Peacock Eel with Silver Dollars
I think these are some of the most intriguing and attractive eel-like fish fresh water has to offer. Having said that, some species can reach very large proportions. I would consider the size of your aquarium before adding more. I have seen pictures of very wide-bodied adult specimens that are more than 2 feet in length, and I would think a 55 gallon tank is the absolute minimum size for one of these.
Silver dollars like being in pretty large groups themselves and given their size and activity, I think a 6 foot tank is what you should eventually be planning for. For what it's worth, I have many friends that believe a 125 is too small for silver dollars.
Peacock Eels do not typically grow to 2 feet in length. Even in the wild they usually max out at 12 inches. Most captive specimens do not exceed 6 - 8 inches. Please provide links to the pictures of the 2 foot peacock eel. If my silver dollars get any larger, I will move them to my 125 gallon tank. As for your friends who believe 125 gallons is too small for silver dollars, well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
I confess that the species of spiny eels I was looking at were not the "peacock eel", but several of the larger Mastacembelus species from Africa. Tire Track. Peacock. It's all the same, a common name, unless you are absolutely sure of the species you are dealing with. Still a 12 inch fish is rather a large one.
As for silver dollars and 125 gallon tanks: well that's just me being me. Whenever someone keeps a schooling species I suggest the biggest tank they can do. I personally have never kept even small barbs, for example, in tanks shorter than 48". Has to do with their level of activity, the fact that with schoolers more is better, and their comparatively large individual size. Even a ruby barb becomes a pretty chunky fish, like a decent-sized juvenile goldfish. It just needs more space.
I admit that I have a school of rasboras currently in a 30 gallon and I am less happy with their swimming style in so short a tank than they appear to be. And when I look at my own fish and I field questions from people whose schooling fish are not behaving "normally" the cause, I find, is often too small a group to create a true schooling dynamic, and too small a tank to let them really stretch out in formation and school.
So difficult as it is, and as much blow back as I often receive, my own experiences keeping everything from rainbows to barbs, rasboras tetras and danios have led me to the view that bigger tanks are better for schoolers. Bigger schoolers need even bigger tanks. I am not trying to be any more critical of you than I am of my own fish-keeping, so please don't misunderstand. It's just a thought to put there in your mind in the event that you ever can upgrade, the reward of seeing them swim in larger quarters is truly remarkable.
It has certainly been my experience in the fish forums that some people are not happy regardless of how large a tank the fish are in, and will always find something negative to say.
I have researched all my fish before purchase because I do not want to keep any in an inappropriate environment.
In any event, I am not adding any more peacock eels. Not because I do not have space in that aquarium, but because most of them hide all the time. I was lucky to get an active outgoing one the first time.
Here is an update to the tank though, I added a frog a month ago. He hides a lot but comes out for blood worms. I presume this tank is large enough for a frog. Though I'm sure there are people out there who would disagree, just to be disagreeable and illustrate how much more they know about everything ;)
BTW I have always trusted Byron's profiles and he states a 4 ft tank as a minimum for Silver Dollars, so I would think a 6ft 125 gallon tank would be plenty adequate.
Is that a clawed frog or a dwarf frog? If it's a dwarf frog, I feel like the eel might eat him some day when he's bigger.
Do you know the scientific name of the one you have? They're such cool little dudes.
If the eels gets large enough to eat him (Or shows any interest in eating him) I'll either move the eel to my larger tank, or move the frog to my 55 gallon Rainbowfish tank.
I meant the scientific name of the eel, sorry! It's Macrognathus siamensis, I'm guessing.
Yes, that's an African dwarf frog in that case, he's already at maximum size. Careful as they often starve in community tanks, make sure he eats! (I'm a huge fan of them, in case you can't tell ;-))
Actually, for fun, if you want to know the gender, if you look behind it's front arms (like it's arm pits), males have these white round pimple things, and females don't. :-)
I was worried about my frog starving, but he seems to come out and eat bloodworms, though he doesn't seem interested in any of the other food I put in the tank.
I apologize if I have offended you. It can often happen when we have nothing but written text to deal with and no vocal inflections that the writer is being hyper- critical, and I want to assure you that wasn't my intent. Again, sorry.
And I'm glad you have the species that stays manageable in size. Not everyone is so lucky. What I meant by "it's all the same" unless you know the species was not that you aren't knowledgeable, but that not every fish dealer is ethical. You buy fish, as I did several years ago, expecting one thing and then realizing after the fish are grown that they weren't want you had signed up for. (In my case, I bought what were supposed to be Placidochromis Phenochilus and Otopharynx Lithobates juveniles from a local breeder; the fish matured into attractive but clearly cross-bred fish. In this case, even knowing the species, visiting the breeder, and seeing the parents of these fish didn't save me from a huge waste of time).
And I'm glad your eel is an extrovert, because it would be a bummer to have a great fish like that and have it hide all the time.
I think a school of silver dollars would be spectacular in your 125. For what it's worth, I didn't say that I believed a 125 to be inadequate, I simply related the opinion of an accomplished aquarist whom I respect. His mission is rescuing fish that other people give up on: pangasius cats, true giant gouramis, you get the picture. He has a garage full of resealed 125s, tubs, pools, and plywood builds to house the cast-off giants people abandon. Among his many orphans are quite a few silver dollars. . . so that's where that opinion is coming from.
As far as the space issue goes, I don't think we should be defensive about what we have so much as try to do our best. The best I can do today usually can be bettered in the future. The more I look at my own fish, the more scrupulous I have become about evaluating how they use the space I have given them, and the more I question whether they have enough.
I think it's okay to keep fish in "the minimum acceptable tank" as long as you keep in mind that there is also an "ideal sized tank" for that species as well. And, seriously, why would I judge you? I openly admit that I currently have a tank whose residents need more space. It would be hypocritical of me to accuse you of falling short in an area where I am falling short!
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