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Snowflake and Zebra Eels
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Snowflake Eel not eating w/cloudy eye -
Re: Snowflake Eel not eating w/cloudy eye
My snowflake CornEelius, hlth. -
Snowflake Moray Eel- Feeding --
"Rescued" snowflake eel- feeding
Question about snowflake eel regurgitating.
Fdg. 12/20/08 My snowflake eel is about 12-14" in
length and has been regurgitating rather frequently after feeding. For
the first three months I mainly fed the eel frozen krill and have
recently switched him to mainly silversides and some squid on occasion;
I plan I varying his diet <Don't plan, do it. E. nebulosa are
crustacean eaters. A varied diet should consist of mainly unseasoned
shrimps, but also squid, mussel flesh and fish. Vitamins should be
added about once a week when you are feeding frozen food. They are not
needed when you are feeding a varied diet of fresh food.> much more
and adding a vitamin supplement rather than the garlic I'm using
now (favored over vitamin supplement by my local LFS). <Obviously,
garlic cannot replace vitamins.> Is this semi-normal behavior?
<No.> Could it be due to overfeeding? <Yes. Everyday feeding
is not necessary. Feeding every two or three days is fine. Morays do
not eat every day in nature and are often caught with empty
stomachs.> Any other possible causes I should look into? <The
diet as mentioned above should be your top priority. Water quality
should also be checked. Quality of the food should also be questioned
if only one type of food is regurgitated.> Any thoughts on this
matter are greatly appreciated! Feeding consists of 1-1.5 full
silversides or an equivalent(quantity) alternative. <Per day? Too
much.> The tank is a sixty gallon Uniquarium with 2-3" crushed
coral and roughly 60lbs of live rock; considering increasing this
slightly. Water parameters are as follows: Temp 77 F, SG 1.024,
Nitrites 0, Nitrates 20-30 (working on this with partial water
changes(5ga) and gravel vac every other day) <Yes, this should be
improved.> , PH 8.2, Alk 2.9. Thanks for your time. -Joey
<Cheers, Marco.> PS: you helped me answer some questions I had
about my Coral Beauty Angel, and I would just like to let you know that
he appears to be on the mend! <Ah, good to hear.>
FAQs about Snowflake Moray Eel Disease/Health -- 10/22/08 Hi WetWeb Crew <Hello Katie.> I have had a snowflake eel for 2.5 years (from about 20cm to 40cm long). For the first year he was very active and got very excited at the first smell of food entering the tank. He ate anything and everything. He loved mussels, prawns, squid and Krill (fortified with vitamins). For the last six months he has been very reclusive and fussy with food. He spends most of his time hiding behind rocks in his conduit home - he used to be a lot more social. He used to come and eat out of my hands at the top of the tank. Now I have to take the food and put it in front of his face. He won't take the mussel or prawn anymore, but will eat squid and krill. About six months ago the area on the top of his head became white. This white area is getting larger over time and I am getting quite concerned about him. <Understandable, can be serious, fatal.> He doesn't come out much anymore and doesn't seem to have much energy. Do you have any idea what is wrong with him? <You did not mention the size of its tank, water quality or co-inhabitants. Check the water quality first. Long term declining health is often related to bad water quality. Nitrates should be below 20 ppm at least. If they are not, do a series of water changes until they are and re-think your filtration system. Also check pH, which should be above 8.0 and the salinity. If the nitrates are below 20 ppm all the time and the other parameters are okay, too, I would consider a lack of nutrition. All the foods should be soaked in vitamins at this stage, and personally I'd stop feeding krill until its health improves. In addition, it does not have to be fed every day, feeding every few (2-3) days is fine for a 40 cm moray.> (I don't actually know that it is a male - looking through the thread though it's interesting that everyone thinks their eel is male!) <The small Echidna nebulosa are mostly females, larger ones often males. Size is not a 100% gender indicator. With a little experience you can see if you've got a male or a female by looking at the front teeth. Males have longer front teeth with fine serrations. That seems much more reliable than size.> Many thanks for your help. Regards, Katie <Good luck. Marco.>
Feeding snowflake morays -03/16/08 I recently
purchased a 4 inch snowflake moray. I have been keeping it in a
container in my tank. <Can't stay in there forever...> In the
fish store I purchased it in it ate a shrimp , but when I brought it
home it refused to eat. I would like to know what is wrong with it?
