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Moray Systems FAQs

Related FAQs: Moray Eels, Morays 2, Moray Eels 3, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays , Freshwater Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels 

Related Articles: Moray Eels, The Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra), Ribbon Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Non-Moray Marine Eels, Snake & Worm Eels

Chain link Eel, sys.     1/21/12
Hi, I was just wondering since there is a very small amount of info on chain link eels if they are easy to care for in generally smaller systems. I used to have a snowflake eel in my tank (over a year old) but had to sell it because of crowding issues and the fact that I would be gone for the summer and my tanks care taker is terrified of eels. I am now looking to get back into keeping an eel and have already upgraded filtration and setup a large cave. I am now researching the best eel for my tank and narrowed it down between two choices the snowflake eel and the chain link eel. Now since I have already had a snowflake eel, I would like to try out a chain link but there is a shockingly low amount of information about them online. What do you think is better suited for a smaller sized tank? I know they need large systems I just mean which would be most comfortable in a smaller system, thank you.
<What's a small tank in your opinion? I would recommend to not even think about any of these two with a tank smaller than 75 gallons (larger would be better). With regard to their needs these two moray species are very similar. For smaller tanks there are smaller morays available now and then such as G. richardsonii and G melatremus. Cheers, Marco.>

Golden Dwarf Moray Eel questions, stkg., sys., comp.  8/24/11
Hello! First of all, I love your site and everything that you guys do! I think it's wonderful that you are so helpful in this sometimes confusing hobby. I had a question that I was hoping you could help me with. I have always been fascinated by eels but it seems like most would do very badly in a tank my size - 20g (with a 15 gallon sump/fuge) - except I read in my Scott Michael's book about the "golden dwarf moray eel" (G. melatremus).
It says they only need 10g and that they are reef compatible except with crustaceans.
<Mmm, well... Scott is a friend and he and I's opinions match at least 98% of the time; but I find his "minimum system size" suggestions to be much smaller than mine; esp. for sharks and eel species>
I had a few quick questions about the species I was hoping you guys could help me with:
Would it attack or eat my Pearly Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)?
<Quite possibly, yes>
I know these are "fish-eating" morays but that they are really small so it would be hard for them to eat other fish that aren't goby-sized. However, jawfish are relatively stationary rather than swimming all over the tank.
Would it eat my cleaner shrimp or harlequin shrimp?
<Definitely yes>
They are both at "full-grown" size but the book said they will eat crustaceans. Yet I did find a tank containing one and a cleaner shrimp?
Would my tank be large enough to house one?
<A small specimen perhaps... but just barely. If it were me, I'd look into other fish families than the Muraenids>
Is there anything else I should know about this fish?
<Can't tell from your statements>
Thank you! : -)
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Fimbriated Moray Questions, sys., fdg., comp.   1/29/11
Hello again! Trevor here! =)
<Hi Trevor. Marco here.>
I'm happy to see this awesome site is still running, and still powered by the same awesome crew at WWM. I've searched through your articles and intend to fish for a little more information on Gymnothorax fimbriatus, but before I begin I'll throw out some information on the system he's in and what I intend to do in the future. The moray is ten inches in length and resides in a 40gal breeder aquarium. I'll eventually be placing him in a 125gal aquarium or maybe something a pinch larger than that.
<The latter sounds sufficient to me, if you wish you can go bigger.
Remember, they can reach 90 cm (about 3 feet).>
Currently, there's a 50gal filter running on his tank with a 100gal protein skimmer on it as well. The temperature is at 78 degrees F. Currently, he's eating silver sides and squid. I bought one because I felt they were the hardier of the marine fish I could get. I made this choice after having read an article about one that survived a fire at the pet store it was in.
Quoting the article the fish survived "-extreme heat, cracked tanks, toxic fumes, no power and even an extended dose of fresh water from the fire hoses." I have no intent to put that statement to the test but we do have occasional outages here caused by severe weather.
<Many moray eels are quite hardy compared to other marine pets. However, it also depends a lot on the technical and biological setup of a tank how long it can survive a power outage. Especially canister filters can be a problem. If organic matter and bacteria are trapped in there without any current (and consequently oxygen) for a day or even longer (will depend on the specific filter and how dirty it is) toxic ammonia, nitrites and hydrogen sulfides can develop and flood the tank when the power is back on again. So, during a long power outage it is a good idea to unplug and partly clean such closed filter systems. Tank size is also an important yet simple parameter: The larger the water volume and surface, the longer it will provide enough oxygen for the inhabitants. Battery powered air pumps are also a very good idea for a longer power outage. Temperature usually is no problem, but I know people who wrapped up their tanks in isolation material during a power outage in a hard winter (don't forget oxygen input in this case).>
I was wondering if sand eels were good for my moray, as I've seen them advertised on the web just recently as I don't go about looking for new food morsels very often. I plan to feed the moray well enough that it will hopefully live to be thirty years old, and even past that age with good water care included.
<Keep the food as varied as possible and add vitamins regularly. There's quite a number of fishes called sand eels from the family Ammodytidae used in trade, but I have no long term experience with the use of them as main staple. Given you add vitamins and also feed other things you should likely be fine, though.>
There are hermit crabs digging in the live sand as I type this along with a shrimp tugging the bristle worms out of the rocks that came with the live rock a friend of mine recently donated more of. I've considered buying snails to aid in the turnover of the sand and cleaning up after the Gymnothorax fimbriatus though I'm not sure if he'll attack them or not, however doubtful I am of that right now.
<Should not eat snails. Rarely you may see piscivorous moray eels carry snails out of their caves (happens as I write), but generally they don't harm them.>
I've been wrong before as you'll see with the fact that there used to be two of the shrimp and now I'm down to one in the month I've had this eel with no sign of the other. Perhaps he's hiding in the live rock but since I see the other one quite often I think that's a bit far fetched. Should I assume he'll consume the other shrimp as well or get more?
<Can't tell you for sure. Often they get along very well with Cleaner shrimps for years, sometimes they are eaten. Shrimps may also vanish due to other reasons than the eel or the eel may only eat dead or dying shrimps.
There are a lot of possibilities, even that some shrimp couples are apparently not long term compatible for whatever reason. In the 40 gallon tank I would only keep 1, in the larger tank you can try 4, but add them before the eel.>
Further venturing onto yet another aspect of what I plan to do with the tank, I've looked into introducing a Mangrove tree into the sand and live rock. Is it possible the roots could eventually crack the tank and would there be any way I could prevent this?
<By cutting the roots from time to time. I got about 7 year old mangrove bonsai in a tank, the roots should be cut about once a year.>
I've heard those trees are phenomenal in removing nitrates from the tank, almost to the point of replacing the protein skimmer entirely.
<Not likely that this is (only) due to the mangroves unless you got a whole lot of them. Macroalgae, live rock, water changes and possibly a sand bed (be careful with those power outages) can be much better for nitrate export. Don't expect much of one mangrove.>
The livestock of the tank are as follows-
Gymnothorax fimbriatus
Banded Coral Shrimp (x2?)
Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab x3
I've thought about adding bumblebee snails in as well for added cleaning.
It's said they'll eat even more of the bristle worms as well as carrion and detritus. The tree could help absorb a lot of that as well.
<No, it will only remove dissolved nutrients, not detritus.>
It all sounds like a good idea to me, especially with a larger tank although I was wondering how the eel would feel about all of this.
<The eel would not mind it.>
I understand he's supposed to get quite large, possibly up to thirty inches in length. One last thing I thought I'd mention as well, was that the customer service rep I talked to from liveaquaria.com said this moray would do well in brackish water as well as marine. While I haven't considered putting my Fimbriated Moray in the near future it seems like a good question before misinformation is spread though I really like the folks over at Liveaquaria as do my friends. I just thought I'd check things out with other people as well, preferably people who are much more experienced than myself. =)
<This species can actually occur in river mouths and estuaries, I guess that's where the idea comes from. But for long term care a marine environment is the only option. If you have too low salinity (SG<<1.018) for a longer time your eel might stop eating, it's immune system will decline. It probably would not reach the 30 years you are willing to keep it.>
Thanks! Trevor
<Welcome. Marco.>
Fimbriated Moray Questions Sys., fdg. 01/31/11

Thank you for the swift reply, as always :)
<You are welcome.>
I went to my specialty LFS yesterday before I'd gotten your reply and picked up some mangroves. (two) I thought they might be some help as well as just look good in the tank. The guy helping me was quite friendly and inquired on what I intended to do with the young mangrove trees. I told him what my plan was, and soon the discussion went off to my system and my moray. I told him I fed it large meals twice a week and his brows went up.
He told me at ten inches long I should be feeding the eel every day. It seems like quite a bit compared to what I could gather from the WWM Moray Q&A a while back. I fed him his silverside and squid today, turning this over in my head. I decided to ask just in case, since it was given as being the reason that my shrimp had gone missing though I was told to get another one in about a week when I had fed the moray a little more.
<Feeding two meals a week instead of a small meal everyday certainly is not the reason for your missing shrimp. The nutritional value of such a Cleaner shrimp is quite low and if this eel was being desperate your other shrimp would be missing, too. Your eel will either eat a shrimp for a snack at a given point of time or leave it alone, this won't depend on how much it is being fed within reasonable limits. Outside these limits, feeding a predator until it is so overfilled that he cannot eat tank mates (often done and even recommended to keep them from eating inadequate tank mates) is not a good idea. P. Purser called it power feeding, it leads to too fast growth and some anatomical anomalies you'll only find in captive eels fed large amounts of food when young. The latter can dramatically shorten the lifespan and is accompanied by an unusually high percentage of fat in the flesh as well as a fatty liver. Better aim at what moray eels eat in nature. Many eels are found with empty stomachs (percentage depends on species), practically no moray eats every day. If you wish to feed it every day, you can do that, but in this case feed small meals. Personally, I would feed it every 2 or 3 days a meal that in combination is about as large as its entire head. Oh... and not too much silversides... and add vitamins to them...>
The moray looks quite healthy. Not only does he look nice but he's active and very alert. As soon as the scent of food wafts through the tank water he's poking around the entire tank looking for the source.
<Imagine a 3 footer acting like this. At any size, they are fun to watch.>
<Cheers, Marco.>

Very small eel... Sys., fdg. ID!  -- 03/31/10
Hello, I need some info regarding what to feed and house an eel the size of a tooth pick !! yes, that small.. my Hawaiian dealer decided to add this critter at no extra charge this morning.. he claims it has stripes and that's about all on the description. I was hoping that live brine might do the trick ...but the animal might not be ready for such a hardy meal? very concerned... I will try and get you some pics .. ETA to me 4/1/2010.
<There are literally hundreds of different eel species. Without knowing what you get, it's difficult to give you an information the its natural diet. Feel free to send clear pictures of the head and body, maybe an ID is possible. Brine shrimp might be a start, but small, live Mysis would likely be better. Also, live Gammarids, which occur in live rock, reef tanks without fish eating them or refugiums. You will also need to train the eel to frozen food unless you have a good supply of live or freshly marketed foods. I hope it's not too small to eat these things or you'd need to look at Artemia nauplii and cultured Copepods.>
best regards, Tom
<Cheers and good luck, you might need it. Marco.>

Re Unknown eel incompatibility; now sys. -- 03/27/10
Hey so I'm looking for a bigger tank know, I'm hoping that will help my eel problem. I found a 125 gallon tank but the dimensions are 50 inches long and 60 inches high and 20 wide.
<Won't probably solve the problem of keeping the two together, but should be sufficient for one of your eels.>
I also found one that is longer and not as high and it is also 125 gallons. I want to add a sting ray and a banded shark. Is this a big enough tank?
<Certainly not for a ray and a shark. For the latter two you'd want to consider about 3 times the size or more. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm . Also, their compatibility with moray eels is often rather poor in the long run.>
If not what size is the right one, I get confused with the right dimensions, should it be longer and not so high?
Please help, and also what's a good filter can I use my filter for my 46 gallon and buy another filter to add to this one?
<I'd prefer a live rock filtered setup with a large skimmer and strong water movement. Please see here for marine filtration and setups: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm

Echidna polyzona, ID, sys. -- 01/07/10
This is the eel I have purchased will you be able to identify it?
<No, the picture shows too little, but the black bars I can see seem to have a large distance for E. polyzona. You can count the bars: E. polyzona has 24-30; G. rueppellii has less than 25.>
Also the ich problem I have my frogfish showed up dead and I'm guessing it's from the ich along with one black damsel.. the rest of the fish seem to be recovering.. I've been adding the garlic and it stopped getting worse the minute I've added it.
<I'd bet it cycled out.>
My panther grouper I don't think is eating as much as he should be, he seems to stalk the frozen Mysis shrimp and grabs a few but lets most just float by, also sometimes he will snatch a piece of krill from the lionfish.. everything else is normal such as swimming and behavior.
<Check the water parameters (especially nitrates and pH and nitrates). PH should be between 8.0 and 8.4 and the nitrates <25 ppm. Also, if you feed mostly Mysis shrimp and krill, you should add vitamins, especially B1 (and others).>
I have one more question, I wanted to add a better light it's a predator tank with no corals so I bought a 48" hanging fixture from home depot that holds two 48" bulbs... the people at the fish store told me I could put one actinic and one 10k bulb to give off, is this correct information?
<You can do that. You can also add two 10k bulbs. Depends on if you like the actinic look or not.>
and also if it is would I be able to add some polyps and mushrooms that only need
low light or would I be able to add more?
<It also depends on the water parameters. You might also be able to add some easy soft corals such as Kenya trees.>
Thank you for the help.
<Welcome. Marco.>

Echidna polyzona or Gymnothorax rueppellii?, ID, sys. -- 01/17/10
I cant get a better picture of the eel, he hides all day and just sticks his head out during feeding time only coming out a couple inches, he does swim around at night. but the minute you turn the light on to take a picture he hurries back to his hole and his colors are faded anyway.
<Count the bands as noted in the previous mail. This should be possible with a red light (e.g. weak torch with red foil).>
He is really starting to look like a more predatory eel, such as elongated face instead of the blunt roundness of most crustacean eaters. also he's gotten big pretty quick I'd say about doubled in girth and added 1-2 inches in the small time I've had him.
<Sounds more and more like Gymnothorax rueppellii. This eel would reach almost 3 feet and is very predatory.>
With the ich is almost all gone just on the two damsels and its subsiding on them also.
<Don't add fish until you have not seen a single spot for at least 4-6 weeks.>
The grouper also has started eating a lot again. I figure it was maybe just a pause between growth spurts, also the Mysis shrimp I feed are vitamin enhanced.
I added the light I mentioned earlier with the 48" 10k and 420 actinic (2) different bulbs. I am going to start some soft coral soon and just wanted to make sure my inhabitants are reef safe. I have the lionfish, grouper, maroon clown, two damsels, and plan on adding the dragon wrasse and maybe a pink tailed trigger- the reef safe one, and maybe a potters angel?
<If your Eel really is G. rueppellii the stocking list should be changed or the eel removed. The Damsels, the Wrasse, the Clown, the Angel might become food with time. Even the larger species could be hurt. The Dragon wrasse is not always reef safe anyway, when grown might likely eat snails, hermits, echinoderms. When still small it might become food itself. The Angel may also be eaten by Lionfish, Grouper or Eel at some point in the future.>
I have a couple large Mexican turbo snails, two large hermit crabs probably 4" shells
<Determine species. Some are not reef safe.>
, the eel, and a red sea urchin I'm not sure if he's reef safe?
<This is a common name for Strongylocentrotus franciscanus'¦ If this is your species, it is an algae eater as long as it finds enough food.>
again thanks for all the help, you guys are great, also any recommendations for types of soft coral?
<Depends on if you can keep the water parameters in line with all these fish you plan to have. I doubt you would have good coral growth. If you wish to try soft corals try some hardy Kenya trees and maybe some blue or brown mushrooms. Cheers, Marco.>

Tesselata Eel, Sys. -- 01/12/10
Hi Bob, Shea here again.
<Marco here today. Hope you don't mind.>
I am in the midst of purchasing a 210 gallon aquarium and am getting a stocking plan in mind before I get it up and running. I know that I want an eel of some sort. My favorite is the Tesselata.
<A very interesting species.>
My first question is can I keep this eel long term in this size of an aquarium?
<If you buy it at a small size, you should be able to keep it in an aquarium of 210 gallons for about 3-5 years. In the long run you'd be much happier with a tank of at least 500 gallons, more would even be better. The species can reach at least 5 feet, some even 6 feet in an aquarium and unconfirmed reports (which I so far do not believe) talk of 10 feet specimens in nature.>
Almost every website that I checked said the minimum aquarium size was 180 gallons. Some sites even said 150 gallons.
<Well, I don't know if they have kept this eel long term. I have done so and can confirm that at some point a 210 gallon tank will likely be too small. If a 210 gallon tank is the maximum size available to you, I'd rather look into smaller moray eel species that reach a maximum of 3-3.5 feet.>
I also want to know if my Aussie Harlequin Tusk would be safe with this eel. He is a beautiful fish and I would hate to put him in danger of being eaten.
<This depends mostly on the personality/experiences of your eel and when the Tusk is added. Chances are best if it is added before the eel or together with the eel and at a safe size. However, with Gymnothorax favagineus being one of the top predators of the reefs no one will be able to guarantee you that the Tusk is not hurt in the long run. Some eel individuals would likely leave it alone, some would eat it at some point. A Zebra eel, which is a smaller, but roughly similar colored moray species, would be a choice more adequate for the tank size and the Tusk as a tank mate.>
Thanks for all of your help, Shea
<Welcome. Marco.>

Moray eel questions for Marco: Gymnothorax isingteena -- 12/01/09
Hi Marco,
I've asked you many an eel question in the past and have another if I could lol.
We had a 3 foot Gymnothorax isingteena sent to our store by mistake and wondered if it could be kept in my 300 gallon(140 gal sump with large skimmer) as an adult or would that be pushing it?
<I'd use a 500 gallon tank as the absolute minimum and would prefer to have twice the size for an adult.>
It's a beautiful eel and I've been looking for a larger sized eel just unfortunately none of our customers with large tanks are interested in it. My problem is finding an actual max length for these guys because they are extremely similar to Gymnothorax favagineus.
Fishbase shows favagineus to get 300cm (10 feet max) of which I don't doubt
<but I do. This is based on guesses, not measurements. The largest measured ones had less than 200 cm. If there were larger ones, they would be caught once in a while and shown off by fishermen as it happens with other giant moray species (Strophidon and G. javanicus). But I'm open to change my opinion if proper measurements can be shown.>
cause I've seen clips of them well over 7 feet but Gymnothorax isingteena growing to 180cm (6 feet max) and fishbase does seem to be a very reliable source.
<It is in this case.>
My worry is that I have also heard they may in fact be the same species just a bit of a color variant and are capable of getting just as big as a favagineus.
<They are very similar and so far considered separate species, but I agree that with future research they might be recognized as a synonyms.>
If they do max out at 6 feet in the wild I'm assuming in the home aquarium would be more likely in the range of 4.5 to 5 feet average?
<I'd always keep the 6 feet in mind, because that is what they can reach. 5 feet are what seems reasonable for an average specimen. An 'average' aquarium maximum size is not so useful, because it would include those specimens that stay small due to bad care or inadequate diet and not only those with the genes to grow smaller.>
Love to know your thoughts cause you know your morays well and everywhere else I find so much misinformation and finding this guy a good home is the main priority.
<Thanks for your kind words and good luck with finding a good home. They are for sure superb and interesting pets, but they need a large tank and also a dedicated owner, who knows how to handle a potentially dangerous animal. Marco.>

