Lesser spiny eel

Aquarium fish: Lesser spiny eel (Macrognathus aculeatus)
Size: 30 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 250 l

Lesser spiny eel (Macrognathus aculeatus) – freshwater aquarium fish from the long-nosed family.


The species comes from Asia . It lives mainly in calm waters with a sandy bottom, mainly in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and southern China.

Characteristics and disposition

In an aquarium, it reaches a length of 30 cm. Coloration slightly brown, variable depending on the place of occurrence.

A marbled pattern runs along the body. A row of distinctive meshes along the base of the dorsal fin. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish. The females during the spawning period are slightly fuller. The species is peaceful towards other fish, except those that fit in its mouth.

It tends to be territorial with respect to its own species as it grows older . Long-nosed thorny noses burrow in the sand during the day, they are active at dusk and at night.

Nutrition and feeding

As with all long-nosed noses, it accepts mainly live or frozen foods, e.g. insect larvae, daphnia, waterfowl, artemia. They can also be served sliced ​​fish meat.


Long-nosed thorny noses are not suitable for a beginner aquarist . They require a spacious, well-filtered aquarium at least 120 cm long with numerous hiding places and a soft substrate in which to dig. For decoration, we can use stones, roots, branches or PVC pipes. Any plants that are rooting in the ground will be dug up. They feel best in soft to medium-hard, well-oxygenated water.

They prefer not very bright lighting. The aquarium should be covered to prevent fish from jumping out.


Reproduction is very difficult at home. They are sexually mature when they are about 15 cm long. We stimulate long-noses to spawn with water changes and abundant feeding with live food.

The spawning itself takes several hours. The fish chase each other and the female lays eggs among the floating plants, which are then fertilized by the male. Hatching takes place within 3-4 days. The fry are susceptible to fungal infections. Frequent water changes and antifungal agents will help in rearing.


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