<It's likely stressed. Please see here:
Recently purchased snowflake eel won't eat -- 01/28/2008 I checked your FAQs to get some advise on how to get my eel to eat. <Also see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I2/Freshwater_eels/freshwater_eels.htm for some general feeding tricks also useful for marine eels.> I recently purchased him 1/28/08. <May take a few days, weeks until it starts eating, be patient.> He's about 8 to 10 inches. My question is if you put squid, octopus or the shrimp you suggested in the tank will my other fish eat it too? <Yes.> I have a Trigger, Clown fish, 2 Damsels. <The Clown and the Damsels may be eaten when the Snowflake grows.> Will they eat the food before he has an opportunity to eat? <Yes, especially at the beginning. Use a tool, e.g. a feeding stick if you do not want that. Cheers, Marco.>
Snowflake Eel Bite -- 11/28/2007 Hi! <Hello.> I have read through the posts on snowflake morays. I could not find an answer to my question. I care for a 300 gallon tank at the junior high where I teach science. I have had a snowflake eel in my home aquarium and have never had a problem like this. Today while trying to feed the inhabitants of the tank, at school, the snowflake eel was wildly thrashing in and out of the tank. I had some silversides for him and the lion fish so I grabbed one with me fingers to give him (I know, not recommended ) anyway, he latched onto my finger and would not let go without some coaxing. After he let go I had several small piercings in my finger, and was bleeding. I cleaned the injury with peroxide, but was wondering - do they carry any weird bacteria that could be infectious. <Several dangerous bacteria have been found in the mouths of moray eels, among them Vibrio and Pseudomonas. If the wound swells, is becoming severely red or you feel insecure about what to do, visit a medical doctor. In addition many (probably all) moray eels possess a weak toxin produced by club shaped cells in their skin, that might be transferred by a bite. Dizziness and tremendous pain are reported symptoms, but the toxin is so far not considered very dangerous (perhaps only to allergic persons).> I don't know where else to seek an answer. <The aquarium magazine TFH had an article on moray bites in its September issue. Possibly will be at WWM some day, too.> Living in Cheyenne, Wyoming doesn't afford me a wealth of expert advise. <So far I am not aware of anyone, who died due to a moray eel bite, but I am aware of some people, who had to go to the hospital, some because of infection, some because of massive loss of tissue (larger eels). Although most moray eel bites heal without infection and further problems, I'd stop hand feeding. Fingers and silversides are not the healthiest diet anyway. Clam and mussel meat, squid and crustaceans should be used to alter the diet.> Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. <Hope that helps. Cheers, Marco.>
Snowflake eel not feeding -- 09/27/07 I have read a lot of info regarding the feeding of snowflake morays on your site. <Okay.> I recently purchased a small eel and I have tried feeding my 4 inch eel <cute> squid, shrimp, mussels and krill <good selection, but at his size you could also try Mysis>. It hasn't eaten for 3 days, since I purchased it. I keep it in a small container to separate it from my trigger. <Should immediately go into a real, well filtered tank with a tight fitting lid or bring it back to the store. It will not survive too long in inadequate quarters. Triggers are not always good tank mates for morays, because they may nip at their back fin, which can result in wounds and secondary bacterial infections. It depends on the personality of the trigger, though.> I have a piece of live rock in there, but I move sometimes to try to feed it. <Moray eels should always be allowed to hide. They need to have some shelter. If you stress your eel when trying to feed it, it simply will be scared and not eat. Would you eat while someone was moving your house around?> Is it not eating because it is stressed in such a small container or is it something else? <Exactly, stress. The first thing a stressed eel does, is stopping to eat. Put it into a well established marine tank, give it a few days to settle in and your chances with a snowflake eel are very good it will eat. See the last answer for a link to feeding tricks. Guppy or molly fry, and preferably small feeder shrimp would be the last alternative to try.> Thanks for your help. <You are welcome. Marco.>
Snowflake Moray feeding -- 09/26/07 Hi, <Hello Michelle.> I have a snowflake eel, about 10", in my 75gal FOWLR tank, with 2 clown fish, a Chromis, a yellow-tail damsel and a LTA anemone. I have read that they should only be fed twice a week. <Yes, 2 or 3 times a week is sufficient. Can be reduced to 1 time a week or even less when fully grown.> My eel will begin swimming around the tank chasing after my other fish and snapping at them, and jumping at the top of the water for food every day. <They never know when they have enough and get pretty active when smelling something to eat. Don't feed too much, overfeeding results in obesity, liver diseases and eventual death of the animal.> I feed him 1-2 krill each day to keep him from chasing my other fish. <Feeding it to make it peaceful is not a good strategy and krill is no good moray food at all. Feeding only krill can be deadly in the long run. Provide a much more varied (and vitamin enriched) diet consisting of unseasoned frozen sea foods such as clams, squid, prawns, shrimps, mussel flesh, scallops etc. Feed krill more occasionally than regularly.> I don't want to overfeed him but I also don't want him to eat my other fish. Is it ok to feed him this much? <Feeding 2 or 3 times a week is no problem, more can become a problem. I'd suggest to feed a piece of food as large as his head per meal (or smaller pieces with the same entire volume).> How can I keep him from chasing my other fish like he does? <Only by separating them. While they mostly eat crabs in nature, quite a number of snowflakes starts hunting fish in the confined space of an aquarium. Depends mostly on the personality of the moray eel, their 'childhood experiences', as well as on the size of the other fishes. Snowflakes leave most fishes alone, which are at least half as long as themselves, but be aware that in exceptional cases they can kill larger ones. Adults can start to hunt fish from one day to another, possible related to reaching sexual maturity or their natural sex change.> Thank you for your help, love your site (and book). Michelle. <No problem. I'm glad you like the site and Bob's book. Marco.>
