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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis and Velvet & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Morays & Other Eels  

Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes The "Freshwater" Moray Eels,

Related FAQs: Moray Disease, Moray Disease 2, Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Avoid copper poisoning with true eels!

Look to Quinine Compounds, Hyposalinity for cures

Eel (Gymnothorax melatremus ) won't eat on CP for 3 weeks      5/13/17
I recently had to QT my Kole Tang, Harlequin Tusk, and dwarf golden Moray eel (Gymnothorax melatremus) due to a velvet outbreak. I've been treating the tank with 45mg/gal of CP. Everyone looks good. No more flashing and both fish are eating. The tank is BB with PVC fittings.
Now to the problem, my eel hasn't eaten (that I've seen) for 3 weeks.
<Might be the CP exposure; I'd stop it now>
He ate a big chunk of mixed food the day before the transfer, because I assumed that no one would eat until they settled in. He is VERY active. He swims all around the tank at night. During the day he hangs out in his PVC
pipe elbow. If I try to feed him, he sometimes takes a sniff and then seems like he's scared of it. I was wondering if it's the CP messing with his sense of smell because of the metal taste.
<Something like this>
At what point do I worry? I was thinking about putting the carbon in the filter and starting water changes. Is 21 days enough to kill velvet (or Ich, but I am confident that it was velvet)?
<I'd soak favored foods in appetite stimulant; such as SeaChem Appevite... and keep offering daily>
I've tried fresh oysters, mussels, squid, clam, etc. He seemed most interested in a silverside before the tusk stole it. In the DT he ate every 3-4 days. When he was swimming around the other night I tried to feed him
thinking he was hunting, but he just hid when I opened the lid.
<Morays, most eels of "good (index of) fitness, can go for long periods sans food. Don't give up. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eel (Gymnothorax melatremus ) won't eat on CP for 3 weeks      5/13/17

Thanks for the quick reply. I will add carbon tonight and start partial water changes with un-medicated water. My original plan was a 28 day CP treatment to be safe, but do you agree that a 21 day regimen was enough?
<I myself would stop now... another week may be more deleterious than advantageous. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eel (Gymnothorax melatremus ) won't eat on CP for 3 weeks      6/5/17

Greetings. I thought I would write to give you some good news.
<Ahh; always appreciated>

I know you usually only hear from people when things are wrong. I have been seeing things recently that led me to believe that my eel was eating. This morning, I finally saw him eat some food. I was so relieved to see that,
and now I feel much better about my quarantine and fallow period. I only hope that the 21 days was enough to eradicate the parasite that was on the fish.
I think it was because no one is showing any signs of flashing the way that they were before. Thanks for all the advice. You are a treasure to the hobby.
<Cheers Jas. Bob Fenner>

...And the eel too..? Crypt  – 05/13/12
Hello crew, i hope your having a better day than i am! its quite gruesome to say the least.
Well, here's the back story:  yesterday evening, after moving items home from my dorm over the last 4 days and having finals, i see my 2'' hippo has ick, and then upon further inspection, so does my 4'' yellow tang, 2 of my 3 Chromis, my Firefish, and even my 1 1/2'' GSM clown. a very depressing day indeed.
<Wow! I couldn't afford tanks when I was in university!>
Both tangs went through full 6 week QT's, the Chromis had a 5 week QT and the Fire fish had a 6 week QT as well.  i have had the GSM for a few years now.  so, I'm guessing my shortened qt for the Chromis has officially bit me in the *arse*.  Needless to say, i need to start treatment.  my plan is to drain about 40 gallons from the total 140gs of the system (90g DT, 10g nano DT, 20 gallon sump, 20 gallon fuge. ) into a spare 55 gallon i have, and move all fish to it, and then top off with some fresh salt water. then i will go through a copper based medication regime
<I'd be reading re quinine compounds, stat!>
 ( i would go hypo, but my refractometer is busted, and it will be a while until i get a new one, so a hydrometer is all i have) as so in an article from your site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm
In the 90, i also have a 14'' SFE.
<... is this Echidna nebulosa?>
 Does it have to be removed as well for the 6 week fallow period? i thought i read somewhere that they are unaffected by Ich.
<All fishes can/do act as "carriers">
  i hope i don't have to remove him, because that would mean i will have to remove most of my 120lbs of rock just to get him in the open..
Is my Ich 'attack plan' suffice?  I'm worried about my fish, so a quick reply would be magnificent.
As always, your wisdom is very much appreciated.
<Read... Bob Fenner> 

