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Tire Track Eel Complete Guide

Are you trying to find out how to take care of your Tire Track Eel? Or perhaps you’d like to know the right way to feed them? You’ve arrived at the proper location, then! Every facet of taking care of them and promoting their growth is covered in this article. It also has some excellent advice about tank mates and other subjects that will contribute to the happiness and well-being of your tire track eel. First things first: can you identify Tire-Track eels (Mastacembelus armatus)? Their faces resemble snouts, and their bodies are shaped like traditional eels, flattened laterally. Their dark zigzag patterns that run from their head to their tail also give them a snake-like appearance.

Species Summary

tire track eel

The Tire Track Eel is a species of tropical freshwater eel that is part of the Mastacembelidae family and is found throughout Asia. The habitats in which the species exist range greatly from one another. They can be found in highland streams, lowland marshes, and rivers with sand, pebble, or boulder substrate. They also live in flooded woodland regions. It’s important to remember that this fish is big, which makes it challenging to sustain in small talk if you’re considering keeping one in your home aquarium. It’s not very well-liked by regular aquarists for the same reason. The cool thing, though, is that huge fish keepers are really selective about this species. One thing about it that makes an impression on those who watch it is the way it behaves peacefully among the other fish species in the communal aquarium. Yes, Tyre-Track Eels have a reputation for being quite understanding of their other tank mates. In general, experienced aquarium owners seeking a unique fish for their tank may consider the tire track eel, as it is a tranquil and demanding species. These fish always swim around the aquarium when it is well adapted and well-managed; they do, however, like aquariums with lots of hiding spots and low lighting.

Tire Track Eel Care

tire track eel

Although they don’t require much care, tire track eels do require some particular attention. One of the most popular fish kept in community aquariums are tyre-track eels. They can coexist peacefully in a fish tank with other types of fish because they are an adaptive species. They are not difficult to take care of, but they do require some particular attention. They will stay healthy and thriving as long as you give them a balanced food, lots of hiding spots, and lots of swimming room. tire track eel, however, are susceptible to abrupt changes in their surroundings. For instance, there’s a chance they can experience stress if they’re taken from their house and put in a different tank. To prevent it, make sure the tank and feeding requirements remain constant.

Tank Size

The tire track eel is a reasonably active fish that spends much of its day hiding in its tunnels and using the nighttime hours for hunting and territorial exploration. They require a large-volume tank due to their size. An aquarium that is 48 inches by 24 inches, or around 132 gallons, is a suitable starting size. But the best thing you can do for your tire track eel is to provide it access to lots of open water and narrow channels, which are ideal for scavenging and hunting. You will have the best chance of having a happy, healthy fish if you do this.

Tank Mates

They are semi-aggressive eels that coexist without problems with other fish species in a community aquarium. However, keeping the tire track eel with larger fish that cannot be eaten would be best. Likewise, avoid keeping it with other territorial and aggressive fish.

Tire Track Eels should be kept with medium to large semi-aggressive species, such as:

  • Loaches
  • Gouramis
  • Knifefish
  • Geophagus
  • Acara

Same Species Tanks

The Tire Track Eel is rarely used as a single species in any type of assembly; it’s safe to keep the animal in a group.

Water Parameters

Although they are tough fish, they cannot tolerate abrupt changes in conditions. This species is also vulnerable to buildup of organic materials in the aquarium and water contaminants. Furthermore, this fish has exceptional quality in a variety of aspects. It requires the ideal temperature range of 75 to 82 F to be maintained. The appropriate hardness range is 5 to 12°H, and the ideal pH range is 6.0 to 7.0. Keep in mind that this fish thrives in water that is slightly brackish (high hardness). This variation in pH and hardness reflects the oscillation of parameters during the rainy and dry seasons and is related to the specimen’s origin place.

