Mastacembelus erythrotaenia
More Photos
Add Your Photo

Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

Common Names: Fire eel
Family: Mastacembelus
Category: OthersFW
Distribution: Asia
Main Ecosystem: River; Fire eels natural habitat is slow moving river environments with slow to briskly moving water and soft riverbeds. They occur in the wild over a relatively broad area covering a large part of Southeast Asia including Borneo, India, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Thailand. These are bottom dwelling fish which spend the large portion of their time buried in the riverbed, often with just their snout sticking out. However, they are voracious predatory fish.
Temperament: Peaceful; Peaceful fish , However will eat newer fish what can fit in its mouth added after the eel has established itself in the tank.
Diet: Carnivore; Fire eels will take a wide variety of food including tubifex, fish, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, mussels etc.
Care: Soft sand is best, Fire eel like to dig.
having 2 or more eels is fine however once mature they may fight leaving you with only one.
6 - 7.5
25°C - 27°C
77°F - 81°F
Potential Size: Male: 55cm (21.7")
Female: 55cm (21.7")
Water Region: All; Stays mostly to the bottom when not hunting for food.
Activity: Nocturnal
Breeding: Spawning with mature fish (over 20 in) has been reported but is rare and extremely difficult. Use a large tank with a pH around 7.0, a water hardness from 10-15 dH, and a temperature from 27-29°C. They are plant spawners that lay 800-1200 eggs in floating plants. The eggs are clear and measure around 1mm in size. The young grow very quickly and will gorge themselves on as much food is offered. Care should therefore be taken not to overfeed them.
Comments: The fire eel is an extremely elongated fish with a very distinctive pointed snout and underslung mouth. The body is laterally compressed particularly at the rear third where it flattens as it joins the caudal fin and forms an extended tail. Its colouring is dark brown/grey, while the belly is generally a lighter shade of the same colour. The pattern varies from fish to fish. Usually several bright red lateral stripes and spots mark the body. These vary in intensity depending on the age and condition of the specimen. Usually the markings are yellow/amber in juvenile fish, changing to a deep red in larger ones. Often the anal, pectoral, and dorsal fins have a red edging.

The name "eel" is a reference to the body shape; the fire eel is not a true eel.

They can often grow to a very considerable size in the wild with specimens often exceeding 1.2 m in length. However, due to the limiting factors in the captive environment they usually reach a maximum of around 55 cm even in very large aquaria
Main Colours: Black, Red, Yellow
Markings: Not Specified
Mouth: Downturned
Tail: Flat
Search: Show similar species
Find compatible species
Image Credit: Jerrard
Submitted By: Jerrard
Contributors: Jerrard
History: View changes to this profile
Edit Profile: