Abnormal Peacock Eel Behavior? (Pictures Incl.) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-07-2007, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Abnormal Peacock Eel Behavior? (Pictures Incl.)

I have a peacock eel, about 8inches long. He's been eating regularly: blood worms and black worms every other day. The tank temp is at ~78F consistently. But what I've noticed is that his activity has declined quite a bit, and instead of hiding in his cave or snooping around the bottom, he's been resting upright against one of plants, like a reed-fish. Is this normal behavior? If not, what could be wrong? I've had him for over a year and have never seen an him do this before. He's been kept with guppies for several months now and we've not had a death in the tank or any kind of sickness. All of the other fish are completely healthy.
Many thanks in advance

Here are a couple of pics:

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post #2 of 3 Old 12-12-2007, 08:51 PM
Looks normal to me. This fish are ambush predators andhe is imitating a blade of grass. Neat, huh/
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-13-2007, 03:14 PM
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I agree, and would keep count on the guppies. Now that he's grown enough to eat them, and matured enough to have that hunting instincts take over... your guppies will be food soon enough.
The other thing I've noticed is how shallow the gravel is at the bottom, and how large most of it is. This could also be an issue, as these guys like to bury in the sand. If they don't have anywhere they feel comfortable hiding, they will change their behavior to accomidate it. It is highly likely that he is now too big to burrow comfortably. If you can provide him with a deeper substrate of smaller gravel or sand, he may just go back to hiding down below. (This won't change his hunting instincts, however, and that means the guppies are still in danger of becoming food at anytime now).

Also, watch your water params. Your eel is a scaleless fish and will be affected much quicker than the guppies if something shifts. Any ammonia or nitrite would be toxic, and will also burn their skin. If nitrates get over 40 it has the same effect. An uncomfortable eel is going to act differently. When you notice something changes in behavior in your fish, you always want to test for ammonia, nirite, nitrate, and pH to look for any possible dangers. As fish grow (and in the case of guppies, breed) the amount of waste in the tank increases gradually. This means that maintenance should also increase or a larger environment should be provided. Because we can't see the waste it's hard to know when it becomes a problem. Water testing is the only way to know. What size tank is this?

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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