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Old 10-06-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
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Eel for Christmas

My 6 1/2 year old would like an eel. From the reading I have done, it seems there are freshwater and salt water options. Are eels reasonably easy to take care of? In case he tires of taking care of it I want to make sure that we can keep it happy easily. How do I figure out what types of things/other fish to put in with it?

Thanks,
Danielle
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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Eels need relatively big tanks, somewhere around 50 gallons or 40. They are predators so you cant keep inverts or other peaceful fish with it really as it will eat them. You could get other predators like lionfish though. I am not sure about their diet though but just know that you wont be able to keep shrimp and snails as well as small fish like gobies.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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I love my eel and I got him before I knew a whole lot. Mine is called a freshwater snowflake eel. The name and what most local fish stores will tell you is a lie however. Any eel you get will either need salt water or brackish water to be truely happy and healthy.

Brackish water is where a freshwater stream flows into a salt water ocean or bay. This creates a 50 50 mix of salt ans fresh water resulting in brackish water.

Eels are pretty easy as long as you keep the water clean. They can go 4 weeks without eating on a regular basis. As long as they have a little cave they wont stress much.

Couple questions. First off do you have a tank right now? If not please let us know how big the area is where the tank will be. Knowing the max width and depth will determine if we can even fit a tank that could house an eel.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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We have plenty of space and are prepared to get a 50 gal tank. I don't have anything yet. Are pet stores a good place to but eels and coral?
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #5
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Yes there are some good local fish stores that are smart and truthful. I would read some reviews online and look at the more local stores instead of big corp ones like petco. The maw and paw stores are almost always more passionate about their hoby.

When I set up my first tank I bought everything bran new... big mistake and a waist of 600 bucks. Used tanks can be bour at a dollar a gallon and tones of decore. Craigslist or local ebay searches work well for getting great gear at a fraction of the price.

I see one potential problem. If you follow the book and get him a tank for xmas then normally it takes about 6 to 8 weeks to fully cycle. Not sure what your knowledge level is on the nitrogen cycle and biofilters and I can explain pretty easily if you dont.
You can take steps to get it running sooner I just want to make sure patients is something you son has or at least something you would like to teach him.

If you would like help learning this or looking for some good places or gear online please just let us know and tell us what city and state your in and we can look up some craigslist items and LFS (local fish stores) for you to check out.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I was checking Craigslist this morning. I want to get everything (except the eel) soon so it will be set for Christmas. He knows he is getting it since it will be his main gift so it is ok if he sees the tank. I was finding prices of $150-$200 for tank/stand and some gear. Is this reasonable? I am in Tampa. I keep reading about a cave for it, how do I pick a cave? I think we are going with a Snowflake eel.
I liked this one
55 gallon fish tank and nice black stand

I know this one is still available 56 Gallon Aquarium - Fish Tank - REDUCED
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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To make a cave, you just have to stack your live Rock so it makes a nice cave for him.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #8
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Now way to funny! Im currently in northern illinois but me and my girlfriend are moving to Tampa Dec 26th so I have been watching that craigslist for weeks now to try and find a very large tank.

150 to 200 would be ok for a 55 with EVERYTHING you need including decore and all matching stands and hoods. A 55 with maybe miss matched color stand I have seen for 75 bucks. Its not to hard to paint or refinish a stand. There are allot of very nice tanks for a very good price depending on where you draw the line at.

There is a 125 gallon with everything included for 350 just posted an hour ago. These tanks can be bought for 250 bran new at walmart so I could expect to max at 150 depending on what it comes with.

Ill send a message if I see something else post up. Otherwise im going to start looking at LFS's for both of us.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy336 View Post
Thanks for the advice. I was checking Craigslist this morning. I want to get everything (except the eel) soon so it will be set for Christmas. He knows he is getting it since it will be his main gift so it is ok if he sees the tank. I was finding prices of $150-$200 for tank/stand and some gear. Is this reasonable? I am in Tampa. I keep reading about a cave for it, how do I pick a cave? I think we are going with a Snowflake eel.
I liked this one
55 gallon fish tank and nice black stand

I know this one is still available 56 Gallon Aquarium - Fish Tank - REDUCED
I would offer 125 for the 55 long tank and stand only not the filter and buy the filter somewhere else. I would stick to long or breeder tanks instead of column tanks since eels can lay out over 2 feet of the tank on the bottom
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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Tampa is a great place. Thanks for the price info. What type of fish work best. & won't get eaten by Mr. snowflake
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