Snowflake moray feeding -- 08/27/07 The snowflake I have is eating the tide pool Sculpin I had in the tank. Are these a food that would be similar to us humans eating candy bars, or is this a good source of healthy food for it? <If the Sculpin are quarantined and free of parasites, they can be fed, although the snowflake moray's diet should consist primarily of crustaceans.> The tide pool Sculpins came from the pacific ocean, legally, and were dipped in freshwater before putting in the tank. <That won't help much with regard to parasites, especially internal worms.> They were in the tank before the eel was put in it. I did research on the feeding and care, and many sites and folks I spoke with say its okay to feed them guppies and such freshwater live feeder. I see on your site, that is not good. <Many freshwater fish contain an enzyme that destroys vitamin B. Guppies, however, can be fed, just ensure they are parasite free. Personally I prefer to feed a wide variety of frozen foods (different shrimps, crabs, crayfish, mussel flesh, squid). Beware that some snowflake eels also eat snails and very few even ornamental clams.> I have also feed frozen shrimp cubes, and Mysis cubes, and a mix of krill, shrimp, Mysis cubes. How safe is store bought 'fresh' seafood? <Safe in general, but should not be seasoned. Freezing kills many parasites and bacteria and leaves most of the nutrients, although vitamin supplements can be added from time to time to replace any vitamins lost during the freezing and thawing process.> Should it be dipped in freshwater - even though its frozen to kill any parasites/bacteria that live in the ocean and not in freshwater? <Not necessary in my opinion. Just thaw frozen food before feeding and prevent the thawing water from getting into the tank.> Thanks so much for your advice. Today is the first day I have found your site and I am so glad that I did! Newbie to Sea Life. <You are welcome. Hope that helps, Marco.>
Snowflake eel; dislocated jaw; 12 gallons; malnutrition -- 07/30/07 Wet Web Crew, <Chris> I have a small snowflake moray eel that hasn't eaten in over a month. <Can happen. Hopefully it will survive another one.> His breathing appears labored, and he doesn't look well now. A few weeks ago, I noticed that his lower jaw was deviated to the side, almost as if someone had kicked him and dislocated it. <Likely an accident with a tumbling rock or a pump.> This roughly corresponds to his reduced eating, though I can't confirm the timing precisely. His jaw definitely wasn't crooked for the first 15 months I had him. He lives alone, so the possibility for accidents seems small, though he does like to slither into the back of my 12 gallon NanoCube and curl up near the pump. <You had him for 15 months and he is still in a 12 gallon NanoCube? That is no adequate tank in my opinion. Even if he was tiny when purchased and carefully fed, it should have outgrown this tank in a few months. Hope your water quality is sufficient and upgrading is being considered.> I don't know if there is a screen on the pump intake (it's buried down deep). I'd hope there is one, but the designers might have omitted it if they were relying on the big sponge filter. This sounds like a reach, but I can't explain why his jaw is visibly out of whack and he can't eat. I've been watching and waiting, periodically offering him food and hoping his jaw would heal. <Yes, they are hardy, I have seen healthy living wild specimens even with missing parts of the jaws and the gills. However, if your specimen doesn't eat sooner or later, it is doomed. Try to offer some small pieces of prawn or tempting mussel flesh, even Mysis might be swallowed due to its small size. If no food item works, force feeding with a tube or a veterinarian (x-ray, relocating the jaw if possible) are the solutions left.> I worry whether I was underfeeding him, and this somehow led to a disease of his jaw. <Unlikely, they do not need much food. Underfeeding a small eel would be feeding less than a piece of food (size of the mouth) per week. Large specimens can be fed every two weeks without getting thin.> I had been feeding him krill. <Very bad as the only food. Needs much more variation and vitamin addition and if indeed the only food offered for 15 months likely is another or even the reason for the bad condition of this eel leading to deficiency diseases caused by malnutrition. A growing young eel without a proper diet likely has weak bones, tendons and muscles, which are more easily damaged.> Any thoughts on how this might have come about, and on what I might do to save him? <Hope that helps and good luck with your moray eel. Marco.> Thanks, Chris.
Dead snowflake eel; improper diet and tank mate -- 07/24/07 I had a small snowflake eel (maybe 8 inches long) in my 30 gallon tank for about 2 months and he seemed very healthy and happy since the first day I got him, regularly hand fed him one good sized piece of freeze dried krill every 3 days. <Hee! Until they grow and get you. However, freeze dried krill is not useful as the main food at all. If you carry on feeding that to a young moray eel, he never will live long enough to mutilate your hand. Varied, frozen and untreated sea food makes an adequate diet and even this should be improved occasionally by adding vitamins.> Yesterday morning I woke up and he was sprawled out in the gravel and his stomach was so bloated that it looked like it was going to pop, and he died a few hours later and he went flat as a pancake so I'm guessing he didn't happen to eat something he shouldn't have. Any ideas on what could have happened? <Improper diet followed by a weak general condition and a deadly problem with digestion.> The only conclusion I could come to was maybe some kind of parasite or possibly he was stung by the lionfish I added the day before? <The latter is an alternative possibility. Typical symptoms are spasms and erratic swimming. You should be able to see a tiny wound in that case. Those two do not always mix well, especially in a 30 gallon tank. It also could have ended the opposite way. I'm sorry for your loss, but please do some more research on the needs of your pets before you buy them the next time. Marco.>
Snowflake not eating, discoloration = inadequate food, high nitrates -- 06/05/07 Hi WWM Crew! <Hi Jesse.> I have a 55 gallon FO aquarium, which I've had set up for several months now. I bought a 7.5" Snowflake Eel about 2 weeks ago, and when I first got him, he seemed to be doing fine. He was fed feeder fish (rosy reds) at the pet store. <Bad practice, this species is totally inadequate as a feeder fish. An enzyme (Thiaminase) contained in these fish destroys vitamins in your moray eel.> But I fed him freeze-dried krill after I bought him, and he was eating really well. <Not much better. Go to the supermarket and get some (uncooked) sea food such as mussel flesh, squid etc. While you are shopping visit the LFS, get some vitamin supplements for fish and (if your are running low on salt) a new bucket of salt, because you'll need to do lots of partial water changes. You may want to tell them feeding rosy reds, minnows, goldfish and such to other fishes will harm them.> Then a few days later, he stopped eating. I thought maybe it was because I was overfeeding him earlier, because I read online that if you overfeed them, sometimes they go a couple weeks without eating. But then today, when I woke up and turned the tank light on. I looked at him, and he was a lot lighter-colored than he was yesterday. There was an area near his head, a couple inches long, where he was all pale and white, and the big black spots were gray instead. But all the rest of his body was still the normal color - light yellow with big black spots. And the white part of his body looks fatter than I think it used to be. He still looks the same, it's horrible! He also seems to be breathing a bit heavier now, too, but it could just be my imagination. <In the white area he probably is producing too much mucous. Your Snowflake moray is really in a bad condition, probably due to a vitamin deficiency and high nitrates. Possibly the thick mucous coat makes your eel look heavier. I hope it's no swelling from a bacterial infection.