Peacock Eel

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Species group:

Other common names: Siamese Spiny Eel; Spot-finned Spiny Eel; Peacock Spiny Eel

Scientific name: Macrognathus siamensis

The basics:
The Peacock Eel is a bottom-dweller which lives on the sandy bottoms of rivers in Southeast Asia, such as the Mekong River. It is a nocturnal feeder, and comes out of its hiding spots at night to feed on insects and crustaceans.

The Peacock Eel is generally brownish in color (darker on the back than the sides) with a yellow line running along the sides from the snout to the tail fin. Characteristic to the Peacock Eel are the three to six dark spots (“eye spots”) lined up along the base of the dorsal fin to the tail fin. The body is long and eel-shaped. Color variations and patterns depend on geographical locations.

0-6 inches

In captivity, the Peacock Eel is hardy, peaceful and easy to feed. However, it is rarely visible, as it hides during the day by burying itself in the sandy substrate or under wood and rock. Known to be peaceful fish, Peacock Eels can be kept in community aquariums of similar-sized non-aggressive tank mates. They are shy, and will prefer to hide under the sand and feed after sunset. They are carnivorous and will appreciate live brine shrimps, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp.

Peacock Eels are best kept in medium to large aquariums, at least 20 gallons in size. Simulating its natural habitats in Asia, the tank needs to have dense vegetation (well anchored) and hiding places like driftwood, rock caves, or PVC pipes. The substrate must be sand or fine gravel to allow the fish to burrow. The tank must also have a securely fitting lid to prevent the fish from escaping.

73.00-82.00 °F


100.000-300.000 mg/L


experienced aquarium owners, Interesting Recluse, quirky personality


notorious escape artists, gravel scratches, heavy lid, delicate skin


nonaggressive tank mates, sandy substrate, PVC pipes, brine shrimp, odd nose

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