Animals

Do Eels Make Good Pets? Discover the Pros and Cons

Over 800 species of eels are thought to exist. And eels can weigh anything from one ounce to fifty-five pounds, however their exact size may vary depending on the species. Furthermore, their reach varies from two inches to thirteen feet!

Maybe you simply need that extra push to get that pet eel you’ve been eyeing. Alternatively, perhaps you’re thinking this is the craziest thing you’ve ever heard of, and by the time you finish reading this, you’ll want one!

Benefits of Keeping a Pet Eel

Prior to delving into the drawbacks of eel ownership, let us first equip you with the knowledge of its advantages.

Eels Have Long Lives

There are numerous things about eels. They are distinguished by their lengthy, snake-like bodies, their transparency at birth, and their incapacity to generate electricity (unless they are electric eels). Their lengthy lives are another item to add to the list.

The European eel is known to live over 80 years, however the American eel is only known to live up to 20 years! Whether a pet lives to be 20 or 80 years old, those are both remarkable lifespans.

The loss of a cherished pet is among the hardest things in life to handle. But considering how long and healthy eels may live, just picture the day your pet eel outlived you! Let’s now discuss the second benefit of having a pet eel.

You’ll Have the Most Unique Fish on the Block!

There are many different types of interesting fish that you may add to aquarium tanks when we consider the kind of fish we might have living in them. You might get the unusual flowerhorn cichlid, which resembles a unicorn. It’s possible that you have dwarf puffer fish. You may still have the quite peculiar-looking African butterflyfish.

The fish we named above would undoubtedly provide an interesting experience in your home aquarium. But an eel is the most unusual fish you can imagine if you want to really amaze folks with it.

Just picture yourself entering a lovely, spacious fish tank and being eager to see the fish. The eel swimming around and feasting on the best shrimp is something only you witness. You could be certain that your fish would be the most unusual ones around!

Drawbacks of Having a Pet Eel

The benefits of having a pet eel have been outlined for you above. But we would be negligent if we skipped over talking about the drawbacks of owning one.

Eels Are Expensive

Eels are pricey in a variety of ways. They are pricey when it comes to buying the real eel, getting a big enough tank, and then maintaining the animal.

A few eels cost somewhat more than $100, which is costly for species kept in aquariums! But after that, the costs basically went through the roof. Certain fish, such as the Golden Moray Eel, can fetch prices exceeding $300. And then there’s the enormous, nearly $2,000 Japanese dragon eel!

Let’s imagine, then, that your heart belonged to a Japanese dragon eel because, well, why not go all out if you’re going to have an eel? For survival and comfort, this eel would require about 150 gallons of water in a tank. Furthermore, such tanks are easily worth $1,000 to $2,000.

Due to their carnivorous diet, eels enjoy eating fish, crustaceans, shrimp, crab, and even octopus, which they consider to be a delicacy. These fish will not switch to a less expensive diet just because they are in your tank and are now in captivity. To put it bluntly, eating only seafood is costly.

Eels are not only costly to buy and maintain, but they also have a tendency to run away.

Eels Like to Escape

For the majority of fish owners, this would mean kicking back, relaxing, and thinking, “Well, at least I won’t have to worry about my fish escaping.” Except in the Finding Nemo movie, where all the fish sprang out and returned to the ocean, that is. Eels are, regrettably, like tiny escape artists. If they can escape, they definitely will.

Regarding keeping eels tightly closed, Christopher Scharpf of the North American Native Fishes Association offers advice. “Don’t undervalue the eel’s incredible abilities…Almost all of the eels I have maintained have resisted my attempts to confine them. I will inadvertently leave the top open after feeding them before I go to bed, or I will knock something loose during feeding or maintenance even when I have properly sealed the top of the tank. When presented with a gap, an eel will cross it.

Overview of the Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Eel

Pros of owning a pet eel Cons of owning a pet eel
Long Lives Expensive
Most Unique Fish Like to Escape

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