FAQs about Snowflake Moray Eel
Related FAQs: Snowflake Morays 1, Snowflake Morays 2, Snowflake Eel
Identification, Snowflake Eel
Behavior, Snowflake Eel
Compatibility, Snowflake Eel
Systems, Snowflake Eel
Feeding, Snowflake Eel
Eel Reproduction, Moray Eels, Zebra Moray
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Related Articles: Snowflake Morays, Five Favorite
Eels, The Best and Worst Eels for the Home Aquarium By Kirby
Adding a snowflake eel to my reef tank,
I love your site and I read lots of good information about snowflake
eels. I've had freshwater tanks for a long time, but I'm still
fairly new to reef tanks (less than a year). I think having an eel
would be a neat addition, but I'm a little uncertain about it's
care. My tank now is 90 gallon, refugium, protein skimmer, about 100
pounds of liverock, two urchins,
<These may prove prickly>
mid size blue Linckia, tiny new brittle star, lots of little fan worms,
yellow tail damsel, and a clown fish.
<And the damsels food>
Also, it's a well established system because I bought all of it
together and it's been going for a few years. I used to have an
anemone, but it died over the summer when I had a friend watching the
tank for me. I'd like my tank to get a new anemone, and maybe a
clam, and some new fish. The local fish store has a juvenile snowflake
eel. I like it, but I'm just trying to understand it before I buy
<All you need to know re this Echidna species is archived on WWM.
You have read my article, the associated FAQs?>
Will an eel prevent me from adding fish later, either due to aggression
<You have not. Do so. Bob Fenner>
I'd like to get it while I have the opportunity, but will it become
territorial and eat new fish I add later? I know the damsel in there
now might be too small.
However, I'm hoping that since the eel is still juvenile, it will
leave the damsel alone long enough to become comfortable.
Does that even happen? Any fish I add later will likely be mid size
anyway (say a butterfly or some such). And what about bio-load?
Everyone talks about eels making lots of waste. Is my set up enough to
support a handful of fish and an eel? Or, should I just forget the eel
and get some fish first, then worry about an eel?
Stocking list, 150 gal., FO SW, esp. Muraenid
Sel. -- 01/28/10
So, I am 13 years old, I have a 150 gallon aquarium that is done
cycling and has this stocking list:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake moray eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)
x1 Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
<As long as the trigger and the puffer leave the Snowflake eel
alone, and as long the fishes are large enough to avoid being eaten by
each other, this should work.>
I would like to know if that eel is good for my list. Also are there
any other good eels instead of the snowflake that is "easy to
keep", small and hardy?
<I would not recommend too small eels below a foot, because of the
trigger and the puffer. In the medium sized range there are -- aside
the Snowflake eel -- the Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) and the
Chainlink eel (Echidna catenata). A little more aggressive, but still
an option for not too small tank mates, are the Goldentail eel
(Gymnothorax miliaris) and the White-eyed moray (Gymnothorax griseus).
A little larger, but compatible with even small fishes is the Zebra
moray (Gymnomuraena zebra). Also see here for other moray eel species:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm . >
Thanks ps: thanks for the quick response!
<Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>
Snowflake Moray Comp.\System\Stocking 3/14/2009
Hello to all you wonderful folks at WWM.
<Hello, He or She who shall not be named.>
I hope I can find a solution to my little friends problem as this is
the first time I have had a saltwater tank and a snowflake moray
<I just answered your question about live rock and cycling a day or
so ago as I recall.>
So here we go, I have a 29 gallon tank with about 10 to 12 lbs. of live
rock and about 25 lbs of live sand. My water parameters are ammonia =
0, nitrites = 0, nitrates = .1, ph = 8.2, and salinity = 1.024.
<So you bought a new test kit?>
Today is Saturday, so Thursday I brought home a 7 to 8 inch snowflake
<Tank is way too small for a moray.>
I introduced him to a tank with no inhabitants, and even tried to feed
him within the first few hours. Well he ate a Tetra brand freeze dried
vitamin fortified krill that I tore into two quarter inch or so pieces.
