PETALING JAYA, June 16 — One man’s quest to build an underground eel pit has enthralled TikTok.
Nick Tobler, now known as "Eel Pit Guy” on social media, unveiled the finishing touch of his creation on Wednesday - the eels themselves.
@cowturtle EEL PIT EEL PIT EEL PIT EEL PIT EEL PIT #eelpit #eelpond #aquariums #reeftank #fishtok #aquarium #fishtanks #rivermonsters #monsterfishkeepers #monsterfishkeeper original sound - cowturtle
"I ordered seven (eels) and they sent me a couple of extras, it’s amazing,” said Tobler with awe in the clip, as he released the creatures into the pond.
Tobler first gained TikTok’s attention in March, when he posted a video of the cistern at his home in Cincinnati, US, captioned: "My new house comes with a future eel pond!”
The next update, showing him introducing his batch of fish to the storage tank, saw over five million views.
@cowturtle First fish are in! Water tested perfect, hopefully I’ll be able to get in next week. #fishtok #aquariums #monsterfishkeepers original sound - cowturtle
According to him the cistern, used for storing rainwater, had been sitting empty for the past 20 years.
"I’m converting it into an eel pond. I like exploring caves and keeping fish,” he commented in a post from April, to explain why he was undertaking the project.
In an interview with MEL Magazine, he said that he had experience running an aquarium store, and knows "way too much about all fish”.
A cursory look at Tobler’s TikTok and Instagram accounts show his fascination for wildlife, particularly fish, amphibians and reptiles.
Prior to the eel project, he had been mainly posting facts about various types of fish, as well as footage of his various nature hikes and caving expeditions..
Now with over 350,000 TikTok followers, Tobler admitted that he had to change the way he posted.
"Before I was always more concerned with the quality of what I was posting,” he told The Daily Dot.
"Now I’m going quicker and [doing] more frequent posts to keep up with everyone’s interest.”
Tobler has also been patiently responding to questions about his project.
"I plan on training them to eat out of my hand,” he said in response to a follower asking if the eels were going to be "pets or food”.
@cowturtle #stitch with @samanlyn This is why eels! #eelpond #eelpit #aquariums #fishtok #freshwaterfish #exoticfish #rarefish Eat It - "Weird Al" Yankovic
When Tobler finally announced the arrival of his American eels yesterday, followers were delighted.
"I’ve been waiting my whole life for these damn eels!” said one user.
"As someone who’s been here since the beginning I feel like I should send you child support,” said another.
Tobler has also named several of his eels based on his followers’ suggestions - so far, there’s Crunchwrap Supreme, Eely Dan, and Eelaine.