> I also recently (after I bought him) read that feeding them freshwater feeder fish will cause liver disease for the eel - do you think that's what it could be, since that's what he was fed at the pet store? <Not all freshwater feeder fish are bad, rosy reds are.> Does anybody know what it is, or has anybody here ever experienced this before? Please help me!!! Here are my water parameters: pH: 8.3 Temperature: 77Â° Salinity: 1.023 Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 60-70 Thanks --Jesse. <Those nitrates are way too high. Certainly they are adding to the bad condition of your moray eel or even predominately cause it. You need to decrease them by daily partial water changes to below 20. Try feeding him small pieces of squid or mussel (they love both) soaked in vitamins, but don't stress him too much by hunting him with the food stick/tweezers. If he does not eat, hope improving the water quality will improve his condition. Also hope there are no bacterial infections in the areas the mucous production is disturbed. When your moray eel survives, think about improving filtration of your tank. Those nitrates are way too high. Think about a larger tank, more live rock, a refugium/sump with DSB and algae, and a larger skimmer. 55 gallons will hardly be enough for a snowflake eel in the long run, even if there are no other fishes. They are hardy, I hope he pulls through. Good luck. Marco.>
Eel not eating; crowded tank -- 04/13/07 Hi, <Hi.> I have a 55 gallon tank w/ 75 gallon sump. <Large sump.> I have 3 damsels (yellow, green, blue w/ yellow tail), 2 clowns, Coris wrasse, pink bar goby, 2 urchins, 5" Foxface, 4" dogface puffer and a 17-18" snowflake eel. I know, too many fish, right? <Definitely. The dogface puffer needs around 100 gallons by himself.>. They seem to all get along. <Just a question of time until the trouble begins.> My problem is the eel hasn't eaten in weeks. <They often refuse to eat for weeks. Sometimes because of stress, sometimes due to high nitrates and/or inadequate food, sometimes without apparent reason.> In fact, he runs away from food. When I first bought him, I fed him a large whole raw shrimp a day. <Shrimp only diet is bad. You need to vary his diet to prevent deficiency diseases.> Now he turns away from all food. Unless he is eating scraps off the bottom at night, I think he is wasting. Can I get your input? <Reduce your stocking. Check your nitrates (should be below 20). Do water changes 2 or 3 times a week until they are. Provide a varied diet (squid, fish, mussel flesh, prawns) for the eel. Enrich the food with vitamins. Feeding twice a week is enough. If healthy, he can go without food for at least 2 months. Hope he has not suffered to much due to the shrimp only diet and the overstocking. It is well possible your moray eel eats your small fishes some day if he gets well again. Use your free time to read a lot about stocking and especially about eels at WWM. Lots of information is already available. Cheers, Marco.>
Small Snowflake Eel Feeding 3/11/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Mike, Pufferpunk here> Yesterday I purchased my first eel, a snowflake, after waiting a month for the store to get one in. Although I asked for one approximately 10 inches as per your recommendations, they only had two that were about six inches each. Long story short, I got one of them and he is awesome and very active. I am unsure however, what to feed such a small eel. So far I have gotten him to eat some freeze dried plankton and I also bought some formula 1 frozen food. I will eventually switch to krill and shrimp I was just wondering if you had any other recommendations for feeding such a small eel. <Those foods are good. You can also try small pieces of silverside or other fish & gut-loaded ghost shrimp, as a treat. He should be eating out of your hand fairly quickly. Mine likes to chase frozen Mysis shrimp around the tank. His eyesight isn't very good. I defrost all my frozen foods in Zoe vitamins. A big warning--be sure to either keep your water level down a couple of inches, or cover your tank VERY well. Every possible escape route must be blocked (I prefer to keep the water level down). I actually found mine on the floor, when I forgot to lower the water level. Luckily he was still damp & when I put him back, he swam away. ~PP> Thanks, Mike Turner
Snowflake eel, dietary needs not on WWM?...I don't know... 3/11/07 Hi Crew, <Hello.> I've been avidly scanning all of the responses in your forum but can quite find the answer I need. <Okay I'll see if I can help.> I have brought a small snowflake eel, about 7-8 inches in length that I am bringing home tomorrow and I need to know just what to feed him. <You didn't see that in the FAQ's or the articles? This is well documented both in Bob's articles and in other emails posted in the FAQ's. These animals make up their diet mostly of invertebrates....crustaceans. Generally speaking are hardy and compared to most eels mild mannered. I would feel comfortable using almost any meat of a marine origin, mysids, Mysis, krill, squid, clams, scallops.....and so on.> I have got some small pieces of squid, fish, prawn (I think you call it shrimp) <We use both.> and mussel but I have read a lot about making sure they have something with a shell on it as it's good for their teeth. <Occasionally but I would get the animal feeding readily before I worried about this issue, is not an immediate concern for a new acquisition.> Can you recommend something small enough that he would be able to eat? <See above.> His mouth is just so tiny. Thanks so much for your help. <Of course> Jessica from Australia. <Adam from California.>
Snowflake Moray Eel... fdg. 7/13/06 Hi First of All I Would Like To Say What A Wonderful Website You Have. <Thank you> Second I have A Snowflake Moray Eel and I've Had Him For About A Year Now. I Noticed That His Bottom Jaw Is a Bit Crooked....is This Normal <Mmm, does happen... from early development genetic anomalies, injuries...> and is there anyway that it will return to normal... <Not likely> and third he's about 9 inches and a year old like I said but he only eats Krill or Shrimp nothing else is he just picky or do have any ideas to get him to feed on other things...he won't touch fish flesh that's all i know... Sincerely Mike <A bit of practice... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm and the SubFAQs file on Echidna/Snowflakes as well. Bob Fenner>
Snowflake Moray Eel Feeding 7/5/06 Hello, <Hello James> My Snowflake Moray eel is now 3 years old. He will now only eat frozen prawns (defrosted of course). He won't eat calamari or any type of fish. Is there any other food I can offer him. I'm sure prawns all the time will be bad for him. <Since the Snowflake is a nocturnal predator, you may want to try feeding him different foods some time after the lights are off, see if that doesn't trigger a change in his food selection. Another possibility is that you are overfeeding him and he may not be hungry enough to eat other foods offered. If prawns are all it will be, do soak the food in a vitamin supplement such as Selcon.> Many thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> James.
