27th June 2016 TheSqTallaght

We have a newcomer to our Aquarium outside Tesco on Level 2! We welcome our very first Snowflake Eel!

This type of Eel is very mysterious and often found in caves and old boats etc and this is why the aquarium in the newuare is ideal as there are loads of hiding spots for him to stick his head out. Most eels hide and live in caves and rock crevices. They also burrow in the sand. These behaviours allow them to surprise and attack their prey. Some eels will actually chase their prey. The rocks also provide protection for the eel. You may notice he keeps his mouth mostly open which is allowing oxygen in rather than being aggressive.

Even though the eel looks like a snake it is really a fish. They have long, narrow bodies with long dorsal and anal fins. Most eels have no scales. The eel’s backbone is made up of over 100 vertebrae which makes it very flexible. Eels have gills and very sharp teeth which are pointed backwards, preventing the slippery prey to escape.

They are hardy saltwater eels and well-suited to life within an aquarium. Up to 28″ in length in captivity, the snowflake eel requires an aquarium that is larger than 20 gallons (40–50 gallons when full grown) with a tight-fitting lid, as these eels (and all eels, for that matter) are good at escaping and can fit through surprisingly small holes in aquarium lids. But don’t worry, our new friend won’t escape our tank! Have a good look for him next time you’re passing, he likes hanging out at the bottom of the aquarium among the rocks in the middle.

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