If you’re looking for a unique aquatic creature to inhabit your freshwater aquarium, consider the tire track eel. This spiny eel will fascinate you as you watch it swim along the bottom of your tank. Although not a true eel, its spiny shape makes this fish move like an eel. Since track eels require more specific care requirements, it’s best to choose this species if you have experience with aquariums and keeping fish. Here are some additional things to consider before investing in a track eel for your home aquarium.
Facts About Track Eels
There are several different spiny eel species that may be referred to as track eels. Track eels may also be called zig zag eels or white spotted spiny eels. Their natural habitat is in Southeast Asia, in India, Thailand and Myanmar. They tend to be solitary creatures and are most active at night. Here are some other things to know about tire track eels.
- Appearance – Track eels have long bodies and snouts and can grow to be as large as 26 inches. They are colored tan or light brown and have dark zig zag markings along their bodies, similar to a set of tire tracks.
- Diet – In their natural habitat, track eels are omnivores. They enjoy eating small fish, worms, larvae and invertebrates. In some instances, they may also eat plant or other organic matter.
- Temperament – Track eels are known to be shy and normally only come out at night when feeding. Some track eels may become aggressive or territorial if they are kept with other track eels, and they should only be kept with other species that are too large for them to eat.
- Breeding – Not much is known about the track eel’s breeding habits, as this type of creature has not been bred in captivity. Because of their aggression towards others of their species, it can be difficult to try and breed them.
Care Tips for a Healthy Track Eel
Once you’ve decided that the track eel is right for your aquarium, it’s important to make sure your tank has the right conditions for this creature to thrive. Consider the other aquatic creatures you already have in your tank as well as the plant life and substrate setup you have. Here are some ways you can make your tank the perfect environment for a track eel.
- Tank Size and Water Perimeters – Track eels must be kept in a tank that is at least 125 gallons. Water conditions must be ideal and monitored at temperatures between 72 to 82 degrees.
- Substrate and Accessories – Because track eels like to burrow, it’s important to have the right gravel on your tank’s floor to keep your track eel happy. Use a fine sand or substrate to mimic the natural habitat of this fish. Consider also providing tunnels and caves for your eel to hide in.
- Lighting – Keep lighting at a minimum, and use floating plants to dim the lights even more for your track eel.
Raising and caring for a track eel in your aquarium can be a rewarding experience. If you have the experience and the patience for this fish, you can be rewarded with a fascinating and unique creature to watch in your tank.