I got my fire eel two days ago, which may seem ignorant with tiger barbs in the same tank, but I went ahead and got it. It's about 5-6 inches long and is really cool!
The bad news is: I haven't seen it since the day I got it. I have a sand substrate and I know they like to dig, but don't they usually poke their head out when they do that? I can't find mine anywhere! It's not behind the rock it loved when I got it, or hiding underneath the plants. When I got the eel it explored and went over to the powerhead, which it got on top of and began to poke its head out of the water. Well, I wasn't about to let this $40 fish jump out and die, so I promptly removed the powerhead and left the eel nothing to climb out on. I could hand feed my eel bloodworms the night I got him and if I fed late at night the eel would come out for the food (come out of the rock, no burrowing in the sand) before the barbs got to it. However, the next day I woke up and went over to the tank to see the eel. But it wasn't there! I looked all around, and some of the sand had been moved, so I thought it just buried itself and would reappear when I got back at the end of the day. I got back and it still wasn't out. I turned off the light in the tank and all the lights in the room and still no eel. I thought, well, he'll come out late at night and be out tomorrow morning, because he buried himself late at night, so it makes sense that if he does something different it will happen when I'm not looking. I went to bed, and this morning, still no eel. I have turned over all the sand in the tank and the eel is nowhere to be found. Not under the rock, not under the sand. We checked underneath the aquarium. No eel. Under the light maybe? Jumped out and died? Nope. In the room? Jumped out, wiggled around, and died? Nope. We checked all through the room and the surrounding rooms. We checked in both filters. The eel is still in the tank, probably. Otherwise, where would it be?
I have a deep sand bed in my aquarium. Should I remove sand so the eel can't bury himself under several inches? And wouldn't the eel come up, since I dug through all the sand in the entire aquarium looking for him? Help! Where could the eel hide?