He ate both pieces and proceeded to swim around and check out all the
nooks and crannies of his new home.
Came home from work Friday and all still seemed well and I added a
couple of hermit crabs and four Nasarrius <Nassarius?> snails to
begin eating some algae and such. The snowflake attempted to
"eat" both hermits but was unsuccessful and has since left
them alone so maybe he was just checking them out?
<Snowflake Morays do eat crustaceans.>
I never noticed him pay any attention what so ever to the snails and
the snails have been pretty much buried in the sand bed since I added
them. So late Friday night I went to check everything out and
discovered that the eel had lost all its yellow spots and even his eyes
had turned white.
<In your previous email, you had high nitrites and you suspected
that your test kit was bad. Did you get the new Hagen kit?>
The only part that stayed yellow were his little nostrils. The rest of
the black spots were a dull gray color as well and he had a semi
swollen red area that I assume was something internal right behind his
<As I recall, your nitrites were high according to your LFS.>
Now this morning I awoke to find his yellow color had returned almost
completely and the grey spots were once again black like normal, but
now he has two lumps on his bottom/belly side about half an inch to an
inch behind his head. I attempted to feed him and he grasped the food
momentarily and then let it go and didn't show anymore interest in
it so I left him alone.
He swam around for a few minutes and has gone into his hiding spot and
I have not seen him in a little while. I did check to see if the
hermits and snails were still around and I found both hermits and two
snails and I think the other two are still buried somewhere and I
didn't think the eel would be able to swallow the snails cause of
<It is possible, but unlikely that he ate the snails. I suspect that
this is more environmental. Are you sure about your water
Any idea as to what might be wrong here? Are the two lumps the two
pieces of krill I fed him Thursday evening and he is just constipated?
I doubted it because there were no signs of the lumps between his last
meal until now. I also caught a little critter I saw scurrying around
the bottom and took it to my LFS and he said it looked like an isopod.
Are they the culprits and if so how do I fix the eel and rid my tank of
<No, not the culprit. Should not have to do anything, the Moray is
likely to eat them more than anything else.>
Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated by myself and my new
friend. I don't want him to die but I don't really know what to
do and the LFS didn't really give me anything to go on. So please
be our savior.
<Again, make sure that your water quality is truly good. Also,
please, a 29 gallon tank is inappropriate for a moray. A snowflake will
get close to 3 feel long when fully grown.>
Re: Snowflake Moray Comp.\System\Stocking
Thanks for the quick response Mike and for the
record my name is Frank.
Yeah that was me asking about the live rock the other day. As far as
the tank being to small, my plan is to upgrade tanks as the eel grows (
if I have some success that is ) but I figured the 29 gallon would be
sufficient for a year or so while it is still in the 8 inch range size
<Not really, This is akin to living in your bathroom, you could, but
you would be neither happy nor well adjusted.>
But I want him to have plenty of room too so I promise he wont be in
there for a very long time.
<Sooner is better, do read here:
Also I did get the Hagen master test kit and did all my tests and
everything checked out as I mentioned earlier. I also went to another
fish store ( where I actually purchased the snowflake ) and they said
my water was good as well. Now I'm actually going to be away from
home until Monday so hopefully when I return, he will be in better
I am also going to take you guys advice and feed him some squid and
mussel flesh with some vitamins if I don't lose him to whatever
this is. Are Silversides good for him?
<All of the above will be fine.>
As for the isopods, will they not kill him or any other fish i might
add like a goby or a Jawfish since they spend most of their time on the
<Jawfish need at least 3 - 4" of substrate, not appropriate for
Do I not need to get rid of the isopods somehow since they are mainly
parasites that will harm fish?
<Not all are parasitic, so really nothing to be concerned with
unless you actually see one on a fish, or there are swarms of
I want whatever fish I buy to be healthy and happy. I don't plan on
adding but a couple of fish if this goes well but what types might be
compatible with the snowflake? Well I will check back with you on
Monday with a hopefully positive update so until then thanks so much
for your help Mike!
<My Pleasure, please do see about getting larger quarters
Re: Snowflake Moray Comp.\System\Stocking
Well I have a little bit of an update.
