About Fire Eels
Fire eels are a fresh water aquarium fish that belong to the spiny eel family. These are tropical fish that resemble eels, but are not really a member of the eel family. If you are a beginner, the fire eel is probably not a good choice until you become more experienced with taking care of tropical fish.
Fire eels can grow very large and therefore need large tanks. This fish can grow to 39 inches as an adult so the minimum tank size is 180 gallons. It is also important to be aware of the fact that these fish are particularly sensitive to changes in the water, especially if you add medications to the tank. Due to the fact that these fish can easily injure themselves on gravel or sharp rocks, it is probably better to use sand in a tank where you keep fire eels.
Having sand instead of gravel is particularly important because of the fact that fire eels tend to burrow. If you do keep them in a gravel tank they will constantly receive scratch injuries that can lead to bacterial infections. Also, due to the fact that these fish burrow, it may be difficult to keep plants in your tank, as the fire eel will constantly uproot them.
Another tank consideration when you own fire eels is the top; these fish are known for jumping out of the tank so you will want to make sure that you have the tank securely covered. As far as tank mates, it is not recommended that you keep these fish with other eels, as they will fight. They generally do best when they are kept in a community tank with similarly sized fish, as long as the other fish are not too aggressive. Fire eels are shy fish, but will eventually come and swim around, but primarily at night.
Due to the fact that fire eels are such unique fish, caring for them may take some getting accustomed to. When you first introduce the fire eel to your tank it may not eat; this can go on for several days and even weeks. With this fish being a night feeder, wait until the evening when you have turned off the tank lights to feed them. Over time you might be able to adjust their feeding schedule. It is important that you not over feed a fire eel, as they will eat until they become ill and die.
Although it is possible to breed fire eels, it isn’t easy so this is often left to professional breeders. If you do decide to try and breed this fish you will need a tank of several hundred gallons because of the size of the adult fire eel.
When it comes to feeding a fire eel they usually do best when fed bloodworms and night crawlers. As this fish grows it may begin eating tank mates, which is why it is important that you not introduce small fish to the tank with the fire eel.
Fire eels are a fun and unique fish, and if they are kept under the right conditions they are a hardy species. One of the reasons why this fish is so popular is that they do tend to have some very unique personalities; some owners are even known to be able to feed their fire eel by hand.
Although these fish are fun, as well as beautiful additions to any tank, you’ll want to educate yourself on their needs before you try to keep your own.