Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels – What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care

Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels: In-home aquariums, most of the time you will find that people tend to keep more popular species.

However, there are also some lesser-known species that are fascinating: welcome to freshwater eels.

Unfortunately, freshwater eels are almost completely inadequate! Real eels are specialized fish of the order of eels with a very complex life cycle.

Real eels are never found in freshwater for life; each species returns to the ocean at some point. There is one exception below, but even this rare freshwater eel is a brackish water fish that simply tolerates fresh water.

Unfortunately, each of these freshwater eels is as much an eel as a freshwater shark is a shark. They have long bodies like eels and similar housing habits, but that’s all they have in common. However, this does not mean that we cannot enjoy ourselves.

There are many varieties of freshwater fish that people include in their aquariums.

Whether you want a small or large fish, the pairing options you have are endless.

A unique option for a pet fish owner is freshwater eel.

Like other fish, these are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. You can find the perfect freshwater eel to liven up your aquarium.

But, like any other fish, eels require specific care to stay happy and healthy.

Here is a little guide on freshwater eels and how to take care of them and take care of them.


Types of Top 10 Freshwater Eels for Aquariums


1. Tire Track Eel

Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels - What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care

An eel that is a very popular choice among aquarists is the Tire Track Eel. This eel is familiar, but not familiar to people at the same time.

Many people confuse tire eel for many other types of eels because of its similar signs.

The Tire Track eel has zigzag marks along the back that extend to the center of the belly. An eel expert can tell you that these types of signs are found on many eels.

That’s why it’s confusing for eel buyers for the first time to see the differences between eels. However, the marks are similar, but not exactly the same, and that is what makes the Tire Track eel unique.

In addition to its brands, Tire Track Eel is an excellent eel to have. Like most eels, he lives a quiet life and is not very aggressive with other fish.

Tire Track eel tends to be a little elusive when you add it to your aquarium for the first time, but don’t worry. This is normal behavior among eels and improves over time.

Like many other eels, the Tire Track eel lives a largely sedentary life. He likes to hide in the sand and other hard to see areas. For this reason, it is a good idea to include rocks and other eel hiding places.

This eel can grow up to two and a half feet in a tank, so an aquarium with a large capacity is needed to hold it comfortably. Of course, you want your eel to swim freely and easily, so you need a large enough tank.


2. Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia)

Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels - What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care

Fire eels grow the largest of all spiny eels.

They can reach more than 3 feet (about 1 meter) in nature. In aquariums, they will not grow as much as with all other spiny eels. However, you must be prepared to have a life-size monster of at least 30 inches or 76 cm in size.

A fire eel works very well in community tanks, as it mainly ignores fish that are not perceived as food.

The favorite activity of fire eels, if I can call it that, is to bury themselves in gravel. When you have one, consider a 2.5 “(6.3 cm) or more gravel layer.

It is common for a fire eel to uproot plants. It is expected to change into floating plants when this species is maintained.


3. Electric Eel

Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels - What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care

Next up is the classic electric eel. An electric eel is another great option for aquarium enthusiasts.

However, since they produce large quantities of electricity, they are better for experienced manipulators.

Observing the general specifications of this freshwater eel, it can grow quite large, even in an aquarium. You can expect it to grow to almost a meter and a half in length. They also live about 15 years, making them an excellent pet for life.

Electric eels are one of the most dangerous options because they can stun inexperienced managers. They are recommended for experienced aquarium owners, especially with eel types.

In addition to this, these eels come out in the air every now and then. They must have about six inches of empty space between the water and the tank lid. Sand is an excellent choice for the substrate, as they can dig inside.


4. Zig Zag Eel

Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels - What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care

They are similar in appearance to the tire track and are often confused with them.

The main difference is the position of the body patterns, the zigzag patterns are limited to the upper two thirds of the body. This species (Mastacembelus armatus) also grows up to 35 inches in length and can live for up to 18 years.


5. Freshwater Dragon Eel

The name freshwater dragon eel can refer to 2 different species, which are not real eels.

These are the Violetta Ghiozzo (Gobioides broussoneti) and the Cane Fish (Erpetoichthys calabaricus), both have this name for their eel appearance.

Both species grow to a maximum size of 15 inches in captivity and need a tank of at least 30 gallons. They also last around 10 years, so be sure to commit yourself before getting them.


6. Peacock Eel (Macrognathus siamensis)

Another nice option for freshwater aquarium eels is peacock eel. This eel has unique signs that look a bit like a peacock’s plumage. Typically, there are three to six of these types of commercials.

Peacock eel is one of the smallest eels available for aquariums. They grow to less than a foot in length, so you don’t need a huge tank. A tank that is 36 inches long and can hold 35 gallons is a good place to start.

These types of eels are excellent pets because they get along well with fish neighbors. They also eat very well, making it a good choice for beginners as they are not picky.

