Originally Posted by kattty
o my gosh!!!!!
what type of eel is that?rubber you said?...how..lol tell me more,im speechless..he looks AWSOME!!!!!I'm so into eels and odd fish alike that this really caught my eye..tell me moree!!!:D:D
Thanks you, He is a caecilian (AKA rubber eel) Typhlonectes natans. He is a type of amphibian and not a fish at all, he has lungs for breathing. He is no true eel, he would be closer to the salamander, except in a different genus specific for all the species of caecilians. They are naturally almost blind and rely heavily on scent, which is amazing. They get about 2 feet long, the male above is 22" and 3 years old. Subadults are extreme eaters and both of mine grew about an inch a month. Skin is shed regularly.
Caecilians are scavengers before they are hunters, which makes them IMO 98% fish safe. But there is a lot of miss information on the web about them. Careful with subadults as they really do have a uncontrollable appetite. They can turn on fish if not fed properly, but both of mine lived fine with the 3 BN plecos which I bought a year ago at only an inch long, lots of small quick tetras, and some other small fish that they literally had to push out of the way. They use too share there burrow with some 3" fish that they never harmed. Surprisingly they do eat some fish(talapia, smelt, catfish all chopped up from the grocers), shrimp, earthworms, and other random treats. They are not picky and will eat just about anything if they like the smell. They need a balanced diet, but occasional scraps off the dinner plate are fine. Its hard to explain how keyed they are too scent and how well they can tell the difference between things that have nothing to do with food. They are very lazy animals(unless there is food) they rarely swim and spend most of the day sleeping on the bottom under the driftwood. They can fall in very deep sleeps, I've seen them sleep upside down and floating( lungs make them buoyant).
Caecilians are quite strong and experts at escaping, my glass lids are securely taped down on their tank. You can handle them, but it takes a lot of work and even then is still difficult. They prefer to stay in the water, but both of mine are handled and hand-fed enough so that they will stay calm when being picked up and moved to a bucket(till they realized they are in a bucket, then you got a few minuets before they bail out onto the floor
). Making sure they stay calm is key to this though. They are like handling a snake, except that snake is slimier then a fish.They should never be forcefully handled as there is no safe way to do it, get them to go into a garbage bag instead. They move very well out of the water.
They use to be common in the trade back in the 90's, however changes in export laws has made them much harder to find. I was very lucky to find my pair in a fish shop, I had not seen any in years and have only seen two since I bought this pair. I did see them on importers list, so they are out there. Oddly they do not cost a lot for such a hard to find animal.
There is a video in my sig of them VVVVV. As well as quite a few more on Youtube.