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Freddy 02-06-2011 08:57 AM

Help!!! Fire eel hiding?
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?

Guppie luver 02-06-2011 09:09 AM

wow i would remove some sand so like give the tank a good look and what sive is the tank ? thats what i would do

Freddy 02-06-2011 10:05 AM

The tank is 90 gallons, 4 ft x 1.5 ft footprint (where the sand goes). I will probably remove some sand when I get home today.

Blabomb 02-06-2011 01:11 PM

You could just take something and run it through the sand. If you touch that eel I would be willing to bet that he would get startled and swim out. I'm sure he is buried in your tank somewhere

Freddy 02-06-2011 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by Blabomb (Post 581984)
You could just take something and run it through the sand. If you touch that eel I would be willing to bet that he would get startled and swim out. I'm sure he is buried in your tank somewhere

I already tried that. All over the tank. Nothing. Can't find my eel anywhere.

leogtr 02-06-2011 01:28 PM

wow that is so strange...why dont you comb the sand with a large aflo pick or something? hhmmm thats really weird..

Freddy 02-06-2011 08:28 PM

I've removed about half of the sand in the tank. Nothing. Checked the rooms around the tank again. No eel. I put in some PVC pipes in case it comes out and likes to hide in them... I have no idea where it could be!
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Freddy 02-06-2011 08:53 PM

Not even his head is poking out of the sand... My dad and I just put the sand I took out back in, on the off chance its body is in the sand. Now the tank's cloudy. Stirred through the sand. No eel. Not even a body. Where is it?!
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Ostara 02-06-2011 09:39 PM

Do you have a dog or a cat? If one of my fish bails out of the tank and dries up, my cats usually consume it before I can find it. I recently had a molly do that and caught my male cat with it in his mouth, trying to wolf it before I could get it from him. :roll: Also, what sort of filtration do you have? I've heard of them working their way into HOB filters too.

Freddy 02-20-2011 04:57 PM

:-D My eel came back!
I guess he was hiding under the sand. I fed the eel and it seemed pretty happy, but I had to leave for the weekend. I got back today and it's gone. Hopefully he'll come back up sooner this time... but it's strange that he's still not poking his head out of the sand... I thought most eels did that. Anyway, my eel's definitely alive and well.

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