Snowflake Eel/Feeding 6/8/06 Hey I just got a new Snowflake eel a few days back. I tried feeding it frozen brine shrimp but he wouldn't eat it he just would stick his head out and let it go right by him. <Very obvious that no research was done on your part before the purchase.> Now I'm not too worried because he is in a new tank and all, but I'm just wondering maybe he couldn't see them if they were too small. <There are no brine shrimp in the reef and they offer little or no nutritional value.> The eel is still swimming around quite a bit even after being its 3rd day in the tank should I be worried or is this normal habits for being in a new environment. <Do read here and related links above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm> Thank you, <You're welcome. Please, in future queries, do a spelling/grammar check. Just do not have the time to edit queries. Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> Ryanee
Vomiting Snowflake Moray 11/6/05 Hi, I have a snowflake moray that is driving me insane (He's about 14 inches). He was eating very well (2 Silversides everyday) but 3 weeks ago, he started to eat the Silversides and then vomit them up 30 min.s or an hour later. He then progressed to only occasionally eating a Silverside and a few pieces of Krill but now every other meal, he vomits and it is killing my water quality as well! <I would not feed much fish flesh, silversides to Echidna genus eels... and not this frequently period... Something crustacean based once, twice a week maximum...> Do you have any idea what is wrong with him? -- water quality is fine, nothing has changed in the tank and he appears very healthy? I am concerned because he has gone from big eater to hardly anything Any help greatly appreciated <Cut back on frequency, amount of food, and type... Bob Fenner>
Planning Moray Meals 9/12/05 Hello! <Hi! Scott F. with you today!> I got 2 Snowflake Morays not too long ago for my breeder aquarium... The guy at the LFS told me to feed it frozen shrimp. Would this be a good diet for them? Thanks, David <Well, David- frozen shrimp can certainly be a good nutritional item for your eels, but you really need a diverse set of menu items, such as squid, clams, strips of fish, etc. Variety for fish, just like people, is very important. Feeding any one items exclusively is not a great idea. Be sure to diversify these fishes' diets, and you'll be pleased with the results! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Feeding a Snow Flake Eel We just recently purchased a Snow Flake Eel and we have not seen him eat any food (frozen shrimp, Krill) since (4 days ago). <No worries here... they can/do go without eating for weeks in the wild, captivity at times... especially if not "too skinny" at this point or tiny in size> We notice they come out at night, (at least when its mostly dark). <Mostly so... in the wild... but learn quickly to feed during the days> We thought of introducing the food with a stick down to where he sits, but will fear the other, Porcupine Puffer, Trigger, Lunar Wrasse, and other small damsels, will try and get the food before I get a chance to get it close to the Eel. <Indeed they will... you need to devise a working strategy (feeding the other fishes listed) for getting food to this eel... with a feeding "stick" likely and poked into where it can eat in peace in the rock work> Also , will this Eel try to jump out while I try to feed at night ? Will it sit still at the bottom (where he sleeps) and allow me to bring her the food ? . I understand they can last days or weeks without eating, how do we know ? Do these things bite if you try to catch them ? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner> mm
Eye Glasses for Snowflakes? <<JasonC here, Bob is away diving.>> We are having a debate over whether snowflake eels are blind or not? <<I think the word would be far sighted (I always get these mixed up) meaning they can only see things clearly close up.>> I have been told several times that they cannot see and that they use their smell and kind of a radar system that uses or feels vibration to locate their food. <<And they do, but doesn't make them blind. Most terrestrial snakes would be similar to this - poor eyesight in trade for an amazing sense of smell.>> Could you please help us clarify if this is a true thing or not. <<Did I clarify?>> Thanks a lot! Darlene Schroeder <<Cheers, J -- >>
Snowflake Moray as Mantis Shrimp Hunter Bob, Had an additional question and also wanted to say how much I liked your site. <Okay, thanks> I was thinking about adding a small snowflake moray to hunt down any mantis shrimp in the tank. Will the snowflake eventually find them all? <If "they're" small enough, the Eel hungry enough, possibly> Thanks again, Marc <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Snowflake eel Bob, <Anthony in your service> I have an eel that is approximately 18" long. I don't know how old he is. <that makes two of us <smile>> His neck has slowly been getting larger and he has slowed way back on food intake. The swelling began on his right side but now seems to be on both sides. He is visibly larger about 1 1/2" below his head. He looks like he really wants to eat but seems reluctant to do so. I have been able to get him to eat very small pieces of food but after swallowing one piece, he won't eat again. Is there anything that I can do? Thanks, Art Riggens <Art, I have had this question a great many times and would be surprised to be mistaken here. My guess is that you have allowed yourself to get into a routine of feeding this eel a single food or limited group of foods (like silversides or freshwater feeder fish). If so, you eel, like many before him, is dying of a secondary condition mitigated by a dietary deficiency from the limited diet. If that is the case, I'm afraid that the eel is in dire straights. Unfortunately, if you tell me that it has been eating 8 different foods, I would be puzzled and still unable to help. A drastic change or improvement in the diet with Selcon soaked food might help incidentally, but it still sounds like a more serious problem. I will file this message in Bob's mailbox to see if he can share any insight or another perceptive. He is away traveling at present but will be checking his mail. Best regards, my friend. Anthony Calfo>
Snowflake Moray Questions Hi Bob, I bought a Snowflake Moray today and I have a few questions. Should I be worried if it never accepted food (shrimp) that day? <No, not unusual to take a few days to settle in and get used to your offerings.> And when should I expect a Snowflake to begin to eat? <Going to depend on your particular fish and its personality.> One more question if you don't mind. What is the best way to feed a Snowflake? Thanks, Tyler <I prefer to use aquarium tongs. -Steven Pro>
