriously difficult to ween onto flake/pellet food and should be started with foods such as frozen bloodworm, daphnia, brineshrimp and earthworms. The larger species will also relish foods such as lancefish, cockles, muscles and prawns.

Here is a quick review of the most common spiny eels available in your lfs:

Peacock eel (macrognathus siamensis)
Max size: 12" (8" more common)
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 7.5
min tank size: 36"x 12"
temperment: peacefull
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth such as male endlers.
Other notes: This species is friendly to other macrognathus eel and is relitivley cheap thus making a great eel to start with.

zig zag eel (macrognathus circumcinctus)
Max size: 6"- 8"
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 7.5
min tank size: 24"x12"
temperment: peacefull
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth (generaly just other fish fry as is not large enough to swallow adults.)
Other notes: costing around twice as much as the peacock eel this fish is still relitivley cheap and is great for those with smaller tanks. lives with other macrognathus.

Macrognathus pancalus
Max size: 8"
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 7.5
min tank size: 30"x12"
temperment: peacefull
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth (normally only very small)
Other notes: costs a similiar price to the peacock eel but is seen in the shops less often it is a great species as it grows larger than the zig zags but smaller than the peacock so is great for the medium sized tank.

Macrognathus aral
Max size: 24" (18" is more realistic)
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 7.5
min tank size: 48"x 20"
temperment: semi- aggresive
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth (anything larger than an adult platty should be safe but it is safer to get tankmates larger than this)
Other notes: this is the largest member of the macrognathus genus growing a similar size to the smaller mastacambelus eels, will tolerate other macrognathus but to a lesser extent than the smaller members.

Tire track eel (mastacembelus armatus)
Max size: 24" - 30"
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 8
min tank size: 72"x 30"
temperment: semi- aggresive
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth so avoid fish under 6"
Other notes: this is probably the most aggresive spiny eel mentioned on this list although not growing as large as the fire eel it will take larger prey. It is best to avoid keeping with other mastacembelus eels, it has been done but is not reccomended, keep 1 specimen to a tank.

Fire eel (mastacembelus erythrotaenia)
Max size: 30" - 36"
preferred temp: 24-28 degrees celcius
preferred ph: 6- 8
min tank size: 72"x 30"
temperment: semi- aggresive
Tankmates: avoid anything small enough to fit in mouth so avoid fish under 4"
Other notes: It is best to avoid keeping with other mastacembelus eels, it has been done but is not reccomended, keep 1 specimen to a tank. This is the largest mastacembelid and is best left to those with very large tanks.

If you have any other questions or want to keep an eel not on this list drop me a pm and ill help you best i can.
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by oscarcrazy on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:27 pm

Awesome article, saw it on mfk. Great info starter here also.

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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by synodontisjack on Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:21 am

Thanks, i've got one on sturgeon but im not sure where to put it
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Edieharper on Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:24 am

yes great thread some really helpful info there, sorry i forgot to make a coldwater fish section my bad ill make one for you Wink
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Oscar n redtail cat on Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:49 am

go monster have a fire eel
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Edieharper on Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:53 am

i was thinking of getting an eel maybe a moray eel or fire eel?
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by synodontisjack on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:15 am

fire eels are pretty cool, ive owned all the eels in this thread, if i get my way ill be going to Britains aquatic superstore tomorow apparently they have a new unidentified species of mastacembelus if so im getting one.
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Edieharper on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:18 am

cool ! Wink
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by synodontisjack on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:26 am

hoping to pick up a few polypterus as well which will be good, last time i went they had little 4" wallago leeri which were pretty cute a t that size.
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Oscar n redtail cat on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:39 am

get it an when is ge ts 2 big ill have it off u (buy it of cause) Wink
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by synodontisjack on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:46 am

neither of us have room for wallago's plus it might eat some of my beloved poly's when it gets bigger.
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Re: which spiny eel is best for me?

Post by Oscar n redtail cat on Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:33 am

i will when the pond is built Wink ive got some monsters hopefuly getting 2 more rtc at 8" and 14" and a 38"-40" rtc :O yes off this bloke with an 8ft by 4ft by 3.5ft for cheap or free i dont no lol with pacu and a gg !
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