Came home Monday to find my snowflake still alive.
He has made himself a new burrow under one of the larger live rocks and
just chills with his little head poking out.
From what I can tell, he still has most of his color but his eyes seem
to turn white from time to time. The two lumps are less pronounced but
he still seems bloated and I can kinda see what looks like his insides
his skin and it looks almost like he has a kink in his side(don't
really know how to explain this). He swims around a little but not as
much as he did the first few days.
<They do settle down after a few days and won't swim around much
during the day..>
I re checked my water when I got back and ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0,
nitrates = 0, and ph is about 8.0.
<pH is low - you need to slowly raise this to 8.2 - 8.4, also, what
is your salinity and alkalinity??>
I did find all my snails and hermits so he definitely did not eat one
of them. I also went to LFS and picked up some frozen squid and some
silver sides to start him on a better diet.
They did not carry any vitamins too soak the food in like you guys
suggest so what do you recommend I get and where can I find the
<Drs. Foster and Smith sells Selcon on line.>
I went ahead and fed him about half a piece of the squid and he seemed
to eat it a good portion of what I offered him. But like I said he
still looks a little swollen on his belly/bottom side and I've
noticed him a few times opening his mouth pretty wide and it almost
looks like he is trying to force something out or regurgitate maybe but
nothing is coming up (reminds me of a person dry heaving) and he seems
to be breathing noticeably heavier(his sides puff out wider than I
noticed before all this started).
Any other suggestions?
<Again, make sure all of your water parameters are correct.>
I hate to be bothersome but I really don't want to kill him by
doing something wrong or not doing something to help him. Anyways, let
me know what you think and thanks a lot.
<Again, do read the linked articles I sent you before>
Building around a fish 9/26/05 Clear Day, Hello,
<Hello Pete> I set up and cycled a 90 gallon tank a while ago
(actually it has been running for 6 months now with a 2" sand bed,
140 pounds live rock, refugium etc) and at this point I have only added
1 Royal Gramma and some reef custodians to it. I guess it is slow but
better safe than sorry. Anyhow.... <Shows you have patience my
friend, a must in this hobby> I want to add a Snowflake eel to the
tank and this creature will be the "main attraction".
Anything else I add over time will be added around the eel' s needs
and habits. My question is is it too soon to add the eel now? <No,
but the royal Gramma may become dinner.> I have a very sturdy
rockwork setup with lots of caves but would it be better to put a piece
of PVC tube in for a cave? If so, should it be open and accessible at
both ends or just one? <I'd try the rockwork first for aesthetic
reasons> Last part of the question is are there any major concerns
regarding acclimating the eel? Should I do the freshwater/Methylene
blue dip and then quarantine or just straight to the quarantine for 4
weeks? <Follow normal QT procedures.> Thanks in advance for your
help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Pete
Snowflake Moray Eel Question Dear Sir: I am considering adding a
snowflake (or other species of moray) to my 75 gallon tank.(80lbs live
rock 3-4 in sand bed, 4" Sohal tang, 2" clarkii clown, a few
corals) I bought Florida aquacultured rock, and while the life was (is)
amazing, the small crabs and mantis shrimp are getting out of hand. I
have been catching some of the crabs with a trap, but I think they
might have figured it out :( I haven't seen the mantis but am
hearing a lot of popping, and something has been killing some of the
crabs. <Could be a pistol shrimp.> Also something killed one of
my clowns (I had a pair). I could move my shrimp to my refugium? would
the moray kill my snails, hermit crabs? <No & yes,
respectively.> I have a DAS aquarium and I run the skimmer 24 hrs a
day, could I handle the bio-load? <For a small snowflake, yes.>
Or am I just like the old lady who swallowed the fly who swallowed the
spider who swallowed the bird? <A bit of that. There are some other
fine trap ideas other than the ones commercially available. A tall
glass jar bait with food at the bottom and positioned vertically but so
that crabs can go in. Too slippery to climb out for crabs, but not for
shrimp. Also, baiting food inside a nylon stocking. -Steven Pro>
Thanks for the help, D. Joe Hall