Snowflake eel not eating I have a snowflake eel in a 75 gal. tank, with two damsels. The ph is 8.6, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia. I have had the eel for just shy of a year. He has been eating regularly until recently he is not eating as frequently. He used to eat daily to every other day. Now he eats maybe once a week, and only one shrimp. More recently he has started to look like a balloon is forming on his head. <?> There is no other sign of illness other that the head looking like he is a bottle nose. He isn't actually less active as he was never a big party guy in the first place. I am afraid I am going to lose him. I am sure you are very busy, but Nessie really needs your advice. Please email me with any help you can. Thank you sooo much. Brightest Blessings Julie <Your pH is a little high, but this should not be the root cause. I encourage you to try other species of shrimp (perhaps frozen, defrosted krill) and to add a vitamin and HUFA supplement to this (perhaps Selcon) ahead of offering. Snowflakes do occasionally go on feeding strikes, even lose weight, but almost always return to feeding. Bob Fenner>
Snowflake moray Thank you very much for writing me back. Yesterday morning Nessie passed on. I can not for the life of me figure out what I did wrong. I had tried different foods for him, but he would only eat dried shrimp. <Sorry to hear of your loss> I have a lot of "rock" anemones (don't know how to spell it). At least that is what I am told they are. They are a brownish color and look like the trees in a Dr. Seuss book. I have lots of them and some of them have a base the size of a quarter. Is it possible that the anemones stung Nessie, causing his head to swell, and possibly causing his death? <Unfortunately yes. Please see here re these Glass Anemones/Aiptasia: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm> This was my husbands suggestion. I guess at this point it is not important. I do not think I will subject another eel to my ignorance. Again thank you for getting back to me. Brightest Blessings Julie <Peace to you. Bob Fenner>
Snowflake addition - 9/9/03 I am interested in buying a Snowflake eel for my saltwater tank but I just want to know if I stick my hand in the tank will it attack or bite? <Not likely, BUT it is possible. Be very aware of him at all times. Feed with some feeding tongs (find them on various marine retailers) and use a spotter for cleanings. Keep those water parameters crystal clear, mate> Also I saw that you recommend at least a 60 gallon. I just bought a 55 gallon does 5 gallons make that big of a difference? <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> Thanks
Snowflake Moray Stopped Eating >Hi crew, >>Greetings Lorenzo, Marina today. >My snowflake moray stopped eating and hid away a month ago. My pH dropped below 7.9-8.0. >>OUCH! >Now the pH was restored to a normal pH range of 8.0+, but few days have elapsed and moray haven't yet started eating again. What can I do for it? Help me, please. Thanks a lot, Lorenzo >>Lorenzo, if the pH has bounced (changed up or down more than a tenth or two of a point) then this will not only SEVERELY stress the fish, it can kill it. I would do a large water change, and wait, then try again. If he's lived through the pH changes, he's probably just not "feeling well", and water changes will only help (do be absolutely certain the pH matched). Best of luck, Marina
Feeding Snowflake Eel Hi. <Hello! Scott V. here> To feed my fish, a snowflake eel and puffer, how would you suggest feeding them. <Carefully> I Have read conflicting suggestions, just drop the food in the tank or take a feeding stick or tongs to do it. Which one would you recommend? <Well. I would say 'try it.' If you're lucky, and can just drop the food in, then you will have no problems. However, be sure to watch carefully. I would suspect the puffer to hog all the food before the eel even becomes interested, if it ever becomes interested in food just floating around in the first place. Another danger is that food will go uneaten and cause further problems with the tank. I think it would be worth a try once to see what happens, but I think you will end up feeding the snowflake with tongs to make sure 1. It's eating, and 2. Nothing is going to waste and polluting the tank. The puffer may be finicky, but I think it's likely to happily eat either way> Thanks so much guys <You're welcome. I hope I was of some help :) Scott V. >
- SFE (?) Stopped Eating - Hi guys, Hope everything is well..
My SFE has stopped eating and need to know if I should be worried or
any suggestions on how to fix it. <Pardon my lameness - SFE... I had
to ask Anthony, he thought it might be Snow Flake Eel? I'm not
familiar with SFE, but Snowflake Eels, sure... they sometimes go on
hunger strikes.> I feed my tank Frozen Krill and brine shrimp and
occasionally throw a crayfish in. <I'd do that a different way
and only throw in brine shrimp occasionally, or not at all if you can.
Instead feed more of the meaty foods - squid, shrimp [krill, prawns,
tiger, Mysis, etc.], clams/mussels.> I actually broke down yesterday
and through a couple of goldfish in to see if I could entice him to eat
however unfortunately my Lionfish turned into a pig and ate everything
that I threw into the tank... Any suggestions. <Hmm... do attempt to
feed the eel (?) I hope that's what it is, directly with a feeding
stick, wiggle small chunks of food in front of its face, that should
help.> Thanks for your help Chris <Cheers, J -- >
- Snowflake Eel Antics - Hey Crew HAPPY HOLIDAYS, <And to you as well.> Yesterday I got a baby snowflake eel. He is about 8" long. The guy at the store said that I should feed them one cube of this stuff called Formula one every other day. I put in a cube last night and he seem interested but he didn't eat it. I'm not worried about him not eating but is there any other foods they can eat I saw someone say supermarket squids, shrimp, and scallops but is there anything else. <All of the above -these fish will accept just about any meaty food, but the Formula One should do just as well.> Also the guy told me they were escape artists so we but a screen over the top of the tank and overflow but this morning he was in the overflow! <So now you know from personal experience - they really can find just about the smallest space to slip through.> He looked liked he was doing ok but the water down there was probably really bad. <Nothing to worry about.> I got him out and put him back in and covered the overflow spot better now. If he does it again should I do something different like rinse him in regular water before putting him back in, he's the only one in the tank right now and there was plenty of water for him to swim around in the overflow. <No need to rinse - it's just tank water in there, not like a sewer or something.> And one last question do you know if there is a way to tell if it's a male or female. <Not externally, as far as I know.> Thanks Adam <Cheers, J -- >
Snow flake eel Follow up (1-2-03) Hey thanks for all of your help I called the place where I got him and they said they feed him clams so went and got some and now he's eating thanks for all of your help <Glad to here he is eating! Thank you for writing!> Adam