Japanese Dragon eel and Cryptocaryon  11/30/10
Hi good day Marco
<Hi Kellvin.>
I am quite confused right now:) My dragon eel tank was infested by Ick.
<What other fishes are in there?>
I understand that I can't dose medication because of the eel, any option that I remedy the current infestation of Ick? Hyposalinity to 1.009? Is it safe for the dragon eel?
<Yes, should work, but is not always a reliable cure (some Cryptocaryon strains don't care that much about salinity). My preferred method would be to remove other fishes into a hospital tank to treat them separately and leave the moray eel in its tank without other fishes for at least 4-6 weeks. Chances are good it won't be a carrier, especially if it is healthy.
Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm to get familiar with this disease and its treatment.>
Thank you and sorry for asking you so many question. Kellvin Lim
<Good luck. Marco.>

Japanese Dragon Eel and clown trigger.   9/14/10
<Hello Kellvin.>
My fish store is bringing in a Japanese Dragon Eel for me. 25-30cm.
Currently I have a show Clown Triggerfish 25cm and a Banded eel and some grouper. Can the dragon eel be kept together?
<Nothing I would recommend.>
Lastly, can dragon eel tolerate Seachem Cupramine?
<Although it might not die instantly, no moray eel should be brought into contact with copper containing products of any sort.>
Thank you with God Bless. Kellvin.
<Cheers, Marco.>
Japanese Dragon Eel and clown trigger.; now angelfish with Cryptocaryon - 06/10/10

Hi Marco,
<Hello Kellvin.>
It is me again. My angelfish is infested with Ick. I can't dose any copper or medication because of the Japanese Dragon eel in there. What can I do? Please advice me. Thank You.
<Separate them (for at least four weeks until the last symptoms have disappeared) and treat the angelfish (as well as all other non-eel tank mates) in another tank. See here (and in the linked FAQs to learn about this disease and its treatments: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm). A healthy eel is quite unlikely to become a host (blood toxins, toxic mucous).>
<Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra Moray with Cryptocaryon? -- 02/26/10
Hello there,
I read through everything you had regarding Zebras and Ick. I did not find the answer to my question. I lost every fish I had in my tank!!
<Sorry for that.>
My blue tang came down with Ick and died, then my cardinal, my damsel, and both of my clowns. Now the only living creatures in my tank are my zebra eel and two starfish! My eel has not eaten in about a week but although it isn't as often as normal he has gotten out of his hiding place and swam around the tank a couple of times. I put him in a 10 gal. tank but he became so unresponsive I thought he was dead. I decided to put him back home and he really seems better. I found out that my salinity was WAY too high (1.027) and over a period of two days I lowered it to 1.022. I also bought a UV light that is supposed to filter out the little parasites.
<At least many of them at low flow through.>
My question is this...I can't remember if my eel always had a little white in his black or if he has Ick. If he has Ick, will the UV light and lower salinity get rid of it off of him or does he need to be treated?
<'Ick' better called Cryptocaryon appears as raised salt grain like bumps on the fish. See if that is what you are observing. Morays rarely are affected by Cryptocaryon, they have a slightly toxic slime coat and a different blood composition compared to many other fishes. In severe outbreaks they can be affected, however, generally their immune system is strong enough to save them from death without further treatment. First assure if your eel is affected, then see if the disease is spreading (heavy breathing) or vanishing, monitor it for at least 4 weeks. If it is becoming worse, consider treatment, but be aware that most methods incorporating higher concentrations of copper, formalin and dyes will potentially be harmful to the eel. Hyposalinity (SG of 1.012 in a separate tank) is an optional treatment, but will not help in every case. I hope you get along without treatment, avoid stocking new fishes for 4-8 weeks after the last signs have vanished due the cycles the parasites go through. Ensure the water quality of the tank is stable and good (high , no ammonia/nitrite and little nitrates) and if it starts eating again add vitamins at every feeding for a few weeks.>
Thanks for your help!
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re.... E. polyzona and Cryptocaryon 1/4/2010
He looks more like the Echidna polyzona because the other one Gymnothorax rueppellii has a yellow head and doesn't look like full bars... he has like a orange tint to his head and full black and white bars maybe a inch wide? I'll attach a picture if needed I cant right now though.
<Our offer to help with the ID from a picture remains valid.>
Also I have a new ich outbreak in my tank. It started on my two domino damsels I think from stress from the lionfish is getting more aggressive, then spread to my yellow damsel and now I've noticed it on the lionfish...
<The damsels are not adequate long term tank mates for the lionfish and the grouper. If you introduced them as food you encountered one of the big problems of feeder fish: introduction of parasites.>
I'm expecting the grouper and frogfish to show signs soon that's a lot of money and lives to loose to ich... in my other tank I used garlic and my pajama cardinals made a AMAZING recovery.
<Glad the Cardinal is better, but I strongly doubt it is a direct effect of the garlic use. Rather the cardinal's immune system that at some point developed a complete or at least sufficient immunity to the parasite.>
I just started using it now in the 75 do you think this will work with all these fish?
<Honestly: no.>
Again thanks for all the help.
<Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm for the marine White spot disease (called 'ich', but being Cryptocaryon). Also check the disease FAQs of the fishes in the infected tank. Don't exchange equipment with your other tank to avoid transferring cysts of the parasites. Also be aware that your moray eel must not be treated with copper product concentrations needed to fight the disease. Feed vitamin enriched foods and if possible run a strong UV sterilizer. With three damsels (quite active fish species), a lionfish, a small grouper, a Sharpnose puffer, frogfish, the eel and a maroon clown the 75 gallon tank is a very stressful environment, which supports the disease. You should consider to take out a number of fish: In your first emails your plans were to keep the lionfish, the grouper, an eel and the frogfish, and to upgrade to a 250 gallon tank within two years. I'd stick to this and not add more fishes to avoid the loss of further fishes (and money). Good luck. Marco.>

