The Peacock Eel, Macrognathus siamensis is a very handsome spiny eel. There can be some variation in its colour and patterning, depending on where it originates from. But basically, they are light brown in color with a thin pale yellow stripe running from the eye to the base of the tail.
You can readily see where the name ‘Peacock’ Eel comes from. They will generally have between three to six decorative ‘eye spots’ adorning the upper rear portion of the body along the base of the dorsal fin. Other common names they are known by are Spot-Finned Spiny Eel, Peacock Spiny Eel, Striped Peacock Eel, and Siamese Spiny Eel.
Although not considered to be true eels, the body shapes of all members of the spiny eel family, Mastacembelidae, are definitely eel-like. The Peacock Eel has an elongated, but rather thick body and a pointed snout. This is an aquarium eel that doesn’t get too big, reaching just under a foot (30 cm) in length. Juveniles can be kept in about an 80 litre tank, but larger specimens will need a bigger area. Adults will need a tank that is 90cm in length and about 140 litres. Make sure you have a tight fitting cover as these guys are escape artists
Peacock Spiny Eel is very hardy and commonly available. It makes a great starter fish for first time spiny eel keepers. It is generally a willing feeder and readily adapts to aquarium life. It is also relatively small, with its maximum adult size being about 20cm long. As it is nocturnal you may not always see it though. It will usually hide during the daytime by burying itself in the substrate.
Peacock Eels are peaceful fish that can be kept in a community tank with larger fish. Unlike many of the spiny eels, this species will also get along well with others of its own kind as long as they are of a similar size.
- Species – Macrognatheus siamensis
- Common Name – Spiny Eel, Peacock Eel
- Origin – South-east Asia
- Diet – Carnivore
- PH Range – Neutral 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 22°c – 26°c
- Max Size – approximately 20cm
- Sex – Un-sexed