Animal Stories - Freshwater Eels


Animal-World info on Peacock Eel
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JT - 2010-04-05
The fish in the picture is not a peacock eel, it is a tire track eel (Mastacembelus armatus) which can potentially grow to more than 36 inches. I have one with a very similar pattern that is currently about 13 inches and still growing at about an inch per month.

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-04-05
    Actually, the one pictured is a Peacock Eel, though not an overly pronounced eye spot pattern. This is probably because of its age. It is still doing well, and is now about 18 years old and it is about 10" long.

    Its common name the 'Peacock' Eel is derived from the approximately 3 to 6 ocelli or 'eyespots' found along the base of the dorsal fin. This fish will only reach about 10" (25 cm).

    Due to yours already being 13" long, it is more likely a Tire Track or a Zig Zag Eel.

    The Tire Track Eel has a series of irregular dark markings along the entire length of its body, reaching from the top of its back down to its belly. And yes, the Tire Track Eel can reach up to 35 inches (90 cm).

    The Zig Zag Eel is patterned with a series of irregular dark markings, but the pattern is only on the upper two thirds of the body leaving the lower portion mostly plain. It also grows up to 35 inches (90 cm).
  • JT - 2010-04-19
    I know for a fact that it is not a peacock eel. I guess it is possible that it has some type of dwarfism (though I am doubtful that this is the case), but at that age it should be around 36"+. btw, tire tracks can get to more than 35 inches, I have seen them up to 40 inches. Anyway, if you don't want to believe me, then I guess that's fine, but I have solid proof that it is a tire track eel, like I said before, mine is at 13 inches and has almost the exact same patterns, there is just a bit more of a zig-zag pattern to it, but it still has the spots where the zig-zags should be and lacks any pattern on the lower 2/3 of the body- this is actually a very common pattern fo tire track eels, I have seen many with the same pattern that have been up to 28 inches and still growing, so there is no way you can tell me that they were not tire tracks. If you are interested in finding out for sure (since you don't seem to believe me) then I would reccomend joining monsterfishkeepers.com, which is a very large forum with many experienced members including a few that have degrees in marine biology and other fish/aquatic animal related majors, and I know that there are quite a few members on there who have many years of experience with spiny eels. btw, if you do decide to become a member there, you can look at my profile (my username is drgnfrc13) which includes multiple pictures of my eel so you can compare it to your eel and see that I am giving you correct information. The main reason I am so concerned about the proper identification of your fish is because this is an informational website that I know a lot of people who are new to the fish keeping hobby view to decide what fish they can keep in their tanks, and I don't want them to see this then see a fish just like it at the lfs and buying it for their ten gallon, then have it suddenly outgrow their tank within a year. I have seen far too many 20 inch fish in 12 inch wide tanks owned by people who were told they would only grow to "x" amount of inches. So please look into it, false information is worse than no information at all.
  • Editor's Note - 2010-05-04
    Thanks again for your input and concern. Your care and description information fits the Tire Track Eel very well.

    The information on this page is only about the Peacock Eel or Spot-Finned Spiny Eel, Macrognathus siamensis. These fish only reach about 11.8 inches (30 cm) in length.

    Regarding the picture, I can only tell you that the fish pictured did have the much more pronounced 'peacock' patterning when it was young. Its patterning has faded with age, yet its size is true to the species. We would love to get a picture of a specimen with a more pronounced 'peacock' patterning.
  • Hayden - 2010-09-01
    You're wrong. It is a peacock eel. It's just not a striped peacock eel. Tiretrack eels are darker in color and do not have spots, but have a pattern that somewhat resembles a tires track.. do your research before you try to outsmart one of the most informational aquarium websites.
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Animal-World info on Ocellated Spiny Eel
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Forest - 2010-03-08
i was wondering if a spiny eel would eat smaller fish like Guppies or tetras. if you have an answer comment please

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  • stephen lindsay - 2010-08-12
    Hello,
    A small spiny eel would eat baby fish but unless bigger than half a foot it is unlikely that decent sized guppies or tetras would be gorged.
    Thank-you.
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Animal-World info on Half-banded Spiny Eel
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Ethan - 2009-02-25
I have 1 zig zag eel in my 20 gal. fish tank. It is extremely cool. He is a very peaceful pet. I love him [well I think it's a him] very much. He usally hides in a hole in the log in my tank but once in a while he will come out and swim a little, also sometimes he will bury himself in the gravel. And you will never believe what he does, he acually changes his color, he goes from tan with a brown stripe to very light tan. He used to eat frozen blood worms from my hand. He is 5 ins. long. He loves frozen blood worms. He is in my tank with a upside down cat fish, special and rare african red eyed tetra [niger tetra], juli corydoras cat fish, 2 juvenile silver dollars, some kind of 1in. long tetra that looks a little like a black neon tetra (the guy at the pet store said it was a black neon tetra and since he is alone he changed his color but that can not be true), a rare large 3in. long gold barb, and a dwarf african clawed frog. I was planning on getting a lot more fish but I wanted to get a red lined torpedo barb[rose line shark]or 2. I have had my eel for about 2 yrs. I would definitely recommend zig zag eels.

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  • brandon - 2010-08-02
    Does he ever try to eat any of them? Please reply! Urgent!
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Animal-World info on Peacock Eel
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Craig Jensen - 2010-07-11
I brought about a 7in. peacock eel home from work about a month ago. I put him in a 55 gallon tank with a couple young female Jack Dempseys, a young male Electric blue Jack Dempsey, a small high fin pleco and 2 young clown loaches. Since the JDs are still small I use this tank to grow out some plants and my eel loves them. It especially loves to lay between a log and large bunch of hornwort when its not swimming all over the tank or enjoying one of the many caves. This is eel is a great fish and my especially is not shy. Needless to say it is fast becoming one of my favorite fish.
-note- I do know how large my loaches and pleco will become. As a responsible fish keeper I have already have plans for them to get moved into a bigger tank as they start to outgrow this one.

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Animal-World info on Black Spotted Eel
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spector - 2010-07-06
This eel is amazing. Nice temperment and very communal as long as he is properly fed. I feed mine a combo of frozen brine shrimp and blood worms. I currently have him in with a painted turtle an emperor shark, Mayan catfish, and a common pleco and everyone seems to get along. Just keep the eel with big fish, bigger than his mouth and make sure they are somewhat aggressive

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Animal-World info on Zig Zag Eel
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alex - 2010-07-02
My friend has a zig zag eel and he/she seems to got what looks like little bites on half way down its body now it appears to be lying either on its side or upside down can anyone tell me whether it will be fatal or what we can do we have grown attached to it and would hate to lose it it has been fine for near a year please help ;

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Animal-World info on Peacock Eel
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dylan - 2010-06-06
Don't worry I have two striped peacock eels and they don't get out in my 55gallon tank trust me but they do disappear for a wile like in the sand or rock and won't see them for months on end but they show up after awhile.

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Animal-World info on Zig Zag Eel
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ZK - 2010-05-15
My Mom and I have a ZigZag Eel it is thriving, but sometimes we get worried, we need and like websites like this because it tells us how to care for our eel.

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Animal-World info on Ocellated Spiny Eel
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jessie - 2010-04-08
I think eels are so cute! I think people should like them more. It's not like they are going to bite you or something.... you should look them up and then decide if you like them or not, but if don't still well then can't change your mind. :)

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Animal-World info on Zig Zag Eel
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james - 2010-03-23
How long dose it take for eels to hit their max size ?
plz reply to Godschild37@hotmail.com

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