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Elver/glass eel care?

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#1 ccarceo

  • NANFA Guest
  • Boston

Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:23 AM

Hi everyone!


So as luck would have it, I was brought a small (2 inch) Elver/juvenile American eel. It was accidentally caught in a collection of water meant to sample for micro debris, and by the time it was discovered it had been sitting in a petri dish for a day before someone spotted it under a microscope. After being in the lab and transported to multiple sites, the crew who caught it wasn't sure which site it came from so they didn't want to release it. I set up a spare 20 gallon with a few inches of clean water and an air stone, and figured we'd see what happens. Its been a week and it seems to be doing well. I'm not overly shocked since they are hardy, but with how small it was I didn't know if it would really thrive after its initial journey. Now that its made it through the week I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience caring for one so young before? I've been giving it daphnia that I had on hand in my freezer, and have covered the sides of the tank to keep it on the darker side.


In the thought that it does continue to do well, does anyone have any recommendations on food and filtration? Since its so small I'm especially hesitant to put filtration in that it could possibly get into. I'm thinking I'll have to wait until its a little larger and then maybe rig up a sponge filter, or put fine mesh around any openings. Food wise I'm assuming its taking some of the daphnia, and was thinking I could add cyclops or other suggestions.


Before anyone starts asking about the plan for this guy if down the line he becomes a full fledged American eel, the crew that caught him is ready to have him set up in a display tank for educational purposes, and are knowledgeable on how large a tank/what conditions he requires. So if he does thrive, he does have a plan for the future...college fund and all.


Anyways any advice would be really appreciated,


Thanks in advance!


#2 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:33 AM

Would love to see a pic if you can post one for us.


I think you're on the right track, but you could add a sponge filter now and have a gentle flow.  You'll want filtration on the tank and a sponge filter is safe.  Could it go down the air tube, yes. But you could work around that minor issue.  If you had access to micro/banana/vinegar worms I think they'd be a good food source.  Newly hatched artemia nuaplii would be another readily available food item.  

Nick L.

#3 ccarceo

  • NANFA Guest
  • Boston

Posted 24 April 2018 - 01:05 PM

Let me know if the attached video works, this was taken the morning after I got him before adding more hiding and darkening the tank.
I'll go ahead and put in a sponge filter, and add some screening around the top. Thanks for the suggestion of micro/banana/vinegar worms, I'll start up one or two of those to add in for his diet.
Thanks littlen!

Attached Files

#4 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:56 PM

Fresh-hatched brine shrimp and fine-chopped blackworms (Lumbriculus) or white worms should work.  Live or frozen bloodworms (chironomids) too.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#5 Dustin

  • Forum Staff

Posted 26 April 2018 - 11:48 AM

Wow, that is cool.  Looks like a swimming skeleton.

Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC

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