Snowflake Moray eel and copper usage -- 01/18/2008 Hi, <Hello Jenny.> I have a 215 gal. saltwater aquarium. All of my fish in the tank came down with velvet (I think that's what it is - looks like salt covering the fishes entire bodies and the fins are disintegrating and a couple of fish started to get a cloudy eye - does not seem to be ich from previous experience), <The 'salt grain like' description sounds like marine ich (Cryptocaryon irritans) to me. The marine velvet spots are typically really tiny compared to usual salt grains. The disintegrating fins and cloudy eyes are likely secondary bacterial infections. Copper may be the best (many will say: only) treatment, but it also inhibits the immune response of the fish.> except for my Moray eel. Freshwater dips didn't seem to make any difference at all <Usually don't work at all, since the parasites are protected by the slime coat of the fish.> , so I decided I needed to use copper. <Good decision. Copper kills marine ich as well as marine velvet if applied properly.> I took the eel out of the main tank <Another good decision.> and he is temporarily living in a 45-gallon plastic garbage <Not an ideal quarantine tank.> can with air being pumped in, because I was told he could not handle the copper. I'm using Cupramine at a level of 0.4 p.p.m. and was told to use it for 4-6 weeks. My eel won't eat now since being moved to his new/temporary home. <Pretty stressful, but should not be a permanent problem.> Can I put him back into the main tank with the copper still in there? <I would not. There are many reports of morays killed by copper levels needed to treat parasitic infections.> Will that kill him? <Very well possible.> Or should I continue with my current plan? (The garbage can water gets yucky in only a few days, and I have to change the water in there often. Not ideal.) <A real quarantine tank for the moray would be better. Also, do you use the copper in your in main system? If there is substrate and rocks, that's not a good idea. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and linked FAQs.> Thanks. Jenny <Good luck. Marco.>

Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin  1/5/08 Dear Bob, <Simon> I have a 180 gallon reef aquarium and recently came down with a case of Crypt. I think this is because at the time I was not fully aware of the need to QT everything, including rocks, coral and algae. After buying a horde of new stock (all of these things but no new fish for nearly a year) my Powder Blue came up with the spots. <A "very catching" species> Since reading extensively I have learned from my mistake. I know which shop they came from because when I went back there a few days later, some of the fish that they had in the same system as the rock/ algae that I had bought were infected as well. <Can come from "any shop"... even the best do have their parasite issues... ONLY a few that have entirely separated acclimation/quarantine/holding facilities AND the discipline for their use... can claim to avoid passing on these instances...> Immediate action was to set up the 75g bare bottomed QT with hypo 1.009 which I have now done (I have a Moray so no copper). All fish are in there and have been for 6 weeks now. I moved the canister filter over that I have running on my ST for this purpose for the bio filter. Maintenance on the QT is a weekly 50% water change combined with scrubbing all surfaces first to remove tomonts. I temporarily drop the salinity to 1.005 for three hours in between the water changes based on A) study done by Woo, Chung http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1995.tb01874.x and B) Colerni 1985 (in which they used 3 hours and found it effective). All fish seem to be in perfect health and feed very well. <Thank you for passing along this reference, account> Problem I have now is what to do next. I know that Hypo is not usually 100% effective. Three weeks ago I saw over a period of 2 days a couple of white spots on one tang, and a single spot on the other. These disappeared after a day. This is the only sign of the parasite that I have seen over this whole 6 week period, but I know that with all these things where there is 1 there is likely 100. I intend to raise the salinity up over the next two weeks in the QT to 1.021 and then administer a copper treatment to eradicate the parasite. <Mmm, okay... perhaps a Quinine treatment would be better... but, as you say, there is still likely to be a latent infestation> I have a Zebra Moray eel and I believe that they are sensitive to the copper treatment. <Yes, this is so> When I get the salinity up to 1.021 the fallow period in the tank will be 8 weeks, so I can (hopefully!) safely start moving the fish back into the ST (which is 1.023). I intend to put the eel in first. Since I believe that there may be crypt still in the QT (albeit at low levels) should I use a formalin dip on the eel before I put him in the ST? <I would do so> I am unsure if he is showing signs or not as he spends most of the day in his tube poking his head at me! I am fully capable of researching things myself, but one thing that I do not have that you do is years of experience with this sort of thing, particularly eels, crypt and formalin etc. (I have read all your stuff). Would you dip the eel or not? <I would, though only for a short duration. True eels (lack scales, have slimy skins par excellence...) generally don't have much in this way of "embedded" Protozoans... slough off easily> On the copper treatment, since I have tangs, should I do full strength and move the tangs after 1 week, then the others a week later (Volitans, Emperor Angel)? Or do 1/2 strength for the full 2 weeks and move them all at the same time? <This latter if they appear to be able to "take it"> I am leaning to the full strength for the 1 week as I would rather stagger the fish into the ST than move them all at once so as not to overload my system. What would you do with regard to this? <As stated> I am sorry to have written such a long e-mail, but I feel that the situation is a little different to normal ones because of the eel. I want to do the best I can for the animals that are in my care. Thank you in anticipation, Simon, England <Thank you for writing so well, completely. Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Tank with puffers, a moray eel and Amyloodinium (velvet) -- 05/08/07 Hello <Hi Amanda.>, I believe that our tank has velvet. We have a dogface puffer, a stars-n-stripes puffer, a tiger reef eel, live rock, snails and hermit crabs. Our tank is 125 gallons. I want to use Coppersafe to clean out the whole tank. The directions say to add it only once and it treats for a whole month. <If you treat your display tank, you will kill a lot of your beneficial bacteria. Monitor ammonia and nitrite if you treat it that way.> I know I need to take out the live rock, snails, and hermit crabs and I need to clean out the tank very well after the treatment is over.  My questions are - Can I leave my puffers and eel in their 125 gal tank while I am treating it? <The moray eel should not be treated with copper, except if it shows symptoms. Puffers can be treated carefully, but bare in mind that overdosing can be lethal. It's appropriate to get a testing kit that can be used with your copper product and to monitor the copper concentration at least once daily.> My quarantine tank is only 25 gallons and if I stick all of them in there, besides being stressed, doesn't it defeat the purpose of the quarantine by only treating the fish? <No. The best would be to treat the two puffers in a bare bottom quarantine tank with copper and to let the display tank run fallow for about 6 weeks (without using copper in this tank). If the moray eel does not show symptoms, I'd leave it in the display. That way you are taking the risk that the parasites may use the moray as a host, but this case is rather improbable due to the high resistance of these fish against Amyloodinium. If you do not want to take this risk, you need a second quarantine tank for the eel, which is not treated with copper.> Do I still give them freshwater dips to get the parasite <off>, while I am treating their tank? <Such dips can be done in severe cases to get rid of some of the parasites.> Do I dip the eel? <If it shows any symptoms: yes.> How do I dip an eel? <A bucket of well aerated, pH and temperature adjusted freshwater. Catch the eel with a net and transfer it to the bucket. If you cannot catch it with a net, lure it out into a clean bottle with a large enough opening and a piece of its favourite food and transfer it. Put a lid on the bucket. Leave it there for about half an hour to one hour. Return it to the tank.> Do I also have to wait a month before putting the live rock and the invertebrates back in or how long do I have to wait? <If you treat your display with copper, you should filter with fresh activated carbon after 4 weeks and hope none of the copper remains in the substrate.> I know this needs to be treated now, but my puffers are my babies and I don't want to hurt them. <I'd consider what I described above as the best way. Also read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cuduration.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the related FAQs.> I know I have a lot of questions for y'all. I would appreciate your help, so I can make my fish happy again. <Hope they pull through.> Thank you so much for your time. <You are welcome. Marco.> Sincerely, Amanda.

