Eels / Mastacembelidae / Tire track Eel

Tire track Eel, Spiny Eel, White-spotted Spiny Eel
Mastacembelus armatus

SYN: Macrognathus armatus
PD: An elongated fish with a snake-like body shape. No pelvic fins are present and the anal and dorsal fins are elongated and joined to the caudal fin. The back is dark beige and the head is silver-beige. The body color is beige and the belly is lighter in color. The body is marked with brown circular patterns. The eye always has a brown stripe running laterally through it.
SIZE: To 36" (91 cm) in nature, although usually this species does not exceed 20" (51 cm) in captivity.
SS: Other Mastacembelus and Aethiomastacembelus species.
HAB: Rivers with sandy riverbeds and heavy vegetation in India and Southeast Asia; Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Thailand.
S: bottom
TANK: A tank measuring 36 (91 cm) with a capacity of 35 gallons (132 L) is sufficient for fish to 6" (15 cm). Larger fish require at least a 48 (122 cm) or 55 gallon (209 L) tank. For tank set-up, follow suggestions for M. circumcinctus .
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 6-25 dH (10), 73-81°F (23-27°C), a little salt is welcomed
SB: Do not combine this species with small fish, as they will treated as prey. A good candidate for a community tank with medium to large fish. Will often not get along with others of the same species. A nocturnal species.
SC: Large Gouramis, Knifefish, Giant Danios, large Loaches, Loricarids, Eartheaters, Acaras, Cichlasomines, Asian Catfish
FOOD: Live; Tubifex, fish, Brine Shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, Cyclops.
SEX: Only distinguishable when mature-females plumper
B: Unsuccessful in captivity; probably similar to other Mastacembelus species.
BP: 10. This species has not been bred in captivity.
R: Will occasionally burrow in substrate while young. Extremely hardy once acclimated. This species is eaten in its native countries. May become friendly around owner.
DC: 5. A large, hardy fish that requires live foods in its diet.

By Rhett Butler


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