Re: Skeletor Eel; comp. -- 11/08/09
Dear Marco,
<Hello Bill.>
Planning to add the Golden Moray next week sometime but in the meanwhile I have another question for you. Since this tank will only hold 2 Eels, should I add some kind of cleaning crew to the tank to keep the algae in check?
<You can. To oppose algae you'll also need a good water quality.>
If so, what would you suggest?
<Hermit crabs, snails, maybe an easy brittle star or if good water quality can be achieved an urchin.>
Won't the Skeletor eel eat most of the crab and shrimp?
<No. It might try to eat hermits first, but if you select well armored specimens, it will fail and leave them alone. Cleaner shrimps are more of a gamble. Some morays accept them as cleaners, some eat them right away. Snails with tough shells are mostly not eaten, the same is generally true for brittle stars and urchins.>
I was told that the Golden Moray is a fish eater.
<In nature they mostly eat invertebrates (crabs, shrimps), but also small and slow fish.>
Thanks again, Bill
<Welcome and good luck. Marco.>

Re: Skeletor Eel
Air proof tank? -- 11/10/09

Dear Marco,
<Hello Bill.>
Thanks again for all your great insight on these matters.
Since the top of the tank is sealed closed because of the eels, should I add an air hose/pump in to the tank?
<No, that's only advisable in emergencies such as a lack of oxygen due to a bacterial bloom.>
I'm already running two circulation pumps in the tank but I notice that you get that "not so fresh smell" when you do open the top.
<Is this a freshly started tank? Basically the skimmer, which naturally should get its air from outside the tank, should be sufficient'¦ and with two eels using skimmer is definitely recommended. Aside that, holes in the top that are significantly smaller than the eels' diameters will help with gaseous exchange if still necessary.>
<Cheers. Marco.>

Re Live Rock/Cleaning/Now Moray Eel/Systems/Compatibility 9/25/09
<Hi Matt>
I have taken your advice and read all of the material possible including all of the questions about Snowflake Moray's.
I am still somewhat unclear. Just a couple questions and I will let you be on your way.
<Going nowhere today.>
First, I see some conflicting opinions on how large an aquarium would be fine for these creatures. I have a 4' long 55 gal that some say is fine for the eel (as low as 40 gal) and others think that it is just not large enough. Second, I see that the Snowflake Moray, if fed properly, will not bother other tankmates. However, there seem to be some mixed opinions on this also. I currently have 2 common clownfish in my system. If I added the eel and fed it properly, should they be okay? Some say yes, but some say absolutely not.
<The Snowflake Moray Eel is safe to house with any fish it cannot easily swallow. If your "common clownfish" are Amphiprion ocellaris, they likely would not be safe.>
And third, it looks like the Zebra Moray may end up a bit shorter in length than the snowflake,
<Where did you read this? Not true.>
but seems like from what I have read that they would need a larger tank than mine even though they may be even more compatible with my clowns.
<Most captive specimens of Snowflake Morays rarely exceed 24", as for the Zebra Moray, can exceed 4 feet in length if conditions permit. Although the Zebra Moray is the more docile of the two, your tank is much to small
for housing one long term. The Snowflake Moray would be the better choice in this regard. Moray Eels are huge waste producers and an efficient and properly maintained filter is required. Placing eels in smaller systems
creates escape behavior, and a tight fitting cover must be used or you will find your eel on the floor one morning.>
Any additional info for me would be greatly appreciated. Like I said, I promise that I did read over everything and educated myself to the best of my ability before asking you these questions. Thanks again for your help with this.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Black Edge Moray Eel not eating -- 09/22/09
Hi there,
<Hello Janie.>
I have a Black Edge Moray Eel
<I guess you are talking about a Gymnothorax saxicola, G. nigromarginatus or G. ocellatus.>
that is about 16" long and about 2 months ago we put in the tank 2 fish that we found at the beach, a few days later the eel's eyes were swollen and completely white, like if they were full of smoke, we went to the fish store and we were given some green medicine to put in the tank once a day for 7 days. The eel's eye are perfect now, we changed about 50% of that water and sine she got sick has not been eating anything.
<Using fresh carbon for filtration might be a good idea.>
This happened in beginning of August. We recently changed all the water and she is still not eating. She doesn't look sick and her eyes are great but I wonder why is she refusing to eat ?
<The main reason for moray eels refusing to eat is stress caused by their environment. Check if the tank has a sufficient size (I'd say at least 60 gallons for now, if it is on its own, more when grown, as usual the more the better). Is there enough current (at least 10-15 times the tank volume per hour, preferably more) and a sufficient skimmer to provide enough gaseous exchange? Are there enough caves or tubes to completely hide in (yes, even these eels that are common on sandy substrates live in caves)? Are there any aggressive tank mates? Next, check the water parameters, even if you changed the water: See if the nitrates are below 25 ppm and if the pH is between 7.8-8.4. If this not the case re-consider your water changes and filtration techniques.>
We tried live shrimps, frozen shrimps, dried krill, live feeders and nothing....what else can I do?
<See above. I recommend not to use feeder fishes, but rather live crabs, which compose a big part of the Black Edge Moray species' natural diet.>
Please help !!!
<Check the environment and improve it. Don't stress the eel by attacking it with a feeder stick and food items. A healthy Black Edge Eel can go several months without food and certainly won't starve. After improving the system I'd wait a week or two and try frozen food items such as shrimps, mussels, a piece of fish (all later with weekly vitamin additions) or if it does not work add live crabs to the tank. Good luck.>
Thanks, Janie
<Welcome. Marco.>

Black Edge Moray Eel II -- 09/22/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie>
Thanks for getting back to me. The carbon filter was also changed at the same time we changed the water about 5 days ago which we were forced to do due to my kids pour scented oil in the tank accidentally, so I guess this added more stress to the moray. Anyways, before we went through this incident with my kids, the moray has been living in that tank for about 4 years, sometimes alone and sometimes with small fishes, like damsels, clown fish, tangs, etc, plus there is a small stone crab living in there for about a year or more.
I did some search online and found that this type of moray eel needs a tank that is at least 125 gal,
<Blackedge moray is a common name used for at least 3 species of moray eels, that are often confused with each other online, even in book sources. The three species have quite different maximum sizes and therefore the minimum tank sizes might equally differ.>
my tank is only 50 gal but since she has been there for a long time I did not think that it would make any difference now....this make me think on upgrade the tank to a bigger one but that will have to wait.
Someone recommended soaking the food in Garlic Xtreme before feeding which should help to stimulate the eel into eating again...what do you think ?
<I don't think it will hurt, but I cannot promise it will work either. The effects of appetizers on eels (and other fishes for that instance) are quite variable. As noted in the last mail, I'm sure the eel -- if healthy - will start to eat again with or without garlic products. I'd concentrate on checking its environment, especially water parameters and tank configuration as written before.>
Thank you very much for all your help! Janie
<You are welcome. Marco.>

Black Edge Moray Eel III -- 09/22/09
Here is a picture of the tank and the moray eel.....
she looks like she is living in a closet so definitely I need to upgrade in tank size.
<I concur, this appears to be a Gymnothorax saxicola, it will grow to 2 feet. I'd also add more surface agitation.>
Thank you very much for all you advised !
<Welcome. Marco.>

My Tess Thanks   7/26/09
 You Hey everyone. I wanted to shoot you a quick note to say thank you from myself and my Tesselata eel. After a major move of his 300 gallon home he ate once and then didn't eat again for a couple of weeks. As soon as I decided it was a problem, I came to WWM and did some searching on Tess's and lack of feeding. Turns out I didn't have enough flow in the aquarium to ensure optimal oxygen saturation. I pointed the returns at the top of the water and added a Koralia 8 Magnum to the aquarium. He ate a big sardine Ryan
<Congratulations on your discovery and rescue. Bob Fenner>

Viper moray question -- 07/15/09
Hello (Marco, I assume?),
<How did you know? Hi Pat.>
I am currently looking at an animal labeled as a Viper Moray...the size, description, and attached photo seem indicative of E. nigricans, but I'd like to get your opinion as I have no desire to take on an Enchelynassa canina.
<It is an Enchelycore for sure, no Enchelynassa. Very likely E. nigricans'¦ or a Pacific species (isn't the ocean where the animal comes from known to the current keeper?)'¦ like E. bayeri, hard to tell from the picture.>
As to the former in captivity, do you have any experience?
<Yes'¦ similar to other larger Enchelycore species.>
Please note that this picture was not taken by me and I am not representing it as my own....I don't know if that dictates whether or not you are able to post it.
<Nor do I.>
In case you recall, the E. lichenosa is doing fantastic...
<Great to hear.>
I'm in the middle of planning a tank upgrade as we speak and hoping against hope that I'm able to find a E. anatina some time after that.
<You know these two cannot be kept together? The E. anatina will need colder temperatures. You'd likely have to catch one yourself or know someone from the Northern subtropical Atlantic (esp. Canary Islands) to help you out.>
Thanks, Pat
<Welcome. Marco.>
Viper moray pic
Sorry, forgot the pic in the last email.
<Got it. Thanks. But since we cannot post it, I'll delete it. Marco.>

Re: Viper moray question, ID, sys. II - 07/15/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
Thanks as always...the person I'm thinking of buying this guy from will likely not know where it came from...I'm assuming that depending on locality it is either bayeri or nigricans?
< A good picture of the head showing details of the nostrils, pores and teeth would help, but so far E. nigricans seems more likely.>
Oddly enough, he did in fact have a fangtooth (first I have heard of in the US) in the same tank as the 'viper'.
<Excuse my doubts. Was it really E. anatina? Picture?>
I understand that they enjoy some level of popularity in European aquariums and have read several accounts of them being successfully kept at 72-75F.
<I must have missed something here. Those very few aquariums I am aware of all have them at colder temperatures.>
My understanding is also that they range about half way down the western coast of Africa, and when they do come in, this is where they are collected (along with a couple Muraena species that I see from time to time).
<Ascension, Cape Verde and St. Helena are the most 'tropical' places, where E. anatina can be found, but the water is colder over there than in American waters of same latitude. I am not aware of occurrences of this species in the tropical parts of the Eastern Atlantic a little North of the equator with typical marine tank temperatures. The guide on Eastern Atlantic Muraenidae by Böhlke seems to confirm this.>
Is this all hogwash?
<If there is any good proof I'd enjoy to stand corrected.>
Because the animal comes first, as a back up I was thinking of converting my current tank (150 'cube') to coldwater for the anatina as well as an E. ramosa (at five feet max length I don't know if the 3x3x3 would do it in the long run, though).
Thanks as always for your input Marco!
-Pat C.
<Anytime. Cheers. Marco.>

Re: Viper moray question - 07/16/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
If you'd like I can try to locate some of the material I've gone through regarding E. anatina;
<Ah, very good. Thanks.>
I've included some of the easier to find links below. The maps appear to indicate that they are found in warm water regions along the west coast of Africa, and one source indicates that they are found in the Bahamas, albeit as a deep water species...
<There is an old report (1880) of one at the Bermudas, maybe you mean that one. About the links below: the first link shows very few locations to me, none in tropical waters. The second link shows only the rough areas'¦ click on the species name and you'll come to Fishbase where the more accurate locations are named: you'll see they are the ones I included in earlier mails. Also click at occurrences to get a few more definite and even more accurate locations.>
I can't find that article but the second link seems to back that up.
As I said, the animal comes first and foremost, and I've been interested in setting up a coldwater system for some time, so perhaps this is a good excuse...it appears as though the Canaries maintain in the mid 60s F...is that correct?
<I'd aim for 16-20°C (61-68°F) with an exceptional maximum of 24°C (75°F) in summer.>
Do you think that E. ramosa and E. anatina could make good tank mates?
<Possible, may work best in a large system. Given how rare both appear in trade, maybe this would be the first try.>
Without abusing my question asking privileges, do you have experience with any other Enchelycore species?
<Taxonomy: yes; Aquarium care: limited, mostly second hand information from public aquariums and a few keepers visited. E. carychoa needs to be added to the ones discussed so far from my side. That's one I could think about having at home myself.>
Map: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20m?kind=Enchelycore+anatina
FAO: http://www.fishbase.gr/Country/FaoAreaList.php?ID=8087&GenusName=Enchelycore&SpeciesName= anatina&fc=56&StockCode=8397
I'm working on getting more pictures, hopefully a few clear ones of both the 'viper' and 'fangtooth', I will pass the latter on to you for your input.
I'm well aware that when it pertains to the exotic animals in this, or any fauna hobby, people can get selective in their research and ignoring sound advice against certain animals...you must run into that quite a bit...please note I am not one of these and I do want to provide, and am capable of delivering an adequate environment for these creatures.
<From time to time people in Europe have brought home small Muraena helena (a species that occurs in much of the range of E. anatina) and had quite bad results in tropical tanks. It is good you are willing to do better and can provide a cooler tank.>
Thanks! Pat.
<Cheers. Marco.>

Koke/Reticulate Hookjaw Moray -- 05/19/09
Hi there,
<Hello Pat.>
Thanks first for the (almost) endless supply of helpful info on your site....you've really guided me along over the past six years.
<Thanks for your kind words.>
At any rate, after spending quite a while looking, I've located an E. lichenosa, the Reticulate Hookjaw Moray. I was wondering if anyone there has had any experience with this species.
<Is seen/available on the stocklists sometimes, but rarely ordered. Is sometimes kept, esp. in Asia. What are your specific questions on this species?>
I currently have a Japanese Dragon and a Kidako Moray in the same take (150 gallon) and, as they come from the same region and are all roughly the same size, don't think there will be an issue. Nonetheless, I wanted to see if any of you have had any experience to share.
<This species is sometimes found with other morays in the wild. What you are trying might work, although a larger tank would be preferable. >
Thanks! Pat C.
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Koke/Reticulate Hookjaw Moray 05/20/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
Thanks for your quick reply. The tank is a 'cube', one of the new 3x3's from AGA; in terms of space I felt it can accommodate several small-med morays, and I intentionally over-built the filtration with an EV-240, fluidized bed and 58 gallons of sump with LR, DSB, Caulerpa and a trickle filter at least 150 lbs of LR in the tank...I typically read double zeros and ultra low nitrates (below 20ppm)...is there an issue I'm not thinking of?
<Territoriality depending much on personality (the larger the tank, the more caves you can build in a way they will have their own small territories to retreat to if they want to, especially when older), growth with age'¦ my choice for these 3 eels would have been about twice this size (or separate systems), but that does not mean your approach would definitely not work, but maybe you should have some options available if trouble starts -- just in case (maybe you already do as your filtration system sounds already good).>
I've been mulling over an upgrade to a tank that can accommodate epaulette sharks but wasn't thinking of moving the eels from the tank they are in.
<Mixing eels with shark is not always a good idea'¦>
I guess my question was in reference to the behavior or survival rate of the animal...
<Very good, seem to live for decades, at least in public aquaria. Behaviour is similar to other Gymnothorax and Enchelycore species, they are generally not too aggressive towards other eels (still more than an average Echidna).>
why are they ordered so seldom?
<From talking to traders: nobody wants them, because they need large tanks and are generally seen as less desirable than E. pardalis. Same story for the other Enchelycore...>
I assumed it would be similar to the E. pardalis I already have, and it's easily as attractive as the Kidako that commands roughly the same prices.
<Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (I like them, too).>
If there is limited experience out there I'd love to share mine with you guys for the site.
<We'd certainly appreciate that.>
One last question, more out of curiosity...have you seen the Mosaic Moray (E. ramosa) or the Fangtooth (E. anatina) offered, or had any experience?
<Yes, both need colder water temperatures (about 18-22°C) and were not offered in trade, but caught by fishermen. And'¦ especially the E. ramosa gets significantly larger than an E. pardalis, expect 5 feet in the long run.>
Thanks again, Pat C.
<Welcome and I'm looking forward to read about your experiences. Marco.>

Re: Koke/Reticulate Hookjaw Moray 05/20/09
Hello again Marco,
<Hi Pat.>
Thanks again for the quick reply. I've got a 72 bow standing by should there be an emergency...
<I see'¦ very well prepared.>
the Kidako and Dragon get along swimmingly (pun intended), so I've got my fingers crossed for the Koke.
<Me too.>
In my experience (almost entirely with Gymnothorax sp.) larger morays display less defensive/territorial aggression than their juvenile counterparts, but I'm sure that experience is more limited than yours.
<There are certainly more experienced people than me, but in my opinion it certainly depends on the species and also the personality of the eel (being mostly the experiences it has made). I can name several coincidences where juveniles got along, but started fighting after years'¦ this might be related to a gender change many morays have with possibly the larger males showing more territoriality towards their own and even other species.>
I've also had good luck with eels and sharks, but in much larger systems, and perhaps some of it was indeed simple luck.
<It can work, I know several cases, too, but almost an equal number of failures with morays badly biting the sharks and vice versa. Therefore, it's hard to make general statements except expressing caution.>
Good call on ramosa and anatina...I did know that they both get larger than the three above, but didn't see the cold water issue. If I ever came across either they'd make for a really cool (pun not intended this time) cold water/subtropic setup.
<Oh yes, certainly.>
I'll send you my impressions with pictures (hopefully of all three eels poking out of the same cave) in a few weeks. The Koke arrives tomorrow. Thanks, Pat C.
<I have yet to see such a picture. Looking forward to it, good luck! Marco.>

Building a sturdy Moray eel Cave -  3/24/09
Hi again crew,
<Hey Joe.>
I guess this will again go to Marco.
Regarding our past conversations concerning Tessy's and DME's, I've decided to stick with my Japanese DME and give him a much bigger home with maybe 1 large (Jumbo) angel and shoals of small quick Chromis/Damsels to round out the tank. The question I had is concerning cave building. We all know this can spell certain death for an eel if not done properly. So my question is about building a sturdy cave to protect a 3' eel.
I was considering using a brand new black milk crate (19"Lx13"Wx11"H) flipped upside down with all 4 handle areas cut out generously to provide 4 cave entrances/exits. Then either zip tie or stack Live Rock around and on top of the crate to basically build a coral bulkhead in the center of the tank for other smaller fish to circle and dart in and out of. On either side would be buried 4" PVC pipe also covered with a pile of Live Rock, but not nearly as tall. I'm attaching a picture of the milk crate type I am talking about as well as a sketch roughly outlining what I'm planning.
<Interesting idea!>
My question is this: If I wash the crate thoroughly and possible freeze and boil it, do I have to worry about any chemical contaminants leeching into the water over time from the plastic?
<Although I consider this danger rather small I can only recommend the use of food grade plastic boxes or a material intended for aquarium or pond use (a large possibly broken or old hang on backpack filter or refugium, maybe an old plastic external filter box of sufficient size). If you wish to use the milk crate without knowing if it is food grade plastic (there are such crates used for aquaculture: http://www.ploma.com.au/product_details.php?prod_id=35 ) you should have it in a container with a powerhead and saltwater for several weeks and run activated carbon in the tank with the fish. The aquarium and pond plastics are generally UV stabilized and made from save materials. Another alternative would be a short (or shortened with a saw) food grade drum or barrel for water or juice storage, which would make the central tower of the reef round. I am also using unpainted earthenware like amphoras without negative effects. I'd leave some small hole in the top of your cave structure so you can put a hose into the cave during water changes and remove detritus, faeces from inside the cave.>
If so I may do the same plan except using an acrylic tank that I will have to cut and drill. The
crate is a MUCH cheaper route and much less labor intensive, but I am concerned about well being of the tank and would hate to poison everything.
<See alternative materials above and also see the interesting posts WWM brings up when searching for milk crate for further opinions.>
Thanks for any advice you can provide. Joe
<Welcome. Marco.> 


Large Moray eel Species only tanks - Need an eel expert Large Moray eel Species only tanks - 01/07/09 Afternoon crew, <Morning Joe.> Over the past several years I have found myself falling in love with Morays more and more... <Happens.> and what's not to love (no sickness , easy to feed, not picky about water, long life, and on and on and on). I currently have a 30" Dragon Moray in a 75g (pic included) with a shoal of yellowbelly damsels (I know not ideal), but he is very happy, as well as a large 30" SFE and 18" Brazilian Golden in a 240 Community tank. Sorry, back to my question at hand..... I want to eventually do one of several tanks, but I'm not sure what is feasible. Need some guidance and recommendations. <No problem, I'm a fellow moray eel fan.> 1. For my other favourite species a Tesselata (I know 6' and killers), Can 1 be kept in these size tanks for life? 240sq (48x48x25) 240g (96x2x24) 375g (96x36x25) 500g (96x48x25) Bigger???? < I'd say the 500g is the minimum. 600-750 would even be better. I've done what you plan in about a 240 gallon and after a few years it's already becoming time to upgrade.> 2. Can multiple Dragon Moray eels or multiple Tesselata Moray eels be kept together in a species only tank if the tank is big enough? If so how many and what size tank? I have personally seen 2 large Tessie's together in a LFS, but not sure if that will work long term. I have also seen videos of multiple dragons in 1 tank, but again not sure if it would work long term. < Yes, for the E. pardalis. Especially in cases where two have been caught and imported together (mated pair), they generally can be kept together. In very large tanks (>800 gallons) even several pairs can work. Just adding a new one to a existing setup is more risky and can result in extensive biting. It's essential to provide a sufficient amount of rock work and caves and I would consider a 240 as the minimum for a pair. The new one should be slightly larger and adding the eel should be combined with a change of decoration. The G. favagineus is more difficult and rarely kept as pairs in home aquariums. In public setups of several 1000 gallons it should be possible to keep a pair. In smaller tanks I would not try this. It's best kept as a single specimen.> 3. Lastly with a Tessy if I wanted to add PVC pipe behind the LR to reduce the chances of him crushing himself when he gets huge how big of a diameter pipe would need to be used, I've yet to see a FULL size adult. <There you go: http://www.kapstadt.org/images/images-13/moray-eel-fish-fisch/moray-eel-muraenen-3g.jpg . > I was guessing 3" PVC but was not sure if that was enough. <Diameter of an adult is greater than 3". 7" are more adequate. The rocks should be fixed with concrete to avoid them tumbling over again and again. > I like the simplistic approach of pick your favorite species and give him a tank with lots of small & cheap Chromis and Damsels. Easy to feed and care for. I would buy the absolute biggest skimmer and wet/dry I could for this tank and add tons of Live Rock and caves. Thanks for all the great information and wonderful site, hope to see one of you guys up at ThatFishPlace in April for the Spring Open House, I know Anthony has been there several times. Joe <Good luck with your endeavour. It's good you are planning ahead. Cheers, Marco.>


Re: Large Moray eel Species only tanks II - 01/07/09 Marco, Thanks for the response and picture. < Welcome.> So just a few follow ups. Before I go out and buy, set-up, and prepare a 500g for a Tessie.... Will that work long term? <Yes, as noted I'd consider this as the minimum necessary. If you skip tankmates, construct enough caves and invest into good filtration it will work long term.> I'd hate to spend several thousand just for a tank that it will outgrow anyway. <Understandable.> And 500g is about all I want to invest in a single creates home...water changes just too big and expensive after that. If the 500g would not be enough I may go with the multiple Dragon's idea. If I went with a 240g or bigger for 2-3 Dragon's and they were NOT mated pairs could they be introduced at the same time without fear or is each fish it's own individual and it's hit and miss? <The latter, but introducing them all at the same time will help a lot.> And would length be more important or width? 240g (48x48x25) square 240g (96x24x24) 375g (96x36x25) < While I usually prefer wider tanks, for such a project I'd prefer the longer tanks. They'll simply provide a slightly larger distance the morays can have between them if they want to.> On a personal note. How old is your Tessie and do you know their expected lifespan in captivity? <I have no idea how old my G. favagineus is, I guess 7-12 years. I know it since 2006. There are other specimens in close zoos I know for much longer. They'll easily reach beyond 20 years, more likely twice this age in captivity. The maximum age reports of larger morays are 60 years, but those were temperate water species (M. helena).> Thanks for all the support, <Anytime.> good luck with your Tessie in the 240 and his/her soon to be bigger home. Joe. <Thank you very much. Cheers, Marco.>

Pseudechidna brummeri in a 75 gal - 04/28/08 Hello Crew, < Hi.> My question comes in regards to a white ribbon moray (Pseudechidna brummeri). Is it easier to keep than other ribbon morays? <Generally easier to feed. Almost all of the ones I've seen in the last years have been doing well.> I ask this because I saw one at my LFS which had been in their for over 5 months. <Ensure it eats various types of frozen food. That's the most important thing.> If it is would it be okay in a 75gal with an 7inch Indian Trigger? <Melichthys indicus, could work. Tank size should be okay for the eel if well filtered. Your trigger species is generally more mellow and tends to leave other fish alone, but generally many triggers may occasionally try to bite the fins of other fishes, especially small eels. While it is improbable your Melichthys will do that, in case it exhibited aggressive behaviour before, I would not try, and even if you decide to try, watch closely for a while to see how they get along. Provide enough live rock and caves as shelter. Cover the tank tightly, since Pseudechidna can escape even through the smallest gaps. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2004/fish.htm  and a WWM search for Pseudechidna (your original spelling in this email was Pseudochidna, which is wrong and will not bring many hits) will get you further opinions. Cheers, Marco.>

Green Moray Eel - System 04/09/08 Hey Guys, <Hi.> Just had a quick question on green moray eels. I'm going to be buying a 300 gallon tank 6x3x2.5 high and wondered if I could house a green moray in it into adulthood? <I don't think so. For a few years it may be okay, but eventually you'll need a bigger tank.> I was wanting to buy a young one and raise it up and figured if it was fed a maintenance diet instead of power fed it would never grow to be as big as they do in the wild <No, they will reach their 6 to 7 feet when properly cared for.> ( I've heard Tesselata eels generally don't grow to much more than 4 to 5 feet in captivity so maybe about the same length?). <G. favagineus stays generally a little smaller than G. funebris. Those reports of very large (up to 10 feet) Tesselata Eels are not confirmed by science, might be stories or rare exceptions.> Don't mistake maintenance for starvation diet lol would never do that just more fed in moderation. He would be the only resident in the tank <He would eat most tank mates anyway.> (until an adult were I would like to add some fish too small to be eaten) and the tank would be over skimmed just more concerned if he would be comfortable in a tank that size. Just don't have room for a larger tank and have always been in love with the green morays so any advice would be greatly appreciated. <My recommendation would be to choose a less dangerous and smaller moray eel species, something below 5 feet. There is a huge selection. Have a look at an adult in some public aquarium or the ocean and I'm sure you'll re-think the 300 gallon idea. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm
for experiences with large Green Morays in the home aquarium.> Thanks again! < Good luck with what you decide to do, Marco.>

Eel in filter 04/07/2008 hi there, <<Hello, Andrew today>> So i have been on vacation for a week and let my snowflake moray eel alone with some acclimated ghost shrimp for food. However the night after i got back, my eel got into the filter, but it didn't get out because of the hood. any suggestions as to how to prevent this from happening again? << A medium gauge mesh or zip tied egg crate is usually the best to stop this from happening>> thank you, Jiahua Zhang <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Dwarf Moray Eel; Ammonia - 02/14/08 Hi, <Hello Pam.> I just purchased a Gymnothorax melatremus (sp?) 2 days ago. <If you are not sure about the species send a picture. G. melatremus has a vertical, bluish stripe through the eye, a feature only a few other morays have.> He is in a 75 gal reef tank newly set up with rock that has been in a tub for 7 months (a move across country that delayed setting things up). <Hopefully it was stored with a power head to move the water. If not it is likely dead rock after 7 months and should - if used again as base rock - be cured for at least 2 weeks in a tank without fish and with a strong skimmer. The curing is over when ammonia and nitrites remain 0 and the nitrates start decreasing.> Nitrates are at 0 AM. is at 0.1 <Toxic.> temp at 80. <I'd aim for 76 to 78 personally. Compare to S. Michael's book.> Other inhabitants are a 4 line wrasse <If much smaller than the eel it will be food.> and snails and hermits. The eel ate willingly this AM but seems to be itching his face and twitching. <Skin irritation from the new tank, new water parameters, probably in combination with some gill burn from the ammonia.> I've read that they are very disease resistant and according to S. Michael's book they don't tolerate medicine well. <They don't tolerate organic dyes and many heavy metals (like copper).> What to do? <If you can get properly refrigerated marine Bio Spira you can add that to the tank to help your bacteria colonies to turn ammonia into nitrites and finally nitrates quickly. Provide enough surface movement to avoid a lack of oxygen due to the possible curing processes of the rock. If there are rocks with larger, apparently dead organisms or rocks that smell bad, cure them in a separate tank. Turn your skimmer to full throttle. If the ammonia remains at this level or even rises do large water changes to bring it down again. Alternatively, remove the fish and invertebrates to an established system until your tank is properly cycled.> Thank you. Pam. <Anytime. Good luck, Marco.>

Re: Dwarf Moray Eel; Ammonia - 02/15/08 Marco, <Pam> Thanks for the quick reply. I'm positive of the species, he has the vertical stripe. <Okay, very nice species.> The rock was very much alive, it was stored in salt water with power heads, heater water changes and ambient light. Snails and such survived as well. <Good to hear that. There should not too much life dying off in your new display.> I will go search for the Bio Spira, I've also made up water for a change. <Very good.> Thanks so much! Pam <No problem. Take care, Marco.>

Dragon Moray, sys...    1/1/08 Hi, I currently have a 2 year old 400 litre marine aquarium with a 30 watt UV steriliser, Eheim wet/dry canister filter, Fluval external filter, plenty of liverock, and a Aquamedic protein skimmer with a sander ozoniser. Its currently stocked with a 5" sub adult queen angel, a 5" dogface puffer and a 6" great barrier reef harlequin tusk. <Yikes... you're a good candidate for a larger system and much more filtration> I have recently seen a 2ft dragon moray at my LFS, I have been looking for one for 3 years and this is the first one I have seen. <Sometimes there are a few more of these to be found underwater, but most years... in diving a hundred, two hundred times in their geographic distribution I'll maybe see one> The store owner assures me I will not have a problem, but as the fish is 800 pounds ($1600 at current exchange rate) so I would appreciate your advice. <Where's my collecting gear!?> Thanks Kev Manchester, England <A good species, typically good specimens, but... your system is too small as it is, to house the fishes you have at what will be their about full size per the setting. I would go forward with the acquisition if you have a tank at least twice this size. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Skimming Eel Tank 12/30/07 Good morning!! <Hello Scott.> Got a question regarding a 55 gallon tank. Inhabitants include: 1 Elegant wrasse about 3 inches, 1 Blue striped clown about 2 inches, 1 Striped Moray about 16 inches, various hermit crabs, crabs, snails and sea urchins, tons of live rock and a deep sand bed sump holds around 20 gallons of water, another very deep sand bed (about 6 inches) and more live rock. Aqua C Remora with maxi jet hangs on sump ( old fish tank with partitions ). Bi-weekly water changes, 15 gallons every time, at a minimum. Salt water used is from Waikiki aquarium pumps, straight from ocean I believe. <<Goes through many linear feet of lava, sand, carbonaceous material... check the alkalinity! You can see the SW "well" bore holes out back there in Kapiolani Park...RMF>> Top offs are r/o water. <OK> Problems are with nitrates and phosphates (nitrates hover around 10, phosphates hover around .6 which seem to be creating incredible amount of green hair algae. <Yes.> Would the excess amounts of nitrates and phosphates be from eel overwhelming skimmer? Or maybe the fact that I've only been using r/o water for about 2 months? <This will only help.> Prior to that, using tap water, which did have high levels of both nitrates and phosphates. In the last month, done 5 15 gallon water changes, and no change on water quality. <Test your make up water just to be sure. If you are actually using natural seawater you can have die off from organisms in the water itself contributing to your problem.> At least once a day, I manually pick hair algae off of rocks in tank and sump. Have even taken some of the worse rocks out and scrubbed in saltwater and replaced. Anything to remove algae and the nutrients contained in it. <Have you ever considered a refugium growing macroalgae for this nutrient export?> Lets see.... eel eats on average once a week, two fairly large shrimp. Fish are fed frozen brine shrimp maybe twice a week. <The frozen brine shrimp may contribute also, be sure that all of it gets eaten.> They seem to find lots to eat on the rocks. This hair algae is driving my wife and I nuts, anything to beat it, I will do. Even considering adding a second protein skimmer. <Or just a larger skimmer and larger tank.> Thank you for your time, Scott. <Depending on the exact species of moray you have you will likely need a larger tank. 55 gal is borderline for even the smallest (such as a snowflake). Account for the wrasse and a larger tank should be in your future. Look for the usual sources of nitrate/phosphate: feeding, detritus buildup in substrate/filter, makeup water, etc. But, also expect the battle to keep good water quality to get harder as these fish get larger. Adding the macroalgae refugium will go very far towards helping this. Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Re: Skimming Eel Tank 12/31/07 Thank you for the quick response. <Welcome.> Have tested make-up water.... undetectable amounts of either nitrate or phosphate. <Good.> The eel is a banded moray, I really hate to have to give him away, and really can't afford a larger tank, or the space to put it in. Is it at all possible to keep this eel? <Yes it is, do also consider that the wrasse will get fairly large.> At the same time, really don't want the animal to suffer in cramped quarters. <On the small side, but should be fine.> Looked him up on couple different websites, seems this eel won't get larger than maybe 24" <Correct.> .... he never comes out of his cave, so is the larger tank just for water volume to handle his messiness? <This, also oxygen carrying capacity, and swimming room; which he/she probably does when you're not looking!! These eels are more likely to escape from smaller tanks as well. Do consider the macroalgae refugium, it will help quite a bit. Have a good New Year, Scott V.>

Moray Eel Species Only tank for a 75g suggestions 12/28/07 <Hello Joe> I had been planning on making my now 75g grow out tank as a species only tank for a prized Japanese Dragon Moray eel. I know this eel max's out at 3' so I'm a little concerned that the tank may be too small even if he is the only one in it. If it is too small for a DME what size eel should I be shopping for to place in a 75g species only tank and do you have any good suggestions? <This tank should be fine for the eel as it will spend a majority of its time in a cluster of live rock waiting to ambush some prey. The main points of concern are not the 75g tank size which is the smallest tank I would use, but that water parameters are kept as constant and close to Natural Sea water (NSW) as possible. Keeping Nitrates and Phosphates as low as possible too will aid in the long term survival of this animal. Finally, feeding it appropriate foods is also very important. Train the eel to take frozen Saltwater Fish (as Freshwater fish will be too fatty) and thawed frozen shrimp from the grocery store. These are much cheaper than aquarium prepared frozen foods for predatory fish) Frozen foods are best as they will limit any introduction of parasite or disease that live foods could introduce. Hope this helps-Rich...aka...Mr. Firemouth> Thanks

Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray... Killing fishes with ignorance... hopefully w/o avarice Hello, my name is Matthew and I'm having a huge issue. I have had a 120gl for about Four month that I had transported form a pervious owner. I moved the water, sand, yellow head Moray, etc. <Whoa! Is this a Gymnothorax rueppelliae... of what size? Gets a meter long... a piscivore> For the first month there was just the Eel, then we added a Lion, Angel, Trigger, and Naso. <Uhh... this is a lot of life... and too much to add in a short while> We had the Naso, Lion, and Eel for about a month and then added the Trigger and Angel from a friend that's tank had broke. Everything was fine until these two showed up and sense then everything has been a issue. <Won't be fine...> Something happened two days after the trigger and angel were put in, the Lion loss color and got a slimy coat on him, the angel died, the Naso got the worst case of foggy eyes I have ever seen and I had a Harlequin Tusk lost his slime coat and almost died as well. <... too much, too soon... Too much wealth and not enough education> I had taken the Tusk and Tang to my Local fish store were there the had brought them back to life. <Env.> surprisingly through this hole ordeal the Eel never had a problem. We thought is was the filter <...> so I replaced the Bio wheel and Canister with a 120 sump with built in refugium, put a SuperSkimmer Protein Skimmer. I had let the tank be for a month with just the eel, and just this weekend brought the Tusk and Naso home. <Return them> Well the Tusk has been eaten by the eel, <...> the Naso has cloudy eyes and the angel gets white raised spot during the night and leave by day. I have changed everything on the tank what can be causing this to keep happening? Please any Help would be great. <... Please... read on WWM re each of the species you list... their Systems needs, Compatibility... You have too much of an untenable mix here... Won't work... You killed the lost animals by crowding them together... Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray... still not reading   11/13/07 Thanks for the fast reply, Yes I will admit I did do a little to much to <too> fast. The Naso eyes are getting worse again as we speak. The Passer Angel, Moray, and Naso are the only ones in there now and all seem to be getting along fine. <Matt... you're not understanding... there is too much incompatible life for the volume you have here> The eel and Naso even share the same cave. Should I take everybody out and leave it sit for 6 weeks or can I leave the eel and if so will this happen again. <...> After reading the Bio on these fish, the angel is 6in, the Naso 7inch and Eel 3ft witch <which>  if I'm reading write <right> there shouldn't be a big issue. Let me know what you think. Matthew <I think you should read as directed in your first missal, my response. BobF>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray   11/14/07 WOW, you even spell check for me as well. I know you quite respected in your field and for that reason I reached out to you for help. Just for FYI I am not made of money and like most people in this hobby learn by trail <Yippee aye yo ki yay!> and error. <Mmm, just trying to wake you up, help you skip a bunch of the latter... Do you understand this?> Just a little nicer on the replies, I might help others not a knowledgeable as yourself not feel like idiots. Thanks for your time Matthew. <IF you had read you'd know that the 120 is barely adequate for the Muraenid... Please... study, THEN choose knowledgably what you think you can keep. RMF>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray   11/14/07 Yes I understand, Just the same I have made a choice to give the Eel to a person that does tanks for a company called Color Wheel. He will have a huge tank with those of his kind. I have done some reading and this animal belongs either in a huge tank, by his self, or most of all in the ocean. And being that he can never go back to the ocean, I will give him away to someone that will give him the room he needs. <Ahh, very good> I'm sticking to clown and Tangs. If I came across harsh I apologize, I'm just frustrated. Thanks Matthew <Welcome. BobF>