- Snowflake Eel Antics, Follow-up - Hi thanks for the reply now I have some other questions. Ever since I got him he has been opening and closing his mouth a lot and I was wondering if this is normal? <I don't think it is abnormal.> Also today I got some from shrimp and tried to feed him that and he always back away like he was afraid of it what should I try now? <Perhaps it is your presentation, for instance if your hand were in the tank... I would put the food on the end of a feeding stick and let the eel come to it. Do read this article on keeping eels: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm > Before I got him I checked the water quality and it was good. Also are they sensitive to high levels of copper like sharks because I have two powerheads and I'm not sure if there's copper in them or not. <There is likely no copper in your powerheads - would be bad for their placement in the market if this were not so. To answer your question though, yes... eels are very sensitive to copper.> If there is would he be acting weird right now and could that be the reason for not eating. <Probably just getting used to its new environment, and wouldn't call any of the behavior you describe as weird.> I think I made the food size small enough for him to just eat but he hasn't. Right now I'm trying to feed him with a skewer. <Give it time.> One last question: I think I heard their bites were venomous or toxic or something is that true? <Moray eels aren't venomous, but they've been known to have various bacteria in their mouths that can complicate a wound incurred from their bite. In a similar way, a bite from a fellow human would be cause for concern, and humans aren't venomous.> Thanks Adam <Cheers, J -- >
Eel With a Big Appetite (12/24/2003) Hi guys! <Hi there, Steve Allen today> I'm a big fan of the site. been a frequent visitor to the website, but this is my first time to actually write. Most of the hobby's knowledge that I acquired is due to the WWM crew. Anyway, on to the reason I am writing to you. a sad experience: I have had a fish only tank for about 10 months now, but have helped my father with his reef tanks for over 10 years. I really wanted a FO tank because of the wider variety of fish I could own. I fell in love with a pair of eels that a local pet store had: a beautiful 2.5 foot zebra eel and an 18 inch snowflake eel. <interesting and attractive indeed. I have a snowflake about the same size.> They have been with me for 8 months, and now I am faced with a dilemma. All the research I did, concluded that these two eels would not harm my fish. especially the zebra, which eats only crustaceans <but will occasionally take the opportunity to eat a small fish if it can get it.> I know that the snowflake eats fish, mainly smaller ones (I feed him sand eels soaked in ZOE). <Actually, Snowflakes eat mostly crustaceans too. Check the WWM articles about these two eels.> I had a large Volitans lionfish, an anglerfish, a 5 inch clown and Niger triggerfish, and a 6 inch harlequin tusk. The eels had never pestered them, nor tried to consume them. Well, all of my fish died (except my eels!) a month ago, and I got depressed. <So sorry. Were you able to figure out why?> I'm barely starting to buy fish again. Recently, I bought a beautiful 5 inch Foxface lo. <Another beauty--I have one too.> I had him for about 3 days, and he was just starting to lose his shyness. I then purchased a nice semi-adult passer angelfish and a yellow tang. <You should go slow and quarantine all new additions for a month. Read the WWM quarantine articles.> The angelfish is a little bigger than the Foxface and the tang is a little smaller. The eels left them alone. until tonight, just about an hour ago, actually. I fed the eels a couple of nights before I got the new guys. I was showing off my new fish to a friend and fellow hobbyist, when, in the corner of my eye, I saw a jerking motion. I turned and saw the snowflake eel with the Foxface's head in it's clutches. The Foxface struggled, but in vain. the snowflake eel swallowed it before I could get a stick to disturb him. <wow> We couldn't believe that he attacked and ate a fish, and that he could swallow something that much larger than him! That eel had a $34 meal. I caught him, and he's in an acrylic "aggressive fish container" and I'm debating whether to find him a new home or ask the pet store to take him. I really do not want to chance it with my two other new fish, especially the angelfish. Have you guys heard of anything like this with a snowflake eel? <Yes, see the WWM FAQs if you want to read other tales.> I read they were the least to eat piscine tank mates and one of the few eels that are good with other fish! Well, I was just hoping to share my story to caution others on buying expensive fish if you have a possible tenant that would have a taste for an expensive meal. Thanks, Patrick Garcia <So sorry you had to deal with this Patrick. It just goes to show that no carnivorous fish can be trusted 100%. My Snowflake leaves all of it's tankmates, including a 4" Rabbitfish, alone. Rabbitfish are venomous, so It also is a bit of a surprise that the Eel went after it. It does sometimes tussle with my trigger over a piece of food. I am surprised it swallowed such a big fish, but eels do seem more like snakes than fish. Don't beat yourself up about being unable to keep him form swallowing the Rabbitfish. It would almost certainly have died of its wounds if you had--better to let nature take it's course. In your shoes, I would be very hesitant to keep an eel that has a taste for fish. It might leave them alone if you keep it well-fed, but you can never be sure at this point. You'd hate to lose that beautiful, expensive Passer. Perhaps the best thing to do is take it back to the LFS. Most will give you 1/2 retail as a store credit.>
New snowflake eel 1/5/03 Happy holidays guys, <You too! Sorry for the slow reply. Things have been quite hectic with the holidays and all!> I am fairly new to marine aquariums (only had my 55gal set up for about a year now) and I've never added to much too it, a few damsels and a Koran angel. I just recently got myself in a little deeper then I really was expecting. My LFS had a snowflake in one of their freshwater tanks and was asked to re-locate him by a few knowledgeable shoppers. Well the employees scooped it up and dropped it straight to a salt water tank (yea it freaked out) <Yikes!! Not very good handling. I would beware of an LFS that first of all would make the mistake of housing a marine animal in fresh water, and second subject it to such rough handling.> after letting it settle and regain its color I couldn't in any good conscience just walk away from it. So I now have a snowflake. <Walking away might have been the wiser choice, at least asking them to hold it for a few days to be sure it survived this ordeal.> I have been going over WWM site and I may have missed things concerning this, but how long should I wait before getting worried that the snowflake isn't eating, it had a mighty fright and I was warned that it would probably be a few day (they said it hadn't eaten for some time to the best of their knowledge)? And how/when should I start to get a bit aggressive in its feeding? <It is quite common for a lot of fish (predators in particular) to go on hunger strikes after stress, and yours certainly has been stressed! Any kind of raw meaty seafood is appropriate, but you may have to try something living to break the hunger strike. Live feeder guppies aren't suitable as a staple, but are OK for a one time use to break a fast. I wouldn't get too worried unless the hunger strike lasts more than 10 days or so or if the eel starts looking wasted. Best of luck. Adam>
