Striped Eel Catfish
A truly extraordinary species of fish, that will always get a second glance. These eel-like catfish are known for their striped colour pattern and are spotted in coral reefs all around the world.
The Striped Eel Catfish start life as completely black juveniles developing their distinctive striped markings as they mature. Whitish yellow stripes appear running from the mouth to the tail with the body eventually turning a dark brownish colour.
They are the only species of catfish that can be found in coral reefs. Take caution with these creatures as they do have sharp spines which are highly venomous and can sometimes even be fatal.
This species has been seen to spawn during the summer months in the wild, but no known instances of them spawning in captivity have been reported.
When young they will collect themselves into balls of hundreds of fish in one school until they are big enough to venture out on their own as adults.
These fish are found all over the Indo-West Pacific Ocean ranging from East Africa and the Red Sea over to Japan and then south down to Australia. They can be spotted in shallow reef areas as well as muddy estuaries. They will usually stay quite shallow but reports have shown them down to depths of 60 metres.
Tank Recommendations for Striped Eel Catfish
The juveniles are best kept in groups as they are very sociable. The problem with this is that they can grow quite large as adults. So keeping them from young should be reserved only for owners of the largest home aquariums. The smallest tank size for one fish is 290 litres. Sand, gravel and coral or rock rubble substrate should be provided so they can dig and hide themselves during the day.
Suitable Tank Buddies
Striped Eel Catfish won't prey on everything in your tank but be aware that anything small enough could be potential food. They are semi-aggressive so try to choose bigger tank buddies with a similar temperament. Juveniles should always be kept in a group as they will not do well if separated even to the point of hiding themselves and dying.
Larger species will be the best options to combine with these catfish such as big Angelfish, Groupers and Grunts. Pufferfish, Lionfish and Tangs would also make wonderful tank buddies. Others species that would be a good fit include Snappers and Scorpionfish. Catfish won't harm any sort of live coral either.
Caution should be taken when attempting to keep these fish along with species such as smaller Angelfish, Frogfish and Batfish. Boxfish, Butterflyfish and Eels should be watched carefully as well. Crustaceans, Rays and Parrotfish can sometimes be successful depending on their size. Other species to keep a close eye on are Triggerfish, Wrasses and Hogfish.
Don't even think about keeping these guys with Seahorses and Pipefish as they will most likely be eaten. Blennies, Clownfish and Damselfish are a no-go as well. Other species that shouldn't even be considered are Dragonets, Gobies and Goatfish. Invertebrates will almost certainly be seen as prey too. Avoid adding them into tanks that contain Sharks unless you're prepared to lose them as the shark's dinner.
Feeding your Striped Eel Catfish
These creatures are carnivorous and should be provided with a varied diet containing plenty of frozen or fresh meaty foods. Finely chopped squid, fish flesh and clams should be offered twice daily. They are fond of scavenging in the sand so food should be allowed to sink to the bottom of the tank. However only add enough for them to consume in one sitting to keep the water quality sustainable.
|Scientific Name||Plotosus Lineatus|
|Common Names||The Striped Eel Catfish is also known as the Coral Catfish and the Marine Catfish.|
|Max. Length (cm)||33|
|Min. Tank Volume (l)||290|
|Reef Safe||With Caution|
|Water Conditions||22-28° C (72-82° F), dKH 8-12, pH 8.0-8.5, sg 1.020-1.026|