Giant Hawkfish problem... Actually induced env. prob.s   9/3/07 Hi, <Christine> I have looked up your site for a while now but now I am having trouble with my giant Hawkfish and I hope someone is able to help me. I have had him for about a year and in the last month I have switched from a sump system to a canister filter... <Mmmm... I am not a fan by and large of using these types as sole...> it is a Rena xp4 and the tank size is 100 gallons. He shares it with an eel (fimbriated) and since i switched the sump out i noticed his breathing got a lot heavier. <Oh yes... very likely the agitation of air/water in the sump brought oxygen into high saturation> I thought it was the heat so I got a chiller, still the breathing was heavy although the temperature is perfect so I got some aeration going in the tank. For about a few weeks he was fine but as of the last few days I noticed his breathing has gotten very heavy, lethargic and occasionally does this scary coughing thing where he looks like he might explode. <Very dangerous... Very likely these two species/specimens also need more room than this 100... I have seen Fimbriated morays that required hundreds of gallons for themselves> I did a full battery of tests and found the nitrate and nitrite to be both high.. <How high is high, sigh...> I did a 20% water change added some AmQuel + and so far the readings have been perfect. <Warning! This Kordon product (the PVP ingredient) will give false negatives with some test kits...> Everything is at zero. Although the ph is a bit low at 7.8. <Too low...> Anyway, that's all the info i think that might help... i will be adding another biological filtration unit to the tank with a few days in hopes that it needs more (as he and his brother are messy eaters) but i just don't know what might be wrong. <The loss of the sump... not enough volume... the too-driven-nitrification effects of canister filtration, poor water quality... You've stated it all> I will also get proper ph to up the ph level to 8.2. <Not a good idea, means... need more naturally available carbonate, bicarbonate... more hard, soluble substrate/s...> The eel seems to breathe heavy at times but it seems the Hawkfish is the one who is losing his color, breathing heavy at times and then almost not at other times and occasionally coughs. Sorry if this is long but i don't know what it might be.. any thoughts? Parasite maybe and if so how does one tell? I don't want to add anything to the water that might make them worse... thanks so much for any feedback! Oh and also the salinity is perfect as well as the temperature so those are not possible problems. thanks!!! :) Christine <... Please... get a larger system, bring back the sump, consider using the canister simply as a contactor... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanfiltuse.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Moray Eel Worries. Golden spotted eel in 15 gallons, upgrade needed; comp. questions - 07/08/07 Hi, I have a Golden-Spotted Eel in my 60 l tank (Sorry, I'm from Australia). <No worries. I'm living in Germany. 60 l is about 15 gallons.> He's only about 20cm <8 inches> in length (sorry again!) and lives with a yellow tang and domino damsel (no idea how he hasn't eaten the damsel yet <Give it some time.> because he's only about 1 cm in length). <Your tank is far too small (or is a 0 missing?), even if the fish are tiny now. I hope your afterwards mentioned upgrading will take place in the coming weeks.> I've got two problems - 1. I got some live rock from the sea and didn't realise there was a bloody anemone in it! I'm wondering if the anemone will sting the moray and/or other fish. <Well possible. Most anemones need pristine water quality and grow too large for a 15 gallon tank. It should go to a tank of a fellow hobbyist or back to the store in exchange for another piece of rock or to make a down payment for a larger tank.> It has already tried to eat my jardini, etc but it's joined to the rock and I'd have to kill it to get it out of there (don't worry the jardini is far away now). <See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneplacemtfaqs.htm and linked pages for moving anemones.> Do you think he'll be ok? <No.> 2. There isn't much info on my particular species of eel <Need to know the species' scientific name first. Likely there is information available. Do you have the scientific name or a picture for identification? If none of the two is available try comparing your specimen to fishbase.org pictures using the names given below. At least 3 morays are referred to as golden spotted: G. miliaris from the Atlantic (See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm ); G. tile from the Indo-Pacific (See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I2/Freshwater_eels/freshwater_eels.htm ); golden speckles are larger on young specimens and not very round ); G. eurostus from the Indo-Pacific ( See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm ). and I know they can be aggressive but mine doesn't seem so (I'm sure he is just tricking me though). <Don't get fooled.> I'm wondering what fish I can put in there (the tank is to be upgraded to a huge wall tank soon) and if I can 'try out' some Banded Shrimp because my boyfriend is in love with them. There's a little crab in there that came in with the rock so I'm wondering how much the eel even likes crustaceans? <No further fish until the system is upgraded. Most morays will eat or wound smaller fish and crustaceans, but they are quite individualistic with regard to their eating preferences, sometimes independently from their species' general preferences. Some eat anything moving, some only eat frozen sea food. It's almost always a gamble and only when you have it for some years, you might get an idea what your moray will eat and what it won't eat. You could try adding a larger banded shrimp to the new tank (as soon as it is cycled) first and then the moray. This ensures it won't think it is being fed. Anyway, a freshly molted shrimp is a temptation, so don't get attached too much to the crustacean (or any fish you add smaller than half of the moray length), because they might be consumed in the long run.> Thanks! Sorry it was so long! Fan from Oz, Liana. <You are welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

Japanese Fishes. Centropyge interruptus, Enchelycore pardalis sys...   6/30/07 Hello and thank you for your extremely valuable site. I have searched and not found references to my questions. I'm a long time owner of a 200g reef setup and have learned many lessons first-hand and from sites like yours. I'm now embarking on remodeling my house around my dream setup. A 500g reef tank and a 170g eel tank (one specimen). <How nice!> I have one question that affects both tanks. I would very much like to keep a Centropyge interruptus in my reef tank. Also, I have planned the eel tank entirely around a Japanese Dragon Moray (Enchelycore pardalis). My understanding is that the dragon moray has more stunning color when collected from Japan than Hawaii. <Mmm, yes... or the Marquesas... though both/all "color morphs" are gorgeous...> My LFS has told me that both fish require significantly cooler water than other fish. Is this correct? <Mmm... define "significantly"... My answer is no... both are tropical fishes, both collected in warm water... though the small Centropyge does occur in water in the upper sixties F. in places> I can cool the eel tank easily as it is a separate system, but the angel will be mixed with fish from all over the world. I have not been able to find a recommended temperature range for these animals. Will a warmer tank temp (~80F) affect the viability of the angel? Any suggestions? <Should be fine... You can find, see, infer this information by looking up these species on the site fishbase.org Cheers, and good-life with your projects. Bob Fenner>

Morays in Nano Aquaria? No....... 6/6/07 Hey crew! <Mike.> I originally got into this hobby simply because I wanted a moray eel, though to this day I still don't own one (go figure...). <I was originally drawn in by Elasmobranchs though I've never personally kept one, and don't plan too ever.> Being as I'm incredibly apprehensive about putting a moray in my reef tank <Is a risk, not only with predator/prey relationships but also with mishaps/destruction with the rockwork.> (though I here its possible, I spend enough time picking stuff up that crabs knock over, though I think the eel make take care or them for me...) <Depends on the eel.> So I'm curious if there is anything I could keep in a 30inch long tank? <Eel wise, no.> I was thinking perhaps a Golden Dwarf, but finding one (and finding on for under $300) seems to be a bigger problem. <Yea and the tank is too small.> Is this the only true moray that would stay small enough for my tank (the dimensions of my unused tank are 30x12x20. yes, its pretty small)? <To small for any morays...> Thanks <Anytime.> Mike <Adam J.>

Hermit crabs trapped in a moray eel cave - 04/26/07 Hello, Thank you for your web site. <I'm glad you like the site> I recently installed a PVC pipe cave under the substrate for my snowflake eel, and 2 of my hermit crabs have fallen in and they can't get out! <Happens.> I do not want to stick my hand in there and fish them out <me neither>, and I am worried that they will either starve, or be eaten. Any thoughts on how to keep them out? <First get them out if they cannot get out by themselves. They can climb on some materials, but fail with others. In such cases I put something tank safe in the moray eel cave, e.g. a long piece of air hose, a long cable wrap, whatever seems appropriate to you and is chemically inert in marine water. The hermits can use them as a kind of ladder and climb out. It will take them a while. Most seem to learn their lesson and stay out. I left the ladder items in some of my caves and cut them to the right length to make them barely visible.> Thank you, Gordon. <Cheers, Marco.>

Sand in Eel Tank?  4/6/07 Hi all! <Hi.> It's Rob again! <Should I be concerned? I'm only kidding...> My next venture is going to be an eel tank. 125 gallon with a 50 gallon sump. <What is the surface area? Dimensions? Will greatly affect what you can/can not keep.> There is live sand in the sump, a huge mat of Chaeto, and a large skimmer. <Sounds like an established set-up.> The main tank will have about 90 pounds of Kaelini (spelling?) <Kaelini; one "L".> live rock. My question is about sand, should I leave it bare bottom to keep it clean? You could, though my personal preference with an eel, and again it depends on which species, I would go with a shallow sand bed at the very least. Fine sand, not course.> If not, should it be very fine grade or course? <'Yup.> Thanks for all your past help!! <Of course.> Thanks <Welcome.>   Rob <Adam J.>

Hawaiian (I'm here!) Moray Eel, sys.  3/28/07 > Hello all! >   Thank you for all your help thus far.  You guys must be avoiding my emails because I send them so often.  I do not try and waste your time.  I do as much research as I can before I bug you with my questions. <Mmm, something wrong here Brent... our mail server keeps returning outgoing to you...> >   My first question is, what is the girth of a full grown Hawaiian dragon eel? <Mmm, about the size of your forearm at its thickest> >   Second, I will be buying an aquarium that is 96x24x24 (240g). What size of intake and return holes are needed in the overflows to get the proper water movement?  I will also be using the Durso standpipes. <This, and much related material is archived here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Scroll down...> >   Third, the aquarium will house a Hawaiian dragon eel as the center piece.  All other fish are subject to the eels compatibility.  How much water should be turned over in 1 hour? <10-20 times is about right> >   Forth, I will be using a 90g sump with a refugium built in.  How many gallons should the refugium be?  What should be in the refugium for a FOWLR system? <Also posted... see the above index...> >   Fifth and final question, I will be employing the use of a Euro-Reef RC250 skimmer.  Would you recommend that I put the skimmer in the sump or plumb it externally? <In the sump, first area... with a weir to keep the water level constant, about the right level> Would the Euro-Reef RC250 be an appropriate size for the aquarium? >   Thank you very much for all your knowledgeable replies. >   Brent <Mmm, I think it will do fine for here. Bob Fenner>

Snowflake eel, Chainlink eel - compatibility and system. 03/25/07 Hi again, had a question about my snowflake eels behaviour.  When I first got my eels (Chainlink and snowflake (both came from the same tank)) they were buddy buddy hung out same cave and all and at first the snowflake was the adventurous one going all around its new tank while the Chainlink hid and refused food. Then I guess they had a fight and he moved on up to the pump in the corner of the tank. I took your advice and made a second cave and he came back down, but sure enough the Chainlink had to change caves from time to time which sent my snowflake flying out of its cave and back to its pump. <Need more caves. Once I had a similar case of a moray hiding behind and in my skimmer. It ended when I introduced and in part buried pvc pipes. I made two caves per moray eel and they almost never left them since.> At first it seemed they were the same size, but now I can see the snowflake is smaller. Any thoughts you feel like sharing on this? <Watch their growth carefully, moray eels are known to be cannibalistic in some cases when their sizes were too different.> I'd like to get them living in the rocks again, right now he's using my banded shark as a hiding place. Its kind of funny to watch the shark burrow itself in the sand only to have the eel ruin its burrow in its attempt to burrow and back and forth but I wouldn't risk giving it food while its under him. Also are there any chances a Chainlink eel could ingest a small lionfish safely mines missing. <Oh yes. Morays (even of the genus Echidna) can kill and eat small lionfish and lionfish can kill morays.> Thanks in advance. <Cheers, Marco.>

Substrate for Dragon Eel/Freshwater Top Off mix-up - 3/22/07   Thank you all in the process of getting my aquarium off and running.  I have learned so much since I stumbled across this web site 1 month ago. <No problem friend, that's why we're here. Glad to be of assistance.>   I will be starting a 240g (96x24x24).  The Hawaiian dragon eel will be my center piece.   <Wonderful choice, and an excellent configuration for such.> It will be a FOWLR system with a 90g sump, 250 lbs live rock and a  2-3" live sand bed or crushed coral.  Could you please offer me your expert opinion on which type of substrate would be best suited for this system?   <A sugar-fine oolitic sand always wins out in my books -- not only is it easier to maintain, I think it just looks better!> would you also recommend a refugium for this setup? <Absolutely, though no reason to add more to the tank -- a section of your sump will happily suffice.>   Further more, I was reading the section on specific gravity.  Mr. Fenner advises (if I understand the article correct) that one should not refill evaporated salt water with freshwater.   <Mmm, no, I do believe this is a misunderstanding on your part. You should always top off evaporate with freshwater.> He advises that one should do a water change when the water level noticeable evaporates.   <Which article are you referring to? This seems to counter everything I've ever read from Bob...> So my question would be, is a freshwater top off system necessary?   <Depends on your diligence and laziness levels! If you would like the majority of your tank to be blindly run to you, then an auto top off is a worthwhile investment.> When I notice the water level decrease a little should I do a water change?   <You should perform a water change regularly on a schedule of maintenance (a good 'rule of thumb' is once a week.)> How much can I expect my tank water to lose over the course of a week? I live in Calgary, Canada and it is very dry.   <This all depends on several factors, such as your ambient home temperature, the tank temperature, the lighting scheme used, the type of cover you employ, etc. I would say a safe estimate would be a half a gallon a day, give or take. Again, don't trust this as a set in stone factor, this is entirely determined by your configuration.> My original plan was to buy a auto top off system and use RODI water and do weekly 5% water change.  What would you recommend?  RODI auto top off and a 5% weekly  water change or when the water evaporates a little just do a water change? <Weekly 5-10% water changes, with whatever water top off scheme you choose will be sufficient.>   Thank you for your time,   Brent <Anytime, Brent. Glad to help. -JustinN>

Re: Eel needing a hiding spot II; links not working  <really? Where, the URLs... RMF> 03/09/07 Thanks for the quick reply, anyway the princess parrot is dead... Honestly I think the store euthanized it right after getting it.  They claimed it was floating in the tank when they got there (handed me the bag out of the fridge) and there was a noticeable amount of sand on its fin on one side and a little on the other... also because of the nitrite spike it had visible redness (looked like blood to me) under its scales which is now gone... so either it cleared up and then died or they froze him. Ok now for my follow up question (sorry had to vent I'm extremely pissed, didn't trust that store to begin with...). Anyway, I have two eels a Chainlink and a snowflake. They both came from the same tank and in the beginning hung out together in the live rocks I stacked for them. The snowflake still does its laps around the tank but doesn't like to hide in the rocks anymore (As I said there is a nitrite spike right now that appears to be resolving itself). Anyway, it's taken up residence wrapped around the pump I use to create a current in the tank and no longer takes food. I asked this question once before and got links in reply unfortunately the eel link didn't work (said page not found). <The links sometimes get a little lost while being copied into the mailing program. Just copy and paste them to your browser and they should work.> So to state the facts as they are now plainly: 1) I put more cover rocks on the cave structure so it'll be dark in there for the eels. The Chainlink never left the caves other then for an occasional swim. <Good idea.> 2) The snowflake is still an active swimmer. 3) The snowflake will not eat, whereas the Chainlink has gone so far as to try to fight my shark in a tug of war for squid (shark is no where near the size where the eels bite can harm him for now anyway). 4) the snowflake still wont go in the caves (the eels got along great sharing). And to state the question clearly: is my snowflake eel ok and just seeking a new home or is now the time to start panicking? <Panicking is never a good idea. Install a second cave. Not all moray eels like to share their caves their entire lives. Not eating is a sign of stress, but it can easily go without food for several weeks. Build a new home with rocks or think about using pipes in the substrate.> Oh yeah, any tips on getting a lionfish to eat would be nice too (friends asking). <Training predators to eat works best while they are still alone in quarantine without competition for food. Start with live food, if you have to. Try dangling dead food on a cotton string before its eyes.> Thank you for your time yet again. <You are welcome. Marco.>

Eel Homes Made of PVC, Concerns   3/1/07 <Hi Brent, Mich here.>   Thank you for all your help in the previous questions I have asked. <Our pleasure to serve.>   I recently read something on the Internet about placing a network of PVC piping in the substrate to allow for good hiding places for eels.  The PVC was buried in the substrate, with openings in four or five spots so the eel good get out and swim around and feed.  The openings were made with 90-degree PVC joints facing the surface.   My question is, would this not be a nitrate trap?  With no water flow in the PVC, would this be detrimental to the water quality?  Would this affect the other fish in the tank? <I think diffusion would prevent this from being an issue, especially if the eel actually uses it.>   Personally I thought it was a really good idea.  There would be plenty of live rock to hide in as well.  I was thinking of doing the PVC setup when I set up my aquarium and wanted to know if network of pipes would be a good idea. <A good idea.  More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm  > Thank you for your time. <You are most welcome!  -Mich> Brent

Re: eels, env.  - 03/02/07   Thank you once again for all your help in my preparation for my up coming FOWLR aquarium.    In an earlier email I sent you,  I was inquiring about pvc piping hidden in the substrate for eels to feel more comfortable.   If I bought some clear pvc piping and placed it at the front of the aquarium so i could see him in his hideout,  would Me being able to see him in the pvc cause the eel stress? <Mmm, not likely... Most species have pretty poor eyesight...> Would the eel no longer use the pvc? <No... "get used" (classical habituation) to such...>   I also had a question about the size of pvc I am to buy.  The Snowflake eel is the eel i am going to get.  I will be getting him probably around 8-10 inches in length.  What size pvc do I need to buy?   <I'd get/use 1 1/2" diameter likely... want to provide enough wiggle room...> I went to the eel section of your website and it said that the piping should be 50% bigger in diameter than the eel.  What is the girth of a full grown Snowflake eel? <A good inch or more in captivity... Likely twice this in the wild>   I should buy the pvc to fit the Snowflake eels full grown size right?   <Mmm, yes> Obviously the pvc would be way to big for him when I first get him, but he will grow into it.  What size pvc should i buy a Snowflake eel?   The Snowflake will be going into a 240g long tank.  Measuring 96x24x24.  I would also like to place numerous connecting networks of pvc under the substrate for the Snowflake.  Is that a good idea or is that just too many hiding places and then i won't see the eel at all? <I'd have at least the longest section viewable from the front...>   Thank you for your time.   Brent <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mixing in a Moray - 11/02/06 Hi Bob, <<Eric here, stepping in for Bob who as you might be aware, is out diving the globe with "off-again on-again" net connectivity>> Thanks for the reply.  Was also wondering if a 210 would be too small for a Tesselata or could he live comfortably in it even when he reaches full size? <<Would be fine for a while, but these eels can exceed 10 feet in length (becoming very aggressive in the process)...it would warrant more than a six-foot tank at maturity, in my opinion>> Also how do you find puffers (dogface in particular) get along with lions?  Some people say they do great and others say the puffers just chew all their spines off and beat them up.  I know puffers like to pick at things but in general do they get along together with lions? <<Not a good mix.  I see many instances where hobbyists are having problems with lionfish, and lo and behold, there's a puffer in the tank>> Thanks again for any info you can help me with. <<Pleased to share.  Eric Russell>>

