Tire Track Eel (Mastacembelus Favus)
The Tire Track Eel, also known as Reticulated Spiny Eel, is a captivating freshwater species characterized by its elongated, snake-like body and intricate, tire track-like patterns adorning its dark brown to black base color. This eel has a distinctive dorsal fin that runs almost its entire body length.
Tire Track Eels are known for their shy and elusive personalities, usually hiding during the day and becoming more active at night. They can grow up to 28 inches in length, making them one of the larger freshwater eels.
They should be kept individually as they may be aggressive to their own species. However, they can be housed with other peaceful, medium to large fish that won't compete for hiding spots or food. Keep in mind that their size and potential territorial behavior may pose challenges in smaller or densely populated tanks. They can become territorial if they feel threatened. As a result, it's best to keep them with non-aggressive tank mates. Providing a spacious environment with ample hiding spaces is key to maintaining a harmonious community. Tire Track Eels are not aggressive, but adults can catch small fish overnight, so tankmates must be chosen with care. Neon Tetra sized fish, for example, is not recommended.
Tire Track Eel is carnivorous, primarily feeding on invertebrates, such as worms, insect larvae, and small fish. They prefer live or frozen foods but can also be trained to accept high-protein pellets or sinking wafers. They tend to be more active during the night, so offering them food in the evening is recommended.
The Tire Track Eel tank should be spacious and have plenty of plants, including floating varieties, to create a natural environment. Use sand as the substrate, as spiny eels enjoy burrowing. Provide plenty of hiding spots, as eels prefer to stay hidden during the day. Options for hiding places include bogwood, smooth rock caves, PVC pipes, and plant thickets. Without such hiding spots, they may become stressed and attempt to squeeze into any dark space available, potentially causing injury to themselves. Dim lighting makes eels feel more comfortable and venture out of their hideouts more frequently, so include plenty of floating plants to help diffuse lighting. Clean, well-filtered water is essential, and keep the water movement gentle to replicate the still waters these fish inhabit in the wild.
The minimum aquarium size for a single Tire Track Eel is 80 gallons, but a larger community tank of 125 gallons or more is ideal. They prefer water parameters of pH 6.0-7.5, dGH 5-15, and a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C).
A secure, tight-fitting hood is essential, as eels can escape through small gaps.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.