Re: New snowflake eel 1/6/03 Thank you for you reply Adam no worries about long delay its appreciated, to let you know the eel is still living but still not eating, up to day ten to let you know. I have 3 small damsels in the tank with it so hopefully the eel will eat them not befriend them. <Snowflakes are mostly crustacean predators, so it is unlikely that a small one will go after fast moving fish like damsels unless they are incapacitated. You may try tempting the eel with a live feeder guppy or live freshwater ghost shrimp lightly speared on the end of a feeding stick (it should be presented moving, but not able to easily escape). Once it is eating again, it should easily adapt to frozen meaty sea foods.> My water quality has been going a little haywire since I got him but been doing regular changes and proper buffers. (5-10gal every 2-3days) the eel is looking a whole lot better I'm optimistic that he will make it through the stress. <I agree it should make it once it starts eating.> Oh I did ask the LFS to hold him for a few days and they said it was not a possibility, needless to say new fish store time, didn't have the heart to leave him in inadequate care. thx for you help <Definitely a strike against this LFS, but by "rescuing" animals from such conditions, you only support poor care and encourage the store to continue. We have all been there, but the best way toward the "greater good" is to either try and help the store improve or support those who do it right. Best Regards. Adam>
Re: New snowflake eel 1/15/03 Hi Adam, Just wanted to thank you for your advice just wanted to say the eel is eating. Multiple times tempting it with squid finally worked. Thanks Again <Good to hear! I was pretty sure he would come around. Adam>
Snowflake EEL not eating (or anything else for that matter!) Hey gang. How are you? I recently purchased a 6 in snowflake eel for my 120g FOWLR tank. When I first bought it about 3 weeks ago, he found his way to a particular rock that he likes and honestly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,HE HASN'T LEFT THAT ROCK SINCE THEN! <That is odd... maybe take a look at night with a small flashlight...> Now I know that snowflakes like to hide in rocks but he hasn't come out at all. Not to eat, not to explore the tank, nothing. Do you think he'll stay in there forever? Any foods you could recommend to get him to start eating? <Most any shrimp (sans cocktail sauce or cooking) will do to instigate a feeding response... Maybe even some live ghost shrimp or glass shrimp would really get this eel out and going. Bob Fenner>
My Snowflake Eel <Hi! MikeD here> I recently purchased a snowflake eel and it hasn't eaten anything. Could you guys tell me what this eel would eat<Two foods almost guaranteed to get it eating are 1) frozen squid or octopus, obtainable at many Greek or Sushi specialty food shops and coastal bait shops (why it isn't carried in the same packages in LFS is beyond my ken), and 2) frozen shrimp of the same variety that you would eat, obtainable from local grocery store seafood sections. As to why THAT isn't readily available at any LFS is another case of the hobby paying no attention to itself and CAUSING its own problems. In my opinion, any predatory species will likely do far better if you get its food anywhere EXCEPT an LFS who should only sell reef safe fish, apparently.>
Snowflake Eel Questions (2/4/05) I have a small snowflake eel, approx 9 inches. It lives with two other tankmates in a 60gal tank with 50 lbs of not-live rock. My ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are almost non-existent (per a test kit). The pH is 8.2. Both of the other fish are fine but the eel appears to have heavy respiration most of the time. It does eat, a lot, and is active at night but during the day it hides under the sand and pokes its head out every couple of hours. The salinity is low 1.019 and I'm in the process of raising it. <Slowly target 1.024 range.> Should I be concerned with the breathing? <Probably not.> I read in a previous post that approx 60 "breaths" a minute is acceptable, this eel is slightly heavier. <Do you mean "heavy" as in deep and forceful or "rapid" as in fast? Eels tend to have almost gulping respirations that one may thing is "heavy," but a rate of more than 60 per minute is odd.> Also is it burying itself because it is stresses or just likes the dark. <Eels are also reclusive. They hide most of the time. If it comes out and swims about in the light, it is probably hungry. This is a rather small Snowflake, still young. (Mine has grown from about a foot to two feet in 18 months.) It may just be scared like a young child would be. You did not mention what the tankmates are. Perhaps they are big or aggressive?> Any information would be greatly appreciated. <Your parameters are good. I would not worry too much about heavy (rather than rapid) breathing. If it eats well and comes out sometimes, it is probably fine. I have found that whole krill are great eel food, as are other strips/chunks of meaty seafood. I use the seafood gumbo mix from my local Albertson's. Now that he is as big as he is now, mine will take 3 or 4 3" Silversides with 3 or 4 1.5" krill for dessert every 3-4 days.> Thanks in advance, John <Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>
Malnourished Moray 8/23/05 My snowflake eel is about 3-4 years old. He's about 18 inches long and 2 inches diameter. He usually eats 1-2 medium frozen shrimp every other day. <Needs a wider range of nutrification...> Day before yesterday he only had 3 bites (about 1/2 shrimp). This would not concern me except that tonight he did the same and he has local swelling around and behind his left eye. About 1/2 inch diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch raised. I'm not sure if I should try to treat this. As rapid as it has come on, I'm not sure he'll survive if it grows much faster/bigger. R. Rodriguez <Please read re Moray Foods...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm I would try soaking whatever foods this animal will still take in diluted "aquarium" iodine/ate, Selcon or equivalent... this may be a simple goiter... or other result of avitaminosis. Bob Fenner>
Re: snowflake eel 9/13/05 He died a few days later. Water quality was good. Any suggestions as to what could have come on so quick? <The swelling... may have been evidence of an internal tumor, perhaps a