Half Banded Spiny Eel Advice

perrydaplatypus

Hey guys I got a half banded spiny eel about two weeks ago. I need advice for helping to be more social and for feeding him. I have not been able to witness him eat yet so I'm not sure how that is going. I mainly put blood worms into tank for him but just got some brine shrimp(both frozen). He only comes out at night and usually stays up in a large castle decoration I have hidden away in one of the hollow towers. Lately he has been even more apprehensive about coming out. It has so far aleays been about a 50/50 chance over whether I would get to see him out in the morning or not. I'm sure I did scare him less than a week of having him cause I stupidly had gravel in my tank and changed it all out for sand, so that was an experience for him. I do not have any live plants in tank. Tank is a 65 gallon. The eel and one zebra danio are currently the only occupants.
How long does it normally take eels to get comfy and start coming out?
Is there anything I can do to help him with that?
What are some good tank mates for a half banded spiny eel?
Any tips on how and what to feed them?
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kayla.s

Google Half-banded Spiny Eel
 

perrydaplatypus

Ya I've read it so many times already cause there are not alit of articles on them. It doesn't answer about good tank mates or tips for feeding. All it says is they can be trained to take food from you, hit do I need to start by shoving the food to the ground or how do I do this. The article is fairly vague on most things. Thank you though
 

kayla.s

"This fish is nocturnal and likes to be fed after the lights are turned off for the night. Eels only need to be fed a couple of times a week and some may refuse food offered more than that, then often eating only once every two or three weeks. The middle and top inhabitants will often eat all the food before it sinks."

"They are a nocturnal species but are generally peaceful and shy. This fish is not very aggressive but due to their large size mouths, they may eat smaller tank mates. Fish under about 2 inches as small fish are part of their natural diet in the wild. They mostly ignore other tankmates, though some individuals will be markedly more belligerent.. Some species of spiny eels can get territorial and aggressive with their own kind so a general rule of thumb is to keep them singly unless you plan to breed.

These eels are very shy when first introduced to a new tank and are known to be too shy to eat at times. It is wise not to have tank mates like catfish or loaches, at least not until your spiny eel is settled in. These fish will simply take any food offered too quickly and the eel will not get comfortable enough to feed freely."

If all that doesn't answer your questions then I'm not sure either.
Of course they can't go and name ever species of fish that could possibly be kept with the eel, That'll depend on your tank size. Just find things big enough to not become snacks and that match the temperature requirements.
 

perrydaplatypus

What size fish is too small? What is an appropriate size for tankmates? Do they like other spiny eels? Cause I kNJow here it says they don't but ive seen plenty of videos of people keeping multiple just fine so I was looking for anybody with some experience with them to help with that question since I'm seeing it contradictory statements. Ive seen people feed them from tongs or from syringes without the needle, which is best way to feed them if they are still too shy to just start taking food in front of you? Just leave the food on the bottom of tank? I heard someone once say to try and bury the food a little bit so the eel can hunt for it at night without it floating off?
 

kayla.s

"Fish under about 2 inches as small fish are part of their natural diet in the wild"
So that would suggest that fish over 2 inches should be okay with a spiny eel. I guess that fish that occupy the top region of the tank would also be okay as the eel spends most of its time at the bottom. If the eel is still quite small you can probably also get away with slightly smaller fish but I wouldn't suggest anything under an inch
 

perrydaplatypus

Thank you that helps. Do you have any tips about feeding
 

kayla.s

Well I would try what you heard about burying part of the food in the substrate in an area the eel likes to be in, and try it before turning the lights off. As the article says they really don't eat very often so chances are if it ate at the store just before you got it its likely not too hungry yet. As far as being social these are not really social creatures and being nocturnal it's normal that they'll tuck themselves away during the day and only get active at night.
 

perrydaplatypus

Well I got him almost 2 weeks ago so I don't think the just eating is the case and ive seen videos of them swimming up into their owners hand to play with them. I guess I was just looking for some people with more experience with these eels than I have to give some personal insight
 

kayla.s

Well if they only eat once every 2-3 weeks and you only got the eel about 2 weeks ago...
And yes I'm sure it's possible to train it to be more interactive but that's probably up to the individual fishes personality and a few months of settling in and getting comfy with the tank and you
 

MTV'sKribs

So I currently keep two of these guys in my 75 gallon. As far as social behaviors, the smaller one of the two is VERY social. I mean he zips around the tank all day and hangouts with my Cory cats. Even eats with them! The larger of the two is a bit more exclusive but I will tell you what got him to come out and be a bit more social:

He wasn’t eating when I first purchased him and acted a lot like how yours is acting. Finally after a couple weeks I decided to get 8 live ghost Shrimp and tossed them in. He went after them immediately! Now I add 6 or 8 shrimp every two weeks and he seems to always be out now, actively hunting the shrimp! Maybe you can try this if your eel is large enough to eat them!