What to Put in Their Tank

Tire Track Eel require a filtering system and an aquarium heater in order to be healthy, just like any other fish raised in captivity. Because these fish are excellent jumpers, the filtration system needs to be properly sized, and the tank needs to be covered, fitted, and fastened.
The species’ survival depends on the aquarium’s design, as it requires a lot of caverns and hiding spots. Your greatest option for a suitable home for your Tire Track Eel is an aquarium that is heavily vegetated. We advise you to create hiding spots and tunnels out of a lot of driftwood and rocks. Considering that these animals enjoy burrowing themselves, sand makes an excellent substrate.

Common Diseases

These fish, called eels, are remarkably resistant to disease. However, because their bodies are covered in tiny scales for protection, they are vulnerable to parasites and fungi. Tyre-Track eels are also medicine sensitive, so steer clear of copper-based treatments since they will not work well for them. Ultimately, to ensure that your fish don’t have any health issues, always maintain the tank and water quality at their best. New fish should always be quarantined before being added to the main tank.

Food and Diet

Tire Track Eels are nocturnal, omnivores that consume fish, plant matter, detritus, and benthic invertebrates for food. Live fish, worms, and other aquatic invertebrates make up the majority of their diet in their native habitat. They also consume plant matter as food. However, they have trouble consuming commercial rations in aquariums. Rather, they are more fond of eating live, fresh foods like earthworms, brine shrimp, live fish, and bloodworms. It can be a little difficult to feed a Tyre Track eel. Both overfeeding and underfeeding have the potential to result in malnutrition and mortality. Overfeeding can lead to poor digestion and health issues. Feeding them a couple times a week is a decent general rule of thumb. In order to realize its full potential, a balanced and diverse diet is necessary. However, these fish generally seem to be constantly hungry.


This fish can live up to 18 years, however the average lifespan is closer to 10. It can also live up to 18 years in an aquarium with all the proper parameters maintained steady and an excellent diet. So picture how long you can profit from having this stress-relieving friend! These animals have a lower life expectancy in the wild because to their susceptibility to illnesses, predator attacks, and environmental factors.


The body and snout of an adult Tire-track Eel are elongated, and their anal and dorsal fins are linked to their caudal fin. Its basic body is light brown in color, with a darker zigzag pattern along the length of the body and dividing the animal’s eye laterally. “Zig-Zag Eel” is one of its names, bestowed by this tag.


With proper nutrition and care, the Tire Track Eel may grow to a length of 35 inches with ease. Nonetheless, the most typical species found in home aquariums are those that are 20 inches or longer. These fish like to avoid conflict and are very calm. Although this is the case, it is still advisable to maintain them in a community aquarium with larger fish or species that are the same size because they may confuse smaller fish for food. As previously noted, Tyre-Track eels can coexist peacefully in a tank with other fish species provided that their temperaments are similar. They don’t swim too much during the day, but at night you can spot them around open swimming areas.


Reports of its reproduction in home aquariums are quite rare. The challenge of appropriately sexing fish and maintaining many species in one aquarium are among the causes of this. However, Tyre-track eels provide likely critical conditioning for tropical fish, even though this conditioning has only been empirically observed. Being an oviparous species, it doesn’t receive any parental care. They swim in circles and pursue each other throughout the several-hour wooing phase. The eggs are then laid between the roots of floating plants by the female. Adherent eggs cling to the plants and hatch after three to four days. In a few more days, the fingerlings learn to swim freely and are receptive to being fed nauplii.

Behavior and Temperament

These fish like to avoid conflict and are very calm. Although this is the case, it is still advisable to maintain them in a community aquarium with larger fish or species that are the same size because they may confuse smaller fish for food. As previously noted, Tyre-Track eels can coexist peacefully in a tank with other fish species provided that their temperaments are similar. They don’t swim too much during the day, but at night you can spot them around open swimming areas.

Gender Differences: Male vs. Female

There is no apparent sexual dimorphism. Yet, experienced hobbyists say that adult males are wider and more robust when viewed from above.


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