RE: NANFA-L-- eels

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Wed, 7 Dec 2005 19:13:40 -0600

Several books address eels in home aquaria:

Goldstein's "American Aquarium Fishes" indicates that they are not suitable
(presumably due to size, shyness, and escape potential).

Frey's "Illustrated Dictionary of Tropical Fishes" suggests that only small
(2.75 - 4 inch) specimens are suitable for indoor aquaria and that "For a
time they are quite interesting, but with time they become boring due to
their hidden manner of living."

Quinn's "Our Native Fishes" agree that only small specimens are suitable as
aquarium fish but observes that they can become active during the day.

Schleser's "North American Native Fishes for the Home Aquarium" describes
eels as hardy, long-lived, easily fed but cautions that it is secretive,
likely to escape, and "not to be trusted" with smaller fishes.

Sterba's "Freshwater Fishes of the World" also indicates that they are good
aquarium fishes, recommending fine sandy substrate and tight-fitting covers.
Sterba also indicates that eels have lived up to 90 years in captivity so
somebody, somewhere, found them interesting and easy-to-keep for almost a

- Jan Hoover
Vicksburg, MS
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