Marine eels in brackish waters question   8/18/06 Hello I was hoping you could tell me exactly what happens to a juvenile moray that wonders into brackish water gets caught and winds up in a live fish store and sold as a brackish water eel and grows up and stays in brackish water? Would this in of itself kill them? <Mmm, well... some species are notably more euryhaline in their tolerance... some even venturing into/out of marine/freshwater circumstances as part of their "natural" life cycle... But most Muraenids kept in too "fresh" water suffer the ill effects... renal/kidney failure, premature blindness...> I saw an eel in a store called a panther eel that I had identified as a jewel moray and it would eventually need to be in a marine setting. They also had another moray they called a tiger eel. I researched and the closest I came up with was a species called Muraena helena also known as a tiger eel. <Gorgeous animals> The markings on what I saw looked like what a tiger Oscar has. Does this sound like anything you maybe aware of? <Yes> I would rather have this tiger eel but if he will die  staying in brackish water than it would be a waste of my time and the poor eel's life. Thank you. <See fishbase.org for more/better pix, identification, environmental input. Bob Fenner> Creating a Moray Habitat   8/11/06 I'm currently working on the plumbing of a 215G aquarium which will have a Goldentail Moray as one of the residents.  I would like to arrange the aquascaping so that, hopefully, I have created a hole or cave that the moray will  prefer to reside that is easily viewable. <Sounds great!> I would hate to set the tank up to find that the Moray has found a hole, in the back corner of the aquarium, where he  won't be seen.  I like the idea of using the pvc pipe to create a tunnel from one end of the aquarium to the other, which when then aquascaped with live  rock, would look like a natural hole.   <Anthony Calfo has suggested a similar tunnel in his "Book of Coral Propagation"; I've seen this done a few times and it looks really cool!> I wonder if, however, a 4' tunnel of pvc pipe would end up having an accumulation of debris that ends up being a nitrate factory, especially given that there would not be any water flow through the pipe?  Regular cleaning would be a pain given the live rock and sand that would be sitting on and around the piping.  I like the coral covered pots that are seen in public displays of morays, sort of like what one might find on a reef near a shipwreck.  But I have not been able to locate any pots labeled as aquarium safe for sale.  Any idea where these can be found at, or what type of pot would be safe for a marine tank?  Thank you for any suggestions. Kevin           <Umm...I'm not 100% certain on that one. I'd go for a glazed ceramic, myself, sealed somehow. Perhaps you should check out a source like Aquatic Eco Systems and see if they offer a paint or sealant for ceramic pottery that is saltwater safe. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Aquascape... Mixing crab-eating morays, using a Jeweled Damsel from the TWA, Moray system/s, acclimating new livestock...   8/3/06 Morning, <Now the afternoon here... Yikes, got to "kick out the jams"... whatever that means> Just a quick question... or at least they always start out that way.  I'm looking at doing a 200gallon predator tank that will include both a snowflake and zebra moray eel, a Russell lionfish, and a couple of others. From reading your FAQ's, it sounds like in that large of an aquarium the two morays should be ok together?   <These two species, likely so> I also just bought a jeweled damsel on the advice of on of your FAQ's... since this fish will eventually get to be around 6", a good fish to cycle my new 200gallon tank and should be ok with a lion and the morays? <Mmm, likely okay to cycle, will get along> My damsel is pretty brown looking with the diamonds on his back... does this sound like a jeweled damsel to you? <Of mid-size/age... okay> Anyhow, my question.... Ok, my third question?   With a fish only tank, I'm thinking a crushed coral bottom hiding a small network of 3"pvc piping to create a more interesting habitat for the morays.  The pipe will open up in a two or three caves that I will make.  Sound like a good idea? <Shore> I just hope that a) a fish won't get down there and gobbled by the eel <Mmm, the two species listed are largely non-piscivorous... see WWM re Foods/Feeding/Nutrition of these two... I have penned, placed articles re...> or  b) something big doesn't die down there.  Would be pretty nasty disassembling my aquascape to remove the pipes to get a dead eel out.  Your opinion?   <Sounds pretty nasty> The real question is (this is number 4, isn't it?) am I ok using a nice black/grey slate to build up the backside of my tank and for the caves? <I wouldn't use slate in marine systems... too two-dimensional with all the drawbacks of same... too likely to have some chemically negative effect> I was thinking of using aquarium epoxy to get a nice firm rockwork and like the appearance of slate.  I was also going to use about 100lbs of liverock to get a mixture.  Do you foresee any problems with this? <Yes> Just a note on the 'freshwater dip' for new fish.  Sounds simple, but maybe it is me that is simple? Haha. <?>   After floating the sealed bag in the tank to get the temperature matching for about 20 min.s, I then open the bag and slowly introduce some tank water via a cup without mixing store water into my tank.  When fish is ready, am I correct in saying simply dip the net with the fish in it into some room temperature fresh water for a couple of seconds and introduce new fish from net into my tank? <Mmm, one method... not one I'd use. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and the linked files above.> Regards, Dave Brynlund <Keep reading. Bob Fenner> Lighting, cover/canopy questions   8/1/06 I have a 215G, 29" tall,  aquarium that I would like to set up as a hardy reef, with more of an emphasis on fish.  Really the only corals I plan to keep are a few mushrooms and perhaps a few other corals which can withstand higher nitrates and low lighting.   I would like to keep a radiata lionfish and a smaller moray as two of my few fish, along with perhaps a maroon clown.   I was looking at the 72 Inch Orbit power compact light fixture, which produces 576 watts, and was wondering if this would be enough lighting to enable me to keep the mushrooms, while not making the lionfish uncomfortable? <Should work here. Particularly with providing rock overhangs for the Lion to get out of the light> Would you have a better suggestion concerning the amount of light I should use? <Mmm, all are posted on WWM>   Also,  I was wondering what your suggestion would be for the aquarium top since I would need to make it escape proof for the moray. <A heavy canopy that entirely covers the edges... holes in the top or side for a fan blowing in, one blowing out for heat control>   I was hoping to do a glass top, <See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marcanopies.htm and the linked files above> I will have a separate sump and refugium which should allow for oxygenation of the water.   How much would the glass top decrease the amount of lighting reaching the aquarium inhabitants? <Depends on the make-up of the glass and how clean it is kept... can be very little to considerable. Best not to use such a device>   When people do eggcrate tops, how do they access the tank for fish feeding or other chores without completely removing the eggcrate? <They do the latter... remove it> Obviously glass tops have hinged access panels, but I'm not what I would do if using eggcrate.   Thank you for your reply. Kevin Jackson       <Read on my friend. Bob Fenner>

- Tessellated Moray 6/27/06 - I know this question has been rehashed over and over again, but I am going to ask anyway.  I have an opportunity to get a free baby (It is an actual baby, about 9" in length with the juvenile markings) tessellated eel.  Unfortunately the more I have tried to research this eel, the more confused and frustrated I have become.  The site MarineCenter.com say the minimum tank size is 55gal (this can not be true, I know), some resources say they all get to be 10 feet in length, and a LFS that has a 3 foot (approximate) specimen in a large tank (at least 150, it is a custom so hard to judge the actual size) claims that they have had him for a little over a year with little or no growth.  Again, I feel like I know just as much now as when I knew nothing at all about these fish.  My ultimate question I think is this: is a 240gal (72x30x25) a sufficient tank for this fish, and this fish alone (if it can be adequately housed in a smaller tank, or can it have tank mates in the 240 please let me know). <Not long term. I actually just got done working at a fish store that had a 4.5 foot tessellated eel that lived in a 2,000 gallon tank. Now of course, 2,000 gallons is much larger than this fish needed, but it lived there pretty much alone because it had eaten all of its tank mates over the 15 years it lived there. I think that eel would have done fine in anything 500 gallons or larger, but a 240 wouldn't have been quite large enough.> Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Blake <Cheers, J -- >

Green moray eel ... sys., beh.   3/15/06 Bob, <James with you today.>  I was hoping you could help me out with a green moray. I recently was given one, the past owner was going to put it down as he could no longer house it. I realize this eel is best left in the sea, <Yes it is.> however since it wasn't I didn't want to see it put down. It has been in captivity for about 6 years and is over 3' long (I think, no way I am trying to measure it) <Scary man, can inflict very nasty bites, very aggressive.> It is currently in a 125, which seems a bit small for it, but since it isn't an active swimmer I wonder if I am ok for now. Here is where I hope to get some guidance. How fast can I expect it to grow to the max size 8' <All depends on tank size, diet, water quality, etc.  Most rarely exceed six foot in home aquariums.> Min tank size, and any care info you can give.  <Well, the 125 is too small.  I'd be thinking at least a 220 minimum.  As for diet, they eat most anything, fish included.  Do Google our site for more info on care/requirements.>  I realize this will be a huge undertaking, I think I am up for the challenge. I have the space to house such a tank. Just need some guidance. <Don't think I'd want this undertaking, I certainly wouldn't want to clean that tank with my hands in the water.:)  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks  <You're welcome>

Stocking Level/Merry Christmas  - 03/12/2006 Hi-<Hello John.> I was wondering if I would be able to put a small snowflake eel in my 30 gallon tank. This eel in the LFS is no longer than a pencil. The tank is 30" long and is equipped with a 9 watt uv, Skilter 250 modified skimmer, ProClear model 60 wet dry filter, 5 Rio 600, and 30 pounds of porous live rock. The other inhabitants would be an ocellaris clownfish and watchman goby. Are these fish compatible? <At this stage they would be.> The eel would only be in the 30 gallon for about a year, then would be transferred to a 55 or 70 gallon tank next x-mas. Would the eel be ok? <I wouldn't.  That eel will soon outgrow the 30 gallon tank.  Wait until Christmas.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks  <You're welcome.>

Moray Aquascaping   1/14/06 Hello, hope everything is well. <Fine, thank you.>                                             I'm  a newcomer to having a marine aquarium (had many freshwater) and I'm trying to set it up thinking ahead. <A good thing.>   The tank is a 240g 70LX24WX31H with  more than adequate filtration, that's not my concern. <You sure you don't want an overview, critique since you are new?> My question revolves around a Tesselata Eel that will be the main attraction.   <Mmm....> What  approach can i take to create a good home (cave) for him, or her. <Use as few and as large a rocks as possible to create a stable structure as possible. Maybe using aquarium safe epoxy, acrylic rod or even zip ties to somewhat bond the rock work together.> Any recommendations?  I have roughly 200lbs of Fiji rock but I feel that the cave I've created will be too small. <Actually sounds like quite a bit of rock.> I've read through many of your FAQ but never got a solid idea. <Did you see the article about leaving such morays in the ocean? Or perhaps the other specimens that are better suited to captivity. Even with a 240 gallon tank, this is a temporary quarters for this animal at best...a potential 5 feet+ in length.> Any help will be appreciated. By the way, great work.            <Good luck, Adam J.>      

Re: Aquascaping for Eels   1/22/06 Adam, thanks for your response. <Anytime.> I was torn between the Tesselata and the Whitemouth, but I just love the coloration of the Honeycomb.  I've seen in your FAQ that there are a few people that have them. <Yes, few, being the operative word.>   My question is will it really grow over 5' in captivity <Oh, yes.> and if so how long will it take? <Well to be honest most I see in the trade are already nearing 3 feet, I rarely see juveniles. So your tank may suffice for a few years.>   I understand that the 240g will most likely be too small in 3 to 4 years but I intend to set up a larger system in my basement by then. <Long as you are sure.>   The current tank is in my living room/ kitchen (viewed from both sides), it'll be upgraded to a reef tank by then. <Cool.> I really like the Tesselata Eel so I have to give it a shot, so I decided to build a subterranean enclosure 30L X 22 X 8H out of Lexan for the eel to retreat into with a rock formation above to add a natural look.  Hopefully this will suffice for the next few years. As for the Fiji rock, you would think 200lbs of rock was a lot but it doesn't seem so once its in the tank.   <Probably not very porous.> You asked about what filtration I'm using.  I have a Eheim Professional 3 Filter 2080, a Pro Clear 300 Wet Dry, an Aquastep 25 Watt UV Sterilizer, and a PM Bullet-2 Protein Skimmer.  Do you feel that this is adequate. <Along with weekly water changes yes, I prefer refugium/vegetable filters to wet-dry but for this animal this filtration arrangement should be fine.>   Thanks Again, Brian <No problem.> Brian J Sadanowicz <Adam J.>

Tesselata Eel Tank Size and Behavior 11/3/05 Hi, <Hi Kev.> I am considering keeping a Tesselata moray in a 144 gallon aquarium <Short term I hope, this is a tank buster at a potential 5 feet+ in length.> am I right in thinking that I wont be able to keep any other fish in a tank this size?  <Or the eel for its entire life.> If this is the case, how lively is the eel likely to be?  <Most morays are rather reclusive and become slightly more active at night or feeding.>  I don't want a tank that looks empty most of the time. <Lost of other good choices that could give you much more variety and enjoyment in my opinion.> Thanks Kev <Welcome Adam J.>  

Mexican dragon eel  10/21/05 Hi, I've wanted to setup a  saltwater tank for many years and was given a 55 gallon tank by a friend so I  decided to jump in. I've always wanted eels so I've been reading everything I  could find and came across your web site. Today I came across an eel  that I really liked and was informed by the owner that it was a Mexican  dragon eel.  My questions are, is a 55 gal tank big enough for this eel and  say a lionfish? <Mmm, no... not even just for this species of eel... needs at least twice this volume> Is this type of eel hard to find normally and usually expensive,  because I know Hawaiian Dragon eels are. <Is about the same retail in most places in the world... a bit cheaper closer to the source> And lastly how must live rock/and what  type of filtration should I go with? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and the linked files above> A friend is going to give me a wet/dry system that he was going to use on a 120 gal tank and I was looking at an Aqua C  Remora hang on protein skimmer. Is the wet/dry system needed for just these two fish? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you Larry <Please read on WWM re wet-dries, marine filtration... Bob Fenner> Muraena lentiginosa - 09/08/2005 Hello there friends <Hello.> Thank you for being such a vital and helpful resource to us all! <And thank you for the kind words.> I would just like to ask a few quick questions: 1. Would medium-semi loud music be upsetting to a jewel moray eel? <Possibly.  The ocean is a LOUD place, I assure you, but you should probably still moderate things like loud music.> 2. What size would you say a jewel moray (Muraena lentiginosa) grows to? <About two feet.> I apologize because I know your site gives indications but everyone seems to have a different opinion on this and I am scared that I will go wrong! <I tend to trust FishBase ( http://www.fishbase.org ) on sizes....  looks like 61cm (24.4in) is about right.> 3. Would a four foot long (150 UK gallon) tank be sufficient for the rest of its life? <That's about 180 US gallons....  how "deep" (front-to-back) is this tank?  If quite deep, and not very tall, this would probably be okay.> 4. Is it true that if I had a venturi protein skimmer and some live rock I would not need any other type of filtering? <I would research Aqua-C and Turboflotor skimmers, and get something adequate for this size tank.  I tend to prefer using only live rock, skimmer, and a deep sand bed (DSB) for filtration.> Thank you so much.  God bless <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Tesselata Moray  9/8/05 Hi, I was wondering if you could give me some guidance, I'm  looking to have a custom tank built for a Tesselata Moray eel, would 60" x 30" x  30" be large enough. I'm planning to keep the eel on his own, with plenty of  hiding places. Also as the tank is going to look pretty empty until he has reached   maturity, how quickly to they grow if fed daily, and how active are they through  the daytime.                                                                               Thanks                                                                               Kev                                                                               >>>Greetings! That tank should be fine for quite some time. Whether or not it will be appropriate as a PERMANENT home is open to debate. This is due to the eventual size of the animal in question. Moral eels are very sedate though, and don't need much swimming room. Even still, I'd say you're on the edge here. I've seen adult specimens in captivity, and they are quite large. I'd shoot for a 72" tank if possible. Growth rate is tough for me to pin down, depends on feeding regime and frequency of water changes really. I'd say you'd be looking at an 50" animal in about 2-3 years though. Hope this helps. Jim<<<

Queen Angel, Niger Trigger & Tesselata Moray Eel 8/18/05 Hello- First off, I absolutely love your site.  You offer such a wonderful service to all of us marine enthusiasts. I have looked at the forums and could not find an answer to my specific question; so, if it's there, I apologize in advance. I have a 150-gallon aquarium that I realize I will have to upgrade to a larger size in the near future.  It's a fish only tank with a rather large Niger Trigger (7-8" head to fin tips), a Tesselata (or Honeycomb) Morey Eel (close to 3 feet) and a Queen Angel (about 6").  I don't plan to get any more fish for this aquarium. They all seem to get along fine and there have been no serious disputes amongst them; however, the angel is a relatively new addition to the tank. Do you see any concerns with the compatibility of these fish and, further, any immediate needs to upgrade tank size. <Eric, the eel alone is pushing the limits of your tank.  They are high waste producers.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks so much! Eric Fossum

Queen Angel, Niger Trigger & Tesselata Moray Eel, Thanks, James. 8/19/05 I hear that my eel can push up to nine feet in the wild and it likely will have no place in a home aquarium.  He is a wonderful fish, however... I will be upgrading to a 250-gallon tank in the near future (two-three months), but imagine that my Tesselata eel will have to find a new home at some point.  I just hope to keep him as long as possible. Until then, it's been weekly 20% water changes and frequent filter changes/cleanings (I have both wet/dry and canister filters on the tank, along with a Remora Pro protein skimmer). Regardless, I truly appreciate your insight...<Good to hear 20% water changes and frequent filter cleaning.  This does improve water quality significantly.  Might want to ensure you have a good supply of hermits.  Shrimp of course would be out of the question as they would be readily consumed by the eel.  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Eric Tesselata Moray... Hello- I currently have a 240-gallon tank with a large red Volitans (10" or so), a medium yellow tang (5"), a medium long-horned cowfish (6"-7"), a beautiful Maculosus Angel that is moving quickly from juvenile to adult (about 5"), and a HUGE domino damsel (about 6"). I will be inheriting a 15" Tesselata (Honeycomb) eel in the next few days and am a bit worried. Can anyone put my mind at ease. I realize that at some point in the next few years the eel will likely outgrow my tank and I'll have to get a bigger one, but I just don't want him to hurt any of the fish I have now... Any suggestions? Words of comfort? Etc... >>>Hey Eric, You should be fine, I've known people that have kept this eel in much smaller tanks for quite some time. Once they reach about 30", they really don't grown that fast anymore. I don't see any tank mate issues either. Peace Jim<<< 

Eel and Shark 3/11/05 Hello, Can you tell me if Lava Rock would be ok in a tank with a Snowflake eel and bamboo shark? <likely safe... but always some risk/extra algae with terrestrial rocks><<Mmm, too sharp... little help with biofiltration, water chemistry. RMF>> My tank is 65"X25"X25" My filtration has around 100 lb of live rock in my sump 1 canister filter 1 protein skimmer. I can't seem to find anything about Lava rock in fish only salt systems. Can you please help me. Thank you <go to our index page at www.wetwebmedia.com and simply type in "lava rock" in the Google search tool. Enjoy the journey. Anthony> 

Brazilian dragon eel... marine I have a Brazilian dragon eel. the last saltwater creature. my 2 other tanks are f/w. My question is, can the eel be put into freshwater or even brackish water and live? <Uh, no> The eel seems to be bulletproof and has survived after my tank crashed and killed everything else! Thank you, Mike <Keep it marine Mike. Bob Fenner>

Want to keep moray eels - 12/9/04 hi, I just discovered your website and its fantastic! <Thank you very much> I'm a newbie to saltwater aquariums and I've just ordered a 50g tank with a big-ass Eheim canister filter, protein skimmer, air pump. I'm planning to get some live rock in it as well. <A very excellent idea.> thing is I'm in love with morays and am thinking of setting the tank up for 2 fish. An eel and either a lionfish or a porcupine fish. which eel should I get? <Honey comb or snowflake to name a couple, will do fine.  If the eel is about a foot long, it should do just fine with a 2-3 inch lion. The larger the eel, the larger the lion should be although I do not think that there would be a problem anyway.> also if I cover the tank up to prevent the eel from escaping, would this create aeration problems? <Use a medium Plexi top and drill holes in it. Maybe 1/4 inch holes a quarter inch apart, all over it. Keep no space opened. These guys will find a way out. Don't underestimate their determination> how do I solve it? <clamp the Plexi with some type of pincher or even permanently create a locking mechanism some how. Even some diving weights on the corners of the Plexi covering> I've also read about pvc piping as a refuge for the eel. I'll be aquascaping the rocks to provide a cave like retreat for it. is this enough or do I have to use the pipe? if so, how long and wide should it be? <As far as a tube goes, it is not necessary if a few tunnels are incorporated into the aquascaping. If you want to use a tube or tubes, 1 inch by 1 inch diameter is a good start. Use different sizes, some larger and some smaller than the 1x1 inch tubing. Bury them in the rock work and silicone on any pieces of rock left to the pipe to blend in the edges. You could use the two part epoxy too or Holdfast Epoxy sticks. See these choices here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=9822&N=2004+113159 http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3961&N=2004+113159 You could also check your local hardware store for underwater epoxies (like z-spar) or go to your favorite local fish store or online retailer. We have quite a list here on our site. Either way, continue to read as much information as you can before purchasing your animals. Use our site as a resource but look for publications, reef clubs, and other sources to gather as much information as you can. Diet is very important to these animals. Lighting is not. Be sure maintain water chemistry by using quality water and salt mixes. Do frequent water changes. (never skimp on this! These animals can really fowl up a tank rather quickly.) Be diligent and determined. Don't assume anything, continue to ask questions. Above all, show patience. Thanks for being part of WetWebMedia. ~Paul> thanks and looking forward to your reply. Desmond