One thing to remember with Peacock Eels is that they are very good at escaping. It is important to ensure that you have a very secure hood on top. You don’t want the eel to slip!


7. Pink Paddletail Eel

If you like having exotic and hard to find animals, pink eel is the way to go. This eel is one of the rarest eels available for living in aquariums. It is an excellent pet to show off!

The pink paddletail eel is also known as the “purple eel”. This is because this eel has a beautiful pink and purple tint on its skin. It is also quite long and thin like a piece of spaghetti.

This eel is very difficult to reach because, although he lives in a small area in his aquarium, he loves to hide!

These eels need a good amount of fine sand as a substrate in their aquarium. They spend most of the day hiding in this sand and rarely go out.

Although the pink eel paddletail is a good corrector, when you see it, it is absolutely amazing. They are an excellent pet for aquarists who love everything exotic.


8. Black Spotted Eel

First there is the spotted black eel. The black spotted eel is an excellent freshwater eel for beginners because it is very easy to transport.

These eels grow up to 20 inches long and have a long shelf life. They can live between 8 and 18 years, sometimes even longer with excellent care and diet.

The black spotted eel takes its name from its blackheads. These are found throughout the eel in horizontal lines. Smaller eels have fewer points, but are larger than larger eels.

The black spotted eel is friendly, but they are a little shy. You should include places to retreat and hide in your aquarium, especially when you first receive it. They are shy but still make great additions to their tank.


9. Half-Banded Spiny Eel

If you are looking for an even smaller eel, Half Band spiny eel is an excellent choice. This eel is perfect for homeowners looking for a space-saving option when buying a tank.

Half-band spiny eel only grows to a few inches in length, a maximum of eight! This means you can easily make your home in a 10 gallon tank without having to worry about tight spaces for them.

This is a nocturnal animal, so you may not see it all day. He also likes to bury in sand and other substrates, so it’s important to include it in the environment.

Half-band spiny eel is a good neighbor. They live well with fish larger than themselves.

Just be careful when you put them with fish two inches or less because they may think they are food.


10. African Spiny Eel

African spiny eel is an excellent choice for aquarists who have darker tanks. These eels adapt perfectly to their environment and can easily hide in the foliage.

An African spiny eel is a dark eel. They are usually brown and black in color and have marks on the back. This can include black dots or lines.

African spiny eel grows to about six inches in length. They are perfect for small tanks. They are also great if you have smaller fish because they don’t take up much space.

The only thing to watch out for smaller fish is that, like other eels, they can mistake them for food. Slightly larger or slightly smaller fish are fine, just keep them away from very small fish.

A unique quality for this eel is that although they are shy when you add them to the tank for the first time, they heat up quickly. Some are even known to eat food from their owners’ hands!


How to take care of freshwater eels?

When it comes to taking care of freshwater eels, fortunately they require similar environments. All eels mainly need the same things except the size of the tank.

When you create a good environment for your eel, remember that they like to hide. You need to include a substrate of fine sand or gravel for them to do so. It is also a good idea to create naturally hidden places where they can retreat.

Your eel also needs mild to medium water that has a lot of oxygenation. This means that an excellent filter is needed and maintenance is required to keep it up to date.

Even your eel loves dim light. You can get a dimmable LED light or simply place it in an area with little natural light.

What to feed freshwater eels?

No matter what eel you get, you need a good supply of “meat” for this. Although technically omnivorous, they love to eat a variety of meats.

Eels love to eat meat such as salted prawns, earthworms, earthworms and black worms. You can give them fresh, freeze-dried food.

From time to time they also enjoy live food, as long as they are small enough to get into the mouth. Your eel may even eat smaller fish in its aquarium, so be careful of placing them with small fish.

As with all species, they are carnivorous and wild and eat small crustaceans such as prawns and crabs, as well as any fish small enough to swallow. They would also have preceded amphibian species such as frogs.

Their diet within the aquarium can be maintained by feeding frozen or live crayfish species such as Ghost Shrimp. Live feeder fish also offer an excellent source of protein for eel. Ghost shrimp,
Seaweed prawns and Thai micro crabs are the perfect crustaceans to feed them.

Sinking granules designed specifically for carnivorous eels should also be offered to them at least once a day with other meaty foods.

Canned fish such as sardines are another good source of food, although they will need thorough cleaning if they have been packaged with potential contaminants such as vegetable oil. Fresh fish is the preferred option.

Frozen or fresh blood worms, black worms and earthworms are also a good choice. Try mixing your diet by feeding different foods during the week.

You should feed them twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon).


Although eels seem intimidating, it is very easy to take care of them once you know how to do it. Not only that, but they can provide an exotic touch to your aquarium.

Jesse B.

1 thought on “Top 10 Freshwater Aquarium Eels – What Types of & Aquarium Eel Care”

  1. Pingback: Best 15 Exotic and Cool Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top