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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've fallen in love with the rope fish I got with the tank, but it is simply going to get too big for the tank its in. I have a 55 gal, which is supposed to be ok for it but as active as it likes to be I cannot see him being very happy in something that's only 12'' longer than he will be. I love eel/snake-like fish (handful of kuhli's in my 20 gal as well!) and am thinking of getting a freshwater eel or three to replace him.

I'd like smaller eels if possible, the smallest I've seen gets to 6'', but up a foot should be fine if kept singly. I'm still working out tankmates and am willing to base it around the eel, but I would very much like to keep small schooling fish (tetras, for example) and bristlenose plecos. There is a red-tailed shark I'd like to keep as well. I like neons, but if the rope fish sees them as food I'd be surprised if there is an eel that doesn't. Might consider other smallish snake-like fish to share the bottom like dojo loaches at some point, but that will be after the rest of the tank is situated and if I'm still dropping nitrate levels.

Tank is 55 gal and sits at 4 ft long, will be heavily/fully planted with a driftwood type decoration in the center. Temp sits between 72 and 75 most days. pH: 7.4
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have one currently, but they get to 36'' and the tank is only 48'' long. He's about 8'' now and pretty active at all hours. I think he will be a bit squished when he fully matures.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looking at those, but I think they both get too big. :( Appreciate the help though, slowly whittling down the number of potential ones.
 

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Peacock is your best bet, and you can keep a small group of them.
 

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I have a tire track eel and love him, hand fed friendly curious to a point but timid also. I'd love a fire eel but they tend to get a lot bigger but seem more brave and curious and friendly. I would def get another tire track eel again tho in a heart beat. and if i ever move my eel to my 75 or larger tanks i'll get a fire eel to go with him. be warned tho that with eels u must have everything blocked off very well, if their head fits through it they will get out/ or into it. mine spent a day in the filter behind the media once cuz he slipped up in threw the lil slit where the water return is. They also will climb/swim out the top of the tank or out any holes in the lid if able to. i was told by someone to use chicken wire under the lid inside the top and cut out the filter spot n keep the chicken wire tight up to it and that worked wonderful so far for the 8months to a year that its been like that since he spent a day in bad eel time out in the filter!
 

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Tire track eels are a little smaller than fire eels, topping off at 3 feet long.
 

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I've had quite a few "eels". I currently still have a tire track eel. Tire tracks are VERY AGGRESSIVE towards other eels, and will kill them. I had to sell an 18" fire eel because my 16" tire track wouldn't allow it out of the substrate without it getting pummeled and bitten. They are also VERY aggressive towards fish that could be considered food, my tire track readily pounds 4, 5, 6 goldfish at a time with no delay. It's in a tank with 2 festaes, a dovii, and managuensis, 2 buttikoferi, 2 red pacu, a big clown knife, and an ornate bichir. Most other eels would certainly become food in that tank. Not a tire track.

Fire eels are much more practical if u have the size and want something that is a little more playful and fun (although my current tire track is SUPER active and all over the tank). They won't eat all your small fish and they're typically not aggressive towards each other so u can have multiples. BUT, like it's been stated they are the largest one you're gonna look at.

Peacock, zig zag, spiny are really where u wanna stay at. Fire Eels and tire tracks are much too large for a 55g if u intend on keeping it to full size. My fire's and tire tracks have breached a foot within the first year from purchase. The tire track I currently have is less than a year old and well over a foot long.

Hope that helps if you're still looking.

PS, here's a shot of the old tire track hangin with some bad boys of the predator world and a shot from when I got my first fire eel.



 
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