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Old 08-12-2004, 08:08 PM   #1
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New tank- any advice??

Okay, I'm thinking of adding a new tank to my collection. The LFS always delcares that oscars cannot be kept with any other fish. However, I notice they do fine with large and small plecos.

So my idea is this. I'd like to get a 75 gal tank, put in a couple of the same size red oscars, and one of the 20 inch fire eels the LFS has right now. It'll be planted, and if I can find one large enough, I'd like a black shark to inhabit the tank as well. Later on I'll buy a fairly good sized pleco.

I've seen two oscars housed together- they seem okay if they're the same size. And fire eels reach lengths of 30''. Black sharks can get up to 20''. So do you think this may possibly work- based on your experience? I don't really want to know what you THINK, but what you KNOW. What's worked for those of you with oscar tanks, please.

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Old 08-12-2004, 08:13 PM   #2
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Here's a photo of a fire eel, in case you'd like to know what they look like!
I'd never seen one until last week. Pretty cool.
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:44 AM   #3
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I don't know much about fire eels, but a 20" creature in a tank that's biggest dimension is only 48"? I'd say no to that one OR get a bigger tank. The oscars should be happy for a while in that tank though...
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:27 AM   #4
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Oscars and plecs usually get along fine.

I don't have any experience with the fire eels (so I can't comment about them), but I don't think I'd keep a black shark with the oscar(s). They can get rather territorial and aggressive as they mature. So do the oscars. This can lead to large scale squabbling and constantly injured fish.

Unless you have the means of returning fish to your LFS, I wouldn't get more than one oscar. They will get huge- and they'll do it quickly. 75 gallons is a great size for ONE oscar, but not any more.

I noticed you plan on going with a planted tank: that'll be an excercise in futility, I'm afraid. Oscars will dig/rearrange the tank, destroy plants, etc. The only oscar safe plants I know of are java ferns attached to heavy rocks or wood.
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Old 08-13-2004, 01:27 PM   #5
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I can say with some degree of certainty that even a full grown fire eel is defenseless against an oscar. It just isn't a good mix and will result in an expensive loss. Sorry if this isn't what you wanted hear.
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Old 08-14-2004, 02:50 AM   #6
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Sorry it took me so long to reply to my own thread here- couldn't remember what category it was in!

Anyway, thanks for your input. It's just that I'd like to have a red oscar (if two won't work I can handle one), and I'd also like a fire eel. But getting two tanks large enough to handle both of these alone seems crazy. One of my good friends had an oscar that was about 8 1/2 inches long until he jumped the tank, and he was housed with some other type of fish... I don't recall what, but it wasn't a pleco. He thought a fire eel would be tough enough. Esp if they were together as they grew. That's where the idea came from.

Has anyone ever had a fire eel?
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Old 08-14-2004, 02:53 AM   #7
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More info:

Fire Eel
(Mastacembelus erthrotaenia)
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Light: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 75-82°F; pH 6.8-7.2; dH 10-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 2'
Color Form: Brown
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Southeast Asia
Family: Mastacembelidae

The Fire Eel is a nocturnal predator, and part of the Mastacembelidae family, also referred to as the Spiny Eel family. Members of this family are not true eels. They are elongated, tropical, freshwater fish that have numerous spines preceding the dorsal fin.

Best suited for a larger aquarium, a soft substrate is necessary for this fish. The Fire Eel will often dig in the substrate and bury itself; this may uproot plants and rearrange decorations. A tight lid should be used for any long, slender fish, as they will often try to escape from the aquarium. The Fire Eel should be kept with fish of similar size or larger, and will not tolerate its own kind.

Unfortunately, the breeding habits of the Fire Eel have not been documented.

A carnivore, live foods such as earthworms and black worms should be fed to the Fire Eel. Prepared tablet foods as well as krill and ocean plankton may eventually be accepted.

Ideal tank mates include: Similar "Oddball fish" (miscellaneous fish) with similar care level and aggression.

This says they can be housed in a 50 gal... hmmm
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Old 08-14-2004, 08:49 PM   #8
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i wouldnt say they'd be okay with eachother. most big fish eat worms for a living and a giant worm? bigger meal . personally id go for the fire eel instead of the oscar but thats me.
~ Danny
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:20 AM   #9
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I agree with everybody else on the fire eel - no experience with - but seems risky. I had an oscar and a pleco in a 55 gallon for about 7 years (then moved and left them with my parents.) They did perfectly fine together and grew up together. I started them in a 29 to grow out a bit since they were both only an inch or two a piece when I bought them. The only things they didn't uproot and destroy were large pieces of driftwood and slate slabs. I also had to cover the heater because every now and then the oscar would attack it. Oscars are great fish with HUGE personalities and they'll really get to know you.
55 Gal 2 tinfoil barbs, 6 buenos aires tetras, 4 green cories, 3 serpae tetras & 2 clown plecos
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20 long 1 red cap oranda & 1 calico ryukin with 3 ghost shrimp
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7 gal. minibow quarantine / 2 panda cories
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