TikToker Nick Tobler built an eel pit underneath his Cincinnati home.

Nick Tobler, dubbed ‘eel daddy’ by fans, amassed almost 350,000 followers on TikTok since he started building an eel pit underneath his basement in March.

After putting four aquariums in his bedroom and a habitat for lizards in his basement, Nick Tobler said adding an eel pit underneath his garage was no big d-eel.

Tobler, a 25-year-old aquarium store manager in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been posting videos of aquatic animals for more than eight years as “cowturtle” on TikTok and YouTube and “cowturtle9427” on Instagram.

Tobler said his social media following exploded when he began building an eel pit underneath his garage in March. He has now amassed almost 350,000 followers on TikTok and more than 102,000 on Instagram.

Adding animal habitats to his home is nothing new for Tobler. He said he had about fifteen tortoises, several lizards and fish. A catfish named Vanessa lives in the eel pit, which is also home to an aquarium with two crayfish named Ketchup and Mayonnaise.

“I don’t even think the eel pit is the coolest thing I do, honestly,” Tobler said.

“I keep a lot of weird, weird kinds of different animals that not many people are actually keeping, or have an interest in.”

Tobler said he’d been posting his aquatic adventures on YouTube since he was in the eighth grade.

“As long as I can remember I’ve been out catching stuff, looking for stuff, and bringing home snakes and frogs,” Tobler said.

“I post about anything animal-related. And almost everything in my life is.”

Tobler moved into a new home in March, where he found an unused rainwater cistern had been sitting under a manhole cover in the garage.

All he needed to build an eel pit was gravel, a cinder block path and a water filter, he said.

“It was just sitting empty with about two feet of water and I was like, ‘well, that’s a fish pond.’ I’m not going to use the free pond under my garage.”

The 288-square-foot pit holds about 4,000 gallons of water, according to Tobler. On Wednesday, much to his followers’ delight, Tobler released 10 American eels into the pit.

“These past few months have been wild I never thought I’d be so invested in eels but here we are,” joked one Instagram comment.

He said his followers picked names for the eels, including Neel, Bathtub and Crunchwrap Supreme.

Tobler noted the eels were peaceful — to anything that “doesn’t fit in their mouths.” He said he hoped they would eat out of his hand after some training.

“As they get more and more accustomed to me going down and feeding them, they’ll be more and more comfortable with my hands in the water with them,” he said.

Tobler added he was looking to house two tarantulas, and working on adding to his home a 500-gallon aquarium for his three lungfish.

“It’s just amazing,” he said.

“I just document it, because there’s not a lot of other people keeping this kind of stuff.”

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