Fire Eel

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Species group:

Other common names: Fire Spiny Eel

Scientific name: Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

The basics:
The Fire Eel is found in slow moving streams and rivers throughout Southeast Asia. They are a bottom-dwelling eel and feed on small fish, invertebrates and plant matter. Fire Eels typically do well in community tanks, though they will try to eat smaller fish. They do not tolerate other Fire Eels and therefore, are best kept singly. Fire Eels are good pets, showing affection to their owners and allowing hand feeding.

The Fire Eel has an elongated dark brown body with a grey belly. They have bright red lateral stripes and spot marks on the body. The anal, pectoral, and dorsal fins have a red edging making this Eel distinguishable. The fish has a pointed snout with an underslung mouth. The caudal fin forms an extended tail.

8-36 inches

This fish is considered to be semi-aggressive, with no smaller tankmates that are likely to be eaten. They may be kept in community tanks where there are medium to large sized fish.

The Fire Spiny Eel prefers a 30-gallon tank with a smooth gravel substrate that is at least 1/4th inch thick. A tight tank cover is essential since these Eels are jumpers. The tank should be decorated with a piece of pipe or cave in which they can hide and seek refuge from predators. To mimic its natural habitat, the tank should be well planted, complete with floating vegetation.

75.00-82.00 °F


71.420-107.140 mg/L


amazing looking eel, beautiful spiny eel, favourite freshwater fish


eat small fish, good sturdy lid


good hiding places, soft sand substrate, jumbo freshwater community

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