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substrate for half-banded eel


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Can someone please advise as to whether a newly acquired half-banded eel (3.5 inches) can live in an acquarium with gravel, like this one:



I have read that they need sand.  There are quite a bit of hiding places, etc. although today I found him (or her) hiding in the sponge filter...  If they cannot live well in gravel, how to change the substrate??  I am afraid all of with work in getting the acquarium established will be gone if I change the soil.  Moreover, I have no idea how to clean the acquarium with sand - wouldn't all the sand get sucked up with the debris?  Otherwise the eel is eating and seems OK (after a week from the shop).


Many thanks!!

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Changing the substrate should not hurt your beneficial bacteria population very much. I saw a study that showed that the vast majority of them are found in the filter. You can always feed a bit more lightly for a few days after you change it if you're worried.


As for how to change it, that depends on your tank setup. There should be some helpful videos on YouTube to give you some ideas.

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