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Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) CareSheet

The Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) is a big freshwater species endemic to several Southeast Asian nations and one of the most popular spiny eel species. This sluggish predator lives in slow-moving streams and is normally benign. It is distinguished by its olive green coloring and striking red-orange and yellow patterns. The Fire Eel has long been a favorite among fans of huge predators and unusual fish. It grows to a size that is pretty spectacular, yet it does not need the size of tank that many comparable large fish would necessitate if the aquarium is well-maintained.

The Fire Eel is largely nocturnal, and it needs driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places like PVC tubing to survive. It is not a very aggressive fish, but it will devour tiny fish and insects that qualify as food. It will typically avoid any tankmates who aren't visually similar to it. It should not be maintained with other spiny eels or other members of its own species, although it is not territorial with most other fish. It prefers to live in a fissure as its primary habitat. A big tank with low water flow, lots of floor space, and effective filtration is required for the Fire Eel. It favors a pH of 7.5 to 8.2.

Because fire eels are skilled escape artists that aren't scared to leave the water, a tight-fitting cover is required to keep them in the aquarium. If they get out of the tank, they usually die from a lack of moisture before succumbing to suffocation. If they are discovered before they have been out of the tank for an extended period of time, they should be returned to the aquarium and gently moved to try to restart their breathing and restore moisture to their bodies.

The Fire Eel has a simple feeding system. In the wild, it eats smaller fish and invertebrates, and it isn't picky when initially introduced to an aquarium. Live, frozen, and occasionally even dried carnivorous dishes may be supplied. In nature, it is omnivorous, but in the aquarium, it only consumes plant stuff on rare occasions. Instead, plant stuff such as spirulina may be added to its other foods.

Requirements for keeping Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

Temperature: 75° - 82° F (24° - 28° C)
pH: 6.0 - 7.0
Minimum tank size: 120+ gallons for an adult
Origin: Southeast Asia
Average adult size: Up to 36 inches

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