As for tankmates, yes they may eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths. But like I said I have had the smaller one for a year now and he is probably the most friendly fish in my tank. The larger one is still a little more shy but is out a lot more. I was very hesitant to add the larger one as I was also unable to find any info on keeping two. While I’ve had both in the same tank for some time now without any issues, I will say I really don’t see them interact all that much. I’ve never seen them fight or do much more than look at one another as they pass by. Occasionally the small one will venture over and kind of look at the larger one, but then swims away almost as if he is respecting his space. So I kind of decided that maybe they are fine in pairs if given enough space. And honestly a four foot tank should do the trick!

Anyways good luck and I hope your eel’s personality comes out!
 

perrydaplatypus

So I currently keep two of these guys in my 75 gallon. As far as social behaviors, the smaller one of the two is VERY social. I mean he zips around the tank all day and hangouts with my Cory cats. Even eats with them! The larger of the two is a bit more exclusive but I will tell you what got him to come out and be a bit more social:

He wasn’t eating when I first purchased him and acted a lot like how yours is acting. Finally after a couple weeks I decided to get 8 live ghost Shrimp and tossed them in. He went after them immediately! Now I add 6 or 8 shrimp every two weeks and he seems to always be out now, actively hunting the shrimp! Maybe you can try this if your eel is large enough to eat them!

As for tankmates, yes they may eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths. But like I said I have had the smaller one for a year now and he is probably the most friendly fish in my tank. The larger one is still a little more shy but is out a lot more. I was very hesitant to add the larger one as I was also unable to find any info on keeping two. While I’ve had both in the same tank for some time now without any issues, I will say I really don’t see them interact all that much. I’ve never seen them fight or do much more than look at one another as they pass by. Occasionally the small one will venture over and kind of look at the larger one, but then swims away almost as if he is respecting his space. So I kind of decided that maybe they are fine in pairs if given enough space. And honestly a four foot tank should do the trick!

Anyways good luck and I hope your eel’s personality comes out!
Thank you so much for the info. One more question, do you ever feed them night crawlers and if so where do you get them from? Are the ones you buy at convenient stores for fishing fine to use?

Also how big was your eel before he was able to start eating ghost shrimp, cause I have put a few in there and they usually just end up dead floating on the bottom of the tank uneaten
 

MTV'sKribs

Also how big was your eel before he was able to start eating ghost shrimp, cause I have put a few in there and they usually just end up dead floating on the bottom of the tank uneaten

I have never fed them night crawlers so I unfortunately won’t be able to provide any information there, I’m sorry!

My larger eel is pretty big, I’d say almost 8 or 9 inches. The smaller one maybe 5 or 6. Whenever I purchase the ghost shrimp I ask for the smallest ones. If you have a buddy at the LFS it helps haha!

I also occasionally find dead shrimp on the ground but I have found that by the next morning it is usually gone. So maybe yours is a bit too small for them. Either way, it is a tough fish to feed as they all seem pretty picky. My only recommendation is to make sure foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp Are available. Even live black worms would be a good option to try!
 

perrydaplatypus

I have never fed them night crawlers so I unfortunately won’t be able to provide any information there, I’m sorry!

My larger eel is pretty big, I’d say almost 8 or 9 inches. The smaller one maybe 5 or 6. Whenever I purchase the ghost shrimp I ask for the smallest ones. If you have a buddy at the LFS it helps haha!

I also occasionally find dead shrimp on the ground but I have found that by the next morning it is usually gone. So maybe yours is a bit too small for them. Either way, it is a tough fish to feed as they all seem pretty picky. My only recommendation is to make sure foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp Are available. Even live black worms would be a good option to try!
Thank you I found some red wrigglers that are technically meant for reptiles but my eels seem to enjoy them
 

kayla.s

Great news, glad it's eating
 

perrydaplatypus

Great news, glad it's eating
Lol thanks just running into another snag now. I think my eel is possibly killing or possibly harassing my other fish to death. I got 4 black mollies the other day and they are all dead! One of them had its tail buried into the sand so far it was stuck there like a flag pole
 

kayla.s

Yeah like I previously mentioned a small fish like that is an easy target unfortunately
 

perrydaplatypus

Yeah like I previously mentioned a small fish like that is an easy target unfortunately
Ya I get what your saying but I thought mollies would be big enough since they get 4". They werent fully grown yet but neither are the eels
 

Jonathan97

Hey guys, I just bought a half banded spiny eel. I have him in a 20 gallon for now until I move home to my 55 gallon. I have everything Perfect including the PH/ammonia levels. I have plenty of places for him to hide and even have sand as the substrate. I’ve been feeding him bloodworms(frozen) for the past couple of days but I can’t tell if he’s eating. He thrashes around near the food and some of it disappears but I can’t tell if he’s eating or just putting the food in the substrate. Also, he’s not as active during the day, I know he’s nocturnal but he will literally sit in place for hours.
Thank you.
 

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