Aquatic Caecilian Care Sheet



Aquatic Caecilian, photo taken by cliff1066
Aquatic Caecilian, photo taken by cliff1066
  • Scientific Name: Gymnophiona
  • Lifespan: Approximately 4 – 5 years with appropriate care, but a greater age is thought to be possible.
  • Handling: Aquatic Caecilians are not pets to be handled by. You should treat them as you would a fish. Only to look at it. If you must move your caecilian from one tan to another for whatever reason, use a fish net as you would to transfer a fish.
  • Size: Approximately 20 inches
  • Care: Medium
  • Community: You may house more than one caecilian in a single tank. They will usually share hides and be grouped together.
  • Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.


Tank size varies:

  • 10 gallon tank can house 3 aquatic caecilians comfortably
  • 20 gallon tank can house 5 – 6 aquatic caecilians comfortably

….and so forth. The rule is 10 gallons per 2 – 3 caecilians. But remember, the more room, the better.


Note: A tight fitting lid is also required as caecilians are excellent escape artists.


These aquatic caecilians must be housed in an aquatic tank that has filtration for clean water, and a water heater to keep the temperatures at 77 – 80 °F. Live plants or fake plants will do well in the tank to add foliage in the tank to make your caecilians feel more at home and comfortable. Live plants will be a better option for the caecilians skin. Fake plants are rough and may scrape the skin of your caecilian(s) as it passes or swims through them. Live plants are softer and better off for the caecilians skin. However, if using real plants, special lighting is needed for them to thrive in the tank. Maintanance is also required to trim the plants monthly to assure they don’t take over the tank.  Hiding areas are also needed for your caecilian(s) to hide in to feel comfortable and safe. You may buy ornaments at a pet shop or even use a piece of PVC pipe to create the hiding area. A corner PVC attatchment works best. If housing more than one aquatic caecilian, make sure to include a large enough hide to allow enough room for all of them to hide together.


Note: It’s best to rearrange your caecilians tank every once in a while as they love to explore and discover new things.

Lighting and Heating

Aquatic Caecilians do not need any type of special lighting. However, if using live plants, special lighting is needed. A fluorescent low UVB tube is ideal as it won’t give out any heat and will help the plants thrive. A water heater must be included to keep the water at a steady 77 – 80 °F. You do not want the water getting too cold or too hot.


Feedings should include: crickets, silkworms, earthworms, night crawlers, insect larvae, and etc. Captives have also eaten some of the better quality pelleted, sinking fish foods. They usually feed very well, particularly after dark. Prey is found by scent (and probably by touch). Uneaten food can quickly sour the water. Feed your caecilians reasonably.


Try to choose a good burrowing substrate that you think will do your aquatic caecilian good. Fine gravel is what most people use. If you are using live plants, make sure your plants are securely in the substrate. Caecilians love to burrow and occasionally burrow to the roots of the plants, removing them from the substrate.


Note: The information on this aquatic caecilian care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.

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