Should a moray eel be quarantined in case of an Ich outbreak? -- 04/18/07 I recently added a yellow tang to a semi-QT tank (75g FOWLR) in preparation for adding him to my display (240g FOWLR). I will now have to remove the yellow tang and my couple of clowns to a 20g hospital tank for 30 day hyposalinity and possibly copper treatment. My question is: I have a small white eyed moray in the tank along with a cleaner shrimp. I know the shrimp cannot be infected, but will the Ich continue to breed on the moray in the tank? <Morays are quite resistant to external parasites such as Ich due to their slightly toxic slime coat and thick skin. However, there are reports of morays with such infections, even if they are few in number and in part not well documented. When you search WWM for 'moray' and 'Ich', you will also stumble across such cases.> Can morays contract Ich parasites?   <They are possible hosts. If your moray actually is infected is dependent of its health and the abundance of parasites in the tank. An infection cannot be excluded, therefore removing it is the safer option.> I'm hoping he can stay in the tank and will not propel the Ich parasite. <Leaving it in the tank is risky, although your chances are better than with most kinds of fish. Avoid treating the moray eel with copper. Be aware that adult white eyed morays can eat smaller clown species.> Thanks, Joe. <Welcome. Marco.>

Re: Saltwater questions: Epaulette and Snowflake Eel   2/24/06 Hey Bob, <Joe> Thanks for the reply. Your crew have made my transition from fresh to saltwater so much easier. I have a couple more questions to ask you. First of all, how long after a tank has cycled (or reached a zero ammonia and nitrite level) should a water change take place? <... posted on WWM... a few weeks> I would also like to know if I can feed my fish some seaweed flakes which I bought from an Asian grocery store...except they contain a little bit of corn oil and sunflower oil. Will this pose a problem? <Likely not. But I would take care to not allow a "scum" to form, stay on your water surface> These were the most plain flakes I could find. Last of all, an owner of one of my local fish stores commented to me that getting 'white spot' was an inevitable part of keeping saltwater fish despite any quarantine measures which are used. <Incorrect. There are SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) marine systems, entire culture facilities. If Cryptocaryon is disallowed, it does not magically appear...> He said that it would happen sooner or later. Is there any truth or merit in his statement? <Not unless s/he means that marine whitespot can "hide" undetected if not excluded, no> I am determined to prove him wrong. ;) How does the amount of live rock in one's tank affect or keep at bay the symptoms or severity of White Spot?? <Good question... I suspect there is some negative correlation here. The more LR, the less prevalent the infestations> Once again, thanks in advance. Regards, Joe <Thank you. Bob Fenner> Fishless tanks for ridding parasites Hi,     I am removing all my fish from my large tank and letting it go fishless for 35 days to rid it of the ich parasite.  I have a snowflake eel in there and would like to know if he counts as a fish host? should he also be removed?   thank you so much Lynn <Yes, unfortunately the eel will act as a vector if not removed as well. Do keep the top on securely, completely in your quarantine system. Bob Fenner>

Moray Eel/Ich We have a moray eel in my tank, and one of our tank inhabitants came down with ich (treating with copper in our quarantine tank). Anyhow, we noticed our moray occasionally scratching the side of his head on the sand and we think he has ich in his gills as well.  <possible> I know they are fairly hardy and don't get infected often,  <correct> but what is the best treatment for the eel ? I know of the following treatments, but don't know which is best for a scratching moray: -Formalin in q-tank - long term exposure -Formalin/fw dips <above two are possible with observation (and a covered lid on FW dip bucket...hehe)> -Copper/Cupramine (I thought eels are sensitive to copper, not sure) <very correct> -Hyposalinity and raising temp. <stimulating but may not effect a cure alone> Is there a recommended treatment for moray eels, and anything that should definitely be avoided ? Thanks <yes... Never copper or organic dyes (blue, green, etc)> Jim
<best regards, Anthony>

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