Of Eels and Aquariums...

First, how many of you have cool or unusual aquariums, and what do you have in them?

I am seriously thinking about getting an eel. I’ve been looking into it a bit online, and I’d really like to know if it’s possible to have one as a pet.

I’d like a nice Moray if possible. I honestly think they are cute, and have read that they can become quite friendly, even “tame”, once they get used to you.

I don’t know anyone who keeps one as a pet, so I’d like to know the how-to’s, if you will, of domestic eel ownership: eg., where to get one, cost, care and feeding, etc.

Anybody have any info?
Thank you all in advance.
P.S.: I was thinking of naming him Earl or Robert, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here!

Earl Eel?

Hee! Yeah, I know.

I’m actually leaning more toward Robert… or Margaret, after my great aunt, if I get a female eel.

Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Eel, Eel, Eel…

Nothing unusual about my aquarium…just a dozen half-grown red swordtails.

No advice for eels, either…except that I think you should name it Duke of Eel.

Here’s a site that has lots of info:

I have some neon tetras, some tiger barbs (some say they are nippy - but I have 8 and they just pick on each other and leave the other fish alone), some danios which are fun to watch, some bala sharks which are nice, and some cory cats. Oh, and 2 dwarf frogs.

That said, I would be pretty cautious about getting an eel. They get pretty good sized (30-36 inches is not unusual) and will eat any other fish you’ve got. I have heard about full-gown moray eels eating lionfish!! And did I mention that they have a talent for escaping through the tiniest openings in the tank lid?


I have not personally owned an eel, but from what I’ve heard from other fishkeepers, it seems that one of the more commonly kept species isthe snowflake eel.

However, if you are new to fishkeeping as a whole, an eel may not the best way to begin. The balance of water parameters is far more delicate in a saltwater system. Being accustomed to a fairly stable environment (the ocean does not experience the fluctuations that many freshwater rivers/lakes do), saltwater fish are generally unforgiving of the mistakes that beginners frequently make. Hence, beginning with saltwater can be expensive and disappointing if you’re not prepared. In other words, read as much as you can before you start. Here’s a good intro to salt.

If you are really just interested in a fish with “personality”, many freshwater Cichlids are rather intelligent. One of the best known Cichlids is the famous Oscar fish. Good luck.

I had a moray about ten years ago.
They will attack other fish in the tank if you don’t kept them fed. My eel, who was named Kaa,attacked my yellow Tang one day when I was on vacation and the guy who was supposed to watch the tank missed a day.
As long as you keep it fed, you should be ok. You could also try anemeones as well.
FYI-both eels and anemones eat live goldfish. If you’re sensitive about that,consider other marine creatures.

Many moons ago, when I lived with the pet shop guy, I had an aquarium. One of the perks was that I got first pick of the cool new stuff that came in. I had a 150 gal. salt water aquarium, with many, many fishes, but my favorite was the wolf eel. He was very personable, easy to maintain, ate live goldfish and brine shrimp (in big chunks), and swam back and forth across the glass when I came home. He would also swim in and out of my fingers. In another aquarium I had a ribbon eel, and, while beautiful, his personality was that of paste in comparison. Meanwhile, back at the store, were the store mascots of 3 green morays. Those I was afraid of. Of course, it could be that the aquarium was filled with coral in such a way that it was hard to keep track of where they were at any given time. Other neat favorites I had included a large lionfish, a trumpetfish, gobies and hawkfish. The latter two would “perch” at the front and watch you. And yes, you have to make sure your tank is well sealed, as they will escape. As long as your tank is big enough,have lots of coral where everybody can claim a territory and you keep him well feed, your eel should do just fine. I do not like to mix fish and anemones, however. In the event you ever need to treat with copper, this will kill you anemones, but cure your fish.

Thank you all very much for your info. This is a good start. Now I just have to figure out exactly where I am going to put a big ole aquarium!

I’ve decided to name the eel Benito. And his official “title”, as Grand Dictator of the Aquarium?

“Eel Duce”!!

Too bad Creaky started this, rather than Qadgop–I really wanted to say:

“Physician, eel thyself.”

Sheesh. And I thought the Robert Eely pun was bad. Let the downward spiral commence.

I suppose it would be too much of a mouthful to name it “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie?”

If you don’t want the extra work of a salt water tank you
could get an arrowana[sp]. They live in fresh water and
in the wild get 6 ft. or so. My Dad had one along time ago.
it was very tame you could actually pet it.

Eve, excellent! I’d do it, but I’d have a helluva time fitting that name on the little tags that will go on the inside of his little clothes!

You do know, of course, that Benito will at least be wearing little hats and bowties, held on by rubber bands…!

I have two oscars, and they are a lot of fun to feed (they love live food) and they are very friendly. I can now pet them when I clean the tank. The other reason I like them is that they are the “sherman tank” of tropicals. Plus, they look cool. They follow you around in the room (as far as they can), and always say “hello” when I go over to the tank. They are kinda like dogs that way. Plus, if I want, I can hand feed them, it takes awhile, but they can be very gentle.