Lesser Spiny Eel - Macrognathus aculeatus
Species name: Macrognathus aculeatus
Synonym: Rhynchobdella aculeata; Macrognathus aculeatum; Ophidium aculeatum; Rhyncobdella aculeata;
Common Names: Lesser spiny eel
Family: Mastacembelidae (spiny eels)
Order: Synbranchiformes (spiny eels)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Max. size: 38.0 cm/ 14 inches
Environment: Fresh and brackish waters
Origin: Common throughout south-east Asia
Temperament: Aside from eating small fish when larger, very peaceful, may even be picked on by more robust tank mates.
Company: Being predators they should only be combined with fish that are over 3 inches, smaller fish will be eaten.
Water parameters: temperature 23-28°C / 73-82° F; pH 6.5 - 7.5
Aquarium setup: Macrognathus aculeatus(Lesser spiny eel) is he smallest of the commonly seen spiny eels (tyre track and fire eels being the others) and it is more suitable for home aquariums than its giant relatives, a minimum of a 36 inches tank should be used to house this fish. Offer a sand substrate since the fish likes to burrow, plants are best left out since the eel/s will continually uproot them. They are not fussy of water parameters but the extremes of hardness and pH should be avoided, neutral water is best.
Feeding: Like with all eels feeding can be difficult, most eels will only accept live foods at first so try bloodworms, daphnia, glassworm, brineshrimp and black mosquito larvea, larger specimens should also take river/ghost shrimp. Once the eel is feeding confidently live foods can be swapped for frozen.
Breeding: Difficult but possible. The males pursue the females how deposits her eggs on substrate and decor which are then fertilised by the males. Spawning might be triggered by a diet consisting of live food and large water changes.)
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