2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping Been through your great site.  I'm planning to get a 125-gallon tank (48X24X24) and the following inhabitants: 1 snowflake eel 1 leopard eel (I like the fact it's active during the day.  Please let me know if there are any other nice looking eels that are active during the day) <There are quite a few... but this size system... and keeping the Snowflake... I would not add any more> 1 Volitans lionfish School of 3-6 small fish. <May be food items for your Lion...> I want to get eels that are 1.5 - 2 feet in length.  Would this setup work? <Only for two specimens maximum> Can you recommend small schooling fish that are too big for the leopard to eat? <Likely Damsels of a schooling, upper water column nature. You can read over these selections on WWM> Also, aquascaping question:  On the MorayFAQs3 page, Anthony mentioned a subterranean plumbing system described in his Book of Coral Propagation.  He mentions clear tubes siliconed below the sand and against the front glass to see the eel swimming down below.  I would like to do this too.  But would this not defeat the purpose of having a place where the eels can hide?  I'm thinking that light will be able to get through to the eels. <Mmm, maybe... though Muraenids do not have keen vision, and likely light will be limited here> Finally, he mentions there were two stalactites of rock coming down from the ceiling.  How's this done? <I suspect he is suggesting siliconing the base of these stalactites from a glass support above the water. Bob Fenner> Thanks KC

2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping II 11/19/04 Also, aquascaping question:  On the MorayFAQs3 page, Anthony mentioned a subterranean plumbing system described in his Book of Coral Propagation.  He mentions clear tubes siliconed below the sand and against the front glass to see the eel swimming down below.  I would like to do this too.  But would this not defeat the purpose of having a place where the eels can hide?   <most seem indifferent while overall being enclosed and "acting" secure, assisted no doubt by the fact that most are "as blind as a bat" as they say> I'm thinking that light will be able to get through to the eels. <little> Finally, he mentions there were two stalactites of rock coming down from the ceiling.  How's this done? Thanks KC <a thick PVC rod/pipe (1" or larger) is to be anchored into the ceiling... reaching down into the aquarium water with tees as necessary to form a supporting "tree" for carbonate rocks to be drilled and strategically stitched with strong plastic cable ties in the fashion of a pillar/stalag. Anthony :)

Snowflake moray system Hello, I have just ordered a new tank for my Snowflake eel, which I have had for nearly 2 years now, in a 4 foot tank with a humbug and clown fish. <Good idea :D> The new tank is 6' x 2' x 2' , is this big enough for him? <Should be fine.  Snowflakes only get around 30" long or so.> It has 2 overflow boxes and a trickle filter. <This is perfectly fine filtration for a fish only tank.> What over equipment should add to this tank? <A skimmer couldn't hurt, but is not absolutely necessary.  I would strongly advise religious water changes monthly or even more often as well.> And how much water will it hold? <That's a standard 180 gallon long aquarium.> Cheers Jess <Cheers, Matt> Fresh, marine, brackish eels escaping? I just purchased an eel for my 55 gallon tank.  The lady I spoke with when purchasing it told me to block off all holes in the top of my tank because it could try to escape.  If it did escape, how far could it "slither" before dying, or would it just fall near the tank?                                                                                Thanks,                                                                            Angie... <Depending on the species, how hot, humid the area is, the type of flooring... a few to several feet, a few minutes to several hours. Keep that tank covered. Bob Fenner> 300 gal tank for eels I was wondering if the following filtration is adequate to keep an eel. Starts out with my 300 gal aquarium, has 2-2" overflows down to 2 separate 100 micron socks, emptying into a 60 gal sump. << So far I'm going to say yes. >> An in sump Kent Nautilus TE Protein skimmer driven by a mag drive 700 sub pump.  2 pumps plumbed into the sump.  One drives the reverse flow under gravel filter (bio filtration) that covers the entire bottom of the aquarium and turns over the combined volume of aquarium and sump 3x an hour.  The other pump is plumbed into 2 inlets at the top of the aquarium that provides an increase in water turn over and current through the aquarium.  This pump provides approx another 7-8x an hour water turn over.  Is this adequate or will I need to make further arrangements to increase filtration prior to housing any eels?   << I'm thinking you are good.  But the live rock is the best type of filtration, so I recommend having plenty of high quality live rock. >> Question about noise and stress on the animals.  The 2-2" overflows, even with plastic gutter screen material to break up the whirlpool effect still make noise.  Is the bothersome to the animals?  << No, with all the other stresses of our tanks I can't imagine this any type of impact. >> If so what can I do to reduce the noise without reducing the flow? Question about oxygen levels.  With the amount of water turn over and protein skimmer will I have to add any other means of adding oxygen to the water? << Depends on how many and how big of fish you have.  I'm going to say no for now. >> I am worried about the animals and bacteria competing for the dissolved oxygen.   If so is it better to place it in the aquarium or the sump? << Wherever it will fit. >> I can come up with reasons for doing it both ways.  << Oxygen is important, but that is a big tank and I think you'll be fine. >> <<  Blundell  >>

Eel in a 45 gallon? Hello Crew, I love this resource.  The best I've found by far in keeping me from inadvertently mistreating fish.  Thank you so much for providing it. Don't worry.  I didn't buy something without knowing how to care for it, but I am hoping to avoid such in the future.  :) The moray page says, "A minimum of forty gallons for the smallest of morays."  I wanted to know if this means total water volume vs. main tank volume, as a permanent home or until it gets bigger, and what species would do best in a smaller tank.  I have a 45 gallon that may eventually go from a peaceful reef to a more aggressive tank whenever I can get a larger tank for a bigger reef and transfer most of the inhabitants.  I'm interested in the possibility of an eel and could maybe add a sump for increased total volume and a more powerful skimmer to keep water quality up, but I don't think I'd want to add an eel if I could have no other fish in there.  I was thinking a snowflake originally, but then I read here that it needs at least 60 gallons. Live Aquaria carries what they call Uropterygius concolor (ghost eel or unicolor snake eel as it's called here) that supposedly only needs 30 gallons, but that's the only eel I've seen on a fairly reputable site that seems like it might need less room than a snowflake.  Does their description sound accurate at all, or does this eel need far more room? They don't mention it living in brackish water as your site does, so I worry. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?siteid=21&pCatId=1737&TopCatId=29 The Chainlink (Echidna catenata) is suggested at 30 gallons on Marine Depot and 125 on Live Aquaria, and I tend to assume the pessimistic requirements are more likely to be right, especially when the site claiming 30 suggests 30 for a snowflake as well. Ideally I'd love to have a small eel someday that could live with a couple 3-6" fish like maybe a maroon clown and a long-nose Hawkfish, so is there one that fits the bill offhand, or should I really make other plans?   Thank you, Ben Hey Ben, A snowflake or a chain link moray will live in your tank for a time, but both will grow to need larger quarters eventually. When I make fish stocking recommendations, I like to set the person up long term, not just for 2 or 3 years. In staying with this method, I'd have to say steer clear of these eels. Although they are both hardy and easy to care for species, they are more appropriate for tanks 75 gallons and above. They will both jump from tanks that are not securely covered as well.  The eel you linked to may work, but I've honestly never kept that species so can't comment from direct experience. I have to say though, that it really isn't all that attractive IMO. I would make other plans for your tank. 3 or 4 small fish will do much better in a tank that size. Jim***

Minimum Tank Size For a Snowflake (8/23/04) Can a Snowflake Eel live in a 42 gallon aquarium all by itself? Thanks for your reply. <Many people say so. Personally, I think a 27-inch eel would be happier in a tank at least 48" in length. hey do actually swim around some. Steve Allen.>

Moray question hi!<Howdy!> I've got a 40G tank with 20Kgs of live rock, 2 powerheads & a penguin BioWheel 170 filter.  my question is , would I be able to have a small snowflake moray as well as a small lionfish dwarf zebra) in that tank ?  I know the eel alone will outgrow that tank. also, how long would I be able to have them in there until id have to either give them up or upgrade to a larger tank ? <I don't think that either would be very appropriate since they are very messy feeders and your filtration is a bit wimpy.> Or what about a pair of lions instead ? & no eel ? <Still would upgrade you filtration.  A protein skimmer would be great!>  thanks heaps!<You can also find lots of info on our site: www.wetwebmedia.com.  Cody>

Eel system question... Hey friends I just wanted to see if my plan for my tank was alright... Due to moving around a bit I was forced to go with a 125 gallon for my system, now I don't plan on packing it at all.<good to hear> As far as equipment goes I have a powerful 250 gallon wet/dry filtration system, 250 gallon protein skimmer, and up to 250 gallon UV sterilizer; The tank has dual overflows so a lot of water movement going on.<good> Now I was wondering if my stocking plan would be alright due to the smaller size of the tank. - golden tail moray (24") *already own no problems* - jewel moray (24") *already own no problems* - blue throat trigger (8+") - miniata grouper (12 - 14") *already own no problems* - red Coris wrasse (13+) - sunset wrasse (11+)<This is definitely too many large fish for such as small aquarium...in order to house these fish for their entire lives you would need a 12 foot aquarium!!!> Now figuring the max size of all these guys total comes around 95 inches of fish, and I'm only putting enough rock for everyone to be comfortable. Any future problems from this selection or should things go well in my mini super system? Also would adding a snowflake moray to the list be acceptable?<No it would not be acceptable....I would only add the two eels to this aquarium and forget about everything else except for maybe the grouper which you are already stuck with, Good luck IanB>

Eels in a 90 Would any of the eel species be able to thrive in a 90 gallon tank. I've been looking at a snowflake, but have been told that the zebra is more docile. I'm not sure about the size though. If not either one of these, then are there others.<I would purchase a snowflake eel, or you could get away with a zebra moray (not in the same aquarium-one or the other!) but you will need at least a 125 gallon aquarium for this creatures lifespan, IanB>

Eel Antics Dear Crew: I thought I would share an amusing (in retrospect) episode my Snowflake Eel put me through last night in hopes that others can avoid a similar situation. My eel is a little over a foot long and about the diameter of an average adult index finger. I have a 180G AGA pre-drilled tank. I thought I had every exit sealed. Last night I couldn't find him. After an extensive search including the floor, I finally found him. Somehow he had gotten over the overflow and was alive and well between the two walls of the overflow! I despaired about how to get him out, fearing that I would have to cut off the overflow. I decided to cut out one of the plastic pieces between the slits at the bottom of the outer wall where he was hanging out. He immediately swam out into the tank and ate heartily. Still fin today. I plugged the hole I had made and then created barricades at the tops of the overflows using a length of vinyl tubing cut in half lengthwise laid rounded side down wedged between the overflow top and the glass cover.<I am glad that everything turned out ok> Thanks for all your help since I started in this hobby last Christmas! Steve Allen<your welcome, IanB>

-Planning for growth- Hi, I am interested in purchasing a Zebra Moray Eel from my LFS, I have also just purchased and just set up my 75 gallon SW tank I plan to put live rock in there too. I am interested in putting the zebra along with a valentini puffer or one of the smaller puffers (5" max) and a butterfly fish maybe a raccoon or Copperbanded, and a Tang (Big enough not to fit inside the Morays mouth) Would the 75 gallon be big enough for the eel to live its whole life? <Let me start of by saying that I'm incredibly happy that you're asking before you buy, so many don't!!! If we're talking about the same zebra moray (Gymnomuraena zebra), then with adequate filtration, I think it could be happy in that tank indefinitely provided ample filtration and hiding places exist. It will max out likely just short of 3' long and they're actually quite pleasant tank companions (won't even bite the hand that feeds!). A puffer like a valentini would be a good choice, and just to be safe, it should be larger than the eel's mouth although it probably won't bother it. As for a tang, most will get too large and will ultimately have to be removed to larger quarters.> Also would the other fish be able to co-exist in a 75 gallon with the zebra for their whole life? <The moray shouldn't be a problem.> Thanks for your time, I appreciate what you and the other crew do to help us out. <Excellent, good luck! -Kevin> Thanks once again,  Gerard Walsh

- Snowflake Eel Tank - You told me not to post the same thing twice, but each time I posted I received two different answers which were, "<The 5 gallons really does not make much of a difference. I would say you are ok, if you keep the snowflake by himself and perform regular water changes. good luck with this fish>" "<Actually, that is likely the bare minimum. So in you case I would say the five gallons makes difference. I would like to say that the middle ground tank would be more like a seventy-five gallon tank. Not to say it can't be done, but be sure that the eel is you main display piece and build around him. -Paul>" So if you read the 2 responses they are different answers, <Well... you also corresponded with two different people, so you're bound to get a difference in opinion - now you're going to get a third.> I just wanted to make sure I will not hurt or kill the fish by making the wrong decision. Thanks for your time in responding to my answers but I will just ask my Local Fish store when I go tomorrow. <I think there is some agreement between the two statements, and if one reads the entire question & answer, they are really more similar that you might think. Here's the rub - yes, you can keep a snowflake eel in a 55 gallon tank - ideally by itself. You were not specific about this, but if you chose to keep additional fish, the 55 would be on the smaller side of comfortable for those fish and the eel. So... a 75G tank would be better. There are few to no situations when a larger tank is not better.> Cheers, J -- >

Tesselata eel What is the minimum size tank for a Tesselata eel in the long run?  Would a 150 work? <should be fine for now. with just the one eel> Do I need a bigger aquarium?  Also, if I have a tesselata eel, could I keep it with a Zebra Moray and a Banded Moray (Echidna polyzona)?<I don't suggest that you mix eels. I have heard of tesselata eels killing other tankmates...(other eels, angels, etc)> The 150 I am looking at has the same surface area as a 180 (The 180 is 6 feet long x 2 feet wide, so is the 150).<I personally like the 180s better because they are six feet long 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide, but that's just my opinion, IanB>

Zebra Moray Jumping Prevention I am interested in buying a zebra moray for my 150 gallon tank and I have a couple of questions.  1.) Compatible with large Volitans lion fish? <Yes, should be fine> 2.) How much of a lid should be placed on the tank?  Will 1/4" glass be acceptable or larger? <This will work. Most important that there are not holes large enough for the animal to leave the system by>   3.) Is a 150 large enough? <Yes, for these two fishes> 4.)  I can't remember if you mentioned this in your web page, but are they compatible with crabs and snails? <Not crabs... will gladly consume them, but snails will likely be ignored.> Thank you for your time and effort, C. Joslin <You're welcome. Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Avoiding Reef Jerky Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I am finally ready to stock my 437 gallon (80"x36"x36") Acrylic Tank with two Hawaiian Dragon Moray Eels, in a reef type environment.  The tank has two openings each measuring 16"x22". My concern is weather to leave these openings uncovered in order to enhance air exchange or cover them with acrylic panels to make the tank "eel proof", as well as control evaporation.  Lighting initially will be a 6 foot custom Sealife ABS Fixture with four 96W P.C.'s.  The tank is plumbed to a 150 gallon open sump and connected to a large Aqua Medic Protein Skimmer.  I would appreciate your advise on whether or not to cover the tank openings. Thanks, Ron Well, Ron, as you have surmised, Morays can slither out and around just about any form of confinement, if they feel frisky. I've even seen them many times, when I was fishing, slither right out of the water to eat fish that we were cleaning on the rocks - an amazing sight to see! I'd opt for a cover of some sort- either the factory supplied acrylic slot covers, or a finer eggcrate over the openings. Either way, you do want to secure them, or they can definitely become "reef jerky"! Regards, Scott F>

Eels Hi, <Good morning, PF here in the bright and early, at least by my standards...> I am purchasing that book I have already ordered it. <I'm assuming Michael's book on sharks and rays.> I know a lot about epaulettes but no where can I find information on how well they do with eels, in particular a Hawaiian Dragon Eel or a Tesselata Eel. <Both eels are piscivorous, and if there is a substantial size difference, I imagine one would eat the other. That said, Tesselata eels reach almost 6' in length, that's a lot of eel. Hawaiian Dragon eels reach about 32" - 1/2 the length. Don't forget the square/cube law: double the size, 4X the mass. > I have read everything on your website about sharks and almost everything about eels but I didn't find any information on Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tesselata Eels. <I would recommend you read Scott Michael's Reef Fishes Vol 1, there's an extensive section on eels.> I also am looking into the blue dot stingrays.  I am not necessarily getting an eel or a stingray but I am definitely getting the sharks.  I have read numerous books on marine aquariums that included information about sharks.  I have also contacted the aquarium about epaulettes.  I am smart enough to know not to get any kind of shark that is sharky-looking, like a nurse, lemon, white tip, leopard, shovelnose, or hammerheads, which are available from time to time. <Good for you, I can't believe someone would try to keep a hammerhead, well, actually, sadly I can believe that.> I have read lots of information about the sharks but I cannot find any information on how they behave with the Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tesselata Eels or the blue dot stingrays. <The sting rays fair poorly in captivity, and need a very different setup than either the Epaulette or the Hawaiian Dragon eel - the ray needs a large, sandy area, while the shark and eel need rock work. For the sake of the ray (not to mention your wallet) leave it in the ocean, or go see one at a public aquarium.> So I need to know if they can all be housed together or with just an eel or just a stingray and sharks? <Think I already answered that one.>  I also need to know some information about the Hawaiian Dragon Eel such as his behavior, what it eats, and if it is hardy? <It's an aggressive piscivore, like all eels prone to carpet surfing, and yes they are hardy animals. They are also known for going on hunger strikes. Do pick up and read Michael's book.>  I also need to know if the sea life I listed above are compatible with a woebegone? <Not in my opinion. The woebegone gets over 10' long and is no more appropriate to keep than the hammerhead.>  I know it is compatible with an Epaulette but I don't know if it is compatible with the other sea life I listed. Please help me. Thank you very much.  Sincerely, Versusdude320 <Well, I hope this helps. Please do some more reading and research before making any final decisions. Have a good day, PF

Eel tank Hi! My name's Evan, I just stumbled across your website and already it has clarified many of my questions and concerns, its truly a wonderful thing you have going here. I still have some questions though I was wondering if you could help rectify. First off is a dragon moray eel feasible in a 75 gallon tank if it is tailored around him as the main species? <Search on Morays at WetWebMedia.com to find all you need to know about husbandry of eels. Tank covers are mandatory.> If so I was thinking of using a custom built sump with a refugium built in to contribute to denitrification along with a high powered protein skimmer (of what make or model I haven't the slightest, do you have suggestions)? is this adequate filtration? <Seems good. Euro-reef, Aqua-C are good skimmer choices.> It would be supplemented by biological filtration in the form of approx. 70 lbs. of prime live rock and a 4'" bed of live aragonite/coral sand. Any input is much appreciated! Thanks, Evan <Oversize filtration Evan, Eels are messy.  Craig>

