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FAQs about Snowflake Moray Eel Selection

Related FAQs: Snowflake Morays 1Snowflake Morays 2, Snowflake Eel Identification, Snowflake Eel Behavior, Snowflake Eel Compatibility, Snowflake Eel Systems, Snowflake Eel Feeding, Snowflake Eel Disease/Health, Snowflake Eel Reproduction, Moray Eels, Zebra Moray Eels, Moray Identification, Moray CompatibilityRibbon Moray Eels Freshwater Moray Eel FAQs. Moray Eels in GeneralMoray Behavior, Moray CompatibilityMoray Selection, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction

Related Articles: Snowflake Morays, Five Favorite Eels, The Best and Worst Eels for the Home Aquarium By Kirby Adams, Zebra Morays, Ribbon Morays

Adding a snowflake eel to my reef tank, stkg/sel/rdg    8/25/11
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 it.
<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 or bio-load?
<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 eel.
<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 moray.
<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.
<Normal behavior>
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 head.
<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 their shells.
<It is possible, but unlikely that he ate the snails. I suspect that this is more environmental. Are you sure about your water quality?>
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 the parasites?
<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.>
Thanks Again!!!

Re: Snowflake Moray Comp.\System\Stocking 3/16/2009
Thanks for the quick response Mike and for the record my name is Frank.
<Hi 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 wise.
<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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm >
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 shape.
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 sand bed?
<Jawfish need at least 3 - 4" of substrate, not appropriate for this setup.>
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 them.>
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 soon.>

Re: Snowflake Moray Comp.\System\Stocking 3/18/2009
Well I have a little bit of an update.
<Hi Frank>
Came home Monday to find my snowflake still alive.
<Excellent news>
He has made himself a new burrow under one of the larger live rocks and just chills with his little head poking out.
<Normal behavior>
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 thru
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 vitamins.
<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

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