Start up problem. to eel or not to eel 20 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Setup' started by zcpetty, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    Hello everyone,
    I have had a 25 gallon tank for some time. it has survived several generations of molly's and even a rainbow shark. Rainbow got pretty large and he was given to a friend with a larger home for him, and i left the molly tank at home with my parents when i moved out. I am planning (or trying to) a 20 gallon Long tank. I originally wanted a "Freshwater eel" (fully aware they require brackish - full marine water honestly). I have always done tropic fresh water. These eels sold at PetCo are in fresh water with GOLD FISH and Pecos.. they add salt every few days and thats it. If i were to purchase one of these eels should i adjust my tank to this not so healthy environment they are used to or make it true brackish or even full salt? Also- how do i keep the eel from escaping out the filter hole? I have tossed between eel or a simple clown fish tank but im still a little intimidated by starting a salt tank. I have consulted with the people of Tropical World Pets near my home and they told me what I needed for a starter tank for clowns, but it was simple. With this knowledge should i eel or not eel? As a newby with no salt experience I dont know what would be best for me. I want something new, cool, and fresh..i am done with mollys and gold fish.. Opinions please? sorry for the long winded read!

    eel pic

    Current plan for tank equip to purchase
    20 Gal Long tank &stand
    some form of hood with light
    [TABLE="width: 408"]
    [TD="width: 408"]Aqueon QuietFlow Aquarium Power Filters (30 gal)
    aragonite sand

    (if going salt)
    Live rock
    (was told i dont need a skimmer for 1-2 clowns, but im sure i would with the eel)[/TD]

  2. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Freshwater eel is a generic classification. It would be useful to know just what sort of eel they want to sell you before getting into parameters. Is it a spiny, snowflake, electric or tiretrack?

    Once you know that you can start researching their individual preferances. Brackish (how brackish? Lots of variation that may be lifecycle dependent), foods, potential tankmates, substrate, and so on.

    Once you know what you're getting into you can make an informed decision.

  3. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    They call it a "snowflake" but it isnt a true snowflake from what i have found online. image

    Theres the link to the picture i took from the store. It is literally in with goldfish and big Pecos. They said they just add a little salt now and then and it doesnt hurt your freshy fish. Seems kind of unhealthy imo..
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  4. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Take a look at this article. There is a lot of information in it, but the fast takeaway is you will need to set up a brackish tank, even if it's currently in fresh. And 20 gallons, even a long, isn't a big enough tank because they are heavy waste producers.

    I'd do a lot more research, knowing that there is a saltwater and a fresh (brackish) snowflake eel in the trade, and they are not the same fish.


    Another article

  5. beauWell Known MemberMember

    Once you've identified what type of eel it is you'll want to acclimate it to the proper conditions over a period of time. If the species does actually need brackish I would test the salinity of the water in the bag, and then go from there. You can adjust the eel to the require salinity (whether it be higher or lower) over a week or two, depending on how off it is. (Or if the water is actually perfect, then you won't need to change anything)
  6. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    20 is baby set up. Im going to gear it to get bigger. Should be able to go up to a larger tank then upgrade again later if i need. Im trying not to jump into something i cant handle though.
  7. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Fair enough. I know zip about their growth habits, but based on some fish I've had, I 'd suggest you start planning that upgrade as soon as you get this tank rolling. It may save you some grief later on. I'd certainly go with a robust filtration system, twin HOBs for that much larger tank to deal with the waste issue. Plus you'll be one step into your upgrade that way.
  8. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah. I have seriously thought about just running a 20 gal marine tank and skip the eel. Same effort without the upgrading worry or possibility of an escape... The set up is similar, requires more work, but the fish prices scare me lol. I saw that eel in a fresh tank and got pumped, but its too good to be true. Ill do some more research. I want an interesting fish. He can have his own tank even. Im just tires of my basic trop tank.. My coolest fish was the rainbow shark i had. Lol
  9. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Well, if you still wanted to go brackish you could do bumblebee gobies and fiddler crabs. Both are loaded with personality and fun. You could acclimate a few colorful guppies to hang with them. Guppy fry, should you have some, make good snacks for carnivorous little fish.
  10. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    I was told by my favorite pet store that if i got the aragonite sand, some live rock, a 30 gal pump for the 20 gal tank. That it should be all i need for a simple salt tank with no skimmer. Do you know if thats true? I figure i can get a simple fish or even some crabs. I want to learn the salt ways without drowning financially. I dont want to get it all going and lose a 30-60 fish.. As a freshy owner i think its a 50/50 shot i could lose my first salt fish.
  11. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    I'm going to have to bow out because saltwater tanks are not my area of expertise. Anything over 1.008 specific gravity is another country.

    Good luck with whatever you end up with!
  12. zcpettyWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for your help. You may have helped me avoid a disaster and a dead or ill eel! I will do a little more research

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