I Don't Get It!!! How's it going?? great I hope >Pretty well, thank you. ok to the point seasoned tank keeper, and this is the first time I've ever asked for help on line I either find the answers or figure it out.   >Ok, I'll do my best. this is really getting to me, my snowflake 2nd I've owned in 5 years did what I read on your site the heavy breathing, just prior to that his size seemed to increase quite a bit he looked as if he bulked up, which I felt good about, stopped eating though, thought he had gorged himself last feeding was a great eater (but had to hand feed) which wasn't a problem diet was consisting of blanched squid, octopus, shrimp, etc.. >Curious as to why you blanche it.  Unfortunately, I'm having a bit of trouble picking through the information you've provided here.  I've never, ever fed my marine fish cooked foods. then just to spice it up like we are supposed to I gave him and puffer and trigger heck every one would jump in on the feast small frozen then defrosted no heads or tails, gutted and de-boned Smelt (common  small fish) which was inhaled... >They take them whole in the wild, I would give them whole in the tank, too, but would also have on hand enough water for a 30%-40% change next day (for the subsequent poop-a-thon). My water is crisp aeration fine lights pumps filters heater are dialed in all levels of water testing are on the money.. >This tells me nothing. my other fish are all fine my feather dusters, polyps and whoever else may be present are all doing fine as usual  SO WHAT THE HECK KEEPS HAPPENING THIS IS THE 2nd ONE AND THE 2nd TIME, the breathing problem the no eating, then the changing to white and finally convulsions ending with the big bowl.  HELP ME PLEASE TELL ME SOMETHING OR THINGS maybe other than water quality, or parasites and attacked by anemone. >I'm sorry, but if I'm not allowed to suggest those things then there's not much else I can do for you.   its something else and its something very specific and I want to know what it is.. I wont be able to rest easy until its figured out and I learn what and about it.. Thank you I hope you'll Be able to put my mind at ease for a moment.  DEANO >Unfortunately, without more information (including the *very* pertinent information of water quality parameters), feeding schedules, length of residence, time in quarantine, and the actual names of the other residents, I can't offer much of an educated guess.  From the little you have provided, I can't help but wonder what, if any, effect feeding cooked foods to the animal might have.  If this is the second eel you've had leave this earth this way, then I would look to husbandry practices, as I've known these fish to be exceedingly hardy and difficult to kill.  I would assume that if you have other invertebrates doing well in the system that they would be your "canaries in a coalmine", which of course would tend to rule out water quality, but I don't believe in automatically ruling everything out.  At this time it *appears* to be one of two things (this is off the top of my head--sorting fish disease, assuming it's disease, is quite a tricky business) infection, or poisoning.  My advice is to get him into his own quarantine system ASAP, and I don't think that starting him on a regimen of Spectrogram would hurt at this point.  I'm sorry I can't offer more help.  Marina

- Re: I Don't Get It!!! - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Ok details huh!!! <They are helpful, paints a more detailed picture...> You know it would be cool even to throw some possible reasons my way... <What would you like me to say? Solar Flares?> Just so we are current in our chat the eel died yesterday morning. <I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> Also 2 eels in a 5-6 year time frame isn't too shabby, <It's not excellent either... these fish live much longer in the wild, and even in captivity - as Marina mentioned before, the devil is in the details - two eels in five years is not great odds.> the first ended up like this recent one because of fish Gang Warfare ha ha ha. <That is funny why?> And by the way maybe you have "a canary program working for you" myself well,,, Id shove a human in for my dirty work and wouldn't think once about it.. <Pardon? You do understand the "canary in a coalmine" comment was directed at other inhabitants of your tank, which would under normal circumstances bail out long before your eels - without such an indicator, one needs to look for the problem elsewhere.> Lets put it this way, if someone asked me about you and that you were covered in spots, pale and had a mild fever,, not being a doctor, id say maybe chicken pox, maybe measles, maybe even German measles, even though I haven't seen you or even knew what you looked like. <But you could be 100% wrong making assumptions like that - I could just be wearing makeup or have a high metabolism, or both.> I was offering some answers to question using general knowledge!! <And perhaps too general.> Now you seem to have to hear and see also deal with tons of stuff in the fishy business.. so just by the symptoms, it sounds like? <It sounds like a problem.> or maybe its? but then it could be???? you hear me????? <I hear you, do you hear you?> I already told you tank and water are crisp which means there fine....... <And that means nothing to me either - the demise of your eels tells a different story. It is too easy to quickly say "The water is perfect." when in fact, it might not be.> I cant see what giving you good readings will accomplish except ruling out water quality which I already said is GOOD. <Good to you and good to me could be two different things - it pays to compare. In addition, there may be something about your husbandry practices which is amiss... > So ill humor you with it anyways. 100 gal. tank 83lbs live rock Marshall and Tonga 2 -1 inch live sand front to 2/3 back of tank thick to thin Dual overflow boxes to sump trickle more rock trickle Lego trickle foam through a polisher then to another sump and this lil giant pushes it back into tank by way of triple split flex joint flow connectors 1 upish 1 downish 1 sidish a Jager Meister heater in 2nd sump keeps us fuzzy feeling about 74 -78 Nautilus protein skimmer in 1st sump works just fine 4 bulbs 2 really bright  white compacted 1 purple kind a blue (makes your clothes look funny) and then 1 sun light pinkish orange color  48 inch reg V-HO HO HO timer says you and you come on then in 2 hrs you come on then 2 more hours and then you come on we all stay on for 6 more hours then I go off then 2 hours later 2 more  go off  then 1 hour later purple done till the morning 5 years old  almost eligible for social security benefits residents are as such 1 ylw tang 1 pwd blue 1 Porc puff 1 mar clown 1nigger trigger 1 big jaw blenny 1 juv emperor 1 purple psycho- crom and I used to have a 2 yr old snow flake 2 dusters large hula hula  1 small carpet anem green polyps purple polyp pink polyps  and lotsa lotsa coralline I feed once a day and that's the way it works best for us and for 5 years so far 20 gal changes 1 every 2 weeks every other day top offs pure clean cosmostized water Kalk who once a month dripped in 1 per 1-2min ratio speeded up at night with lights out. So now these are the results I get from all that stuff: Grav 1.021-1.023 PH8.25   ALK 3.5   AMM 0   Nitri 0  Nitrat15/20 mg/l (ion) PHOS .05   CAL 425   IRON.12  Dissolved OX 7.0  Carbon Diox  2.3   blood type  A.O.K I bet any eel would be stoked to kick it at a pad like this, like I said my water and tank are "CRISP" Now please can you offer some specific illnesses <Specific? No, I can't. As Marina suggested, you should at least start by not cooking the food any more - these are eaten raw in the wild, and will do your captive charges much more good if fed this way - could be you've got a nutrient deficiency because of the blanching. Could also be that your system is on the edge of being full - something that cannot be tested for is the bioload, and it could very well be that as crisp as you think the water is, with the addition of another large messy eater, that the actual 'quality' of the water is stale, and not as 'crisp' as a handful of tests would indicate. While I'm on the crowding issue, you may have had social issues which while not completely apparent might have been working against your eel this whole time. Likewise, you may have just obtained compromised livestock which went for as long as it was going to go. It's difficult to be more specific than that without a post-mortem examination under a microscope.> THANK YOU DEANO <Cheers, J -- >

What's The Deal With This Eel? Hi, <Hello! Scott F. here today> I just wondered if you could answer me a question please, I have a 117 UK gallon tank with a 2.5ft Zebra moray, 6 inch French angel and a Sailfin tang. I would like to put a 12inch snowflake moray in the tank as well would he be compatible with my current fish. I have 2 70 gallon external filters with good aeration and circulation. Your comments would be much appreciated. Kind Regards, Darren Adams <Well, Darren-from a "space"  and compatibility aspect, I suppose that it is possible to include this fish, as these eels generally will stay in their chosen cave, and not display excessive territoriality. However, I am more concerned about the long-term husbandry issues caused by this bioload in the tank. Both the French Angel and the tang eat a lot of food, give off a respectable quantity of metabolic waste, and just get plain large! The moray will also give off lots of waste products, as you are no doubt aware. I think that adding another larger fish with somewhat "messy" eating habits can be problematic in the long run. I'd hold off, unless a larger tank is in the future. As it is, you need to really be on top of the maintenance in this tank, with regular, frequent water changes being one of the main tasks, not to mention the need for efficient filter media cleaning and replacement. I say enjoy the wonderful selection of fish that you already have! The Sailfin Tang is an absolutely gorgeous fish, and you'll really enjoy watching him grow! Regards, Scott F.   

Chain link eel Hi WWM! I'm very glad to have found your site - it has helped me find answers to nearly every marine question I had, and helped me decide to get my first marine animal - an echidna catenata. <A really neat species>   I'm not sure how old he is, but he's probably about ten inches long.  I know older eels can go very long periods of time without eating, but am starting to get concerned about mine.  He's in a tiny temporary (5 gal.) tank, with just heater/filter/air stones and refuge.  The ph is above 8, temp is 78, and he's been active in the tank for 5 days now.  I have had the water tested, and ammonia / nitrite are high, but it's a new tank w/ just him in it so I think that that's expected. <... this tank is way too small, and the presence of ammonia, nitrite (both toxic)... are very bad influences> I have tried feeding him freshwater feeders (even though I later read they were bad for him), thawed krill on a stick, then 2 days ago tried thawed squid on a stick, and lastly tried last night to feed him a ghost shrimp.  Any suggestions / ideas, or just patience?                                                 Thank you very much, you                               have a great website,                                   Joseph Azersky <You should find larger quarters (at least forty gallons) for this fish, move it ASAP, do your best to urge on the establishment of biological filtration (see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm>, and not try to feed this animal till you've done so>   (PS:  one morning when I turned on the lights, he arched back his head so he was looking backwards over his body, and started to whip his head side to side for a few seconds, and did this a few times over a 5 min period.  Any ideas what that could have been?) <A disoriented animal in poor circumstances looking or simply moving about. Bob Fenner>

Re: chain link eel Hi again (sorry to be a bother) thanks for your quick response. I've purchased him with the intent of keeping him in my future planned aquarium (~4 months away; 50-75 gal. w/ living rock and 2 lionfish), but saw such an amazing looking specimen that I figured I would get him and keep him in his own tank until then. <Won't likely last this long in the present circumstances> I am a college student, and already (haha) have a 50 gal freshwater tank in my dorm, and no room/funds for a 40 gal w/ filters, hood, etc.  He was in a 5 gal at the store (I know that doesn't make it right haha), and I figured he could deal till my new one.  Do you think he'd be okay w/ say a 15/20 gal till then, or is forty the minimum safest? Thanks again for your knowledgeable, fast help.  you guys're great!!                                   In your debt,                                      Joseph Azersky <I do hope so... better than the five. Bob Fenner>

Re: chain link eel Hi again! last night my eel got very sick.  He got so pale, and was breathing slowly, and not opening his mouth wide when he was breathing.  I noticed the breathing earlier in the night and did a 1/3 water change, and then a little later on noticed his color faded badly.  So I fed him, and the first time since I got him (last Friday) he ate (6 pieces of frozen squid on a stick).  He regained color immediately, and was swimming around like he was still hungry (though he wouldn't eat a seventh piece).  This morning, he was swimming lively, but the fading came back.  I did another 1/3 water change 1/2 hour ago, and am gonna go to the pet store I got him a little later this afternoon.  When I go there, I think I'm going to buy a larger tank, and try to get them to give me enough water of theirs that is already cycled (and sand too). <Good ideas> I figure that at this point, if I give him back all they can do is put him in their water anyways (and back into another 5 gal tank).  Does this sound like a  good idea/ what can I do to help him after he's in new water (or will he look better right away since he's out of poisonous water?) <Should improve in a short period of time> /do you think I have a chance of convincing them to give me their water (haha). <I think so. Please mention our chatting, concern>                                Thanks again, if it weren't for                                you guys I wouldn't have thought                                about anything like this and he                                prolly woulda died last night.                                         Joseph Azersky <Press on my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: chain link eel I have one last question (hopefully): if they won't give me cycled water (or if they can't or whatever), how do you feel about those additives that I think might be the bacteria that are needed for cycling.  Is there anything along those lines that I could set up his new tank with before he goes in it?                  thanks again <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the Related FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner>

- Re: Moray Compatibility - What changes do you propose I take in order to keep a juvenile snowflake moray? <Keep one in its own tank, with a good lid. Cheers, J -- >

Neglected Moray? I have had a zebra moray for 4 years in a 150 gal horse trough sump of my 125 display tank and I was wondering what is his life span? <These animals can live at least 20 years in the wild, probably longer...> The kid I got it from had him for three years and who knows how old he was when he got him. I feed him two pieces of jumbo shrimp every other week and when spring comes, who knows when that will be this year, he gets a few crayfish to change his boring menu. I guess my concern is that I don't want to not pay much attention to him for a week and the next thing you know he is dead and ruining and my beautiful reef display is done for. Thanks, Shawn <Well, Shawn, I don't like to harp on people, but I gotta tell you to find a better home for this fish! I commend you on recognizing that this fish is not for you, but this is a living animal, and needs to be treated with compassion, respect, and above, all-concern. You cannot simply ignore this, or any fish, toss it a few tidbits now and again, and glance at it once in a while just to make sure that the animal isn't dead! Find a good home for this amazing animal...There are many, many hobbyists who would enjoy having this moray, and who are willing to provide a level of care and commitment that you seem reluctant to furnish. Perhaps you could offer this fish on the wetwebmedia.com chat forum...Good luck! Scott F> 

- Tank Size for Moray Eels - Jason, I didn't realize the tank was so small. <Sad, but true.> He was originally in a 29gal but it sprung a leak. <That's not really large enough either.> He stays pretty much burrowed under the rocks only comes out for food. He's only about a foot long maybe an inch or two more. <That won't last for long... these grow much larger.> If I put him in another 29gal will that surface. <No.> What other foods can I offer him? <Squid, shrimp, and other meaty foods. Please understand - tank size has as much to do with room to roam as it does the cleanliness of the water. In a tank of this size, it is difficult at best to keep it chemically stable. With a messy-eating fish like this moray, your challenges are even greater. Please consider something no smaller than 40 gallons.> Big Help, Thank you. Paris <Cheers, J -- >

- System Size  for moray eels- <Greetings, JasonC here...> I have a 20gal saltwater tank. Living within is a moray eel, spiny urchin, live rock and sand with its little critters. <Egads! This tank is much to small for any type of moray eel.> I was wanting to set up a tank with small live saltwater fish that I could use for feeder fish. Any suggestions on what kind of fish. <It's not good for your eel's long term health to feed it live fish.> I did have 2 damsels in the tank but the eel ate them. <No surprise there...> I do feed him shrimp but would think that he would like live food. <Untrue... it will be happy with most anything you offer it.> Eventually when we relocate again I will move the eel to a larger tank. <Consider doing the larger tank sooner.> What suggestions do you have? <Did I mention a larger tank?> Thank you Paris <Cheers, J -- >

Reef-safe Morays? Hi Bob and crew (and Felix Navidad as we used to say back home) <Yahooooooo! That's what we used to say back home!> I was wondering if the Muraenidae in the subject would be a reef safe critter: 75g lagoon/seagrass tank about 60lbs of LR 6" DSB Ecosystem HOT 40 sump/refugium 25g's a second HOT refugium for amphipods Remora HOT skimmer Berlin Airlift skimmer Borneman surge device fish: pair of ocellaris clowns, pair of orchid Dottybacks, lawn mower blenny, 4-5 flasher wrasses (probably Paracheilinus filamentosus). From what I've read they are pretty safe with anything but the smallest fishes (<1"). I'm assuming from all the referencing to them and fish they're a piscivorous species and my invertebrates should be safe. <Dude...your tank sounds full already. I think I would leave out the moray. Morays don't work well in reefs because nearly all of them will get too large...even the so-called dwarfs. Morays also require a lot of meaty items on a regular basis which means you will have lots of added nutrients in the water...like enough to grow a monstrosity of hair algae. As if that wasn't enough t o exclude this beauty... morays, dwarf or not, will eventually get around to eating your mobile inverts as well as your fish> Thanks for the advice, <You're welcome! Glad to be of service. David Dowless> PF

DSB and Eel Biotope Hi again! <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I recently spoke to you about setting up a moray eel biotope. I am slowly changing my mind about it. I have been reading much into the newer designs of reef systems. I am just thinking to the future of the tank. I do still want an eel but I may want to expand into full reef down the road. That said, I have two real quick questions: 1) Would a DSB around 4 to 5" be ok for an eel biotope? I am worried they may dig it up and cloud the water. But in the same note I want to build some future into the tank if I go full reef.... <I'm less concerned about extensive digging activities by the eels than I am about the potential for rockwork to collapse. Many eels have been injured and/or killed by unstable rockwork. Do take this into account when designing and assembling this tank> 2) I found a local source for Southdown Tropical play sand. It is very inexpensive and I have heard good things both on your site and many many other forums. Is this a good choice for about 90% of the DSB? I will top it off with a live sand layer to seed. As I mentioned above, will the eel dig it up and destroy its chances of it working for me and will I need to ditch the bioballs if I implement the DSB method? <I think that the Southdown is a fine choice for a deep sand bed. Yes, there is a possibility that the eel will undermine the sand bed with digging...This really depends on the individual eel and its habits. Personally, I would ditch the bioballs if using a DSB. For that matter, I'd ditch the bioballs even if using a substantial amount of live rock. You do need some vigorous circulation and, possibly some supplemental mechanical filtration in this tank, not to mention a very efficient protein skimmer. These fish eat a lot and eliminate large quantities of waste products regularly.> Unfortunately I must cut some corners because I am on a limited budget and my wife will kill me if I spend a ton of money. <Understood!> Would love to go full blown reef but that cost is way out of the picture at this point. Just keep telling her I am taking baby steps! ;) <Well- taking intelligent, well-thought "baby steps" now will certainly pay dividends down the line!> Thanks for any help you can give! Tim <Best of luck to you, Tim! Regards, Scott F.>

Moray Havoc and Mayhem Hi Bob and Crew,            I have a moray eel that I had confused with another eel, at least that's what I have concluded. I bought what I thought was a snowflake eel, but actually is not. I am quite afraid for all of my other fish for it seems to have torn some of then to pieces. I was wondering how I could be able to catch it. It would really help if you could give me an idea. Thanks! <The best route is to systematically drain the water about half way down, remove all decor and carefully scoop the eel out by using a large plastic bag... pouring as much of the water out of the bag, watching the strain on your back... placing the bag, water, eel, in a large cooler or fish box... sealing the bag with large bands. Bob Fenner>

Re: recently acquired Brazilian Golden Eel..... Gobble-gobble guys,       I recently acquired a Brazilian Golden Eel (which I hear is quite rare and commands a hefty price tag)  this was a gift.  He or she is quite stunning and is getting along fine w/his new mates.  Porc. puffer, Volitans lion, Pinkface wrasse and 7 Fiji blue damsels.       My question to you is:  What have you heard about this eel ? <Is this the same as the Goldentail Eel of the tropical West Atlantic, Gymnothorax miliaris? Please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm>   And would he be compatible w/ a zebra eel ?? <Should be if the system is large enough... filtration, aeration can accommodate all>   I've checked your eel archives and had no luck finding any info on Brazilian Goldentails. <Mmm, please check on fishbase.org... they don't list anything for the common name... but you can run a "country report" and re-sort by family... and look up the Muraenids (moray family), species by species for what is recorded from there> OH !!  btw: all these creatures are juveniles, including the eel.       Thanks Mr. Fenner and crew for making this hobby rewarding ! Happy Thanksgiving !! Lenny Fohrer <Thank you my friend. Happy T-day, holidays to you. Bob Fenner> Forgot to tell you:  I have a 140 gal. FO w/Protein skimmer Peace out! Lenny <Mmm, will need something bigger eventually should you acquire the Zebra Moray. Bob Fenner>

