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Freshwater Aquarium/feeding various tropical fish


Hi, I'd like to think I'm fairly experienced with keeping tropical freshwater fish since I've had my tank for over 10 years. In the past I've had a 30 gallon tank and I've had "cute" fish in it like tetras, gouramis, and swordtails. Recently I upgraded to a beautiful 60 gallon because I adopted several fish from a girl at work who was moving. I have an 8" bala shark, an 8" clown loach, a 5ish" Chinese algae eater, and 4 tetras roughly the size of a mature blackskirt that I got from her. I also have 2 blue tetras, a reticulated hillstream loach, a red tail botia, a blacksmith tetra, and a tiretrack eel. Everyone is super happy and thriving. Water quality is perfect and maintenance is minimal. I'm running 2 different filters and an air stone. I feed Cobalt tropical flakes, Wardley shrimp pellets, any Hikari algae wafers. I'm trying to make this more of a serious hobby and not a decoration so I'm trying to learn all I can. I know not to put inverts in my tank because of the loaches but I was wondering if you could suggest something for the eel. I don't want to use feeders for 2 reasons: 1 disease and 2 I don't want him to get used to "going after" live prey. I asked the guy at the pet store & he gave me some ideas but basically told me if he gets hungry enough he will eat anything. That's not good enough for me. I hand fed him large mysis shrimp and feeder shrimp (not bought out of a feeder tank). I was looking into silver sides (cutting them up of course) but I read online they can eat worms and insects. What are your thoughts? What type of worms and insects?

Thank you!

Hi Emily

This Eel actually prefers live food. I can tell you right now that any small fish in the tank such as the Tetras need to be moved to another tank or they will be eaten eventually. The Tire Track Eel should be fed live foods such as earthworms, black worms, small feeder fish and shrimp. You should be able to get these at Petsmart or Petco as well as most fish stores. I wouldn't feed him insects, some of those carry more diseases than feeder fish. He'll also eat pellets and freeze dried Bloodworms, and leftovers the other fish miss. Also, he eats at night when the lights are out and no one is don't think he isn't eating when you don't see him. (a lot of my questions have to do with nocturnal fish not eating)

Another important thing I need to point out if no one else has told you, is you're going to need a much larger tank of 120 gallons or more for your current fish.

Hope this helps you, good luck!


Freshwater Aquarium

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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

HSG 2010-2011 prof

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