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Tire track eel - Mastacembelus armatus

Tire track eel - Mastacembelus armatus

Scientific name: Mastacembelus armatus

Common name: Tire track eel

Family: Mastacembelidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 80 - 90 cm (31.5 - 35.43 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 8 - 18°N (142.86 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 27 °C (71.6 - 80.6°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: East Asia

Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


The Tire Track Eel can be found in countries of Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Sumatra and India.


The exact life expectancy of the Tire Track Eel is debatable. Some say they live for 5 years while others say they can live for more than 10.

General Care

The Tire Track Eel inhabits well oxygenated water in their own habitat so this will need to be replicated in the aquarium. Aiming the outlet of the filter towards the water surface will increase gaseous exchange, thus increasing the oxygen levels in the water. Water quality needs to be high so weekly water changes must be performed, these fish are also bottom dwellers so make sure that the substrate gets vacuumed on a regular basis as well. Uneaten food in the substrate can soon lower the water quality. These fish can grow quite large so ample space must be provided by using a larger aquarium, 100 gallons is the suggested size and hiding places need to be added by using rocks or wood, plastic piping is also ideal. Plants can be added but the Tire Track Eel is also a burrower, plants can get disturbed so it may be best to pot them before adding to the aquarium. They are classed as a nocturnal species so may not be too active in the daytime and they will see smaller tank mates as a food source. It is advised that they are kept as a single specimen in any set up as they will be territorial towards their own kind.


The Tire Track Eel is classed as a carnivorous species, they can be difficult to get to feed when first added to the aquarium but with patience they will accept live foods such as fresh blood worms, brine shrimp and even chopped earthworms. You should offer the food in the evenings and eels only need a feed a couple of times per week.


When mature, females appear rounder than males.


The Tire Track Eel is not successfully bred in captivity. It is known that in the wild they are egg depositers, normally the eggs are placed on any foliage in their habitat.


Provided by Damian. Thanks!

Tire track eel picture 1 Tire track eel picture 2 Tire track eel picture 3 Tire track eel picture 4 Tire track eel picture 5

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