Moray Biotope Hi guys! Love the site!!!! I once was a salt water addict but moved backwards to cichlid keeping and breeding for a while. Now I am going to convert my 125 All Glass into a Moray Eel biotope. I have three questions regarding this: 1) What biotope would you suggest for keeping moray eel species (plan on keeping one specific type of the 30" range species).  I was thinking the dark, dimly lit setup and make it look menacing... Also plan to have a web cam attached for web viewing. (Moray Cam :) <Very cool idea! I'd keep it in just such a system, filled with lots of live rock, with caves and crevices that can conceal the animal entirely, but give it openings to poke its head out> 2) I currently have the tank totally broken down and am fixing some of the old issues with it. I have dual overflows leading to dual prefilter biotowers (yes, with bioballs (6Gal each). It then drops into a 55 gallon sump (all glass aquarium) with a Kent float valve for top off through a DI unit, dual Mag 7s for return water. I also built a custom 5' tall protein skimmer out of acrylic and pvc parts. This will also reside in the sump. And lastly I have a 9 Watt triple pass UV hang on filter mounted into the sump. I also have an Eheim Pro II 2028 attached directly to the tank and hidden in the hand made custom 3D background. Now, to my 2nd question. Should I keep the bioballs if I do not plan on having LR? <In the absence of live rock, okay. But pay close attention to regular maintenance on the Eheim and all prefilters> 3) In what order would you set up the filtration? (i.e...biotowers first, protein skimmer first, UV on separate power head???) Just wanna do it right from the start. <I think that you're okay with that setup> I was thinking of removing one of the bio towers and running the output from the overflow directly into the input of the protein skimmer. Have the other overflow continue to go through the biomedia tower and then have the UV filter on a separate low gph power head and return to the sump. Does this sound feasible? <Seems like it would work> Thanks in advance, and again great site.....!!!!! Tim Turner, Reading, PA <Good luck on your new system , Tim! Scott F.>

High Nitrates/Phosphates Hi, I have a 75 Gal. marine set-up (since Dec.,2000) containing approximately 60 lbs. of Fiji Live Rock as well as a Red Sea Berlin Turbo protein skimmer. My showpiece resident is a Hawaiian Dragon Moray Eel. In addition have one Cleaner shrimp and four Peppermint Shrimp as well as a few Astrea Snails/Nassarius Snails. Lighting consists of tow Twin Tube All Glass reflectors containing URI Aqua-sun and Actinic Lamps. This week, following a 25% (25 Gal) water change water testing results for nitrates were off the chart high as well as phosphates registering 1.6 mg/l. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  Would the fact that my Berlin Turbo Skimmer failed on two occasions and as of this writing have replaced the impeller with the third design revision provided by Red Sea Inc. <The skimmer is a contributing cause... but the real producer is the Moray itself... Please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/no3probfaqs.htm and on to the further FAQs posted on Phosphates... you might try a sump with a DSB, live rock, macro-algae there... and lighting this refugium... This would be the route I would go. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ron Allard

Re: Eel Tank Skimmer By a bigger, better skimmer.. What skimmer, if you were setting up the same sort of eel-only tank, would you purchase?  <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm and beyond> It would need to be hang-on, or modifiable to do so. Also, one of my main problems is space, I've got just enough for the Prizm skimmer, as this was my first tank I left little room between the wall and the tank. I know you said I could move it out by nearly-draining, but I want to use that as a last resort.. are there any "slim line" skimmers that are/would be efficient enough for a tank of this capacity?(75 gallon) <Yes... look to the Aqua C line. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Bill

Eel tank Dear Mr. Fenner, As always, I hope this letter finds you well. <Yes my friend, thank you> Over the last few months I've asked you multiple times about moray eels, specifically tesselata moray eels. I've done a lot of research, and have decided that if I really do set up and eel tank, it's best to make it a take that is eel-only.  <Yes... unless the system is "very large"> Starting with a young (12"-18") tesselata would give me time enough (a year or so) to upgrade my currently 75g eel-only tank to a larger, permanent tank. The only thing I can't seem to find much information on as far as eels go, specifically tesselata morays, is if any sort of cleaner is allowed in the tank with them. <Mmm, yes> Some websites I've read have said they'll tolerate certain types of shrimp, while others have said certain snails they'll leave alone. I'm left pretty confused about either. Some eels have crushing molars, which I'd assume was for snail and crab-chomping and the like.  <You are correct> Tesselatas (from what I can tell) only have fine razor like teeth for fleshy feasting (such as fish, shrimp.) <Yes, principally fishes> Am I right here, or will a tesselata eel or like specimens gobble anything they see? <Animals recognized as biological cleaners... e.g. Lysmata Shrimps, Labroides Wrasses, possibly Gobiosoma gobies... might be left alone permanently> Also, what would you recommend for salinity? I've read two different thoughts- some say 1.025, and some say low to lessen parasites.) Thanks again for helping answer my too-many questions :) <Not too many. I would keep this fish at near seawater conditions... a spg of 1.025. Bob Fenner> Bill

Re: Eel tank Ack! Forgot a few things... My 75g is set up with a very eel-oriented aquascape, large (15ish lb pieces) of rock set firmly to make many caves and much place for hiding. The flow in my tank is extremely high, as I've read that eels appreciate much oxygen in their water (thus the "ready to eat you" open mouth.)  <Yes> Some people have told me I have too MUCH flow, what do you think? I have an AquaClear 802, two AquaClear 302's, and the output of my Fluval 404 & Prizm skimmer which post-adjustment is low) <This is not too much flow... and you are going to need a bigger, better skimmer> All together I have a lot of current in the top, mid, and bottom levels of the tank. Is this too much for an eel? Also, what lighting do eels like? I currently have 2x 55 watt PowerCompact 10,000K daylight bulbs over the tank. I just finished "sealing" it off, using material from my LFS to secure the glass covers all the way to the back of the tank, etc. Am planning a trip to home depot to weight down the tops of the tank, meanwhile LFS searches for a small enough tesselata for me. :) My heaters are on either rear corner of the tank- two 200watt heaters, keeping the water around 80 F, will that work? <Should... do add a couple more suction cups to the heaters... consider building drilled PVC sleeves to keep them from being broken... better to place them in a tied-in sump...> Will my heaters being in the tank harm the eel? I've heard they are prone to getting burned, and a sump type setup is best, but I don't have that available, and don't plan on using a Bak-pak on this system if I ultimately will upgrade to a 150+ gallon tank for the tesselata. I think that's it.. oh.. feeding.. from what I understand.. it is best weekly, followed by water changes, and done from a long plastic-type feeding stick. <Twice, thrice weekly while this animal is small> Have I left anything out? I am so grateful for your help in all of this, without your caution I most likely would have owned an eel months ago, with minimal knowledge and probably the same in the success department. <Well thought out, and stated. You have done well to have investigated, planned. The anticipation has likely been enjoyable.> I hope that through purchasing a young eel of the mis-understood Tesselata species, I can get some insight into what they are really like. Everyone I've talked to has tried thoroughly to dissuade purchasing one, but given that it will be the only fish in the tank, I am hoping for success. Any input/advice you have on eel keeping would be greatly appreciated, rest assured I have read your eel FAQs a thousand times over in preparation. Thanks again Mr. Fenner. Every LFS I go to here in Atlanta (which is a lot of LFS's) I tell the employee's and patrons how informative your site, book are. Many have read the CMA book but have no knowledge of the website. I think it's a wonderful thing you do for all of us inquisitive CMA's :) Bill Hammond <Thank you my friend. Do consider recording your observations, making pictures of your preparation, and writing up the experiences, reflections as an article for the hobby literature and posterity. Bob Fenner>

Continued Moray Eel Discussion Hi again Bob! <I say a greeting> As always, I hope this letter finds you well. <Yes my friend> We've discussed adding a moray (tesselata possibly) to my FOWLR tank. I've done more reading, more asking at LFS's, asking people that have owned eels.. and the answer I'm starting to come up with is.. I should dedicate a tank to an eel only. My question is this: I was told by one LFS that since eels do not move around too much, a 75 gallon would be enough for one eel in an eel-only with live rock tank. Any ideas if this is a good idea? Should I go that route, wait until I can afford a 180 or 200 gallon setup?  <I might get a small specimen for the 75, with full anticipation of securing the larger system by the time the fish reached two feet in length.> Also, what is your idea on buying used setups?  <Nothing wrong with "used"... All are used with their first filling...> I've recently found a LFS that installs for businesses etc, and when they upgrade systems the LFS resells used setups. <A wise use> like a 58 gallon oceanic with stand/canopy, wet/dry, plumbing, lights, heaters, etc. for $600. I thought "what a deal." Are there any things to look for or to avoid when buying used tanks? <Yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/usedmargear.htm> Thanks again friend <You're welcome. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Bill Hammond

Questions about eels Great site on eels. I like the leopard eel and am wondering about the price and the size of the tank, how big it gets etc. <Mmm... a hundred gallons plus for a small to growing specimen... a few to several hundred U.S. dollars likely... a couple to four feet in captivity... Bob Fenner> Thank you in advance. Yours sincerely, Alex Pascall

Eel, and protein Skimmer selection I recently wrote you about upgrading my 180 gal FOWLR to a 300 gal, but I will not be able to get this 96x3024 tank into my home so I will have to settle for a 72x30x30 (280 gal) to accommodate my: 6" Vlamingi Tang 5" Pink Tail Trigger 5" Twinspot Wrasse 6" Red Coris Wrasse 15" Cortez Dragon Eel I hope this system will not be overcrowding my fish once they reach full size. <Should be okay> The only thing that I would like to change to the system is the eel. I would like to get a small Tesselata Eel or a Gold Scribbled Eel (15 inches). I was told this is a variant of the Golden Tail Eel. I was told that both eels would be a real threat to my wrasses, is this true?  <Both what you have now and these species are piscivorous. Yes> I would assume that the Tesselata would be, but not the Golden Scribbled Eel because of its max size. Will either of these work in the Dragon Eels place? There will be no more additions to the tank. <Both are possible wrasse eaters... even eaters of your tangs at night if they're hungry> Currently I have 2 Merlin sand bed filters, 200 lbs. of LR, Dolphin Amp Master pump (3000 gph) and a Turboflotor 1000 going into the system. I'm still debating on adding another Turboflotor 1000 or getting a Euro-Reef or G2 (are they the same co.?) <No, the latter are a knock-off by All-Seas Marine... and not a very good copy. If you're spending the money, get the real thing, Euro-Reef.> to take care of the whole system. Some dealers are telling me that the 2 Turboflotors 1000 will work, others are telling me that I will be okay with the 1 Turboflotor 1000 by adding another 100 lbs. of LR to the system along with a refugium. Others are telling me that the Euro-Reef protein skimmers are the only consideration for a system containing these types of fish. I'm not sure if they are just trying to make a sale $$$. <All statements are useful, tend toward some truth... the Euro-Reef is the most efficient, most likely choice here to get you high water quality. Bob Fenner> Any information regarding my dilemma here would be greatly appreciated.

Dragon Eel Hi Bob, I have a 75 gallon FO aquarium that is currently stocked with: 4" Naso Tang 3" Panther Grouper 4" Foxface 3" Volitans Lion 3" Picasso Trigger 2" Tomato Clown I would like to add a Dragon Eel (Muraena pardalis) to my tank. <Yikes... in a 75 gallon system? Sorry to state, your system is already going to be overcrowded with modest growth of what you already have...> They are a bit pricey so I wanted to seek the advice of a professional before I made the purchase. Would this overload my tank?.  <Definitely> I have a large wet/dry filter and protein skimmer. Is the eel compatible with my other fish?  <It would likely eat the Clown> Will the eel be aggressive to me when I clean the tank?  <Not common. This is one of the more "peaceful" fish-eating Moray species. Unfortunately it (and some of your other livestock) need larger quarters. Bob Fenner> Thank you for your help. Jim, Logan, UT

Jewel moray Hello Mr. Fenner, I just had a quick question about the jewel moray eel. After reading your section on eels I was wondering about the temperament of this eel since this is one of the smaller ones. Would this eel be ok in a 70gallon FOWLR system with a flame and arc eye hawk and a blue angelfish?  <Mmm, maybe... I would not be surprised to find your Hawkfish... then Flame Angel missing one or two mornings> I'm trying to decide between this eel or the Chainlink but I really like how the jewel looks. Thank you. Samir <Both beautiful animals... but unfortunately both piscivorous... "fish eaters"... either have to keep with larger, aware fish species... or none that you don't mind being eaten. Bob Fenner>

8 feet: That's alotta Moray! <Greeting, Craig... Anthony Calfo here on the medical team to help you keep all of your fingers from becoming moray fodder> Thanks for the reply... the eel I'm referring to is Gymnothorax favagineus sorry if the spellings wrong.  <Two words: Gorgeous and Huge... and I'm not talking about Jennifer Lopez> I would like to know if such an eel would be happy in a 200g tank with a wet/dry filter. <I'm not sure if it would be happy... but I can tell you that the tank is too small even in the shorter, (2-3 year plan)> My tank is arriving at the end of the month so I have a long time until I will be seeing that Moray around 5 months as I understand!!  <so we have time to talk you into a smaller and more suitable species <smile>> All I have is the tank with a wooden lid, stand and the filter. No heater protein skimmer substrate or rocks so what would you recommend for a tank dedicated to a Gymnothorax favagineus.  <I'd recommend a heater, protein skimmer and some live rock for starters> Although the tank is big I'm not a rich guy so the cheaper the better. <chemical filtration (Carbon and/or PolyFilters) and water changes play a big role in your future...cheap does not with an eel this big. The Tesselata species of eel that you speak of grows to over eight feet in the wild!!! I am not exaggerating. It is beautiful...but cruel to confine it in small aquaria and is quiet aggressive at feeding characteristically. Just not an appropriate animal. GOOD NEWS for you though... Gymnothorax permistus is almost identical and only grows one third the size! Please pursue this animal instead for your beautiful new tank. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks again Craig

Amazing Eel Saga continues Hi, Thanks for the advice I will take it. After I finish this mail I will check your site and look up the Gymnothorax permistus.  <excellent!> I was speaking with the guy who owns the fish shop close to me and he said that if I have only a small moray and a few tangs in my 200g tank then I will not need a protein skimmer, is this true?  <I strongly disagree... the guy giving you advice has obviously never had to deal with the waste from a predator like an eel before or you may be getting inaccurate advice... and the tangs will be eaten by even G. permistus> Also I have an idea but I'm not sure if it will work. Here it is: I want to stock my 200g tank either with the above mentioned species or echidna nebulosa and that is it.  <also and excellent eel...actually a better choice> I will also put in two yellow tangs to keep control of algae. <not necessary or a good idea... two are likely to fight horribly if not to the death. And Tangs only crop algae... they do not rasp it clean. You will not be satisfied> This is the idea bit, I want to stock the tank with 10 small catfish, <you can't mean coral catfish! they are venomous?!! And I do not know of any other cats that will live in seawater> which are 1 dollar each here in Thailand, and let the moray feed himself when he is hungry. I think that it will work if the moray does not gorge himself on all 10 fish in one night!! Are morays the type of fish that will eat only when hungry or will they stuff themselves creating waste and nitrates?  <Varies, but mostly the latter. And with all due respect, this sounds like an incredibly lazy approach to fish keeping. Good sir, please do not be offended by my suggestion... but you cannot continue to depend on folks like me or your LFS to give you repetitive advice without helping yourself at some point with a good book or other means of information gathering. The nature of your five queries in the past week leads me to believe that the best advice that I can give you is to research some topics on basic aquariology first. I'm truly afraid that without it, you will get bad advice from people trying to sell you something, kill some beautiful animals and then get out of the hobby unhappily and unfairly. Again, no disrespect intended. I truly wish to help you. But as they say... give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish...and you know the rest> If this will work then I can watch the moray hunting and it will be a lot more natural for the moray if it won't please tell me why not. Also what other things can I do to make my tank perfect for my moray as I said it will be a species tank. One more thing I heard that morays will eat cleaner wrasse but leave symbiotic shrimp alone is this true? <possible but not guaranteed> Thanks again Craig. <best of luck to you. Kindly, Anthony>

Leopard Moray Hi, I got your e-mail address off the WetWebFotos section, I am just after some first hand experience/advice. <welcome, my friend> I am just starting a marine tank up, 5ftx2.5x1.5ft 360ltr, with 2 canister filters 3 powerheads and a protein skimmer and looking to keep 1 or 2 Moray Eels and the leopard moray is the one I an very interested in. <OK... a reasonably good, hardy and peaceful species> Firstly is my tank suitable for this type of eel? <yes> and the other which is my girlfriend's request that I have to keep something else with them as she finds then ugly and boring.  What type of fish would you advise or would you advise against this altogether. <some fish are quite compatible with eels... look for slow feeders. Other lazy predators like Anglers and Lionfish make good tank mated. Avoid fast toothy predators like puffers and triggers. Groupers are often compatible although some are too greedy/fast. Please go to our home page at www.wetwebmedia.com and navigate the link for marine fishes and any pertinent topics on marine aquarium keeping that interest you. Many pictures, articles and FAQs there that might give you ideas for the direction to take your tank in> Any help would be much appreciated. Kind Regards, Darren Adams <best regards, Anthony>

Looking for advice on an eel purchase Mr. Fenner - <Mr. Nelson> I very much enjoyed your article on Moray Eels. I am just completing construction of a 350 gallon home aquarium, and would like to include an eel(s). <Okay> I am new to the aquarium hobby, but have a hired a professional to coordinate the project and maintain the tank. I have scoured the internet for articles about eels & reef comparability, as I don't believe he has much experience with eels. <Hard to know much about much> After reading your article, I have an initial interest in the Zebra, Leopard, & Snowflake eels, although the Golden Tail might be my favorite in terms of beauty. I would really like a Green Moray ...... but from what I read that would eliminate about everything else as an option. <Like the way you put this> Although I am set on having a good sized eel or two, I also want the reef & fish. Can I have it all? Do you have any advice? <You can indeed mix a non-piscivorous eel with fishes... or larger, faster, smarter fishes with one that might make them lunch (actually much more likely dinner), or just "take the risk" and try to keep all fed with outside foods... I encourage you to use a crab-eating species (Zebra, Snowflake of those you list... there are others), or a smaller Moray species... that you can train to hand/stick feed (lest its tankmates starve it). Do introduce the eel first, ahead of the other fishes... Bob Fenner> Thank you & best regards, John H. Nelson

Moray eels  Hello Mr. Fenner, I have been reading your comments and answers about eels with great interest. First of all thanks for taking the time to provide all the great info. I have been keeping marine fish and corals for quit a few years now but have yet to keep an eel. Well its seems I now have the time and space to provide a home for one or two. And that brings me to my question. I am trying to acquire a Gymnothorax griseus (Gray Moray) from The Marine Center and I'm told that its just a matter of time and he'll get me one. And I'm wondering if this eel can be safely housed in a 120gal. (48"x24"x24") tank with a Gymnomuraena zebra (zebra moray)? as after perusing your site I am tempted to add on of these to the stocking list as well. <Likely so... different feeding strategies, relatively easygoing species... but will be crowded in time.> The tank has a Hang on back eco-system 60 and has 2 corner overflows plumbed into the sump on my 600 gal reef. This sump has a ETS 1800 skimmer and a 60gal refugium. Lighting on the 120 consists of 2 175 watt MH's and 6 110 watt VHO's. So far to this tank I've added 30lbs of dead rock (formerly live rock from an old system) and 12 lbs of LR. To this I've added 6 blue legged hermits (from my reef tank) 10 bumble bee snails and 2 tiger tail cucumbers. (to help with algae control). <So... you'll be tying these tanks together? Your reef and the "eel tank" through the sump? I would only do this tentatively (with a plan to separate them) as the eels are very large processors of food/wastes. The cleaner uppers will likely be consumed.> Do you think I could also add a Pterois radiata (White Fin Lion) to this tank without them hurting each other, or being crowded? <Will be crowded in even shorter time> In addition I would also like to keep various Zoanthus sp. polyps and one or two Tridacna clams. (good or bad Idea?). <The Zoanthus might be kept up high... the Tridacnids, not a good idea due to pollution, the eels moving about> How well do you think this system will handle the bio-load from these 3 fish? <With sparse feeding should be adequate> Thank you so much for taking the time to read my e-mail I hope you can find the time to respond to this message. And if you need anymore information about my system please ask =). <Do make plans for bolstering the filtration, circulation, aeration... in time these will be needed. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Tim McRae  

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